The Regional Educational Consortium (REC), sponsored by Rappahannock Community College’s Workforce and Community Development Center, offered a wide variety of professional development opportunities for faculty and staff of area school divisions this past summer—its ninth annual series of courses and activities since the consortium was founded in 2008. Sixty-one thought-provoking sessions, led by local, state and nationally recognized presenters, were held between June 20 and August 31.
The sessions allowed participants to earn points toward Virginia Teacher License Renewal, to learn more about hot topics and issues in education, to increase student achievement, and to enhance their professional “tool kits.” The sessions were held at RCC’s Glenns Campus and at various school division locations. Field trips to area museums and historical sites, as well as outdoor activities such as the eco tours “A Day on the Bay” and the Poropotank Paddle, were popular alternative choices.
RCC’s education training consultant, Vicky Reid, worked with area school division superintendents and other key educational leaders to set up sessions presenting timely and instructive topics. This year’s sessions included “Heartsaver First Aid and CPR AED,” “A Framework for Understanding Poverty,” “Interactive Reading and Notetaking,” “Project-Based Learning via Authentic Learning Experiences,” “Engaging Students with Cooperative Teams,” “Sign Language in the Classroom,” sessions on various aspects of special education, and on using technology to engage students, and updates for school nurses. Plans are already underway for REC’s Summer 2017 program.
“I can’t wait to use some of these strategies in my classroom!” said one participant, while another described the REC experience as “re-fueling my educational tank.” One session “gave a huge insight in to the legal side of special education”; another was “stimulating, enjoyable, refreshing, and informative.” An additional participant declared, “I will rethink the way I assign group work, homework, and projects to allow students more options according to their learning ability and interests.”
The Regional Educational Consortium is a partnership between RCC and the school divisions in its service area. It was created to assist these schools to provide excellent professional development programs for all of their staff. School divisions benefiting from the program include Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King George, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland Counties; the towns of Colonial Beach and West Point; and the city of Fredericksburg.
REC-CPR: Participants in RCC-Workforce’s summer Regional Educational Consortium practice CPR.
RECDayOnBay: During the eco tour “A Day on the Bay,” Regional Educational Consortium participants enjoyed sun, fresh air, and a glimpse of a waterman’s life.