First Day Plans: Chips & Salsa

The Days Leading up to the First Day 

Last school year my district created a new department, Instructional Technology and Accountability, of which I am now a member.  We were tasked with preparing 2000 plus teachers for the integration of G Suite.  Over the months leading up to summer break, the department developed a multi-tiered approach.  One tier involved summer training opportunities, which meant the Instructional Technology Team started school 2 weeks before teachers. We organized and led multiple PD sessions for various groups. Although some of the content overlapped, the structure of each day differed.

A picture of the Redlands Unified Instructional Tech Team

The Team: Me, Caleb, Jorge & Nicole

Our PDs included:

  • New teacher training
  • Teacher Tech Summit
  • Administrator Tech Summit
  • Content TOA Training
  • Our District’s Google cohort training &
  • Individual site specific trainings


First Day of School 

Chips and Salsa

Teachers, excited to meet their students, made their final first day preparations. Administrators set the tone by greeting students as they walked on to campus. And the office staff answered, what seemed to be, an endless line of questions. Everyone was busy and focused on students. The Instructional Tech Team was not in high demand.

After 2.5 weeks of preparing and leading trainings, we were blessed with a day to regroup. Tier 1 – completed. We celebrated the successful “pre-school” training series with chips and salsa.  On the first day of school, we switched our attention to the next phase of the instructional technology plan – Our Google cohort teachers.

 Second Day of School 

Phones rang. Emails flooded our inbox. Calendar appointments, to assist our cohort teachers, were scheduled.  Our day of downtime was over. School’s now in full swing and our services are once again needed. 🙂


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About jgvadnais

Instructional Technology Coach. Desmos Fellow. Google Level 1 Certified. SoCal transplant. New Englander at heart. Lover of yoga, dogs, green smoothies and coffee creamer
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