Virtual Professional Learning Communities

Are you looking for free professional development to earn your required continuing education hours? Or maybe you are looking for more information about a particular instructional strategy?

 

APLUS offers free professional development from highly experienced educators and school administrators. We provide virtual professional learning communities (VPLCs), which consist of asynchronous Massive Open Online Professional Individual Learning (MOOPIL) courses and synchronous VPLC sessions with a live coach, on a range of pedagogical and administrative topics.

 

Complete the MOOPIL of your choice and then register for the corresponding VPLC. You will receive 2-3 professional development hours and a micro-credential.

Coaches


Dr. Linda Rodriguez, Lead Coach

Dr. Linda Rodriguez, Lead Coach

Dr. Linda Rodriguez currently serves as Lead Coach at Texas A&M University – College Station. She served as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Aldine ISD where she supervised one high school, one early college high school, one middle school, and 11 elementary schools and four early childhood centers. Dr. Rodriguez has 34 years of service in the public schools. She has taught bilingual/ESL prekindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade in Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD and Aldine ISD. She helped develop the first prekindergarten classroom in Aldine. She was also instrumental in opening Keeble EC/PK Center as a Montessori school. In addition, she has taught courses for Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M.
Dr. Michelle Burke

Dr. Michelle Burke

Dr. Michelle Martin Burke has 19 years of experience in education including serving as a bilingual early childhood teacher, an assistant principal, principal, and director of various departments. Her personal and unique experience as an English Learner as well as holding a Montessori certification, bachelor’s, and master’s in instructional leadership, as well as a doctorate in supervision and leadership has allowed her to help other educators “make connections” between abstract and concrete concepts for all students, especially when learning a second language. When she supports educators, she infuses both English learner strategies and Montessori theories such as “isolating the difficulty, simple to complex, and from the hand to the mind!” Michelle is an advocate for student success and believes all students can reach their true potential when providing them with a scaffold prepared environment that includes a choice as well as opportunities to engage in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Her recent research contributions are in adult learning and primary education.
Ms. Gloria Cavazos

Ms. Gloria Cavazos

Gloria Cavazos began her education career as a 5th grade teacher in the McAllen Independent School District in McAllen, Texas. After teaching for two years in McAllen, she moved to the Aldine Independent School District in Houston, Texas. She taught 1st grade and pre-kindergarten before moving into an assistant principal position. From 1992-1999 she served as the principal of three elementary schools and in 2000 was named as the Area Superintendent for the Aldine Vertical Area. In 2005 she was named Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Ms. Cavazos moved to the Houston Independent School District in 2015 to take on the role of Chief Human Resources Officer. For the past three years she has served as an A-PLUS Virtual Coach for Texas A&M University. She is currently also serving as a mentor/coach for the master’s program in educational administration at Texas A&M.
Dr. Selina Chapa

Dr. Selina Chapa

Dr. Selina Chapa began her educational career as a third grade teacher in the United Independent School District in Laredo, Texas. During her 10 years with the district, she also served as a fourth grade teacher and as an assistant principal. She moved to the Houston area and joined Aldine ISD as an assistant principal at Dunn Elementary. From 2003-2007, she served as a principal of Sammons Elementary school and in 2007 was named a Director of Human Resources. In 2014, Dr. Chapa was named Executive Director of Human Resources and the following year was appointed the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Dr. Selina Chapa retired from Aldine Independent School District as the Deputy Superintendent.
Ms. Sandra Doria

Ms. Sandra Doria

Sandra Doria has served 20 years in education. During those 20 years, she has served as a high school math teacher, skills specialist, assistant principal, and now elementary principal. She is currently demonstrating what is possible doing turn-around work at Worsham Elementary as the principal.
Dr. Maria Galindo

Dr. Maria Galindo

Maria I. Galindo was born in Mexico and moved to the USA in 1994. In Mexico, she started working as a teacher at the age of 17. She served as an assistant principal at an early childhood center for 6 years before moving to Houston. She earned a bachelor’s degree in science (1984) and a bachelor’s degree in education with a major in mathematics (1990). She began her career in education in the U.S. in 1996 through the ACP with Region IV. She attended Sam Houston State University and completed a master’s degree in mid-management in 2003. In December 2014, she earned a doctorate in education from the University of Houston. She worked for 25 years in Aldine as a bilingual teacher, Montessori teacher, skill specialist, assistant principal, and the last 16 years as school principal.
Dr. Valerie Storey

Dr. Valerie Storey

Dr. Valerie A. Storey earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Storey has over 40 years of experience in K-12 schools and almost two decades in academic higher education leadership and teaching. Currently, she is a coach for aspiring principals in Texas. Dr. Storey also serves as an instructor and dissertation advisor for Franklin University in the department of Educational Leadership where she teaches and, in a consultancy role, develops Dissertation in Practice (DiP) curriculum as an expert faculty member using research-based practices and theory to prepare doctoral students to become leaders of educational organizations.

Teacher Leader VPLCs


Step 1. Register

Step 2. Enroll and complete the MOOPIL prior to the live VPLC. See below for available MOOPILs and the upcoming dates of their corresponding VPLC.

Step 3. The coach will send you a GoToMeeting link once you register so you can join the live VPLC.

Sandra Doria — Thursday, 7 p.m.

2/18 Evaluating Instruction from a Literacy Development Perspective

2/25 Conducting Comprehensive Needs Assessment

3/4 Years in U.S. Schools and Their Importance

3/11 Understanding Language Objectives

Maria Galindo — Tuesday, 7 p.m.

2/16 Evaluating Instruction from a Literacy Development Perspective

2/23 Conducting Comprehensive Needs Assessment

3/2 Years in U.S. Schools and Their Importance

3/9 Understanding Language Objectives

Valerie Storey — Wednesday, 7 p.m.

2/17 Evaluating Instruction from a Literacy Development Perspective

2/24 Conducting Comprehensive Needs Assessment

3/3 Years in U.S. Schools and Their Importance

3/10 Understanding Language Objectives

Administrator VPLCs


Step 1. Register  

Step 2. Enroll and complete the MOOPIL prior to the live VPLC. See below for available MOOPILs and the upcoming dates of their corresponding VPLC.

Step 3. The coach will send you a GoToMeeting link once you register so you can join the live VPLC.

Michelle Burke — Tuesday, 6 p.m.

2/23 Building Teacher Instructional Capacity

3/9 Building Community Engagement

3/23 Critical Dialogues

Gloria Cavazos Group 1 — Saturday, 8:30 a.m.

2/20 Understanding English Learners’ Needs and Dual Language Programs

3/13 Critical Dialogues

Gloria Cavazos Group 2 — Saturday, 8:30 a.m.

2/6 Using Data to Make instructional Decisions

2/27 Monitoring Curriculum and Instruction

3/6 Understanding English Learners’ Needs and Dual Language Programs

Selina Chapa — Wednesday, 6 p.m.

2/24 Monitoring Curriculum and Instruction

3/10 Critical Dialogues

3/24 Sharing Leadership

Interested in future VPLCs?

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MOOPIL Descriptions
Building Community Engagement 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours This course covers organizational leadership research and best practices. The course objectives are to:

  • develop an understanding of organizational leadership and change,
  • explore ways to address strategic and systemic practices,
  • learn strategies to build and support engagement, and
  • connect learning to real-life practice.

Building Teacher Instructional Capacity 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours As you complete this course, you will:

  • discover the importance of advancing the educational outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and
  • explore ways of developing culturally and linguistically diverse students’ literacy and academic excellence in the STEM content areas.

Conducting Comprehensive Needs Assessments 1 Virtual Professional Development Hour As you complete this course, you will:

  • develop a general understanding of CNAs,
  • explore key attributes of CNAs, and
  • learn how the use of CNAs emphasize the academic needs of ELs.

Critical Dialogues 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours The course objectives are to:

  • understand what critical dialogue is and how it supports citizenship,
  • examine how critical dialogue benefits students in schools and can be applied in real-life situations,
  • explore instructional practices conducive to teaching critical dialogue, and
  • understand critical dialogue as a foundation for teaching empathy and functioning in a democracy.

Cultivating Leadership in Others 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours The course objectives are to:

  • learn about peer coaching characteristics, and
  • how peer coaching impacts the implementation of new content in classrooms, and reflect on ways to implement or improve upon existing peer coaching practices.

Evaluating Instruction from a Literacy Development Perspective 1 Virtual Professional Development Hour As you complete this module, you will:

  • recognize schools’ responsibility to provide effective EL services, programs, and instruction that promote the development of ELs’ academic language and literacy; and
  • explore how ineffective EL services, programs, or instruction can hinder ELs’ English acquisition progress resulting in large numbers of students who are long-term English learners.

Monitoring Curriculum and Instruction 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours The course objectives are to:

  • learn about assessment types or elements,
  • become familiar with differentiation elements, and
  • explore ways to use data to make informed decisions.

Sharing Leadership 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours The course objectives are to:

  • examine the importance of sharing leadership related to school improvement,
  • explore the concept of collective capacity,
  • understand that trust not only matters but is critical to sharing leadership, and
  • know the elements of purposeful communities to support shared leadership.

Strategic Planning 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours This course covers organizational leadership research and best practices. The course objectives are to:

  • develop an understanding of organizational leadership and change,
  • explore ways to address strategic and systemic practices,
  • learn strategies to build and support engagement, and
  • connect learning to real-life practice.

Understanding English Learners’ Needs and Dual Language Programs 2 Virtual Professional Development Hours The course objectives are to:

  • review the goals of dual language education,
  • explore the needs of ELs in dual language programs,
  • consider if your dual language program is delivering equitable outcomes for the ELs, and
  • become familiar with the resource Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education (Howard et al., 2018).

Understanding Language Objectives 1 Virtual Professional Development Hour As you complete this module, you will:

  • discover how language objectives help address the dual challenges ELs face of mastering grade-level content while acquiring English proficiency,
  • become familiar with the distinctions between content and language objectives, and
  • explore how to implement content and language objectives simultaneously.

Years in U.S. Schools and Their Importance 1 Virtual Professional Development Hour As you complete this module, you will:

  • discover the link between time in dual language programs and student achievement, and
  • explore factors to consider when making high-stakes dual language program decisions.

Contact

Dr. Linda Rodriguez

Dr. Linda Rodriguez

Lead Coach