The Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District uses a process called curriculum mapping to aid in the implementation of district curriculum, instruction and assessment. Curriculum Mapping is a calendar-based method of organizing and planning what is happening in district classrooms at specific points during the school year. Teachers develop maps or outlines of the content that needs to be taught, the skills that need development and the assessments to determine successful learning.
Continual professional learning for educators is essential in our ever-evolving world. The intended outcome of professional learning for our teachers is to improve teaching practices, resulting in a positive impact on student learning and performance. In order for these professional learning experiences to improve student learning, professional learning must be well planned, targeted and goal oriented, supported with adequate time and resources, implemented in teachers’ daily routines and monitored through the use of student and teacher implementation data.
The Iowa Department of Education has carefully constructed and outlined Iowa Core expectations for all Iowa schools. As part of the Iowa Core, effective teaching characteristics indicate how educators should focus on student learning by developing student-centered classrooms and creating rigorous and meaningful instructional units. Educators use quality instructional practices to support learner differences and provide effective and authentic assessments to guide and inform instruction. To help prepare our students for success, the Iowa Core requests that educators integrate technology throughout all educational experiences. Quality professional develop should lead and guide teachers in these endeavors.
At Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District, we support the implementation of Iowa Core by providing unique and meaningful professional learning experiences for our educators. Because quality professional learning is an integral part of school improvement, it is one of our priorities that ensures every classroom contains a highly qualified teacher who will positively impact student learning and performance. Improved student learning is, and always will be, a primary focus at Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District. Targeted and meaningful professional learning is provided throughout the year on designated professional learning days and also develops into job-embedded experiences as it becomes part of teachers’ daily routines. To foster and promote a positive and progressive learning culture in Dallas Center-Grimes Schools, we support and build on the strengths of our teachers to prepare our students for a world of lifelong learning contribution in the 21st century global society.
The Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) system rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay, attracts promising new teachers with competitive starting salaries and more support, and fosters greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other.
The overriding philosophy of the system is multi-pronged, but boils down to this: Improving student learning requires improving the instruction they receive each day. There is no better way to do this than to empower our best teachers to lead the effort.
Through the system, teacher leaders take on extra responsibilities, including helping colleagues analyze data and fine tune instructional strategies as well as coaching and co-teaching.
The goals of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System are:
- Attract able and promising new teachers by offering competitive starting salaries and offering short-term and long-term professional development and leadership opportunities.
- Retain effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities.
- Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in schools and school districts statewide to learn from each other.
- Reward professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities that come with increased leadership responsibilities and involve increased compensation.
- Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction.
Teacher Leadership Positions in the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District include:
- Curriculum Facilitators (Curriculum and Student Services) – 3bPositions
- Instructional Coaches (Building Level) – 7 Positions
- PLC Leaders (Building Level) – 34 Positions
- Mentor Teachers (Building Level) – 20 Positions