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Teacher development required by law

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

The origins of the Carson City School District’s proposed professional development plan lead back to last fall when a group of administrators, staff and parents began working together to meet the requirements of a state law.

That law, Senate Bill 1, was approved by Gov. Kenny Guinn on June 6, 2003, and directs school districts on implementing the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which went into effect July 1, 2002, with a goal of having all students perform at grade level by 2014.

“It’s a very difficult dilemma,” said Carson City School District Superintendent Mary Pierczynski about enacting a professional development plan that fits everyone’s needs. “We have obligations under No Child Left Behind.”

For Nevada school districts, SB1 requires each district have a written district improvement plan and that each school in each district have a written school improvement plan.

“Nevada came out with a plan that each school will have a school improvement plan,” said Ron Beck, grant and project manager for the school district. “If you are a school in need of improvement, you must specifically have a plan to address where you will put your emphasis.”

Those improvement plans were required to be completed and turned into the state board of education last fall under SB1, and took effect Jan. 1 of this year.

According to Beck, all schools in the district must have a professional development plan written into their school improvement plans. The district also must have an ongoing professional development plan written into its district improvement plan. The district has until the fall to implement a course for professional development.

“I guess people could dig in their heels,” Pierczynski said. “But we’re not in the practice of breaking the law. “

n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.