The West Des Moines Community Schools professional development model represents two years of study by the Professional Development Advisory Council (PDAC) and is a result of extensive learning, discussion, and processing by the members. This model provides a structure for implementing and evaluating professional development innovations related to the district’s goals and guiding principles.
The development of beliefs and a vision statement provided the context and content for the concentric circles model, with student needs at the core and “Building a Learning Community for the 21st Century” and the Guiding Principles as the foundation.
In between the core and foundation lies the professional development program. Professional development efforts focusing on curriculum and instruction reflect the needs of the students and are designed to improve teaching and maximize learning. Professional development which promotes both personal and professional growth not only includes high quality, ongoing training programs/courses, but also other growth-promoting processes such as peer coaching, study groups, action research, and mentoring.
Permeating the model are four elements which impact all efforts in professional development. Resources, research, assessment, and follow-up support are essential components which must all be in place to ensure that professional development makes a difference in student learning.
In this model, everyone in the West Des Moines Community Schools participates in lifelong learning through professional development on an ongoing basis. These efforts will ensure high levels of learning for students.