Staff Recruitment and Development
7A: Research methods to add professional development time to support student achievement within the annual calendar.
8A: Develop a recruitment and selection plan that aligns to the district’s mission and vision with a focus on increasing the diversity of our staff.
Summary of major milestones:
Professional Development - The Professional Development committee was formed to research effective professional development standards and seek input about how to incorporate more professional development time in the annual school calendar. The committee researched best practices in other school districts and surveyed Woodland staff for feedback about professional development needs in our organization.
Recruitment - The Staff Recruitment Committee was formed to look at current recruitment efforts and partnerships, as well as the hiring process. The committee looked for consistency across the district and identified areas for improvement. Efforts to standardize the application process and redesign district job postings were initiated to aid in attracting and selecting highly qualified, diverse candidates for Woodland.
Recent Accomplishments July - Dec 2019:
- Stakeholder Feedback: Feedback from staff was gathered using focus groups at all the schools, as well as a focus group with Principals. The major takeaway from this feedback is that staff feels additional time is needed for reflection, planning with teams, collaboration/articulation and follow up on previous professional development sessions. Teachers want meaningful professional development and more dual language specific sessions. Slightly more than half of Woodland staff favor keeping SIP Days to a Friday citing limiting instructional disruptions and issues related to child care. Most staff prefer Early Release over Late Start citing more time is available for early release compared to Late Start; issues with child care and less student impact.
- Committee Recommendations: The goal is to add sufficient quality professional development time to our district calendar to make a difference in the classroom to improve learning for students. Referring to feedback from surveys, focus groups and the Strategic Plan Professional Development Committee, the following is being recommended:
○ Keep the Early Release model on SIP Days.
○ Keep SIP Days on Fridays minimizing less disruption to parents, staff and students.
○ For the FY21 calendar, add four (4) SIP days above what we currently have on our FY20 calendar for a total of 10 SIP Days.
- Board of Education Presentation: Dr. Victoria Kieffer, and other members of the committee provided an overview of the findings and recommendations to the Board of Education at the December 2019 meeting. The committee is recommending for the FY21 school year 10 School Improvement Days using the Early Release model as we currently have in place. With this additional time, staff will be able to engage in collaborative curriculum and instructional planning to meet the needs of our diverse student population. Staff will also have a chance to engage in professional learning communities (PLCs) and have a deeper understanding of curricular outcomes.
- Research: The committee gained a deeper understanding of professional learning standards from Learning Forward, a national professional learning organization, and analyzed research studies on professional development. The Standards for Professional Learning outlines the characteristics of professional learning that leads to effective teaching and student results. Researchers are not able to link a specific amount of time to increased staff or student learning. However, the research points to making sure professional development time is (1) well organized, (2) carefully structured and (3) purposely directed.
- Website: The Staff Recruitment Committee worked to make sure that job opportunities were easy to find on the district website. They researched how visible employment opportunities were on other school district websites and worked with the Technology Department to add a “Careers” tab to the main menu structure of the homepage. This change is supported by feedback from applicants and district staff that receive phone calls about how to find information about open positions.
Professional Development - The Professional Development Committee is recommending the addition of SIP Days as outlined in the recommendation above, but that is only step one. Based on staff feedback, the committee understands that teachers wish to have relevant and meaningful professional development opportunities. The next step of the committee’s work will be to develop a multi-year professional development plan for certified and non-certified staff under goal 7B.
Staff Recruitment - The Staff Recruitment Committee will conduct a review of the pre-screeners as part of the hiring process. A pre-screener is another source for screening candidates that will identify indicators that will support a new hires success. They will also work with the Communications Manager to look for new ways to promote career opportunities in other outlets such as social media and community organizations.
Strategic Plan Accomplishments and Coming Attractions Report, Jan. 23, 2020