PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES
Professional Development education is defined as a program of planned activities designed to increase the competencies needed by all licensed personnel in the performance of their professional responsibilities. In this context, "competencies" are defined as the knowledge, skills, and attitudes which enable personnel to carry out their tasks with maximum effectiveness. Professional development must be relevant and related to the teacher's professional responsibilities.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-6-3004, states that a teacher's 200 day contract must include five (5) days or thirty (30) hours of professional development education. This applies to any person who holds a Tennessee Teacher License and is employed by the Robertson County Board of Education. It is the responsibility of the educator to fulfill this five (5) day or thirty (30) hour requirement based on a principal approved plan of activities that best meet the needs of the teacher and the overall goals of the school.
Time Line and Hours
The thirty (30) hours or five (5) days for each school year shall be earned beginning May 1 and ending April 30 of the following year. Credit shall be awarded for a teacher who completes the professional development session in its entirety.
The principal will design the Individual Professional Development Plan with each teacher. The plan can include both sessions listed in SchoolStation and those not listed in SchoolStation (unlisted sessions). For any unlisted session, teachers must submit the PD Approval form to Federal Programs prior to attending the session. All activities require the principal's prior approval. The last day for teachers to submit PD Approval forms for unlisted professional development during the current school year is March 31. Proof of attendance and the RCS Reflection form signed by the principal should be submitted to Federal Programs within one month of the professional development activity. Special circumstances will require approval by the Supervisor of Federal Programs.
A teacher may choose to attend optional professional development sessions; however, no optional session may replace the hours from a district- or school-required day. A teacher who misses a district-required or school-required professional development session may be required to present a doctor's note for the absence; however, neither sick leave nor personal leave may be used in place of professional development. All teachers will be required to make up the hours from a missed district-required day, and the principal will work with that teacher to determine the professional development activity in which he or she will participate to make up those missed hours. Further, teachers may not participate in professional development activities while they are on medical leave.
Teachers are required to sign in to each session and to complete the online evaluation following the session in order to receive credit hours. If a teacher is not able to attend a session that he or she is registered for in SchoolStation, the teacher should withdraw from that session at least 24 hours prior to the session. If this is not possible, he or she should email the presenter and his or her administration to let them know the reason for the absence.
The number of hours of credit awarded a teacher shall be determined by the actual teacher's role in the activity.* The teacher may serve as a participant or presenter.
*Participants may not receive more than 18 credit hours for a single event.
A participant may be awarded one (1) hour of credit for each hour spent as a participant. A participant is a teacher who attends a workshop, conference, training session, etc.
Participants are expected to adhere to all session norms which include arriving on time, actively participating and engaging in the session, and limiting sidebar conversations including through text and email. For virtual sessions, in addition to the previously mentioned norms, additional norms include participating in the chat and leaving the camera on for the duration of the session.
Because professional development sessions are part of a teacher's contracted work days, children may not attend professional development sessions with the participant.
Presenters will be compensated for their time with professional development hours, payment for services, OR a combination of both.
Total hours will be calculated as follows: For each session hour, a presenter will be granted one hour for attendance, one hour for preparation, and one hour for presenting.
Example: 3-hour session --- 3 hours for attendance, 3 hours for preparation, and 3 hours for presenting = 9 Hours
IF there is more than one presenter:
- Each presenter will acquire one hour for each hour attended.
- Preparation and presenting hours will be divided equally by the total number of presenters.
IF the session is presented subsequent times during the same school year, preparation hours will not be paid or professional development hours applied.
**Different guidelines apply for teachers who have been hired to serve as teacher leaders or literacy leaders for the district.
APPROVED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The Professional Development Directory (SchoolStation) is the most up-to-date listing of professional development opportunities. The activities are scheduled by district and school personnel based on needs identified by school administrators and teachers. School Improvement Plans and student data results are also utilized in determining professional development needs (e.g. subgroup achievement gaps and content area deficits).
A teacher may be awarded up to 6 hours of professional development credit for serving on an AdvancED or SIP committee. Up to twelve (12) hours may be awarded to an individual (1) committee chair. Prior approval will have to be obtained for co-chairs who request more than 6 hours. These hours are available only during years when a school has an AdvanceED visit or submits a SIP to the state. Other hours may be requested based on school needs and SIP revisions.
A teacher may be awarded a maximum of three (3) hours for serving on a textbook committee.
A teacher must present documentation with the actual number of hours served outside of the school day.
Professional development credit shall not be allowed for activities scheduled during the regular school teaching days. Non-approved activities include:
school year orientations/open houses
teachers working in their rooms
working on permanent records
business meeting for professional association
coaching/cheerleading clinics, including Honor Band/Choir
college courses for credit (except for renewal of the Professional License)
conferences/workshops that occur on a day when schools are closed during inclement weather or other event which uses stockpiled time
conferences for which the participant receives a stipend that is equal to his/her daily rate of pay
visits to exhibits, historical sites, theatrical performances, movies, personal trips, and other activities not specifically intended as teacher training, workshop or activities which have not been pre-approved by the principal
other activities that do not specifically address improving knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the teachers