Educators connect, learn together during professional development

Educators connect, learn together during professional development
Across the Northshore School District, many staff spent the Jan. 29 non-student/grading day focused on professional development. While Northshore’s certificated staff completed grading to end the first semester and prepared for students to return on Jan. 30, more than 100 of Northshore’s Educational Support Professionals (ESPs) were immersed in professional development focused on advancing equity, supporting positive school culture, and honoring student identity. 

In Northshore, ESPs contribute greatly to student success. Roles that are part of our ESP group of employees include paraeducators, school assistants, school technology specialists, and more.

Each ESP in Washington state is required to complete the Fundamental Course of Study, and the Jan. 29, 7-hour training is a key component of this effort for new ESPs. Supported by the Northshore Education Association, trainers from the state led dialogue around creating connections with students, building understanding around cultural competency, and reflecting on implicit bias. These efforts directly align with our collective commitment to student belonging and creating safe, inclusive, and welcoming learning environments. 

This in-person opportunity not only supported professional growth for each individual staff member but also encouraged dialogue across ESPs who work at different grade levels - from educators working with our earliest learners to our soon-to-be graduates. Our ESPs made K-12 connections while learning together. 

In addition to the Fundamental Course of Study, which is a total of 28 clock hours, ESPs are expected to complete 70 additional clock hours as part of their pursuit of a Paraeducator Certificate, which is a program run by the state’s Professional Educator Standards Board. Northshore supports our 650-plus ESPs by encouraging them to participate in any of the professional learning opportunities designed for Northshore's educators. Some of these offerings include online, asynchronous training, and others are offered in person during Wednesday Early Release days or in August during Northshore’s Summer Institute.



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