School Districts with QEIA-funded schools
School districts have three essential roles in ensuring that their funded schools comply with QEIA professional development requirements. First, districts are expected to support QEIA-funded schools in providing professional development opportunities that allow for compliance with the QEIA requirements. Second, school districts are required to ensure that their QEIA-funded schools have established and are maintaining a system for tracking professional development activities completed by administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals at QEIA schools. School districts may obtain assistance in establishing a system for tracking professional development from the two QEIA technical assistance centers (Northern California: Sacramento County Office of Education; Southern California: Los Angeles County Office of Education) or from the QEIA Web page . Third, school districts must ensure that their QEIA-funded schools are in fact meeting QEIA professional development requirements, as well as all other compliance and performance requirements for schools participating in QEIA. Education Code (EC) Section 52055.750(a)(1), (6) and (7)).
Schools participating in QEIA are expected to develop a coherent plan for professional development of their administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals in collaboration with all interested parties in the school community. While this plan must address requirements concerning participation, hours, type, quality and rigor of professional development described above, it is essential that the plan considers the general needs of the school’s faculty, staff and students, and addresses these needs along with meeting the more specific requirements described above. A successful plan will first identify the forms of professional development that will best serve the school’s needs, and then will ensure that specific QEIA professional development requirements are satisfied. (EC Section 52055.750(c)).
Each administrator at a QEIA-funded school must be provided with high quality professional development through leadership training, coaching, and mentoring. QEIA does not prescribe a specific number of hours of professional development an administrator must complete. There is also flexibility regarding the type of professional development an administrator must complete, but the training is expected to focus on elements of instructional leadership and on assisting the school staff to provide effective, standards-based instruction to all students at the school. This professional development should support and align with the professional development of the teachers and instructional paraprofessionals. QEIA directs that to the extent appropriate the professional development provided to administrators shall be similar in quality and rigor to the Administrator Training Program (AB 75/AB 430). (EC Section 52055.750(a)(3)).
QEIA establishes two requirements pertaining to professional development for teachers at QEIA-funded schools. The first requirement is that one-third of all teachers at a QEIA-funded school must complete some professional development each year. This requirement applies to every year in which a school receives QEIA funding, beginning in 2008-09, and is not limited to the first three years of funding. While teachers are encouraged to complete professional development every year, this requirement may allow some teachers not to complete professional development in some years, as long as one-third of the faculty of a QEIA-funded school completes professional development each year. QEIA-funded schools are also encouraged to create a school-wide professional development plan that ensures that, at a minimum, every teacher completes some professional development during each three-year period. The second requirement is that each teacher at a QEIA-funded school must complete an average of 40 hours of professional development for every year they are assigned to a QEIA-funded school, beginning with the 2008-09 school year. Activities completed after the last day of school, or after June 30, whichever comes first, will be accrued to professional development hours in the new school year. All teachers are encouraged to complete at least 40 hours of professional development each year, however, no specific number of professional development hours is required for any year as long as each teacher completes an average of 40 hours per year. For example, a teacher who serves at a QEIA-funded school for all six years of full program funding must complete 240 hours of professional development during that time. For both of these requirements, QEIA defines professional development to include:
- Collaboration time for teachers to develop new instructional lessons or analyze pupil data;
- Mentoring projects for new teachers;
- Extra support for teachers to improve practice;
- Rigorous, in-depth professional development on effective pedagogical practices or to extend knowledge of subject matter the teacher is assigned to teach.
All teachers at QEIA-funded schools who teach English-language arts, English Language Development, reading, mathematics, science, or history and social science as part or all of their assignment must meet these professional development requirements. Special education teachers whose assignment includes any of these subjects must meet these requirements. All other teachers at QEIA funded schools are also encouraged to meet these requirements. QEIA teacher professional development is expected to relate to the academic subject(s) to which the teacher is assigned, provide time to meet and work with other teachers, and support and improve instruction and student learning in a manner consistent with state academic content standards. QEIA directs that to the extent appropriate the professional development provided to teachers shall be similar in quality and rigor to the Mathematics and Reading Professional Development Program (AB 466/SB 472). (EC sections 52055.740(b)(3) and 52055.750(c) and (d).
QEIA requires all paraprofessionals assigned instructional duties in academic subjects at QEIA-funded schools to complete some professional development during years in which their school receives QEIA funding. Specifically, one-third of all instructional paraprofessionals at the QEIA-funded school must complete some professional development each year. This requirement applies to every year in which a school receives QEIA funding, beginning in 2008-09, and is not limited to the first three years of funding. While paraprofessionals are encouraged to complete professional development every year, this requirement may allow some paraprofessionals not to complete professional development in some years, as long as one-third of paraprofessionals of a QEIA-funded school complete professional development each year. There are no specific requirements concerning the number of hours of professional development paraprofessionals must complete, and the statute does not prescribe the type of professional development required. However, professional development for paraprofessionals should reflect their current instructional assignment and should aim to improve the paraprofessional’s performance in serving students. (EC Section 52055.740(b)(3)).