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Professional Learning

You will find that in Wissahickon School District, learning is not an event. Learning happens all day long, every day of the year, whether it is with your Professional Learning Community or in a staff learning meeting or in conversations with your colleagues or instructional coach.

As a staff member, a variety of supports are at your fingertips to personalize the learning that you need to grow as an individual educator. Innovation and design thinking is cultivated, where you will find the freedom to take risks and create learning experiences for each student. These experiences will not only happen in first year, but learning happens each year you are an educator in Wissahickon.

We invite you to watch the videos below to learn more about the many ways we support our staff's professional growth. 

Melissa Sadowski

Wissahickon has been the most life affirming choice I could have made for my career. The District has continuously been committed to excellence in the 26 years I have been a teacher here. Often, I have found that it is in the forefront of educational thinking and practice. Every day, I get a chance to improve and sharpen my practice.

Melissa Sadowski, 4th Grade, Stony Creek Elementary

New Teacher Induction and Mentoring

Teachers new to Wissahickon participate in New Teacher Induction. This process includes a New Staff Welcome event in August, daily support from coaches for the first month of school, weekly support from coaches all year, monthly staff building learning meetings, visits to colleagues' classrooms, and more!  

As part of our dynamic induction process, we spend time sharing the culture and expectations of Wissahickon School District. All new teachers are paired with either a formal or informal mentor to support them in their transition to our learning community. At the elementary level, mentors are often grade-level partners or content specific. At the secondary level, mentors are either team-based or department-based.


Angela FarlowOur new teaching staff is welcomed and supported with professional development, coaching, and mentoring to help learn Wissahickon’s curriculum, values and beliefs, strategies for classroom management, technology integration -  all of the things that are going to make you a well-rounded teacher. 

Angela Farlow, Blue Bell Elementary Principal

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support 

The Wissahickon School District believes that a student’s social and emotional well-being is critical to their overall educational experience. Positive social and emotional well-being helps students achieve better school outcomes as well as create positive social circles. 

As such, staff are provided professional development opportunities in Restorative Practices, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and Social Emotional Learning.

Learn More about MTSS at Wiss Nation

PBIS Teams

Pictured are PBIS Core Team members from Blue Bell Elementary, with Principal Angela Farlow, Lower Gwynedd Elementary, with Principal Phil Leddy, Stony Creek Elementary, with Principal Stephanie Washam, and Director of Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Keziah La Torre.

SELebrations at Wiss Nation

At Wiss Nation, all teachers are provided training and resources to help embed social emotional learning in the classroom. Additionally, all schools incorporate SELebrations to bring the community together. In the video below, the entire Shady Grove community of 711 students join for a supercharged SELebration, including a minute-it-to-win-it competition between the grade-level students selected for demonstrating the character trait of responsibility.

Instructional Coaching

Our instructional coaching team at Wissahickon is the driving force behind professional learning in the district. The Instructional Coach team includes: Marjorie Milunic K-5; Carla Percevault K-5; Nicole Bainbridge  Math; Cassidy Alston 6-12; Dianne Krause K-12 Technology and Michael Mandel K-12 Restorative Practices. They provide support to our teachers, administrators, and students including planning and delivering professional learning workshops, classroom visits to collect data to improve classroom instruction, modelling lessons for teachers, brainstorming ideas for lesson design and assessments, help with instructional technology and goal setting with teachers. 

All teachers who enter Wissahickon work with our coaches for their first three years of employment, and other teachers can request to work with coaches anytime. Work with coaches is based on the PIR model - Plan, Implement, and Reflect. Teachers and coaches plan a learning activity, or a classroom visit with data collection, towards a professional goal; then implement the plan, whether it be a model lesson, a classroom visit, or another type of project.  The coach and teacher then reflect on the implementation of the plan and discuss next steps.  This could lead to another coaching cycle and continued professional growth for the teacher.

Technology and Innovation at Wiss Nation

Technology is a key component of teaching and learning in Wissahickon, from the earliest days of kindergarten, through the final projects of our WHS seniors. We know that technology is an essential part of tomorrow's workplace and with the support of a Technology Coach, we ensure that our staff has the resources and skills to leverage technology innovation in the classroom.  

Belonging: Equity and Inclusion

The District is committed to multi-year, high-quality professional development focused on cultural responsiveness and equity. Professional Learning is supported by the ongoing collaborative efforts of the offices of Equity and Cultural Responsiveness, Student Services, Teaching and Learning, and Technology.   

Learn More about our Belonging Initiative

What does it mean to be part of Wiss Nation?

At Wissahickon School District, we are True Blue with a Heart of Gold. Click below to find out what makes our staff proud to be part of Wiss Nation.

What our staff says: see more