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Press Release: Pinellas County Schools and ASCD Partner to Support Common Core Implementation

Alexandria, VA (02/05/2013)—The award-winning Pinellas County Schools (PCS) has chosen ASCD as its newest professional development partner. The seventh largest school system in Florida, PCS serves 104,000 preK–12th grade students in more than 145 schools. ASCD is the global leader in providing programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner.

PCS has set a goal of creating a professional development system for the district’s “Leading the Learning” cadres, instructional coaches, teaching and learning and professional development staff, and school-based administrators to support all PCS teachers in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) through school-based, job-embedded professional learning. To help meet this need, PCS professional development staff chose ASCD and the association’s customizable and sustainable Capacity-Building solution. Available to schools, districts, or regional service agencies, ASCD’s Capacity Building solution can be delivered on-site, virtually, or through a blended model.

“The mission of Pinellas County Schools’ professional development team is to inspire excellence in practice to ensure student success,” said PCS Professional Development Director Lisa Grant. “To achieve that mission, we sought a trusted organization to work within our new professional development system to provide the content and expertise our teachers need to implement the Common Core State Standards. In collaboration with ASCD, we are creating a team of district experts equipped to lead research-based professional development activities. These activities will build educators’ background knowledge and understanding of the new standards so that they can be integrated into best-practice strategies for achieving student success in the classroom.”

Built on the idea that school improvement needs structure and procedures that support ongoing sustainability, ASCD’s Capacity Building solution is customized for each partner through a highly consultative process that focuses on awareness building, skill development, implementation, and maintenance of targeted educational behaviors over time. The Capacity Building solution’s exclusive goal is to support teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators as they become local experts in instruction and leadership.
ASCD, in close partnership with the Pinellas County Schools’ Professional Development and Teaching and Learning teams, has created a custom professional development program designed expressly to meet the district’s requirements. One component of the initiative, which began in January, consists of a series of in-person and online workshops led by ASCD Faculty members on the topic of the Common Core State Standards. Another component includes additional workshops with school leaders providing the knowledge, leadership skills and tools supporting specific CCSS-focused instructional practices and other skills needed to support colleagues implementing the new standards.

Finally, ASCD staff is working on an ongoing basis with school-based and administrative leaders across the district to create and deliver additional job-embedded professional development activities that support teacher leaders and district-level staff implementing the standards.

“Successful implementation of the new Common Core State Standards depends on school systems’ ability to provide comprehensive, sustained, intensive professional development that helps integrate the standards into instruction,” said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter. “Progressive school systems like Pinellas County Schools recognize this and are moving quickly to give teachers the training and resources they need to shift instruction. ASCD is proud to be supporting the Pinellas County Schools’ efforts to implement the new standards, and we look forward to working with them jointly in the future on our shared mission to support the success of each learner.”

For more information about ASCD or ASCD membership, please visit www.ascd.org. To learn more about ASCD’s professional development resources, please visit www.ascd.org/pd.

Contact Information
Stephen Wakefield, communications director, 1-703-575-5764 or by e-mail.
Marissa Bialecki, communications coordinator, 1-703-575-5461 or by e-mail

ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 134 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. The nonprofit’s diverse, nonpartisan membership is its greatest strength, projecting a powerful, unified voice to decision makers around the world. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.

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