CEA’s School’s Targets Achievements and Results Team (START)
The START process is NOT professional development – it’s tailor-made support for effectively embedding a school board’s current professional learning programs by building the capacity and trust of teachers and principals to take charge of changing their own practice.
Facilitating real change in classrooms is complex. This is why the START process is integrated into a school district’s strategic plan, taking into account its unique challenges and priorities.
The key component of CEA’s START process is that it recognizes and builds on the wealth of expertise that already exists within a school board. School staff identify the challenges that they would like START Members to support. Emphasis is placed on the importance of incorporating student voice and input from the school community into this school improvement process.
Think of the START process in this manner: Germinating the seeds of previous PD so that it takes root at a much deeper level, designed to capture, assess and inspire new ideas for enhancing the students’ learning experiences. Your educators are provided with strategies that they can relate to and integrate into their daily practice.
Over a number of months, START Members conduct significant preliminary diagnostic work to identify the critical issues and key priorities of staff. This unique approach focuses on the ‘DNA’ of teaching and learning in the schools. Countless research studies have demonstrated that poor PD models hamper the integration of new ideas and strategies meant to improve classroom learning. START ensures that these ideas take hold on the ground through capacity-building and directly responding to the immediate learning requested from teachers and principals.
Professional learning communities (PLCs) are developed in the schools to support literacy-related orientations that honour traditional languages, culture and Ways of Knowing. School teams then collaborate on school improvement plans, retention strategies, and providing positive solutions to address student suspensions. By focusing on building the capacity of staff to create their own solutions to the challenges that they face, when the consultants leave, these educators continue to refine their own change processes.
Current research clearly demonstrates that the most effective PD for educators must come from sources that are both highly credible and trustworthy. In the vast majority of cases, trustworthiness comes from ‘inside’ the school board and schools, and the START process focuses on creating conditions that allow for the effective use of these invaluable human resources to create deep learning for all.
Data informs but relationships create success. Students’ academic and behavioural results will greatly improve within the first year of the START model implementation in your schools. Changing pedagogical practices can take years, but with our START process, we have accelerated new learning among school staff.
Evaluations conducted after the first-year implementation of the START process in schools within the Cree School Board were overwhelmingly positive. Educators felt that START Members challenged them to set their own teaching and learning goals, which enhanced the learning environments in their classrooms. They were introduced to new learning resources that improved their teaching, and their ability to effect change in their classrooms. They grew professionally and they wanted the implementation of the START process to continue for another academic year in their schools
To learn more about our unique PD integration process, contact CEA President & CEO Ron Canuel at:
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