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Seneca High School

The Seneca Way


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2021-2022 Professional Development

At Seneca High School, we are committed to the district mission and values outlined in our guiding document, the Seneca Way. We have identified nine core values through the Seneca Way that are the focus of our work here at SHS:   progressiveness, collaboration, support, accountability, respect, trust, goal-focused, persistence, and safety. In 2019, the administrative team came together to develop three core competencies based on the Seneca Way to be the focus of our instruction. These core competencies, named the three C’s, are communication, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Based on teacher feedback, the administrative team worked together this year to develop professional development for staff aligned with the Seneca Way, with a focus on both our core values as well as the three C’s. Led by instructional leader Mr. Coughlin, our team designed  professional development opportunities for teachers that not only highlighted the Seneca Way but also modeled instructional practices and incorporated a little energy and fun.

Our leadership team identified several learning targets for the Seneca Way days.  First, we needed a common understanding and foundation of the Seneca Way; this is not a plan to keep in a binder on a shelf, but is instead meant to be a roadmap to guide our goals as teachers and district leaders. Second, we hoped to provide teachers with the opportunity to learn from their peers both within and outside of their departments. Finally and most importantly, our goal was for staff to reflect on their own practices and identify both their strengths and areas in which they can make progress to strengthen their students’ communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.  

Thanks to Mr. Coughlin’s preparation and planning with the support of the SHS administrative team, successful Seneca Way days were held in September, February, and April this school year. Through this experience, our teachers came together as a school community to share their expertise and learn from each other. Staff engaged in both small group and whole group
discussions about written and oral communication, what collaboration looks like and why it is important, and how to incorporate rigor and depth of knowledge into our classroom discussions and activities. Following each in-service day, teachers shared instructional artifacts that highlighted their use of the 3 C’s in their classrooms. Overall, this year’s professional development was engaging, meaningful, and directly aligned with district goals. It is the plan of the SHS administrative team to continue this work through the next several years.


School Psychologist
Director of Special Services