Online Professional Development for School Leaders in 2021

by | May 10, 2021

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Effective professional learning takes place through a combination of different media and formats, including online professional development opportunities! We’ve rounded up six of our favorite on-demand PD resources for school leaders as we approach the 2021-2022 school year. We also recommend checking out our recent articles about the best summer conferences for principals, what elements make up effective PD, and why schools need ongoing, job-embedded PD.

6 On-Demand Professional Development Resources for School Leaders

Here are six online professional development sessions we recommend for school leaders, listed in no particular order:

Achievement Gaps: The Path to Equity (Reimagined)

Cost: $124-155

Why It Matters Now:

Students with diverse backgrounds have diverse learning needs, which can lead to achievement gaps for students who have fewer resources than their peers. Research suggests that long periods of school closure and online-only learning during the pandemic have only widened learning gaps for traditionally underserved student groups, including students of color, English Language Learners, and students with IEPs.

In this online course, school leaders will learn about the combination of factors that contribute toward educational inequities, how to make data-driven decisions that meet students’ individual needs, and how to equip teachers to combat COVID-related learning loss.

Learn More: Visit the ASCD Store to purchase this course.

Special Education: From Goals to Growth

Cost: $124-155

Why It Matters Now:

Students with IEPs have long faced an achievement gap, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. A 2019 meta-analysis of educational research studies suggest that students with disabilities are about three years behind in their learning compared to their peers without disabilities. Students in special education faced even greater learning challenges when the pandemic began because many were forced into a remote-only learning plan without access to individualized supports.

As schools plan to fully reopen in the fall, principals must learn how to close the achievement gap for adversely impacted students, including students with special needs. This ASCD course trains educators to evaluate students’ individual needs, develop a responsive curriculum and learning goals, and track students’ progress along the way.

Learn More: Visit the ASCD Store to purchase this course.

Fostering Resilient Learners

Cost: $124-155

Why It Matters Now:

Educators are often the first people to notice the signs of child abuse and neglect. Teachers and school leaders may see evidence of trauma and have opportunities to support students’ well-being while they continue learning in the classroom.

Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic allowed increased cases of child abuse to occur because families spent so much time isolated together in their homes. New social distancing regulations provided fewer opportunities for outsiders to recognize the signs and take action. When schools closed and transitioned to remote learning, teachers were less able to observe indications of child abuse.

“Fostering Resilient Learners” will prepare school leaders to strengthen a trauma-informed learning environment. They will understand the impact of trauma on learning and the supports students need to achieve academic success.

Learn More: Visit the ASCD Store to purchase this course.

Preparing for the First Days of Mathematics Instruction and Beyond (Elementary)

Cost: Included with NCTM membership

Why It Matters Now:

At home, parents and caregivers often spend ample time practicing literacy skills with young children but much less time working on math. However, research suggests that building math skills at a young age is also vital for student success, especially for students negatively impacted by the achievement gap.

A 2018 study by Mattera et. al. finds that strong math skills in elementary school are associated with greater rates of high school graduation and college attendance. Additionally, when the math curriculum is aligned across several years, the achievement gap for students from low-income households diminishes.

This e-seminar from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) trains elementary school educators to set the foundation for a strong math program at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

Learn More: Check out NCTM’s website for e-seminar information.

Differentiating Instruction in Math: It’s Not as Hard as You Think

Cost: Free

Why It Matters Now:

In differentiated instruction, students are empowered to learn through methods and assignments that meet their individual learning needs. Differentiation can support student learning in any subject, but NCTM reports, “it is much less likely that teachers vary the material they ask their students to work within mathematics.”

School leaders should become familiar with differentiation techniques in mathematics and provide adequate training for teachers to implement these strategies in the classroom. This podcast from NCTM helps educators identify the low-hanging fruit in mathematics differentiation to promote equitable education for all students.

Learn More: Check out NCTM’s website to listen to this free podcast.

Assessment Considerations for RTI in Mathematics

Cost: Included with NCTM membership

Why It Matters Now:

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a process that helps educators identify and support students who are struggling to meet curriculum standards while continuing to challenge high achievers. Effective RTI requires the use of formative assessments, which measure students’ current knowledge and skills, inform the support students receive, and track students’ ongoing progress.

This NCTM e-seminar helps school leaders understand how to develop a data-driven RTI strategy using assessments.

Learn More: Check out NCTM’s website for e-seminar information.

Create an Impactful Professional Development Strategy with CSAS

Online professional development is certainly convenient, but these one-time training sessions are insufficient for promoting significant school improvement. Educators need ongoing, job-embedded PD  to recognize measurable improvements in student achievement. The Center for Student Achievement Solutions (CSAS) can partner with your school leaders to build a sustainable professional learning strategy for everyone on your team.

Let’s get started with a free initial consultation call. One of our experienced consultants will actively listen to your goals and challenges, asking questions along the way to get a complete picture of your school’s needs. Then we’ll work with you to create an evidence-based PD strategy focused on your top priorities.

We look forward to helping you develop an Equitable, Inclusive, and Excellent school!

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