have several strategies in this state that we are operating with to improve
student achievement. We have a major
project underway called Learning Support which really looks at all of the
factors that surround the conditions in which students learn, their families
support them, their community supports them.
that's one area that we really are working very hard through our Area Education
Agencies to provide that kind of resource examination at the school level to
say do we have all those connections in place in order to provide those
supports for the students and their families to create the conditions in which
they can learn.
also have teacher development academies that we are operating on a regular
basis. We operate those in the summer
time. Very intensive instruction for
those teachers to help them again improve their craft, improve their
We also have Iowa Professional Development Model where all of our teachers and our administrators need to have a professional development plan. The district needs to submit those plans to the department and
really look at what are the student achievement needs that exist in those
buildings and those districts. What are
the researched based strategies that we truly think are going to make a
difference and then how are we going to implement those strategies with what we
call fidelity. And then we provide
coaches and tracking the data and help those teachers gain those new skills for
that professional development model.
Our Area Education Agencies are absolutely instrumental in our teacher development academies and our implementation of the Iowa Professional Development model with Learning Supports because the majority of the professional development that really occurs in this state is sort of a flow through from the department through the area of education agencies down to the districts and the school building.