How do we schedule live virtual professional development?
Booking a Smekens consultant starts with an email or phone call to Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development. Brady will spend time visiting with an instructional leader (often an administrator) to learn more about your instructional challenges and professional development goals. Then Brady will identify the best-qualified consultant to support your teachers and find dates on the calendar that work for everyone.
How far in advance should we schedule virtual PD?
Occasionally, we can fill a last-minute need, but in most situations we are scheduling our consultants to lead customized professional development for teachers 6-18 months in advance. This is especially true if you are embarking on a bigger initiative that requires several, carefully-scheduled virtual sessions.
What happens after our virtual training dates are secured?
After a school has secured dates with a Smekens consultant, our team then drafts a contract that outlines the details, such as start/end times, itinerary, topics, etc. Once the contract is complete, the school contact person and the Smekens literacy consultant will work closely to plan for a powerful virtual training experience.
What materials are required for Smekens on-site training?
Smekens deals in best-practice teaching strategies, not in boxed curriculums. For this reason, a virtual training never requires the purchase of any specific resources. Occasionally, we recommend resources such as Launching the Writer’s Workshop ($20 each) to accompany an virtual training, but it is never required.
How should we plan our time with the consultant?
We want to help you maximize the time with your Smekens consultant so that you can capture the most value for your investment. With that in mind, the day could include a full-day session with the entire staff, two half-day sessions with different groups, 60-90-minute grade-level rotations, before or after-school meetings, or whatever other option we can schedule in a typical school day.
Do you offer half-day virtual sessions?
We are happy to lead a half-day professional development for teachers. However, we still have to charge the full-day rate due to the fact that we’ve dedicated the entire day to supporting your school.
When do we pay for our live virtual PD?
We are happy to send a bill in advance, but, typically, we generate an invoice for virtual professional development on the day the training occurs. Schools and districts then have 30 days to submit payment by check. Credit card payments are accepted for virtual training but may include processing fees.
What type of support is available after a live virtual training?
Smekens has several ways to offer follow-up support, including more virtual trainings, remote coaching, books and resources, a video subscription, and more. However, when the contracted virtual training has concluded, teachers are always welcome to contact the consultant by email to seek clarification, get feedback, or share successes.
How do we get funding for live virtual professional development?
Schools use a variety of funding sources to pay for virtual professional development from Smekens. Some of the more common funding sources include the general fund, Title I, Title II-A, private foundation grants, community organizations, parent groups, and more.
What is the cancellation policy?
After a date is officially secured to provide virtual PD for a school, the Smekens team will draft a contract that outlines all the details. Once the contract has been signed by both parties, there is mutual agreement that the contract will not be cancelled. However, in the rare occasion that a cancellation is necessary, notification of the cancellation must occur 90 days prior to the scheduled training. Cancellations occurring within 90 days of the scheduled training may still result in full financial commitment, unless Smekens is unable to book the date with another school.