Indian Reservation School District Shows Improvements Thanks to PD 360

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New School Improvement Network Case Study Shows How PD 360 Helped a Remote Navajo Nation Reservation School District

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PD 360 has changed teacher effectiveness for remote districts like ours by giving us access to the most up-to-date teaching strategies.

A new case study of Pinon Unified School District in the Navajo Nation Reservation in Northeastern Arizona showed that School Improvement Network’s PD 360 improved classroom management and test scores.

“In my years as an educator on the Navajo Nation Reservation, I have seen many changes,” said Chris Ostgaard, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the Pinon Unified School District. “PD 360 has changed teacher effectiveness for remote districts like ours by giving us access to the most up-to-date teaching strategies.”

Pinon Unified School District has three schools with 1,335 students and 80 teachers. Because of its remote location, Ostgaard said Pinon schools have trouble hiring and retaining teachers and have little access to professional development resources, conferences and specialists, the study said.

But Ostgaard minimized these problems with PD 360.

“Using PD 360 as a hiring tool, Mr. Ostgaard shows potential recruits that they will not be cut off from the world of education,” the study said. “He demonstrates the access to well-known experts, all current topics, and other teachers through the interactive communities.”

In staff meetings and trainings, Ostgaard used PD 360 “to illustrate instructional strategies and also as a trigger for group discussions,” reported the study. He also suggested specific links to PD 360 resources relevant to each teacher’s individual professional development needs.

Now, almost two years after they started with PD 360 in September of 2010, Pinon Unified School District has logged over 7,364 minutes viewed in 802 programs and 1,334 segments. According to the study, administrators are seeing better classroom management and improved test scores depending on the level each teacher implements PD 360.

“Our teachers are so happy to have PD 360 meeting their individual needs in every area of professional learning,” said Ostgaard. “All the topics are there and are continuously available.”

About School Improvement Network

Founded in 1991 by teachers, School Improvement Network has spent decades researching and documenting the best practices in education. From this research, School Improvement Network has developed the Teacher Effectiveness System (TES). TES outlines a step-by-step process to improve teacher practice, and arms educators with a set of powerful tools that can be used to complete each step. Research shows that districts and schools that use the tools in the Teacher Effectiveness System produce better teachers, and as a result experience dramatic increases in student achievement, driving up student test scores by as much as 30% in a single year. School Improvement Network works with thousands of schools and districts in every state and around the world and has visited over 3,500 classrooms to document best practices in action. Learn more at

School Improvement Network, the Teacher Effectiveness System, and their respective logos are trademarks of the School Improvement Network. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Abigail Shaha
School Improvement Network

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