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Teaching and Learning Conference Kicks off the New Year

By Stuart Phillips, CHCCS Communications Specialist

“Hey, we’re BACK!” How did CHCCS teachers and staff report to work on August 21? No time for icebreakers or setting up rooms … yet! They went straight to class!

T and L 8.21.23

Empowering, Equipping and Investing in Our People is a Key Priority in the CHCCS Strategic Plan 2027. The two-day Teaching and Learning Conference, hosted by the Office of Professional Learning and held simultaneously at Smith Middle and Chapel Hill High Schools, provided dozens of professional development sessions for novice and veteran teachers alike. 

On Monday, many sessions focused on content and curriculum for certified staff, organized and facilitated by district leaders, ranging from full day Secondary Science, Math and Humanities Curriculum Days to Gifted Education Professional Learning and Elementary Arts.

Tuesday’s sessions were mostly 60-90 minutes and they covered the gamut! A few of the topics that drew “capacity crowds” were “A Deeper Look at Antisemitism,” “Intro to Racial Literacy for Secondary Educators” and “Strategies for Strengthening Family and Community.” Teachers, TA’s and others could sign up for “Hands-on Learning for Middle School Math,” “Elevate your ELLs!” and “Developing Community in the Art Room.” 

In addition to the curricular and instructional sessions, staff could attend a PSF Grant Writing Workshop, an introduction to HR policies and procedures, “Licensure Renewal 101” or “Becoming a Homeowner with Truist Bank.” 

Arts educators attended PD sessions on Monday at East Chapel Hill High, and all elementary music teachers participated in the NC Symphony’s Teacher Workshop in Raleigh on Tuesday. CTE teachers and staff became the CHCCS STARfleet with an all-day assembly at the PNC Arena on Monday.

Interim Senior Executive Director for Learning and Recruitment, Danielle Sutton, took the lead in the initial planning of the Conference last February, and calls for sessions proposals went out in the spring. “We really wanted to focus on providing PD now so teachers aren’t asked to miss class and get subs during the year. Collaborating with Division leaders has really been a focus for this year. They know exactly what teachers and staff need to know to begin the year, and what’s coming down the pipeline.” Danielle at T and L

Meanwhile, across town at Carrboro High School, the School Support and Wellness Division hosted an all-day retreat on Tuesday. Stay tuned to learn more!

CHCCS District Headlines stories are written on a regular basis by the CHCCS Division of Communications, with assistance from a network of school-based “storytellers” who share tips and ideas throughout the school year. The goal is to share real-world examples of the CHCCS Strategic Plan in action. Know about a story worth telling from your school? Contact the CHCCS Communications team at