Rita O'Brien
Business and Information Technology
Material Type:
High School
  • Business Advisory Networking and Professional Development
    Creative Commons Attribution
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    Education Standards

    BM&IT Quality Module: Prepared and Effective Program Staff

    BM&IT Quality Module: Prepared and Effective Program Staff


    Welcome to one of 12 Business Marketing and Information Technology Quality Modules! The purpose of these modules is to illustrate quality examples of each of the 2018 ACTE Quality CTE Framework elements. Regardless if you are in pre-service education program or an experienced eduator, these modules will benefit your future and business and marketing program. 

    Prepared and Effective Program Staff addresses the qualifications and professional development of program of study staff, including secondary CTE teachers, postsecondary CTE faculty, administrators and other personnel.

    (b) Up-to-date knowledge and skills across all aspects of an industry

    It is essential to incorporate our business partners in our professional development for teachers. Businesses are there to support the learning for our teachers and students as well. Our students are the commodity our local businesses need. They are ready to get into our classrooms, invite students into their businesses to experience what happens, and start making meaningful school-business partnerships.

    The Launch Studio is a great avenue for professional development for our teachers. Our goal is to provide them the knowledge and skills needed within all of the various career pathways to assist them with integrating career based learning into all curricular areas each month. This solid understanding of the knowledge and skills needed in the various career pathway industries will bring opportunities for core teachers to work with our CTE teachers to integrate the learning for our students. 

    Connecting with our business partners on networking opportunities assists our students and teachers to learn from and make connections with our business community. This is another way we provide professional development to our teachers as well as learning experiences for our students. Enjoy the YouTube clip in the resources from one of our principals and business partners on how learning happens for both our students and teachers. 



    (d) Engage in ongoing, rigorous professional development on a wide range of topics.

    Always begin and end our school year asking our CTE teachers what their Professional Development needs are. In our district we also provide PD to support our district initiatives as well. This past year we had our main focus on standards based course writing, grading for learning, and the local comprehensive local needs assessment. I strongly believe PD needs to be relevant to teacher and district needs and needs to be practiced and implemented to be effective as well. 

    This PD supported the development of our required CLNA .  It occurred during a 3 hour staff development and the analysis of the work continued through our Professional Learning Community (PLC)  time.  

    1. This worksheet was used in determining gaps and needs in the career pathways being offered.

    2. Teachers who taught within the Career Pathway worked together  

    3. One worksheet was  completed for each career pathway.

    4. The pathway must meet at least 3 of the 5 elements the first 2 years under Size, Schope, and Quality to be eligible for funding. A sequence of courses must be 1 of the 5. After year 2 we must meet 4 out of 5 elements to receive Perkins funding.

    5. The information captured on this worksheet was used for the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment and to support and promote our career pathways to our students, teachers, parents and business partners. 

    You can see an example of the Marketing Career Pathway outcomes in the attached resources.

    Next steps were to find the gaps and build goals from the results.

    Continuous career pathway improvement is a process and not a product, but it needs to be done within the departments and owned by the teachers. 

    (e) CTE staff demonstrate leadership and commitment to the profession.

    Teaching dual credit courses is a great example of going above and beyond and showing leadership and commitment. Teachers teaching dual credit courses are required to participate in the professional development that is offered during the summer summits organized by our technical college.  It is during these professional developments days that our teachers learn the skill competencies needed for the students to successfully complete the course and they build relationships with the technical college teaches as well.  When our teachers take the time to go above and beyond to offer their students these opportunities only shows their commitment to their profession. 

    Our technical college offers us the opportunity to host district in-service days at their site as well.  They engage our staff in campus experiences, give our staff the time to engage with college faculty and learn about the amazing things happening in technical education today for our students. 

    Managing up staff empowers teachers to be engaged in the choices that affect their teaching and learning process. Giving teachers the supports to advocate for their department engages them. This is a great example of what that looked like in relocating our Student Marketing Team for next year. 

    Administrators typically aren’t closest to the day-to-day work, so they don’t always understand the details or have the best information. They also frequently don’t know what people are really thinking or how teachers really feel about a particular process, issue, or task. Like anyone else, they also sometimes don’t know what they don’t know (unconscious incompetence), so they can have huge blind spots. We need to support our teachers to positively get involved.  

    Best Practices for Managing Up

    • Always propose a solution or two when asking your administrator for help with a problem.

    • Look for opportunities to “take things off their plate”—simple acts like volunteering to schedule meeting invites, book meeting rooms, develop presentation templates, conduct vendor research, and so forth can produce huge time savings for your administrator(and make you an invaluable resource in the process).

    • Adjust your communication style to fit their preferences (for example, if they prefer face-to-face, try to stop by their office to discuss issues rather than just sending an email).

    • Get in the habit of brainstorming and analyzing potential risks for new projects and proactively sharing the risk analysis 

    • Share good news soon and bad news sooner.

    • Look for opportunities to propose process changes or new innovations and volunteer to help lead the resultant work (as appropriate)

    (f) CTE Administrators ensure that other program staff have the time, resources and supports to implement a high-quality POS as described in ACTE's Quality CTE framework.

    It is the responsibility of the CTE Coordinator to provide the support to CTE teachers to keep current with state and district initiatives. This support requires finding time (ex. PLC) and resources (PD for initiatives) to do so. Financial support needs to come from Perkins, CTE Incentive, YA grants as well as district funds.

    AASD createdt this standards based course writing training for all teachers who were on a course design team. The idea was to have clear and concise messaging about course development so no matter what discipline you are in you would receive the same information.  The outline of the training mirrors the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework. The 5 modules on this screen are essential in teaching the whole student and preparing them for college, career and life readiness. 

    This was a 2 week, 80 hour professional development that was also supported with 4 full days during the school year. We had 3-4 teachers for each course developed to lead this process. 

    Module 1 was very much assuring everyone's content knowledge for standards based course development was understood. It was essential everyone had a common understanding of :

    • How to determine units of study

    • Align priority standards

    • Universal backwards design framework

    • Pause and Reflect Equity Framework

    • Career Based Learning

    Module 2 reinforced the purpose of developing and using essential and supporting questions for each unit

    Module 3 taught teachers how to create learning progressions whicle unpacking standards and utilizing the DOK (depth of knowledge)

    Module 4 focused on quality common formative and summative assessment development with performance tasks and rubrics

    Module 5 focused on instruction and assessment and how it will support ALL students. Here is where we need to provide the opportunity for revisions to be responsive to ALL students. The student work protocol and pause and reflect equity framework will assist with this process. 

    The value in this process was having quality time to work together to develop the course. The implementation will need to focus on Professional Learning Communities to continue the work.

    Having weekly or at least monthly designated PLC time is a must. 

    It is essential that during PLC time you provide collaboration time, define a process and use group norms.  Group norms are collective commitments to how you will work in and within your PLC. By setting group norms, you can eliminate common dysfunctions that lead to ineffective PLCs. 

    Here’s how the steps work in the context of a PLC planning a segment of instruction (such as a unit). 

    • Plan: decide what your students will learn by the end of the segment of instruction.

      • These are your power standards or essential learning outcomes, which you may already have. 

      • Use data from previous years or assessments to determine necessary areas of focus.

    • Do: implement your plan. Use common formative assessments (practice lessons)  to collect data throughout the segment of instruction. 

    • Study: evaluate the data you’ve collected using common formative assessments. Identify common trends and clear differences. 

    • Act: use your findings. Share strategies that were used to achieve contrasting results, and design interventions for students that have not learned what they need to.