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Institute Day to prepare area teachers for upcoming semester

LANETT — While students are busy getting supplies, clothes and other back-to-school necessities, the faculty and staff that will work with them throughout the school year will be preparing as well.

To kick off this preparation, Lanett City Schools is holding a week of professional development sessions, all starting with Institute Day on August 1.

“These first few days before the students return, they are important,” said Professional Development Coordinator Katrina Goss. “Especially if you are a new teacher and this is your first employment opportunity, it is crucial that they have everything set up for their first day.”

Institute Day serves many purposes, chief among those is introducing the faculty and staff to one another. In order to get everyone on the same page for a unified school system, everyone gets involved.

“As a district, how can we all work together, how do we all get along?” Goss said. “From Superintendent Johnson to janitors and lunchroom workers, how can we make this a Lanett family-team.”

There are more specialized exercises throughout the week, too, acclimating new teachers and helping the veterans brush up on their techniques.

“It gives our staff a chance to work together,” Goss said. “Some days we do big groups, other days we have smaller groups where you are working with elementary, middle school or secondary or maybe you’re working with your content area. Something for math teachers, something for science teachers, or maybe working with your grade level.”

Since the majority of the week is spent on campus, Institute Day is being held at West Point Depot to allow the faculty and staff to get out of the classroom, stretch their legs and do something “just to be different.”

Lessons learned by faculty and staff will range from the broad, like working with colleagues, to the specific, like interacting with the growing number of non-English speaking students in the school system.

“If you’re a janitor and you see a kid in the hall that doesn’t speak English, what can you do?” Goss said. “If you’re a lunchroom worker, what can you do when those students are coming through the line?”

Everything that will be addressed is determined by needs assessments that were done at the end of last school year.

Goss said that is important in order to pass along information and techniques that are actually practical, instead of generic.