275 Prospect Street, PO Box 67, Norwood, MA 02062
781.762.6804 Phone | 781.762.0229 Fax

Professional Learning Plans and Procedures for Norwood Public Schools

This page is maintained by Dr. JJ Muñoz Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum for the Norwood Public Schools. Suggestions for improvement are always welcome.

Norwood's Professional Learning Goal: To provide all staff with best practice professional learning activities that are embedded, sustained, and connected to educators' and students' needs.

Food for Thought:
  1. "Strategic planning efforts and whole school reform efforts have been ineffective because planning cycles are too long and implementation is too complex and cumbersome, leading to fragmentation and overload.  School reform experts recommend that small groups of teachers (professionals) work collaboratively on relatively short-term goals" (PDK EDge, Sept/Oct 2005). This approach will fit nicely with our new educator evaluation system where teams of teachers can work together on a SMART goal to improve student learning or their own practice.
  2. "Start here for improving teaching and learning...[it] starts with a group of teachers who meet regularly as a team to identify essential and valued student learning, develop common formative assessments, analyze current levels of achievement, set achievement goals, and then share and create lessons to improve upon those levels... Importantly, there must be an expectation that this collaborative effort will produce ongoing improvement--and gains in achievement.  If there is anything that the research community agrees on it is this: The right kind of continuous, structured teacher collaboration improves the quality of teaching and pays big, often immediate, dividends in student learning and professional morale in virtually any setting" (Mike Schmoker, Results NOW, ASCD, 2006).
  3. We are the sum total of our choices, day to day, minute to minute. Are we making high impact choices: ones that help ourselves and others make a difference in the lives of others?

Below are links to your respective PL plans for our scheduled in-service time for this year.

The activities identified for this professional learning time have been determined by the district's administration based on the District's Strategic Improvement Plan, driven by student performance data and input from educators.

All educators are strongly encouraged to let their supervisors (principal, directors, department chairs) and/or Dr. Muñoz know what PL you would like offered that would improve your practice and enhance student learning by completing surveys that are administered periodically and/or by completing the live Request/Suggestion Form link below.  Also, please take the time to give feedback on workshops that are offered by completing the Workshop Feedback form in TeachPoint PD Tracking. Thank you.

To sign up for your scheduled in-service day event, go to your TeachPoint account and select the event in Available Events. If you decide not to attend, be sure to withdraw in My Activities. Also, be sure to complete a feedback form for the event in My Activities immediately after the event in order to get PDPs.

Travel/Conference Requests & Reimbursement Procedures

Procedure for Graduate Course Reimbursement--Advanced Approval of Professional Study (AAPS)-The "Blue Form." Note: If you want, once completed and approved by the Superintendent's Office, you can add your graduate credits into TeachPoint for your own record for recertification purposes. Entering the information into TeachPoint does NOT replace the AAPS process.

ELL, Special Ed, SEL, and Others Recertification FREE Course Offerings by TEC (15 PDPs each)

Going forward: SEI Endorsement Requirements:

"Starting on July 1, 2016, any core academic teacher who is assigned an English learner must either have an SEI Endorsement or must earn one within one calendar year of the date of the assignment." (DESE)

Pathways to Earning the SEI Endorsement, 7/11/17

  • Memo from DESE's RETELL site
  • Info from MTA on this topic
  • Definition of CORE teacher: The following teachers are "core academic teachers" for purposes of providing SEI instruction: • Teachers of students with moderate disabilities; • Teachers of students with severe disabilities; • Subject-area teachers in English, reading or language arts; mathematics, science; civics and government, economics, history, and geography; and early childhood and elementary teachers who teach such content.
  • If you do not yet have your porofessional license, you need to focus on that alone. Your licensing agency will need to tell you if your licensing program will meet the new SEI-RETELL and Special Ed requirements.
  • NOTE: All core subject educators who have completed the coursework and qualify for the SEI Endorsement must apply for the endorsement via ELAR no matter which route they have taken to get endorsed. Applying is free and only takes a minute. Complete your SEI Endorsement application online by logging in at http://www.mass.gov/edu/gateway/.
  • If you are a core academic teacher, as defined above, who was part of the SY2013-16 cohort years, and you have not earned the endorsement before August 31, 2016, you will not be eligible to renew, advance, or extend your core academic license(s) until you earn the SEI Endorsement. The lack of an endorsement may effect your employability. After July 1, 2016, any non-endorsed core academic teacher who is assigned an ELL student will have one year from the time of that assignment to earn the endorsement or risk non-renewal. Passing the SEI MTEL (cost of $185) is another route to SEI Endorsement.
  • TEC and French River Education Center, Inc offer SEI Endorsement courses.
  • If you are a non-CORE teacher with a professional license that needs to be renewed on or after July 1, 2016, it is required that you complete 15 hours (15 PDPs) of training in SEI and in Special education. Click here for all information for Non-CORE teachers. TEC has developed online courses for both SEI and special education (15 PDPs each) that are now available. See below.

ELL, Special Ed, & SEL Recertification FREE Course Offerings by TEC (15 PDPs each)

All educators as well as ELL and Special Ed educators can take these 15 hour/PDP online self-paced courses and count them toward their required content PDPs for renewing their primary licenses.

Thanks to our investment with TEC, all Norwood educators are now able to enroll in four self-paced online courses. TEC's ELL and Differentiated Instruction online courses satisfy the requirement for 15 PDPs for both English Learners and Special Education at no cost. Please use your school/district email address to access these no-cost to you courses. The Enrollment key is Norwood2022. Educators may sign up for one or more of these courses in any order, and they can be taken at different times. A TEC PDP certificate will be generated for each course completed.

Course #1: Strategies to Enhance Instruction for English Language Learners in the Classroom: In this 15 hour/PDP online self-paced course, participants will review and explore teaching strategies to support English language learners. Participants will also explore technology resources that can support English language learners within the classroom. This course is not a substitute for the RETELL SEI course, but will satisfy the DESE requirement for license renewal.  Click on the link for additional details.

Course #2: Engaging All Students with Differentiated Instruction: Participants in this 15 hour/PDP online self-paced course will explore many strategies and tools that will help them to plan lessons so that all students are appropriately challenged and supported. Participants will also explore technology tools that will facilitate instruction of students with diverse learning needs and strategies to differentiate assessment. For more information, please click the link above.

Course #3: Connecting Behavioral Health and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to Success in School:  This course includes four sessions that address specific areas of social and emotional learning that all Massachusetts schools are required to address. The sessions are designed to help teachers support all students in the classroom.  Resources are provided to address all grade levels.  This course also offers an optional one graduate level credit for an additional $165.00.  

Course #4: Introduction to Coaching in Schools: Supporting Professional Learning and Growth through Coaching. This is a self-paced 15 hour (PDP) online course appropriate for administrators, teacher leaders, department chairpersons, instructional coaches, and content coordinators. Participants will leave the course with a clear understanding of what coaching is, why it works, and how it can be implemented and will create a “Coach’s Toolbox” that will help them apply what they learn to their own educational context. Click on the link for additional details.

Course #5 (NEW!): Inclusive Classroom Design with Technology. In this workshop, Inclusive Classroom Design with Technology, participants will learn about intentionally designing an Inclusive Classroom to further education equity for all learners. The thoughtful infusion of technology will be an essential part of this process. Participants will use the principles of Universal Design for Learning to plan flexible lessons that meet the needs of diverse learners in the classroom, use the SETT Framework to match learner needs to tools that ensure access and engagement, and explore a range of accessibility tools and features. This self-paced course can be used, in conjunction with the Individual Professional Development Plan, to satisfy the minimum 15 PDPs related to training in strategies for effective schooling for students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles as according to the Massachusetts License Renewal Requirements for a Professional License.

To enroll in one of these free TEC 15 PDP courses, create a TEC Moodle Account (directions attached). Scroll through the districts until you reach Norwood, or use Control F, type in Norwood and enter the Enrollment Enrollment Key: Norwood2022 (case sensitive with no spaces).  You must use your norwood.k12.ma.us address. 


These courses are also being offered for one credit through Worcester State University with TEC’s Dr. Janet Buerklin and Moira Rogers as the instructors. Staff can elect this credit option for $165 through the link below.

COURSE CREDIT LINK : https://teccoop.wufoo.com/forms/z1gom8pe14uob5o/?

If you are interested in electing graduate credit for the cost of $165, you must do so and submit your final project to projects@tec-coop.org by these dates:

  • Fall Semester: November 15
  • Spring Semester: April 15th
  • Summer Session: July 15th

For more information click here.

PDPs and Relicensure (Updated March 2019: Please Read):

For relicensure purposes, PDPs earned outside of our inservice days are the sole responsibility of each individual to keep track of. Keep reading.

All educators need to develop and Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP) that is approved by your supervisor. "The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s license renewal process requires all educators to work collaboratively with their district to develop an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) for continued growth and development. This IPDP must be aligned with the educational needs of the school and/or district and enhance the ability of the educator to improve student learning. Educators who are employed in a Massachusetts public school may elect to use the professional practice goals established under their Educator Plan [part of Norwood's evaluation system in TeachPoint] for license renewal, or in combination with the professional learning goals in their IPDP."

An educator only needs to earn PDPs if s/he holds an active professional license from Mass DESE that needs to be renewed at end of 5 year period as indicated and dated on the educator’s current license. The recertification process is educator driven and is based on the honor system. Norwood’s administration only gives PDPs if we run the courses, workshops, etc., on district time (paid by Norwood and delivered in Norwood). Any educator can take PD activities on his or her own (online or off) and count the time/PDPs toward recertification as one sees fit and as allowed by the DESE Regulations (per Renewing A Professional License & see Recertification Guidelines of 2017), BUT if you get audited (and you might), you will need to be able to prove you took and completed the listed activities, that it fits your recertification needs/requirements, and that there was new learning involved.  Also, your PDPs need to tie to one or more of your Individual Professional Development Goals that need to tie to one or more of the district's goals. I suggest that you keep a personal folder for all your valid PDP evidence. You should refer to and access the PD documents and forms listed in the table below.

How many PDPs are needed: "Effective July 28, 2017, the minimum required content and pedagogy distribution of PDPs for all academic educators renewing a Primary area Professional level license has been amended. Within the required 150 PDPs necessary to renew a Primary area license, all academic educators will now only need a minimum of 15 PDPs in content, compared to the previous minimum of 60 PDPs in content. In addition, 15 PDPs in pedagogy is required along with the afore mentioned 15 PDPs in SEI or ESL and 15 PDPs related to effective schooling for students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles. The remaining 90 PDPs is left at the discretion of the educator and the employing school district. This new distribution of PDPs should allow educators with a professional level license to focus on professional development that will have a larger impact on their teaching and 2 the needs of their students. In addition to the changes to renewing a Primary area, similar changes were made with the requirements to renew an Additional area Professional level license. Educators renewing an Additional area will continue to need 30 PDPs; however, only 15 of those 30 PDPs will need to be in the content area of the additional license.

How do I know what I can count for my re-licensure? It depends on your specific license. Go to http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr7.html?section=06 for details. Then to http://www.mass.gov/edu/government/departments-and-boards/ese/programs/educator-effectiveness/licensure/academic-prek-12/academic-pre-k-12-forms.html

In general: 1 PDP per hour of new learning. If new learning is at graduate level (for graduate credit), then you get 1.5 PDPs per hour of learning. If you are a PD instructor, then you can get 2 PDPs per hour of instruction, for the first time the course is delivered only in five year period. Curriculum Development: 15 PDPs per curriculum unit up to 60 PDPs per 5-year cycle (documents must be reviewed and approved by Supervisor). "School-based Activity": 1 PDP per hour with max of 30 PDPs in 5-year cycle. For more details, see DESE's Recertification Guides, pages 18-22.

Educators who attend an in district workshop or course should sign up for events through Vector Solutions (TeachPoint) and are given PDPs by the Assistant Superintendent or their supervisor when a feedback form has been completed. NPS does not enter any other (out of district) professional development activities into Vector Solutions; however, educators should submit a "Record My Credits" form and upload any evidenciary documentation. This will require supervisor's approval so it can be recorded in Vector Solutions. Each educator should keep his/her/their own records for backup should they be audited by the DESE.

List of Norwood educators who can lead professional development training or workshops in various areas:

If you and a group of your colleagues are interested in being trained by one of our educators listed above, please ask your supervisor if arrangements can be made through Dr. Muñoz. We can try to find time during our scheduled in-service time or outside of the school day.

DESE Professional Development Website

Some links to Professional Development sites

As Norwood Public Schools is a member of TEC, you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of TEC workshops.  However, if you find a useful workshop that is not offered by TEC at ACCEPT or EDCO, you should speak with your supervisor about attending and follow the normal workshop request procedures for approval prior to registering for any workshop.

Licensure and Degree Programs and Online Courses

(There are many others you can find online, but these are a few that have approached Norwood. If you would like others to be included here, please let me know, or add to this Online Courses: Providers and Reviews sheet.):

Licensure Requirements & MTELs

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.