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University Prep's Three-Year Professional Development Model:
Individualized Teaching Improvement Plan (ITIP)

The Committee on Faculty Evaluation has identified four domains for teacher excellence: pedagogy, classroom environment, content, and life outside the classroom. As part of a plan for ongoing teacher professional development, teachers will work in conjunction with their department heads and division directors to map a three-year plan for continued teacher improvement. The teacher, in consultation with her/his department head and division director will select one or two domains as their main focus for improvement for the three-year cycle, and together design a program of professional development relative to particular skills within that domain (or domains) that will best serve the teacher and the department .* Faculty are expected to be engaged in this professional development model in continually repeating three-year cycles, no matter where they are on the salary scale. Additionally, the expectation is that every teacher’s performance in all domains will continue to meet acceptable standards as described in the “Characteristics of Good Teaching” (CGT).

The basic plan for the three-year cycle is outlined below. Individual plans will vary among departments and by teacher. Typically, the successful completion of the three-year cycle, as determined by the department head, division director, and head of school, will result in a teacher moving up a category on the faculty salary scale. However, this advance may not occur if any portion of the ITIP is assessed as having been unsatisfactorily completed. In such a case, the teacher’s ITIP timeline would be revised. Successfully engaging in and completing the ITIP cycle in a reasonable time frame is a requirement for continuing employment. Faculty members may be initially placed in any year of the three-year cycle. Starting placement in the cycle is the purview of the department head, division director and head of school.

New faculty: Initiating the three-year cycle is slightly different for teachers new to University Prep. Rather than determining the ITIP focus relative to the CGT in the beginning of the year, the department head will observe the teacher throughout the first semester. Based on those observations and in consultation with the teacher, the ITIP plan should then be designed before the beginning of the second semester. At least two team observation sessions should occur that semester. At the end of the year, the decision will be made either to move the teacher into ITIP Year Two, or to have one more observation year.