A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Professional Learning Cohort Program Celebrates Inaugural Year

The RCDS Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning launched the Professional Learning Cohort (PLC) program during the 2023-24 school year. The employee-led program convened small groups of colleagues across disciplines and departments to follow inquiries and curiosities, share knowledge and expertise, and work collaboratively toward professional goals. 

On June 6, to mark the successful first year of the program, various PLC conveners presented their work to colleagues. Below is a sample PLC groups and their pursuits:

  • AI in Education: Explored and tested the ways AI can assist teachers in the classroom
  • Alternative Assessments: Evaluated the pros/cons of alternative assessments and collected student/teacher feedback
  • Excel and Google Sheets: Collaborated on spreadsheet projects and explored utilizing a range of helpful formulas
  • Engineering & Student Apprenticeships: Researched and visited six engineering and student apprenticeship programs across various educational institutions to gather resources and best practices
  • Outdoor Classroom and Experiential Education: Conducted audit of RCDS offerings, examined barriers to engagement, and piloted a recess period for sixth grade during flex time
  • Sports Psychology Tools and Implementation: Created sports psychology lessons to educate and motivate student-athletes
  • Student Choice, Voice, and Cultivating Lifelong Readers with High-Interest Books in the Classroom: Explored ways to increase student engagement and cultivate a reading community, including implementing weekly DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) Day in the Middle School
  • Sustainability/ Keeping Us Green: Implemented composting at breakfast, provided plants in classrooms and offices, ran several gear/shoe/clothing drives and swaps, built a recycling center in the Upper School, and educated students about reducing energy use

It has been an absolute joy to participate in the creative efforts of RCDS faculty and staff to deepen both their professional learning and their community connections through the PLC program. I have been deeply inspired by the collaborative work of RCDS employees as they engaged in continual learning and innovation on behalf of RCDS students.
— Jessica Flaxman, Dean of Faculty & Employees and Director of The Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning

View a full list of the 2023-24 PLCs here.

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