Excerpted and adapted from the ACLS monthly mailing for August 2017

Massachusetts has been selected to be one of four states to pilot a new, hybrid version of the STAR training for FY18. Last year's model of six face-to-face days is replaced by a combination of two face-to-face days, online self-paced modules, webinars, program team meetings, opportunities for classroom practice, and written reflections on that practice in an online portfolio. Participants may go through the modules at their own pace as long as they complete each module within its designated time frame.

Each set of modules has some work to be completed by participants, such as discussing what was learned in a program team meeting, practicing evidence-based instructional strategies in the classroom, and reflecting on learning through writing in an online portfolio. Before participants move on to a new set of modules, Massachusetts STAR trainers will review participants’ work and approve them to move forward, or will provide technical assistance and support to them in understanding the material presented.

This hybrid training will greatly reduce the need to be out of the program, thus reducing the need for travel, substitute teachers, and related costs. Participants may move through the online modules at home or work at a time of their choosing. As already planned for FY18, programs participating in STAR training will cover participants’ time through their grant award.

ACLS and SABES PD Center for ELA staff have provided feedback on the new training as it took shape over the past year, and believe it is a strong but flexible way to train teachers in STAR. STAR staff who are subject matter experts in EBRI will be viewing participants’ online work to evaluate whether the pilot training is effectively training participants, and our state will be providing feedback on the pilot to the national STAR team. 

Requirements for Participants:

  • Follow the pilot syllabus and timeline for completing the online modules and other tasks. Participants not completing all components of the STAR training will not receive STAR certification until all components are completed, exactly the same as in the face to face training.
  • Complete brief surveys that will be given before and after the training.

Participate in this pilot hybrid PD opportunity:

  • Registration deadline: Friday, September 15
  • PD start date: Monday, September 25
  • To register, contact Merilee Freeman (mfreeman@qcc.mass.edu, 508-8854-4296) or Jane Schwerdtfeger (janes@doe.mass.edu, 781-338-3855).
  • More information can be found on our STAR page.
PD Center: 


SABES English Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction PD Center