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Aligning Professional Development Plans to School and District Goals

Aligning Professional Development Plans to School and District Goals

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Author: Trisha Fyfe
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In this lesson, students analyze the importance of aligning professional development goals to school improvement plans and district strategic plans.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, we'll look at the topic, Aligning Professional Development Plans to School and District Goals. As we learn about this topic, we will work toward several learning objectives. And together, we'll use the following questions to guide our learning in this lesson. First, what is the importance of aligning professional development goals to school improvement plans and district strategic plans? And second, how can we do this?

As a teacher, it's important to fully understand the various planning, goal setting, and evaluation components of your own school and district. Strategic plans are used in many districts. These are plans that include an outline of the goals and initiatives of that particular district for a period of time, up to five years. We as teachers need to consider these plans and objectives, as well as the goals when we're beginning to develop our professional growth plan.

To understand these plans we should ask these questions, what are the initiatives outlined? Do I have the requisite skills in those areas? Are their initiatives that I would like to play a leadership role in where training and development would support me? What are the goals for student outcomes? What do I need to do as a teacher to help my students reach those outcomes? And what kind of training would help me achieve that goal?

It may be challenging for some teachers to answer these questions. This is the case more so when the teacher is new to the district, and still learning about all of the plans and resources for that school and district. In this case, working with someone who could support you, such as an induction coach or an instructional coach, or even at times a principal, or a grade or content team can prove beneficial when developing goals for professional growth. This may be a requirement by the evaluator for some teachers who are not producing adequate professional growth goals. Or maybe for a teacher that's undergoing teacher evaluation.

Let's talk about student learning outcomes. Student data is a large part of evaluation grading processes most of the time. And this data is required to be considered in many evaluation models. Student growth and achievement, such as that on standardized assessment, is one form of this data. It's also important to define annual student learning objectives based on curriculum. These should stem from school improvement plans. And teachers often mark together collaboratively to make these goals. Student learning objectives identify the information that we as teachers want our students to know. What should they be able to do by the end of the year? To what level of proficiency? We want to look at one or more targeted areas.

Lets look at an example. 95% of students in my class will be reading at grade level by the end of the school year. The remaining 5% will increase at least one full grade level from beginning to end of the school year. A baseline is needed here for the student learning objective. This baseline should be developed at the start of the school year, and benchmark should be developed to follow and track the objective throughout the school year. A final summative assessment will measure the progress at the end of the year.

Student learning and school improvement plans are generally aligned. A school's improvement plan, and the goals within, include all students in that grade and building, as far as data. When a teacher develops student learning objectives, these are also data-based. But they include the particular students of that teacher. This is looked at as a subset of the entire school.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the questions, what is the importance of aligning professional development goals to school improvement plans and district strategic plans? And also, how can we do this? In today's lesson we discussed school and district alignment to the evaluation process. We talked about strategic plans and school improvement plans. And we also explored student learning objectives. Now that you're more familiar with these concepts let's reflect. Consider a strategic plan or school improvement plan that you have used or observed. Walk through the questions we discussed to understand this plan.

Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson Aligning Professional Development Plans to School and District Goals. I hope you found value in this video lesson, and are able to apply these ideas and resources to your own teaching. To dive a little deeper, and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on “Aligning Professional Development Plans to School and District Goals”

Overview

(00:00- 00:26) Introduction/Objectives

(00:27- 01:55) School/District Alignment to Evaluation 

(01:56- 03:07) Student Learning Objectives

(03:08- 03:29) Alignment: Plans and Objectives  

(03:30- 03:54) Recap

(03:55- 04:33) Reflection 

Additional Resources

Quick Reference Guide: Educator Evaluation & Professional Development

This reference guide from the Massachusetts Department of Education is a useful tool when aligning professional development to district and school goals.
http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/resources/QRG-ProfessionalDevelopment.pdf


Professional Development: Learning from the Best

This useful toolkit, although an older resource, includes relevant processes and templates for aligning professional development goals to district and school goals and objectives.
http://www.learningpt.org/pdfs/pd/lftb.pdf