The Sherwood School District will soon receive almost $383,000 to help pay for professional development of teachers in the district.

The Oregon Department of Education recently announced that Sherwood is one of 11 school districts in the state awarded an Oregon School District Collaboration Grant of $382,825 to be spent during the 2012-13 school year.

The district plans to use the grant money for professional development and teacher release time for collaboration around the new Common Core State Standards, proficiency-based teaching and learning, and instructional technology.

The district joined the Creative Leadership Achieves Student Success Project (also known as CLASS) in 2007 and is one of the first three districts to participate in the program. CLASS is an innovative education initiative designed to empower teachers and raise student achievement, according to district officials.

It is built around four components linked to effective teaching: expanded career paths, effective performance evaluations, relevant professional development, and new compensation models.

The grant is closely linked to the CLASS initiative and geared towards districts prepared for implementation in these areas.

Steve Sugg, interim chief academic officer for the Sherwood School District, worked alongside a team of administrators and certified association leaders to write the grant.

'In these times of diminishing state revenue, grants such as this greatly help us to improve teaching and learning in our district. This money will be pivotal in next year's work,' said Sugg.

-- Ray Pitz

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