It is impossible practically for anyone, one of the entries of our course notes maintains, to become successful “without upgrading and learning new skills and knowledge” (Course Notes, n. d. ). This contention holds true in many respects. For if the recurrent theme of having to exist is in enduring the pangs of change, then the only way to become relevant in any context lies in being able to adopt to the exigencies of reality, even while the process is both painstaking and requires a considerable amount of effort.
This, in principle, is what Rebore contends in saying that, as far as “the recent emphasis on staff development programs is concerned”, it is imperative for schools to have “well-qualified teachers, administrators, and support personnel…(for) no employee will remain qualified in the face of accelerating change without some form of ongoing education and training” (2007, p. 193). Put in other words, the crux of the Rebore’s contention lies in underscoring the necessity of working to make schools more relevant in the face of the ever-changing needs of the modern societies.
Santa Rita Union School District, I must argue, appreciates the full weight of the matter at hand. And because it believes that adapting to the changing demands of the society is a task second to none, the school district continuously develops and upgrades the knowledge-base and skills of its staff. In order to do this, the school district coordinates a system of professional development applicable to all employees; whose aim lies in allowing the school community to meet the stipulated state and local achievement standards and goals.
These development programs are coordinated and monitored by the instructional planning committee. And by drawing from the feedbacks generated by way of school-wide survey and review of students’ test scores (being that the performance of students reflects in part the performance of the staff), the instructional planning committee is able to design and implement activities that support student learning programs at par with what the state and local education authorities require.
As a way to concretely cite the case in point, it merits noting that Santa Rita Union School District’s instructional planning committee provides development annual training for content instruction, implementation of key strategies, constant assessment, adoption of monitoring techniques, and enhancement of professional practice. The district likewise acknowledges the contribution of new teachers, as well as incorporates staff development activities which emphasize growth, personal improvement, school practices, and skills in terms of exacting discipline in classrooms.
The committee conducts the evaluation by school community surveys, district/school collaboration, and student success. In assessing the needs of staff, the four aspects are thereby incorporated: “(1) the teacher needs assessment survey, (2) community surveys, (3) certificated information coupled with the human resource master plan, and (4) research and curricular studies” (Rebore, 2007, p. 193).
If only to evaluate, I have reasons to think that the school district’s staff development program does satisfactorily well in meeting the different components articulated by Rebore: establishing goals and objects as foundational aspects of any development programs; assessing the current standing of school district employees to “determine if there is a discrepancy between the competencies of the staff and the requirements of the organization”; designing a program that meets the requirements of staff development; implementing the program “in such a way that effective learning may occur”; and “evaluating the program to ascertain if it is meeting its objectives, which in turn will affect future design program designs” (2007, p. 193).
In the final analysis though, what would ultimately establish the worth of the development initiatives made by Santa Rita Union School District lies in whether or not the activities consisting the programs can “facilitate the growth” not only of the individual staffs in question but also of the entire organization as such (Zepeda, 1999, p. 2).