Kenny Pennington, Amber Hairston, Amanda Cook and Amy Brunson

Two Monticello High School math teachers and a consumer science teacher recently presented a professional development workshop at the Southern Regional Education Board’s “High Schools That Work” conference in New Orleans.

Math teachers Amy Brunson and Amanda Cook, along with consumer science teacher Amber Hairston, presented a workshop on the use of  professional learning communities to effectively implement Common Core state standards, according former Monticello High School principal Kenny Pennington.

Brunson, Cook and Hairston explained the process for using common planning time, team meetings, and professional learning communities to implement the Common Core state standards across all subject areas, Pennington said.

The purpose of the conference was to provide a venue for teachers to learn what other schools are doing and determine whether it is something they can use in their schools, according to Brunson.

More than 5,000 teachers attended the conference.

The Southern Regional Education Board invited Monticello High School last year to pilot a literacy design collaborative and math design collaborative funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. SREB was the facilitator of the professional development that would enable the Monticello High School staff to better understand the Common Core State Standards by developing lessons that would teach students how to read and write in each curriculum.

The staff attended several training sessions in Little Rock and the Southern Regional Education Board staff conducted three on-site visits at Monticello High School to work with the staff on implementation of the literacy and math design models.

The Monticello High School teachers focused on how they used their common planning time to discuss test scores, student progress, pacing of the curriculum, instructional strategies, formative assessments, resources, and basically what the students need to acquire to be successful in such high demanding lessons.

After piloting the literacy and math design collaborative, the Southern Regional Education Board invited the teachers to make a presentation at itsconference in New Orleans.