Braintree, MA (July 2018) – The Salem Collaborative Project is an agency of Salem State University that offers professional development in all areas from K-12. They have been in existence since the 1980s and their main goal is to improve student learning through high quality professional development. By partnering with schools, they can create a series of courses utilizing that vast array of instructors based on the needs indicated by the teachers. The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) is happy to announce that three of our schools will be host sites for their offerings next year:
Sacred Hearts School, Haverhill
Saint Michael School, North Andover
Saint Joseph School, Wakefield
The Collaborative offers workshops for teachers year-round and provides PDPs issued by Salem State University for those that have 10 or more contact hours. They have many types of offerings at reasonable cost to teachers. For schools who purchase either a Premium or Basic membership, teachers can take advantage of the offerings for low to no cost. Premium membership is only $1,000 per school year which can be obtained directly from Title II funds. Teachers can also take advantage of their Train the Trainer offerings and become presenters for the Collaborative.
Another advantage to becoming a member of the collaborative is the option to participate in their student programs. WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) is an opportunity for 10-12 middle school girls from each participating school to participate in offerings run by females in math and science. Another program is devoted to preparing students for advanced placement exams. Students can take a practice exam about a month before the real test takes place and their teachers are given an item analysis that can be used to develop targeted instruction.
Executive Director Jim Kearns explains, “The goal of the collaborative is to improve student learning through professional development. We offer our programs to the parochial schools to give them an advantage before opening them up to public schools.” One of the schools who has benefited from working with the Salem Collaborative is Saint Joseph School in Wakefield. About four years ago, they decided to go about finding a vehicle for continuous professional development that would be cost effective and focused on Catholic school needs. When their principal, Joseph Sullivan, connected with the Collaborative, he realized that it was the perfect opportunity to support more than just his own teachers.
Saint Joseph School is a large building with Wi-Fi and the capability to support up to 200 computers at once. By becoming a host site, Sullivan was able to give his teachers the opportunity to collaborate with other Catholic and public-school educators. The mix of individuals who attend workshops at his site, as well as other host sites, offers a great networking opportunity and the ability to have collaboration. Sullivan commented, “We have seen tremendous growth in the quality of instruction as well as less faculty turnover since we joined the Collaborative. Our teachers feel don’t feel alone now that they have all these contacts and professional development that is focused on their needs.”
Sullivan elaborated, “In no other profession except soldiering, does the failure to provide superior training and continuous preparation have such appalling results than in failing to train teachers for their complex job, because it cripples the student's learning trajectory permanently. You need a bag of tricks to entice students to learn and a huge repertoire of tools that you can only obtain from professional development. The Salem Collaborative Project offers a dynamic model of professional development structured by faculty, not administration, for their specific needs.”
CSO Director of Government Programs, Mary Goslin, can assist schools who are interested in joining the Collaborative to access their Title Funds. Please feel free to email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking for further information on workshops available in your area, please visit the Salem Collaborative Project site: https://sites.google.com/salemcollaborativeproject.com/ssc/hom
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