Helping Districts ‘Invest in People’

When school district officials in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, introduced a new curriculum two years ago, they did their homework—they made sure the model curriculum was aligned to state standards, carefully adapted it for use in all grade levels, and added literacy coaches and other supports. But something was still missing.

“A great curriculum not implemented will not get you any more results,” Chris Bigger, the district’s director of curriculum, told the Chambersburg Public Opinion. “What teachers were doing is they had this curriculum that was aligned and it was perfect, but they didn’t necessarily know how to implement it.”
That’s where training and CLI Model Classrooms™ came in. Along with establishing CLI Model Classrooms™ in two Chambersburg elementary schools, district officials have sent 35 elementary school teachers, five literacy coaches, and five elementary principals to CLI for training. Using Title I funds, teachers learned how to use our Message Time Plus™ instructional program and brought back materials to transform their classrooms into conducive learning environments for their students. It was a new approach that fit the district’s new curriculum, officials said.
“Previously we might have bought a lot of supplies with Title I money, but now we are focusing on developing people,” Bigger told the Public Opinion. “Our investment is in people.”
That’s what we believe in as well. We often say that changes are most obviously visible in the appearance of our Model Classrooms, but it’s the training and coaching that matter most. Numerous studies have shown that nothing has a greater impact on a child’s school life than a trained, passionate teacher. And the investment that Chambersburg and other districts around the country have made in training their teachers means that the impact of their work will reach a generation of students.