At Paddington, we strive to attract and retain exceptional early childhood teachers. Our classroom teachers are degreed and licensed in early childhood education. Over 50% of our faculty members have completed the Stanley Teacher Prep Program and were interns at Paddington Station. Among the teaching faculty members at Paddington Station Preschool, one has an AA degree, eleven have a Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS, or BFA) – and four of these eleven are pursuing their Master’s degree, twelve hold a Master’s degree and we have two PhDs. At Paddington Station learning is viewed as a continuous on-going process for students, parents/guardians and teachers. As such, we highly value professional development and our team members participate in numerous and varied continuing education opportunities each year. Click on the titles below for expanded content on each learning experience (listed by date from newest to oldest):
Social-Emotional Screening and Assessment Training
In response to comments made by parents in the Family Feedback Survey that was conducted in the fall of 2016, our entire faculty participated in a 5-hr social-emotional screening and assessment training with Dr. Elizabeth Steed and Dr. Jaclyn Joseph, professors from the UC Denver School of Education and Human Development. This workshop focused on identifying milestones and red flags in the social development of young children and key aspects and challenges involved in social-emotional screening. The team also learned how to use the ASQ:SE-2 (Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional – 2nd Version) and worked on the Social Emotional Assessment Measures for Planning Instruction (SEAM). Both tools have been added to the Paddington resource library for faculty and staff and will be used for the 2017-2018 school year.
The Impact of Trauma on a Young Child’s Development
Three Paddington faculty members attended this all day training on April 5, 2017. The event was sponsored by Denver’s Early Childhood Council, the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center and the LAUNCH Together in Southwest Denver Initiative, which is a four-year project focused on building a coordinated, trauma-informed system of community supports around the social-emotional development of young children birth to 5. This one-day workshop was the kick-off event for bringing a conversation on trauma-informed care to schools, organizations and families throughout Southwest Denver. Topics included; Why early childhood and adolescent exposure to violence have such a disproportionate impact on development? How the child’s relationships either facilitate or inhibit brain development? Why it is important that we work to increase both physical safety and psychological safety? And, What role can teachers play be in buffering trauma and promoting healing in a child’s life?
Birth to Eight Roadmap Initiative Think Tank
Early childhood leaders in Denver have launched the Birth to Eight Roadmap initiative, a new effort that seeks to dramatically improve outcomes and close opportunity and achievement gaps by investing in the city’s youngest learners. Research affirms that children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. Yet, supporting our youngest learners in achieving reading proficiency is a complex endeavor given the multiple factors that impact language and literacy. With local philanthropic support, Denver Public Schools, the Mayor’s Office of Children’s Affairs and Denver’s early childhood community will articulate a shared Roadmap for serving children ages birth through eight years old. Three members of the Paddington team attended a think tank session on this initiative on April 7, 2017 to specifically address creating better transitions between 0-5 care and kindergarten (and beyond).
Science Inquiry: Analyzing and Extending Student Science Questions
Paddington’s science teacher attended this professional development workshop presented by Qualistar and facilitated by the Museum of Nature and Science. Why is the sky blue? How did the leopard get its spots? What is a solar eclipse? Young children are full of questions! The early childhood classroom is a perfect place to support this natural curiosity and engage students in the science inquiry process. The teacher’s response to these questions can help students connect concepts, think critically and explore ideas at a deeper level. At this workshop, our science teacher learned how to provide support and guide teachers in using questions to create authentic science inquiry experiences.
SEM Training Series for Preschool and Early Childhood Education Centers
In early 2017, four members of the Paddington administrative team – Dan Seitz, Facilities Manager; Laura Krautheim, Office Manager; Meg Yoder, Director of Advancement; and Deb Deverell, Head of School, attended The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) free School Emergency Management (SEM) training for pre-school and early childhood education centers. Preschools and early childhood education (ECE) centers face many of the same safety threats as their K-12 counterparts. In this workshop series, participants learned how to identify and prioritize threats to their buildings and plan courses of action that can protect students and staff. Using the latest guidelines from the federal government, Paddington reviewed and revised the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and reviewed best practices on training staff and students for emergency incidents. The course content was developed using multiple FEMA materials and will inform Paddington’s Emergency Guidelines and best practices as planned and reviewed by Paddington’s Emergency Response Team.
In-depth CLASS Training
Quality interactions between children and teachers are critical in achieving positive outcomes for children across all developmental domains. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS™) is an observation tool that can help teachers focus on interacting effectively with the children in their classroom to enhance each child’s learning. The CLASS™ is organized into three domains: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization and Instructional Support. In February of 2017 our Head of School, Director of Advancement and PreK teachers participated in a 12-hour in-depth training about this tool and examined the domains, dimensions, indicators and behavior markers. Guided videos and hands-on activities helped them learn more about teaching behaviors that best support young children.
Science and Literacy Links: How Science Skill Development can Enhance Literacy Instruction in the ECE Classroom
Young learners are continuously engaged in the inquiry cycle; their questions lead them to more questions, exploration, and, eventual synthesis through our guidance as teachers. Looking for patterns, understanding relationships, and making comparisons are some of the important skills used both in science inquiry and early literacy. One Paddington PreK teacher and our Paddington Librarian attended this session to learn how to use students’ curiosity and questions as a basis for scientific exploration and early literacy skill development and to explore techniques for embedding science learning into everyday literacy activities. It was presented through the Qualistar STEAM through Literacy Series in conjunction with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Public Library.
Creating a Sensory-Friendly, Inclusive Classroom
Five Paddington teachers attended this Denver Early Childhood Council training to increase their knowledge on supporting children with sensory processing challenges. They focused on low-tech environmental strategies that can benefit all children and will also increase the likelihood of success with children who have different learning styles (sensory, social and communication challenges) such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Down Syndrome as well as those who have experienced trauma, children who were born prematurely and the highly gifted.
This professional development experience was provided by the Denver Preschool Program. Four Paddington teachers and two Paddington administrators attended. The focus of the forum was on the importance of developing meaningful relationships with all children and families, especially when children exhibit challenging behaviors. Small group activities and discussions explored these types of behaviors and the participants reflected upon approaches to family partnerships. The training concluded with a review of the Pyramid Model which focuses on teaching social emotional skills and working with families to address challenging behavior at home and at school.
Paddington’s Head of School and President of the Board of Trustees attend the Association of Colorado Independent Schools Trustee/Head of School Conference each fall. The theme of the 2015 conference was ‘Global Positioning: K-12 Strategies’. The theme of the 2016 conference was ‘Strategic Balance – Agility and Stability’
The entire Paddington Team took a professional day and attended this event, sponsored by The Denver Early Childhood Council. The focus was examining the needs of today’s society and culture with regard to children and family support; how other developed nations approach supporting working families with children; a brief history of U.S. policy as it relates to universal child care and social welfare, current local and state policy and advocacy efforts; how to engage communities, families and local businesses; reflective leadership; finding and making the most of your leadership style; basics of business, administration, outreach and marketing; and the diversity of career pathways in Early Childhood.
How can artwork unleash our youngest learners’ stories? How can students’ growing writing skills activate the creative process? The Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library teamed up for an interactive workshop to uncover playful strategies and tools for supporting early learners on their journey through language and visual arts. One of our two-year-old teachers attended this class and discovered many new and creative ways to engage students!
Paddington faculty member, Barbara Cotton took the Pyramid Plus 45-hour training in 2014. She was then coached in her classroom and is now taking part in a year-long certification process, (July 2016 – July 2017) to become a certified Pyramid Plus Trainer. Throughout this year, along with another trainer, she will be offering the 45-hour Pyramid Plus Approach Class somewhere in the Denver area. This program is offered through The Colorado Center for Social and Emotional Competence and Inclusion, University of Colorado Denver. The goal of the Pyramid Plus Center is to promote the social and emotional development and inclusion of all children, birth through five, through a collaborative professional development system that fosters and sustains the state-wide, high-fidelity use of the Pyramid Model, SpecialQuest approach, and other related evidenced-based practices integrated with relevant Colorado efforts.
Paddington’s Head of School and our three Age-Level Coordinators will become credentialed Level 1 Coaches by January 2017. Aligned to the Colorado Competencies for Early Childhood Coaches, the Colorado Coaching Credential recognizes coaches who have the foundational skills and dispositions critical for effective coaching. Incorporating 3 Levels, the Coaching Credential provides a professional pathway for entry level coaches to very experienced coaches.
Paddington’s Head of School attended the Wonder Women conference in Oakland, California where bold and daring women to came together for four days to build their leadership capacity, foster honest introspection and practice the habits, mindsets and skill sets of successful leaders.
Paddington’s Director of Advancement attended the 2016 NAEYC Institute in Baltimore to learn more about putting Early Learning at the Top of the Ticket. This four day conference welcomed over 5,000 early childhood professionals to participate in workshops and sessions primarily focused on race, politics and young children. Additional topics included quality rating systems, generational differences in the workplace as well as promoting and supporting higher education for early childhood providers.
In February 2016, five Paddington teachers took participated in an Ooey Gooey workshop. Ooey Gooey, Inc. is dedicated to the creation of child-centered, hands-on, play-based environments for young children and provides workshops, training, technical support and curriculum resources to those who wish the same. When this workshop was offered again in May of 2016, we hosted the event at Paddington in our Big Room!
In January 2016, our teachers participated in a KODO Kids Inspiring Exploration Learning Lab. During the workshop they learned how to demystify engineering by clarifying what it is and identifying ways that engineering is already happening every day in the classroom. Teachers learned how to broaden and deepen children’s thinking and how to intentionally facilitate children’s investigation to promote an engineering mindset. They engaged with the materials and experienced how skills are enhanced through play and investigation. They also examined how to create a learning culture in which mistakes and constraints are a normal part of learning in the design process that is used by engineers to solve problems. This workshop was made possible by Denver Preschool Program funding.
The aim of this annual 2-day conference is to support and solidify the growing understanding and importance of investing in our youngest children. The confluence of science, research and common sense shows that early childhood education has a positive impact on our economy, workforce, schools and communities. Each year, at the RMECC, several members of our team have the opportunity to learn, share and connect via workshops, networking and listening to top-notch keynote speakers!
Paddington’s Head of School and several faculty members attended this DPP forum. The training promoted an understanding of social emotional responsive strategies embedded in a positive behavioral management system. Implicit bias was discussed and de-biasing activities were provided. Each participant left the training with an action plan in development.
Paddington’s entire team met with Kendra Dunn from the Colorado Department of Human Services. Kendra is the Child Maltreatment Prevention Director with the Colorado Office of Early Childhood. The presentation and discussion provided valuable information and understanding of healthy behaviors and potentially unhealthy behaviors at each age and stage of child development.
Our Kindergarten teachers attended this workshop to learn more about unlocking the power of reading for students. They examined the cognitive processes that people use to read effectively and the link between fluency, decoding, and the nuances of deep comprehension. Other themes of the institute included; demystifying the reading process, making meaning of complex text (getting the words off the page), and modifying instruction to ensure literacy growth and success.
Paddington’s Head of School will attend this invitation-only conference on November 4, 2015.. As a participant in the C3 Summit, she will engage in challenging discussions with peers on topics such as talent issues, time sensitivities, board pressure, market unknowns, fears, and risk. This elevated leadership insight that will help propel the Paddington staff forward as a team.
Seven members of the Paddington Team attended this event, sponsored by The Denver Early Childhood Council. The focus was on social-emotional and mental health in early childhood development and cover a range of topics, including: working with children affected by trauma, whole family mental health, understanding the differences between challenging behaviors and mental health disorders, understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder in young children, engaging highly active children and assessment tools for social-emotional development.
Paddington’s Director and two mentor teachers attended this institute, sponsored by the Public Education and Business Coalition, and learned a collaborative and inquiry-based approach to professional communication which focuses on supporting colleagues’ thinking around planning, reflecting and problem-solving.
Paddington’s Director attended this conference which featured timely topics and highly-qualified presenters. It was a great opportunity to learn more about licensing, regulations, legislation and Health Department updates and well as tips on employee recruitment, retention and morale.
Paddington’s Director of Admission and Marketing attended this conference in Washington DC. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘21st Century School Integration: Building the Movement for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’. NCSD’s conferences consistently engage a diverse group of stakeholders—advocates, researchers/scholars, educators, integration program directors, parents, students and activists—in dialogue with policymakers and one another. The conference was a rare opportunity for integration-specific professional development.
Three members of the Paddington Team will attended this event.[/TEDxMileHigh’s Ideas at Play calls citizens to explore and activate ideas through the power of play. Play is the open place where we engage our senses, let our minds run wild, and explore the landscape of the imagination. We form powerful bonds by playing together and know that this integral activity is important throughout all stages of life. When we harness the power of play in an immersive and celebratory atmosphere, inventive ideas in art, design, science, and technology bloom and communities thrive.
The entire Paddington Team participated in a facilitator-led Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training during teacher work week. Darkness to Light uses an evidence-informed prevention solution that increases knowledge, improves attitudes, and changes child protective behaviors. It offers practical prevention training with a conversational, real-world approach.
Four team members attended this workshop to discover more about how children learn music and how to apply it to lesson-planning and song-leading.
Paddington’s Science Teacher participated in this workshop at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to learn more about how to make physical science fun and engaging for children through exploration and investigations of how forces work, and playful building design. This session incorporated hands-on, minds-on learning activities with an inquiry approach to science that includes playful exploration, literacy connections, and hands-on center and lesson ideas.
Paddington’s Science Teacher participated in this workshop at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to build science content knowledge while learning how to incorporate more science inquiry into the preschool classroom. Participants also hadtime to collaborate, brainstorm, and discuss ways to apply scientific concepts.
Two Paddington Teachers participated in hands-on experiences that focus on real-world learning. The innovative ACIS conference expeditions modeled ways to make school more like real life: messy, challenging and trans-disciplinary.
Three members of the Paddington Team took part in this conference for creative school leaders looking to further develop their ability to lead innovation and change. This three-day event was sponsored by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools.
Paddington sent one Board Member to this Association of Colorado Independent Schools’ workshop that focused on Governance strategies and best practices for school leadership teams.
Three members of the Paddington Parent Association attended this workshop, sponsored by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS). This interactive workshop introduced principles of good practice that have successfully guided parent associations all over the country. Case studies were used to illuminate common challenges and identify practical solutions.
This training guided our teachers through all the components of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool. They learned how the components work together and how to use the components to carry out project-based investigations in the classroom. Through highly interactive professional development modules, our teachers practiced gathering materials and planning for implementation. After completing this session, our teachers now have the basic skills they need to begin implementing Teaching Strategies GOLD using the online system.
After completing Teaching Strategies GOLD implementation training, 5 of our team members strengthened their implementation skills and received interrater reliability certification from Teaching Strategies. In addition to offering practice in using the Teaching Strategies GOLD, the online certification process measures the degree of agreement between educators’ ratings of preschool children’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors and those of Teaching Strategies’ master raters.
Our Learning Resource Teacher attended this one-day seminar and participated in interactive labs that included sensory play strategies, child directed play and social modeling strategies. She also received updates on the changes to autism diagnosis per the DSM-V and its implications for diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, the seminar covered strategies to use for effective intervention, visual and oral supports that can be implemented immediately, guidelines to identify areas of delay that may require additional examination and evaluation and strategies to support families as they move through the diagnostic and treatment process.
One member of the Paddington teaching team attended this bi-annual conference. The Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children is leading the way toward every young child in Colorado having access to high quality early care and education.
Two Paddington teachers attended this valuable Qualistar symposium focusing on math concepts. Qualistar is dedicated to improving teacher quality through professional development.
One of our PreK teachers served on a panel at the Denver Art Museum (DAM). The purpose of the panel was to help give guidance to the DAM education department as they expand their educational opportunities to early childhood educators and students. She spent the morning brainstorming ways to make the art museum accessible to young children. Many suggestions for hands on, fun, and messy art experiences were given! As part of the panel, the art museum extended an invitation to her class to come and try some of their new early childhood experiences.
All teachers, office staff, Director and Head of School are trained in: Pediatric CPR, Pediatric First Aid, Universal Precautions, Medical Administration, Common Chronic Conditions and Allergy Information. These trainings are conducted annually by our school nurse, Shari Fessler, RN, NCSN from Children’s Hospital Colorado School Health Program or through Heartsmart Colorado. Additionally, our school conducts regular fire drills, tornado drills and lock-down drills throughout the year.
Carla Mestas, former Paddington Board member and Diversity and Inclusion specialist, spoke to our entire faculty and staff on the topic of ‘Including Everyone’. Faculty and staff shared their own similarities and differences and then brainstormed a list of action plans that address ‘what we can change right now’. In the following weeks, we reviewed the books in all classrooms for diversity and inclusion, ensured that a variety of paint is made available to match different skin tones and that various ethnicities are represented by our baby dolls.
Carol Anderson, a professional facilitator, spoke to our faculty, staff and Board of Directors and talked about the past, present and future state of Paddington. Her interviews were followed by an all-day retreat off site. Among many other valuable team-building exercises, we used the Meyers/Briggs personality test to learn more about ourselves and others.
The faculty and staff created a document that outlines the scope and sequence of our program for – and between – each age level in the following areas of development: Social/Emotional, Language, Cognitive, Physical (Fine Motor & Gross Motor) and Creative.
Our bookkeeper, Michele McElreath, attended ‘QuickBooks Made Easy’ in Denver, focusing on training for non-profits. The interactive, day-long conference demonstrated the most efficient ways to set up accounts and create reports. Hosted by Gregg Bossen, CPA PC, from Atlanta, the seminar proved to be useful and entertaining.
In the fall of 2013, our entire faculty visited a wide-variety of local elementary schools to gain more information about what is happening in neighboring early childhood educational settings and Kindergarten classrooms. We returned to school and shared our experiences.
Our Director Ginger Rubey attended this conference in Philadelphia at the Smith Memorial Playground (http://www.SmithPlayground.org), an incredible indoor and outdoor public playground for all. The conference focused on why play is important for children and the subtle ways that play is being taken away from children across our country. Additional information regarding the keynote speakers can be referenced below:
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood http://www.CommercialFreeChildhood.org
The Philadelphia Declaration of Play (PDOP) is a local, grass-roots group dedicated to raising consciousness and organizing creative challenges to the public health crisis created by the neglect of play in the lives of growing children. Through work with local corporations, schools, religious institutions, parent groups and local government, PDOP is committed to promoting play as a fundamental right and critical necessity for all children’s healthy maturation and development, and supports the need for play to become, once again, central in the lives of our children.
Paddington teacher and grant-writer Jason Staberg attended this conference on grant research and writing at Clayton Early Learning. He obtained many useful resources to use in the grant research process and learned effective strategies for successful grant writing.