Our highly qualified teachers are the foundation of our academic programs at El Portal Middle School. Teachers take part in Professional Development Days and collaboration minimum day professional development activities with district staff. These meetings include grade level peers from other sites, administrators, the district coach and other experts. During the meetings, teachers examine practices, receive professional development, examine student work and assessment data from curriculum assessments, and plan collaborative projects to enhance their instructional practices.
Updated training in GLAD strategies is also a major emphasis for all teachers. Teachers have the opportunity through Professional Learning Community activities to collaborate with peers at El Portal or with other teachers in the district at least once per month with sub release, to work during the school day to develop best practices and materials for instruction. Teachers receive regular weekly feedback from the principal on their use of instructional objectives, checks for understanding, and higher order questioning strategies, areas that teachers have received professional development in to improve their use of research-based practices. Teachers are also expected to use sentence frames to encourage students to respond in complete sentences is also an emphasis.
Staff meeting time is continually allocated for sharing of strategies and resources to increase the effectiveness of teaching strategies. Currently our staff has been working together to develop questions and tasks for the different Depth of Knowledge levels. Instructional Rounds are done three times a year where a team gathers data for my teachers on Depth of Knowledge and Precision Partnering.