Pasco principals get reminder to use planning day wisely
It was less than a year ago that Pasco County elementary teachers reached a deal with their district in which they'd get some relief from an overloaded work schedule. Superintendent Kurt Browning agreed to scale back meetings and testing that interfered with the educators' ability to prepare their lessons and evaluate student work.
This week, executive director for administration Kevin Shibley sent principals a clear reminder of this commitment, as they approach Friday's non-student teacher planning day. Some teachers have grumbled that the grievance settlement exists in theory, but not always in practice.
Their contract is clear, though, Shibley wrote:
"Planning time for teachers is described in detail in Article VII, Section S of the Instructional Master Contract (Teaching Assignments and Duties). Below are the relevant portions pertaining to Teacher Planning Days:
"18. Required staff development or lengthy faculty meetings shall be kept to a minimum on teacher planning days.
"20. Principals will give priority to scheduling time during the planning day at the end of each quarter for teachers to prepare student report cards and plan for classroom activities. Staff development on these days will be voluntary.
"23. Teacher participation on teams and departments is a necessary and important function, and committee participation gives teachers opportunities to provide input and participate in school-based decisions relative to school activities. Committee participation will be kept to a minimum to allow as much planning time as possible so that adequate lesson preparation is achieved.
"Accordingly, please do not schedule any mandatory/administrator directed PLCs or mandatory professional development activities on Friday and keep faculty meetings short and to a minimum, if they are held at all, on Friday."
Spring break follows, with report cards due out March 31.