The office of Staff Development & Instructional Technology accepts numerous external programs and classes as potential avenues of professional development. A Course Approval Form is required for every individual course. An approved program of study is not an approval of every course within that program. Online coursework must be in the content area of the faculty member, or in an area of identified district need, such as instructional technology, assessment, reading across the curriculum, or differentiated instruction. Course Approval Forms must be submitted no later than two weeks before the start of the proposed course.
By using the links at the left, you can learn the parameters for course approval, find a list of approved and denied courses, and download the Course Approval Form.
What type of coursework will be eligible for tuition reimbursement?
Graduate level coursework will be eligible for tuition reimbursement as long as the course is approved, a grade of "B" or higher is earned, and the teacher has not yet acquired a 1st master's degree. Tuition will be reimbursed at [a rate up to $350 per credit hour]. The rate established in the current negotiated teacher's contract. After a teacher acquires a master's degree the teacher becomes ineligible for tuition reimbursement of any kind.
Will my coursework be honored for credit toward salary lane advancement?
All approved courses are eligible for credit hours toward salary lane advancement.
What is the course approval process? How does it work?
Teachers will print the Course Approval Form from Google Drive and complete the necessary information. Teachers should check to make sure the course is not on the list of Denied External Courses before submitting the approval form to their division leader (DL). Teachers should also check the list of Approved External Courses . Any courses on this list will be approved pending review by the teacher's DL leading to a determination that the course applies to the teacher's assignment. If the course is not on the list, teachers MUST attach a syllabus to the course approval form for review purposes and then submit the course approval form to their DL for initial review. If the DL approves, it will be forwarded to the district staff development office so paperwork completion can be verified and logged. The form will then be sent to the building principal for further review. The building principal will issue approval or denial for the course. If the course is denied a rationale for the decision will be provided with the response from the principal.
What is the difference between a "program approval" and "course approval"?
Program approval is awarded by the district to indicate that the certified faculty member's focus of study is aligned with the certified staff member's professional practice, content area, or an area of need within the district. Course approvals are granted individually and independently from program approvals. Just because a program is approved does not mean that each course within the program will be approved. Program approvals are only required for certified staff member's seeking their first Master's degree.
I've heard there's an appeal process if a course approval request is denied. How does the appeal process work?
If a teacher's course approval request is denied by the principal the teacher can appeal the ruling if the course is a post-master's course. This is accomplished by completing the appeal section on the back of the course approval form and filing it with the Director of Staff Development & Instructional Technology. The appeal request will be reviewed by an appeals committee composed of four administrators and four Association members. The decision of the appeals committee is final and non-grievable. The appeals committee will meet on the 2nd Monday of each month to review all pertinent requests.
Instructions for Advanced Credit and Reimbursement of Approve Course