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Hundreds turn to TVHS for professional development



Kaliel leads a study tourMore than 300 education professionals turned to Tech Valley High School and the Center for 21st Century Teaching and Learning for professional development during the 2011-12 school year.

From a series of workshops on implementing a nanoscience education in the classroom to study tours that drew educators from Spain and Australia to Pennsylvania and Albany, professional development opportunities abounded at the school.

 "We had a very successful year in completing our challenge to be an education incubator. We have shared our best practices and successes with hundreds of educators from across the glove," said Principal Dan Liebert.

TVHS was created in 2007 with a dual purpose - to teach students 21st century skills using project-based learning and business partnerships while sharing its teaching practices with educators.  The latter duty was further expanded in the winter of 2010 with the creation buy Capital Region and Questar III of a formal process to provide regional and state-wide dissemination of Tech Valley High School’s offerings and findings through the Center for 21st Century Teaching and Learning.

Laura Lehtonen describes to visitors the principles and practices of TVHS.TVHS Teacher Stacia Snow, who also serves as a coach for CTL, said the CTL and TVHS saw a major uptick in professional development demand in the latter half of the 2011-12 school year because TVHS teaches in a way that meets the new Common Core Learning Standards that schools are required to meet.

"Through the standards, the state has placed a value on college and career readiness skills and pushed schools to integrate curriculums – two key components of the TVHS educational environment," said Laura Lehtonen, a coach with CTL.

Professional development opportunities for the coming school year are beginning this month at TVHS. A College & Career Readiness Institute will run from July 23-27 at the school. The five-day professional development opportunity is designed to expose participants to the various aspects of the Tech Valley High School model. This model includes a strong school and classroom culture of trust, respect and responsibility, project-based curriculum development and facilitated learning through technology.

A complete list of other professional development opportunities will be announced on the TVHS website and in the media in the coming weeks.

In the top photo, teacher 2012 graduate Kaliel Williamson leads a pair of educators on a tour of the school last school year.

In the bottom photo, Laura Lehtonen, from The Center for 21st Century Teaching and Learning (CTL), describes to visitors the principles and practices of TVHS.