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Hanover Public Schools
 
Professional Development
 

Last Updated: 09/13/2017

 
  Introduction
 

Teachers need to continually improve their practice in order to promote student learning. Further, the changes called for by reforms such as the Massachusetts curriculum framework for English Language Arts and Literacy, the Massachusetts curriculum framework for mathematics, and the Massachusetts framework for educator evaluation require teacher learning that will help them enhance their knowledge and develop new instructional practices. Such improvements will in turn promote student learning. This teacher learning can occur during district and school-based professional development. This handbook provides the District's vision along with resources.

   
  District Vision Statement & Professional Development Philosophy
 

District Vision Statement
The HPS aspires to engage and inspire every child through exceptional instruction, a safe and supportive environment, a culture of creativity, and limitless opportunities to challenge the mind, body, and spirit. Excellent schools will be the primary reason families move into, and stay, in Hanover.

Statement of Philosophy
Professional development in Hanover is defined as learning that increases educators' knowledge and/or skills, enabling them to increase the achievement of all students. Effective professional development activities are reflective, collaborative, require active learning, are coherent and related to instruction, based on data, model good pedagogical practice, are linked to goals, and are focused on student learning.

Guiding Principles for High Quality Professional Development
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has provided four guiding principles for high quality professional development (HQPD). The standards are held together by a set of guiding principles. The principles are the values by which we operate and under which the standards were developed.

   
 
Guiding Principle 1: HQPD is intentional
Guiding Principle 2: HQPD is a process
Guiding Principle 3: HQPD is evaluated for effectiveness
Guiding Principle 4: HQPD requires strong leadership that:
  1. Strengthens the structure and organization of professional development
  2. Guarantees follow-up to professional development
  3. Promotes a culture of high expectation
   
 

Key Elements of High Quality Professional Development
Professional development for all educators is characterized by the following key elements; all of which are supported by research based on the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development.

HQPD:
  • Sets clear goals and objectives based on desired student outcomes
  • Aligns with State, District, School, and/or Educator goals or priorities
  • Is designed and assessed on the analysis of data relevant to the identified goals, objectives and audience
  • Creates collaborative relationships among educators to encourage, both the sharing of ideas and working together to achieve the goals and objectives
  • Advances an educator’s ability to apply learning from professional development to his or her particular content and/or context.
  • Models good pedagogical practice and applies knowledge of adult learning theory to engage educators
  • Provides reflective dialogue that offers individuals a challenge to their thinking as well as new perspectives on their practice and beliefs
  • Promotes commitment to implementation of new learning

Background
High-quality professional development is critical in enabling students to perform at the highest levels. Hanover provides a high-quality professional development program for all members of its staff. Hanover's professional development program supports the growth and learning of teachers and staff members enabling them to provide an appropriately challenging and effective education for all students. Professional development is an integral part of Hanover's continuous school improvement plan and is based on the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development. These standards define "High Quality Professional Development as a set of coherent learning experiences that is systematic, purposeful, and structured over a sustained period of time with the goal of improving teacher practice and student outcomes. It enables educators to facilitate the learning of students by acquiring and applying knowledge, skills, and abilities that address student needs and improvement goals of the district, school, and individual. HQPD conforms to best practices in research and relates to educators' assignments and professional responsibilities." The Professional Development Committee has worked to provide multiple professional development options and opportunities for its staff based on current data, multiple surveys, and rich feedback. This information was prioritized into three areas to analyze and develop a hierarchy of needs under each topic.

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