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How will the additional 22.8 middle school Staff Development Teachers be used?

Question#: 47

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: 1-11

ANSWER:

As a result of the initial reduction in the allocation of the secondary Staff Development Teacher (SDT) positions in the FY 2011 budget from 1.0 to 0.8 and the additional reduction in the FY 2012 budget from 0.8 to 0.4, secondary staff development teachers have struggled to effectively support both school-wide professional learning that focuses on facilitating teachers’ learning of new skills and opportunities for teachers to plan, practice skills, and engage in peer feedback or one-on-one coaching. 

Findings of both the Reduced Allocation Workgroup and the 2011-2012 Annual SDT Survey confirm that SDTs spent significantly less time in the 2011-2012 school year than in previous years supporting professional learning experiences that allowed teachers to apply learning to practice in the classroom. Increased turnover among SDTs (from 15 percent to 28 percent) coinciding with the reduced allocation, has further impacted the SDT’s ability to fulfill these responsibilities at the school level.  Restoring the position to a 1.0 will allow SDTs the time needed to both partner with the principal in supporting school-wide learning for staff and ensure that teacher teams, as well as individual teachers, have the supports needed to translate this learning into practice that ultimately leads to increased student achievement.    This additional time for middle school staff development teachers will include:

  • leading school-wide professional development,
  • supporting the work of cohorts of teachers in professional learning communities,
  • coaching staff to assure that professional learning leads to change in practice,
  • modeling effective instructional practices,
  • creating structures such as peer visits for professional development to take place.

This year, MCPS has focused on enhancing principals’ practice as leaders of learning who lead the work of professional learning communities to facilitate school improvement. This partnership between the principal as the leader of learning, and the school-based staff development teacher, is critical to providing teachers with school and context-based professional learning opportunities that will enhance teacher practice and lead to increased student achievement.  Increasing the allocation from .4 to 1.0 will allow more time for this work. 

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