Policy 406




          I.       PURPOSE


                   The purpose of this policy is to ensure that staff development learning improves student learning by increasing the effectiveness of the learning environment, curriculum, instruction and assessment by supporting full implementation of improvement plans.


         II.       GENERAL STATEMENT


                   The Board of Education recognizes that implementation of improvement initiatives and achievement of strategic goals requires related staff development.  Much value can accrue from staff participation in professional growth opportunities, with an emphasis on job embedded learning, which may include, but are not limited to school visits, observations, conferencing, coaching, institutes and workshops.  Skills and strategies acquired support continuous evaluation, planning, and improvement of the educational program in alignment with the district improvement plan.


        III.       BASIC PREMISES


    A.  The fundamental purpose of staff development is to improve student learning.


    B.  Staff development outcomes shall be consistent with board of education goals and contribute to continuous progress toward these goals.


    C.  Staff learning activities will support achievement of proficiency on RPS, performance standards.


    D.  The district will maintain district wide and site based processes for professional growth goals and related staff development opportunities.


    E.  All district employees (licensed and non licensed) qualify for staff development funding.


    F.   Expenditures will be consistent with district and site staff development plans.


    G.  Participation will be based on specifically identified administrative and instructional program needs and the focus of the activity will be aligned with district improvement goals.


    H.  Participation in staff learning opportunities will be based on potential value added to teaching and learning rather than an equal per staff allocation reward for past services or on a rotation system.

    I.    Understandings gained from participation in staff development activities will be shared with other staff.


    J.   Staff Development activities will be conducted within budgetary and statutory requirements.  (Minnesota Statutes 2000, 122A.60)


    K.  Short term leaves of absence with pay may be granted to accommodate participation in professional growth activities.


    Legal Reference: 

    Minn. Stat. 122A.60 (Staff Development)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations for Minnesota’s Students)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.021 (Required Academic Standards)

    Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0370, Subp. 1(B) (Assessment and Scoring Student Achievement)


    Cross Reference: Board Policy 452 (Evaluation and Development of Professional Staff)



    REVISED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:      May 18, 1998, June 19, 2001, April 17, 2006, March 4, 2013












    1.    In accordance with M.S. 122A.60, the district shall annually establish a District Staff Development Committee (DSDC), which shall consist of:

    a.    Teachers representing each site committee and a range of grades and subjects (comprise a majority of the DSDC)

    b.    Administrators

    c.    Parents

    d.    Non-teaching staff


    2.    In accordance with M.S. 122A.60, each school shall annually establish a Building Staff Development Committee, which determines staff development goals and priorities, writes an action plan, ensures alignment of resources with identified district priorities, evaluates effectiveness and completes an annual report.

    a.    The majority of the Building Staff Development Committee shall be teachers representing various grade levels, subject areas, and special education.


         3.       The DSDC annually develops and adopts district staff development goals, priorities and action plans.  Building staff development plans are aligned with district staff development goals.


         4.     The District Staff Development Committee annually

    a.    Develops a district staff development plan that is consistent with professional performance standards and with education outcomes that the board has determined

    b.    Assists site staff development committees in developing site plans that are consistent with the goals of the district plan

    c.    Evaluates staff development efforts at the site and district levels.

    d.    Completes a report on activity required by MDE

    e.    Identifies and helps to implement district-wide staff development opportunities


    5.      Staff development plans shall address opportunities that are aligned with professional performance standards,to increase the effectiveness of curriculum, instruction and assessment and support full implementation of improvement plans to increase student achievement of academic standards.


    6.         Staff development plans shall focus on the implementation of Federal, State and local Academic Standards and accountabilities for all students with consideration for identified subcategories of students, including those with special needs.


    7.         Staff development outcomes shall be consistent with school board education goals and contribute to continuous progress toward these goals as established in M.S. 122A.60:


    a.    Improve student achievement of state and local academic standards using best practice methods

    b.    Meet the needs of a diverse student population

    c.    Provide an inclusive curriculum for a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse student population that is consistent with state education diversity rule and the district equity plan

    d.    Improve staff collaboration and develop mentoring and peer coaching programs for teachers new to the district

    e.    Teach and model violence-prevention policy and curriculum that address early intervention alternatives, issues of harassment, and teach nonviolent alternatives for conflict resolution

    f.     Provide site-based teams with appropriate management and financial skills


    8.         The Staff Development Plans must:

    a.    Support stable and productive professional communities achieved through ongoing and school wide progress and growth in teaching practice

    b.    Emphasize coaching, professional learning communities, classroom action research, and other job-embedded models

    c.    Maintain a strong subject matter focus premised on students’ learning goals

    d.    Ensure specialized preparation and learning about issues related to teaching students with special needs and limited English proficiency

    e.    Reinforce national and state standards of effective teaching practice


    9.         Staff development activities must:

    a.    Focus on the school classroom and research based strategies that improve student learning

    b.    Provide opportunities for teachers to practice and improve their instructional skills over time

    c.    Provide opportunities for teachers to use student data as part of their daily work to increase student achievement

    d.    Enhance teacher content knowledge and instructional skills

    e.    Align with state and local academic standards

    f.     Provide opportunities to build professional relationships, foster collaboration among principals and staff who provide instruction, and for  teacher-to-teacher mentoring

    g.    Staff learning activities may include curriculum development and curriculum training programs and activities that provide teachers and other members of site-based teams training to enhance team performance


    10.      Staff Development Reporting: By October 15 of each year, the district and site staff development committees shall prepare a report of the previous fiscal year’s staff development activities and expenditures and submit it to the Commissioner of the Department of Education.

    a.    The district will use the reporting form and/or system designated by the Commissioner and will be signed by the superintendent

    b.    The report must include assessment and evaluation data indicating progress toward district and site staff development goals based on teaching and learning outcomes, including the percentage of teachers and other staff involved in instruction who participate in effective staff development activities.

    c.    The report will provide a breakdown of expenditures for:

                                            i.    Curriculum development and curriculum training programs

                                           ii.    Staff development training models, workshops, and conferences

                                          iii.    The cost of releasing teachers or providing substitute teachers for staff development purposes

    11.      Richfield Public Schools values continuous staff learning and allocates days for staff learning during the regular contract calendar.  Attendance on staff development days is expected to ensure systemic, school wide learning experiences.


    a.    Staff Development


                            If attendance at a district sponsored staff development course outside one's regular workday/year is required by the district, participants will be paid for each hour of attendance at the most current curriculum writing/staff development hourly rate as provided in the teacher master contract.


    12.      The following shall pertain to the compensation for Staff Development and/or for Curriculum Writing, which occurs outside the regular work day or school year for teachers.


                            a.      Curriculum Writing


                            The district will pay the current curriculum writing hourly rate to staff who have received approval for curriculum writing time outside of the regular workday or school year.  The district may offer a stipend for staff development in order to eliminate the need for time sheet submittals and allow for greater flexibility for staff to avail themselves of such training.  When stipends are offered, the amount of the stipend will be calculated by approximating the actual hours staff is required to be in attendance at the training session multiplied by the curriculum writing/staff development hourly rate.


                   b.      Optional Staff Development


                            When staff development opportunities are offered to staff beyond their regular workday and participation is voluntary, an "incentive stipend" may be offered in order to encourage, but not require, attendance at such training opportunities.  If the stipend is offered, it will be calculated by approximating the actual hours staff is engaged in the activity, multiplied times the curriculum writing/staff development hourly rate as provided in the most current teacher master contract.


                   c.      College or Board Credit


                   Staff members are not eligible for the hourly curriculum writing/staff development pay or stipend when they elect to take the course or staff development workshop for college or board credit with the intention of applying such course work for credit on the teacher salary schedule.




    Dated:            July 1, 1996


    Revised:        June 19, 2001, April 17, 2006, March 4, 2013