Philosophy & Program
Just as we endeavor to inspire, challenge, and support our students to succeed, Graded is committed to a robust and comprehensive professional development that is geared at impacting the hearts and minds of our teachers in a similar way. Graded’s professional learning aims to combine deep understanding of and cultural responsiveness to our school community with high expectations and supports for results.
Graded believes that school is a place where both adults and students learn and continuously improve.
Teachers and administrators who routinely develop their own knowledge and skills model for students that learning is important and useful. Their ongoing development creates a culture of learning throughout the school and supports educators’ efforts to engage students in learning. A school that organizes team-based professional development and expects all teachers and administrators to consistently participate — though for different purposes, at different times, in different ways — demonstrates that it is serious about all educators performing at higher levels. As a result, the entire school is more focused and effective. Learning Forward-Why PD Matters, 2010.
Graded offers a variety of professional development opportunities centered on the philosophy that each employee makes an important contribution to the community through their knowledge, skills, practices and dispositions. Long-term, sustained, and job-embedded professional development enables educators to learn and apply the knowledge,skills, practices, and dispositions necessary to more effectively address the individual needs of our students. At Graded, we are dedicated to providing various learning opportunities that further personal growth as well as cultivating talent and leadership skills to better serve the school in it’s mission and vision.
Personal professional development is one major aspect of support toward continuous improvement of student learning.
Impact on Students
Graded is committed to professional learning that produces results and has a visible impact on students. For this reason, school-wide PD is based on the strategic plan and grounded in data – establishing professional goals for our faculty each year. These goals guide school development within each division and as a whole, producing coherent efforts towards improvement of student learning and social emotional well-being.
Within the framework of the strategic plan and school-wide PD yearly goals, Graded encourages staff to engage in personalized professional development as much as possible. Aside from required PD, there is flexibility for teachers to make choices for the PD they participate in. Faculty may utilize their personalized PD allowance to select opportunities of interest that are linked to the strategic plan. For the purpose of alignment and coherence, the approval process for personalized PD will take into account how the PD is connected with the Professional Growth SMART Goal (PGSP) and the strategic plan.
At Graded, we encourage the development of a learning culture where staff engages in deep, job embedded, professional dialogue and collaboration, promoting the transfer of knowledge from professional development experiences to practice. Intentionality and accountability become part of professional development, as it appears on PD forms and feedback to peers (see section below). The impact on student learning then becomes visible, allowing a reflection on gains from our professional development pathway. By engaging in professional growth, we become better at promoting a learning culture in our classrooms.