Planning professional development for new school year

As we are wrapping up the 2010-2011 school year, we are simultaneously planning for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.  It’s the nature of the game for educators.  Proper planning includes quality professional development which is based on performance, assessment, and diverse forms of feedback.  District and school goals are inclusive of various components of quality education.  As you are planning a comprehensive professional development program, here are some important things to keep in mind.

Effective professional development is…

  • Directly focused on helping to achieve student learning goals and supporting student learning needs.
  • A collaborative endeavor – teachers, support staff, parents, and administrators work together in planning and implementation.
  • A long-term commitment.
  • Differentiated including some large group, small team, individual, on  site, conference, etc.
  • Tied to the overall district and school goals.

The content of the professional development should be based on student needs. Research shows that for continuous improvement, schools should focus on the following categories and the connections among them:

  • Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Curriculum
  • Leadership
  • Learning styles and processes

Family engagement is an underlying component in each of these areas.  When parents are aware of what is being taught and how it is being taught (curriculum and instruction), they can support learning at home.  When clear communication with families regarding assessment takes place, students are more prepared and perform better on those assessments.   When teachers and parents work together to identify individual learning styles and needs, students can better reach their full potential.  When schools staff, families, and communities come together to plan for improvement, schools excel! 

Family engagement is at the heart of all professional development topics.  With this in mind, explore ways to incorporate PPP into your professional development needs for 2011-2012.  PPP can provide technical assistance in strategic planning, provide staff development, provide family workshops or provide guidance to teams planning family events, provide training around parent involvement, and more!

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