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" 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.
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:
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.
The District has actively provided professional development opportunities to its staff for over 30 years (since 1985).
It begins with the Staff Development Plan Committee that is
co-chaired by the District's Professional Development
Coordinator and a member of the Teachers Association. The rest
of the committee is comprised of the required membership
outlined in the 100.2 State Regulations - see the Committee
Member list included in the plan for the
current names. The representatives are approved by the Board of Ed in the fall and will always consist of at least-51 % teachers. This group writes the PD Plan for the District and the Professional Development Department works with K-12 Supervisors and building principals using input from teachers to plan the specific professional development offerings.
The Professional Development Department is composed of teachers representing each of the five schools and serving on their Building Council, a principal, a K-12 Supervisor, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and is chaired by the Professional Development Coordinator. They meet monthly to implement the PD Plan and work in conjunction with the Director of Special Services who plans the learning opportunities for special education staff. All of the professional development opportunities in the district 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.
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. The
district is trying to ensure that it provides AT LEAST 20 hours
of CTLE approved
offerings for targeted staff who need 100 CTLE hours every five years in order to maintain certification.
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.
Additionally, the PD
Department has established a process for documenting and reporting CTLE hours, a calendar outlining who is planning each PD day, 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.
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.
Charlotte Danielson's 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 2018-2019 school year.
Please note - technology is not listed as a separate goal. The BH-BL CSD has a strong one-to-one program in grades 3-12 and each professional staff member was also given a laptop to use. The District's Tech Plan has a goal to provide and support ongoing professional development to inspire and encourage all teachers to explore new teaching strategies and use new technologies to deliver the highest quality instruction. The PD Plan Committee felt that technology should not be a separate goal, but one that is integrated into all aspects of teaching and learning.
Domain 1 - Planning and Preparation - Trainings in order to enhance:
1 a) Knowledge of content and pedagogy 1 b) Knowledge of
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
This list of professional development needs came from information gathered using evaluations from district-led professional development days, as well as needs analysis sent to teachers and teaching assistants.
These professional development activities satisfy required trainings and non-CTLE professional learning.
1. Mandatory State Training - HazCom
2. Mandatory State Training - Anti-Bullying & Diversity Training
3. Mandatory State Training - Emergency Response Plans
4. Mandatory State Training - Mental Health
5. Mandatory State Training - Crisis Intervention Training
6. Required District Training - Severe Health Issues
7. Required District Training - Data Security
9. School Safety
10. Active Shooter
11. Blended Learning technology
12. Special Ed 101 (IEP basics, test accommodations, progress monitoring, responsibility under law ... )
13. Assistive Technology
14. CTLE TeacherfTeaching Assistant Certification Information
15. Difficult Custody Situations
16. Training to define legal custody, physical custody, joint custody, emergency contact info as well as communicationstrategies and district policy
17. Transgender/LGBT Information and Training
18. State Test Scoring *(unless tied to a CTLE-approved activity)
19. Stress relief
20. Substance Abuse
These professional development activities meet the state requirements outlined in the new Continuing Teacher Leader Education (CTLE) law:
1. Literacy Across the Disciplines
2. Standards-based Instruction and Assessment
3. Close Reading
4. Wilson Fundations® training on the research-based materials and strategies essential to the comprehensive reading, spelling, and handwriting program
5. Increasing content knowledge
6. Modifying content/units/lessons to meet the needs of your students
7. Integrating literature into the content areas
8. Writing- only for elementary; secondary English Teachers
9. Subject-specific professional development
10. Character Education ("yes" for elementary CTLE, "no" for secondary teachers unless teaching Health)
11. TED-style talks on content area ( only as it relates to teacher's c~rtification area)
12. Research with peers to explore and develop content areas
13. Fine arts content discussion (CTLE only for fine arts teachers)
14. Assistive Technology Integration
1. Strategies for teaching in a flexible block (MS)
2. Improving your pedagogical skills
3. Behavioral Management Strategies
4. Self-reflection of areas of strength and need as a teacher
5. Differentiated Learning .
6. Literacy Across the Disciplines
7. Organization of Classroom Environment
8. Technology Integration
9. Creation of Measurable Goals
10. The Reading Strategies or The Writing Strategies Book Talk
11. Go Math/Journeys Training
12. Meeting the needs (social/emotional/behavioral) of students
13. Standards-based Instruction and Assessment
14. Integration of STEAM Across the Disciplines
15. Classroom Management
16. Instructing students with mental health disorders and strategies to assist our students
17. Building a Positive District/ Building/ Community to Improve Instruction (CREST, Restorative Justice, Sweethearts & Heroes)
18. Integrating literature into the content areas
19. Improving student performance
20. Enhancing student participation and engagement
21. Strategies to support and sustain students' social and emotional development needs in order to improve instruction
22. Integration of Chromebooks into the classroom (best practices)
23. TED-style talks regarding pedagogy
24. Successful Integration of the Spec Ed student into the regular Ed classroom
25. Strategies to instruct students with 504 accommodations I issues (mental health, learning, physical, emotional)
26. Completing the required curriculum with creative means that engage the student in learning
27. Meeting the learning needs of students experiencing homelessness, hunger, and poverty
28. Integration of curricula across the disciplines
29. How to create videos for a flipped classroom
30. Investigation of POGIL for student inquiry
31. Project based learning
32. Blended Learning pedagogy
33. Assistive Technology Integration
35. Sources of Strength program
36. Sweethearts and Heroes program
37. Poverty Simulation
38. Diversity Training
1. Wilson Fundations® training on the research-based materials and strategies essential to the comprehensive reading, spelling, and handwriting program
2. Literacy Across the Disciplines
3. Close Reading
4. Ways to increase language/vocabulary/phoneme acquisition
5. Integrating language and content instruction for (ELL) students
6. Effective literacy strategies for all students including ELL students
7. Aligning instructional resources to meet the needs of (ELL) students
8. Assistive Technology Integration
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):
1. 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)
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
a. If no, why?
b. If yes, why?
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
Level 2: Participants' Learning
Level 3: Organizational Support and Change
Level 4: Participants' Use of Knowledge and Skills
Level 5: Studnet Learning Outcomes
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.
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:
Role of Mentor:
Mentor teachers will be responsible for the following:
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:
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.
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:
A feedback survey 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
Time Allotment for Mentoring:
Mentors and mentees are required to meet for 30 minutes every
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.
Co-Chair: Margaret Kelliher, teacher, HS math & technology
Co-Chair: Kate Gurley, administration, K-12 ELA/RTI Supervisor & PD Coordinator
Bridget Patton, teacher, kindergarten
Cathy Kindl, teacher, OT
Brad Thomas, HS teacher
Carrie Eattie, teacher, special ed
Kristi Fish, teacher, special ed
Kim Sprenger, teacher, MS social studies
Tom DiAcetis, administration, HS
Tim Brunson, administration, HS Principal
Stacy Clark, CSEA, teaching assistant
Melissa Capo, Higher Ed, Higher Ed Rep