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SameCircus SameCircus is offline
 
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What Is Normal?
Old 08-27-2017, 11:07 AM
 
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My district has become increasingly dysfunctional the last several years and while I am able to muddle through with my 14 years of experience here, I am wondering if the shifts in normalcy I am seeing are widespread, so please let me know if these things are happening in your district as well. When replying, please give state, grade level, and whether public or charter. Thanks in advance for any insights you provide ;-)

1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?

Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.



Last edited by SameCircus; 08-27-2017 at 11:16 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:15 AM
 
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1) I received class lists two weeks before school started, but then they were changed. There are usually 5-10 changes between when we get our lists and when school starts.

The short answer to that is "yes."

2) We had two in-service days prior to school starting. During one day, we had 12-5 to do our rooms, but there was a staff meeting between 2:30-3. Then we had an open house from 5-7:30. The second day, we had meetings until around 9:30 and had the rest of the day to work.

I didn't need any of that time because I came in three times in early August. I like doing it that way. It's not a necessity, but psychologically I work better when I have those tasks done in a silent building.

#3 Yes
#4 No, we only had training in our new gradebook. That was problematic because the important icons and info did not show up because it wasn't a class day yet. I found it a frazzling way to end the day.
#5 No except someone assists us at our four in-services and will help us if we ask.

We discussed disciplinary procedures as a grade level. We do not have a committee.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:19 AM
 
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Are you at a public school? What state do you teach in?
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:29 AM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?

Somewhat. Yes, class lists are done, but our population is very transient. Many students that enrolled in the spring don't actually show up once the first day rolls around, and many new students show up on day 1 to register even though registration is offered prior to school starting. Therefore, there are always last minute changes.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?

Yes, we have two full teacher workdays prior to students starting.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?

I think "adequate" is very subjective. Two days is plenty for me, but I know a lot of teachers who spend weeks on their rooms prior to contract day starting.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?

Yes, this happens constantly. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually heard "new" information in PD.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?

Again, depends. We have an instructional coach, but she only works with classroom teachers so I don't get any support from her. She does meet with grade level teams once per week to help them plan the next week of literacy lessons (we got a new curriculum last year). That said, I know many teams feel like they'd be more effective/efficient just planning on their own rather than having to meet with the coach. So while she does assist with lesson development, it doesn't seem like a lot of people think it's all that helpful.

Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.

We're a PBIS school, which I'm pretty sure is required around here- I'm always surprised to read about places where PBIS is "new." We talk about PBIS things prior to school starting and what to do if you need support with a student. We don't do much in the way of consequences. We got new admin this year and I think people were really hoping that would change, but one of the first things she said was, "Research shows consequences don't change behavior." Our first couple of weeks have actually gone well with increased focus on clear language and consistent expectations, but I can't help but wonder when the other shoe will drop because kids will realize they don't really have to do keep up with the expectations (b/c no consequences if they don't). We do have a PBIS team; I'm honestly not sure how much teacher input there is because I'm not on that team. From an outsider's perspective it seems like the counselors' opinions matter a lot more.

I'm in a public school in CO.

Last edited by Haley23; 08-27-2017 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:40 AM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?

Yes, we get a tentative list on "Step Up Day" which is the day before school ends in the spring.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?

We have two work days before students arrive.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?

I think there is 1/2 hour on day one , and an hour on day two to plan. The rest of our two pre-student days are spent sitting in meetings.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?

Yes, we have mandatory trainings, so if you have had training in it already, you have to sit through the information again.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?

No, we do not have anyone to help us with lesson planning or development.


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Old 08-27-2017, 11:45 AM
 
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I teach in Canada, west coast. Public school, grade 3.

1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
No. We do tentative placements in June and for the first few days back we have our old class as the District sorts out which schools need new divisions based on enrollment changes over the summer.
If we get a new division, we have to re-do placements. Teachers do the placements, not admin.
2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
No. We get no paid days to come in and set up. It is all done on our own time. Our first day is a half day so we get one hour after dismissal to work in our rooms before meeting start but this counts towards our prep minutes each week so it is not anything extra.
3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
We received no planning time. Everything I did to get ready I did on my own time over the summer.
4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
No, I find ProD to be quite good in our District. We are not required to go to anything, we can choose what we feel would best enhance our practice. If we are being required to use a program (which happens very rarely), the training would be considered in-service and it would have to be paid.
5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
No we don't. We have a mentoring program for newer teachers or teachers changing grades. We also have a few District teachers who are available to help but I believe it is 2-4 teachers for a District of 800 teachers so it is not a lot of individual help, more like group sessions offered in areas people are interested in.
Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.
I would say we have an understanding with our admin about discipline is handled. We are allowed input, but it really does depend on your admin. Some are open to it being a group decision and some are more "my way" types.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:56 AM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
Yes. I had the basic class lists prior to the end of the last school year. That was unusual, thought. Usually we get the3m a couple of weeks before school starts. We completely had to redo two classes after open house, so a few kids were confused. Overall much improved.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
We don't have any work days scheduled to get our rooms ready. We do that on our own time. Our open house was scheduled a week before our first required day.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
We did two curriculum work days at the end of the last school year to revise curriculum maps and pacing guides for the upcoming year.


4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
We all had two curriculum work days that were required. Most of us did a day with PBIS. I've done that several times over the years, but there are always changes to be made. The other days varied by person.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
We have two people on staff who are coaches, but they really don't do lesson development. They help with data mostly.

6) I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.
We are a PBIS school. There is a committee that discusses the items initially, and then we come together as an entire staff to clarify the expectations.

I'm at a public school in Kentucky.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:16 PM
 
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MS, 3rd grade, public

1. Yes - the same day parents heard - Meet the Teacher - 2 days before school started.

2. Yes - 3 of them

3. Yes - only 1 short meeting

4. Yes - always mandatory

5. No - I wish

6. We have a student handbook, but we get to create our own classroom management and it's approved by P.

7. Yes - a leadership committee with 1 teacher from each grade level.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:47 PM
 
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1. We are in our second week of school and have yet to be given class lists. We are to give them to the office so they can enter them in the computer:co nfused:

2. A teacher day is included but it is entirely PD and meetings. We weren't even in our building

3.

4. Even worse. It was a motivational guy telling us how amazing he was.

5. We have 1 for technology for the entire district. She is good but busy and she is moving to curriculum in January
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Normal
Old 08-27-2017, 01:44 PM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
We got a list two days before, but nobody puts names on anything for a week due to last minute shuffling.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
Supposedly, but often part is taken up with staff meetings.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
You're so funny!

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
That's a given all year long.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
Yes we have them and they are useless.


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Old 08-27-2017, 01:57 PM
 
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Washington state, K-5, Public school

1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
We get a class list on the day of Back to School Night, which is the open house where kids come find out who their teacher is. That was 3 weekdays before the 1st day of school this year. Our school is high mobility and our lists change up until the last minute, especially in kinder.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
&

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting? Our contract included 5 workdays before the 1st day of school that are optional. Paid if you attend, no consequences or pay if you don't. The days are scheduled as professional development. We've had 4 of those days so far. We've had about 3 hours so far to work in classroom or lesson plan. Tomorrow we will have 1/2 day for teacher work/planning.

This year our admin is further behind than usual. We don't even have a final schedule for this year. Hopefully we'll get it at our meetings tomorrow morning! Our first day of school is Tuesday.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in? One of our 5 days was a refresher on our building discipline system. It's the same all-day training every year. Some people snuck out to try to work in their rooms and our AP went around and told people to go back in to the training.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
I am in that role for literacy in my building. I've had time to meet our new teachers briefly but not to actually meet with them, much less plan with them. Many of our returning teachers have wanted to meet with me as well, but we haven't had any flexible time.

Discipline: our building follows a discipline program. It is school-wide and mandatory. As I said, we had our yearly refresher training last week. One of the days last week we also spent some time reviewing building procedures like fire drills, lockdowns, walking kids out at the end of the day, playground rules (even though teachers don't supervise out there), etc.
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:15 PM
 
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1. Yes. We received a tentative one when we returned (5 days before kids). Then the "final" list was sent out the afternoon before school started.

2. Yes. We had 2 workdays & 3 days of PD

3. I think yes, but what is adequate? How do you define that?

4. No, but there is always mandatory PD...

5. We do not have instructional coaches in my building.

6. Usually we do talk about behavior as a school...but not this year due to our PD schedule and contracted workdays. Not a huge deal for me as I've been here for 11 years...but our newbies are struggling.
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:34 PM
 
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I've been retired for two years, and my answers relate to the school I taught at my final twelve years.

1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
We received student lists on the first professional day that teachers went back to school.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
We always had five professional days before students arrived. Half of the time was taken up with meetings, and the other half was for time in our classrooms.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
Yes.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
Yes. Most of the trainings I attended during the school year were on topics that I had already been trained in.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
Each school in my county has a staff development teacher and reading specialist that work with teachers only. We also have an online curriculum for each subject and grade level.

Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.

We had a school wide discipline program that was discussed throughout the school year. We also had a leadership committee where teachers provided input. Sometimes the administration listened to what teachers said, but they always did what they wanted to do despite teacher input.

Last edited by travelingfar; 08-28-2017 at 03:34 AM..
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:30 PM
 
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Public School/Grades 7 & 8

1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?

Yes, about a month before school class lists were uploaded to our computer grading program. They often change, especially the first week.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
Yes, we have three days. We do have a bunch of meetings and stuff we have to do. Most teachers are in and out the weeks before school starts. Most teachers also make copies before the two days as our machines often break.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
Not really

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
No, but we have dept. meetings, grade level meetings, district meetings, and a faculty meeting. We also might have other meetings depending on the students we have.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
Nope. We are told what "programs" we have to use. Some grades/subjects have to use scripted curriculums. However, other subjects can do what they want. Basically, it is a crap shoot.

Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.

Yes, usually we get a lecture on not referring students to the office. Basically, admin. doesn't want to do their jobs and wants us to "deal with it." Sadly, each year we get worse and worse kids who would normally be in alternative or specialized schools. We are told we have to "teach them all." Also, our guidance dept. has been cut and our staff is bare bones. We have no committee. We do have an union, but unless something is serious, they can't do much. We have some major issues with our budget and a really low morale.
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:02 PM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day? Yes, we have 5 preservice days. We get our lists on the first day with the understanding that students will be added and moved around.
2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?Yes,
5 of them.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?Yes
4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in? Sometimes, it is a refresher for some and new to others. It just goes with this time of the year.
5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?Yes, they provide assistance with implementing district directed programs and other support a teacher may need. They, also provide mentorship to new teachers on staff.

I work at a public school from K-5.
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Louisiana, second grade, public
Old 08-27-2017, 04:10 PM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?

Yes, about a week before. Parents also get a letter telling their child's homeroom teacher about a week before.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?

Yes, four workdays before students arrived

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?

Yes


4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?

We had some pd's during our four days, but also had time to work in our classrooms and with grade level team. We did actually have two hour long pd workshops that were pretty helpful with new information. (That's not always the case!)

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?

No

Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.

We have a school PBIS committee that consists of admin, teacher, and parent representatives.
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:41 PM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
My grade level prepares our own class lists of registered kids, but it's Kindergarten and many kids register right up until the first day of school.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
Many. Too many. 3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
More than enough.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
Always. It's just a hoop to jump through.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
If I asked her to, she would. But I don't need that. She's available to any one who wants help, though.

Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.
My P is NOT a micro-manager, so I get to devise my own classroom management, thank goodness!
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:28 PM
 
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Massachusetts, grade 1, public title 1 school
1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
YES. The kids donít start until Sept. 6, but I have been able to check my class list online since Aug.1st. It changed a few times since then due to kids moving in and out.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days preceding students starting?
3) Was adequate planning time included in days preceding students starting?
NO. We can go in anytime in August, but there are no paid planning/work days. Just about all elementary teachers go in the week before (starting tomorrow) to set up free of charge.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
NO. Very rarely. Most of our PD is voluntary and after school. We need PD points for recertification every 5 years, so I take anything I like/need thatís free. We have 2 PD days system wide, usually to learn about new programs or textbook adoptions. Also, our state recently required everyone to take classes for an ELL endorsement.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
NO. We only have a Reading Coach who works with grades 3-5 to prepare for state tests.

6) I am interested in knowing about whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school.
NO. Itís a small school. Everybody kind of does their own thing.

7) Do you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input?
NOT REALLY. We have monthly faculty meetings, led by the principal, where we can express our opinions and ideas about current issues and programs in the school.
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:07 PM
 
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Yes to all of your questions. I am in southeast Iowa.
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The new normal
Old 08-27-2017, 06:43 PM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day? Yes, we have our rosters, but this could change right before classes start or even during the first week as the students figure out their schedules (I teach high school)

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting? Yes, and I will be in meetings the whole day while the rest of the building gets to work in their classrooms. By-product of being a special educator.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting? Not for me. I have been doing a lot of work at home this week before we are even to report for teacher work time starting tomorrow.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in? Yes. I'm so very much over how to read data and work with students on IEP. Been doing it for 15+ years. I think I have it down
5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development? No. Our facilitator is really good at getting our admin to believe the crap that they spew. Oooopsss! Sorry, I was being negative. Seriously though, this facilitator came into my resource room and tried to tell me how to work with kids on IEP. Again, I've been doing it longer than they have been teaching and my kids scores are the 2nd highest in the state. I think I'm ok. How about this facilitator go work with teachers that don't know how to build a relationship with kids? Sorry, got negative again.....
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Dysfunctional.
Old 08-28-2017, 03:31 PM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?

Nope. We have a list, but we're told to ignore it, not label anything, and plan for the maximum to show despite what the numbers on the list indicate. :roll eyes: We get a roster on the first day, it may be identical to the preliminary list or totally different, there's no way to tell until the kids' behinds are in the chairs.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?

Yes. One.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?

No. We had to show up for PD, none of which was for planning.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?

Yes.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?

Technically, yes.

Quote:
Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.
That would be a big nope and nope. New teachers would have no idea how to handle ed code violations if their team doesn't help them out when they start. There's no "How We Discipline 101" at our school, but I know it exists on other campuses. We don't have a school-wide behavior program to handle misbehavior. Each teacher has their own classroom rules, and if a student violates those rules they can send them to admin with a referral or manage the behavior themselves, and all teachers are expected to send ed code violations, particularly the very serious ones, to admin with a referral. It is up to admin if the student loses recess, is suspended, etc.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:56 PM
 
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1) Did you have complete student class lists prior to 1st day?
Yes, we have a teacher meet and greet so the lists are completed by then. However, sometimes there are changes right up until the last minute.

2) Was a teacher workday included in days proceeding students starting?
Not really. We have three full days of PD. Some principals give teachers work time in their rooms and some are real sticklers that teachers are supposed to do that on their own time. I have been in my room multiple times, even though officially, tomorrow is my first day. I will also be there on Labor Day weekend unfortunately.

3) Was adequate planning time included in days proceeding students starting?
I'm not sure I know what you mean. If you mean do we get to plan with our grade levels, then the answer is yes. If you mean do we get to have time alone to plan then the answer is no.

4) Were you forced to attend PD on something you already had training in?
We have two building based days and one district day. Our district day is supposed to be all new training because of new curriculum and new assessments. We will see what happens.

5) Do you have a facilitator/ instructional coach that actually assists with lesson development?
They say they will but I haven't personally seen it. It doesn't mean they don't.

Other things I am interested in knowing about are whether student disciplinary procedures are discussed prior to start of school and whether you have a campus-based committee that allows teachers to provide real input.

I'm new this year to my building so I don't know the answer to these questions yet. But at my old building the answer was no. to both questions.
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