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Curriculum:
Professional Development

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Professional Development Plan

The Long Beach Unified School District is committed to attaining the goals of the No Child Left Behind policy. Specifically, LBUSD believes that the quality of the classroom teacher is central to the improvement of student achievement. The district believes that . . .

  • High rates of student achievement are directly related to the quality of classroom instruction, regardless of the gender, ethnicity, primary language, or socio-economic status of the student.
  • The quality of classroom instruction is dependent upon the content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and belief systems of the teacher.
  • Teachers develop these characteristics through quality pre-service preparation programs, thorough induction processes, and ongoing professional development opportunities.

Based on the data from a variety of needs assessments and to ensure that all teachers are able to effectively implement these ideals, LBUSD has designed an integrated and extensive professional development program that focuses on five main areas: recruitment and hiring, certification/licensure, induction/retention, professional development, and accountability. A variety of scientifically based programs and services are offered that support these objectives. All programs are designed with the use of scientifically-based research on high quality professional development, in accordance with the guidelines established by the National Staff Development Council. In accordance with these standards, high quality professional development is defined by the following criteria:

Content

  • Is determined by student and teacher needs
  • Incorporates knowledge of content and teaching pedagogy

Process

  • Is closely linked to concrete classroom practice
  • Involves opportunities for collaboration with colleagues
  • Involves opportunities for observation, critique, and reflection

Context

  • Is embedded in the daily routine of teachers
  • School leaders have the knowledge and skill set to support the implementation of new teaching content and pedagogy

The following plan describes the activities that LBUSD has designed to meet the goals established by No Child Left Behind.

Needs Assessment

The Long Beach Unified School District utilizes multiple sources of data when planning for staffing needs and professional development activities. The needs assessment process includes student data, teacher and administrator focus groups, surveys, review of professional development plans, teacher credential and staff projections, pre/post tests of teacher knowledge base at professional development offerings, and participant satisfaction surveys. This information coupled with plans for new curriculum adoptions assists the district in planning effective professional development programs at the central level. School sites then plan their professional development around unique student and teacher needs. The district further utilizes best practice/research-based strategies when developing new professional development programs.

PROGRAM STAFFING

Curriculum Staff and Coaches

Curriculum staff and coaches are funded at the central level to help accelerate improvement of student achievement through intensive professional development and site-based coaching. Funding is provided to pay the partial salaries of coaches in the following areas: English, history, science, mathematics, elementary literacy, literacy intervention programs, and English Language Development.

Site-based Literacy and Mathematics Coaches

Literacy and mathematics coaches are funded at selected low performing schools to help accelerate improvement of student achievement through more intensive follow-up to district provided professional development at the school site, including classroom observation and coaching in the classrooms of language arts and mathematics teachers. Mathematics coaches at the high school level provide support for Algebra teachers who work with at-risk math students, focusing on their use of the Essential Elements of Instruction strategies, including monitoring and adjusting instruction and the use of models and manipulatives to help instruction be more comprehensible to students. Coaches also facilitate the analysis of student achievement data and work in relation to the planned curriculum maps to determine needs for change and also needs for possible future professional development. These coaches meet on a regular basis with subject specific curriculum leaders to coordinate services, and to receive training on adult learning theory and cognitive coaching strategies. Funding is provided from Title I and Title II, Part A.

Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention of Highly Qualified Teachers and Principals

High School Class Size Reduction

As a means of recruiting and retaining Highly Qualified teachers to work with low performing students, the district has implemented Class-Size Reduction for at-risk 9th and 10th grade students in the intervention program Language! . Title IIA funds are used to pay the salaries of highly qualified teachers who make the commitment to working with this challenging population in a reduced class size setting.

National Board Merit Pay Program

As a means of retaining highly qualified teachers, particularly at low performing schools, the Long Beach Unified School District offers a merit pay program for teachers who successfully obtain National Board Certification. Teachers with this designation are eligible for a 5% salary increase, with an additional 5% increase for those NBCT’s who provide 60 hours of mentoring and professional development to district teachers.

Paraprofessional, Teacher, and Administrator Certification

Paraprofessional Certification

Career Ladder Program

The Long Beach Unified School District actively recruits and provides assistance to paraprofessionals who wish to become teachers. The Career Ladder Program offers participants scholarships and professional development to assist in the completion of a Bachelor's degree or teaching credential. Participants in the program must be currently enrolled in a four year institution in a program leading to subject matter competency for teaching or a credential, be employed by LBUSD, and participate in monthly workshops designed to increase their pedagogical knowledge and skills. Scholarships are provided for participants. The goal for this program is to recruit and support a minimum of 60 participants yearly. This program is supported by district, Title II A, and Title I funds.

Teacher Certification

The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) currently supports five internship programs and one pre-intern program designed to prepare and certify emergency permit teachers, especially those that were hired in response to the State’s Class Size Reduction Initiative. Several of the alternative certification programs are offered in collaboration with local university partners, including California State University, Long Beach and Dominguez Hills, in addition to the district’s own intern/bilingual intern program (DBI). The programs result in the teachers earning a Multiple Subject Credential with a CLAD or BCLAD emphasis, Education Specialist Credential (special education) or a Single Subject Credential. Courses are offered on school district campuses and taught by district and university faculty. Courses incorporate the State content standards and are approved and supported by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. District personnel meet with all non-credentialed teachers on an annual basis. This is accomplished through visits to school sites by Professional Development and Human Resource Services staff and through mandatory workshops for all new employees. The Professional Development office ensures that non-certified teachers have an appropriate and timely plan for obtaining certification. Non-certified teachers are eligible to apply for financial assistance from the district to assist in the completion of their credential. Additionally, non-credentialed teachers participate fully in the district’s New Teacher support program (see information under Induction.) Additional funds are allocated to support teachers in achieving subject matter competency through test preparation programs, tutoring, and other support services. This program is funded through state Pre-Intern and Intern Grant, Title I, and Title II, Part A.

Gifted and Talented Teacher Certification

The Long Beach Unified School District GATE certificate represents the completion of 45 hours of professional development that supports the academic, social, and emotional needs of advanced learners. The coursework for the certificate represents current trends and research in gifted education and is designed for those new to gifted education as well as for experienced educators who wish to add to their knowledge and expertise. This initiative is funded from Title IIA.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

LBUSD has made a commitment to support teachers who are interested in applying for National Board Certification. LBUSD views board certification as a means of recognizing exemplary teaching, but is primarily focused on the certification process as a key professional development tool for experienced teachers. Key elements of the program include an extensive pre-candidacy professional development program, candidacy support program, financial incentives via payment of the application fee and salary increases for certification. In return, candidates are obligated to participate in the district-sponsored Candidate Preparation Program, submit an application to the State of California for participation in the Candidate Subsidy Program, complete portfolio entries and assessment center exercises required by the National Board. Candidates that accept district support for the National Board process agree to remain in the district for a period of two-years following completion of the National Board Process. he program is funded through Title IIA and supported through the Candidate Subsidy Program (state).

K-12 Leadership Development

Program Description and Goal of the Initiative:

The LBUSD K-12 Leadership Development Plan currently has four primary components: Teacher Leadership, Aspiring Principals, Induction and Inservice. The overarching goal of these components is to develop and support K-12 leaders throughout the different phases of their leadership work, from aspiring to retirement. Furthermore, LBUSD is known for growing its leadership talent from within the system. The K-12 Leadership Development Plan strategically offers developing leaders, aspiring leaders and current leaders opportunities to continually develop their leadership skills to meet the challenges being faced in our urban schools.

This program includes the following components:

Teacher Leadership (Teacher leaders with or without Administrative credential)

The Teacher Leadership component of our work is focused on the creation of a Teacher Leader Certificate Program that will support distributed leadership, a key aspect of a high performance learning culture. Teacher Leaders will earn a certificate as a leader by attending specific courses that are designed to support their role in: facilitating meetings with grade levels or departments, leading data analysis and/or the analysis of student work, and honing their presentation skills in preparation for serving as a leader in professional development at their site. In addition to the topics noted above, Department Heads in middle and high schools, who typically dedicate a portion of their time to supporting the instructional capacity of the teachers in their departments, will benefit from learning about the impact that teacher led walkthroughs can have on the implementation and monitoring of professional development.

Induction (Principals and Vice Principals who are in their first three years of Leadership)

The Induction of new administrators is a targeted and specific support system designed to follow new administrators through their first three years as LBUSD leaders. All principals in their first three years are supported through personal coaching that includes goal setting aligned to school data, professional development aligned to school and personal needs, targeted school support, specialized Inservice including budgetary alignment and the opportunity to build a cohesive school plan that addresses the need to close the achievement gap in their school building as well as accelerate student achievement of English Language Learners. Through the K-12 leadership Development Plan, once principals are beyond their first year as principal, their school teams will be offered training to support the specific work of the principal. Vice/Assistant Principals new to their role will receive required training in core areas (i.e. Evaluation) as part of Induction.

Inservice (All K-12 Administrators and Central Office Administrators)

The Inservice component of K-12 leadership development has three aspects: K-12 Principals’ Leadership Institute, leadership/content area training that is open to ALL district administrators and Evaluation Certification training that is required of ALL K-12 district leaders. The underlying premise of Inservice is to provide equal access to district training for leaders, regardless of the level at which they currently serve. (1) All Principals participate in the K-12 Principals’ Leadership Institute. This Institute uses SREB’s leadership curriculum as its foundation and integrates other aspects of district reform work and/or initiatives whenever possible. During the fall of 2005, at key intervals within the SREB training module, Creating a High Performance Learning Culture, Baldrige tools and the district’s Strategic Plan were inserted as training components to reflect the alignment of this core district work. (2) Instructional leadership and content area training will be offered for ALL administrators. Courses are developed as a result of a needs assessment, district teacher training, district data that illustrates where leadership needs are most present and as a result of input from executive staff. (3) Training associated with the certification of all administrators as district Evaluators comprises the third aspect of Induction. In order to create an effective and consistent districtwide evaluation system, all administrators are required to certify their proficiency in five areas related to evaluation. Through Inservice, a set of optional trainings are held for administrators who need skill review or training in any of the areas necessary to certify. Inservices are held on duty time as well as after hours to meet the variety of needs associated with school schedules.

Interview Training

Utilizing an alternative interview format, the district trains hiring administrators in the use of the Haberman Interview protocol. After teachers are assessed using established practices to determine that they meet the federal definition of high quality, the Haberman tool is utilized to determine if the applicant holds the district’s frame of mind for working with a diverse population of students. In addition, Title IIa funds are used to provide administrators with training in effective supervision and evaluation strategies.

INDUCTION

New Teacher Induction

The goal of the New Teacher/Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Project is to provide beginning teachers in their first and second years of teaching with a comprehensive program that prepares them for the demands and realities they face in urban classrooms. The vision of the New Teacher/BTSA Project is to connect exemplary educators with novice teachers in an effort to provide curriculum and pedagogical strategies, as well as emotional and psychological support. The New Teacher/BTSA Project is grounded in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession and is designed to assist beginning teachers in their abilities to ensure that all students have access to the standards-based curriculum. The project is based on the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) model developed in collaboration with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the California Department of Education. The goal of this program is to provide support for approximately 700 beginning teachers and to see a minimum retention rate of 92% over two years. This program is funded through state Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment, Pre-Intern, and Intern grant funds and through Title II, Part A.

Principal and New Teacher Site Coordinators

The principal provides the administrative leadership for the support program design and implementation. He/she selects an on-site consulting teacher, facilitator or teacher to serve as the New Teacher Site Coordinator. This person is the liaison with the New Teacher/BTSA coordinator and assists the principal in supporting beginning teachers. The site coordinator is responsible for conducting regular meetings and/or training sessions for the beginning teachers and maintaining New Teacher/BTSA records of site meetings, observations, induction plans, and monthly coach meeting logs.

New Teacher Coaches

The primary responsibility of the New Teacher Coach (NTC) is to assist the beginning teacher in his/her development of reflective, standards-based teaching strategies. Exemplary educators are selected to serve as coaches who meet the following criteria: 1) minimum 4 years successful teaching experience in a K-12 classroom; 2) demonstrated leadership abilities; 3) experience working with student teachers, beginning teachers, or peers in a cognitive coaching model; 4) willingness to participate in an intensive coach training program; 5) willingness to discuss assessment information and share instructional ideas and materials with the beginning teacher; 6) have effective interpersonal skills and are willing to work collaboratively with a beginning teacher; 7) have demonstrated commitment to their own professional growth and learning; 8) are excellent professional role models.

Role of New Teacher Coach

The role of the NTC is to guide and assist the beginning teacher so he/she can be an effective teacher for his/her students. Beginning teachers work one-on-one or one-on-two with New Teacher Coaches at least one hour per week. The support for the beginning teacher is guided by the results of the locally developed Best Practice Observation/Assessment instrument and the Individual Induction Plan. The NTC assists the beginning teacher weekly with planning and assessment issues, classroom environment and management, and teaching strategies; all of which are components of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. The coach will assist the beginning teacher with setting up the classroom, gathering books and materials for the first day of school. He/she will help beginning teacher with student assessment, planning standards-based lessons, SAT 9 preparation, grading, parent communication, effective teaching strategies, etc. The beginning teacher and New Teacher Coach observe exemplary teachers, reflect upon the observations together and the NTC can assist the BT with lesson plans, integrating some of the concepts they observed. Videotapes are also provided for NTC to tape their BTs for self-correction or view together. The NTC also models effective instructional strategies through demonstration lessons in the beginning teacher’s classroom, so he/she can observe the instructional strategies.

Program Elements

The following benefits of the New Teacher/BTSA Project are afforded to all 1st and 2nd year teachers: participation in the New Teacher Institute, participation in the New Teacher Special Education Institute (for special education teachers), one-on-one mentoring and support on a regular basis, monthly meetings in areas of need for beginning teachers, release time for observations of exemplary teachers, support and assessment based on the "Best Practice" observation system, assistance in creating an Individualized Induction Plan, opportunities for professional development and the Elements of Effective Instruction which includes: objectives, lesson design, active participation and classroom management.

New Teacher Institute and New Teacher Special Education Institute

The New Teacher Institute is a mandatory pre-service program for all teachers new to the Long Beach Unified School District. The Institute provides an introduction to the school district's standards-based curriculum. Additionally, participants receive information on the district's resources and the New Teacher/BTSA Project. Each participant receives the District "Beginning Teacher Handbook’ and "First Days of School" by Harry Wong. The Special Education Institute is a two-day mandatory pre-service for all new special education teachers. Special Education teachers are also required to attend the New Teacher Institute.

"Best Practice" Observation and Feedback Instrument

The support and formative assessment model is grounded in an understanding of what teachers need, how they develop, and what levels of competence they should attain. Coaches are given a three-day training in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession, clinical supervision and cognitive coaching strategies. The training enables coaches to provide beginning teachers with specific feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of their pedagogical approaches. Much time is spent on creating and maintaining an effective environment for student learning as well as assessing, planning, engaging and supporting for all students.

Individual Induction Plan

Following each formal observation, the coach assists the beginning teacher with the development of an Individualized Induction Plan (IIP). The goals of the IIP are correlated with the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. The IIP outlines short and long-term goals accompanied by appropriate activities and reflection opportunities. The coach monitors the achievement of the goals outlined in the IIP.

Training for New Teacher Coaches

The New Teacher/BTSA Project offers a training entitled: "Supporting Beginning Teachers — The Principal’s Role", for all principals, vice-principals, and other interested administrators. The session parallels the coach training with emphasis on the role of the principal in providing support for beginning teachers. Principals and Vice-Principals are also provided with the New Teacher Coach Handbook.

Training for Principals and Vice-Principals

The New Teacher/BTSA Project offers a training entitled: "Supporting Beginning Teachers — The Principal’s Role", for all principals, vice-principals, and other interested administrators. The session parallels the coach training with emphasis on the role of the principal in providing support for beginning teachers. Principals and Vice-Principals are also provided with the New Teacher Coach Handbook.

Training for New Teacher Site Coordinators

The coordinators attend a training, which includes an overview of all the components in the coach training as well as their responsibilities for implementation of the support program at their site. They also enroll in the New Teacher Coach training, so they understand the BTSA support components. On-going professional development will also be provided for the coordinators based on their assessed needs.

Professional Development

Required Training for New Teachers

All first and second year teachers participate in a series of required trainings to enhance their instructional strategies and to ensure a standards-based instructional program, designed to meet the needs of diverse students. The goal of this program is to provide required training for 850 teachers in 2005-2006. Each year, teachers participate in 7 days of professional development through the following institutes:

Essential Elements of Effective Instruction

The Essential Elements of Effective Instruction is a required course designed for first and second year K-12 teachers (approximately 850 teachers). The goals of the program are to improve teaching effectiveness by integrating the essential elements of instruction, the characteristics of standards-based instruction, and the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. The program addresses creating and maintaining effective classroom environments, strategies to engage and support all students in attainment of standards, planning instruction, assessing and monitoring students’ progress, and effective strategies for small group instruction. Teachers receive a total of 8 days of instruction during the first two years addressing the essential elements of effective instruction. The elements addressed each year are extended and modeled in content institutes described below. Training is provided on release time and during summer/intersessions. This program is funded by Title II, Part A.

Basic Literacy Training

Basic Literacy Training is designed for first year K-5 teachers and first year 6-10 teachers of Reading development. Teachers learn the components of a balanced literacy program, how to use the resources available at their school site, and how to apply classroom management, active participation and writing and teaching to an objective to enhance the teaching of literacy. Participants are required to complete assigned professional readings and homework for each session. The Basic Literacy Training course takes place over a 6 month period. Teachers are required to attend an all day session each month and are given release time for participation. Topics covered include oral language, read alouds, shared and guided reading, independent reading, phonemic awareness, explicit phonics instruction and comprehension strategies. This program is funded by Title II, Part A.

Math Institute

The Math Institute is part of an in-depth professional development program for implementing math content standards. Through this four-day Institute, 2nd year teachers engage in content development, instructional strategies, lesson design, assessment, technology, and how to use student work as part of the diagnostic process. During the training, teachers use standards-based lessons to implement the Content Standards and Curriculum Objectives. This program is funded by Title II, Part A.

Content Institutes

Each 1st and 2nd year middle or high school teacher participates in five days of content specific training in history/social science, English/language arts, science, math, reading development, and English Language Development. Specifically, teachers develop an understanding of the standards and how to use the standards to develop units and lessons, lesson design, selecting and teaching to an objective, using the textbook as a resource for student learning, vocabulary, assessment and scoring guides, writing in the content area, and standardized testing. This program is funded by Title II, Part A.

**To accommodate the unique working conditions for Avalon teachers, training is provided by both attendance at district sponsored institutes and by sending teams of curriculum coaches to the Island for individualized content training and coaching. Title IIA pays the cost of travel for participants and curriculum coaches, in addition to providing substitute teachers and materials.

Professional Development for Specific Content Area Teachers

Department Head Institutes

Ongoing training, classroom walkthroughs, and follow-up support is provided to middle and high school department chairs and coaches of math, science, history, language arts, and English language development to promote literacy across the curriculum and to provide students with greater access to the content of these disciplines. This program is funded by Title II, Part A.

Language Arts

Language!

All middle and high schools are implementing Language!, a research based comprehensive reading program. The program is state approved and is standards based. Funding is used to provide professional development and support services to teachers utilizing this curriculum. Funding is provided by Title II, Part A.

Open Court Monthly Support Trainings

These courses provide elementary teachers with ongoing support for a more in-depth program implementation of Open Court. Topics include preparing to read, reading and responding, concept/question board, differentiating instruction, comprehension strategies and skills, writing, inquiry and investigation. Title II A funding is provided to pay teachers stipends for attending the training and for the cost of trainers.

Language of Literature Monthly Support and Tier II Trainings

These courses provide middle school teachers with ongoing support for a more in-depth program implementation of Language of Literature. Topics include preparing to read, reading and responding, concept/question board, differentiating instruction, comprehension strategies and skills, writing, inquiry and investigation. Title II A funding is provided to pay teachers stipends for attending the training and for the cost of trainers.

English Language Development Textbook Training

This course provides teachers with 3 days of training on the new textbook adoption for middle and high school English language development. The program is state approved and is standards based. Funding is used to pay stipends to teachers to attend the training and for the cost of trainers. This program is funded from Title II A.

Mathematics

Mathematics Content Seminars

This professional development series offers teachers the opportunity to meet on a monthly basis to share teaching techniques and strategies that illuminate students’ insights. A focus on topics identified from the End-of-Course item analysis are targeted. Title II A funding is utilized to pay for trainers and stipends for participating teachers. Seminars are offered in Algebra, Geometry, Intermediate Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.

Science

Science Content Seminars

This professional development series offers teachers the opportunity to engage in professional development that is directly aligned to the state standards in preparation for the upcoming science assessments. A funding is utilized to pay for trainers and stipends for participating teachers. Seminars are offered for 4th and 5th grade teachers, and for teachers of Earth Science and Life Science at the middle grades.

Summer Science Institutes

This intensive professional program is offered in conjunction with Cal Poly Pomona and offers exemplary science teachers the opportunity to gain in-depth content knowledge through a weeklong summer seminar.

Foreign Language

Foreign Language Textbook Training

This course provides teachers with 3 days of training on the new textbook adoption for middle and high school foreign language. The program is state approved and is standards based. Funding is used to pay stipends to teachers to attend the training and for the cost of trainers. This program is funded from Title II A.

History

History Textbook Training

This course provides teachers with 3 days of training on the new textbook adoption for middle and high school History. The program is state approved and is standards based. Funding is used to pay stipends to teachers to attend the training and for the cost of trainers. This program is funded from Title II A.

Health

Health Textbook Training

This course provides teachers with 3 days of training on the new textbook adoption for middle and high school Health. The program is state approved and is standards based. Funding is used to pay stipends to teachers to attend the training and for the cost of trainers. This program is funded from Title II A.

Arts

Summer Arts Institute

This intensive professional program is offered in conjunction with the California Arts Project and offers exemplary art teachers the opportunity to gain in-depth content knowledge through a weeklong summer seminar.

Advanced Placement

Teachers of Advanced Placement courses are provided with professional development from the College Board. These workshops focus on ways in which teachers can improve the passing scores of their students on the AP examinations. Title IIA funding is used to pay for contracts for presenters and stipends for participating teachers.

Private School Participation

Funds will be provided to private schools in an equitable and timely manner to support the goals of Title II, Part A. District personnel will consult with private schools in the development of a needs assessment and appropriate plan for use of Title II, Part A funds, that includes scientifically-based instructional strategies. Private school teachers will have an opportunity to participate in Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program activities equitable to the opportunities provided to public school teachers. This program is funded through Title II, Part A funds.

Long Beach Unified School District • 1515 Hughes Way, Long Beach CA 90810 • (562) 997-8000 • www.lbschools.net