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GVSU Charter School Office to provide free professional education programs for all teachers, school leaders

  • A Charter Schools Office staff member works with a teacher on professional development.

Posted on August 09, 2018

Starting in September, Grand Valley State University will offer free workshops and seminars to any public or private school teachers and personnel in Michigan, opening the possibility of savings on professional development for schools across the state. These learning opportunities will be provided through the university’s Charter Schools Office. 

“All Michigan educators work hard to help students learn, and they need a place where they can share their results with each other and gain new tactics for success,” said Rob Kimball, associate vice president for charter schools at Grand Valley. “We fully believe in our state’s teachers and school leaders, and we’re stepping up to support them like never before. We know that doing so will help them achieve more for the kids their schools serve.”

Grand Valley has been chartering public elementary, middle and high schools since 1995, and this fall Grand Valley’s 78 charter schools will educate approximately 37,000 students. Kimball said the university’s approach to chartering has been based on the belief that a strong partnership between the university and the schools will result in the best learning environment for students. The GVSU CSO professional education offerings are an outgrowth of that partnership.  

School teams can take part in these workshops free of charge. All workshops will be made available in Grand Rapids and Detroit.

“We are seeing recommendations for more high-quality professional learning from Michigan’s business leaders and K–12 advocates,” Kimball said. “At Grand Valley, we’re responding to that call in an innovative way — by offering tested, effective programming to schools and educators across the state.”

Kimball said the change demonstrates how the university is thinking differently about the ways it can impact public education.

“When we offer free programming, we offer choices. Schools can take advantage of this high-quality programming and use existing funds for other essential purposes,” Kimball said. 

The Grand Valley Charter Schools Office has ramped up its support for educators over the past decade. During the 2017–2018 school year alone, the Grand Valley CSO provided approximately 6,300 hours of free professional education to charter school teams.

While new professional education workshops are being added all the time, past session topics have included:

•     NWEA™

•     Technology Tools and Tricks

•     Synthetic Phonics

•     Google Suite

•     English Language Learners (ELL)

•     Reading and Math RTI

•     Coding in the Classroom

•     Science and STEAM

•     Culture and Climate 

•     Improving Student Writing

In addition to these public offerings, teachers at schools chartered by GVSU will also have access to enhanced professional education opportunities, including GVSU-only cohort programs and tuition support for master’s degrees offered by the GVSU College of Education. 

Educators interested in learning more about GVSU’s free professional education programs can visit www.gvsu.edu/cso/learn.