Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

Lake County Schools and University of Central Florida (UCF) have been awarded a competitive grant to investigate the use of virtual reality to change teacher practice and student achievement.

Ten sites across the country will participate in a national research project led by the UCF using TeachLivE, a computer simulated classroom based in mixed-reality technology to develop teacher practice.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to partner with UCF in their innovative, 21st Century advancement to professional development,” said Dr. Marilyn Doyle, Senior Director for Lake County Schools’ Academic Services Department. “Our teachers will have an opportunity to explore a cutting-edge approach to teaching and learning. Teachers will interact with avatars in a simulated classroom setting in order to collect data to generate dialogue among teachers and administrators. These experiences will help build consensus on how to assess components of effective classroom environment as we continue to support and develop instructionally effective schools.”

Carrie Straub, PhD, Research Director of TeachLivE Research Project, stated, “Lake County School District was chosen because of their innovative use of classroom simulation for teacher development. Their work is at the cutting edge of teacher education.”

At UCF the use of the TeachLivE simulator, helps practicing teachers retool their skills. The simulator is a mixed-reality teaching environment that supports teacher practice in pedagogy and content. In the TeachLivE Lab, pre-service and in-service teachers walk into a simulated middle-school classroom where the room is real but the students are digital avatars, allowing teachers to practice their skills on virtual children instead of actual students. The focus of the research study is on practicing teachers and their personalized professional development and how the virtual environment could be used to change teacher behaviors to positively impact student learning.


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With teachers heading back to the school this week, they are learning some new faces that will guide them in developing curriculum for the 21st century classroom.

A new academic leadership team at the Lake County Schools District includes (left to right): Dr. Marilyn Doyle, Senior Director of Academic Services; Kathlene Jarvis, Director of Curriculum & Instruction; Hugh Hattabaugh, Chief Academic Officer; Dr. Stacey Roberts, Director of Professional Development & Leadership; and Kati Pearson, Director of Teaching & Learning.

Three changes to the Lake County School District’s leadership team this summer brought new perspectives to the District’s development and implementation of curriculum.

“The Lake County School District is about the business of educating children,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “The expertise of these new leaders to Lake County Schools provides an opportunity to strengthen the core mission of Lake County Schools, which is providing every student with individual opportunities to excel.”

First to join the team was Hugh Hattabaugh as the District’s Chief Academic Officer. He is responsible for overseeing the departments of Planning, Evaluation & Accountability; Grants, Exceptional Student Education; Career and Technical Education; Federal Education Programs; Teaching & Learning; Curriculum & Instruction; and Professional Development & Leadership.

Before joining Lake County Schools, Hattabaugh served as interim superintendent for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for a year. He joined the North Carolina-based school district in 2007 as an area superintendent and later was appointed chief operating officer. Hattabaugh has strong ties to Central Florida as a longtime principal at Boone High School in Orlando. After overseeing an eight-year renovation project at Boone High, the school’s new media center was named after him. The school’s nonprofit foundation endowed the Hugh E. Hattabaugh Leadership Award in 2005, a scholarship which gives $1,000 each year to a graduating senior. He was also inducted into the Boone Hall of Fame in 2006.

Dr. Marilyn Doyle joined the Lake County School District in July to fill the new position of Senior Director of Academic Services. The position was developed to manage and create synergy between the departments of Teaching & Learning; Curriculum & Instruction; and Professional Development & Leadership. She previously was with Orange County Public Schools as an associate superintendent. She began her career with Orange County as a high school math teacher elevating to assistant principal and then principal at Carver Middle School in Orlando.

The final addition to round out the new team was Kathlene Jarvis as the District’s Director of Curriculum & Instruction. She oversees a cadre of program specialists to assist teachers in planning and implementing instructional programs while continually developing and improving effective teaching methods and techniques. Most recently Jarvis was director for turnaround schools as well as senior administrator at Orange County schools. She taught biology and served as a math and science coach before becoming an assistant principal at several Orlando-area schools, including Carver Middle, Howard Middle and Oak Ridge High.

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Grab a book and log on to your computer. A new series of “Summer Read Along” videos from Lake County Schools encourages students and parents to continue reading during the summer break while learning important reading strategies.

This week the Curriculum and Professional Development departments at Lake County Schools unveiled the collaborative “Summer Read Along” project, which features teachers reading aloud 14 different books in videos available through the District website at www.lake.k12.fl.us/summerread.

“For parents it models how teachers read out aloud and teach different reading strategies,” said Kimberly Natal, the K-5 English Language Arts Program Specialist in the Curriculum Department.

Natal, along with Dale Delpit, Director of Curriculum, came up with the idea to help bring new attention to the importance of reading throughout the summer and to stress the skills needed to be a good reader, such as thinking out loud while reading and asking questions before, during and after reading. The group selected a stable of books targeting growing readers in grades K-3 using suggestions from Lake County teachers, such as the book of the month program at Round Lake Charter Elementary.

“Mostly these books are award-winning, classic trade books that teachers consistently use in the classroom,” Natal said. “The read-along videos are quick and easy, and they help to extend the understanding of the book.”

The idea was brought to life by a couple of Lake County Schools’ own outstanding storytellers, Julie Wienecke, Teacher at Groveland Elementary, and Valarie Rogers, Teacher at Grassy Lake Elementary. Their interpretations of the classic stories were filmed and edited by Jon Redding, Online Specialist in the Professional Development Department. While it’s not necessary to have the book in hand while watching the read-along videos, it definitely helps the experience. All of the books are available at local libraries, as well as for purchase at online or local bookstores.

“It benefits the student to have the book in hand,” Natal said. “Students can follow along with the words and it deepens the interaction.”

In addition to the read-along videos, the “Summer Read Along” webpage at www.lake.k12.fl.us/summerread features additional activities that will enhance students’ study of the books and give them great opportunities for family fun over the summer break.

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Lake County Schools congratulates Marni Whitehead of Windy Hill Middle and Tamara Russell Valdes of Grassy Lake Elementary for achieving National Board Certification.

These two teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices to become National Board Certified and have met rigorous criteria through intensive study, expert evaluation and peer review.

Congratulations are also extended to five National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) from Lake County Schools who achieved recertification. This includes: Mora Conn of Eustis Elementary, Debra Ingersoll of Triangle Elementary, Sally Loeb of East Ridge High School, Cele Oldham of the Professional Development Department and Sandy Powers of Eustis High School. These teachers demonstrated their continued professional learning by not only successfully completing another rigorous assessment of advanced teaching practices, but also demonstrating their commitment to the advancement of the education profession through high quality professional development to others.

“Lake County Schools had two teachers to accomplish for the first time as National Board Certified Teachers and five teachers recertified as National Board Teachers,” said Nancy Velez, Chief Academic Officer for Lake County Schools. “This is a significant because many districts had no one certify or recertify at all. Not only are these challenging times to tackle such a rigorous process but the financial support from the Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program is no longer available. These teachers accomplished this at their own expense.”

National Board Certification is voluntary and is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. The certification period is valid for 10 years. Teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach. NBCTs go on to become teacher leaders at their school site and can facilitate professional development.

As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. In the second part of the assessment, teachers must pass a computer-based assessment on their knowledge of the subjects they teach. The completed work is scored by a minimum of 12 teachers who have been trained to evaluate based on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

In order to recertify at the end of the 10-year period, teachers must demonstrate professional growth experiences that increased student learning over the life of their initial National Board Certification period.

National Board Certified Teachers consistently receive top teaching honors while representing less than two percent of the nation’s teaching population.

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Lake County Schools will be closed on Friday, Nov. 11, to observe Veterans Day. The administration offices of Lake County Schools will also be closed on Nov. 11.

To view a complete holiday calendar for Lake County Schools, log on to http://www.lake.k12.fl.us or visit Lake County Schools District Office, located at 201 W. Burleigh Blvd. in Tavares.

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The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) announced today that four Lake County Schools teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2010.

Lake County Schools teachers earning National Board Certification in 2010:

  • Toni Beckett of Umatilla Middle School (certification area: Career and Technical Education/Early Adolescent/Young Adult)
  • Diane Louis of Umatilla Middle School (certification area: Literacy – Reading- Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood)
  • Dr. Rene Rodrigue of Tavares High School (certification area: Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood – Young Adult)
  • Joyce Whicker of Clermont Middle School (certification: School Counseling/Early childhood – Young Adult)

Lake County Schools teacher receiving recertification of National Board Certification in 2010:

  • Cynthia Reardon of Altoona School (certification area: Middle Childhood Generalist)

“Becoming a National Board Certified educator is a tremendous accomplishment for these teachers,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “We are fortunate to have them teaching in Lake County. Lake County Schools is continually working to help our teachers excel which enables our students to achieve.”

According to NBPTS, more than 8,600 teachers and school counselors achieved National Board Certification in 2010. Today’s announcement brings the total number of accomplished educators certified by NBPTS to more than 91,000.

Florida remains second in the nation in the number of National Board Certified teachers (NCBTs). Florida had 273 new NBCTs in 2010 bringing the state total to more than 13,500. Lake County accounted for nearly 200 of the state’s total.

A voluntary assessment program designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers, National Board Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.

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