• The Office of Professional Learning coordinates training and professional learning opportunities designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and competencies of employees of the Rochester City School District.

    Embedded Professional Learning: 

    Job-embedded professional development (JEPL) refers to educator learning that is grounded in day-to-day teaching practice and is designed to enhance teachers’ content-specific instructional practices with the intent of improving student learning (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Hirsh, 2009). It is primarily school or classroom based and is integrated into the workday, consisting of teachers assessing and finding solutions for authentic and immediate problems of practice as part of a cycle of continuous improvement (Hawley & Valli, 1999; National Staff Development Council, 2010). It is a shared, ongoing process that is locally rooted and makes a direct connection between learning and application in daily practice, thereby requiring active teacher involvement in cooperative, inquiry-based work (Hawley & Valli, 1999).

    These are just a few examples of Job Embedded Professional Learning opportunities we believe in.  The Protocols can be accessed on our SharePoint site.

    ·         Classroom Visitations/Guided Observation Protocol:       

    Provides an opportunity for teachers to share effective practices and reflect on the use of high yield strategies in order to improve student learning in classrooms. A guided observation of teaching is a genuine way for teachers to support each other.

    ·         Lesson Planning Protocol:      

    Provides lesson planning guidelines to support differentiated instruction. 

    “Knowledgeable, successful teachers commit to making a difference in students’ lives through      planning.”  (Differentiated Instructional Management. By Carolyn Chapman and Rita King)

    ·         Looking at Lesson Plans Tuning Protocol:

    Provides structure for effective feedback and support, participants improve instruction and student learning, teachers gain a more comprehensive understanding of what makes a lesson meaningful through the process of reflecting on their work while receiving collegial feedback. This process creates a culture focused on and supportive of continuous learning, for both students and teachers.

     ·         Looking at Student Work Protocol: 

    Provides the process in which teachers, specialists, and administrators examine and analyze student work with the goal of improving student learning. The use of this protocol assists in creating a safe, caring environment where teachers can collaborate and cooperatively determine strategies for best addressing students’ needs.

    ·         Learning Walk Protocol:

     Engagement in a Learning Walk extends the learning about a program or a specific area of focus.  Feedback from the process provides an avenue for collaborative professional learning.  This non evaluative tool assists administrators, teachers and other staff members while taking a pulse on student learning.  Feedback from the process provides an avenue for collaborative professional learning.


     Our Instructional Coaching Program


    Instructional coaches are onsite professional developers who work collaboratively with teachers, empowering them to incorporate research-based instructional methods into their classrooms. ~Jim Knight

    Coaches are an essential component to the professional growth and enhancement of teach-ers. Our instructional coaching program provides on-going, job embedded professional learn-ing and support. This is accomplished by organizing coaching into cycles. These cycles allow for sustained collaboration within school communities.

    The role of the coach is to improve student achievement by building teacher capacity and understanding of in-structional practices as related to APPR, Common Core, and Data Driven Instruction. The coach, in conjunction with the administration, is responsible for ensuring high-quality instruction in classrooms through modeling, co-planning, co-teaching and providing feedback to teachers. Coaches support the instructional development of all teachers. Coaches are required to support teachers in understanding the CCSS curriculum and implementing it with fidelity. Coaches have a working knowledge of the Framework for Teaching, Common Core State Stand-ards and data analysis. They build strong relationships with teachers, administrators and other coaches. They work collaboratively. Among the important roles coaches assume is that of learner. Learners model continual improvement, demonstrate lifelong learning, and use what they learn to help all students achieve.

    Core Organizational Competencies of Coaching


    ·         Student Learning is at the forefront of our work.

    ·         Professional Learning emerges from mutual respect, collegial relationships, and a shared responsibility for student learning.

    ·         Coaching work is driven by a cycle continuum which provides the teacher or team members the opportunity to engage in modeling/demonstrating, co-planning/co-teaching, observing/providing feedback, data collection, and ongoing professional learning.

    ·         Job embedded learning provides authentic context.

    Please access The Office of Professional Learning Intranet Site to submit a request for an Instructional Coach.


    "Adult learning in schools can, and should, take many forms.  Workshops are one way for teachers to learn. but most learning will occur as teachers work with colleagues in ways that enable them to reflect upon their professional practice.(National Staff Development Council)

    Instead of Workshop get involved with one of the following:

  • Examining student work with a peer
  • Doing a  Lesson Study
  • Conducting action research
  • Analyzing teaching cases
  • Attending awareness-level seminars
  • Planning lessons with a teaching colleague
  • Consulting an expert
  • Being  coached by an expert
  • Planning a field trip
  • Form a study group with colleagues
  • Giving presentations at conferences
  • Researching on the internet
  • Leading a school-wide committee, project
  • Developing material displays
  • Coaching a colleague
  • Participate a professional learning community
  • Being a mentor
  • Being mentored
  • joining a professional network
  • Writing an article about your work
  • Observing model lessons
  • Observing other teachers teach
  • Reading journals, education magazines, or books
  • Completing a reflective self- assessment
  • Shadowing another teacher or a professional in the field.
  • Keeping a reflection log or journal
  • Take a class at a local university
  • View educational videos
  • Participate in a video conference with experts
  • Visiting model schools/programs
  • Developing curriculum
  • Participate in school improvement planning
  • Examining new technologies to supplement lessons