• Central Office Staff Feedback

    At each SOD engagement session, participants were placed in groups of 5 to 10 people and received a handout with a draft abstract of each of the five areas: Early Childhood Education, Gifted Education, Aligned Instructional Systems, New Teacher Induction, Job-Embedded Professional Development. The draft abstract statements were read out loud and each participant had the opportunity to provide their feedback for each of the five areas by answering three questions.     

    • What resonated with you?  
    • What wonderings do you have?  
    • What is missing?  

    The summary included below reflects the feedback of the SOD presentation on October 17th with Central Office Staff. The page is organized by topic with the feedback received from the various stakeholders pertaining to each question. The numbers in parenthesis reflect the number of times the same type of feedback was received. The feedback received will support the development of action plans to enhance existing efforts or create new initiatives in each of the five areas listed below.    

    For best viewing results, we recommend screens larger than 720px (iPad, tablets, laptops, desktops). 

Early Childhood Education: What Resonated With You?

To best capture how much a word or phrase resonated with each audience, the words have been enlarged to show a greater number of people resonated with the word or phrase. In addition, for items that resonated but not as much, the words or phrases are in a different color. Hover over the larger words to view additional comments.

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) is committed to providing students
birth through 8 years of age What resonated with you:
"Including parents.”
"Community and parent partnerships.”
"Partner with parents… related to health.” 
"The idea of community partners.”
"Engaging community organizations.” 
"Community organization.”
with the social-emotional and academic foundational skills that are necessary for success throughout their educational career and life. We recognize that we can’t do this work alone and will need committed community partners that can actively support our birth to age 8 efforts and support families within the school and broader Pittsburgh community.


For PPS to succeed, we will:

  • Intentionally design learning experiences to ensure that all children are educated to high level academic and social emotional standards within a
    joyful, warm and nurturing environmentWhat resonated with you:
    "Important and lofty goal."
    "The word safe needs to be included in the kind of environments."
    .
  • Ensure social-emotional skills developmentWhat resonated with you:
    "Inclusion of SE needs as opposed to just the academics."
    "The importance of SE skills at an early age."
    “Important for kids to learn social skills… not like basic math and english of old.”
    "Socio-emotional, self-awareness, and items that will stick with them for their entire lives."
    includes: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills and social awareness.
  • Ensure academic skills include: literacy skills, math skills, scientific thinking, social studies, physical development and the arts.
  • Embrace developmentally appropriate practices, play-based learning, and standards-aligned curricula that encourages each child’s natural eagerness to learn.
  • Adopt teaching practices that are grounded in research on how children develop and learn, and what is known about effective early childhood education.
  • Expect positive, responsive
    teacher-child relationshipsWhat resonated with you:
    "Positive…Teacher child relationships."
    "Each child’s style of living."
    in which each child’s unique style of living and learning is respected and fostered.
  • Train teachers to meet children where they are, both as individuals and as part of a group.
  • Help each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals.
  • Partner with parents in support of their child’s health, development and education.
  • Engage community organizationsWhat resonated with you:
    "Community and parent partnerships."
    "The idea of community partners."
    "Engaging community organizations."
    "Community organization."
    whom are aligned to our beliefs and ensure we have strong partnership to support schools and families.

Early Childhood Education: What Wonderings Do You Have?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Program Structure / Logistics
"What about pre-birth and expectant parents?"
"Why to 8 years old?"
"How do we scale-up to serve 0-8 students?"
"What is the plan and how are we getting there?"
"What's happening from birth to 3?"
"District starts at 3."
"If we are expanding from 3-8 to birth to 8… how are we expanding a smaller program outside of K-12 and not taking away from current children?"
"This sounds like a LOT of work for one teacher and an aide. Birth to 8 is a large range."
"Will we have small class sizes for K-3?"
"Need to address class size and support staff."
"How are we working within state guidelines with 0-4 families?"
"How do we better engage 0-4 families?"
"What is different from ECE and K-12 education as it stands?"
"How is an 8 year old with pre-k students?"
"Where will we house more early childhood classroom?"
"Where are you going to put these classrooms?"
"Will there be more programs for 18 month old to 2 year olds?"
"Why is early childhood so disconnected from the K-12 system?"
"Data often separates EC and Prek-5."
"Does not fit the current model."
"How can we do all of these things without having all students are enrolled in the system?"
"Who defined focus areas in the abstract?"
"What is the process and plan to implement and provide feedback along way?"
"Is it possible to consider magnet schools for PreK for language?"
"Variations in the programs that do exist what would change?"
"State standards vs castle?"
"How do we spread this work outside of Early Childhood?"
"How will we build out teacher/child relationship?"
"Does EC diagnose children with learning disabilities?"
"How are we addressing basic needs in EC?"

Equity/ Cultural Awareness
"Not viewing students from a deficit perspective and acknowledging different skills."
"How is it going to mean more inclusive to everyone?"
"Many parents apply but never get in."
"How do we connect culturally?"
"How do we get past implicit bias if we are going to ensure all kids get the same education?"
"How will we incorporate various cultures in the SS curriculum?"

Recruiting/Enrollment
"How will a School system access/contact parents with students from 0 to 3?"
"How are children accepted into the EC?"
"Are we considering the ways in which students are enrolled to see if it is effective?"
"Enrollment will impact other years."
"How will parents be brought in?"
"Plans to expand the number of children we are going to serve in early childhood?
"How will you make information about early childhood more widely known? "
"Eligibility criteria and pricing."

Teacher Training/Qualifications/Certifications
"Will this require teachers to receive additional training?"
"What about teacher training?"
"What training supports teacher-child relationships?"
"Training teachers to meet children where they are not where the teacher thinks they are?"

Curriculum
"What is the standard aligned curriculum for pre-schools?"
"Do we have social emotional curriculum to ensure we develop skills?"
"Why focus is on social emotional/not academics?"
"How much play-based learning exists in early childhood education?"

Assessment/Metrics
"How do you measure joyful, warm and nurturing?"
"How will we measure success and what data will be used?"
"What measurement tools are we using and how are we defining success?" "How is (the addressing of basic needs) assessed?"

Parent Engagement and Support
"Parting with Parents is very vague. Wondering what tools we will give parents?"
"Need to communicate better to parents that it is needs based."
"How will you address the needs of parents?"
"How are we support the parents?"

Community Engagement
"How do we flush-out Community Organization in the summary?"
"How do we flush out are beliefs around EC in the summary?"

Continuity
"How do you ensure continuity beyond Pre-K?"
"If we move to age 8 how will we this tie in with grades for third grade?"
"What type of partnerships are begin established with Elementary schools?"
"How are we aligning students with those partnerships?"

Define
"Need clarification for what birth to 8 means?"

Teacher Recruitment
"How will we recruit high-quality teachers to support Early Childhood or PreK?"

Capacity
"How do we address limited capacity of offsite programming? "

Funding
"How are we going to finance this?"

Transportation
"Will we provide transportation to these students?"

Research
"How do we call out the balance between research and meeting all family needs? Are these contradictory in some ways?"

 

Early Childhood Education: What is Missing?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Program Structure
"Logistics and process for making this simple to consume."
"A focus critical thinking."
"How do we embed what we expect from our older kids with our younger kids?"
"(Implementation plan) by school is missing."

Strategic Plan
"Language that link this work to the strategic plan i.e., MTSS, Restorative Practices, PBIS."
"Nothing that aligns to PBIS and strategic plan."
"Goals are couched in standards."

Equity
"Contiguous and Equal."
"Are we going to provide that equity across the board?"
"Universal Pre-K."
"Wage parity."

Parent Support
"Calling out extended day supports - child care, parental support."
"Explicit call outs for supporting parents."
"Navigating the school and business day for the parents."

Enrollment/Guidelines
"Decline letter does not included a reason why you didn't get in."
"Registration, age, bus rules - all of those items."
"How does this happen?"

Diversity
"Wishing there was more call outs for diversity - conflict resolution - mixing of experiences with different types of students with different backgrounds."
"How do we specifically call this out as different from where we are at right now?"

Opportunities
"More consistent opportunities for extended care."
"Promote choicing instead of offerings."

Communication/Engagement/Outreach
"Interested in more information about early childhood."
"A lot of assumptions are made about people know about early childhood."

Principal Support
"How to get principals to care about early childhood education?"
"Support from school age."

Data
"Would be helpful to have data about program to add input."

Gifted Education: What Resonated With You?

To best capture how much a word or phrase resonated with each audience, the words have been enlarged to show a greater number of people resonated with the word or phrase. In addition, for items that resonated but not as much, the words or phrases are in a different color. Hover over the larger words to view additional comments.

Pittsburgh Public Schools is committed to providing
all students What resonated with you:
"All demographics are being considered."
the opportunity to demonstrate their gifts and talents through enriched and accelerated learning. We will ensure that high-quality culturally responsive instruction is embedded in our core curriculum. We will
equip teachersWhat resonated with you:
"Equip teachers with the knowledge and skills with identifying the Gifted and Talented."
"How to identify learners."
with the necessary tools to identify all learners' gifts and talents and ensure they can effectively identify gifted and talented (G&T) learners. We expect all teachers to develop high yield instructional strategies to meet the learning needs of students identified as gifted and talented. We will ensure this level of instruction is present
every day, in every school,What resonated with you:
"Every day and every school.” (2)
"High quality instruction.”
to offer a wide range of ways a child can develop personally. Students, staff, and parents will understand the process of gifted and talented identification.

We expect gifted and talented students to:

  • Develop academically, socially, and emotionally.What resonated with you:
    ”The order of the words academically, socially and emotionally should be rearranged.”
    “Also aligns to the plan.”
  • Recognize the role they play in contributing to their school, community, and global society.

Gifted Education: What Wonderings Do You Have?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Program Structure
"Why is their Gifted and Talented (G&T) only once a week?"
"What kind of support is given to kids at school after they leave for a day?"
"How will this model effect the program currently?"
"Can there be advanced classes at the elementary level?"
"Should we have gifted in every school or the gifted center?"
"What are the cost-savings and how do we measure them for a program shift?"
"Will gifted be in every school?"
"Being at the school building would make it more accessible to all students."
"How often are students tested for gifted education? (Is there testing beyond elementary?)"
"Can K-8 follow the same high school gifted model?"
"What happens when students go to HS?"
"What does the High school program look like?" "Are we changing to a different procedure for gifted education?"
"Refine the process of Gifted and Talented."
"How and when will the new plan for Gifted be implemented?"
"What about differentiated instruction?"
"Will there be uniformity across the district on high-yield strategies: how will we provide oversight?"
"How will we better address so gifted and talented kids are not just going some place one day a week."
"I think we need to look differently at the gifted program."
"Go look at PAST program in Ohio as a model for gifted education."
"What is the difference between CAS and AP?"
"How do we choose teachers to teach Gifted? It should be for all teachers.

Identify
"What the guidelines are for identifying?"
"What is the criteria for Gifted and Talented, and what might be expected?"
"How do you discover these children?"
"Are we putting the entire onus on teachers to identify gifted?"
"What are the tools given to teacher to identify students"
"How are students identified in high school as gifted"
"What are the identifiers for gifted education? "
"Are we using the best screener to identify gifted students"
"Can evaluation be nonformal vs. formal"
"How is gifted and talented being identified?"

Equity/Recruitment
"Should we include the percentages of Gifted and Talented into the desired state?"
"How do students from different backgrounds get the same access?"
"What students are we talking about when we say all students?"
"What is put in place for AA and ESL students?"
"How is gifted Culturally responsive when it is not reflective of the districts demographic makeup?"
"Can’t all kids have access to gifted education?
"Current system discriminates against non-gifted kids -- gifted should for all children."
 

Gifted Education: What is Missing?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Program Structure
"Guidelines are missing."
"Incorporate gifted in a seamless fashion."
"The specifics."
"A gifted center that has more advanced academics and more than one day a week."
"Talented and gifted schools."
"More expectations for gifted and talented students: leadership? Independent learning? "
"The explicit call-out of dismantling the pull-out program."

Diversity/Equity
"Equitable access to gifted learning and content."
"Ways to identify gifted students that address cultural backgrounds of students."
"Does not specifically call out the identification of African American students."

Identify
"Addressing the screening process, and how this is done and expected."

Student Input
"Student voice is missing from the process."

Define
"Misconception is that Gifted is academics."
"Need to clarify that it is thinking outside of the box."

Aligned Instructional System: What Resonated With You?

To best capture how much a word or phrase resonated with each audience, the words have been enlarged to show a greater number of people resonated with the word or phrase. In addition, for items that resonated but not as much, the words or phrases are in a different color. Hover over the larger words to view additional comments.

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) is committed to ensuring that all students entering and exiting any PPS school will leave with the same quality education
regardless of zip code.What resonated with you:
"All students getting the same access"
"As a parent, schools were different based upon zip code."
"Regardless of zip code" stood out to me"
"Differs by zip code… is still an issue with in PPS and the education system. Awareness the district does have."
"First sentence regardless of zip code. Requirements should be consistent and not different"
"The first statement is a big statement, but it does not address the changes kids currently experience in the mobility of students throughout schools."
"The quality of education should be the same for all students."
"Students receive different treatment based on where they are from."
"District forces children to go to school by zip code"
"Neighborhoods have feeder schools unless you go to a magnet school."
"Is this saying that no matter where you live, you have access to the same thing? If so it is not strong enough."
Equitable learningWhat resonated with you:
"Equitable."
"Access to AP courses."
for all students will occur and serve as the foundation for classroom instruction, occur with the implementation of culturally responsive curriculum, instructional frameworks, and assessments that articulate a sequence of learning
alignedWhat resonated with you:
"Alignment must be very specific… and equal access to all types of academics… and focus of the opportunities for students - electives."
"Appreciate the aligned system."
to grade-level expectations developed by district staff and teachers. PPS will provide curricular resources and support for all staff to foster a mindset of continuous learning and high expectations. We will ensure a variety of ongoing assessments to inform daily instructional decisions that appropriately stretch students beyond their current level of performance. Students in PreK-12 will engage in learning experiences that reflect high expectations, and enable them to transfer knowledge and skills to new situations, both locally and globally. Students will learn how to apply academic grit to transcend internal and external obstacles in order to reach their highest potential. Clear gateways will be established to ensure students are aware of their academic options and can embody the academic and socio-emotional intelligence
to become college, career and life-ready.What resonated with you:
"No one talked about this before… this is good."


Aligned Instructional System: What Wonderings Do You Have?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Equity / Opportunities
"Are all students getting equal treatment?"
"Goes back to G&T… disparity… if we continue to separate students, this feels like we are focusing on special interest groups, not equity."
"Why don’t we have the same offerings at different schools?"
"What offerings do we provide at each school?"
"How do we make sure that everyone has access at every school?"  
"G&T has a pilot program… can this be made available to all students?" 
"How do we begin to talk about the core issues?" 
"Zip code is code word for race."  
"What is the collective belief system as a District?" 

Curriculum 
"Can G&T be joined with normal curriculum?" 
"Did we buy a good curriculum?" 
"Why aren't they (instructional systems) already aligned?" 
"How will we ensure consistent curriculum… when staff can purchase other materials?"  
"Project-based learning - how much are we thinking out of the box?" 
"How comfortable are teachers are with the curriculum?"  

Program Structure / Assessment
"How the district expects to achieve AIS without aligning grade level?" 
"Accountability… who does this fall on?"  
"Are there consequences?"   
"What actions are taken to change this?" 
"How does this address standard of structures in schools - grade level, departmentalized, block scheduling, etc."   
"How is this standardized? "  
"Will this require a (demolition) approach to approach where things are blown up entirely to support this. " 

Define 
"What is meant by CRP curriculum?" 
"How are we defining academic grit? "
"How do we make sure we don't use students shortcoming as weapons against them?"  
"Where is the acknowledgement of the system?" 
"What system are we referring to?" 
"What does quality education look like?" 
"It needs to be defined"  
"How is learning differentiated among all staff?" 
"Differentiated instruction needs to be taught and defined."   

Program Alignment
"Why don't we have better after school programs for children?  Free breakfast and lunch… but nothing after school". 
"What does it mean for magnet schools / Does this eliminate magnet schools?" 
"How does this effect magnets?" 

Teacher Placement
"How do we get good teachers to go to more challenging schools?" 
"Why is it that we point new teachers with the neediest students?" 
"How to have consistency when you can't control teacher assignment?" 

Teacher Support
"What do we have in place to foster teachers desire for continuous learning"  
"We need to take a look at teacher empowerment." 
"Are there opportunities for earned autonomy?"  

Data/Resource Allocation
"Parent who sends child to PPS and works for PPS… why is spending per child and results per child quantified?" 
"Are all resources allocated equally?  Are programs offered to all?" 
"We will ever get to the point where we can give all students books to take home" 

Community Engagement
"How do we utilize Community resources?" 
"Thinking about all the spaces that kids learn."  
"How can we gain the confidence in the community?" 

Student Engagement
"Ensure students are aware of their option."  
"We need to encourage students to become more independent thinkers." 

Cultural Awareness
"What do you do for cultural enrichment for new teachers?" 
"Understanding the community and the students that you serve." 

Timeline/Implementation
"What is the ongoing time frame for this?"

Aligned Instructional System: What is Missing?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Equity / Race
"External resources and opportunities."  
"Our kids don’t have books… so parents don’t have the context of the lesson."  
"The alignment to grade-level phrase and the designed by teachers may not entirely include our ESL population and the variety of needs that they may require that are not regularly experienced by the vast majority of teachers."  
"Access at each school."  

Resource Allocation
"More resources for students and families." 
"Explicit call out about fiscal resources and how those differ across schools." 

Purpose
"Not sure of the purpose of this page." 
"Does not feel like the paragraph really captures an aligned instruction system." 
"Promotion / Recruitment" 
"How are we "selling" or marketing our schools?"

Program Structure
"How does this address entry points of students that are not on grade level?" 

Transportation
"The ability for children to travel to schools that offer."  

Technology
"How are we addressing technology, functioning to 1-1?" 

Curriculum 
"Education model."  

Teacher-Student Relationships 
"Teachers living in the City." 

Teacher Support
"Safe space where teachers can ask for support."  

New Teacher Induction: What Resonated With You?

To best capture how much a word or phrase resonated with each audience, the words have been enlarged to show a greater number of people resonated with the word or phrase. In addition, for items that resonated but not as much, the words or phrases are in a different color. Hover over the larger words to view additional comments.

Pittsburgh Public Schools is committed to ensuring
all incoming teachersWhat resonated with you:
"All incoming teachers receive effective mentoring."(2)
receive effective mentoring, guidance, and support through a comprehensive New Teacher Induction (NTI) process. NTI will establish a foundation for new teachers to benefit from and contribute to a culture of continuous improvement. NTI will consist of both individualized and collaborative
learningWhat resonated with you:
"The climate of learning: principals at one school may run a school one-way (versus other) schools."
experiences for teachers, preparing them to best meet the diverse academic and social-emotional needs of their students. The NTI process will support the District in developing and retaining teachers who are committed to ongoing growth, research, and development to ensure that every student in every school experiences high quality instruction every day.


We expect new teachers to:

  • Believe that students of
    every race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, and abilityWhat resonated with you:
    "Students of every race, ethnicity can excel and make progress."
    "This is not something you can teach."
    "Change gender to gender identity."
    can excel and make continuous academic progress.
  • Understand and implement research-based and culturally-responsive instructional practices so that all students can learn. 
  • Have a
    dedicated, well-prepared, and qualified mentor.What resonated with you:
    "Dedicated mentors."
    "Dedicated and qualified mentors."
  • Have a shared responsibility in their professional learning.
  • Experiences professional learning that models effective learning experiences for students.
  • Engage in data-driven and data-informed professional learning experiences.
  • Have
    site-based and district-based supports that complement one another.What resonated with you:
    "Appreciate support at site-based level and learning experiences embedded to address turnover rate, which is reflective of support."
    "Having site and district-based resources that complement each other - this is not happening right now."
    "Competing services currently exist"
    "Site-based and district-based supports complement each other."
  • Receive the resources to be successful in their roles.
  • Become experienced and effective teachers in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

New Teacher Induction: What Wonderings Do You Have?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Program Structure
"NTI should be based on new hire in Pittsburgh."
"What is the onboarding process for new hires?"
"How long will the program last?"
"How long will mentoring last?"
"How can we include other positions in the onboarding for any role?"
"What about a teacher that moves into a new grade, new topic, etc… " 
"How are we building school culture?"

Teacher Training/Support
"How do we support teachers who have no urban experience?"   
"What resources do sub-teachers receive?  
"How can we frontload the professional development for our new teachers?"   
"Getting them the PD they need in advance before they get in the classroom."  
"Alternate models to provide induction (online, etc.)"
"How are we screening teachers for on-going growth and research?" 

Teacher Recruitment/Diversity
"How do we recruit teachers of color?"   
"Relationships with Higher Education in regards to recruitment of teachers?"  
"How do we balance the racial disparity among teachers?"
"What are we doing to actively recruit and bring in more diversity to our teaching core?"

Staff Support 
"Will all new staff have the supports they need in their roles?"  
"How are we addressing all new employees?"  
"Ongoing onboarding."
"Is there new administrator training?" 
"How are we supporting the new staff in the building or position?"

Teacher Retention
"How do we retain teachers?"  
"Can we ask teachers why they leave a position to either quit or transfer?"
"How do we protect teachers from unmotivated and negative teachers?" 

Assessment 
"What characteristics are we identifying in success teachers?"
"Will we evaluate out people that do not believe all students can achieve?"  
"How are we addressing teachers who change content?" 

Mentor Selection
"How will mentor teachers be selected?"   
"What are the qualifications for being a mentor?" 
"How can we ensure effective mentors?"

State/District 
"State requirements related to new teacher induction?"
"Teachers that participate in induction are selected per state requirements."
"Does not account for all teachers new to the District."  
"How can Central office support schools without any training on how to do it?" 

Teacher Placement
"Are we hiring the right people for the right position for the right school?" 
"How are student teacher placements selected?"

Equity
"How will we ensure all teachers believe students of every race can achieve?"
"What is being done to have teacher race more in line with student population?"
"Stats are disproportionate… how is this addressed?"

Incentives
"What is the incentive for participating as a mentor?"
"Is there a stipend for mentor teachers?"

Cultural Awareness/Responsiveness
"How will new teachers have what they need if they are new to the culture type of environment?"

Capacity / Substitutes
"Will principals let teachers go to get the PD they need - so many teachers say they can't get out."

Resources
"What is the district plan for increasing the supports and resources that go into induction?"

Mentor Training
"Mentors need to be taught how to mentor a teacher."

 

New Teacher Induction: What is Missing?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Teacher Training / Support
"A mentoring program within your building."   
"The building of mentoring."   
"The unions take on mentoring." 
"Substitute teacher training." 
"Who to turn to for help?"
"Ethics training or expectations PD."
"Communicating student demographics and needs to new teachers."  
"Supplemental information."
"More implicit bias training."
"A PPS best practices handbook would be helpful."
"Teachers need a support system."
"Teachers have ample resources… not sure this will help teachers be successful."
"Co-teaching would be good." 

Define
"Defining new teacher: in Pittsburgh? New to profession? New to district, new to state, poorly performing, etc."
"What is an effective teacher?  How do we define this?"
"100% proficiency promoted in presentation." 
"What is the definition of success?"
"Communicating this from the beginning."
"How do we define who a mentor is?"
"What is a high-quality mentor?"
"How do we define 'resources.'" 

Staff Training 
"Geared to teachers… but should be geared towards all staff."
"Should this occur for all of our employees?"   
"Majority of focus is on teachers."

School Culture / Induction
"Ways to engagement teachers in the culture of the communities were the schools are."
"How to give teachers the knowledge of services in their building." 
"Who to contact for what?" 

Staff Mentors
"Mentoring for other positions in the district (i.e., counselors, social workers)." 
"What about mentors for non-instructional teachers?" 

Resource Allocation
"Committing resources to other school staff." 

Diversity / Cultural Awareness
"Diverse faculty... And colleagues…" 
"Equity training."

Student Voice
"Where is student voice?"  

Communication
"How we choose to communicate our message?" 

Relationship Building
"How do you make sure that relationships are cultivated and social and emotional?"

Purpose
"Is this about content, philosophy, operations in the district, etc.? "

Capacity
"Teacher's teach subjects they are not trained in."

Job Embedded PD: What Resonated With You?

To best capture how much a word or phrase resonated with each audience, the words have been enlarged to show a greater number of people resonated with the word or phrase. In addition, for items that resonated but not as much, the words or phrases are in a different color. Hover over the larger words to view additional comments.

In Pittsburgh Public Schools, job-embedded professional development will be an individual and collaborative continuous learning process of inquiry, reflection, and action that occurs during the work day with the goal of staff improving student outcomes. Job-embedded professional development will equip staff with data analysis, academic content, teaching and learning theory, social/emotional development, research and evidenced based teaching, learning theory, and cultural competency skills to ensure students are college, career and life ready.

We expect teachers to:

  • Understand that
    professional learning is a professional responsibility.What resonated with you:
    "PD is a responsibility."
    "An investment in your career yielding greater outcomes for students."
    "Learning is a responsibility."
    "You should hone your own skills."
  • Feel
    empoweredWhat resonated with you:
    "Building to building there is some concern about how teachers can take an active role in being a self-advocate since currently so much "happens" to them."
    to improve their professional practice.
  • Be engaged in job-embedded professional learning
    daily.What resonated with you:
    "Professional learning daily."
    "This allows time for training, without excuses."
  • Engage in data informed decision making.
  • Have a deep knowledge of the content they teach and
    how to teachWhat resonated with you:
    "Important to know content, but MUST know HOW to teach it as well."
    "Teachers need to figure out way to help children retain information being taught."
    that content to a range of students.
  • Work
    collaborativelyWhat resonated with you:
    "District needs to work collaboratively with teachers… the perception is teachers are not involved in decision making."
    "Teachers are best resource not curriculum."
    to develop and implement lessons that are responsive to the educational needs of their students.
  • Contribute to the improvement of the practice of all members of the school community.
  • Be researchers.
  • Experience high-quality coaching and
    mentoring.What resonated with you:
    "High quality mentoring."
    "...it is missing across the board for new hires."
  • Build their leadership capacity through the coaching and mentoring of other teachers.

Job Embedded PD: What Wonderings Do You Have?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

Program Structure
"Is there a criteria for how often they should be trained?"
"Any quantifiable data to use to support frequency of training."
"Going from mentee to mentor?"
"How are we transitioning individuals into new roles or building the capacity of others in the department?"
"Why is this just for teachers?"
"How can you help people to understand that training is not always offsite?"
"Why is it not for all employees or at least school-based?"
"Are we going to provide prof. learning for all staff?"
"Who will identify the PD's and how?"
"Will PD be aligned with job descriptions and duties?"
"Will teachers be engaged in this learning?"
"Will mentors teach and coach in a standard manner?"
"Is this really about all staff or is just teachers?"
"Will other teams be engaged in the professional development?"
"Will other teams collaborate with professional development?"
"How do you determine which department is eligible for PD?"
"How can we include PD for all roles?"
"PD should include all PPS staff"
"How can we provide coaching and mentoring for new principals?"
"What does Central Office PD look like?"
"What are departmental and non-instructional expectations of using PD days within the school calendars."

Training/PD Options
"Do teachers do professional growth plans?"
"If so, can this be used as a tool to leverage professional responsibility?"
"So much more PD is available in other districts (this was coming from a teacher who was tenured in the state and then left and has taught in several other districts before coming to PPS)."
"Current PD at times feels like a ""sales pitch"" from those who offer it – coaches, principals, etc."
"How do we look at professional development outside of the classroom?"
"Can teachers select their PD or is district mandated.."
"Is it relevant to all teachers?"
“Many folks go to PD… but it's not across the board.”
“Mandated PD interferes with building needs”
“There should be non-negotiables for all PD.”

Timing/Logistics
"Ensuring that time permits PD during the day."
"Will this be during half days?"
“1/2 days cause problems for parents.”
"What is the timeline for embedded PD to start?"
"Are teachers permitted to attend PD during the workday?"
"Where will mentors be located?"
"Are teachers given enough time to participate in PD?"
"Can they take time off from work to go to PD?"

Training/PD Assessment
"Where is the follow-up after the PD? Ongoing PD to ensure impact?"
"Assessment of the PD: Is it working? Does it work?"
"Can we use effectiveness data to identify practices to share? Better accepted."
"What is the accountability for teachers?"
"What is the District's accountability for supporting teachers to meet this?"

Define
"What does "range" mean?"
"What “Be researchers” means?"
Program Promotion
"What ways will the district promote, support and foster this?"

Trainer Selection
"Who is going to deliver the PD for teachers / staff?"
"Are facilitators going to receive PD to ensure there thinking is aligned with PPS new way of thinking?"

Budget/Funding
"Will we provide funding for staff to improve their practice?"

Community Engagement
"Where is the Community in this process?"

Technology
"How are we including training in technology for various roles?"

Mental Health
"Will we bring in additional help related to Social Workers for mental health support?"

Culture
"How do you change the culture?"


 

Job Embedded PD: What is Missing?

Please see below for a full list of comments each audience noted. Similar topics are grouped together in bolded categories.

TRAINING / PD 
"New teachers should be trained for a year with consistent support." 
"No book on how to do your job."  
"Teaching teachers how to have interpersonal relationships." 
"Have a new teacher teach at more than one school in their first year to enable them to understand all of the different students." 
"Investment in a train the trainer model." 
"Investment in other role groups for PD." 
"Technology PD."  
"Software for data analysis." 
"Alternate delivery models for PD." 
"Does not call out online options and tools to support this."   
"Staff training." 
"Should be for all of us." 
"No PD for central office staff." 

PROGRAM STRUCTURE 
"Teachers should be 12 month employees to provide training in the summer."   
"All employees rather than restricting it to just teachers." 
"Focus on differentiated professional development."  

CONNECTEDNESS / CONTINUITY 
"Open PD that cuts across work groups." 
Intentional PD related to your work?" 
"There is never a focus on next step or what is the plan after the PD."  

IMPLEMENTATION / ASSESSMENT 
"We tend to jump from PD to PD with no time for teachers to implement."   
"We don’t Plan Do Check Act with PD."  
"How will effectiveness data be used in the planning of PD for professional practice?"  

CAPACITY 
"The man power to carry out professional development."  
"Capacity of the department and staff to do professional developments." 

PURPOSE 
"Does not specifically call out how we change our culture and the system that exists currently."   

RESOURCE ALLOCATION 
"Get the resources we have in the District to teachers."