In January, 2007, I posted a query to the ISED asking for feedback from folks about the professional development programs at their schools. There were four questions:

1 - How many professional development days does your school have during the school year?

2 - What types of activities have been available on those days?

3 - Does your school usually have a professional development theme for the year, and if so, what are some of the themes your school has chosen over the past few years?

4 - Who tends to plan the professional development days?

Responses came from 26 schools from across the US. The replies are summarized below. If others want to add information to this summary, please feel free to do so, as the goal was to get a sense of what role professional development plays and how schools implement their professional development programs. -Laurie Bartels, Rye Country Day School


one-half - 1.5 days : 7

2 days : 10

3 days : 6

more than 3 days : 3

A few schools have early dismissal times, most have full day sessions, and one school mentioned a 2-day overnight.

TYPES OF ACTIVITIES and THEMES (numbers=how many folks responded with this topic - no number equates to one school)

"We have found that most themes need two years to stick."

Diversity (8)

Technology (8)

School Visits (5)

Departments plan own activities (5)

Curriculum Mapping (4)

Learning & the Brain/Brain Development (4)

Assessment (3)

First Aid (3)

Self-study for re-accreditation (3)

Advising/Advisory Design (2)

Curriculum Review/Articulating Curriculum (2)

Environmental Education; Interdisciplinary Studies; Global Education; Core Values; Faith Development; Public Speaking; Trip Planning

Adolescent Psychology; Learning Differences; Teenage Sexuality Social Cognition; Differentiated Instruction; Schools Attuned/Mel Levine Long-term Memory; Inquiry Based Learning; Sleep Research

Strategic Planning; Stress Management; Bereavement Workshop Being a Boy (all boy's school); Rob Evans Classroom Improvement; Discipline

Professional Learning Communities; Review of Student Work w/purpose of improving student learning; Building internal capacity for teacher leadership

How to facilitate a group; Learn more about self and communication; Administrator skills

Follow-up on opening day's speaker; a FUN DAY for faculty to enjoy (golfing, yoga, etc)

WHO PLANS THE DAY (no tally, just a list of various positions involved)

Associate Head; Assistant Head; Head of School

Academic Affairs; Tech Director; Staff Development Coordinator

Academic Dean; Dean of Faculty; Dean of Students

Leadership Team; individual departments &or divisions

Division Heads; Department Heads; Tech Department

Professional Development Overseer/Coordinator/Committee

input from faculty; planning teams; small committee memebers based upon the theme

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