Pulldown Menu

City Center for Collaborative Learning Professional Learning Spring/Summer Offerings

The Spring Symposium is a two day event where teachers are invited to come together, share their experiences, and learn in community.  This year, we will be hosting two days worth of high quality, interactive, and community-building professional development.

Designing Projects that Transform Learning  Feb. 24 9 am – 3 pm.  (Virtual) A full day dedicated to project-based learning.  Whether you are exploring project-based learning for the first time or want to collaborate on improving a current project, this day together will include an overview of the components of high quality, inquiry-driven, project-based learning and offer personalized feedback on your project design to make the learning authentic, rigorous, and engaging! 

Collaborative Conversations to Improve Student Outcomes Feb. 25 9 am – 3 pm (Virtual) A Critical Friends Group is a facilitated PLC model of collaboration which uses protocols from the School Reform Initiative in order to leverage teacher expertise to improve student learning. Participants will explore the use of protocols to build connections, engage in equitable conversations, and improve student outcomes. 

PBL for Social and Environmental Justice June 7-8 9:00-3:00 ($200) In this two day workshop we will explore how to design a Gold Standard PBL unit incorporating issues of justice existing in the community.

The PLC Summer Institute 6/13 – 6/17 ($600) is an immersive, hands-on professional development experience for teachers and teacher leaders. This week-long training (8:30 am – 3:30 pm each day) gives participants the skills, tools, and experiences needed to launch and facilitate powerful professional learning communities (PLCs) in their schools and districts. Participants develop the habits and skills to facilitate and coach a professional learning community based on the SRI critical friendship model. The SRI critical friendship model for professional learning communities can lead to transformational growth for the adult participants and have a profound impact on student learning and school culture.

Pennington Street Showcase March 24 5:00-7:00 p.m. Our public celebration of student work and learning from our three schools.  Students, parents, community members, educators and experts are all welcome to attend.  As a member of the ShareYourLearning Community, we believe that making learning visible not only validates teacher work and student performance, but also advances community dialogue around the purpose and promise of schools.

Reflect. Collaborate. Excel.

Professional Learning Program

Building on a culture of innovation throughout CITY’s three flagship schools, the Professional Learning Program transforms the lives of young people and their educators by equipping classrooms, teachers, and districts throughout Southern Arizona and the United States to implement best practices in CITY’s four key areas: Professional Learning Communities, Project Based Learning, Social Emotional Learning, and Public Displays of Learning.

Areas of expertise include professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, and public demonstrations of learning.

For details and registration for upcoming workshops, visit the PD Calendar. Click here to download brochure pdf. 

Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities
Helping educators transform their school into a powerful professional learning community that effectively serves all students is one of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning’s areas of expertise.

CITY’s model of Professional Learning Community (PLC) goes beyond developing assessments and analyzing data. Building on School Reform Initiative’s critical friendship model, educators learn specific skills and understandings needed to establish a transformational community among professionals.

Developing norms, commitment to equity, productive data analysis, and collaborating to enhance the quality of instruction are essential prerequisites to establishing effective professional learning communities. Attending to these crucial components is vital as schools begin the work of establishing Professional Learning Communities.

Through CITY’s Summer PLC Institute, teachers, schools, and school systems learn the most effective and efficient tools to create and sustain the kinds of collegial environments that inspire and retain teachers throughout a long and successful career.

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is when students engage a real-world problem and answer complicated questions over an extended period of time. Through their teacher’s expert facilitation, they focus on mastering important content and demonstrating what they know, understand, and are able to do by sharing their work in progress, exhibiting their completed projects, and enhancing their projects through feedback and dialogue with authentic audiences.

CITY’s professional learning center offers PBL introductory and advance workshops, as well as tailored PBL professional development upon request.

Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning is fundamentally about relationships.

Social and Emotional Learning is how children come to know and understand their feelings and how their feelings affect their relationships, achievement, and decisions. As students understand themselves, they learn to empathize with others.

Within Social Emotional Learning, CITY provides trainings and consultancy services in Trauma Informed Practice, Positive Behavior Interventions and Support, Habits of Heart and Mind, and Advisory Programs for Middle and High School.

Public Demonstrations of Learning

Public Demonstrations of Learning
Make learning real. Make learning public.

Imagine a student who writes a poem for a classroom teacher, receives an A, and takes the paper home.

Now consider the same student who writes a poem, presents the poem in class for feedback, then performs the poem at a local poetry slam.

When teachers design instruction to include public demonstrations of learning, they communicate to students that the concepts they attain, the skills they master, and the products that they create are important and ought to be seen. CITY is committed to equip educators for public demonstrations of student learning because when work is made public, the quality of student work increases.

Transforming Lives

The Professional Learning Program aims to transform lives of young people and their educators by transforming how teaching and learning happens in classrooms, schools, and school systems throughout Southern Arizona. When our schools commit to enhancing their skills and knowledge in Professional Learning Communities, Project Based Learning, Social and Emotional Learning, and Public Demonstrations of Learning, we enhance the achievement of our children and strengthen our entire community.

CITY Center for Collaborative Learning’s professional development facilitators have worked for over two decades with a variety of schools, districts, and other educational organizations regionally and nationally, including:

  • Local districts: Tucson Unified School District, Sunnyside Unified School District, Amphitheater School District, Catalina Foothills School District
  • Independent schools, such as The Gregory School and Phoenix Country Day School
  • Districts throughout the state and nation, including Window Rock School District (AZ), Tulsa (OK) Public Schools, Fairfax (VA) Public Schools
  • Pima County Superintendent’s Regional Support Center
  • Educational advocacy groups and foundations, such as Arizona K-12 Center, Battelle for Kids, and Voices for Education

spring symposium - table shot“The workshop leaders did an amazing job illuminating ‘moves and strategies’ for facilitation. They had myriad insights … and were willing to adjust the agenda to attend to our needs as learners.” —Workshop Participant


To speak with someone in person about the professional development program, contact Director of Professional Learning JoAnn Groh, [email protected]