Program History (SY 2010-present)
Peer Coaching in Transition
The 2010-11 school year brought significant change to FUSD's peer coaching program. Grant funding ended the previous year, which meant the program would no longer have two full-time facilitators and would have to be funded from within the district. Brad Kamradt, FUSD's Technology Integration Coordinator, stepped in on a part-time basis to facilitate the 8-session training program for new coaches. Heather Zeigler, now the district's 21st Century Digital Literacy Specialist, took the lead in developing a new program for continuing coaches. Incentives also had to be scaled back compared to the NATICC years: Coaches were awarded modest stipends, continuing education and salary-scale credit, Career Ladder points, and/or priority in checking out a few pieces of classroom technology like Flip cameras, audio recorders, and wireless slates.
A number of important "firsts" occurred during this transition year:
- The district sponsored two cohorts of new coaches, one group that started in the summer and one group that began during the school year, in order to sustain our numbers.
- Three building principals participated in the program as new coaches, working with collaborating principals to achieve site-wide impact.
- Five coaches continued their work in an official capacity, undergoing newly developed professional development designed to formally advance their coaching practice.
- A Student Tech Peer Coach mini-program was developed to support a site-based mini-grant project as they handed off of a classroom set of iPads from one class (student coaches) to another (student collaborators).
The 2011-2012 school year also held many exciting opportunities and challenges, and it was a significant growth year for our Tech Peer Coaching program. Thirty-seven new and continuing coaches were accepted into the Program, an unprecedented number for us, and Brad and Heather became partners in facilitating both the new and continuing Tech Peer Coach programs. Also, an iPad2 was awarded to each of our coaches as an incentive -- theirs to keep as long as they are working for the district -- which emerged as a featured piece of technology in Peer Coach training and activity as well as each coach's professional practice outside of the program.For the 2012-13 school year, FUSD's Tech Peer Coaching program supported Arizona's new Move on When Reading standard as part of a district-wide primary reading initiative spearheaded by the Tech Department. Dubbed iREAD (iPads for Reading Engagement and Development), the goal of the program is to effectively utilize classroom carts of iPads in grades 1 through 3 to support reading instruction. Heather and Brad will continue to facilitate our Tech Peer Coach Training Program on a part-time basis, working together with new coaches from grades 1 through 3 and a small cohort of official continuing coaches representing other grade levels. Although the standard training program will need to be heavily modified to meet the goals of iREAD and Move on When Reading, the core of our Tech Peer coaching remains the peer coaching model pioneered by Peer Ed with support from Microsoft Partners in Learning.FUSD's coaching program for 2013-14 and 2014-15 will be focused on the effective integration of iPads within the classroom to support student learning and the progression of educators through teaching and learning, as defined by the SAMR Model. Heather will continue to facilitate the Tech Peer Coach Training Program on a part-time basis, working together with new coaches from grades K, 4, 5 and 7 through 12.As we continue to expand the technology peer coaching program, in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years our efforts remain focused on effective communication, collaboration, technology integration strategies, along with lesson design that incorporates project based learning. The program will continue to be adapted to meet the needs of students and teachers and to coincide with FUSD collaboration goals moving forward.