TIME Collaborative School Mini-Profile: Teacher Collab & PD

The time schools have for teacher collaboration and professional development is the engine that drives lasting school improvement. The best expanded time schools have a lot of time for teacher collaboration and use that time well. The Casimir Pulaski School in Meriden, CT, has re-engineered its school day to add significant time for teacher collaboration and professional development. Now that it has time for effective teacher collaboration, the Pulaski team will use common structures across all teams to make sure the time is used well and is focused on strengthening instruction in its primary focus:  improving writing across all content areas.


The Pulaski redesign team created a schedule to allow all grade-level teachers and grade-level special education teachers to participate in weekly collaboration meetings and data meetings to review student progress and adjust groupings as needed. 
To ensure the additional time is used effectively, the Pulaski team mapped out goals and objectives for their collaboration meetings and will be providing regular opportunities for teachers to share constructive feedback to improve instruction and support students. The Pulaski team has spent time reviewing teacher feedback about their current meeting processes and establishing school-wide protocols for meeting time. Common, school-wide protocols will be used during grade-level collaboration meetings to establish norms, assess meeting quality, and improve the effectiveness of meeting time. 
Professional development will focus on creating writing prompts using the Hess Depths of Knowledge Matrix to help students demonstrate comprehension across content areas. Student responses will be scored using Common Core aligned rubrics for writing. Collaborative scoring sessions will take place in grade-level professional development meetings to promote consistent scoring across grade levels and throughout the school. 
To improve instructional practices, teachers will participate in peer observation and instructional rounds centered on the instructional focus. Additionally, a portion of grade-level collaboration meetings will be focused on improving best practices through reading professional articles, working with reading and math coaches, and other professional development activities.
The structure and systems developed to support teacher collaboration time at the Pulaski school will ensure the additional time provided to teachers will be used effectively.