What do the teachers do on Friday afternoons?
Supporting teachers in their learning process is one of the most spectacular things about Bill Roberts. Over the years, the staff has taken on literacy and math best practices, cognitive thinking strategies (deeper, critical thinking) for all content areas, increasing a cohesive and comprehensive school-wide writing practice, and our study of the Harvard Zero Project through Making Thinking Visible. The staff has also increased the effectiveness of working as teams in focusing on closing the achievement gaps, pulling and analyzing data to inform and guide instruction, and planning in both grade level and vertical (ECE-8) teams in content areas. Much, if not most, of these high-level learning opportunities would not be able to take place if it weren't for early release every Friday. The first Friday of the month is our partner/professional development from PEBC (Public Education Business Coalition), who presents the thinking routines and the implementation tools for thinking strategies to our entire staff. The second Friday is dedicated to professional development around the Common Core Standards. The following Friday is analyzing student data to determine best instructional plans for our students. The last Friday is professional development around writing which supports our goals on our UIP (Unified Improvement Plan).