Westport Community Schools

Professional Development » Development Plan

Development Plan

Westport Community Schools

2011-12 Professional Development Plan

Goals and Activities for July 2011-June 2012


The WCS Professional Development Plan supports goals of the District Improvement Plan aimed at improving student achievement and school climate:

  1. Student Achievement - Assessment: Develop or implement formal data collection methods at each grade level and in each curriculum content area that are consistent within the grade level or consistent among those teaching the same curriculum content.
  2. Student Achievement - Curriculum: Develop units of study at each grade level and in each curriculum content area that are consistent within the grade level or consistent among those teaching the same curriculum content.
  3. Student Achievement - Instruction: Develop a system of tiered instruction and train staff in differentiating instruction to ensure that students are reaching the standards set by their grade level, course of study or individualized plan.
  4. School Climate: Train staff to implement a social curriculum that improves classroom climate to allow students to learn and teachers to teach in a healthy, safe and structured environment. Establish the internal capacity to perpetuate training in the future to achieve school-wide implementation of the social curriculum.



This professional development plan was developed with input from the following sources:

District Improvement Plan

District Professional Development Committee

Curriculum Leadership Teams

Evaluations of professional development sessions

Input from school and district administrators, including curriculum and special education administrators

Priorities revealed through analysis of data on student performance and school climate indicators

Priorities set by state regulations and program requirements

Activities and Strategies
The district goals are being implemented in each school and across the district through the following professional development strategies and activities for 2011-12. Professional development strategies in the District Improvement Plan are indicated by (DIP).   Major focus areas for these activities and strategies are:

Massachusetts Common Core Standards

Inquiry-based instruction and research integrating 21st century skills

Unit development

Common assessments

Personalized learning and differentiated instruction based on formative and pre-assessment

Tiered instruction and response to academic interventions

School climate and tiered behavioral interventions

Preparation for accreditation and educational audits (NEASC, NAEYC, CPR)

Teacher reflection and collaboration; study groups

Collaboration among professional and paraprofessional educators, including general and special educators

 WCS administrators and professional development committee members will:

use data regarding Tier 1, 2, and 3 outcomes to improve Tier 1 instructional practices through continuous, rigorous professional development (DIP-Instruction)

All schools will:

            1. review and analyze student data to plan instruction (DIP – Assessment)
            2. engage in continuous, rigorous professional development of school and district administrators, general and special education teachers, and paraprofessional/teacher assistants to promote best instructional practices in tier 1 instruction (DIP-Instruction)
            3. learn the principles of Understanding by Design and use professional development time to create units using the new MA frameworks (Common Core) (DIP- Curriculum)
            4. engage in a summer curriculum institute to develop units of study with common assessment tasks (DIP- Assessment, Curriculum)
            5. participate in a graduate course in differentiating instruction (DIP-Instruction)
            6. provide training in the Categories I-IV for instruction of English Language Learners (ELL)
            7. engage in training in tier 1 behavior interventions (Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs) (DIP- School Climate)
            8. mentor new teachers
            9. have counselors collaborate to develop tier 2 behavior support curriculum for students and parents/teachers (DIP- School Climate)
            10. engage counselors and physical education/health staff in reviewing and updating anti-bullying policy, plan and curriculum; and engage all staff in anti-bullying training
            11. review special education policies and procedures with all staff and provide selected special and general educators with restraint training

Westport High School staff will:

  1. use formative assessments to ensure “assessment for” student learning (not just “assessment of” student learning); to personalize student learning plans; and to connect curriculum, instruction, and assessment in meeting the school’s 21st century learning expectations
  2. use NEASC’s four concepts of effective schools (Equity, Engagement, Personalization, Collaboration) to assess the school’s current reality in the areas of assessment, curriculum, instruction, including the integration of 21st century skills
  3. engage in Self-Study in preparation for NEASC Accreditation
  4. review common task assessments and establish a schedule for administration
  5. use the examining data protocol to look at data and student work from common task assessments and determine the best re-teaching strategies to ensure student success

Westport Middle School staff will:

  1. learn to use formative assessments to uncover students’ academic skills, knowledge, styles, interests, and multiple intelligences, and to build differentiated instruction and flexible grouping into lesson plans
  2. use lesson study periods and professional development days for unit design (DIP- Curriculum)
  3. take part in lesson study/professional learning community with lab classroom observations to support differentiated lessons
  4. train a teacher team in language-based strategies
  5. extend learning about best practices used at Landmark School through on site visits
  6. have increased opportunities to attend outside conferences on formative assessment and differentiated instruction
  7. be trained in Galileo assessments to enable teachers to access math data and evaluate usefulness of ELA assessments (DIP - Assessment).

Westport Elementary School staff will:

  1. learn ways to differentiate instruction based on formative assessment
  2. understand the components of the school’s plan for a system of tiered intervention in academics and behavior, and use of instructional support teams
  3. be trained in using AIMSWEB for RtI (DIP - Assessment)
  4. learn to improve classroom culture through Responsive Classroom approach
  5. interpret data from DIBELS and math assessments (during data team meetings)
  6. revise standards-based report card
  7. implement science inquiry skills
  8. use Instructional Support Teams to facilitate a problem solving approach and protocol for supporting student progress within Tiers 1 and 2 (DIP- Instruction)
  9. engage in a professional learning community/course on comprehension toolkit
  10. engage in Fundations and Just Words coaching

Macomber Primary School staff will:

  1. use DIBELS data for Tier 1, 2, and 3 instruction in kindergarten
  2. study effective primary classroom instruction in preparation for NAEYC accreditation
  3. learn ways to improve classroom culture through Responsive classroom approach
  4. implement the Creative Curriculum program in pre-K
  5. Engage in Fundations coaching

Staff teaching special education students will:

  • gain a greater understanding of special education disabilities and how they impact academic performance across settings
  • participate in online training program on special education issues
  • gain skills as teacher assistants and paraprofessionals by participating in seminars related to collaboration and school climate
  • learn to develop and evaluate Alternative Assessment Portfolios
  1. receive Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) training and re-training