Center City PCS Congress Heights Campus (Washington, DC). Center City is committed to professional development of its staff and leaders. We provide extensive professional development opportunities, including workshops, professional learning communities, and coaching to improve the quality of instruction.
Center City PCS Pre-Service August 10 – 28: Four days of these three weeks were district-wide dates dedicated to team/campus building initiatives as well as our two focus areas, school culture and instruction aligned to the Common Core. Six days were spent with staff at individual campuses with extensive sessions on school culture, instruction, and classroom environment. Center City had an additional week of professional development dedicated to Teach Like a Champion strategies, implementation, and norming around expectations and usage of the strategies.
District-Wide Full-Day Professional Development: Center City has full-day all-organization professional development days where we gather all six campus teams to disseminate strategies, priorities, and provide professional learning community time (PLCs). Some themes that Center City focused on were: SPED Growth and Compliance, Teach Like a Champion (TLAC) and GLAAD training, K-3 ELA, Close the Achievement Gap by 3rd grade, School Culture: No Nonsense Nurturer, Character Education, and Restorative Justice. These full-day sessions were divided into half-day sessions; each provided teachers and leaders with new content and time to apply the content to their practices. Additionally, teachers of the same grade-level and/or content had professional learning community planning time.
Weekly Campus-Based Professional Development: Campus-based professional development extends the organizational priorities to the campus level to meet the needs of all students at specific campuses. Additionally, some PLCs spend time addressing the data cycle of benchmark assessments. Teachers review data reports, detailing class and individual student performance, and wrong-answer analysis. At data meetings, teachers work in teams to determine instructional takeaways and to create a plan for targeted re-teach and interventions.
Weekly Grade-Band Professional Learning Communities: Grade band PLCs (PK-1st, 2nd-5th grade, and 6th-8th grade), are the primary way of ensuring consistency and communication, and problem-solving among all members of a grade-band team. PLCs alternate to address specific student issues, review student work, plan, review PBIS systems, and push instructional practice. Standard meeting protocols ensure consistency across the district. Grade-band meetings are facilitated by a school leader and/or a teacher-leader.
Observation and Feedback: Observations provide feedback on specific areas including instruction, management, assessment, and discipline as well as data crucial to instruction to help teachers improve. They also help teachers meet organizational and professional goals and provide tangible data for annual reviews based on the CCPCS Evaluation System. All teachers have at least 16 informal and at least two formal observations across the school year.
Teacher Leader Fellowship Center City’s Teacher Leader Fellowship (TLF), launched in SY 14-15, provides professional development to improve pedagogy and leadership skills and is one pathway to campus leadership. These teachers take on additional responsibilities, such as mentoring new teachers and leading professional development; they receive a stipend for this work.
Principal and Assistant Principal Professional Development: Center City’s principals and assistant principals also receive coaching and professional development on capacity building, instructional pedagogy, curriculum and Common Core-oriented observational skills, and a consultancy practice. They also engage bi-weekly in data analysis, teacher feedback reflection, and collaborative strategic planning.