This year we embarked on a new type of PD plan and since that is the topic of tonight’s #edchat, I thought that I would share the plan for the year. It focused on not only developing our knowledge in certain focus areas, but it also was based on building shared leadership within our building. These were the two major goals of the program.
Forest Green and Connections for Learning have many experts in different areas, so as a staff, we have decided to move forward to deliver our own professional development opportunities for the 2009-2012 school years, with an opportunity to continue on with this program past this time frame.
The following plan will be based upon building on the strengths of our shared staff, while also giving everyone the opportunity to further their own learning in the priority areas. This will help to build expertise within our shared sites, while also developing shared leadership and knowledge. It will also give an opportunity to staff to share best practices with their colleagues.
This plan has been modified based upon feedback that was given to administrators on how to best suit the needs of our unique sites.
The main focus areas were determined based upon the following factors:
- Forest Green/CFL Education Plan
- Forest Green/CFL Annual Education Report
- Parkland School Division Initiatives
The main focus areas of the PD plan for both sites are as follows:
- Technology Integration
- Critical Thinking
- Special Education
- Citizenship and Social Responsibility
The objectives of each one of these main focus areas will be determined through the discussion and planning by each lead group. Each one of these lead groups will have time allocated during each PD day to discuss or plan how they will be sharing information. Groups are also encouraged to either formally or informally discuss ways to further CFL and Forest Green in the main focus areas as set out by this PD plan.
All staff will have the opportunity to join one of the lead groups (Tech, Critical Thinking, Special Ed/CSR) based upon one or both of the following criteria:
- Personal/Professional Interest
- Personal/Professional Strength
The lead groups will be responsible for the following in each area.
- Clearly defining the objectives to be accomplished in their focus area by the shared sites in consultation with the administration team.
- Clearly defining the measures that they will use to understand if their objectives have been met within the time frame of the project in consultation with the administration team.
- Delivering a PD session on 1-2 of the PD days within the 2009-2010 school year. The suggested time frame for the delivery of these sessions should be between 2-3 hours but this is negotiable based on the needs of the group, and the format of the session they are delivering. Lead group members would be expected to be “on-call” for the PD day that they deliver, to help further the learning of any staff who would like to delve more into the topic.
- Deliver small opportunities to all staff through a means of the group’s choice. This may be in the form of email communication, after-school PD sessions, or other opportunities.
- Identify any resources that may be used to help with the delivery of the FG/CFL PD plan, including, but not limited to, conferences, media materials, or substitute days needed for development.
- Complete the “Lead Team Planning” document that will summarize, amongst other things, the objectives, planning, resources, and measures of the project.
- Summarize the project in writing at the end of the year. This will be continued upon the original “Lead Team Planning” document.
For any project to be successful within a school, it is recognized that time must be allocated during shared school time to ensure that all members have an opportunity for input into the discussion. This time has been allocated within each PD day to ensure that staff has opportunities to build upon their shared vision.
It is also recognized that for successful PD plans to happen within a school and to create everlasting success, they must be ongoing for a significant amount of time. The main focus areas defined within the project should be looked at as plan that develops over a 2-3 year period to mirror the school Education Plan along with the division Education Plan. As it is important to work within a culture that promotes risk taking, the plan will be reassessed at the end of the school year to ensure that it has been successful and how it may be further continued. Staff will also have the opportunity to take part on other lead teams in following years.
As we move forward next year, the staff will look at how we can interconnect the focus areas of the project so that we are all sharing best practices within the FG/CFL school sites and sharing expert learning amongst the lead teams.
As I have discussed previously, this plan has been very successful and we were very happy to see the results. Going into next year, the idea of shared leadership will be continued, but the groups will be cross collaborating to extend our ideas. For example. our Citizenship and Social Responsibility group will be working with our Technology Integration group to perhaps focus on Digital Citizenship. Our Critical Thinking group will be working with the Technology Integration group to create e-portfolios. This is a way that we can move our ideas forward while building upon what we have already learned.
As a school it is imperative that you build upon the strengths of people and share leadership. As I have said before, the power of the collective is more than the power of one.