Professional development plan is new in code of ethics

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At the Socorro school board meeting Monday night, the board approved a change to the code of ethics for certified employees. All certified staff will need a professional development plan instead of obtaining a master’s degree within six years of employment.

According to the revised code of ethics document, staff are required to develop an individualized professional development plan within their first year of employment. The purpose is to have professional development in the classroom, said Superintendent Randall Earwood. He also said the plan is to focus on instructional needs in the classroom to benefit students.

According to the code of ethics, the professional development plan can include, but isn’t limited to the pursuit of a higher degree level. The plan can also focus on specific instructional strategies or specialties that will improve the employees’ teaching effectiveness.

Earwood said he is getting a committee together to develop regulations to make sure the policy is enforced.

“Our teachers need to carve their own path with professional goals,” Earwood said.

According to Earwood, the teachers need to have a professional development plan to move toward new teacher evaluations. The plan will be more effective in the classroom. In a previous meeting in September, board members discussed the 2006 policy from the school district that required teachers to have their master’s degree within six years of employment. At the time, the school district was paying for the master’s degree for the teachers, but due to funding situations, the district could no longer pay for the degrees, Earwood said.

In a release from Earwood addressed to parents and guardians, he said Susan Comisky has been assigned as interim elementary principal for Zimmerly Elementary and Midway. It also said this will be effective for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year. Janice Jaramillo will also remain the head of teachers at Zimmerly Elementary School.