The four Harris County Department of Education schools attended two days of professional development workshops Aug. 13 and 14 hosted by the University of Houston Downtown’s College of Public Service (CPS). Workshops such as legal updates, unique learning, applied behavior analysis (ABA), behavior intervention plan de-escalation and many more were offered to staff members of Academic and Behavior School East and West, Highpoint and Fortis Academy. Community partners and CPS faculty provided the resources to effectively support students who deal with a variety of social, emotional, academic and behavior challenges. Prior to the training, first-year ABS West teacher Ivernoner Fultz reviewed the agenda so she would have a basic idea of what to expect. “I didn’t know the unique learning workshop would go into so much depth and there are so many benefits it provides to staff and students,” she said. “I was really excited to hear about it and have the support now in the classroom to help develop our students and the lessons that are more centered towards the individual student and that student’s particular need.” She also enjoyed the ABA training because they were given resources and information about social autopsy, which is reteaching a lesson if there was a misconception. “When it comes to social issues such as a student pushing someone, that’s considered an error too because they’re pushing and they don’t know not to do it, so we have to go back to reteach those social errors like we teach academic errors,” Fultz said. “I really enjoyed learning this because if you don’t know, then you have to reteach it.” When looking for a university to collaborate with to help grow HCDE staff professionally, senior director of schools Anthony Mays said UHD came forward last year. “We continue to collaborate and think about ways to support their students and our staff with professional development opportunities,” he said. HCDE hosts several CPS student interns at the schools to work with students. In return, UHD supports the opportunity for HCDE teaching assistants to earn their teaching degree and teachers to work on their master’s degree. Source: HCDE