At the January Consultation meeting, the administration presented two drafts of the instructional calendar for 2013-14. The administration planned on sending the two calendars out for a vote February 6-12. One of the options has an August 19th start date for teachers with three professional development days and two teacher workdays upfront. This option includes staff development/teacher professional time days at the end of the first and third nine weeks. The second option has an August 14th start date for teachers with six professional development days and two teacher workdays upfront. Under this option the district would request a waiver from the state for an early dismissal day for students at the end of the first and third nine weeks in order to provide the needed teacher professional time.
The Alliance team asked that the district make sure schools are available for teachers to get into the week of August 12 so that any teachers who want to get into their rooms early can do so. The Alliance team also noted that it is difficult for campuses to do their campus professional development when some of the staff is gone to district professional development on that same day. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Stark said the district can designate particular days for campus PD and other days as district PD.
The Alliance team pointed out the importance of making sure the professional development is high quality and that it meets teachers’ needs. The Alliance team also put forth the idea of holding professional development conferences by high school feeder patterns so as to focus on needs of the students in that cluster and also to offer differentiation for teachers. Several years back, at least two of the high school clusters used this approach successfully.
Discussion of the professional development issues will continue at the next Consultation meeting.