Los Al Connects
District State: California
District Website: http://www.losalusd.k12.ca.us/
Each school in California’s Los Alamitos USD used to hire education experts for teacher training on staff development days. However, teachers were not sharing their learning across grade levels or school sites—leading to a silo effect.
The district created Los Al Connects—a districtwide, for-teachers-by-teachers professional development model—to provide personalized learning across school sites. Teachers offer 45- to 60-minute sessions on topics about which they feel most passionate and successful.
Presenting teachers have the freedom to design their sessions in a variety of formats, including lecture, hands-on guided learning, demonstration lessons with students in a classroom, and video analysis.
Los Al Connects launched in fall 2014 as an elementary model. By 2015-16, it expanded to all pre-K through grade 12 teachers who now share learning and collaborate across all schools.
On an average staff development day, 78 teachers offer 86 sessions attended by about 415 teachers. And 76 percent of teachers attended at least one session outside of their grade level or school. Absences on professional development days have decreased since implementing this model.