Commitment and Beliefs

Irvington Public Schools’ Staff Development Department is committed to ensuring continuous growth and development of all staff. Collaboratively, the department works with building-level and district-level administrators to develop and implement a system of professional learning opportunities over the course of the school year. We believe that learning is a lifelong process and that quality, targeted, job embedded, adult learning opportunities can improve staff performance and subsequently greatly enhance learning opportunities for all students.

Our Strategic Goals

To create and implement a consistent, coherent system of professional development that will inform, enhance, and increase the professional learning for administrators, teachers, and support staff.

To implement professional development that is aligned to District goals, the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, (NJCCCS), and the Professional Development Standards for New Jersey Educators.

To foster the growth of new teachers through the development and implementation of a District mentoring program aligned to State guidelines.

To evaluate the quality of and the impact of professional development on student achievement and provide feedback to make all necessary adjustments for continued improvement.

Also, we are proud of our annual and on-going Kagan and SIOP training for our general education and English Language Learners. These practices support our district focus on student engagement, questioning, and feedback.

Moreover, this year we will begin districtwide training on Restorative Practices. The focus is on the district theme, RIGOR BEGINS WITH RELATIONSHIPS AND IS ANCHORED IN RELEVANCE. This initiative will help us foster an environment where behaviors are addressed while still fostering the social, emotional, and academic development of our students.

Our goal is to create a climate and culture of healthy, sustainable relationships in our learning community.

The following video is a small overview of this concept:

(If you are within the Irvington Public school network click here)

Restorative Practices and San Francisco Public Schools from Mark Wieser on Vimeo.

PLCs are small groups of faculty who meet regularly to study more effective learning and teaching practices. It is an effective method for infusing scientifically based research programs into classrooms through the identification of new programs or topics to investigate then study its effectiveness prior to sharing the results with other faculty in the school.

In PLCs, educators change their focus from being the teacher to being the learner. Through their participation in a PLC, educators have three (3) goals:

Ensuring that all students learn. Every classroom includes students of varying abilities. In a PLC, teachers are prepared to serve both the students who learn material quickly and those who need additional time and support. That means developing a coordinated strategy to provide timely intervention when students are struggling.
Creating a culture of collaboration. In many schools, teachers work in isolation. While staff may come together to formulate basic operational policies (like how to respond to tardiness or supervise recess), they may not engage in professional dialogue about what works in their classrooms. In a PLC school, educators share best practices, join forces to solve problems, and work together to improve both their individual and school-wide performance.
Focusing on results. To ensure that a PLC meets its educational goals, educators must identify students’ current levels of achievement, establish clear educational objectives, work together to meet those goals and provide evidence that they have succeeded.

Benefits of Professional Learning Communities for Teachers:

Reduction of teacher isolation
Increased commitment to the mission and goals of the school
Shared responsibility for the total development of students and their success

Creation of new knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learning

More satisfaction, higher morale, and lower rates of absenteeism

Higher likelihood that teachers will be well informed, professionally renewed, and inspired to continue their professional growth and development

Benefits of Professional Learning Communities for Students:

Greater academic gains in math, science, history, and reading
Smaller achievement gaps between students from different backgrounds

Decrease dropout rate and fewer “skipped” classes in middle and high schools.

Lower rates of absenteeism

New Jersey is currently engaged in comprehensive teacher and principal evaluation system reform. The program began with a teacher evaluation pilot in the 2011-2012 school year, and has expanded to include additional teacher evaluation pilots as well as principal evaluation pilots in 2012-13. As twenty-six states have already implemented new teacher observation methods based on assessment as part of a nationwide educational reform initiative, New Jersey has just began to explore its options.

Recent research shows that effective educators are the most important in-school factor for student success. Additionally, the research reflects that teachers need timely, actionable feedback to improve their practice, and students deserve high-quality teachers who continuously grow and improve. The new evaluation system will provide insight about how to recognize great teachers, help good teachers become great, and help struggling teachers to overcome their deficiencies. More EE4NJ information can be found at http://www.state.nj.us/education/EE4NJ

Teach New Jersey

The TEACHNJ Act (“TEACHNJ”) is the bipartisan tenure reform approved unanimously by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Christie on August 6, 2012. The goal of the law is to “raise student achievement by improving instruction through the adoption of evaluations that provide specific feedback to educators, inform the provision of aligned professional development, and inform personnel decisions.” At its core, TEACHNJ reforms the processes of earning and maintaining tenure by improving evaluations and opportunities for professional growth. Specifically:

Tenure decisions are now based on multiple measures of student achievement and teacher practice as measured by new evaluation procedures.
Lengthy and costly tenure hearings are shorter, focused on process only, and less expensive.
Educator feedback and development is more individualized and focused on students.

For more information on Teach NJ click here.

Resource Downloads: Committee Members, Schedules, Framework Overview & Evaluation Tools

Overview of the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching Evaluation Model
SGO’s Frequently Asked Questions
Staff Development Library Resource Listing
The Marzano’s School Leadership Evaluation Model and Learning Map

As you continue to learn, grow and develop in the field of Education, an updated process is now in place to assist you in requesting tuition reimbursement.  Please review carefully and be sure to follow all of the required steps to avoid processing delays and/or denials.

STEP 1 – Employee must obtain Pre-approval 

Pre-approval must be obtained for any coursework for which tuition reimbursement is desired from the Irvington Board of Education, as follows:  

  • Complete the Tuition Reimbursement Course Pre-Approval Form 
    • (A copy of the Form can be found on the district’s website)
  • Attach the following from the school:-
    • Course Description 
    • Cost per credit 
  • Submit Tuition Reimbursement Course Pre-Approval Form to Principal/Department Head for approval (Note:  Only courses relative to employee’s job responsibilities will be approved)
  • Principal/Department Head signs and returns Tuition Reimbursement Course Pre-Approval Form to employee. 
  • Register for the approved course and/or submit documents to the Office of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for review. 
    • (Make Virtual/Electronic)

STEP 2 – Approval of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction is required

  • Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction reviews documents:
  • Course Description 
  • Cost Per Credit
  • Approves Tuition Reimbursement Course Pre-Approval Form 
  • Updates Google Sheet for Tuition Reimbursement (Make Virtual/Electronic)
  • Forward approved documents, via email to Tuition Administrator & secretary for processing into a PND and P.O.

STEP 3 – Tuition Administrator review documents and begins the Requisition processes.

  • Administrator will:
    • Ensure that the Tuition Reimbursement Course Pre-Approval Form has been approved by the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
    • Review all tuition requests submitted during the school year to ensure compliance with the employee contract.  Review updated Google Sheet. 
    • Authorize secretary to enter Requisition into WinCap System for processing via email.
    • Review account number information for the Purchase Order is created.
    • Ensure that the PND is created and a P.O. is issued.

STEP 4 – Tuition Reimbursement Request Form 

  • Upon completion of course, employee is to do the following:
  • Complete Tuition Reimbursement Request Form and attach the following: –
  • Pre-Approval Form
  • School Issued Transcript (Proof of Successful Completion)
  • School Issued Bill (Proof of Payment)
  • Submit to Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for final Reimbursement approval.

STEP 5 – Process Payment

  • Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction reviews all documents, signs the Tuition Reimbursement Request Form and email documents to Administrator for processing via the secretary.
  • Tuition Administrator:
    • Reviews documents
    • Indicates amount to be paid
    • Signs Receiving Copy 
    • Forward signed Receiving Copy, along with all supporting tuition documents to Accounts Payable personnel.

 

  • The employee receives the Original and Voucher via mail
    • Employee signs Voucher 
    • Employee must submit Voucher to Accounts Payable for payment 
    • Original Copy of the Purchase Order is maintained by Employee for his/her records
    • Payment is made 
      • (Note:  Check cannot be created until the Voucher, Receiving Copy, and Proof of tuition Payment have been received in Accounts Payable.)