Kent City Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

3242 - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

In compliance with Board of Education policy and State law, the District shall develop a staff development plan each year and submit it to the State Department of Education for approval and funding. The purpose of the plan will be to:

 

A.

enhance student learning in one (1) or more areas of the core curriculum;

   
 

B.

improve staff members' ability to participate in collaborative decision-making;

   
 

C.

strengthen site-based management and/or the school improvement process;

   
 

D.

strengthen instructional leadership;

   
 

E.

increase the effectiveness of District strategies for assessing teaching and learning.

Each School Improvement Team will develop a list of priorities for staff development based on the following guidelines:

 

A.

Student Learning

   
 

Requests to enhance student learning should be based on several factors.

   
 

1.

An assessment of how well students are achieving the academic outcomes in each of the core curriculum areas.

   
 

a.

The assessment should show a comparison for each student between the expected level of learning and the actual level of learning.

   
 

b.

The assessment data should be disaggregated by gender and race.

     
 

c.

Deficiencies in achievement should be supported with a diagnosis of the likely causes for the deficiencies that can be addressed through instructional or other school-provided intervention.

   
 

2.

An identification of whether the learning deficiency is:

   
 

a.

a lack of or inaccurate factual knowledge;

   
 

b.

inadequate or inaccurate conceptual knowledge (understanding);

   
 

c.

an unwillingness to do the needed learning (attitude);

   
 

d.

inability to perform certain actions or procedures (skill);

   
 

e.

inability to gather, retrieve or process information (thinking);

   
 

f.

inability to transfer or apply learning (thinking).

   
 

3.

The particular instructional strategies and/or techniques which research and/or practice has shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating each type of identified learning deficiency.

   
 

4.

Recommendations as to one (1) or more sources which have provided staff development experiences that have been successful in reducing or eliminating the identified learning deficiencies.

     
 

B.

Staff Effectiveness

   
 

Requests for staff development to enhance the effectiveness of the staff should be based on the current ability of teachers to perform the following instructional tasks which are essential for the stated reasons:

   
 

1.

Select/Analyze Learning Objectives

   
 

It is almost impossible to provide effective instruction in the core curriculum if a teacher is unable to decide what particular learning students need and why, what such learning consists of (knowledge of subject matter, skills, or attitudes), and what thinking/learning actions students need to do to achieve the learning.

   
 

2.

Assess Students' Current Level of Achievement

   
 

Unless the teacher has a clear, accurate picture of students' needs relative to the expected achievement, the instruction could be irrelevant, inappropriate, or insufficient for one or more students.

   
 

3.

Diagnose Students' Achievements That Fall Below Pre-Requisites

   
 

Unless the teacher knows how to identify the causes for students' underachievement, the instruction may not be appropriate because it could be dealing with wrong or unimportant contributing factors.

   
 

4.

Plan Appropriate Learning Activities for Students to Achieve the Learning Objective

   
 

Instruction is such a complex process that if a teacher has not properly organized the necessary materials, facilities, and identified the procedures associated with the type of learning that is needed (knowledge, skill, attitude) for the learning to take place, the time and effort spent could easily result in nonachievement of the learning, in misuse of resources, and in heightened student deficiency and frustration.

     
 

5.

Create an Environment which Maximizes the Opportunity for Each Student to Participate Appropriately in the Learning Activities

   
 

If students do not recognize the relevancy of the learning, are not organized for appropriate actions, are distracted by their surroundings, etc., such roadblocks may make the learning impossible or more difficult than it needs to be.

   
 

6.

Conduct the Lesson (Learning Activities) as Planned

   
 

While planning provides the necessary preparation, it is the actual doing by the students, guided by the teacher, that produces learning. If the plan is appropriate and complete, and if the teacher is skillful in carrying out the plan, then the likelihood is far greater that the students will achieve the intended learning(s).

   
 

7.

Assess/Diagnose the Extent to Which the Students Achieved the Learning

   
 

If the teacher does not know how to find out accurately what the results of the instruction were and what caused those results, then it is highly unlikely that effective "follow-on" (remediation, reinforcement, application, extension, etc.) can be provided.

   
 

8.

Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Instruction

   
 

Since the teacher is the prime facilitator of learning, his/her actions have a major influence on what and how much students learn. If the teacher is unclear about what s/he did that contributed to or hindered student achievement, it is highly unlikely that effective teaching acts can be done properly again or that ineffective teaching acts can be modified and improved.

     
 

9.

Revise/Refine Teaching Acts

   
 

Short of perfection, all teachers need to improve their strategies. Since the teacher's actions are a major factor in student achievement, then continued efforts to enlarge knowledge and improve skills should increase the likelihood of improved student learning.

     
 

10.

Revise and/or Recycle Activities that Particular Students Need in order to Achieve the Intended Learning

   
 

Many students do not, the first time, reach the needed level of learning. If such learning is prerequisite to subsequent learning, then they need appropriate and sufficient opportunities to learn what has not been learned and in a way that does not reduce the learning already achieved.

   
 

C.

Instructional Leadership

   
 

Requests for staff development to strengthen instructional leadership should be based on an assessment of how well each of the following leadership strategies are being utilized in the school:

   
 

1.

Define and communicate the mission and goals of the school, assign roles and tasks to members of the staff, and explain the importance of accomplishing those tasks in terms of the mission of the school and of the District.

   
 

2.

Model the actions and attitudes expected of administrators, faculty, and support staff.

   
 

3.

Arrange for the plans and resources necessary for each staff member to accomplish the results expected from his/her assigned responsibilities.

   
 

4.

Assume responsibility for the performance of staff and the quality of instruction and support services they provide.

   
 

5.

Monitor the progress of staff in accomplishing expected results.

     
 

6.

Assess how well expectations are being met and consult with staff members to diagnose the reasons results are and/or are not meeting expectations.

   
 

7.

Take actions that a.) will assist staff members in accomplishing improved results in those areas which are not meeting expectations and b.) will ensure the continuation of results that are at the desired level of quality.

   
 

D.

Site-based Management and School Improvement

   
 

Requests for staff development for improving site-based decision-making and school improvement should be based on an assessment of how well the school improvement team is utilizing planning, problem-solving, and decision-making strategies such as the following:

   
 

1.

Planning Strategies (also refer to AG 2252)

   
 

a.

Clarify/Explain the desired outcome in terms of the quality the plan is intended to achieve.

   
 

b.

Review the appropriateness of whatever planning guides may be available and obtain clarification where needed.

   
 

c.

Clarify/Explain what needs to be done to accomplish the desired outcome.

   
 

d.

Determine the proper type, amount, and quality of people, equipment, parts, supplies, etc. needed to accomplish the desired outcome.

   
 

e.

Determine the amount of time each task will require.

   
 

f.

Determine the financial and other costs involved in implementing the plan.

   
 

g.

Identify the possible secondary gains and negative side effects that could result from implementing the plan.

     
 

h.

Identify probable problems in completing the job properly and determine appropriate contingency actions to avoid or overcome such "roadblocks".

   
 

i.

Identify means for enhancing the likelihood of the secondary gains and reducing the possibility or impact of the side effects.

   
 

2.

Problem-Solving Strategies

   
 

a.

Determine which aspects of the situation are meeting expectations and explain why.

   
 

b.

Determine which aspects of the situation are not meeting expectations and explain why not.

   
 

c.

Select those discrepancies which can be diagnosed and which should be referred to someone else.

   
 

d.

For those to be diagnosed by others, identify what expertise is needed and make the appropriate request.

   
 

e.

For those that can be diagnosed, decide which discrepancy needs to be diagnosed first, second, etc., select the most appropriate method to diagnose, determine the root cause(s), and explain the cause-effect chain that supports the diagnosis.

   
 

f.

Establish priorities for eliminating the root cause(s) in terms of the effects on completing the assigned job, availability, and costs.

   
 

g.

For causes to be "fixed" by others outside of the school, identify the proper people, justify why that expertise is needed, and make the appropriate request.

   
 

h.

For causes that can be "fixed" by those within the school, select and justify, and then recommend or execute the course of action that is the most feasible and cost effective.

     
 

3.

Decision-Making Strategies

   
 

a.

Identify and examine feasible alternatives and reach consensus on the course of action which is most likely to produce the needed condition or result.

   
 

b.

Determine whether the situation affects conditions, results, and/or outcomes at another school or at the District level and, if so, identify who should be contacted for a decision and what information may need to be provided to aid the decision-making.

   
 

c.

Plan and implement the chosen course of action, monitor progress, remediate/reinforce as necessary, and report the results when and to whom appropriate.

   
 

E.

Assessment

   
 

Requests for staff development to increase the effectiveness of assessment strategies should be based on an assessment of how well the school is implementing the following components of assessment:

   
 

Component #1

Determining the desired result ("ought-to-be") statement

     
 

Component #2

Determining and obtaining the measurement data

     
 

Component #3

Assessing (determining the differences/likenesses) between desired and actual behavior

     
 

Component #4

Making value judgements or evaluation statements based on the relative significance of the assessments

All requests from each school will be reviewed by administration prior to establishing the District's professional improvement plan for the year. The District's plan will be based on the following considerations:

 

A.

the extent to which requests relate to significant student learning

   
 

B.

the feasibility of each request in terms of the availability of:

   
 

1.

effective providers,

   
 

2.

time for effective implementation,

   
 

3.

necessary resources,

   
 

4.

funding

   
 

C.

the commitment of school and District staff to participate in the staff development effort and follow through after it is completed

   
 

D.

the adequacy of the plan for assessing the effectiveness of the staff development program and the results it is to produce

© Neola 2013