Professional Development Mission Statement
The mission of the Professional Development Center is to provide resources and programs that actively engage all members of the school community in continuous professional growth, designed to increase the success of all students. Through an environment of collegiality and collaboration, all employees will have opportunities to increase knowledge, improve performance, and enhance professional satisfaction.
Professional Development Vision and Commitments
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.
The latest research indicates that effective, empowered teaching happens by design. This occurs when highly committed, thoroughly prepared, continuously developed, and well networked teachers work individually and collectively to make effective decisions for student learning. To support this highly effective teacher, LBUSD and the State of California have clearly identified the skills and strategies needed to improve student achievement. The California Standards for the Teaching Profession establish that all teachers should have the following requisite skills and knowledge to:
- Engage and support all students in learning
- Understand and organize subject matter for student learning
- Create and maintain effective (and safe) environments for student learning
- Planning and designing learning experiences that promote student learning in diverse classrooms
- Student assessment
- Developing as a professional educator
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 four main areas: certification/licensure, induction/retention, professional development, and accountability. A variety of 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:
- Is determined by student and teacher needs
- Incorporates knowledge of content and teaching pedagogy
- Is closely linked to concrete classroom practice
- Involves opportunities for collaboration with colleagues
- Involves opportunities for observation, critique, and reflection
- 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 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.
myPD: the art and science of personalized professional development
As a complement to its larger Academic and Career Success Initiative and Five Year Strategic Plan, Long Beach Unified School District envisions the iPD Challenge as an opportunity to move to a new level of professional development: a system that is personalized and differentiated; provides professional development built on a growth mindset; assesses the efficacy of teacher training tied to student outcomes; and includes multiple delivery models anchored in innovative technology and continuous meaningful feedback loops. Our Theory of Action extends this vision: Given simple and multimodal access to high quality, job-embedded, collectively-developed online and offline professional development (anchored in a common Teaching and Learning Framework and high functioning Communities of Practice), Long Beach Unified teachers will be better equipped with the tools, research, and professional learning opportunities to accelerate implementation of the CCSS and increase student achievement."