It was a summer of learning in IUSD! In addition to preparing for the new school year, our outstanding IUSD staff also participated in a series of annual professional learning and planning meetings to continually improve our teaching and learning practices and how we serve students and families. This included the Administrative Advance, our districtwide Professional Learning Day, Professional Learning Communities at each school site, the 2023 Summit on Disability and Inclusion, and our first-ever Science of Reading Institute among many other opportunities. Thank you to our dedicated team who love learning!
Districtwide Professional Learning Day
Each year, prior to the start of the traditional school year, more than 2,000 of our incredible certificated instructional staff participate in the District's professional learning day, which is organized and led by our Education Services team. This active, full-day training provides opportunities for IUSD teachers and staff throughout the District to collaborate with their peers on strategies for meeting the needs of all students through equitable instructional practices to help ensure students have access to similar learning experiences. Twenty-five sessions were held at schools throughout the District. Thank you again to our staff for their passion for education and for their commitment to continuous improvement in service of IUSD students and families!
IUSD Administrative Advance
In advance of each traditional school year, the District hosts its Administrative Advance, which is organized and led by Education Services and Human Resources. More than 200 District and site leaders spent dedicated time together to focus on leadership skills and practices. This year's Advance was centered around "Crucial Conversations" to create a foundation of improved communication and collaboration to better serve the IUSD community. Staff engaged in exercises to help navigate sensitive topics, manage disagreements and foster understanding.
2023 Summit on Disability and Inclusion
IUSD's Education Department attended the 2023 Summit on Disability and Inclusion hosted by the Thompson Policy Institute at Chapman University. The vision of the institute is to support educators in their work towards a world in which all people in the disability community thrive. The summit focused on current research and practices in the areas of policy, inclusive education, transition services and teacher education. Our Special Education team was proud to be a part of this important and inspiring event.
First-Annual IUSD Science of Reading Institute
IUSD's Literacy Department hosted its first-ever Science of Reading Institute this summer! Attended by more than 170 elementary teachers, this two-day institute was focused on the science of how students learn to read and included breakout sessions and interactive workshops that deepened teachers' understanding of effective strategies in reading instruction. Sessions included an Early Intervention Reading Model training, a focus on phonics instruction, science of reading in upper grade classrooms, training on IUSD's upper grade Oral Reading Assessment, and best practices supporting English Language Learners.
The institute was grounded in evidence-based reading instruction practices. Members of IUSD's Literacy Department, Language Development Programs and teacher leaders around IUSD presented some of the breakout sessions. As part of the institute, IUSD’s Literacy Department partnered with Lakeshore and Scholastic to support teachers and to provide resources.
Our teachers and staff are committed to continually improving teaching and learning strategies for all IUSD students. We thank our dedicated teachers for participating during their summer break. They left the training energized and ready to support all readers in their classrooms!
Professional Learning Communities
In preparation for the start of school and throughout the year, IUSD certificated staff participates in Professional Learning Communities or PLCs. Through PLCs, teachers work in groups to assess their effectiveness by looking at evidence of student learning and give feedback to one another. Teachers work to meet the needs of every student in their classrooms, to help ensure they are learning at the highest levels possible. This may include supports for students who have not yet mastered the standards or enrichment supports for students who have surpassed the standards, to working with students who are at grade level.
We are excited that our year-round schools are off to a smooth start and we look forward to welcoming our students and families for the start of the traditional school year on Thursday, August 24!