The Healthy Schools Professional Development Team (PD Team) formed in November 2016 in order to strengthen the health and wellness of school communities in Colorado by collaborating and cultivating partnerships, sharing resources, and providing high-quality professional learning and capacity building on the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. The PD Team officially adjourned in September 2020, but not without great success!
In the final years of the PD Team, a subcommittee named the ‘Feedback Work Group’ was created. The purpose of the Feedback Work Group was to design a process for collecting feedback from health and wellness coordinators, educators, and other constituents to purposefully design professional development events that met their needs.
The subcommittee started with determining current feedback loops that existed between school and district personnel, health and wellness organizations, state and government agencies, and other professional development groups. The subcommittee also determined target audiences to collect the feedback from and the types of questions to ask to garner the necessary feedback. In reviewing existing channels and different audiences, the subcommittee ultimately chose two events in 2019 to solicit feedback. The events were:
- Healthy Schools Coordinator Meeting hosted for health and wellness coordinators and other similar professions in charter schools, school districts, and BOCES
- Colorado Department of Education Fall Summit hosted for school health professionals including nurses, counselors, social workers, and other similar professions in schools
Each event concluded with an evaluation to its participants, in which The Feedback Work Group was able to contribute questions to collect feedback. The questions included: CDE region represented; topics of interest in the field for future events, meetings and gatherings; preferred format for professional learning (e.g. in-person, online, small group, webinars, etc.); preferred length of time (e.g. half-day, full-day, multi-day); and professional skills needed to be successful (e.g. data use, funding & sustainability, policy development). The results collected from each event were shared with the PD Team to in order to be more responsive future events in Spring 2020.
This was a great example of organizations recognizing the need for more systematic data and coming together to inform decision makers on priorities for future events, webinars, seminars, summits, and more!