Standards for Professional Learnings

Professional Development Plan
Baldwin County School System 

The professional development plan of the Baldwin County School System is based on the established Baldwin County standards for professional learning and the mission statement of the school system:

Our mission is to enable students to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes
that prepare them to become responsible citizens and continuous learners.

Belief Statements for Professional Learning:

The Baldwin County School System believes that educators must be dedicated to a continuous plan of professional learning that begins with pre-service activities, that continues with their induction into the profession, and that extends through the life of their professional career in education through on-going and sustained professional development endeavors. We further believe that effective educators are life-long learners, that professional development must be an on-going process of refining skills, inquiring into practice, and developing new methods.

 The professional strengths and accomplishments of the school faculty at large must work to complement the learning needs and requirements of the entire student population. Professional learning activities must also complement both the needs of the educator and the goals and objectives of the school system. Further, these activities must focus on the conditions which affect student learning in order for teachers to develop the knowledge and expertise needed to enable students to function as independent thinkers and creative learners both in the school community and in the larger environment of society as a whole.  In addition, professional learning must engage each educator in a collegial and collaborative dialogue with other educators and education partners to broaden the knowledge and expertise needed to guide students toward the successful attainment and mastery of the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum Content Standards and to create supportive and effective schools.  We further believe that effective implementation of new techniques requires financial support, time and planning. Therefore, those new techniques and practices should be protected and nurtured as well as appropriately evaluated. Experimentation that is supported by a nurturing environment will encourage an atmosphere where educators constantly seek to learn about their work and to grow from the experience. A common set of beliefs about teaching and learning is reflected in the following standards for professional learning plans pursued by individual teaching staff members and for professional learning plans created by the local professional learning committees in the school system. These standards represent a new vision for professional learning and provide guidance for the successful completion of the professional learning requirements. The system and the individual schools’ professional learning plans should incorporate and be consistent with the standards, recognizing that not every standard needs to be addressed by every plan.


The Baldwin County School System has adopted the recommended NSDC Standards for Staff Development and the Georgia Standards for Professional Learning which have been organized into three major areas:  Context, Process and Content. Professional Learning that improves student learning meets the following standards 

Context Standards

  1. Develops a learning community within the school and district
  2. Develops instructional leadership that distributes leadership responsibilities throughout the school and district
  3. Uses resources wisely to support new professional learning formats and activities

Process Standards

4.                  Uses data to determine what educators should be learning and to monitor progress of efforts

5.      Evaluates professional learning in order to demonstrate the impact on student learning

6.      Uses research to determine the content of professional learning

7.      Designs professional learning using a variety of professional development formats and activities

8.      Applies the knowledge of adult learning when designing learning activities

9.      Develops collaboration skills

Content Standards

10.              Focuses on equity

11.  Uses high quality teaching

12.  Focuses on strategies that involve families in the education of their children.

Planning for Professional Learning:

The superintendent empowers a system professional learning committee.  The committee consists of a representative from each school and the system professional learning coordinator. School representatives are selected by the school principal.  The responsibilities of this committee include formulation of system initiatives that support site-based school improvement goals.

A school/site based professional learning committee is established within each school site. Membership on this committee should reflect the makeup of the school faculty/staff.  The chairperson of this school/site based committee usually represents the school on the system committee. The responsibilities of this committee include coordinating the school/site-based professional learning plan and distributing information about professional learning activities to members of faculties.

The school/site based committee has the responsibility for developing the school/site based plan.  This plan should reflect the needs of the staff on that site, as determined by school improvement goals, the teacher evaluation process, the federal programs needs assessments, and other needs assessment instruments.  This committee approves all components of their professional learning plan, including site budget, expenditures and activities.  Budget, expenditures and activities should directly support the written measurable goals of the school.  School goals must support the system goals, the professional learning standards and the system mission statement.

The system-wide professional learning coordinator is responsible for developing those components of the comprehensive plan which affect personnel throughout the system, for assimilating the site-based plans into the comprehensive plan, and for developing the system-level budget. System level goals are developed as support for the system mission statement, strategic directions and the improvement of student achievement.  Activities will reflect system-wide standards for professional learning as well as site-based needs as determined by site-based school improvement plans, state/local mandates, standardized test results or needs identified by annual evaluation process.

The system professional learning plan serves as an instrument to support the improvement goals defined by each school in the system.

Baldwin County System Professional Learning Goals  FY 2007:

  1. To improve achievement of all students in all curriculum areas as measured by standardized test scores. The improvement of reading and math for K-8 schools will be the major curriculum focus for the FY 2007 school year as meeting or exceeding the state average on CRCT testing is an identified school improvement goal for all K-8 school sites. On the GHSGT at the high school level the objective is to meet or exceed the state average in all four core content areas with specific emphasis on science and social studies improvement.

2.      To build the capacity of system employees to implement the new Georgia Performance Standards to replace the Quality Core Curriculum in major content areas. In FY 2007 the major focus will be on preparation to implement the GPS in K-12 English/Language Arts, the GPS in middle grades math and science, and high school science.

3.       To improve student achievement by building the capacity of educators to adapt instruction based on observation and analysis of student need thereby improving the processes of planning for instruction and school improvement. Specific emphasis will be directed toward the learning-focused instructional strategies, differentiation of instruction for at risk students and inclusion as a delivery model.

4.      To build the capacity of all system staff to select, construct and utilize performance assessment strategies for monitoring student learning, thereby establishing accountability for student learning.

5.      To build the capacity of system employees to function as true professional learning communities, thereby fostering collaborative professional collegiality within whole faculty study groups that research and plan school improvement initiatives.

System Professional Learning Initiatives for FY 2007

  • Preparation for Georgia Performance Standards
  • Standards Based Classrooms


  • Curriculum Mapping
§         Support for High Quality Teachers and Paraprofessionals
§         Support for New System Initiatives
§         Teacher Induction

§         Inclusion Training for Teacher Teams

§         Support Site Licensing for Utilization of System Web Based Technology

§         Best Practices for Instruction

§         Classroom Management and Discipline Strategies

§         Leadership Training
§         Reading and Math Initiative

§         Support for System Improvement Goals    

§         Test Analysis and Lesson Planning