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Professional Development & Community Schools Technical Assistance

Services available for 2016-2017:


Courageous Conversations About Race “engaging educators in discussions about personal agendas, multiple racial perspectives, closing the racial achievement gap, and extending their professional learning”. New for the 2016-2017 School year! 

The Community Teacher – developing teachers who have knowledge of the community, identity, and culture of the children and families being served, then draw on that knowledge to be a more effective teachers.

Resiliency and Trauma Informed Practices – helping teachers to gain a better understanding of trauma, to identify resiliency within their students, and to learn and implement specific tools which can be used in the classroom.

Supporting Community Schools – offering coaching, guidance during the planning period, and professional development for community school coordinators.

Facilitation and Conflict Management – offering mediation services and conflict management for all members of the school community.

Download our new ACTS Brochure to read more about our professional development offerings!

Upcoming professional development dates:

ACTS Courageous Conversations About Race:

April 22, 2017

From 9:00 am – noon    Register Here  

March 17, 2017

From 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Arlington Elementary School

November 12, 2016

Courageous Conversations About Race – at the 6th annual Progressive Education Summit at City Neighbors Charter School.

2016 ACTS professional development sessions sponsored by the Family League of Baltimore:

ACTS will facilitate three Community Teacher workshops and three Courageous Conversations About Race at this year’s Family League Community School Coordinator Summer Institute.

Courageous Conversations: Tuesday, August 9th 1:30pm to 2:40pm

Community Teacher: Tuesday, August 9th 3:00pm to 4:10pm

Courageous Conversations: Wednesday, August 10th from 1:30pm to 2:40pm
Community Teacher:
Wednesday, August 10th from 3:00pm to 4:10pm

Courageous Conversations: Thursday, August 11th from 11:15am to 12:25pm
Community Teacher: Thursday, August 11th from 1:30pm to 2:40 pm


2014 ACTS professional development sessions sponsored by the Family League of Baltimore:

People of the Word Literacy Campaign: Collaborative Community Action towards Shared Learning Goals 

April 30th, 2014 – 9:30-12:30

Intended Audience: Communiy School Coordinators, CBO Directors, school leaders and OST leaders, ideally in school-based teams.
OST Professional Development: Hours – 3
Registration Ends: 4/28/2014 11:59 PM (ET) – REGISTER NOW!

Bringing teachers, families, students and residents together around shared learning goals is the core purpose of community schools. Can we design activities that mobilize communities to achieve specific academic goals – and experience the power of culture and collective action in the process? People of the Word is such a model. Communities of color have rich linguistic cultures, yet reading instruction remains a struggle in urban classrooms. Participants will explore together how this powerful new literacy campaign model engages the entire school community to select and explore children’s books that reflect their own experience. The project’s goals include developing a community of learners and co-educators amongst teachers, families, neighborhood residents, program partners and children, to celebrate the rich literary and spoken word traditions foundational to their cultures. This community-organizing approach links educators and all of the other adults who share responsibility for raising the child in common purpose, focusing on developing literacy in the broadest and deepest sense. Using People of the Word as an example, participants will work to build their own engagement campaign. Interested site teams can apply to participate in a pilot of People of the Word this summer.

Learning from Project LIFTT!: >Productive Family-Teacher Engagement through Community Organizing

May 2nd, 2014 – 9:30-12:30

Intended Audience: Principals, coordinators, family engagement specialists, parent leaders and teacher leaders, ideally in school-based teams
OST Professional Development: Hours – 3
Registration Ends: 4/30/2014 11:59 PM (ET) – REGISTER NOW!

Participants will examine their own practices, designing and planning together for increasing the effectiveness and impact of family engagement.
All schools seek and encourage family engagement – we should ask: “engagement in what?” Does it have an impact on student success? Are parents and teachers empowered to lead together towards sustainable school improvement?
Coordinators, school leaders, parent leaders and CBOs are invited to come together to examine the kinds of productive work that families and teachers can do together. We will identify the fundamental principles of organizing and leadership development that propel meaningful engagement, and present Project LIFTT as an emerging model that exemplifies these principles. Interested site teams can apply to participate in a pilot of Project LIFTT! for SY2014-15.

Educational Resiliency: Organizing community schools for culture change 

May 14, 2014 – 9:30-12:30

Intended Audience: Principals, teachers, Community School Coordinators, OST directors and CBO leadership, ideally in school-based teams.
OST Professional Development: Hours – 3
Registration Ends: 5/12/2014 11:59 PM (ET) – REGISTER NOW!

How can community schools create optimal environments for healthy development and learning – for the students and all of the adults who support them? A focus on educational resiliency can allow community schools to address the overwhelming number of emotionally and physically distressing situations that many city children and youth experience daily – from the micro-aggressions of poverty and racism, to complex traumas of violence and fear. These challenges are not restricted to homes, streets and neighborhoods, but to classrooms, hallways and playgrounds as well. More than ever, young people need to be supported and anchored as they navigate a world filled with powerful influences. Yet many parents and teachers are similarly stressed by the conditions of life and work. Educational resiliency provides a framework for collaborative change. A shared understanding of the sources of stress and the sources of resilience allow parents and teachers collaborate to make real change in both the common daily practices that make up the school day and the programs and opportunities that help children thrive. This seminar is led by educational psychologist Dr. Peter Murrell (Loyola), Jessica Strauss (ACTS) and Dr. Wendy Shaia from SWCOS; breakouts will be facilitated by staff from the Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools.

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