Professional Development Vision Statement
The Zachary Community School Board, through all departments, shall strive to prepare, train, and recruit high-quality teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and other staff.
Professional Development Mission Statement
The Zachary Community School Board, through all departments, shall strive to improve and sustain the professional growth of all employees through planned learning opportunities that continue to support the district’s strategic plan.
The goal above is achieved by the analysis of current research in the field of Professional Development (PD). The Zachary Community School District (ZCSD) utilizes research-based best practices to plan for effective professional development opportunities in our district to impact student learning. A variety of PD models is utilized to accomplish this goal. Job-embedded as well as teacher selected times are designed for PD training sessions which are ongoing, interactive and linked to student achievement. We utilize peer coaches, mentors, demonstrations of practice, feedback on performance, coaching, online collaboration, professional communities and expert consultants noted in their fields of study. Teachers are also encouraged and given the opportunity to reflect on the impact the PD has on instruction throughout the implementation and modification phase. Throughout the implementation and follow-up components of the PD, teachers analyze the impact on student learning and decide how to make modifications and improvements on instruction. This makes a lasting and positive impact on the educator’s performance as well as the student’s academic success. The teachers not have ownership which is key to creating a sustained change. Many of our teachers have presented at local and state conferences. These same teachers then redeliver PD for teachers new to our district. Our PD opportunities are infused with best practices for students including critical and creative thinking skills and differentiation for learners.
The Professional Development Goals for Zachary Community School District are:
- Staff will become more knowledgeable in content specific curriculum and instruction.
- Staff will demonstrate an increased proficiency in differentiating their instruction to meet the needs of all students.
- Students will demonstrate increased learning through the use of expanded strategies in instruction.
- Staff will develop strategies for implementing newly acquired skills in their classrooms.
Modes of Professional Development
- Individual reading/research
- Study groups
- Observation: teachers observing other teachers
- Coaching: an experienced educator coaching one or more colleagues
- Mentoring: new teachers receive support from experienced educators
- Professional Learning Communities
- Online courses
- Department meetings: Introduce content specific topics
Zachary Community School District PD Plan
National Staff Development Council (NSDC)
Louisiana Staff Development Council
NCLB Definition of Professional Development