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(1) By definition, professional development:

(a) focuses on teachers as central to student learning, yet includes all other members of the school community;

(b) focuses on individual, collegial, and organizational improvement;

(c) respects and nurtures the intellectual and leadership capacity of teachers, principals, and others in the school community;

(d) reflects proven research and practice in teaching, learning, and leadership;

(e) enables teachers to develop further experience in subject content, teaching strategies, uses of technologies, and other essential elements in teaching to high standards;

(f) promotes continuous inquiry and improvement embedded in the daily life of schools;

(g) is ongoing and sustained;

(h) is planned collaboratively by those who will participate in and facilitate that development;

(i) requires substantial time and other resources;

(j) is driven by a coherent long-term plan; and

(k) is evaluated ultimately on the basis of its impact on teacher effectiveness and student learning, and this assessment guides subsequent professional development efforts.

(2) Teachers and specialists shall annually complete a minimum of three pupil instruction related (PIR) days dedicated exclusively to professional development.

(a) A professional development PIR day shall constitute six hours of contact time.

(b) A school district may divide a professional development PIR day into no fewer than two-hour blocks of contact time.

(c) A professional development block may be held on the same day as a pupil instruction day, but a school district shall not schedule a professional development PIR day to convene simultaneously with a pupil instruction day.

(3) School district trustees shall establish an advisory committee to evaluate the school district's current school year professional development plan and develop and recommend a plan for the subsequent school year.

(a) The advisory committee shall include, but not be limited to, trustees, administrators, and teachers. A majority of the committee shall be teachers.

(b) Each school year, school district trustees shall adopt a professional development plan for the subsequent school year based on the recommendation of the advisory committee.

(c) The plan recommended by the advisory committee and adopted by the school district trustees shall outline how, when, and from whom teachers and specialists shall meet their professional development PIR day expectations.

(d) Although the advisory committee's recommendation is advisory, the plan adopted by the school district trustees must include two professional development PIR days in October during which schools must close in order to permit teachers and specialists to attend the annual professional development meetings of state professional associations.

(e) The adopted plan may include alternatives but shall not interfere with or prohibit teacher and specialist attendance at the annual October professional development meetings of state professional associations.

(f) Teachers and specialists who do not attend the annual professional development October meetings of state professional associations or school district plan approved alternative professional development PIR days shall not be paid for the days they are absent.

(g) Teachers, specialists, administrators, and school districts shall not substitute for professional development PIR day purposes professional development opportunities not specifically outlined in the school district's adopted professional development plan.

(h) School district trustees shall file their adopted professional development plan with the Office of Public Instruction and make their plan available to employees and the public.

History: 20-2-114, MCA; IMP, 20-2-121, MCA; NEW, 1989 MAR p. 342, Eff. 7/1/89; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 3340, Eff. 12/8/00.

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