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Professional Development Specialist

The February 2003 final report to the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent, Improving Student Achievement through Professional Development, completed by the North Carolina Professional Development Committee reported that “the current process and system for delivering professional development in North Carolina is primarily a decentralized one with many decisions being made in individual schools. Too much staff development is focused on things that have little measurable impact on the classroom.” Additionally, the Committee reported that “small, poor school systems lack adequate resources (funds, personnel) to offer high-quality local professional development led by local staff.” The report noted that while there is a state requirement that schools develop a professional development plan that aligns with the local school improvement plan, no mechanism exists to ensure that this occurs within each school district. Additionally, there are extensive variations across the state in developing growth plans for teachers and school leaders.

Faced with the demands of a twenty-first century society and an increasingly diverse student population, high-quality, systemic professional development for teachers is more critical than ever. Effective teaching requires continuous learning by all school personnel. Knowledge continues to explode, technology continues to develop and change, and many children continue to come to school underprepared. The quality of education a child receives is critical. Every child deserves a well-prepared, qualified teacher. Professional development embedded within the job is critical to this becoming a reality.

  1. Anticipated Outcomes
    • Development of a comprehensive plan of professional development based on a complete needs assessment across three levels (individual, school, district).
    • Multiple data sets analyzed for initial and ongoing needs assessments.
    • Evaluation of all professional development at all levels.
    • Annual review of professional development plan by an appropriate team.
    • Professional development plan aligned appropriately with school improvement plan, teacher and administrator growth plans, and school and district budgets.
    • All classroom personnel (teachers and paraprofessionals) and administrators participating in high quality professional development targeted to meet their needs.

  2. Implementation
    • Work requires implementation and monitoring of a comprehensive district professional development plan including a review of goals and desired outcomes, strategies, timeline, and measures including impact on classroom outcomes.
    • Work requires an understanding of North Carolina Professional Development Standards, the national professional development standards, adult learning theory, and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.

  3. Responsibilities-Work requires:
    1. collaborating with the Lateral Entry Coordinator to design and deliver the 10-day required training for all lateral entry teachers in the LEA.
    2. collaborating with mentors, building-level and district administrators to support the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of professional growth plans.
    3. conducting ongoing formal and informal assessments of need (content and pedagogy) at the individual (teacher, administrator) level, the school level, and the district level to plan appropriate professional development opportunities aligned with the NC Standard Course of Study, the State Board of Education's Strategic Priorities, local school improvement and district improvement plans, teacher growth plans, and local budgets.
    4. guiding administrators and teachers in translating the state's professional development standards into routine practice for the planning, presenting, and evaluation of every professional development offering.
    5. communicating with LEA personnel (teachers, mentors, administrators) as well as communicating with community college and IHE personnel and independent providers of professional development.
    6. communicating and collaborating with Department of Public Instruction personnel.
    7. other duties as may be jointly assigned by the Department of Public Instruction and Hoke County Schools.

  4. Minimum Education and Experience
    The professional development specialist must hold at least a master's degree in education and a valid North Carolina Continuing teaching license. Experience in supervision is preferred. Ideally, the individual would have knowledge of North Carolina's Strategic Plan for Excellent Schools, the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, the North Carolina Standards for Professional Development, the National Staff Development Council's Standards for Professional Development, and knowledge of best practices related to evaluating professional development.

  5. Projected Costs
    Salary and benefits $75,000.00
    Position Support (travel, materials, training) 4,500.00
    TOTAL $79,500.00

Hoke County Board of Education v. State of North Carolina Letter

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.