06/29/12 — Workshop set for teachers, and parents

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Workshop set for teachers, and parents

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 29, 2012 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The seventh annual Wayne County Public Schools Summer Institute will take place at the end of next month, providing an opportunity for educators as well as parents to attend a free series of workshops in preparation for the upcoming school year.

The event will be July 30 through Aug. 2 on the Mount Olive College campus. This year's theme will be "The Middle Grades: Bridge to Graduation."

Kim Copeland of the school system said a pre-conference session will be Monday, July 30, followed by the three-day general conference, all of which will be in Raper Hall.

"The main thing I want them to know is that the Summer Institute is open to all educators K-12," she said. "We're not just limited (to middle grades) because that's our theme."

Administrators, new and veteran teachers, assistants, substitutes, volunteers and parents/guardians are all invited to attend, she said. Session topics will include classroom management strategies, different class subject areas, English as a Second Language, family engagement and technology.

Registration for any and all days can be done online or each day from 8:30 to 9 a.m.

The pre-conference session is for all stakeholders in the school system, Mrs. Copeland said, as well as elected officials and the general public. Keynote speaker will be Steve Hill of Kinston, executive director of the Eastern Region STEM East, speaking about the growing popularity of the science, technology, engineering and math school concept.

Other speakers attending this year include Phyllis Hunter, educator and author, and Lester Laminack, professor emeritus from the department of birth-kindergarten, elementary and middle grades education at Western Carolina University.

Monday sessions will be held from 9 until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, sessions will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 2:15 p.m.

"The Summer Institute not only gives staff development for our beginning teachers in years one, two and three but also during this economic time when there are reduced funds and people not being able to travel, this allows them to receive training locally," Mrs. Copeland said.

"It's a good opportunity for staff and parents to network with one another. It's also a great opportunity for some really intensive staff development that's right now, 21st century, cutting edge."

While parents are invited to attend all days, Wednesday has been specifically designated as "parent day." A vendor fair will be held, Mrs. Copeland said, with pertinent resources and information available and sessions specifically targeting parents.

Thursday will also be a vendor day, with educational wares, software and textbook representatives on hand.

The training has grown increasingly popular since it was introduced seven years ago, growing to an average attendance of between 250 and 325, Mrs. Copeland said.

"It's just a very good opportunity to have people to come to and enjoy a wide array of professional development," she said. "Not only is it for the beginning teachers but we have something for those teachers that have taught a few years on up to the veteran teachers.

"Each year we strive to offer a wider variety of sessions. In the past, we have always had a high level of excitement because the new teachers are coming on board, the veteran teachers are attending, the network is great."

For more information on the daily schedules or to register, visit the district website, www.waynecountyschools.org.