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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 38Q: Professional development plans; statewide assistance plan

Section 38Q. Every school district in the commonwealth shall adopt and implement a professional development plan for all principals, teachers, other professional staff, paraprofessionals and teacher assistants employed by the district, to include the professional support teams established pursuant to section thirty-eight G, and annually shall update such plans and set forth a budget for professional development within the confines of the foundation budget. Said plan shall include training in the teaching of new curriculum frameworks and other skills required for the effective implementation of this act, including participatory decision making, and parent and community involvement. The plan shall also include training in: (1) analyzing and accommodating diverse learning styles of all students in order to achieve an objective of inclusion in the regular classroom of students with diverse learning styles; and (2) methods of collaboration among teachers, paraprofessionals and teacher assistants to accommodate such styles. The plan may also include training in the provision of pre-referral services within regular education. Said plan shall also include training for members of school councils, pursuant to section fifty-nine C. Said plan may include teacher training which addresses the effects of gender bias in the classroom. In any school district with English learners as defined in chapter 71A, the plan shall provide training for teachers in second language acquisition techniques for the re-certification of teachers and administrators. All professional development plans required by this section shall be filed annually with the commissioner of education.

The commissioner of education for the commonwealth shall prepare each year a plan for providing statewide assistance in the preparation and implementation of professional development plans. The plan shall include data that demonstrates, statewide and by school district, the types of professional development provided for educators who work with English learners as defined in chapter 71A. The commissioner shall consult with the board of higher education in developing said plan. This plan shall evaluate the feasibility of obtaining assistance from institutions of higher education and private service providers. The plan shall be submitted to the board of education for approval. A copy of said plan shall be submitted to the joint committee on education, arts, and humanities of the general court.