MORGANTOWN - Nearly two dozen Wood County Schools teachers and administrators are attending a state leadership institute this month in Morgantown.
The West Virginia Department of Education Teacher Leadership Institute began July 8 and will run through July 27. Each week the program focuses on a different area of the state's updated Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives for the 21st century and gives participants the chance to develop personalized learning teaching techniques.
Judy Johnson, director of curriculum for Wood County Schools, said each year the institute addresses a different aspect of education in West Virginia. Participating educators are expected to bring these best practices back to their schools and districts to help teach other professionals.
"These teachers will provide professional development in August for the teachers at the grade levels that are adopting the Next Generation Standards this year," she said. "Kindergarten teachers were trained last summer."
The Wood County teachers and administrators are participating in programs centered around math, arts and sciences, and first-, fourth- and fifth-grade curriculums.
"The West Virginia Department of Education also is encouraging districts to integrate the arts and encourage students to realize their potential in the arts programs," Johnson said.
The local teachers and administrators are among nearly 1,000 educators from throughout the state taking part in the institute.
The institute is one of only several professional development programs being held this summer. Many of the department's summer professional development sessions focus on providing educators with tools to meet state Board of Education goals that outline what students should know, how they should behave and what they should achieve in public schools. The sessions also board priorities, including an emphasis on personalized learning to educate every child.
Earlier this month, about 200 teachers participated in the 2012 Science, Arts and Social Studies Institute. The event consist of three separate content academies designed to provide teachers with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to serve as facilitators for quality professional development for their peers.
In addition, the state Department of Education held a train-the-trainer and leadership training program for pre-kindergarten teachers in language and literacy as well as science and math. The program included specific professional development components for administrators as well as family engagement.
"Providing our teachers with quality professional development is the key to transforming West Virginia's schools into 21st century learning centers," said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. "With this training, our teachers will be better equipped to address the learning needs of the whole child."