MPS students to be released early on Nov. 9th | News
MONTGOMERY, AL- On Friday November 9 and Friday February 15 Montgomery Public School students will dismiss two hours early, but their teachers will stay at school to learn to use a new state approved assessment tool.
This type of teacher training known as "embedded staff development" is something that MPS Superintendent Barbara W. Thompson says is research based and widely accepted as a effective means of staff development.
"Embedded staff development is one of the best ways to provide teacher training," said Superintendent Thompson. "Teachers have spent time with their students so the training can be applied directly to the individual students in their classrooms. This first training session will show teachers how to use a state approved assessment called Global Scholar to identify the skills a student needs help with and provides them with strategies to help students get up to speed."
The training is for teachers in every grade level to ensure each student is proficient in the core academic areas. The subject matter focus may vary by grade level.
Using this new assessment tool, teachers can identify groups of students who may need similar help in a subject. This lets the teacher work with individuals, or small groups and allows identification of those students who may benefit from tutoring or specific assistance.
The extra time teachers are spending at school is part of the total seven staff development days required by the Alabama Department of Education. Superintendent Thompson believes this type of staff development will make a difference for teachers and students.
"The Global Scholar system will help teachers understand where the gaps are in a student's learning. If a high school student missed an important concept from a lower grade level, this tool will identify the gap and help the teacher plan for lessons to help the student understand the material he or she missed. This training is an opportunity for teachers to learn new techniques that will improve student achievement. It is a win-win."
The dates for the early dismissal were set so parents could consider getting an early start on a holiday weekend. Superintendent Thompson wanted to ensure parents were able to make holiday plans or arrange for childcare in plenty of time. Parents received notifications via the school calendar and media coverage in July. Reminder letters were also sent home and parents received a call from the system's notification phone system.
After-school programs were notified about the early dismissal dates. For example, the YMCA Goodtimes programs will begin two hours early. Parents should ensure they make arrangements with their daycare provider, provide early pickup for students, or ensure someone is home when students arrive home by bus two hours early.