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Action Plan for Professional Development EA 746

Andy Phillips, Jenny Gieselman, and Shelly Schantz

Professional Development Team


The team will consist of teacher leaders Jenny Gieselman, Shelly Schantz, and possibly building
chairs from each of the elementary schools. Principals of both schools, Coy Stewart and Andy
Phillips will also be a part of the professional development team. Curriculum Director Kristy Spann
and Director of Special Education Diane Zedan will also be consulted.

Needs Assessment
The Brandon School District is a declining enrollment district. We were among the first districts in
the area to open its doors as a Schools of Choice district. We had many students from outlying areas,
and especially from Pontiac, as we were among one of the closest districts to Pontiac that was a
Schools of Choice district. In 2008, the community passed a bond, with the major project being the
construction of a new elementary school. Then the recession hit, and it hit the Brandon School
District hard. Many of our resident families lost their jobs and relocated. And, with other schools
suffering from drastically declining enrollments, schools closer to Pontiac began opening their doors.
This led to a huge decline in our student population.
Since the 2006 school year, the Brandon School District has lost 1,093 students. We currently have
an enrollment of 2,641 students. Four years ago, the district decided to close an elementary school.
At that time, we consisted of three kindergarten through fourth grade schools, and we also had a
building dedicated to preschool. We have an intermediate school as well that housed fifth and sixth
grades. When the first school was closed, we restructured such that we had two preschool through
third grade elementary schools and one intermediate school, which housed fourth through sixth
grades. Also, a surprise popped up in the late summer and we opened an eighty student magnet
school. This school has been controversial (to say the least) from its inception. It brought with it a
director and four teachers from outside the district. It also reopened a part of a school that was set to
stay closed, and the alternative high school was moved to the school that was closed in the original
reorganization.
That brings us to our present situation. Our current superintendent has published to the community
that our schools are at about 50% of their capacity, so it is once again time to close another school. In
the process, the magnet school that was opened is also closing. The school being closed is the
intermediate school, which houses fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. The district will now have two
elementary schools, each containing students in junior kindergarten through fifth grade. This means
that a large percentage of staff at both of those schools will be new to that school. The principal of
Harvey-Swanson will also be returning to that school after a year as principal of the intermediate
school.
This history is our needs assessment because it tells the story of why we need to invest some precious
opening year professional development time into some purposeful team building activities. Staff will
be changing and breaking apart. Therefore, it is our belief that we can’t do much as far as best
practices are concerned if we first aren’t a team.
Objectives
-To provide an opportunity for newly organized staff to get to know each other.
-To review district initiatives and come to a common understanding moving forward among newly
organized staff.
-To build common professional development goals for the 2017-18 school year.

Evaluation Strategies
-The purpose of this PD session is not to introduce new material or train teachers. Rather, it is to
identify what we have already done in our separate places and to agree on what we will move staff
forward. It is also to build team chemistry.
-Survey staff on effectiveness of team building activities
-Google document creation of prior initiatives, teachers input “evidence” of implementation progress
or mastery level.
-Creation on professional development plan and implementation monitoring
-Ongoing monitoring by building principals on implementation of differentiation strategies and
Cultures of Thinking practices.

Focused and Sustained Time


Day 1- 2 hours- Team Building Activities
1 hour-Consensogram of district initiatives to determine where we are with what we have been
doing.
1 hour- where to go as a district/ where to go as a building/ determine the needs.
In Brandon, we have 7-10 one hour after-school professional development sessions negotiated in the
BEA contract. We will use most/all of those one hour PD sessions on the common PD vision decided
upon from the consensogram.

We will also use some of the district PD time (half-days, full days) for topics such as differentiation
and Cultures of Thinking, while trying to be mindful of the vision created from the opening day PD.

Resources
-Principals
-Reading Coaches
-Math Coach
-Curriculum Director
-Teacher Leaders (building chairs)
-Teachers at each school
-Famous Pairs (printed and labeled)
-Sentence Strips (for headline)
-Chart Paper
-Dot Stickers
-Marshmallows
-Toothpicks
Professional Development Strategies
Introductions of each person
Team building activities (2-3)
Small group work - inventory all of the different topics, initiatives, trainings, etc that we have worked
on in the last few years.
Whole group work - Consensogram
Whole group work - discussion of PD plan as a group moving forward
Survey using Google Forms
Google Doc to share/ record evidence of implementation of initiative

Follow-up
Based on the consensogram and the survey results, we will be dedicating much/all of our one-hour
PD times to an initiative agreed upon by the staff of each school.
We will also track progress using a Google Doc where, during the year, teachers will input any new
strategies they have learned and are trying.
Lead intervention teachers will also focus their efforts in the areas agreed upon by the staff.

Written Plan & Timeline w/sample feedback form for participants

Detailed Agenda:
Wednesday, August 30th
Superintendent’s welcome and union meetings always start the first day back. This PD is designed
for the afternoon of the first day, which will run from 12:30-3:30.

Professional Development Category: Cooperative learning


Activity Title: District Professional Learning Day
School District: Brandon
Hours Engaged: 3.0
Date: August 30th, 2017

Purpose: To provide teachers with a chance to reconnect with colleagues they haven’t seen
during the summer and to provide a chance for new colleagues to get to know one another. To
determine what initiatives will be our focus for the upcoming school year.

Objectives: Teachers will come away with a strong sense of community and will know the PD plan
for the upcoming school year.

12:30 Getting to know our staff - to start things off, we will show a couple of clips of human interest
stories from YouTube or a local news channel.
http://people.com/human-interest/viral-handshake-teacher-couldnt-wait-to-get-to-school-after-day-
away-from-students/
http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2015/09/22/dancing-assistant-principal-conway-arkansas-school-
pkg.kark
http://people.com/celebrity/utah-bucket-list-family-sells-their-belongings-to-travel-the-world/
We will then pair staff members up by having people draw cards from a “famous pairs” pile. Once
matches are found, teachers will have 10 minutes to chat and come up with a human interest story
based on something that was told by the other person, culminating with a headline for their stories.
We will then share out.
1:15 Team building activity - Grade level teams will compete among each other. We need teachers to
feel comfortable about who they are working with and get to know each other's personalities. We
chose the toothpick challenge to help with this effort. We will provide each group with a bag of
marshmallows and a box of toothpicks, instructing them that the tallest freestanding tower will win.
They will be given ten minutes to build their towers. In the end we will finish this activity with
reflection, ultimately having each grade level team do some analogous thinking… how can you relate
this activity to our jobs?
1:45 Break
2:00 Have a group discussion to brainstorm a list of initiatives of which they have been a part. List
them on Chart Paper. Once the list has been made we will give teachers color dot stickers for where
they would like to see PD spent.
3:00 Discussion on where dots are located, what we want to focus on, finally create a PD vision for
the year. Once a vision is created we will create a roadmap of what PD could look like. Introduce
Google doc for collecting learning...Grade level diaries.

Building Level 1 Hour PD Plan (to be created with staff)*


September 1 hour PD:
October 1 hour PD:
November 1 hour PD:
December 1 hour PD:
January 1 hour PD:
February 1 hour PD:
March 1 hour PD:
April 1 hour PD:
May 1 hour PD:

Survey questions: Link: https://goo.gl/forms/XDhXQyZhAJRYHsIm2


I feel like I know colleagues better now than when the day started. (Likert Scale)
I feel like the day was successful overall. (Likert Scale)
I feel like I know where we are going with PD time this year. (Likert Scale)
Is there anything else you’d like to share? (Short answer)

*We expect to have 1 hour PD time include PD on topics revolving around: differentiation, literacy,
math, and visual thinking, but ultimately this will be decided during the first day of PD.