Broward County, FL

Broward County’s Secondary Literacy Institutes Enrich ELA Instruction 

Challenge: Daily teaching demands left no time for professional development 
Initiative: Secondary Literacy Summer Institutes for quality professional development
Results: 4,000 middle/high school teachers have selected from over 300 workshops for professional development

Two years ago, David Shelley, Curriculum Supervisor, ELA 6–12, for Broward County Public Schools, the second largest district in the state of Florida, faced the challenge of preparing 4,000 teachers to meet two major changes—implementing a new, innovative print and digital English Language Arts program as they simultaneously prepared Broward students for success on a new, more demanding state assessment. No doubt, David rose to the leadership challenge

When Broward County Public Schools began its implementation of HMH Collections, a new English Language Arts program for Grades 6–12, David Shelley began the Secondary Literacy Summer Institute program. Understanding that teachers had little time for professional development during the demanding days of a school year, David developed the summer institute so that teachers could work with their peers at a time when they have less stress and fewer distractions.

Growing each year in size and scope, the program offers high-quality sessions and in-depth training for teachers with ELA experts like Carol Jago, Erik Palmer, and Bill McBride. Offering a total of over 300 workshops to 4,000 middle and high school teachers, this innovative program allows teachers to work collaboratively in small groups with national thought leaders to improve ELA instruction. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt supports the program by providing many of those thought leaders to the district.

Since the district’s implementation of HMH Collections, and David Shelley’s innovative Secondary Literacy Summer Institutes—an offshoot of Broward County Public Schools’ Seasons of Learning Institutes—the district has seen improvements in Grades 6–12 student performance on standardized tests.

Of the five largest school districts in Florida, Broward County Public Schools had the highest percentage of students with satisfactory scores on the Florida Standards Assessment for ELA. Also, the district had the greatest two-year increase in students scoring at or above level for Grades 6 and 9.

The district also plans to begin implementation of Curriculum Pathways, using HMH Collections as the core resource and guiding teachers through the school year to ensure maximum coverage of the standards and student preparation for the Florida Standards Assessment.