Our comprehensive professional development program is based upon the principles of differentiated instruction: A-R-E.
Assessment Driven. We use data from a variety of resources to design our professional development plan:
- A Needs Assessment Survey is conducted each spring to solicit input from staff regarding what they want to learn and how they want to learn.
- Local Assessments are examined to reveal students’ areas of strengths and needs.
- State Assessments provide us with feedback regarding our curriculum and instruction relative to student achievement according to the standards. Use this link to see our full data portfolio.
- Teacher Observations provide a wealth of information not just about what students are learning but also how they are learning.
Responsive. All staff development is planned, monitored, and evaluated through input from the Act 48 Professional Development Committee which consists of teachers from elementary, middle, and high school; building and district-level administrators; parents; and community members.
Engaging. Where possible, professional learning is planned and delivered by teachers. One example is our annual Best Practices Fair held annually on the second in-service day in August.
What is Professional Development?
Excerpted from Learning Forward
Professional development activities provide educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in a well-rounded education; to meet the challenging State academic standards; and develop the knowledge, understandings, and skills required to be college and career ready. Professional development may include activities that improve teachers’:
- knowledge of the academic subjects they teach;
- understanding of how students learn;
- use of classroom management skills;
- ability to analyze student work and achievement from multiple sources and adjust instructional strategies, curriculum, assessments, and materials based on such analysis;
- use of technology, as appropriate, to improve teaching and learning; and
- understanding of ways to work more effectively with parents and families.
Professional development efforts are best when they are
- connected to school and district goals
- differentiated to meet educators’ needs
- evaluated on an ongoing basis, and
- result in evidence of application and improved student outcomes.
In order to achieve these goals, the professional development plan is committed to helping all educators be “RED HOT,” that is, focusing on
- Engagement, and
- Differentiation, to emphasize and promote
- Higher Order Thinking.
In addition to these district-wide days, many additional formal and informal professional learning opportunities are provided via faculty meetings, elementary grade level PLCs, secondary department meetings, and professional literature study groups. To be exposed to outside perspectives, network with other professionals, and gain knowledge and skills directly from experts, educators may also attend selected off-site workshops and conferences as well as networking at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in job-alike groups. Funding for conferences is provided primarily through Title II Federal Programs.
Additionally, all administrators take part in monthly leadership development sessions conducted by the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development, and Director of Technology as well as participating in five days of administrative retreat throughout the summer. Additionally, administrators regularly attend professional learning community meetings with their job-alike colleagues across the county along with additional workshops and conferences.