Clear Creek Amana Middle School

"Home of the Clippers"

The mission of the Clear Creek Amana Community School District is to prepare students to be productive, responsible, community members by providing an environment that inspires quality life-long learning.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"The Team Approach"


Today I'm going to take a little bit of time to talk to you about the team approach that we use within our district. When I think of a team I usually think of a sports team- IOWA! A team can be defined as a group of individuals that come together to work on achieving one goal. Within our district our teachers are on multiple district and building level teams who are focused on the goal of improving teaching and learning within our schools. Below I will outline some of our teams and their responsibilities.

Instructional Services Team
This is a group of teachers and administrators that meet monthly to help plan and organize our district professional development, teaching, and learning. Each of our schools have several teachers that are members of this team. The middle school teachers that participate on this team are Jess Huch, Jess Sauer, Kate Harken, and Brenda Willis. I and all the other administrators are also on the Instructional Services Team.

Building Leadership Team
At each building the administration has a group of teachers that they can call on for leadership. In most cases the Building Leadership Team is made up of the principal and the teachers that are a member of the Instructional Services Team. So at the middle school our team is Jess Huch, Jess Sauer, Kate Harken, Brenda Willis and I. This team helps problem solve issues at the building level and leads professional development, teaching, and learning at the middle school. The Building Leadership Team at the middle school meets about once every two weeks.

Professional Learning Team
All teachers at Clear Creek Amana are a part of a Professional Learning Team. At the middle school we have four teams; literacy, social studies, science, and math. Jess Huch, Jess Sauer, Kate Harken, and Brenda Willis lead these teams. The teams meet two or three times per month. Their focus is on professional development, teaching, and learning. Each teacher is responsible for creating their own instructional plans. The team leaders support the instructional plan process.

Grade Level Team
At the middle school our teachers are divided into three grade level teams; 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The grade level teams meet two to three times a week. Their mission is to review student data, plan and discuss teaching and learning, discuss and problem solve student issues, and plan daily schedules.

In the next week or so you will receive a letter from your child's reading teacher. The letter explains the reading program at our middle school. The reading teachers are a great example of how by working together in teams we have created a uniform reading program within our middle school. The teachers spent a lot of professional development time researching, learning, and planning in order to restructure our reading program.

To see a copy of the letter you will receive, click here.

As you read the letter from the reading teachers, I hope you take the time to think about the research, planning, and effort that the teachers have shown to create such a GREAT reading program for our students! It really takes all of us working together to provide the BEST for our children! Thanks for your support!

If you have any questions or comments, please share!!

Take care,


  1. Brad-
    Thank you for sharing with the parents and the world the thinking that goes into planning for Professional Development to Reading Programs. I am part of many "teams" in my building as well and agree that a team strategy seems the best fit for accomplishing goals for staff and students. I also find it useful that you included a direct application from the teamwork to the letter that parents will receive about the reading program their student will follow. This is a valuable behind the scenes look that parents don't often see. It is important that they understand the careful consideration and research that goes into selecting programs for their children.
    Look forward to future posts!
    -Shaelynn Farnsworth

  2. Shaelynn,

    Thanks for taking the time to read and reflect on my post! I really appreciate your comments! I know that there are many districts out there like Clear Creek Amana and it's fun to learn and share with each other. I love reading about some of the great things you guys are doing at BCLUW!