The Humboldt Unified School District is one of four districts taking part in a project that brings professional development training in the sciences through the Arizona Science Center for the Rural Communities Expansion Project sponsored by the www.aps.com">Arizona Public Service Foundation.
Through a grant of nearly $250,000 from the APS Foundation, ASC's Center for Leadership in Learning partnered with four school districts in northern Arizona to bring valuable teacher, leader and community professional development to rural communities. The four districts involved in the project met Aug. 22 in Cottonwood to discuss the progress of the development program, which is tailored to the unique needs of each district.
The end goal is to improve student outcomes, with areas of focus including Common Core State Standards, teacher mentoring and coaching, teaching standards, and best practices in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
"Access to professional development is the number one factor in increasing teacher quality, and all of these districts have expressed a strong desire for quality professional learning and development for the benefit of student learning," said Chevy Humphrey, Arizona Science Center president and CEO.
About 120 teachers from HUSD, Cottonwood-Oak Creek, Williams Unified and Winslow Unified school districts will undergo training, which takes place over the course of the year. At the culmination, teachers will participate in a best practices institute, which will allow each district to showcase its progress.
"Our model creates both support and accountability for teachers and allows them to increase student inquiry and problem-solving ability through real-world challenges," said Dr. Sharon Kortman, vice president of learning at Arizona Science Center and executive lead on this project.