Philosophy and Program
Just as we endeavor to inspire, challenge, and support our students to succeed, Graded is committed to robust and comprehensive professional learning that impacts our teachers' hearts and minds. Graded’s professional learning combines a deep understanding of and cultural responsiveness to our school community with high expectations and supports for results.
Graded believes that a school is a place where both adults and students learn and continuously improve.
Teachers and administrators who routinely develop their own knowledge and skills model for students that learning is important and useful. Their ongoing development fosters a learning culture throughout the school and supports educators’ efforts to engage students in learning. A school that organizes team-based professional learning and expects all teachers and administrators to participate consistently — though for different purposes, at different times, and in different ways — demonstrates that it is serious about all educators performing at higher levels. As a result, the entire school is more focused and effective. Learning Forward-Why PD Matters, 2010.
Graded offers a variety of professional learning opportunities centered on the philosophy that each employee makes a unique and important contribution to the community. Long-term, sustained, and job-embedded professional learning enables educators to learn and apply the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions necessary to address the individual needs of our students more effectively.
Personal and professional learning are major aspects of support toward continuous improvement of student learning. At Graded, we are dedicated to providing learning opportunities that develop personal growth and cultivate talent and leadership skills to better serve the school in its mission and vision.
Impact on Students
Graded is committed to professional learning that generates results and has a visible impact on students. As a result, school-wide professional learning is based on the strategic plan and grounded in data, establishing professional goals for our faculty each year. These goals guide school development within each division and result in coherent efforts towards improving student learning and social-emotional well-being.
Within the framework of the strategic plan and school-wide professional learning annual goals, Graded encourages employees to engage in personalized professional learning as much as possible. Aside from required professional learning activities, teachers have the option to select specific professional learning courses in which they'd like to engage. Faculty may use their personalized professional learning allowance to pursue opportunities that are linked and relevant to the strategic plan. For alignment and coherence, the approval process for personalized professional learning will consider how the course/activity is connected with the Professional Growth SMART Goal (PGSP) and the strategic plan.
At Graded, we promote the establishment of a learning culture in which employees participate in deep, job-embedded, professional dialogue and collaboration, therefore increasing knowledge transfer from professional learning experience to practice. Intentionality and accountability become part of professional learning when they appear on professional learning forms and peer feedback (see the section below.) The impact on student learning is thus evident, allowing us to reflect on the benefits of our professional learning route. By engaging in professional growth, we improve our ability to promote a learning culture in our classrooms.