Policy 4370 – Professional Learning

The school board recognizes the importance of providing high quality professional learning with an expectation of continuous improvement for all employees in order to support organizational change and growth. The school board requires that professional learning aligns with the district’s mission, vision, goals, and strategic directions. A district plan will outline the identification, implementation, and institutionalization of systemic professional learning. The board will allocate the funding to successfully implement the plan.

Professional learning is defined as a comprehensive, sustained, and intensive approach to improving staff effectiveness in raising student achievement. Professional learning should be collaborative and job embedded in order to support the transfer of new knowledge and skills into the workplace. All district-endorsed professional learning opportunities will meet the district’s standards for high quality professional learning.

Through the analysis of student achievement and system data, priority areas for professional learning will be determined through a district’s needs assessment process. District leadership will collaborate with school and department leaders in using a long-range planning framework to systematically align district-wide, school- or department-based, and individual professional learning in order to address identified areas of improvement. District leadership will ensure dedicated time for professional learning.

The Professional Learning Steering Committee, comprised of district and building administrators, teacher leaders, teachers, and noninstructional staff, will apply a framework to monitor and assess the implementation of the district professional learning plan.

The Office of Organizational Training and Development will coordinate district-identified professional learning for instructional staff. The Office of Human Resources will coordinate professional learning for noninstructional staff. The departments will oversee the use and leverage of necessary resources to ensure the delivery of high quality professional learning in compliance with all local, state, and federal funding regulations.

Administrators will use school/department data to develop a professional learning plan that is aligned with district goals and will assess the effectiveness of implementation. Administrators will ensure the effective use of dedicated time and provide opportunities for professional learning that support the professional growth of their staff members. Administrators and staff members will work collaboratively to identify, implement, and assess the effectiveness of individual’s professional goals that are aligned with district and school or department goals in order to increase student achievement.

District employees are required to engage in professional learning as part of the continuous improvement cycle. Certified staff members are responsible for engaging in the necessary professional learning to maintain licenses or certifications required for their position.

Professional learning opportunities provided through the district will include an implementation plan outlining steps for ongoing support and a method to determine the effectiveness of the professional learning.

The delivery of high quality professional learning:

  • Occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment.
  • Requires skillful leaders who develop capacity, advocate, and create support systems for professional learning.
  • Requires prioritizing, monitoring, and coordinating resources for professional learning.
  • Uses a variety of sources and types of data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning.
  • Integrates theories, research, and models of human learning to achieve its intended outcomes.
  • Applies research on change and sustaining support for implementation of professional learning for long-term change.
  • Aligns its outcomes with employee performance and standards.

(Taken from: http://learningforward.org/standards-for-professional-learning)

A professional learning report will be submitted to the board annually by the Office of Organizational Training and Development.


  • Wisconsin Statutes
    • 121.02(l)(b) Professional staff development plan required
    • PI 8.01(2)(b) Wisconsin Administrative Code (Professional staff development plan requirements)
  • Proposed Amendments to Section 9101 (34) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

CROSS REF.: Employee Handbook

AFFIRMED: September 24, 1991


  • June 2, 2000
  • January 29, 2002
  • September 24, 2002
  • September 22, 2015
  • March 28, 2017

Rule 4370 – Professional Learning

  1. Permission to attend professional learning activities (conferences, workshops, seminars, etc.) requires the approval of the employee’s direct supervisor and budget manager.
  2. District employees will provide professional learning when appropriate.
  3. District employees will not be permitted to attend more than two conferences, workshops, or seminars outside the district annually unless their attendance at such conferences, workshops, and seminars is required for the performance of their job duties and approval is granted by the employee’s direct supervisor.