Professional Development for Staff

Watertown Professional Development

Professional Development in the Watertown Public Schools is committed to offering adult learning that enhances educators' knowledge, skills, and expertise. Through professional development, educators deepen their content knowledge, learn research-based instructional strategies, and strive to understand all students' diverse learning needs while holding them to high expectations.  Professional Development is an investment in constructive improvements of teaching and learning in the District.

We aim to continue to build the capacity of a diverse staff to be excellent teachers and administrators by providing high quality professional development aligned strategic goals, instructional support, coaching, and an evaluation framework that fosters continuous improvement. The focus of our professional development program is to engage educators in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

The Professional Development Team (PDT) in collaboration with principals and curriculum coordinators, plans and implements the Professional Development Program.  Watertown employees are encouraged to keep track of their own professional development points for recertification.  For District PD, Watertown can produce a certificate with course descriptions to be submitted to DESE.

Watertown's approach to Professional Development is unique.  Watertown offers collaborative and meaningful collaboration led by Watertown staff. The professional development model encompasses three meeting strands:
  • Faculty
  • Department/Grade-Level
  • Professional Learning Team

Recertification Guidelines for Massachusetts Educators

Professional Development Points (PDPs): Effective July 28, 2017, the required distribution of PDPs for all academic educators renewing a Professional level license has been amended as stated in the regulations(CMR 603 44.05). The required minimum breakdown to renew a Primary area is as follows:

License Renewal:   

  • At least 15 PDPs in content (subject matter knowledge)
  • At least 15 PDPs in pedagogy (professional skills and knowledge)
  • At least 15 PDPs related to Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) or English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • At least 15 PDPs related to training in strategies for effective schooling for students with disabilities and the instruction of students with diverse learning styles

The remaining required 90 PDPs may be earned through any combination of “elective” activities that address other educational issues and topics that improve student learning, additional content, or pedagogy. 

The renewal of each Additional area license(s) will require 30 PDPs, of which 15 out of the 30 must be content related.  

assachusetts Standards for Professional Development

Massachusetts defines High Quality Professional Development (HQPD) as: A set of coherent learning experiences that is systematic, purposeful, and structured over a sustained period of time with the goal of improving teacher practice and student outcomes. It enables educators to facilitate the learning of students by acquiring and applying knowledge, skills, and abilities that address student needs and improvement goals of the district, school, and individual. HQPD conforms to best practices in research, relates to educators' assignments and professional responsibilities, and conforms to the ten Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development.1

The ten standards that make up the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development:

  1. HQPD has clear goals and objectives relevant to desired student outcomes.
  2. HQPD aligns with state, district, school, and/or educator goals or priorities.
  3. HQPD is designed based on the analysis of data relevant to the identified goals, objectives, and audience.
  4. HQPD is assessed to ensure that it is meeting the targeted goals and objectives.
  5. HQPD promotes collaboration among educators to encourage sharing of ideas and working together to achieve the identified goals and objectives.
  6. HQPD advances an educator's ability to apply learnings from the professional development to his/her particular content and/or context.
  7. HQPD models good pedagogical practice and applies knowledge of adult learning theory to engage educators.
  8. HQPD makes use of relevant resources to ensure that the identified goals and objectives are met.
  9. HQPD is taught or facilitated by a professional who is knowledgeable about the identified objectives.
  10. HQPD sessions connect and build upon each other to provide a coherent and useful learning experience for educators.
Complete Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development

WPS Core Values
  • Excellence
    • We commit to high expectations for each student.
    • We invest in a culture of reflection, collaboration, and commitment to continuous improvement.
    • We provide a rigorous and nurturing academic environment.
    • We foster creativity, resiliency, and confidence.

  • Equity
    • We provide all students with a high-quality education.
    • We create conditions necessary for all students to engage in powerful, deep learning.
    • We provide resources for academic and social/emotional success for all students.
    • We ensure access to a welcoming and safe environment for all students, parents, and families.

  • Community
    • We share accountability for the success of all students.
    • We celebrate the contributions of each individual to our inclusive, diverse community.
    • We believe partnerships with families and the community are the cornerstone of student success.
    • We foster caring and collaborative relationships as the foundation for student engagement.