Tucson Schools, Best Charter School in Tucson — The Rising School

The school’s principal, Dr. George Rising, is an experienced educator, and will be the school’s instructional leader. The principal will be responsible for hiring, supervising, and evaluating teachers. Teachers’ expertise in content and instruction will be demonstrated through advanced degrees in their teaching subject, previous effective classroom experience, and observation/evaluations by the principal, faculty peers, and students. The principal’s evaluation of teachers will rely heavily (50%) on their students’ academic growth as demonstrated by classroom-level data, in alignment with the Arizona Framework for Measuring Educator Effectiveness.

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The principal and teachers will work together in a weekly Professional Learning Community, professional-development opportunities, and planning periods to create curriculum, refine instruction, and analyze assessment and other data. The goal will be courses that are rigorous, challenging, engaging, and relevant.Great teaching is the heart of The Rising School. At our school, teaching will be a demanding job, requiring expert content knowledge, effective instructional implementation, personal approachability, organization ability, and collaboration skills. To achieve success, teachers will receive support from colleagues, instructional leaders, and support staff. The school will promote a culture that promotes teamwork, which is one of four foundational elements necessary for students to grow academically (ACSA, 2008). Teachers will not remain in their classrooms all day, isolated from their peers. Rather, they will gather in a climate that promotes getting the job done together in weekly Professional Learning Communities (DuFour et al., 2010) and other settings.The Rising School’s Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) will be small groups (5–10) of teachers who work together at least once per week. PLCs will not be typical faculty meetings, where teachers listen to a monologue from the principal about procedural and policy issues. Instead, the foci of PLCs are for teachers to learn from and with each other about professional issues generally and student-based issues specifically. Each PLC will be facilitated by an Instructional Leader who has been trained in coaching and protocols for effective PLCs. The teachers will receive professional development on working in these groups. In PLCs, teachers will research, bring in, and discuss effective curriculum, instructional, assessment methods. Teachers will also closely analyze student work together, allowing them to help each other and to gain a common professional eye. Together, PLC members will develop common assessments, grade student work, and evaluate the effectiveness of assessments. Teachers will receive 1.5 hours of learning in Professional Learning Committees and will get two weeks of professional development before the school year starts and four days after the year ends. Dr. Rising and other master teachers will serve as faculty coaches.Faculty members will embrace the notion that teaching at The Rising School requires.

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Originally published at www.risingschool.org.

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