SURN’s Summer Successes

Participants in SURN’s Summer Professional Development offerings benefited from a wide range of opportunities to connect, learn, and grow.


Over the summer, SURN’s Williamsburg headquarters at the College of William and Mary were a destination for teachers and administrators across Virginia who invested in summer professional development opportunities that would positively impact their schools and students throughout the upcoming academic year.  SURN-hosted events included the Leadership Academy on June 20th and 21st, and Principal Academy on July 17th, both of which provided participants with opportunities for connecting around ideological and practical issues emerging in field of educational administration and leadership.  The Leadership Academy in June featured speakers John Hattie, Deb Masters, and Valerie Gregory, who discussed the principles and practices involved in promoting Visible Learning in schools.  Participants attending the second day of the year-long Principal Academy series in July focused their energy on learning and practicing observation strategies and using observation checklists to promote Visible Learning practices in their schools.  Overall, participants of both Academies left energized and prepared to motivate and support teachers in integrating Visible Learning practices in classrooms across the region.

In August, the College and Career Readiness Institute (CCRI) provided finished a year-long workshop series for high school English teachers who are striving to integrate the College and Career Readiness standards into their teaching through the use of best practices in literacy instruction.  Teachers left the most recent CCRI workshop held on August 29th with many practical strategies for integrating CCRI standards into their teaching, including lesson planning materials and research-based resources to inform instruction.  These teachers also received valuable resources, in the form of fiction and nonfiction trade books, to support CCRI practices in their classrooms.  On average, each teacher received $50 or more of books, which were provided by the SCHEV grant that supports CCRI programming.

Not all of the participants in SURN’s summer professional development opportunities remained in Williamsburg.  For 14 days in August, SURN took eager educators and administrators to Australia and New Zealand to observe first-hand the impact that Visible Teaching and Learning strategies have on student learning and achievement.  Participants spent time in classrooms where Visible Teaching and Learning practices have been fully integrated and invested time and energy exploring how to integrate these same principles school-wide in classrooms closer to home.  Participants also took advantage of opportunities to network while experiencing the culture and beauty of Australia and New Zealand.  Attendees of the 2013 Study Tour returned stateside ready to embark upon an exciting school year filled with Visible Learning in schools.