Professional learning in Littleton Public Schools centers on improving the learning of all students. We believe every student deserves to experience great teaching every day.
- Professional learning starts within schools with educators identifying what students need and what they themselves need to learn. Disaggregation of student data determines adult learning priorities and the generation of school improvement goals.
- Instructional Coaches offer job-embedded learning opportunities for both new and experienced teachers in all of our schools at the elementary, middle school, and high school level. Coaches support staff on-site by identifying strategies in response to data about student learning, basing instruction on research-based strategies and practices, differentiating student and teacher learning, and facilitating collaborative teamwork. Instructional Coaches provide the follow-up support that educators need as they adapt new curricula and new instructional practices to their unique classroom contexts.
Shifts in Professional Learning in LPS
Professional Learning Communities
We strive to develop authentic professional learning communities at each site where a culture of learning is established for all staff with a clarity on school goals, a focus on student results, and collective responsibility for students through collaboration. When teachers apply their shared knowledge and experience, every student benefits from the expertise of every teacher and no student relies on just the knowledge and expertise of a single teacher. We believe collaboration among educators builds shared responsibility and improves student learning.
We adhere to the National Staff Development Council's Standards for Staff Development.
Evaluation of Professional Learning
Effective professional development transforms practice. Indicators of change in teacher practices and student learning are evidenced in these five areas:
- Knowledge: conceptual understanding of information, theories, principles, and research
- Attitude: beliefs about the value of particular information or strategies
- Skills: strategies and processes to apply knowledge
- Aspiration: Desire, or internal motivation, to engage in a particular practice. Student success or increased student performance aids in this area.
- Behavior: Consistent application of knowledge and skills. Observation of classroom instruction provides evidence of application.
In any professional learning venue we look for our most direct evidence of impact in the:
- Participants’/Educators’ use of new knowledge and skills: Did participants effectively apply the new knowledge and skills?
- Student learning outcomes: How has the professional learning impacted student achievement?
District Learning Opportunities
District level classes offered and institutes present an opportunity for building shared language and common experiences for developing common understandings. Professional learning needs identified in multiple school sites through an analysis of student learning precipitates the offering of district level classes. The Universal Literacy Framework is an example of a district expectation for implementing a district wide standard for literacy instruction components and time allotments. District classes support implementation.