JPS Adds Teacher Coaches To Assist Staff

“With A Little Help From My Friends” is the title of a popular song by The Beatles, but it is also one philosophy being used by Jamestown Public Schools with Common Core Learning Standards.

The school district will be using two new districtwide teacher coaches and there will be 12 building coaches to assist teachers.

The new districtwide coaches are Chad Bongiovanni and Laura Burstrom, who will be helping teachers in all Jamestown schools with the Common Core curriculum.

Bongiovanni has been teaching for eight years in the district. He is looking forward to his new challenge of being a teacher coach to improve Common Core module effectiveness. He said the teachers and the coaches all have the same goal to improve student learning.

“I’ve always been able to build relationships with adults,” he said. “I’ll just be there to allow the teacher to feel comfortable. We will be working together to improve student leaning.”

Burstrom has been teaching for 24 years, with 22 years in the Jamestown district. She is looking forward to her new role as a coach by being able to visit all the district’s buildings to assist teachers.

“I’ll be with the teachers working with the modules to give them support,” she said.

Amanda Sischo and Christina Spontaneo will continue to teach, but will also be building coaches. Sischo, who teaches fourth grade at Bush Elementary School, said by being a building coach and also by having the districtwide coaches, there will be more help in understand student progression.

“They can help us clarify what we struggle with,” she said, “identify important essentials needed (for students) to practice to be proficient.”

Spontaneo, who teaches fourth grade at Love Elementary School, said with the Common Core professional development workshops and going through the modules for the second year, lessons will be easier this year for teachers.

“We will have a deeper understanding of the curriculum,” she said. “We will look at what the children need to know, and go in and teach it in the classroom.”

Sischo and Spontaneo said the new teaching coaches will be another resource to use to ensure a quality education for students.

“Someone to run to say ‘What would you do,'” Sischo said.