SMSD Educators Ready to Welcome Students

SMSD Educators Ready to Welcome Students
Shawnee Mission School District

This week, Shawnee Mission educators are preparing to welcome students to the first days of school. This week many educators were engaged in pre-service. It’s a time of engaging with colleagues, working in Professional Learning Communities, setting goals, and planning student learning opportunities.

Teachers of students in Pre-K through sixth grade spent time in self-paced study and team collaboration and attended a variety of sessions focused on resource training and structured literacy. Specials teachers also collaborated in sessions related to art, music, library, and physical education. Secondary teachers gathered on Tuesday, spending time learning about curricular resources and updates and setting goals for the year.

“The commitment and passion of teachers in the Shawnee Mission School District never fails to impress me,” Dr. Brittany Gonser, director of professional learning, shared. “I am so proud to work alongside many educators with a growth mindset.”

Throughout the summer, many teachers also engaged in professional development and preparation for this school year. In the early summer, educators participated in Shawnee Mission’s Impact Institute, featuring several days of sessions presented by SMSD educators and visiting presenters. Topics included everything from utilizing Canvas to math best practices and trauma informed care. Krista Carson, coordinator of curriculum and instruction, led a session on Mastering Morphology. The session allowed educators to engage in deeper conversation about reading skills and linked to a session held earlier in the year related to dyslexia.

“It was an extension and opportunity to dig deeper into how best to provide evidence-based instruction with that added element of Structured Literacy to ensure we’re meeting the needs of all students learning to read,” Carson shared. “Professional learning opportunities like Impact Institute always remind me how passionate and dedicated educators are to being the absolute best they can be for the students they serve.”

All of this dedicated time points back to the district’s mission to help each student achieve unlimited possibilities. 

“Anytime we add to our toolboxes it not only benefits us personally, but ultimately the students as well,” Gonser shared. “That’s what really energizes educators and keeps them trying new things and learning new methods.”