UPD Consulting, in partnership with The School District of Palm Beach County and Pearson K12 Learning, is excited and humbled to have been awarded a Professional Learning Partnerships Initiative grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
We know that high quality instructional materials are necessary but insufficient. If we are serious about closing achievement and opportunity gaps, a critical first step is ensuring that all students get access to rigorous, high quality instructional materials. We also know that access to the materials themselves is woefully insufficient. These materials need to be supported by thoughtful and intentional professional learning and support so that teachers build the knowledge, skill, and judgment to implement the materials as they are designed and to make strategic decisions within the curriculum that meet the needs of their students.
We now have an unprecedented opportunity to bring the professional learning provider, the curriculum publisher, and the district all to the table together to develop aligned and high-quality cycles of professional learning support and to use the instructional materials as the entry point for improving teacher practice and student learning.
UPD will lead a two-year, cross-organization effort to help improve middle school mathematics instruction in the School District of Palm Beach County. This partnership will help develop an innovative professional learning approach that will better support novice middle school math teachers who are often placed in classrooms serving high concentrations of low-income students and students of color. We will design and lead in-person and virtual professional learning that is collaborative, grounded in data and examples of student work, leverages continuous cycles of implementation, and is supported by aligned classroom coaching and district systems. And this professional learning will not only enhance teachers’ instructional skills so that they can more effectively implement the curriculum–it will also build teachers’ knowledge of mathematics standards and pedagogy; unpack issues of equity, implicit bias, and educator efficacy; and differentiate for the needs of new and beginning teachers.
See The School District of Palm Beach’s press release here, and we look forward to sharing our progress and learnings along the way!