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How a Group of Rural Colorado Schools Partners with Edmentum for Specific and Effective Professional Development

How a Group of Rural Colorado Schools Partners with Edmentum for Specific and Effective Professional Development

It’s no surprise that consistently making time for professional development is tough. Add in the complexity of planning professional development (PD) in a rural district from both a logistics and cost perspective, and the task can seem truly daunting. But, with the right planning, program design, and buy-in it’s certainly possible.

In rural southeast Colorado, principals and superintendents rely on the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services or BOCES to supply educational services to two or more school districts that alone cannot afford the service, or find it advantageous and cost-effective to cooperate with other districts. BOCES are an important and vital part of the public educational system in Colorado.

Just look at Campo School District in southeast Colorado, a BOCES member, With only 42 students enrolled in grades PK through 12, they were able to overcome some significant challenges to offering PD for staff, including budget constraints, geography, and widely varying staff needs.

The good news is Campo school district didn’t need to combat these challenges alone. As an Edmentum partner school, they decided to work with our consulting team to thoroughly review their student data begin tailoring a professional development with a technology focused approach that fit their unique needs. Here’s three key elements to the success of the program they created.

Go in with a plan

Every good plan begins by getting the right people at the table. Our Edmentum consulting team and the Campo school district administrator and principal started with an in-depth discussion about what the district’s overarching goals, challenges, and areas of interest were. This step is critical to gaining buy-in from staff participating in and stakeholders funding PD. Through thoughtful conversation, the Campo administration and our consultants were able to agree on specific, meaningful goals for the district’s half-day training session, and how to structure the session so that it would achieve the best results.

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Dive into the data

Edmentum’s consulting team worked alongside Campo educators to review their current student data, including taking a close look at their usage of online programs. This gave the group insight into how different members of the staff were utilizing Edmentum programs, and how they could be thoughtfully grouped during training based on their current experience and needs. Specifically, our Edmentum consultants pulled data at the account level to show usage, in addition to walking through ideal and varied use cases as an example to develop buy in from the entire group. This was a critically important step in the planning process.

Make it specific

As a result of having data readily available and in an easy-to-understand format, both the district and our Edmentum team were able to agree on the best format for the training. Organizing educators into groups was the best approach, so they could tackle various features and both more basic and advanced topics to make the time as productive as possible for all staff members. Those in the Courseware groups were able to work on creating customized courses, for example, as well as walking through each report the program offers to understand what type of information it provides and how to generate it. Staff members in the Exact Path groups, on the other hand, could focus on digging into how to use results from that program’s diagnostic assessment to drive classroom instruction.

Looking to learn more about how Edmentum’s expert education consultants can help you use your online programs to the greatest benefit? Check out our comprehensive Services offerings!