By on February 27, 2015

Grant Year: 2013-2014
Recipient: Angela Singer, Melrose Public Schools

The investment that we are making in the education and experience of our teachers is tremendous.”

— Angela Singer, ELA director

Funded by a grant from the Melrose Education Foundation, department directors at Melrose High School and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School were able to provide a professional development “Summer Institute” to existing staff and new hires in 2014. Below is a summary of the Institute’s outcomes, based on feedback received from Angela Singer, ELA director for Melrose Public Schools:

In June 2014 teachers attended a two-day series of workshops directly tied to curriculum development and best teaching practices. Highlights:

  • Social studies, global language, and ELA teachers worked with educators from outside the district and professionals brought in from a wide variety of disciplines.
  • Global language teachers wrestled with the difficulties of stressing spoken language.
  • ELA teachers learned many important details about the high stakes testing program developed by PARRC.
  • Each teacher went home at the end of the two days with a strong sense of how to tweak and shift practice in the new school year.

“The investment that we are making in the education and experience of our teachers is tremendous, and this investment will affect all of the students studying at the middle school and high school level in the city.” 

— Angela Singer

In August, the grant funded late summer PD for new staff at MHS and MVMMS. The day-long series of workshops and activities was specifically designed to catch up new hires on existing projects and initiatives as well as new ones for 2014-2015. Highlights:

  •  New teachers were brought up to speed. Each new teacher was provided with a binder that includes plans for two-column note-taking, best teaching practices, the basics of Understanding by Design curriculum mapping, and other pertinent information. This allowed us to begin the school year with all teachers aware of decisions made at the end of the spring and the work teachers will be expected to complete during the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Provided educators with Better Teaching activities. We purchased copies of the teaching texts, Activators and Summarizers, by Saphier and Haley from Research for Better Teaching in Acton, MA, putting in the teachers’ hands information that will help them plan and organize their classroom activities by framing them with meaningful short activities.
  • Eased transition for very late hires. Additionally, funds allowed us to get these same materials to very late hires: folks who came on board with us as the year was starting.

“Becoming a part of a learning community is the key to a successful career. I cannot overstate the importance of offering new teachers this opportunity.”  

— Angela Singer

Note: In November 2014, the Melrose Education Foundation Board of Directors voted to ensure funding for the Summer Institute in 2015 and in years to come.