All Educators in the North Adams Public Schools are expected to plan and carry out activities to ensure the continued expansion of their knowledge base in their field, and continued improvement in their professional practice.
As stated in the teacher evaluation rubric, proficient educators “consistently seek out and apply…ideas for improving practice from supervisors, colleagues, professional development activities, and other resources to gain expertise and/or assume different instruction and leadership responsibilities.”
To support these efforts the North Adams Public Schools offers several professional development options for educators:
1) Annual District Half-day Professional Development
This usually consists of five half-day sessions related to a single topic and meets the DESE definition of High Quality Professional Development. In some years it is differentiated, and in some years all or most faculty participate in a common PD series. The District PD Half-Day series is linked to District goals.
In 2016-2017 our half-day PD series is on Inclusive Practices - a set of tools that address the needs of all students, including those requiring specialized instruction, students affected by poverty, those requiring social-emotional support, and students from diverse and/or low-incidence populations. See details and materials below.
2) Building-based Professional Development
To address specific school-based priorities and goals, principals and/or building-based Instructional Leadership Teams may design building-based PD that is delivered during faculty meetings and/or school day release time.
3) On-line Professional Development
We will strive to offer on-line professional development modules focused on key instructional practices that improve student learning and will support teachers who wish to use on-line resources for development. As with other PD options, please make certain that it is approved at central office first.
4) Course Reimbursement
The district will reimburse faculty for ½ the cost of coursework they complete in pursuit of an advanced degree in their field.
For educators in their first three years of practice in the district we offer a teacher or administrator mentor program. Participants receive an individual mentor in their first year and in all three years participate in a series of workshops on a variety of instructional and professional practices and issues. Beginning in 2015-16, all new teachers participate in a study of The Skillful Teacher manual from Resources for Better Teaching.