La Joya Independent School District, a Large Suburban Texas District Includes Online, On-Demand Resource to Enhance Professional Development.

SUMMARY: What makes a district successful? La Joya Independent School District believes success occurs when administrators support and serve their internal customers—teachers and principals—with ample opportunities for comprehensive professional development. The district has added an online educator resource for access anytime and anywhere.

La Joya Independent School District (LJISD) administrators and teachers strive for their own continuous improvement in order to provide outstanding education for their students. With personal concern, they care for the well-being of each student as confirmed in the district vision, “Educational Excellence is the Right of Every Student.”

LJISD Staff Development Coordinator Cynthia Solis maintains an outstanding growth program but she also watched for an effective, online product to address teacher needs both on and off-site with individualized convenience. Because building teacher quality is tantamount to building student achievement, School Improvement Network’s Edivate was brought to the agenda.

Name: La Joya ISD
State: TX
Type: Suburban
Grades: Pre-K – 12
Student Enrollment: 29,000
Employees: 4,500
Campuses: 41
English language learners: 48.3%
Students with disabilities: 11.6%
White: 2%
Hispanic: 99.6%
American Indian/Alaska Native: .2%

WHY LJISD CHOSE EDIVATE

Why did Ms. Solis believe so strongly that LJISD teachers needed an online, on-demand resource to further their growth?

She explains, “Because students respond well to the human element in classrooms, teachers can make a real difference when they know how to build that connection. Without the human component and the right approach, student education will suffer, even with the best lesson plans and materials.

“When teachers are fed a variety of opportunities they become excited and motivated, which sparks student enthusiasm. My priority has been to make sure it is available when teachers need it because more opportunities mean more teacher progress and that means more student growth.”

Very happy with the client services from everyone at School Improvement Network, Ms. Solis says, “Teachers are busy and have no time to waste so Edivate must be fully functional at all times. My secretary or I can reach our Edivate team for assistance and our teachers can call for one-on-one help. The company completely supports us with a backup team so that our district maintains consistent usage.

“We have been well served by our Edivate representative Ben Goodro and his team but we also recognize the importance of the people we don’t know—the front line and the back line—who keep it running properly to make it all happen. The people and the support have been incredible.”

HOW LJISD IMPLEMENTED EDIVATE

Ms. Solis has set up an implementation plan that requires teachers to watch two Edivate programs.

“Each teacher is able to self-select the first program topic such as autism.” says Ms. Solis. “They are then given a space of time to watch it and complete the reflection questions.

“The second program is chosen by the principal from topics such as classroom management, and assigned to the whole campus to watch and respond to after the reflection questions. The two programs ensure that they know how to use Edivate without excuses.”

Teachers in Texas must renew standard teaching certificates every five years by completing 150 hours of continuing education and LJISD encourages utilizing Edivate to earn the recertifying professional education hours.

“We have had other resources that have come and gone but this definitely works for us and is here to stay,” confirms Ms. Solis. “Our principals like the benefits and are delighted to know Edivate will continue in our program so they can feel free to put focus on it in their schools.”

One LJISD assistant principal is very enthusiastic and encourages her teachers to draw on Edivate frequently. She has also filmed their training sessions, made videos, and customized growth by downloading them as part of the school’s plan so teachers are able to review them, particularly if the training was missed.

Teachers are pleased that Edivate is readily available with freedom to personalize the “what,” “where,” and “when” of their own progress. Administrators are happy that it allows them to quickly and easily recommend direction to teachers from a huge library of supplemental sources for individual plans.

Ms. Solis sums up how Edivate is working for the district by saying, “Edivate is a great resource and is working well for us. The information is excellent and when teachers implement it there is no way it won’t help. The reports verify that during the past year, our educators viewed almost 300,000 minutes of Edivate programs. They are putting in a lot of time, taking it to heart, and using what they learn.

“Edivate is motivating our teachers, improving their skills, and moving us in the right direction for our students to benefit.”

LJISD CONTACT:

Cynthia Solis
Staff Development Coordinator
La Joya Independent School District
200 West Expressway 83
La Joya, TX 78560
c.solis@lajoyaisd.net