Regional Professional Development Academy
The Regional Professional Development Academy is entering into its twentieth year and has grown from the original fourteen-member collaborative focused on providing quality seminars promoting Professional Development. Membership into the academy is open to all public school districts and non-public schools and Schools for the Disabled in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. An annual sliding scale fee based on school district size is charged to each district. The participation fee entitles the district to an open registration of all staff and parents to the seminar programs. The academy welcomes new members each year in order to engage as many schools and school districts that wish to participate and to provide greater opportunity for professional development services to the member school districts.
The Academy continues to focus its efforts on providing quality workshops which address the needs of children with disabilities but has broadened its efforts to include children with needs in the general education program. Based on our Annual Needs Analysis Survey of the Collaborative districts, staff continue to identify their needs for training in addressing Behavioral Management, Literacy and further training in the Autism Spectrum Disorders, Assistive Technology and Social Skills programs. In order to support the New Jersey Professional Development Standards of improved learning outcomes for students, participants attending workshops will be encouraged to work collaboratively across district boundaries.
In addition to the seminars provided through the participation fee, Collaborative Administrators may request workshops and training programs that are developed by the academy and offered on a “Fee for Service” basis.
The Steering Committee meets regularly each year to provide guidance to the Program Administrator and Program Training Specialist. Additional seminars are arranged based upon both suggestions of the Steering Committee and the availability of funds from the current budget.
The following statements represent the academy’s goals and provide impetus for the planned activities:
- To provide collaborative opportunities across district boundaries for effective inclusive educational programs.
- To improve learning outcomes for non-traditional learners.
- To utilize assistive technology to support learning.
- To increase the number of students with moderate to severe disabilities in general education programs.