Image of a teacher working with a student at Winston Preparatory School. | Winston Prep

Ongoing and Intentionally Designed Professional Learning

Having a faculty of expert learning specialists who deeply understand our students is an integral component of how we successfully fulfill our mission. The Winston Innovation Lab supports campus leadership in developing this expertise amongst faculty in a myriad of ways.

Winston Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development Program
Since 2013, Winston Preparatory School Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development Programs have aimed at developing, identifying, celebrating, and rewarding Winston Prep’s most expert teachers.

It is conducted as a mini-graduate school course that enhances faculty members’ acquisition and utilization of the knowledge essential to becoming an expert learning specialist at Winston Prep. Those faculty members who achieve this most expert level have been eligible for future leadership roles as well as received a monetary bonus. Application to participate is open to any faculty member who has completed at least two years at Winston Prep and is nominated by their Head of School. Throughout the year participants are provided with relevant readings, participate in bi-monthly workshops and discussions, and work to expertly incorporate knowledge into practice. To date, over 100 faculty members have successfully completed the program, with many subsequently promoted to leadership roles.

Winston 101
Winston Innovation Lab’s Winston 101 professional learning program is designed to support campus leaders in preparing first-year Winston teachers to fulfill the WPS mission.

Dedicated to developing faculty members' knowledge of learning, learning disorders, and research-based methods of remediation even before students step into a WPS classroom, Winston 101 is designed for all new faculty members and begins with an intensive summer workshop series, continuing throughout the fall semester. With WIL leaders presenting on various topics, first-year faculty members have the opportunity to learn alongside their peers from all WPS campuses. The summer workshops focus on immersing new faculty in understanding the WPS mission and philosophy by diving deep into the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner, the Continuous Feedback System, and the Neuropsychological Paradigm of Learning and Learning Disorders, while cultivating their ‘toolbox’ of knowledge, assessment, and best practices. Throughout the academic year, first-year faculty participate in a monthly series aimed at supporting the application of this understanding through current student case study discussions and evidence-based programming design. Participants are encouraged to ask questions, dive deeper, and engage in conversation amongst colleagues across our campuses, sparking curiosity and innovation, directly supporting our students’ growth.

Research in Learning & Learning Disorders
Continuing with establishing a deep understanding of learning and learning disorders, Winston Innovation Lab’s Research in Learning & Learning Disorders professional learning series is designed to support second-fifth year Winston teachers in their continued professional learning experience. 

WIL leaders share current research on learning and learning disorders. Faculty not only deepen their understanding of learning and learning disorders but also continue to stay current on the most effective programming approaches for individual students. In this monthly series, participants engage in small group discussions, reflections, and application exercises tied to the individual students they work with. Sessions include topics such as understanding working memory as it applies to our work with students with dyslexia, understanding visual-spatial skills and how they apply to our work with students with NVLD, or understanding processing speed and how that applies to our work with students with an executive functioning disorder.

Updates in Research & Applications
Our veteran faculty participate in a monthly series that focuses on staying up-to-date with best practice research as it applies to our understanding of learning and learning disorders. 

WIL leaders share current best practice research and guide application of this research to participants’ understanding of learning and learning disorders as it pertains to the individual students they work with. Through case study reviews and small group discussions, faculty members reflect upon the research shared while working together to apply the information to their students’ programming.

Collaborative Problem Solving in Leadership
An opportunity for leadership across campuses to collaborate, discuss current issues in education and research and reflect upon how these issues impact their respective communities.

WIL research initiatives are shared with campus leadership teams monthly, serving as a basis for high-level discussions reflecting upon how the information shared applies to the campus communities, what challenges it might support, what effective application might look like, and what they would like to learn more about.  

Faculty Learning Library Portal
Encouraging a collaborative learning culture connecting all WPS campuses is a priority. 

The Winston Innovation Lab’s Faculty Learning Library Portal connects all faculty while supporting ongoing learning and shared expertise. The Faculty Learning Library Portal is designed to be an ever-developing, on-demand, virtual library where WPS leaders and faculty have access to all WIL-based professional learning recordings and presentations, and contribute to campus-based professional development, teaching resources, tools, and strategies, as well as WIL-produced slide decks and summaries of current research and how to apply this research to our work. These presentations range from research-based homework design to developing a deeper understanding of visual-spatial skills, how these skills support learning, and how to design programming to support the development of these skills. Additionally, the Faculty Learning Portal houses a Collaborative Problem Solving page where faculty members can start a conversation with the entire WPS teaching community, sharing the wealth of knowledge and understanding our dedicated learning specialists possess while nurturing the innovation that happens each and every day.
Winston Preparatory School is a leading school for students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, executive functioning difficulties (ADHD), and non-verbal learning disorders (NVLD).

WPS does not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin. The Winston Preparatory School provides programs and services and equal opportunity in the administration of its educational and admissions policies, financial aid programs, employment, and the selection of its governing board without regard to gender, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability status, or any status recognized by federal, state and local civil rights and non-discrimination laws.