Manchester-Essex Professional Development
“We owe it to our teachers, students, and our nation to ensure that our teachers have the training and on-going support they need to
prepare students for the 21st Century.” - Mary Ann Wolf
The Professional Development Committee (PDC) shall consist of the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee, a school principal, and two unit members from each building selected by the Association. The committee shall be co-chaired by a unit member and a member of the administration.
Essex: John Skiba and Donna Smith
Memorial: Dina Flood and Laurie Colpoys
Middle School: Joanne McWhorter and Vidula Plante
High School: Dan Lundergan and Abby Donnelly
Administrator: Dr. Julie Riley
The Professional Development Committee (PDC) was established as part of the agreement between the Manchester Essex Regional School Committee and the Manchester Essex Teachers’ Association.
The responsibility of the PDC shall be to develop a District Professional Development Plan guided by the needs of the unit members, the District and School Improvement Plans, and the Department of Education’s regulations for licensure. The PDC shall plan, organize, and supervise professional development, provide input to the district administration for all professional days, and make recommendations to the School Committee regarding the number and content of early release days necessary to implement the Professional Development Plan.
The PDC shall assist in the communication of various opportunities for professional growth and development to unit members throughout the year. These opportunities may include, but are not limited to, study groups, individual projects, research and design teams, committee work, and conferences/workshops. The PDC shall approve the criteria and standards for individual projects.
Lastly, the PDC shall act as a clearinghouse to a) ensure that professional development opportunities align with the Professional Development Plan, b) approve/not approve of professional development opportunities under the standards established by the PDC, and c) award professional development points to unit members who meet the criteria adopted by the PDC.
Professional Development Offerings
- Teacher Induction Program
- Required support program for teachers in their pre-professional status years in the Manchester Essex Regional School District. Teacher induction includes mentoring and other coursework that will assist new and beginning teachers develop into effective members of the Manchester Essex Regional School District.
- Study Groups
- Teacher-to-teacher professional development. Focused on supporting district and school improvement needs in a flexible format that supports the awarding of professional development points.
- In-service Workshops/Conferences
- Teacher-selected topics that may not support the awarding of professional development points. Topics more focused on individual skills instead of systemic goals (i.e. using PowerPoint, creating web quests). May need to be bundled with other activities for professional development points.
- Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Course Reimbursement
- The Manchester Essex Regional School District provides limited tuition reimbursement for teachers seeking their initial Master’s Degree. Graduate credits are arranged through the institution granting the degree.
- Required/Suggested District Coursework
- This coursework directly relates to district and school improvement goals as well as to existing district programs. The coursework may be required for teachers as part of their induction program and strongly suggested for professional status teachers. The district will cover the costs associated with this coursework (ex. The Skillful Teacher). Professional development points will be available.
Teacher Induction Program
The Manchester Essex Regional School District (MERSD) is committed to providing high quality instruction and a positive school climate for all students. To that end, MERSD will provide the structure to support and meet the needs of teachers new to teaching and new to the district through a comprehensive New Teacher Induction Program.
Mentoring is at the core of any teacher induction program. The district hopes and expects that the professional interaction and collegiality inherent in one-to-one mentoring relationships will result in the retention of quality educators and a heightened job satisfaction for all participants while promoting a culture of collegiality and collaboration within our schools.
While acknowledging the special contribution an effective mentor makes to the acclimation of a beginning teacher, MERSD also recognizes that successful new teacher induction is a collective responsibility.
Beginning Teachers and New Teachers
MERSD recognizes that the needs of beginning teachers differ somewhat from the needs of experienced teachers new to the district. A beginning teacher is anyone who has been a teacher for less than three years. Experienced teachers new to the district are teachers who have three or more years of successful teaching experience at the professional level.
Although mentoring is at the heart of any comprehensive teacher induction program, the challenge of hiring, training and retaining a quality staff requires a comprehensive approach. Therefore, MERSD sees new teacher induction as a multiyear program encompassing the following components:
- New Teacher Orientation (all new teachers)
- Beginning Teacher Seminars (beginning teachers)
- Mentoring, including opportunities to observe teaching (beginning teachers)
- District Supported Courses/Workshops
- To facilitate and accelerate the adjustment of teachers new to the district
- To improve teaching performance, thus improving student learning and achievement
- To increase the retention of good teachers
- To promote personal and professional well being through professional development and one-to-one support
- To integrate new teachers into the culture of the school and district (core values, beliefs, procedures, teacher’s role)
- To recognize accomplished teachers and provide them an opportunity to reflect upon and share their experience and expertise.
- The role of the mentor is to support the needs of beginning teachers, including:
- System needs – policies and procedures; acquaintance with the community
- Resource needs – obtaining materials and supplies
- Instructional needs - planning units and lessons; familiarity with the curriculum
- Parental needs - communicating with parents
- Managerial needs - classroom management; discipline
- Emotional needs - overcoming isolation, building confidence, coping with evaluation