"The primary purpose of professional learning is to improve educator practice and student results. Continuous improvement of individuals, schools, and school systems depends on high-quality professional learning" (Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director, Learning Forward). The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has adopted Learning Forward national professional learning standards for the state of Kentucky. KDE promotes a coherent and comprehensive professional learning system that advances educator effectiveness and student success.
According to 704 KAR 3:035, professional development means professional learning that:
- Aligns with standards and goals.
- Focuses on content and pedagogy.
- Occurs collaboratively.
- Is facilitated by educators.
- Focuses on continuous improvement.
- Is ongoing.
KRS 158.070 (3) (a) Each local board of education shall use four (4) days of the minimum school term for professional and collegial planning activities for the professional staff without the presence of students pursuant to the requirements of KRS 156.095. At the discretion of the superintendent, one (1) day of professional development may be used for district-wide activities and for training that is mandated by federal or state law.
KRS 158.070 (3) (c) (1.) A local board may approve a school's flexible professional development plan that permits teachers or other certified personnel within a school to participate in professional development activities outside the days scheduled in the school calendar or the regularly scheduled hours in the school work day and receive credit towards the four (4) day professional development requirement within the minimum one hundred eighty-five (185) days that a teacher shall be employed.
KRS 158.070 (3) (c) (2.) No teacher or administrator shall be permitted to count participation in a professional development activity under the flexible schedule option unless the activity is related to the teacher's classroom assignment and content area, or the administrator's job requirements, or is required by the school improvement plan, or is tied to the teacher's or the administrator's individual growth plan.