Professional Development: Helping All Arizona Schools Improve Student Achievement

I’ve often said, “A charter is a contract to improve student achievement.” With the first day of school just around the corner for many Arizona charter schools, we’ve ramped up our professional development to help schools meet that contract requirement.

We’ve created the Arizona Center for Student Achievement, which provides all public schools – district and charter – with quality professional development.

This school year we’ve welcomed 41 charter schools into our Quality Schools Program. The intensive three-year professional development program helps to further advance academic achievement through data-driven instruction and professional learning communities.

We are also working with 20 educators who are passionate about closing the achievement gap in Arizona. Over the course of two years, the Aspiring Leaders Fellows will develop the skills and expertise to start their own high-performing schools aimed at serving low-income students.

We are very excited to welcome back Rick and Rebecca DuFour to our 2012 Arizona Charter Schools Association Annual Conference on November 1-2 in Phoenix. The DuFours are known for their expertise in professional learning communities and were very well received by Conference attendees last year. The Conference is also packed with speakers who will provide participants with the skills and knowledge to continue to improve student achievement.

Starting this month, our member schools can also take advantage of free professional development via in person workshops and webinars. As the focus on academic accountability continues to be at the forefront of education policy changes, we want to help member schools stay on top of any changes by providing them with the tools and services needed to continue to be successful.

Let’s get the 2012-13 school year off to a great start!

This letter, written by Arizona Charter Schools Association President Eileen B. Sigmund, was originally published in the Association’s monthly e-newsletter. If you want to stay involved in Arizona’s charter movement, email megan@azcharters.org to register for the e-newsletter.

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