Professional Development | News

Florida District Chooses Nonprofit for Common Core Professional Development

Pinellas County Schools (PCS), based in Lagos, FL, is partnering with a nonprofit organization to provide teachers with professional development in preparation for implementation of Common Core State Standards.

PCS selected ASCD's Capacity-Building solution, after evaluating outside professional development options to help coaches, teachers, administrators, and other staff members through its "Leading the Learning" cadre program. ASCD's Capacity Building offering is available on-site, online, or through a blended-learning model.

"The mission of Pinellas County Schools' professional development team is to inspire excellence in practice to ensure student success," said Lisa Grant, professional development director for the district. "To achieve that mission, we sought a trusted organization to work within our new professional development system to provide the content and expertise our teachers need to implement the Common Core State Standards. In collaboration with ASCD, we are creating a team of district experts equipped to lead research-based professional development activities. These activities will build educators' background knowledge and understanding of the new standards so that they can be integrated into best-practice strategies for achieving student success in the classroom."

ASCD, formerly called the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, focuses on providing best practices and policies for teachers. It publishes books and other publications, runs conferences and institutes, and does on-site capacity building, online learning, and webinars. It has more than 150,000 members in 145 countries, including superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors, and school board members.

Through Capacity Building, ASCD has developed a professional development program specifically for the district's needs in helping to prepare faculty and staff for implementation of Common Core State Standards.

The program consists of several components:

  • On-site and online workshops by ASCD faculty members focusing on Common Core State Standards, which went into effect for the district in January;
  • Workshops for school administrators that focus on instructional practices and other support skills; and
  • More job-embedded professional development activities for administrators and district staff.

Pinellas County Schools has 104,000 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in more than 145 schools.

For more information about ASCD, visit To learn more about Pinellas County Schools, go to

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Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.