New Staff Orientation
Once a teacher is hired and all paperwork completed, the teacher participates in a new staff orientation with the Program Manager. This typically takes a few hours to familiarize them with the ABE world and everything from testing to attendance, expectations and opportunities for professional development and may take more than one meeting. The training is held at the site where they will be teaching so that local offerings can be considered, such as technology available, access to the classroom, wifi codes, copier, mailing process, meeting the local community education directors and support staff and more. The new teacher also meets with the Database Specialist to go over testing, attendance, due dates, valid scores and more. The new members are set up with a gmail account if they don’t have one and are given access to WEST’s instructor “Google Drive” to see all pertinent documents and the orientation and training manual. Keeping an online manual assures that each staff member has the most up-to-date information versus the former hard copy they were given.
A further outline of the Professional Development Priorities is listed in section 3.3. As well as the documents E – H. But new employees are required to be trained in:
- ACES/TIF Foundations Training
- CCRS Foundations Training (English (ELA) or Math)
- Northstar Digital Literacy Proctor Training
- ABE Foundations Training
- TABE or CASAS Assessment Training
These mandatory trainings are required in the first six months after hire and ongoing as needed. Face-to-face trainings are preferred, however if there are no local or state trainings, online options are utilized.
All new staff attend Summer Institute and the ABE Foundations Training or CCRS training as needed and chosen by the Program Manager. If they cannot attend Summer Institute, they take part in the free webinars as offered quarterly by Literacy Action Network.
The hour and a half webinars cover:
- Introduction to CCRS and the key shifts in both ELA and math and the reason for implementation along with resources.
- ABE delivery system, including funding, content standards, transitions, resources for instruction and secondary credentialing.
- Federal legislation and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA); funding, distribution formulas, reporting and training and credentialing.
- Introduction to Supplemental Service Providers, their services, resources available and how to access them.
The Literacy Action Network has also created a Schoology site called Welcome to ABE which is a tool used to help ease the isolation that can come with our settings and provide a place for growth on issues, concerns and curriculum that are unique in ABE settings. It is a place to meet education professionals, seek advice, share resources and voice concerns.
Assessment testing training in CASAS and TABE is crucial and new staff members are assigned a veteran staff member mentor in their like field to for their initial training. This happens as soon as possible so that staff are prepared to enter their own site and capture all student level gains. The teachers are also expected to participate in formal assessment training offered by supplemental service provider Southwest ABE. This training is offered at Summer Institute and at other times throughout the year but WEST staff are also assigned a mentor for a few classes and visit a minimum of one other site to see different teaching styles.