Superintendent’s Conference Day

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District teachers and other professional staff members received training on a variety of topics at Superintendent’s Conference Day.

As part of the day’s events, teachers attended workshops, which focused on diverse subjects, including differentiated instruction and the development of parallel ELA and math questions to mirror state assessments.

Carol Varsalona, an independent ELA consultant and former director of language arts and testing in West Babylon School District, trained ELA teachers from grades 6-8 and social studies teachers from grade 8, in a workshop titled, “Close Reading Across the Disciplines.”
“My goal is to get the teachers more comfortable with the practices and protocol that are inherent in the Common Core so they can ratchet up instruction for students,” Varsalona said.

She added that ongoing professional development and collaboration between colleagues was vital to student success.

“Without support and collaboration, teachers will feel isolated from the message of the State Education Department to power up instruction, ” Varsalona said. “Today’s focus is on scaffolding instruction for all learners. I want them to bring passion to their instruction, to teach in the moment.”

District elementary teachers Mark Glaviano, Meryl Gordon, Jennifer Russo and Cyndi Van Ommeren led workshops on “Go Math,” providing their colleagues with essential information they garnered after attending a Nassau BOCES workshop on the math program.

“We focused on breaking into small groups and teaching to the level that each student needs,” Russo said. “We also discussed how to utilize all the components of the program to help provide successful instruction.”

Other training provided to teachers focused on writing, as well as word study and science. The district also offered workshops on “Nonviolent Crisis Intervention” and “How to Deal with Difficult People,” which was facilitated by Brad Withers of Skill Path.