professional development

Professional Development

Professional development is an integral component of our program. It is through professional conversation, collaboration and exposure to new ideas that teachers develop new skills and hone expertise to meet student needs. Differentiation has been identified as a focus for in service to ensure that the school continues to be effective in delivering curriculum. Professional development is a key tool in ensuring innovative and effective curriculum delivery.

Areas of Focus

A variety of courses and activities are organized and recommended across the school year with particular areas of focus or “strands”, similar to those in the DAIS Curriculum. These areas of focus include the following:

  • Assessment
  • Curriculum
  • Instructional Leadership
  •  Instructional Practices
  • Deepening Understanding and Special Topics

Not only is professional development linked to high levels of student learning, but it is significant in building teacher and school capacity for learning and leading.


Teacher Professional Growth Plans

Each year, teachers and administrators are responsible for developing, implementing and completing a professional growth plan that: is teacher/administrator authored, and growth-directed

  •  reflects an assessment of individual professional learning needs
  •  shows a demonstrable relationship to quality teaching and learning at DAIS 

Early Release Time

During the year, faculty members are able to participate in four early release half days for professional learning.  For example, teachers can receive instruction in curriculum mapping. Maps are frameworks for curriculum decision making and a springboard for questions about the essential nature of the learning which is taking place.

Conferences and Workshops

Each year, DAIS faculty members attend workshops and conferences in order to extend their own professional learning.

Professional Learning Community

At DAIS, teachers strive to work toward creating a true learning community, a forum in which each embraces the privilege and responsibility of learning individually and collectively. Their purpose is to improve their own thinking and practice in the service of supporting both teacher and student learning. 

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