January 19, 2012

Texas District Improves Professional Development with School Improvement Network


Urban Burleson ISD Uses Professional Development for Educators from School Improvement Network to Improve Teaching Practices


SALT LAKE CITY — Jan 19, 2012 —Employees of the Burleson Independent School District (BISD), a small urban district in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, know that educators must lead the charge if schools are to change for the better. Their established, educator-based professional development department is evidence of that fact, as does their developmental partnership with PD producer School Improvement Network.

BISD has long had a vigorous PD program for their educators. However, Karen Sanders, the district’s now retired Executive Director of Professional Development, knew that for as strong as it was, the district’s program could do more. Rather than just telling teachers how to improve practice, Sanders wanted to produce educational professional development to show them how to do it. Her vision was to create videos of effective classroom implementation of district initiatives that could be conveniently accessed and studied. However, creating videos was time consuming and incredibly expensive; logistically, Sanders realized that it would be difficult to bring her idea to life.

As she conceptualized the BISD video project, Sanders happened to discover PD developer School Improvement Network. She was captivated by their approach to education and their extensive, online community of teachers and administrators, but most of all she was impressed that they, like her, believed the best learning occurred when teachers could see practices in action. School Improvement Network’s extensive library of videos depicting real educators in real classroom settings struck a chord with Sanders, who, of course, wanted to develop just such a library. BISD soon purchased PD 360, School Improvement Network’s premier online professional learning solution, and have been very pleased with their decision.

“PD 360 has all the leading experts whose work we had been studying as a district including Rick DuFour, Rick Stiggins, and McREL’s nine instructional strategies also known as ‘Classroom Instruction That Works,’” says Sanders. “The real classroom examples are of the highest quality, and meet our need to show teachers what best practices actually look like.”

Discover what Sanders and hundreds of thousands of educators have learned by joining the School Improvement Network community for free. To receive a free 30-day trial of PD 360, visit www.schoolimprovement.com and click on the “free 30-day trial” button.