Geneva City School District,
The practice: Professional development should be connected to a comprehensive change process focused on improving student learning.
Geneva City School District, a small rural school district in upstate New York has a student population that resembles that of many urban districts. The district serves 2500 students, about half of whom are economically disadvantaged.
In 1993, the district made a bold move to address the need of a changing student population and an aging teaching staff. The district created a comprehensive professional development plan targeting student achievement. To support the plan, the district committed considerable resources. The district allocated two percent of its budget for professional development and required 45 hours of professional development for each staff member, including support, administrative, and teaching staff.
The comprehensive plan includes both job-embedded training, school-based support for implementation of new learning, ongoing expansion of programs, collaboration, and adequate time and financial resources to maintain a community of learners. It incorporates sharing responsibility with expert consultants for delivery of training, study groups, collaborative planning, and continuous assessment of progress.
The measure of success of the comprehensive program is increased student achievement.
The district conducts continuous evaluation of student results and uses the findings to refine
the professional development plan and increase accountability for student success.