Published : Friday, November 18, 2011 | 9:23 PM
Increasingly, high performing school districts are finding that best practices dictate the importance of providing teachers with time to collaborate. Collaboration time is critical to provide teachers the opportunity to analyze student performance data. The careful review of student data allows teachers to strategically adjust instruction for improved results, identify content standards where performance results indicate that reteaching is merited, and target students who need extra instructional support.
As such, a key component within the successful 2010 – 2011 negotiations settlement with the La Cañada Teachers Association is a one-year Memorandum of Understanding providing for four “collaboration days” in the 2011 – 2012 school year. During these teacher work days, staff will engage in professional development activities designed to directly improve and support classroom instruction. As cited above, the agendas for the collaboration days will include activities such as analyzing student performance data, sharing and adjusting lessons and assessments based upon students’ needs, and the continued training of teachers in the use of technology to support and improve instruction.
No funding will be lost as a result of the collaboration days due to flexibility provided by state regarding the number of instructional days. The annual number of instructional minutes will actually increase because the Governing Board has lengthened the school day. For example, the number of annual instructional minutes that the state requires for middle school students is 56,875. In 20010 – 2011 the number of annual instructional minutes for students at La Cañada High School 7/8 was 64,895. By increasing the school day to provide for the pupil free collaboration days, the annual number of instructional minutes in 2011 – 2012 will be 65,133. At every grade level the number of annual instructional minutes will be greater than the current total.
The days that have been designated for teacher collaboration and professional development in 2011 – 2012 include February 1 and March 15.