Staff members display the write stuff
More than 100 Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District teachers attended one of two two-day writing workshops in late June.
In all more than 200 staff members are expected to take the training before the end of the summer.
The district is adopting Lucy Calkins’ “Units of Study for Writing” starting in the fall for kindergarten through eighth grade, Director of Teaching and Learning Sherri Cyra said. This will be the basis for the writing curriculum at all of those grades, she said.
The writing workshop was developed over three decades of work through a reading and writing project at Columbia University, Cyra said. The purpose of the training is to provide a foundation for all of the teachers who will be using it and to ensure that they are ready to implement the program.
Sally Zeinemann, a first-grade teacher at Northside, led the training for elementary teachers, while MaryBeth Paulisse, the district’s continuous improvement specialist, led the training for middle school teachers, which was held the next week.
“To have so many teachers embark on this learning journey together during the summer is fantastic,’’ Zeinemann said. “It’s great to have a room full of experienced, knowledgeable teachers talking about writing for four days in June and four days in August. It makes a big difference for all of our students.’’
Said Paulisse: “As a district we are most excited about this training, as it means we will have an aligned writing curriculum and instructional model that reaches from our smallest writers at the kindergarten level, all the way through our advanced writers at the eighth-grade level’’
Two staff members from each of the district’s six elementary and two middle schools headed to New York in July for training at Columbia, and will serve as in-building resources throughout the year.
It is the first time the district has rolled out a full writing curriculum. It is the result of the K-12 English-Language Arts and Literacy curriculum renewal process that every subject area in the district either has or will go through in the coming years.
To see more photos from the training at the District Adminstrative Center and one photo of the more than one dozen staff members who went to New York for training, please visit the district's Facebook page.