Overview

Professional Learning Plan 2022-2023

Beliefs and Background

BELIEFS


At the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (COE) we believe that relevant, research based and effective Professional Learning is critical to support teachers and other educators in ensuring the success of students in all areas. The COE is committed to offering a variety of Professional Learning offerings, based on needs assessments and current best practices, for teachers and educators throughout the school year and summer.

Our goal is always to keep students in mind and provide whatever is needed to ensure that their educational experiences are positive, equitable, successful and supportive of the “whole child”. This Professional Learning Plan encompasses our philosophy, our core values, our methods of delivering Professional Learning, and both integrated and content specific offerings.

Our Professional Learning Plan is aligned with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s Strategic Plan, which was launched in 2019. Below are the core tenets of this plan.


VISION

We envision a community with engaged learners and leaders who have the social, emotional, academic, and technical skills to thrive in a changing world.

MISSION

To lead an equitable and innovative learner-centered educational system.

VALUES

  • Equity – We create or improve programs, practices, and policies to ensure that every learner has opportunities, experiences, and support systems that address their educational goals and needs.
  • Innovation – We foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking to generate new ideas and solutions.
  • Partnership – We listen to the needs of our learners, families, educators, and the community, and work with our partners to create networks of support and opportunities so all our learners can achieve and thrive.
  • Excellence – We hold ourselves to high standards of quality and professionalism and aim to exceed the expectations of our learners, community, partners, and staff.

BACKGROUND

This Professional Learning Plan was developed by gathering input from many different resources and stakeholders. Members from the Curriculum and Instruction team analyzed county and district wide data to further determine student group needs. District LCAPs from the spring of 2022 were carefully analyzed to determine trends and needs, and survey information and feedback from meetings were used to develop this plan .

Since the COVID-19 crisis hit in March of 2020, the plan has been continually revised and updated, and it will be a fluid document that will be changed as appropriate to meet the needs of students, teachers and administrators in Santa Cruz County. This plan strongly represents the current needs of Santa Cruz County districts, coupled with equity and research based best practices.

Common Elements

Here are the “non-negotiables” that we consider and address during every PL session, regardless of the topic. We may not cover every one of these during a session, but we will make every attempt to do so. Additionally, our PL sessions are grounded in Adult Learning Theory, to ensure that the unique learning styles and needs of adults are addressed to maximize learning.


  • Equity: How does our Professional Learning support the learning needs of all students? How can this Professional Learning support differentiation?

  • Student Groups: We must always consider the needs of our special education students, English Learners, GATE students and other diverse student groups to ensure equity and access.

  • Formative assessment and feedback/data: We will support the use of formative assessment and feedback/data in our PL sessions, to ensure that this is always built in to teacher lesson planning and intervention/enrichment analysis.

  • Technology integration: Technology integration has become critical in this time of post distance learning and hybrid instruction. All sessions will include the appropriate integration of technology.

  • SEL: We recognize that the Social and Emotional well-being of students is imperative to create conditions that maximize student achievement.

Methods of Support

Professional Learning Sessions (in person)

Symposium, PL series, PL sessions during the day, evening, weekends, summer.

Professional Learning Sessions (remote)

Zoom or Google meet PL sessions

Networks

SEL, MLN, CSI, Visual & Performing Arts, Counseling

Coaching

Coaching network, support for teachers and administrators is available by any member of the department

Working with a Consultant (best practices)

The COE will hire consultants to work on different content as needed (ex, Readers & Writers Workshop, Science, MLN)

Individual Support

One-on-one support as requested

Office Hours

All staff members are available for office hours through Zoom

Walk-throughs / Virtual Classroom

Content area walk-throughs can be organized by one of our content coordinators, such as Readers & Writers Workshop. These can be done in person or in a virtual environment.

PL that Culminates with Student Events

PL Networks and support that lead to student events (ex. Environmental Network, Language Ambassadors)

Facilitate Cross-District Collaboration

Examples: Science: Teachers visiting other classrooms in other districts/schools, Administrative Kickoff, Job alikes

Family Nights

Available to consult and support districts to implement family nights (math night, science night, etc)

Distance Learning Website

Newsletters

We offer newsletters through our C&I Department, New Teacher Project, Santa Cruz County College & Career Collaborative, and our EdTech and Innovation Coach.