Recommendation Three:

Structure the school/district calendar to allow for meaningful professional development activities embedded throughout the school year.



Role Group Strategies:

Devote some time to professional development during the summer or on weekends.

How Boston Pilot Schools Use Freedom over Budget, Staffing, and Scheduling To Meet Student Needs 
October 2001. Center for Collaborative Education.
This report provides recommendations for scheduling professional development. They suggest scheduling professional development before and after the school year and holding weekend staff retreats at some points during the school year.  The report includes detailed information and schedules from a case study of professional development at Mission Hill School.

Planning and Conducting Professional Development That Makes a Difference: 
A Guide for School Leaders

Southern Regional Education Board.
The authors provide a step-by-step guide to integrating a successful professional development program into a school.  Suggestions for making time include adding more professional development days to the school calendar and scheduling professional development activities during the summer.

Professional Development: Learning from the Best. 
A Toolkit for Schools and Districts Based on the National Awards Program for Model Professional Development

Hassel, Emily. (1999). NCREL.
This toolkit presents the professional development practices of award-winning schools.  The author highlights key lessons from these schools and presents them in four categories: design, implementation, evaluation and improvement, and sharing learning.  Two suggestions related to time are scheduling PD activities on the weekend and doing as much block PD in the summer as possible.

School’s out…it’s time to learn!  Careful planning and follow-through make summer professional learning programs shine 
Holloway, K. (2003). Tools for Schools.
This article outlines a six-step process  for planning effective summer professional development activities. Emphasis is placed on using student data to drive decision-making and setting specific goals. Also included are sections providing suggestions on locations and costs as well as follow-up sessions.

Request to team-teach.

“Finding the Time to Build Professional Development into the Life of Schools” 
Teachers Take Charge of Their Learning: Transforming Professional Development for Student Success. 
NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE). (1996).  Washington, DC.
NFIE gives two primary recommendations for finding time for professional development: flexible scheduling and an extended school year for teachers. They recommend team teaching as a way to create greater freedom with scheduling and ample opportunity for mentoring relationships.

Time: It’s Made, Not Found
Barkley, S. (Fall 1999) Journal of Staff Development
Barkley offers a variety of ideas for creating time for planning and collaboration, including restructuring the staff, using technology, and team teaching. He also describes one way in which schools can make 15 hours of time available for the faculty to consider more permanent methods to create out-of-class time for teachers.

Teacher Teaming in Relation to Student Performance: Findings from the Literature 
Spraker, Jean. (2003). Center for District and School Improvement.
This report investigates the extent to which team teaching improves student achievement and the major factors of team teaching associated with effective learning.  The author describes types of teacher teams and lists pertinent literature according to each type.  She also includes an extensive, annotated list of resources. 

Take advantage of online professional development opportunities.

Anytime, Anywhere
Tardif, S.S.  (2004, July/August). Access Learning.

This link provides descriptions of five of the best online professional development opportunities so that teachers and administrators are not overwhelmed by the amount and variety of information online.   It also provides an online professional development "shopping list" to help readers evaluate different programs on their own.”


Critical Issues: Providing More Time for Professional Development
North Central Regional Education Laboratory (NCREL) (2004)
The authors discuss different means to create time for professional development ranging from “traditional strategies,” such as banking time or creating an extended day, to embedding it within the school day or taking advantage of online opportunities. They list “action options” for school board members, administrators, and teachers, in addition to profiling several schools that have taken creative approaches to integrating professional development. They also include a chart listing different strategies, their requirements, effects on parents, and costs.

E-Learning for Educators: Implementing the Standards for Staff Development
National Staff Development Council (2001).
This guide discusses the potential of e-learning to enhance professional development and the drawbacks of relying too heavily on this form of learning. The authors provide guiding questions and a decision matrix to ensure that online professional development opportunities meet the quality standards outlined by the National Staff Development Council and result in real teacher and student learning.

Keys to quality:  Five questions to ask before you choose an online professional development provider
Nussbaum-Beach, S., and Norton, J.  (2004).  Access Learning.

This article is intended to guide teachers through the selection of online professional development opportunities.  In addition to listing five key questions about professional development resources, the author recommends elated resources ranging from established standards for online professional development opportunities to rubrics for evaluating online professional development opportunities.

Online professional development collection
Cable in the Classroom.
Cable in the Classroom is an organization dedicated to improving teaching and learning in America by increasing the use of instructional technology.  This link highlights high-quality online professional development programs.  The page includes course descriptions, links, and samples of selected coursework from some of the best electronic learning opportunities.

Successful Online Professional Development
Treacy, B., Kleiman, G., and Peterson, K.  (2002, September).  Learning and Leading with Technology, 30(1), 42-47.
Online professional development opportunities offer many advantages including schedule flexibility for participants as well as content flexibility allowing for direct connections to classroom practice.  This article outlines a model for establishing online professional development programs and describes elements of successful ones.  It also provides descriptions of counties that are currently using online professional development opportunities with their faculties.

Harvard from Home:  How the right mix of online and in-person professional development can lead to lasting improvements in classroom practice
Nussbaum-Beach, S., and Norton, J.  (2004). Access Learning.

This article from Access Learning magazine examines the advantages and disadvantages of online professional development.  It explains the importance of balancing online professional development with face-to-face interaction and includes a list of related resources, which offer online learning opportunities for teachers.



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