Teachers can count Summer Professional
May 11, 2000
Springfield Ė Teachers can get started right away on new professional development requirements, even though rules will not be finalized until sometime this fall.
Seminars, workshops, conferences and college courses will count starting this summer, under terms of a working agreement between the Illinois State Board of Education and the State Teacher Certification Board.
The agreement covers professional development activities completed between July 1, 2000 and January 1, 2001. Activities may begin immediately, but must be completed in that time frame and included in Continuing Professional Development Plans submitted to Local Professional Development Committees when they are formed.
Meanwhile the two boards will continue to work together to complete the rules for the new certificate renewal process. That process, governed by a state law enacted last year, requires the completion of Professional Development Plans prior to the renewal of teaching certificates.
Teachers can get credit for any activity listed in the law that either
∑ advances the teacherís knowledge and skills in the teacherís area of certification, endorsement or teaching assignment;
∑ develops the teacherís knowledge and skills in any of the State Boardís five ďpriorityĒ areas;
∑ ties to the teacherís local school improvement plan; or
∑ expands the teacherís knowledge and skills in another teaching field or helps the teacher to work toward another teaching certificate or education degree.
College courses for any of those purposes will count in meeting professional development requirements. In addition, workshops, seminars and conferences will count if teachers are able to verify their attendance.
Teachers can claim credit for these activities with any available provider, under the terms of this agreement. Once rules are finalized, the State Teacher Certification Board and the State Board of Education will be required to approve providers before activities can be credited toward the requirements.
Activities classified as travel, however, will not count until Local Professional Development Committees are formed and able to give prior approval, as state law requires.
The actual amount of credit for these activities will be determined by the language of the final rules. For guidance, teachers can review the credits contained in the proposed rules that are posted on the State Boardís website (www.isbe.state.il.us).