Cultivating a Culture for Learning

During Spring 2018, a diverse group of educators across all ISG schools met with an external consultant to create the ISG Standards for Professional Practice and the ISG Learns Professional Learning Handbook (still in development). The results of these two documents become the base of personal growth and professional evaluation for ISG staff.

As outlined in the Handbook, one key component of professional growth at ISG is the Professional Growth Plan (PGP).  All staff members engage in a Professional Growth Plan (PGP), an inquiry based tool that engages staff members in various learning opportunities grounded in the ISG Standards for Professional Practice. The PGP begins and ends with purposeful and thoughtful reflection and embeds meaningful feedback into the process. Collaboration is embedded within the PGP process, and teams may choose to develop one collectively; however, staff members may choose to develop an individual growth area and still engage with learning networks that will allow for collaboration.

Further resources and systems for evaluation are still under development by the Professional Learning Task Force and Instructional Leadership Team across the 2018-19 school year.

The Standards for Professional Practice for ISG teachers were adopted in August 2018 as follows:

Professional Expectations

STANDARD 1: Adhere to the Guiding Principles of ISG and the Staff Code of Conduct

Act in accordance with the ideals and values outlined by the ISG guiding principles and staff code of conduct in an effort to safeguard the welfare of all in our community.

STANDARD 2: Communicate and collaborate in a professional manner

Work to build positive relationships with all stakeholders through professional communication and collaboration.

STANDARD 3: Commit to continued professional learning

Take responsibility for continued professional growth. Serve as a contributing member of the school’s professional learning community, as well as engaging in district and school initiatives.

 

Assessment for Learning

STANDARD 4: Plan meaningful assessment opportunities

Align summative and formative assessments with adopted curricular standards and utilize varied assessment strategies/tools to produce accurate and reliable data to inform, guide, and differentiate planning and improve student learning.

STANDARD 5: Drive learning through assessment and feedback

Use assessment in instruction to monitor progress, maintain accurate records, and improve student learning while clearly communicating learning expectations, progress, and checking for understanding.  Provide feedback to students that is timely, targeted, accurate, and actionable, and regularly embedded throughout the assessment process.

STANDARD 6: Reflect on assessment goals and targets

Set acceptable, measurable, and appropriate achievement goals for student academic progress with student input based on baseline data involving student progress.  Provide evidence of student growth and meeting achievement goals and enable students to utilize assessment data to set goals and monitor progress.  Present opportunities to celebrate growth and learning.

 

Planning for Learning

STANDARD 7: Plan and deliver effective and meaningful learning opportunities

Maintain detailed and developmentally appropriate learning plans grounded in curricular standards that guide day-to-day instruction and support long-term outcomes.  Utilize a variety of instructional techniques and scaffolding to promote a deepening of existing knowledge, higher-order thinking, risk-taking, reflection, and students’ contextual understanding. Reflect upon and systematically evaluate the effectiveness of lessons and adapt plans accordingly.

STANDARD 8: Know and respond to the needs of all students

Demonstrate knowledge of all students, including their emotional and cognitive development, special needs, and skills, and exhibit flexibility and responsiveness to students’ needs.  Couple this understanding with appropriate resources to meet and extend learning to promote richer learning experiences and greater independence in the learning process.  Intentionally structure individual, small group, and whole group work time to meet learning goals.

STANDARD 9: Promote agency and innovation in the learning process

Engage students in creative and active learning experiences while empowering students to act independently, make their own choices, and take purposeful initiative in their learning. Provide students opportunities to inquire, design, and create, while encouraging connections across disciplines and extensions of student learning beyond the classroom.

 

Culture for Learning

STANDARD 10: Foster compassion and build relationships amongst the ISG community

Maintain positive and professional relationships with stakeholders while recognizing the strengths of community members as sources of learning opportunities.  Engage in frequent and effective communication while nurturing a culture that emphasizes the joy of learning, an appreciation of student diversity, and celebrations of differences and similarities.

STANDARD 11: Exhibit effective and positive classroom management

Construct learning environments that utilize effective classroom management strategies that promote engagement and active learning opportunities.  Allow for flexibility and change in a safe, nurturing classroom space.

STANDARD 12: Contribute to student growth and collaboration

Engage students in learning strategies that promote critical thinking, self-reflection, and feedback opportunities while creating structures that support student engagement, peer collaboration, and mentorship.  Recognize successes and failures as important in encouraging perseverance, resilience, and a growth mindset.