Ensuring  the  Success  of  Every  Child  
Every  Day:  
A  Comprehensive  Plan  to  Design,  
Deliver,  and  Evaluate  Professional  
Learning  in  Pitt  County  Schools  

 

 

Effective  July  1,  2015

Table  of  Contents  
Section  1:  A  Vision  for  Professional  Learning ............................................................................................................. 3
FOUNDATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING ............................................................................................................ 4  
STANDARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING ............................................................................................................... 5  
Section  2:  The  License  Renewal  Process ..................................................................................................................... 8
STATE REQUIREMENTS ................................................................................................................................................ 9  
College or University Course ............................................................................................................................... 10  
LEA/School Level In-Service Courses or Workshops ......................................................................................... 10  
Classes Approved by DPI/Other Agency ............................................................................................................. 11  
Completion of Portfolio Process for National Board Certification ...................................................................... 11  
Participation in an Institute/Seminar/Conference ................................................................................................. 11  
Serving as a Clinical Teacher ............................................................................................................................... 12  
FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS.................................................................................................................................... 12  
ONLINE LEARNING .................................................................................................................................................... 13  
PROFESSIONAL LEAVE REQUESTS ............................................................................................................................. 13  
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES (PLCS) .................................................................................................... 13  
APPLICATION/IMPACT CREDIT .................................................................................................................................. 13  
PROCESS FOR PCS PROFESSIONAL LEARNING ........................................................................................................... 15  
PROCESS FOR NON-PCS PROFESSIONAL LEARNING .................................................................................................. 16  
Section  3:  Planning  Professional  Learning ............................................................................................................... 17
LOCALLY SPONSORED ACTIVITIES ............................................................................................................................ 18  
Section  4:  Professional  Learning  Communities ........................................................................................................ 22
Section  5:  References  &  Research .............................................................................................................................. 24
REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................................................. 25  
 

 

 

Effective  July  1,  2015

Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

SECTION  1:  A  VISION  FOR  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

FOUNDATIONS  FOR  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING    
 

The  term  “Professional  Learning”  is  used  by  Pitt  County  Schools  to  escape  the  deficit  
model  often  thought  of  when  one  hears  the  terms  “Staff  Development”  or  “Professional  
Development”;  where-­‐as  professional  development  is  often  something  that  is  provided  for  a  
teacher,  professional  learning  is  something  providers  facilitate  for  teacher  participants.  
Killion  (2008)  writes,  “Too  many  staff  development  efforts  are  still  focused  on  selecting  
and  implementing  interventions  rather  than  achieving  specific  results.”  Professional  
learning  is  on-­‐going,  job-­‐embedded,  relevant  to  current  classroom  needs,  results  in  changes  
in  teacher  practice,  and  leads  to  improvements  in  student  achievement  (Easton,  2011;  
Moir,  2013);  it  is  PCS’  answer  to  Killion’s  observations.  High-­‐Impact  Professional  
Development  is  a  term  coined  by  Reeves  (2010),  and  refers  to  professional  learning  that  
has  three  characteristics:  “(1)  a  focus  on  student  learning,  (2)  rigorous  measurement  of  
adult  decisions;  and  (3)  a  focus  on  people  and  practices,  not  programs.”;  in  PCS  the  terms  
“High-­‐Impact  Professional  Development”  and  “Professional  Learning”  are  synonymous  and  
summarize  the  philosophy  that  guides  our  teacher  learning.  
 
Current  research  concludes  that  PLCs  are  the  single  best  method  available  to  
schools  to  improve  both  teacher  instruction  and  student  achievement  in  a  school  (Dufour,  
et  al.,  2010;  Reeves,  2008;  Schmoker,  2006;  Schmoker,  2011;  Zepeda,  2012).    As  such,  
Professional  Learning  Communities  (PLCs)  form  the  backbone  of  our  district’s  professional  
learning.    Pitt  County  Schools  believes  that  people  and  not  programs  empower  students  to  
succeed  (Reeves,  2010).    As  such,  we  value,  protect,  and  prioritize  time  as  the  primary  
method  for  instructional  improvement;  PLCs  are  not  something  we  do,  rather  they  are  how  
we  do  what  we  do  -­‐  namely,  ensuring  the  success  of  every  child  every  day.  
 
Teachers  working  in  PLCs  make  data-­‐informed  decisions  based  on:  
• An  agreed-­‐on,  guaranteed  curriculum  
• Results  of  common  formative  assessments  given  at  specified  intervals      
 
Data  is  then  used  to  inform:  
• Professional  learning  targeted  to  the  needs  of  individual  teachers  based  on  data  
collected  from  student  achievement  and  teacher  performance,  and  
• Schedule  students  for  remediation  and/or  enrichment  based  on  their  unique  needs.  
 
PLC’s  cannot  fulfill  100%  of  the  staff  development  needs  in  our  district,  and,  as  
additional  needs  are  identified,  small-­‐group  and  whole-­‐group  professional  learning  
workshops  are  developed.    Workshops  are  application-­‐based  and  align  to  the  best  practices  
of  adult  learning  (Zepeda,  2012).    Workshops  should  not  be  one-­‐shot  sessions  but  rather  
should  be  sustained  throughout  the  year,  spiraling  deeper  and  deeper  into  core  concepts  so  
that  teachers  become  masters  of  their  craft  and  experts  in  the  science  of  teaching  and  
learning.    The  goal  of  workshops  is  not  mere  knowledge  transfer  but  deep  understanding  
and  application  in  the  classroom;  in  short,  workshops  are  designed  to  facilitate  changes  in  

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

teacher  practice  leading  to  improvements  in  student  achievement,  not  simply  improve  
teacher  knowledge  (Guskey,  2000).  
 
Learning,  for  it  to  continue  and  expand,  must  be  measured  and  evaluated.    The  
second  characteristic  of  Reeve’s  (2010)  definition  includes  the  “measurement  of  adult  
decisions”,  which  is  synonymous  with  evaluation.    All  professional  learning  should  be  
evaluated  on  one  or  more  of  the  four  levels  identified  by  Kirkpatrick  (quoted  in  Zepeda,  
2012):  Reaction  (what  teachers  thought  of  the  workshop),  Learning  (changes  in  teacher  
knowledge),  Transfer  (changes  in  teacher  practice  or  application),  and  Results  (changes  in  
student  achievement  or  impact).  Evaluation  of  professional  learning  will  be  conducted  
using  staff  surveys,  pre-­‐post  assessments,  or  classroom  observations  and  walkthroughs.  
The  results  of  these  evaluations  will  be  used  as  we  plan  for  and  design  future  professional  
learning  in  the  district.  

STANDARDS  FOR  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING  
 
The  US  Department  of  Education  and  the  North  Carolina  Department  of  Public  
Instruction  both  view  professional  learning  as  an  essential  part  of  the  strategy  to  ensure  a  
highly  qualified  teaching  force.    Therefore,  the  No  Child  Left  Behind  legislation  and  the  
North  Carolina  Standards  for  Professional  Learning  are  specific  in  the  definition  of  so-­‐
called  “high  quality  professional  learning”.  Recent  research  indicates  that  professional  
learning  that  is  not  actively  sustained  for  a  minimum  of  30-­‐80  hours  (typically  over  
multiple  months),  regardless  of  how  good  it  is,  has  little  to  no  impact  on  teaching  and  
learning,  and  best  practice  is  to  sustain  learning  for  over  120  hours  (typically  over  multiple  
years)  to  achieve  optimal  impact  (Guskey  &  Yoon,  2009;  Shymansky,  Wang,  Annetta,  Yore,  
&  Everett,  2010).    
 
According  to  the  US  Department  of  Education,  High  quality  professional  learning:  
   
Ø Focuses  on  teachers  as  central  to  student  learning  
Ø Focuses  on  individual,  collegial,  and  organizational  improvement  
Ø Respects  and  nurtures  educator  capacity  
Ø Reflects  best  available  research  and  practice  
Ø Enables  learners  to  develop  further  experience  (e.g.  content,  strategies,  pedagogy)  
Ø Promotes  continuous  inquiry  and  improvement  embedded  in  the  daily  school  life    
Ø Is  planned  collaboratively  be  participants  
Ø Requires  substantial  time  (are  not  one  day  or  short-­‐term  workshops  or  conferences)  
Ø Is  driven  by  a  coherent  long-­‐term  plan  
Ø Is  evaluated  on  basis  of  impact  on  teacher  effectiveness  and  student  learning.  
 
The  North  Carolina  Department  of  Instruction’s  standards  align  to  those  developed  by  
Learning  Forward.    These  standards  indicate  professional  learning  increases  educator  
effectiveness  and  results  for  all  students  when  it...  
 

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

1. Occurs  within  learning  communities  committed  to  continuous  improvement,  
collective  responsibility,  and  goal  alignment;  
2. Requires  skillful  leaders  who  develop  capacity,  advocate,  and  create  support  
systems  for  professional  learning;  
3. Requires  prioritizing,  monitoring,  and  coordinating  resources  for  educator  
learning;  
4. Uses  a  variety  of  sources  and  types  of  student,  educator,  and  system  data  to  plan,  
assess,  and  evaluate  professional  learning;  
5. Integrates  theories,  research,  and  models  of  human  learning  to  achieve  its  intended  
outcomes;  
6. Applies  research  on  change  and  sustains  support  for  implementation  of  professional  
learning  for  long-­‐term  change;  
7. Aligns  outcomes  to  educator  performance  and  student  curriculum  standards.  
 
In  Pitt  Count  Schools,  this  translates  into  the  following:  
 
1. PLCs  provide  the  back-­‐bone  for  professional  learning  in  the  district;  
2. IC’s  work  as  both  district  and  school-­‐based  supporters  of  professional  learning,  
striving  to  embed  learning  for  educators  in  relevant  and  on-­‐going  ways;  
3. Professional  learning  is  designed,  delivered,  and  evaluated  with  an  emphasis  on  
enhancing  professional  practice  towards  improving  student  achievement;  
4. Professional  learning  will  be  designed  with  a  commitment  to  long-­‐term  
sustainability  (months  rather  than  days)  and  not  quick,  one-­‐shot  workshops;    
5. Support  will  be  designed  and  provided  in  three  key  areas  for  teachers  and  staff:  
Content,  Instruction,  and  Assessment  (see  Figure  1),  with  an  emphasis  on  the  
convergence  of  these  three  areas.  
 

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual
Content-Specific teaching
strategies or programs

Curriculum
(WHAT we
teach)
• NCSCOS (CCSS &
NCES)
• Curriculum Guides
• Year at a Glance
• Standard III

 
 

• Science
Notebooking
• Guided Reading
• Reading/Math
Foundations

• Literacy
• 21st Century
Skills
• Summative
• RBT
Assessment
• PLCs
• EOC/EOG
• Benchmarks

Assessment of WHAT
students know (may or may
not have been learned in
the class)

Instruction
(HOW we
teach)
• Thinking Maps
• SIOP
• 9 High Yield
Strategies
• Write from the
Beginning
• Standard IV
• Formative
Assessment
• Read 3D

Assessment
(How We Know
What Was Learned)
• Standard IV.H
Assessment of HOW
teachers taught; this drives
instruction
Figure 1: The model for the delivery of professional learning in Pitt County Schools

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Pitt County Schools Staff Development Manual

SECTION  2:  THE  LICENSE  RENEWAL  PROCESS

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

STATE  REQUIREMENTS  
 
The  renewal  process  ensures  that  professional  school  personnel  continually  update  
their  professional  knowledge  and  technical  competency.    Each  license  holder  is  responsible  
for  knowing  and  satisfying  license  renewal  requirements.    Failure  to  renew  a  license  makes  
an  individual  ineligible  for  employment.  
 
The  State  Board  of  Education  has  approved  the  following  requirements  to  renew  the  
Standard  Professional  2  license,  to  which  Pitt  County  Schools  Professional  Educators  must  
adhere:  
 
Professional  Educators  teaching  in  grades  K-­‐8  (any  certification):    
• 3  renewal  credit  for  literacy  
• 3  renewal  credit  in  the  specific  academic  subject  area  and  
• 2  general  credits    
• Total:  8  Credits  
 
All  other  Licensed  Educators  (any  certification):  
• 3  renewal  credit  in  the  specific  academic  subject  area  and  
• 5  general  credits    
• Total:  8  Credits  
 
Administrators:  
• 3  credits  focused  on  the  school  executive’s  role  as  instructional,  human  resources  
and  managerial  leader  
• 5  general  credits    
• Total:  8  Credits  
 
In  determining  whether  a  workshop/course  can  award  literacy  credits,  the  following  
criteria  must  be  met:  
• The  course/workshop  must  be  aligned  directly  with  Standard  III.a  of  the  NC  Teacher  
Evaluation  Rubric  
• The  instruction  must  focus  directly  on  teaching  reading  skills,  writing  skills,  or  
literacy  in/through  the  content  area.  
 
In  determining  whether  a  workshop/course  can  award  academic  credits,  the  following  
criteria  must  be  met:  
• The  course/workshop  must  be  aligned  directly  with  Standard  III.b  of  the  NC  
Teacher  Evaluation  Rubric  
• The  instruction  must  focus  directly  on  the  licensure  content  area.  
 
A  unit  of  renewal  credit  is  equivalent  one  in-­‐service  credit  from  a  North  Carolina  public  
school  system.  Generally,  a  unit  reflects  ten  contact  hours.    The  DPI  Licensure  Section  does  
not  accept  renewal  credits  of  less  than  one  unit  (10  hours).    For  a  professional  educator's  

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

license  to  remain  current  all  credit  must  be  earned  by  the  expiration  date  of  the  existing  
professional  educator's  license.  
 
Individuals  can  earn  license  renewal  credit  through  several  options.    These  include:  
1.
2.
3.
4.

College  or  University  courses  
LEA/school  level  in-­‐service  courses  or  workshops  
Classes/workshops  approved  by  DPI  or  other  certifying  agency  
Completion  of  portfolio  process  for  National  Board  Certification  (even  if  the  
individual  does  not  achieve  national  certification)  OR  NBPTS  Renewal  
5. Participation  in  institute/seminar/conference  
 

College  or  University  Course  

Renewal  credit  can  be  earned  by  taking  courses  through  any  accredited  college  or  
university,  including  technical  and  community  colleges.    Credit  is  earned  as  follows:  
 
• A  quarter  hour  is  the  equivalent  of  1.0  renewal  credit.  
• A  semester  hour  is  equivalent  to  1.5  renewal  credits.  
 
A  course  which  is  audited  (not  taken  for  college  credit)  cannot  be  used  for  renewal  
credit.    The  school  system  reserves  the  right  to  deny  credit  for  course  work  not  related  to  
one’s  license  area  or  deemed  inappropriate  to  an  area  of  certification/professional  growth.    
At  the  conclusion  of  the  course,  the  individual  must  submit  the  appropriate  form  on  My  
Learning  Plan  as  well  as  send  a  transcript  to  the  Licensure  Specialist.  
 

LEA/School  Level  In-­‐Service  Courses  or  Workshops  

LEA/School  sponsored  course/workshops  are  activities  planned  by  and  held  at  the  
local  school  or  at  the  district  level.    In  general,  participation  in  these  activities  will  result  in  
a  teacher  earning  the  required  8  renewal  credits  required  every  five  years.    These  may  be  
offered  on  district-­‐wide  training  days,  student  half-­‐days,  or  outside  regular  school  hours.        
For  specific  details  on  how  credit  is  awarded  for  these  activities  refer  to  the  section  entitled  
“Planning  Locally  Sponsored  Courses”  on  page  1.  
 
All  in-­‐district  trainings  are  managed  through  My  Learning  Plan.    Professionals  in  the  
district  locate,  register,  and  evaluate  PD  opportunities  through  MLP.    Upon  completion  of  
any  district/school  workshop  every  participant  must  complete  the  online  evaluation  
form  in  MLP  within  30  days  (or  the  end  of  the  current  school  year,  whichever  is  
sooner)  of  completion  of  the  workshop.    Participants  who  do  not  complete  the  
evaluation  form  will  forfeit  any  credit  earned.    They  will  be  marked  “present”  but  they  
will  not  receive  any  renewal  credit.  
 

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

Classes  Approved  by  DPI/Other  Agency  

To  receive  credit  for  activities  by  an  outside  agency,  participants  must  submit  a  
Prior  Approval  for  External  Staff  Development  through  My  Learning  Plan  at  least  2  weeks  
prior  to  the  desired  activity.    Once  the  form  has  been  submitted  in  MLP  it  will  be  reviewed  
by  the  employee’s  principal/supervisor  as  well  as  the  district’s  Professional  Learning  
Specialist  and  Licensure  Specialist  before  it  is  approved.    Upon  completion  of  the  activity  it  
is  the  employee’s  responsibility  to  mark  the  activity  “complete”  in  MLP  so  credit  can  
be  granted;  proof  of  completion  is  to  be  submitted  to  the  employee’s  
principal/supervisor.    The  employee  has  90  days  (or  the  end  of  the  current  school  year,  
whichever  is  sooner)  to  mark  an  activity  complete  after  it  has  finished,  otherwise  credit  
will  be  forfeited.        
 
As  required  by  North  Carolina  State  Board  of  Education  Policy  TCP-­‐A-­‐005,  no  
credit  will  be  awarded  for  any  activity  that  is  less  than  10  contact  hours.  
 

Completion  of  Portfolio  Process  for  National  Board  Certification  

At  the  conclusion  of  the  National  Board  Certification  process  the  Licensure  
Specialist  is  automatically  provided  with  the  names  of  all  teachers  who  pass  the  
certification  process.    Therefore,  teachers  passing  need  only  to  provide  the  Licensure  
Specialist  with  information  related  to  WHICH  renewal  cycle  the  8  CEU’s  are  to  be  received  
since  teachers  may  receive  credit  during  the  current  cycle  or  bank  them  for  the  next  
renewal  cycle.      
 
Teachers  who  complete  the  National  Board  Certification  process  but  who  do  NOT  
receive  National  Board  certification  may  also  receive  8  CEU’s  of  renewal  credit.    Teachers  
should  submit  to  the  Licensure  Specialist  written  verification  (a)  that  a  portfolio  was  
submitted  to  the  National  Board  or  (b)  written  verification  of  action  from  the  National  
Board,  including  a  copy  of  the  score  assigned.    The  CEU  credit  may  be  received  during  the  
current  cycle  or  banked  for  the  next  renewal  cycle;  however,  credit  may  be  received  one  
time  only.    If  a  teacher  chooses  to  receive  the  8  CEU’s  during  the  current  cycle  and  then  
receive  National  Board  Certification  at  a  later  date  NO  additional  renewal  credit  will  be  
awarded.  
 
Teachers  who  complete  the  National  Board  Renewal  will  receive  2  CEUs  but  are  still  
responsible  for  the  remaining  6  credits.    The  2  CEUs  awarded  for  NBPTS  Renewal  are  
classified  as  Literacy  (1)  and  Academic  (1).  
 

Participation  in  an  Institute/Seminar/Conference  

Frequently,  school  personnel  engage  in  professional  learning  activities  that  do  not  
award  renewal  credit.    Such  activities  include  conferences  sponsored  by  agencies  such  as  
ASCD,  NCTIES,  NCASA,  et  cetera  or  curriculum-­‐specific  conferences  like  the  NC  AIG  
Conference,  NC  EC  Conference,  NC  Music  Educators  Conference,  et  cetera.      While  these  
activities  do  not  meet  the  definition  of  High  Quality  Professional  Learning,  renewal  credit  
can  be  awarded  for  participation  in  them.    This  procedure  outlined  below  provides  a  way  

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that  individuals  may  obtain  credit  for  these  activities  that  are  sustained  over  a  minimum  
two  day  period  of  time  and  are  focused  on  recent  research  related  to  effective  instruction.    
It  cannot  be  used  for  one  day  conferences.    Requests  for  CEUs  for  one  day  conferences  will  be  
denied  unless  after  attending  the  conference  participants  are  able  to  demonstrate  how  the  
conference  impacted  their  instruction.  
 
1. The  attendee  must  request  prior-­‐approval  at  least  two  weeks  before  the  conference  
through  MLP  using  the  “Prior  Approval  for  Conferences”  form;  
2. Once  the  form  has  been  submitted  in  MLP  it  will  be  reviewed  by  the  employee’s  
principal/supervisor  as  well  as  the  district’s  Professional  Learning  Specialist  and  
Licensure  Specialist  before  it  is  approved;      
3. Upon  completion  of  the  activity  it  is  the  employee’s  responsibility  to  mark  the  
activity  “complete”  in  MLP  so  credit  can  be  granted;  proof  of  completion  is  to  
be  submitted  to  the  employee’s  principal/supervisor.    The  employee  has  90  
days  (or  the  end  of  the  current  school  year,  whichever  is  sooner)  to  mark  an  activity  
complete  after  it  has  finished,  otherwise  credit  will  be  forfeited.        
 
Credit  is  awarded  only  for  the  number  of  hours  participants  engage  in  professional  
learning  and  does  not  include  breaks  between  sessions  or  for  meals.    Upon  completion  of  
the  form  when  the  participant  returns  he/she  will  enter  the  hours  and  break-­‐out  sessions  
(if  any)  that  they  attended.    For  example,  day  one  of  a  conference  starts  at  8:00  and  ends  at  
4:30.    If  the  teacher  attends  the  opening  session  from  8-­‐10,  then  goes  to  the  exhibit  hall  
from10-­‐11,  has  lunch  from  11:30-­‐12:30,  attends  break-­‐out  session  from  1:00-­‐2:30  and  
3:00-­‐4:30  he/she  will  receive  5  hours  of  credit  for  that  day  (2  hours  for  8-­‐10  and  1.5  hours  
for  the  1-­‐2:30  and  3-­‐4:30  sessions).      

Serving  as  a  Clinical  Teacher  
Teachers  may  earn  10  hours  (1  CEU)  of  credit  for  hosting  a  university  intern  and  
completing  any  necessary  training,  and  these  hours  will  be  automatically  awarded  by  the  
district  after  the  intern  has  completed  their  work  with  the  teacher.    Teachers  who  host  an  
intern  need  to  contact  the  Teacher  Support  Coordinator  if  they  have  questions  regarding  
this  process.      

FINANCIAL  CONSIDERATIONS  
 

Often  participation  in  outside  professional  learning  results  in  the  expenditure  of  
significant  financial  resources.    Consultant  fees,  participant  salaries,  material  fees,  travel  
guidelines,  and  reimbursement  procedures  will  fall  within  the  sponsoring  department’s  
guidelines  (EC,  Federal  Programs,  SIG,  etc),  Board  of  Education  Policies  and  Procedures,  
and  under  any  budgetary  directives  given  by  the  Superintendent.    For  further  information  
contact  the  school  principal,  the  appropriate  departmental  director/coordinator,  or  the  
Assistant  Superintendent  for  Educational  Programs  and  Services.  
 

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ONLINE  LEARNING  
 

To  receive  credit  for  an  online  class,  the  professional  educator  must  request  prior-­‐
approval  via  My  Learning  Plan  using  the  Prior  Approval  –  Online  Learning  form.    Online  
courses  must  be  offered  through  an  established  educational  agency  and  often  (though  not  
always)  require  a  fee  to  participate.    Effective  online  learning  requires  regular,  on-­‐going  
interaction  with  a  facilitator  and  other  class  members  and  should  include  the  completion  of  
scored  assignments  (group  work,  research,  readings,  etc).      Examples  of  such  agencies  
include  (but  are  not  limited  to):  
 
• LearnNC  
• Pitt  County  Schools  
• NC  Education  
• NC  Department  of  Public  Instruction  
• School  Improvement  Network  
 
As  a  general  rule  credit  will  not  be  awarded  for  self-­‐paced  online  learning  
opportunities  (unless  sponsored  by  DPI).      Online  courses  taken  through  community  
colleges  or  universities  resulting  in  college  credit  and  for  a  grade  are  not  considered  “Online  
Learning”  opportunities  in  My  Learning  Plan  but  instead  must  be  submitted  in  MLP  via  the  
College  Credit  form.  

PROFESSIONAL  LEAVE  REQUESTS  
 
Employees  must  follow  the  procedures  in  the  Pitt  County  Schools  Human  Resources  
Manual  when  requesting  leave  for  personal,  professional,  or  community  service  reasons.  

PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING  COMMUNITIES  (PLCS)  
 

Participation  in  a  PLC  is  an  expectation  of  the  North  Carolina  Professional  Teaching  
Standards  under  Standard  I.b.    Teachers  have  the  opportunity  to  earn  CEUs  for  
participation  in  an  appropriate  PLC.    PLCs  must  be  proposed  in  MLP  through  the  
appropriate  goal  forms,  logs  must  be  kept  in  a  manner  appropriate  to  the  school  principal,  
and  teachers  may  earn  10  hours  (or  1  CEU)  for  each  calendar  year.      

APPLICATION/IMPACT  CREDIT  
 

When  a  professional  educator  completes  selected  PD  activities  for  which  they  
receive  credit  they  will  have  the  option  of  receiving  additional  CEUs  by  completing  an  
Application  and/or  Impact  study.    Upon  completing  the  activity  evaluation  form  (for  in-­‐
district  activities)  or  marking  a  form  as  “Complete”  (for  external  PD  activities),  professional  
educators  will  be  given  the  option  to  complete  an  Application  study.        
 

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During  the  application  study  the  professional  educator  must  demonstrate  
application  of  the  learning  in  the  classroom  over  time.    Professional  educators  can  earn  
additional  CEUs  equal  to  the  original  number  granted  for  attending  the  initial  training  (i.e.,  
if  a  teacher  participates  in  a  10  hour  training  and  then  completes  an  application  study  they  
can  earn  10  additional  hours).        They  must  document  that  the  skills/knowledge  gained  in  
the  original  activity  have  been  applied  in  the  classroom  over  at  least  a  six  week  period  and  
the  documentation  will  be  submitted  in  My  Learning  Plan.  
 
Upon  demonstration  of  appropriate  application  in  the  classroom  the  professional  
educator  will  be  given  the  option  to  complete  an  Impact  study.    The  impact  study  will  
measure,  over  time,  how  the  new  knowledge/skills  they  learned  and  applied  in  the  
classroom  have  impacted  student  achievement.    Upon  completion  of  the  impact  study  
additional  CEUs  will  be  awarded  at  twice  the  number  of  hours  first  earned  (i.e.,  for  a  10  
hour  training,  an  educator  who  participates  in  the  impact  level  will  earn  20  additional  
hours).    Documentation  will  be  submitted  by  My  Learning  Plan  
 
Completion  of  the  Application  Level  is  a  prerequisite  to  completion  of  the  Impact  
Level.    In  the  proceeding  example,  a  teacher  who  completes  10  hours  of  training  could  earn  
a  total  of  40  hours  of  renewal  credit  by  completing  both  levels  of  study  (10  for  the  initial  
training,  10  more  for  the  application  level,  and  20  more  for  the  impact  level).      Participation  
in  the  Application/Impact  levels  allows  a  professional  educator  to  earn  additional  hours  
beyond  the  number  originally  earned  without  falling  under  the  10%  rule  (see  #2  under  
“Planning  Locally  Sponsored  Courses”).  

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PROCESS  FOR  PCS  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING  

Par9cipant  Evalua9on  (CEUs  
Awarded)  
Enrollment  &  Approval  
Through  District  Catalog  

Par9cipant  Marks  Complete  
(CEUs  awarded)  
• End  here  OR  con9nue  

OPTIONAL:  Impact  Study  

Par9cipa9on  

Instructor  Completes  
A;endance  

• End  here  OR  con9nue  

Demonstrate  classroom  
implementa9on  (minimum  6  
weeks)  

Proposal  &  Approval  

OPTIONAL:  Applica9on  Credit  

Proposal  &  Approval  

Par9cipant  Submits  
documenta9on  that  
applica9on  lead  to  
improvements  in  student  
learning  (2x  CEUs  awarded)  

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PROCESS  FOR  NON-­‐PCS  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING  
(conferences,  online  courses,  seminars,  etc)  

Par9cipant  Evalua9on  (CEUs  
Awarded)  
Proposal  &  Approval  

Par9cipant  Marks  Complete  
(CEUs  awarded)  
• End  here  OR  con9nue  

OPTIONAL:  Impact  Study  

Par9cipa9on  

Par9cipant  Marks  Complete  

Demonstrate  classroom  
implementa9on  (minimum  6  
weeks)  

Proposal  &  Approval  

Proposal  &  Approval  

Par9cipant  Submits  
documenta9on  that  
applica9on  lead  to  
improvements  in  student  
learning  (2x  CEUs  awarded)  

• End  here  OR  con9nue  

OPTIONAL:  Applica9on  Credit  

 

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SECTION  3:  PLANNING  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING

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LOCALLY  SPONSORED  ACTIVITIES  
 
LEA/School  sponsored  course/workshops  must  meet  the  standards  listed  on  page  3  
of  this  manual  under  the  heading  “Standards  for  Professional  learning”.    They  must  be  
designed  to  develop  specific  skills  and  taught  by  qualified  instructors.    All  proposals  must  
be  submitted  into  MLP  at  least  one  month  prior  to  the  official  start  date  of  the  program.    
This  will  allow  adequate  time  for  review  by  the  leadership  team  and  time  for  the  activity  to  
be  posted  into  MLP  for  teachers  to  register.    In  addition,  the  course/workshop  must  meet  
the  following  guidelines:  
 
1. No  more  than  6  hours  of  credit  can  be  awarded  in  one  day  unless  specifically  
approved  by  the  designated  director  prior  to  beginning  the  activity  AND  the  activity  
must  have  a  minimum  of  10  contact  hours;  
 
2. Only  sessions  that  award  10  or  more  hours  total  will  be  considered  for  approval.    
While  multiple  sessions  for  less  than  10  hours  can  be  combined  to  meet  the  10  hour  
minimum,  the  sessions  must  be  related  in  content  (and  these  multiple  sessions  must  
be  entered  into  MLP  as  one  activity).    For  example,  10  hours  can  be  awarded  for  five  
different  two-­‐hour  sessions  on  classroom  management,  but  10  hours  can  not  be  
awarded  for  five  different  two-­‐hour  sessions  on  unrelated  topics  such  as  
classroom  management,  content,  instructional  strategies,  using  PowerSchool,  
and  data  analysis.  
 
3. No  more  than  1  hour  of  the  10  hour  course/workshop  can  be  accrued  from  lab  time  
or  time  spent  on  assignments  or  practicing  strategies.    For  courses  awarding  more  
than  10  hours,  no  more  than  10%  of  the  hours  earned  can  be  from  outside  direct  
participation  time.    The  only  exception  being  individual  participation  in  the  
Application/Impact  level;  
 

4. Upon  completion  of  the  workshop  every  participant  must  complete  the  online  
evaluation  form  in  MLP  within  30  days  (or  the  end  of  the  current  school  year,  
whichever  is  sooner)  of  completion  of  the  workshop.    Participants  who  do  not  
complete  the  evaluation  form  will  forfeit  any  credit  earned.    They  will  be  marked  
“present”  but  they  will  not  receive  any  renewal  credit.  
 
All  workshops,  whether  school  or  district  based,  are  managed  through  My  Learning  
Plan  (MLP).    Facilitators  for  workshops  must  submit  a  Professional  Learning  Activity  
Proposal  in  MLP  at  least  one  month  prior  to  the  date  of  the  training.    Once  the  proposal  has  
been  approved  it  will  appear  in  the  district  catalogue  for  participants  to  register.  
 
In  order  to  complete  the  proposal  process,  the  facilitator  must  submit  the  following  
information  as  part  of  the  proposal  form  in  My  Learning  Plan  (see  Figure  2);  answers  to  
these  questions  are  designed  to  assist  planners  as  they  design  professional  learning  for  
participants:  

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1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Activity  Title  
Description  of  the  Activity  
Description  of  expected  outcomes  for  both  teachers  and  students  
Maximum  &  Minimum  Participants  
Meeting  Date(s),  Time(s),  and  Location(s)  
Number  of  clock  hours  to  be  awarded  (do  not  include  any  scheduled  breaks  or  
meals  in  the  hours  to  be  awarded)  (must  be  at  least  10)  
7. Breakdown  of  how  hours  should  be  awarded;  while  activities  can  offer  hours  in  
different  areas  (Literacy,  Academic,  or  Principal),  the  sum  of  hours  must  equal  the  
total  hours  given.    Example,  for  a  10  hour  course  5  hours  may  be  awarded  for  
Literacy  and  5  for  Academic.  
8. The  activity  must  be  aligned  to  the  NC  Teacher  Evaluation  Standards  (or  Principal  
standards  if  it  is  to  offer  principal  renewal  hours)  and  goals  established  by  the  Pitt  
County  Schools  Board  of  Education  
a. Activities  that  award  literacy  credit  must  address  Standard    III.a  
b. Activities  that  award  academic  credit  must  address  Standard  III.b  
c. Activities  that  award  principal  credit  must  address  School  Executive  
Standards  II,  IV,  or  V.  
9. The  activity  should  include  a  plan  for  how  the  activity  will  be  evaluated  for  impact  
and  extended  over  time  
 
All  participants  must  sign-­‐in  to  receive  credit  for  the  activity.    Upon  completion  of  the  
activity  the  facilitator  will  enter  attendance  into  MLP.  
 

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Figure 2: MLP Proposal Form for School & District
PD

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SECTION  4:  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING  COMMUNITIES

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PLCs  are  not  random  committee  meetings  that  lack  focus,  nor  are  they  team  or  
content  meetings  that  lack  a  measurable  goal.    Rather,  all  effective  PLCs  are  results  driven  
(Annenberg  Institute  for  School  Reform,  2004;  Dufour,  1997,  2004;  Schmoker,  2006,  2011),  
meaning  they  focus  on  increasing  student  achievement  based  on  specific,  measurable  goals.    
In  effective  PLCs,  “Every  professional  in  the  building  must  engage  with  colleagues  in  the  
ongoing  exploration  of  three  crucial  questions  that  drive  the  work  of  those  within  a  
professional  learning  community:  
• What  do  we  want  each  student  to  learn?  
• How  will  we  know  when  each  student  has  learned  it?  
• How  will  we  respond  when  a  student  experiences  difficulty  in  learning?”  
(Dufour,  2004)    
 

PLC  meetings,  while  they  are  focused  on  data  and  how  teachers  impact  student  
achievement,  may  look  different  from  school  to  school  –  but  the  basic  component  of  
measuring  on-­‐going  progress  towards  a  common,  specific,  and  measurable  goal  will  remain  
consistent  across  the  district.    Perhaps  Richard  Dufour  summarizes  it  best  when  he  writes,  
“The  Professional  Learning  Community  model  flows  from  the  assumption  that  the  core  
mission  of  formal  education  is  not  simply  to  ensure  that  students  are  taught  but  to  ensure  
that  they  learn.    This  simple  shift  –  from  a  focus  on  teaching  to  a  focus  on  learning  –  has  
profound  implications  for  schools…[because  PLCs]  judge  their  effectiveness  on  the  basis  of  
[increased  student  achievement]  results…working  together  to  improve  student  
achievement  becomes  the  routine  work  of  everyone  in  the  school.    Every  teacher  team  
participates  in  an  ongoing  process  of  identifying  the  current  level  of  student  
achievement,  establishing  a  goal  to  improve  the  current  level,  working  together  to  
achieve  that  goal,  and  providing  periodic  evidence  of  progress.”    (Dufour,  2004)
 

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

SECTION  5:  REFERENCES  &  RESEARCH

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Pitt County Schools Professional Learning Manual

REFERENCES  
Annenberg  Institute  for  School  Reform.  (2004).  Professional  Learning  Communities.  
Retrieved  from  
http://annenberginstitute.org/sites/default/files/product/270/files/ProfLearning.
pdf  
Dufour,  R.  (1997).  Functioning  as  Learning  Communities  Enables  Schools  to  Focus  on  
Student  Achievement.  Journal  of  Staff  Development,  18,  56–57.  
Dufour,  R.  (2004).  What  is  a  Professional  Learning  Community?  Educational  Leadership,  
61(8).  
Dufour,  R.,  Dufour,  R.,  Eaker,  R.,  &  Many,  T.  (2010).  Learning  by  Doing  (2nd  Edition.).  
Bloomington,  IN:  Solution  Tree.  
Easton,  L.  B.  (2011).  Professional  Learning  Communities  by  Design.  Thousand  Oaks,  CA:  
Corwin  Press.  
Guskey,  T.  R.  (2000).  Evaluating  Professional  learning.  Thousand  Oaks,  CA:  Corwin  Press.  
Guskey,  T.,  &  Yoon,  K.  S.  (2009).  What  Works  in  Professional  learning?  Phi  Delta  Kappan,  
90(7),  495–500.  
Jessup,  S.  (2007).  Professional  Learning  Communities:  An  Overview  of  What  the  Research  
Says.  The  Educational  Partners,  LLC.  Retrieved  from  
http://www.youreducationalpartners.com/Flyers/PLC/PLC%20Articles/PLCovervi
ew.pdf  
Killion,  J.  (2008).  Assessing  Impact  (2nd  Edition.).  Thousand  Oaks,  CA:  Corwin  Press.  
Moir,  E.  (2013,  May  23).  Evolving  from  professional  development  to  professional  learning.  
EdSource  Today.  Retrieved  May  28,  2013,  from  
http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/evolving-­‐from-­‐professional-­‐development-­‐
to-­‐professional-­‐learning/32586#.UaTKAFO_29d  
Reeves,  D.  (2008).  Reframing  Teacher  Leadership  to  Improve  Your  School.  Alexandria,  VA:  
ASCD.  
Reeves,  D.  (2010).  Transforming  Professional  Development  into  Student  Results.  Alexandria,  
VA:  ASCD.  
Schmoker,  M.  (2006).  Results  Now.  Alexandria,  VA:  ASCD.  
Schmoker,  M.  (2011).  Focus.  Alexandria,  VA:  ASCD.  
Shymansky,  J.  A.,  Wang,  T.-­‐L.,  Annetta,  L.  A.,  Yore,  L.  D.,  &  Everett,  S.  A.  (2010).  How  Much  
Professional  Development  Is  Needed  to  Effect  Positive  Gains  in  K–6  Student  
Achievement  on  High  Stakes  Science  Tests?  International  Journal  of  Science  and  
Mathematics  Education,  10,  1–19.    
 Zepeda,  S.  J.  (2012).  Professional  Development:  What  Works.  Larchmont,  NY:  Eye  on  
Education.  
 

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