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Nov 21, 2017
Charlton Heights Elementary SchoolPashley Elementary SchoolStevens Elementary SchoolO'Rourke Middle SchoolBH-BL High School

About Us: Professional Development Plan

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Introduction

Vision

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District embraces the definition of professional development as "a lifelong, collaborative learning process that nourishes the growth of individuals, teams, and schools through a daily
job-embedded, learner-centered, focused approach"1 that focuses on student progress and learning.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District educators are committed to working collaboratively to achieve better results for the students we serve. We work under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students requires continuous collaboration, differentiated professional development and pre-determined time set aside for just professional development.

Guiding Principles of High Quality Professional Development

Involves supportive leadership that: facilitates the development of a small number of shared goals, builds a sense of community, explains the need for change, organizes teacher work around student learning, uses data wisely and constructively, encourages innovation and risk-taking and invests in professional development for all staff members.

  • Relates to larger school/ district goals that have been developed through shared decision making and are aligned with New York State Common Core Learning Standards.
  • Involves all school personnel including administration, support staff and teachers.
  • Has appropriate resources committed. The expenditures need to be evaluated and tracked.
  • Utilizes professional communities to examine instruction and how it relates to student growth.
  • Provide differentiated staff development to respond to the diverse learning needs of students and professionals.
  • Provides opportunities for teachers to model teaching strategies and to participate in active learning of new strategies.
  • Ensures the effectiveness of staff development offerings through ongoing evaluations.
  • Requires time, which may include creative scheduling or release time. Professional development needs to be ongoing.
  • Allows professionals to determine own learning needs and develop a plan to meet them.
  • Provides an environment where teachers/professionals feel comfortable (safe) asking for help and sharing ideas.
  • Is data driven and research based. Data should be used to design professional development as well as to evaluate its effectiveness.
  • Supports teachers and staff in creating safe, supportive and equitable learning environments for all students.
  • Is collaborative and/or differentiated when appropriate.
  • Is aligned to CCLS and APPR standards.

 

Needs/Data Analysis for Professional Development Plan

Describe how the professional development plan is continuous, reflecting a multi-year approach to improve student performance.

The District has actively provided professional development opportunities to its staff for over 30 years (since 1985). The Professional Development Committee composed of seven teachers (from three of the five buildings and serve on the Building Council within each building), two administrators, chaired by the Professional Development Coordinator, meet monthly to implement the PD Plan. Professional development opportunities are planned as a result of input from many sources and are reviewed and updated annually.

The District will use new State initiatives such as RTI, CCLS, APPR, STEAM to identify training needs. The Professional Development Department has made it a priority to evaluate each professional development activity offered in the district. Those evaluations help to drive the planning for future professional development events and asks people to list their current professional development needs. The information shared is part of our ongoing needs assessment to ensure we are meeting the professional development needs of our professionals.

The District has a Professional Development Department comprised of elected representatives - two from the high school, two from the middle school and one from each elementary school. There is a full-time administrator who has part-time responsibility to chair the PD Department that oversees the organization, delivery and management of the professional development program. There is also an active member of the Teachers Association who receives a separate stipend to manage the mentoring program for the District. All data regarding staff participation, kinds of activities and evaluation of the professional development program and the mentoring program are maintained by the PD Department and the mentor coordinator and become the basis for future professional development opportunities.

Activities that the PD Department will oversee:

  • developing and analyzing a yearly needs assessment for teaching staff and teaching assistants
  • developing and implementing professional development programs aligned with the needs and standards of the SEO, the district, the buildings, and the academic areas
  • setting goals for the department
  • providing input to the department as to specific needs within the buildings
  • planning the Superintendent's Conference Days
  • working with the K-12 curriculum coordinators and building principals to plan the scheduled half-day professional development days

 

On average, please identify the number of hours a professional will be involved with professional development on an annual basis. This may include the planning, delivery, application and/or evaluation of professional development activities.

Professionals, including teachers, related service providers and teaching assistants, administrators are involved in staff development throughout the academic year.
On the average, the majority of professionals spend 20-30 hours per academic year on regularly scheduled professional development activities.

In keeping with the new, current SEO recommendations concerning Staff Development, the Professional Development Department has established a program to meet the expectations that all professional staff (teachers, service providers and level 3 teaching assistants) will earn 100 hours of staff development every five years, as well as devise a process for documenting and reporting staff development hours. The PD Department will create a schedule of staff development that aligns with the District calendar, including a process for awarding those hours.

This plan reflects a process that Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake uses on an annual basis. It is not a specific plan but rather a framework to guide us in the process to improve student learning, engagement and achievement by enhancing the practice of the professionals working in the district.

Needs Analysis

The District has actively provided professional development opportunities to its staff for over 32 years (since 1985). The Professional Development Committee composed of seven teachers (from three of the five buildings and who serve on the Building Council within each building), two administrators, chaired by the Professional Development Coordinator, meet monthly to implement the PD Plan. Professional development opportunities are planned as a result of input from many sources and are reviewed and updated annually.

The District will use new State initiatives such as DASA, CTLE, RTI, CCLS, and APPR to identify training needs. The Professional Development Committee has made it a priority to evaluate each professional development activity offered in the district. Those evaluations help to drive the planning for future professional development events and asks people to list their current professional development needs. The information shared is part of our ongoing needs assessment to ensure we are meeting the professional development needs of our professionals.

On average, please identify the number of hours a professional will be involved with professional development on an annual basis. This may include the planning, delivery, application and/or evaluation of professional development activities.

Professionals are involved in staff development throughout the academic year. On the average, the majority of teachers and teaching assistants will spend 20-40 hours per academic year on regularly scheduled professional development activities.

In keeping with the new SEO regulations concerning Staff Development that came into effect in March, 2016 (as required by the 2015 State Budget), the Professional Development Committee has established a program to meet the demands for those who need to earn 100 hours of Staff Development every five years, as well as a process for documenting and reporting staff development hours, a calendar, and a process for awarding those hours.

This document reflects a process that Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake uses on an annual basis. It is not a specific plan but rather a framework to guide us in the plans for improving student learning, engagement and achievement.

Needs/Data Analysis for Professional Development Plan

Describe how the professional development plan is continuous, reflecting a multi-year appraoch to improve student performance.

The following list demonstrates how the district gets input from specific constituent groups about the professional development they need throughout the school year.

Each methodology must be: open ended, data driven, on going, and tied to the PD goals.

  • Targeted needs assessments
  • Evaluations after PD Offerings
  • Via Google Forms, MLP evaluations, paper evaluations
  • Reflection on professional observation
  • Reflection on professional practice
  • Data analysis of local and state assessments
  • Student input
  • Departmentrream conversations about student work
  • Departmentrream conversations about best practices
  • Training on any new technology/programs/software adopted by district
  • Surveys to ensure targeted and differentiated PD
  • Create and monitor a PD webpage that has current best practices
  • State mandatory trainings

 

Goals

The Framework for Teaching identifies those aspects of one's professional practice that have been documented through research to improve student learning.  Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake CSD currently uses the Danielson Framework for Teaching as a guide for conversations about improving professional practice and student progress.  For this reason, we will use the Danielson Framework as our goals for our Professional Development Plan for the 2017-2018 school year.

Domain 1 - Planning and Preparation - Trainings in order to enhance:

1 a) Knowledge of content and pedagogy 1 b) Knowledge of students
1 c) Setting Instructional outcome
1 d) Knowledge of resources
1 e) Coherent instruction
1 f) Student assessments

Domain 2 - The Classroom Environment - Trainings in order to enhance:

2a) Creating an environment of respect and rapport 2b) Establishing a culture for learning
2c) Managing classroom procedures
2d) Managing student behavior
2e) Organizing physical space

Domain 3 - Instruction - Trainings in order to enhance:

3a) Communication with students
3b) Use of discussion and questioning techniques 3c) Student engagement in learning
3d) Use of assessment in instruction
3e) Flexibility and responsiveness

Domain 4 - Professional Responsibilities - Trainings in order to promote:

4a) Teacher reflection
4b) Maintenance of accurate records
4c) Communication with Families
4d) Participation in a professional community 4e) Professional learning and development 4f) Professionalism
4g) Ongoing trainings

 

Specific: Areas of PD

This list of professional development needs came from information gathered using evaluations from district-led professional development half days, as well as surveys sent to teachers and teaching assistants.

These professional development activities meet the state required trainings as well as address the new requirements outlined in the new CTLE law.

Strategies for Delivery and Coordinating Activities

The District Professional Development Plan has created four priorities that the district will focus on for the 2017-2018 school year.

The list of questions below should be asked if a person is coordinating the professional development activity and/or providing the activity.

The Professional Department and members of the Staff Development Plan Committee should help make anyone coordinating, planning, presenting PD in the district aware of the questions below.

A list of questions {and see flowchart below as well):

Does the activity qualify as "Professional Development" as defined by New York State in "Continuing Teacher and Leader Education" requirements? (Chapter 56 of the laws of 2015, subpart 80-6 Registration requirements for holders of a permanent or professional certification).

a. Improve T/L Pedagogical and/or leadership skills, improve student performance, promote professionalization of teaching, closely aligned to district goals for student performance, and is rigorous and related to the professional's content area.

b. If yes, how?

c. If no, why is it being offered? (State Mandated, District Initiative, Collaboration)

• If the activity enhances the climate of the educational community, then professionals should have time to reflect on how the experience can be translated to create a safe, secure, supportive, and equitable learning environment for their students

2. How relevant is this activity to the participants?
a. If not, why?
b. If yes, why?

3. Can the activity be individualized (do it on your own)?
a. If no, why?
b. If yes, how?

4. Can the activity be differentiated (leveled)?
a. If no, why?
b. If yes, how?

5. Can the activity be presented with multiple modalities (learning styles)?
a. If no, why?
b. If yes, why?

 

PD Evaluation Standards

State regulations specify that the professional development plan shall include evaluation standards for professional development in the school district. These regulations echo the APPR regulations in moving focus from simply stating what was done to measuring what was learned. If professional development is to be successful, we must measure and evaluate the outcomes.

The standards outlined below will help frame district conversations about the impact of professional development.

 The district will continue to strive to evaluate each PD offering, as well as to use data and conversations to show that the professional development impacted student learning.

Critical Levels of Professional Development Evaluation (Guskey 2000)

The evaluations created for each PD activity in the district will include questions from the five levels outlined below to ensure a well-rounded, informative evaluation that will provide useful information to inform the planning of further PD activities.

Level 1: Participants' Reactions

  • Did they like the program, feel time was well spent, feel activities and material were relevant and learning useful?

Level 2: Participants' Learning

  • Does it measure the knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained through written assessments, reflections, protfolio, simulation, and demonstration?

Level 3: Organizational Support and Change

  • Are organizational policies and practices compatible with implementation of learning?
  • These include resources, administrative support, problem solving, and alignment with mission.

Level 4: Participants' Use of Knowledge and Skills

  • Are participants using what they learned and adapting to new ideas and practices to their setting?
  • Measures degree and quality of implementation

Level 5: Studnet Learning Outcomes

  • What was the impact on students?
  • Measure student learning through assessment results, portfolio evaluations, grades, and standardized test scores.
  • Other measures include attendance, discipline problems, self concept, retention or dropout rates, enrollment in advanced course.

 

Mentor Program Summary

In accordance with New York State Education Department requirements, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District will develop, implement, and assess a mentoring program that contributes to providing the best learning environment for each child. The BH-BL mentoring program is a vehicle to continue the commitment that has given Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake stability and a reputation for excellence.

Purpose:

The main goal of the mentoring program is to provide support for teachers who are either new to the profession and new to the district or new to the district but experienced. Differentiated experiences will be provided based upon which category the new teacher falls into. Mentor teachers will provide support in all aspects of teaching as well as information about school and district culture.

Mentors or "professional buddies" will be asked to work with teachers who switch buildings, grade levels, and/or tenure areas within the district.

Selection of Mentors:

The Mentor Coordinators secure a list of tenured professionals interested in being a mentor. The building principal and/or the K-12 Curriculum Supervisor work with the Mentor Coordinators to find the right mentor for the newly hired professional.

The following criteria are used for mentor selection. A mentor should:

Be a good match for the needs of the new teacher

Be able and willing to meet mentor requirements described in Board policy

  • Be willing to commit to regular classroom visits between the mentor and the mentee
  • Be willing to commit to regular meetings with the new teacher
  • Be willing to commit to mentor-related meetings and training
  • Work in the same building as the new teacher, whenever possible
  • Work in the same subject area/ grade level as the new teacher
  • Have tenure in the district
  • Have experience in the specific teaching assignment
  • Have evidence of the following:
    • Mastery of pedagogical skills, content knowledge, teaching abilities
    • Interpersonal communication skill
    • Personal inegreity and commitment to confidentiality in mentoring situation
    • Collaboration, conferencing, and peer coaching skills
    • Commitment to the profession and to continuous learning
    • Awareness of the culture of the school
    • Awareness of all aspects of the contract
    • Networking to benefit the new teacher
    • Leadership skills
    • Personal characteristics found most helpful in mentors: approachable, sincere, enthusiatic, receptive, trustworthy, open tactful, flexible, confident and cooperative

Role of Mentor:

Mentor teachers will be responsible for the following:

  • Regular interaction with the mentee
  • Confidential feedback on curriculum and instructional planning/delivery, classroom management, and professional activities.
  • Assistance in defining specific goals and strategies for improvement in identified areas of curriculum, instruction, and professional development.
  • Simulating and modeling observation and assessment practices according to district guidelines.
  • Facilitating reflection on methodology with the mentee.
  • Accessing building, district and state resources for the new teacher.
  • Scheduling visits at mutually agreed upon times to allow for structured conversations around areas of interest and concern (30 minutes every other week).
  • Keeping an accurate log of time spent with the new teacher and submit the log to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction in January and in June.
  • Attending mentor training sessions and informational meeting

 

All first year probationary teachers, part-time teachers and teachers serving as leave replacements of longer than six weeks will be assigned a mentor. Some second year teachers and teachers transferred to new assignments may receive additional mentoring or a "professional buddy" to assist in the transition. Additional mentoring may be provided by the district if a second year teacher requests it, if an administrator recommends it, or if an action plan requires it. (If a second year of mentoring is offered for a teacher, the mentor may or may not be the same person that served in the previous year.)

Preparation of Mentors:

Mentor training will have several components. Mentors will have one full day of dedicated mentor training in conjunction with the district's new teacher training in August. In this training, the mentors will study and discuss such things as:

  • The mentor job description from the Board Policy document
  • Theories of adult learning and development
  • Pedagogical theories and practices (including those of Charlotte Danielson) that inform the professional assessment practice in the district
  • Suggested timelines of mentor activities with new teachers
  • Conversation and coaching strategies
  • Being mindful of needs and expectations of mentored professionals, especially confidentiality
  • Planning mentoring sessions

 

Mentors will have an additional 1/2-day of training in conjunction with district new teacher training in August in which the mentors and mentees will meet as a group. After this initial meeting, the mentors will accompany the mentees to the respective buildings for a meeting with the building administrator, an orientation to the building and mentor/mentee work time.

Mentors will be compensated at 1/200 of their contract salary for 1.5 days of summer mentor training that is held in conjunction with new teacher orientation in August. Mentors will be compensated each semester according to what is outlined in the current contract.

Mentor I Mentee Activities:

The district will supply a pool of released-time days and half days for mentors and mentees to use for classroom visitations and collaborations. Mentors and mentees will access these days through district prior approval of absence from the classroom procedures. Requests should be made in half-day or full day blocks of time. (If a mentee and a mentor would like to share a half-day substitute for shorter block visitations, this is permissible and should be indicated on a joint prior approval application).

 Both mentors and mentees have professional development sessions throughout the year in order to support the work the mentors are doing and to orient the mentored staff to the BH-BL culture and researched-based educational methodologies.

For example, after school sessions would include (but are not limited to) topics such as:

  •  APPR
  • Curriculum development
  • Evidence Folder/ Portfolio
  • Danielson Training
  • Classroom management
  • My Learning Plan

 

An evaluation will be used to assess the mentoring program. The feedback will be utilized to improve the program annually. This data will be shared with the Staff Development Plan Committee to make sure the mentoring plan continues to address the needs of the new hires. The mentee will also have an opportunity to reflect on their role in the process as well as their experience in Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

Time Allotment for Mentoring:

Mentors and mentees are required to meet for 30 minutes every two weeks.
Both mentors and mentees have professional development sessions throughout the year in order to support the work the mentors are doing and to orient the new staff to the BH-BL culture and researched-based educational methodologies.

Summer training and orientation meeting with mentees totals a day and a half.

Committee Members

Co-Chair: Mike Mosall, teacher, HS social studies

Co-Chair: Kate Gurley, administration, K-12 ELA/RTI Supervisor & PD Coordinator

Bridget Patton, teacher, kindergarten

Cathy Kindl, teacher, OT

Margaret Kelliher, teacher, HS math & technology

Carrie Eattie, teacher, special ed

Kristi Fish, teacher, special ed

Patrice Van Heusen, tacher, HS English

Kim Sprenger, teacher, MS social studies

Sharon McTygue, administration, Director of Special Services

Tim Brunson, administration, HS Principal

Shannon Nusbaum, CSEA, teaching assistant

Stacy Clrk, CSEA, teaching assistant

Melissa Capo, Higher Ed, Higher Ed Rep

 

 

Printable version of the Professional Development Plan.