A panel of Cherry Creek High School students shared educational experiences – both positive and negative – with teachers from across the CCHS feeder area.
Although their students don’t start school for another week, teachers in the Cherry Creek High School feeder area went back to school – together – on Aug. 6. Nearly 900 teachers from CCHS, Campus and West middle schools and 11 elementary schools that feed into Creek, met en masse to kick off the 2018-19 school year with collaboration and a collective commitment to student success.
“The students benefit every time we come together and say here’s what we stand for, here’s how we carry that out, here’s how we do what we believe in,” said Rosann Bryant, a CCHS staff member who helped organize the huge professional development event.
Teachers met in the CCHS auditorium, where they filled every seat and stood along the walls. They were welcomed by Principal Ryan Silva, then they heard from a panel of current CCHS students who shared some of their educational experiences – both positive and negative – from elementary to high school. One young man recalled the challenge of being a student of color in a predominantly white elementary school. Another talked about how his middle school science teacher helped prepare him for the rigor of high school. Others talked about their involvement in activities and athletics and how much those opportunities are enriching their education.
Break-out sessions led by feeder area principals and subject matter experts followed. Educators could choose from a wide variety of compelling topics ranging from helping students manage stress to meeting the needs of struggling students, gifted students and every student in between.
Nearly 900 educators from 14 schools in the Cherry Creek High School feeder area packed the CCHS theater Aug. 6 to kick off the 2018-19 school year.
“We have classes on innovation and integrating the arts,” Bryant explained. “We have classes on making it in middle school and how to choose classes at CCHS.”
Response to the event was very positive.
“I love it,” said Jason Herrera, the physical education teacher at High Plains Elementary. “My first year teaching in Arizona they did something similar and I just remember the camaraderie that was built and the streamlining of goals and the vision that really resonated with the whole district.”
Herrera noted that because Cherry Creek Schools has implemented Professional Learning Communities district-wide, valuable collaboration occurs regularly within every school, and he appreciates having the opportunity to connect with colleagues at other schools within his feeder area.
“It’s all about those relationships,” Herrera said. “Today I can go and see other PE teachers who I might not see during the year and bounce ideas off of them. I have someone else in my content area I can get support from.”
The event marked the first time in many years that teachers from across the Cherry Creek High School feeder area had come together as a group and it proved to be inspiring.
“The teachers are so excited about the community we have here,” Bryant said. “They’re so excited to celebrate not only their own schools but each other’s schools and this amazing place that we’re feeding into.”
Elementary, middle and high school teachers take part in a class on culturally relevant education taught by Teolyn Bourbonnie, principal at Walnut Hills Elementary.
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