APPLEGATE: Teachers, staff at the Heart of Niles Community Schools

Published 9:24 am Monday, March 4, 2019

At Niles Community Schools, the success of our students wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated and hardworking faculty. The diverse opportunities available to our students are made possible only by the teachers and staff who lead every step of the way. These individuals provide the foundation to the high-quality education we offer, and it’s important we invest in their success here in Niles.

It’s no secret — the influence of NCS teachers goes far beyond the classroom. In return, we are working hard to show teachers and staff the same support they show our students every day. By listening to the requests of our teachers and staff, our team is building on existing programs to develop a variety of events dedicated to the personal and professional development of our staff.

Most recently, NCS teachers and staff heard from motivational speaker Christine Cashen during a professional development day. Christine’s speech, which was delivered to more than 200 teachers, auxiliary staff, support and custodial staff, focused on how we can all take the reins to achieve the best in our personal and professional lives. Other recent professional development sessions have included stress-busting and self-care classes, courtesy of the YMCA.

Year-round, Niles teachers take part in Professional Learning Communities, using research-based instructional strategies to ensure the tools implemented in the classroom are the most effective uses of teachers’ time.

PLCs work together to address a variety of curricula—more recently, Michigan’s new elementary level science standards dubbed Next Generation Science Standards. Our district is ahead of the curve in terms of unpacking the standards to better understand them, thanks to the hard work of our PLCs. 

At the same time, curriculum teams throughout the district work together to build seven-year cycles for each discipline. With these cycles, the district is looking ahead to what is to come for each subject matter, deploying long-term planning strategies. Through these relationships formed outside of the classroom, teachers and staff are better equipped to serve students throughout the district.

From coaches to advisors, and everyone in between, Niles Community Schools faculty serve as mentors to the students within our district. We remain grateful for their continued work, and we are committed to supporting them in their careers here in Niles.

Dr. Dan Applegate is the superintendent of Niles Community Schools.