Good evening, awesome SCS educators.
As we work through these unprecedented circumstances to ensure a safe return to school this fall, I hope you understand that teacher voice is always one of my highest priorities. I have listened to your concerns about professional development requirements, and I understand the pressure you are feeling as we look ahead to a school opening unlike any other.
With that in mind, I want you to know that we're recommending a reduction in PD requirements for teachers from 64 total hours to 40 hours for the 2020-21 school year. This in no way diminishes the importance of teacher learning and continuous improvement to support our students, but I believe it is the right decision to ensure teachers are prepared for the likelihood of increased virtual instruction in the fall.
As you know, we took a historic step last week with the Board's approval of our 1:1 Digital Device Plan, which will equip 95,000 students with a brand new device in 2020-21. Additionally, you are well aware of the challenges we face with regard to COVID-19 and the CDC's recommendations for continued social distancing. That is why we are placing the highest priority on technology-focused professional development.
Teachers can receive 24 credit hours for completing sessions focusing on building capacity through the Microsoft TEAMS platform, which will continue to be the primary platform used for distance learning in the fall. The remaining 16 hours of PD credit can be earned from targeted sessions during District Learning Days, school-based PD sessions and choice sessions throughout the school year.
I appreciate your continued commitment and flexibility as we work together to do what is best for students.