VWSD recognized for professional development program

Published 2:57 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

Learning Forward Mississippi, a professional organization in the state focused on assisting educators to refine their professional learning practices to ensure better results for students, announced on Wednesday that the Vicksburg Warren School District was selected to be one of their 2022 Spotlight School awardees.

This award recognizes the great impact the district’s ongoing professional development has on continued school improvement. The district’s professional development plan, coordinated by the Curriculum and Instruction Department, includes ongoing training and support for teachers, administrators, and staff across the district.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Phatasis O’Harroll, said,  “This recognition is well-deserved and I credit the focus and hard work of the Curriculum Team, Principals and teachers. They see the possibilities for student success and they are zealous in their implementation of new learning strategies. They truly want what is best for kids.”

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Professional development is delivered in a variety of ways throughout the year in professional learning communities and in specific scheduled courses at the beginning of each semester and throughout the year on student early release days.

The relationship between professional development, improved teacher effectiveness, and student academic outcomes was apparent in the district’s recent move to a B rating in the state accountability model and other academic gains across the district.

“Our professional development plan is created to support areas our student data indicates we need improvement,” O’Harroll said. “There are many parts of the plan and they all work together to build the capacity of administrators and teacher leaders.”

O’Harroll and Dr. Regina O’Leary, the Curriculum and Instruction Department’s New Teacher and Professional Development Coordinator, will attend Learning Forward Mississippi’s Fall Learning Retreat. O’Leary will represent the district on a discussion panel to share the district’s strategies and lessons learned with others across the state.