What is "collaboration time"?
Collaboration time (Article IX.P, page 104 of cert contract) is an hour of paid time each week for certificated staff at elementary and K-8 schools to focus on "student achievement" that is "aligned with the SPS Strategic Plan."
All schools (including middle and high) will have collaboration time as part of your work day next year.
Student achievement is a broad topic. Is there more detail than that?
Section P has a long, but not exhaustive, list of possibilities, including: discussing instructional practice, sharing class dilemmas, collectively assessing student work, meeting in Critical Friends Groups, and developing cultural competency.
How is that time scheduled?
The contract states that "building staff will determine how best to schedule this additional collaboration time." This can be after school, before school, in 20 minute increments, for a full hour, etc. It's not a BLT decision. Instead it's the decision of each staff person and whomever they are collaborating with. Staff can collaborate in different groupings, at different times, even from week to week.
Who directs collaboration time?
As professionals, it is critical that we take charge of our own growth, and our contract reflects this common understanding we have reached with the District. The content and scheduling of collaboration time is decided by the individual staff and whatever group they have chosen to be in collaboration with.
What kind of communication is required with my principal?
The contract states that principals and the district "will not require any written documentation regarding collaboration time, although certificated staff will communicate with building administration regarding collaboration time." Collaboration is called out in our evaluation process, so for most principals that interaction has been sufficient. Principals who are unaware of what collaboration is happening, or who wish to know more, are free to ask staff what they may be doing.
How will this look next year?
The one hour of collaboration time will be incorporated into the school day for all cert staff beginning next year. This one hour will either be during a weekly early release or late arrival (still to be determined). Apart from now having a set time each week for collaboration, all of the above still applies.