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PSJA ISD hosts first-ever Virtual Innovative Skills Seminar

 Screen shot of seminar presenter Valerie Garza

In the first of its kind, PSJA ISD hosted its first-ever Innovative Skills Seminar for all Administrative and Instructional Support Staff virtually on Monday, January 4, 2021.

“We at PSJA wanted to welcome our administrative support staff and instructional aides to the this new year with n opportunity to learn and grow through professional development,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “We had hundreds of our staff members leave their sessions equipped with new tips and information that will benefit them greatly as we embark on this new semester.”

During the seminar, Administrative Support Staff and Instructional Aides had the opportunity to learn best practices shared by fellow campus and district leaders. The virtual seminar was organized to offer staff members a way to share experiences, best practices and assist their peers in their development as leaders within the district.  

For Chief of Human Resources Melissa Aguero-Ramirez, who also hosted two presentations, being able to hear from staff members who are passionate about their topics made the entire seminar a memorable experience for everyone.

“Today was all about showcasing our hardworking staff and giving them the opportunity to teach their peers new ways to make strides in their role within the district,” she said. “We are so incredibly proud of everyone who participated in this seminar and overjoyed with the positive responses we got at the end of the day.” 

About 800 Instructional Aides and Administrative Support Staff had the opportunity to pick from 96 total sessions in eight categories, which included:  

  • Business Services
  • Communication & Customer Service
  • Employee Benefits
  • Health & Safety in the Workplace
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Technology Applications
  • Ethics & Professionalism
  • Instructional Strategies

Among the Breakout Sessions attendees registered for are Google Tips and Tricks, Animating Instruction Using Choice Boards, Virtual Learning Technology, Anxiety/Stress Management and Social-Emotional Learning, to name a few. The Seminar concluded with a presentation by Health Services Department Director Sulema Flores and Risk Management Manager Rogelio Guzman who helped advise staff on the latest procedures and protocols regarding COVID-19. 

Professional Development Director Stella Sanchez, who helped organize the virtual event in just three weeks, shared she believed the seminar helped set the tone for the start of a successful semester.

“They are walking away with tools they need in our new virtual world and we know that the sessions they attended are going to help our district overall,” Sanchez said. “It was also important that we receive feedback for them before and afterwards. Everything was based on their needs so we will continue to listen to them so we can keep getting better and continue to help our students, staff and entire PSJA Family.”