PD days move from full to half-days in anglophone school districts

A new system for professional development in anglophone school districts will give teachers training on more, but shorter, days throughout the coming school year.

Spreading teacher development across the year emphasizes it's a process, superintendent says

The anglophone school districts in New Brunswick will give teachers half-days for professional development, allowing for a more consistent approach throughout the school year, a superintendent says. (CBC)

A new system for professional development in anglophone school districts will give teachers training on more, but shorter, days throughout the coming school year. 

Every semester, students have a few days off while teachers take PD days, where they learn new skills and technologies to bring back to the classroom.

But instead of all-day training, districts will space half-day sessions across the year, said superintendent Zoe Watson of the Anglophone South School District.

"We do think this is an improved model," she said. "[These days] will be more often."

The Anglophone West, Anglophone East and Anglophone North school districts also fall under the new plan.

A new system

Watson said the number of hours used for professional development days will stay the same. It's the way the days are scheduled that is changing.

Anglophone South School District superintendent Zoe Watson says the new schedule is 'is an improved model.' (Julia Wright / CBC)
She said it's an initiative the four New Brunswick superintendents brought to the Department of Education.

For seven days, personal development sessions will see students leave schools after their morning classes.

According to the schedule, not all students will have the same half-days off.

Development is a process

Not all scheduled half-days for high schools match up with elementary schools in the district. (CBC)

Watson said the time away from the classroom will give teachers a chance to look at new curriculum, while undergoing core training to ensure they're proficient in subjects like non-crisis intervention, suicide prevention and first aid.

She said the new schedule will allow teachers to see personal development as a continuing process.

"Last year, there was the two days in October and then there wasn't any until the first day back in January," she said.

Schools in the district will be sent a copy of next year's calendar in report cards this week, including a note from the superintendent. The new calendar will also be available on the district's website.

"We want to give lots of advance notice to families," Watson said.

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