The Washington School District’s Pathways for Teachers team visited the Affton School District earlier this month to learn more about its programs and focus areas.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer updated the school board on the program at its meeting Tuesday night.

This is the fourth year for the program, funded by a Missouri Pathways Grant through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The team is comprised of teachers, counselors and principals from each building in the district.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said the program allows educators to connect with business and community partners, and that exposure expands their leadership capacity. Team members have the opportunity to tour industries and schools.

Several industry tours have taken place, including some in the St. Louis area.

VanLeer said about 27 staff members participated in the Affton schools tour and came away with a lot of good ideas.

Next, team members will have the opportunity to attend Project Based Learning (PBL) training or participate in an externship.

Externships will be scheduled May 28-30 with local industries and businesses. Participants will extern for 1 1/2 days and then lesson plan for 1 1/2 days.

Project Based Learning (PBL) training is scheduled for June 10-12 with PBL Works at the Confluence room at the Four Rivers Career Center.

VanLeer said PBL training also will be open to other interested staff, if slots are available.

Looking ahead, VanLeer told the board she may restructure the grant proposal for next year now that a large number of staff have been able to participate in the training and tours.

“We might want to get creative in our next proposal and possibly embed the externships in throughout the year,” she said.