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Current & Open Professional Development Opportunities

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is Oklahoma Excel?

A.  Oklahoma Excel is a year-long professional learning opportunity for teachers. Participants will spend time learning about, implementing, and refining high-leverage instructional strategies.

Q.  Who decides which instructional strategies are used?

A.  Yearly themes and instructional strategies are selected in collaboration between OSDE content area Directors, their advisory committees and the Oklahoma Excel team. All themes and related strategies have a strong evidence base and correlate to at least one category of that focal areas Program of Excellence rubric.

Q.  What content areas will be eligible to participate in the 2021-2022 school year?

A.  ELA, Math, Science, and Early Childhood Education are eligible. OSDE reserves the right to make a final decision on which content areas will be offered.

Q.  Who is eligible to participate?

A.  Oklahoma Excel is open to all districts and districts who join together to form a consortium. At a minimum, districts/consortia need to assemble a team of at least 3-5 teachers in a content area.  For the 2021-22 year, individual teachers may apply.  Individual applicants are not guaranteed participation.  Instead, participation will be offered to select individuals based on OSDE discretion.  Small districts are encouraged to join together with other neighboring districts to form a consortium. 

Q.  What are the costs associated with participating?

A.  The costs associated relate largely to stipends for any meetings or work done outside normal contract hours. Travel costs may also be required, as teachers will be required to travel to the Oklahoma City metro area several times a year for professional development. Costs may also include substitutes, resources, and materials.  

Q.  How will districts pay to participate?  Will they receive money?  Is this a grant?

A.  Oklahoma Excel is not a grant.  Instead, it is a pathway for districts to spend their American Rescue Act Funds (i.e. Covid Relief dollars) or existing Title II, Part A, and Title IV, Part A dollars. All districts in the state receive a minimum of $10,000 Title IV, Part A dollars, which could be used (in combination) with other funds to participate.  Participating districts will not receive any additional funds, however, from time to time, professional development awards may be offered to offset costs. 

Q.  What days are teachers attending professional development?

A.  2021-22 Tentative Professional Development Schedule

Q.  I'm interested, what are my next steps?

A.  If you are an administrator who is interested, begin thinking about what Focal Area(s) are of greatest interest. Identify a shortlist of possible teachers to serve as Team Members and an Improvement Fellow who works in the identified Focal Area. Complete the application during the open window. The designated Improvement Fellow will also need to complete the application when released. If you are a teacher who is interested in participating, have a conversation with your administrator.  

Q.  How can I stay informed with updates?  

A.  Our website will be updated often, so check back regularly. Also, consider joining our mailing list to stay up-to-date. Feel free to contact Dawn Irons, Executive Director of Instructional Coaching and Network Improvement Communities, with questions at any time (dawn.irons@sde.ok.gov, 522-2407).  Be sure to follow us on Twitter @excel_ok

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Last updated on November 4, 2021