EASTERN — Before Floyd County students return to school in August, their teachers were already hitting the classroom this week in Floyd County Schools’ Professional Development Academy, held over two days at Allen Central High School.
The program covers not only developing classroom strategies in subjects such as math, social studies, and English, but also helps familiarize teachers with emergent new protocols. Some of the biggest changes in recent memory are coming to schools this year, including the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System, a rigorous and thorough new teacher evaluation program established statewide, and the digital conversion initiative, Floyd County’s ambitious project to get a laptop in the hands of every fifth and ninth grade student beginning this year.
Superintendent Dr. Henry Webb says he is thrilled with the attitude and dedication his team is showing in the classroom to further their growth. He says over 400 turned out on Wednesday alone. On Thursday, the turnout was just as apparent: the parking lots surrounding ACHS overflowed, with cars lining the roadways and stretching out to Route 80.
Representatives from the Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative were in attendance, as were representatives from Dell Computers, Blackboard and iCurio learning software, and teachers from Mooresville, N.C., after whose schools Floyd County is modeling the digital conversion.
Dr. Webb says that he is especially proud that in addition to these outside resources coming in, many of the academy’s sessions are being run by Floyd County’s own staff—an opportunity for some of the district’s most experienced educators to assist in the development of each other. Dr. Webb says this is at least the fifth year the academy has run in its current format, and the third year that ACHS has hosted it. He says Allen’s central location suits their needs, and members of the school’s JROTC program are on hand from 7 a.m. until the end of the day to move equipment and organize parking and traffic.