MCSD staff kick off the new year with professional development

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Dozens of MCSD staff members take notes during professional development at Marshalltown Public Library Thursday morning. 

Teachers and other Marshalltown Schools staff gathered in the hundreds across Marshalltown Thursday for valuable professional development time. 

High school and middle school staff were provided with presentations and activities through the Capturing Kids Hearts program. 

Capturing Kids Hearts is designed to support building positive relationships, whether it is teacher-to-student, teacher-to-teacher, or student-to-student through how people interact with each other,” said district Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger. “It provides our teachers with evidence-based strategies to reduce situations where students sometimes feel anxious or do not have the skills to express what they need at that moment to reduce their fears and/or anxiety.” 

He said the program is aligned with MCSD’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) work, ensuring all district classrooms are safe and caring learning environments. 

Staff working in preschool through sixth grade went to Marshalltown Community College for training through Solution Tree, which focuses on embracing high levels of learning for all students.

Some PK-6 staff members also had training on Response to Intervention, which focuses on building a tiered system of academic support for students.

Thursday’s trainings made use of videos, book study, group activities and more and will continue Friday.

Teachers will bring this latest round of high-quality professional development to the classroom when school starts back up Monday, Jan. 6. 


Marshalltown High School staff sit in groups during Thursday’s training.


Miller Middle School staff members Lisa Williams (second from left) Anna Miller (second from right) and Siera Schwartz (right) enjoy a professional development activity at Central Rivers AEA Thursday.


MCSD staff filled up DeJardin Hall at Marshalltown Community College, along with several college classrooms, during Thursday’s training.