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New PTC grant secured for teacher site visits

Posted on Dec. 26, 2018

RIVERDALE GRADE SCHOOL – Thanks to a generous new grant from the Parent Teacher Club, grade school teachers will have the opportunity to spend a day observing a teacher at another school — or even within Riverdale — for inspiration and to learn new tools. 

Teachers are encouraged to seek out programs or practices they are interested in replicating at Riverdale. While they are just beginning to consider their choices, possible examples could include outings to observe literacy lessons in action, explore hands-on practices, discover new ways to incorporate technology and see other innovative options for talented and gifted learners or special education, among other varied ideas. 

"The options are endless and we look forward to how these perspectives will add to our great work and outstanding programming for students," says Principal Joanna Tobin, who adds the site visits will likely affirm the really great work our teachers are doing. 

In fact, the grant request was inspired by a team of Colorado educators from Academy District 20 that recently visited Riverdale schools to learn from our educational practices. 

Each year, this large district selects a new city and identifies schools that provide interesting approaches to a specific topic. This year, the trip’s focus was on project-based learning and social-emotional learning. 

Principal Tobin says, "They selected us for both reasons and provided extremely positive feedback on our social-emotional learning opportunities." The visitors were also impressed with our K_12 small-school model, focus on the Habits of Mind, and early release time designated specifically for professional development and teacher collaboration. 

Riverdale’s grant funds will pay for substitute coverage in order to make local site visits a reality for teachers who wish to participate. Teachers must clearly identify what they wish to gain from the experience before their requests will be approved. Afterward, they will be asked to reflect on and share the strategies, ideas or tools they witnessed and explain how they can be adapted for use in their own classrooms. They’ll also note what made them walk away thinking, "Gosh, I really am doing a great job with this already." 

Our teachers, who are all lifelong learners, are excited for the PTC’s support in making this new learning opportunity a reality.