The Redwood City School District has invested in the professional development of its staff. Principals and teachers have received training in strategic use of data to improve instruction, collaboration through professional learning communities, technology in the classroom, equity, and implementation of the new Common Core State Standards.
Using a train-the-trainer model, the District is calling on the rich and varied expertise of its own staff. During a recent training session, teachers learned specifics about the Common Core Standards for their grade level. A standard defines what students should know and skills they should master at each grade level. For example, under the Common Core Standards students in Grade Four should be able to determine the theme of a story, play or poem from details in the text and summarize the text, and students should be able to compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are told, including the difference between first- and third-person accounts. Teachers at each grade level also learned specific strategies to help students master the new standards, and learned about technology tools that can be used by teachers for planning and student learning.
Redwood City practices data driven instruction. We are currently using data to analyze trends, identify areas for improvement, and make adjustments in our instructional strategies. RCSD uses benchmark testing, parent and student surveys and research data from Stanford University to assess student learning, identify issues affecting learning, and discover community priorities for education. The district relies on this wide range of data to tailor instruction to individual students, and meet the needs of the community.