Professional development is an integrated and integral part of the DC Prep experience, and occurs in many forms.
Every teacher receives targeted support and coaching grounded in their values and aspirations in alignment with the school goals and our collective vision for an excellent classroom. Coaches observe teachers across settings, look at student work and data with the teacher they coach and work to ensure a continuous cycle of conversation, reflection, and improved instructional ability. This individual development, as well as grade level and content area teamwork in a departmentalized setting* make DC Prep a rich and vibrant learning environment for adults and students alike. We strive to be classrooms steeped in Universal Design for Learning to provide access for all students and our development seeks to build our capacity to teach in inclusive ways that support all students in becoming their own expert learners and in building their own personal learning backpacks.
Every week, on Wednesday afternoons**, professional development sessions led by DC Prep’s instructional and campus based leaders provide forums for modeling best practices, analyzing data, reviewing student work, and tailoring instructional practice to address areas of need. Professional development focuses on all areas of our Wellness Wheel—Positive School Culture, Social Emotional Learning, Academic Learning, Family Partnership and Adult Wellness. In addition, quarterly Data Days allow teachers and school leaders to use assessment results to develop re-teach plans and hone methods to increase student achievement. Each DC Prep teacher receives 300+ hours of professional development each year.
We are committed to expanding the intensive professional development that has been a cornerstone of the DC Prep model to not only ensure success in current positions, but to prepare teachers and leaders for positions of increased responsibility as DC Prep expands. We are building a pipeline of exceptional leaders with the training, skills, and experience to implement the DC Prep model with fidelity and success as we strive to serve our students to meet their greatest potential.
*DC Prep is currently departmentalized in 1st through 8th grade. Starting in SY21-22, DC Prep will be departmentalized in 3rd through 8th grade only.
**As a result of virtual at home learning due to COVID-19, most of Wednesdays in SY20-21 are used for collaboration, development, and coordination with staff.
At DC Prep, we know that good talent needs to be celebrated and well-compensated. Read below to learn more details about our compensation and benefits.
Explore a typical “virtual” teacher’s day at DC Prep!
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all DC Prep campuses are virtual for the first quarter of SY20-21. These schedules are an example of how our teachers structure their days as they work to provide a high-quality academic and social-emotional education to our over 2,100 students.
We’ve designed our virtual learning program to ensure that students will be known as individuals. Each child is part of a “pod” of 12- 14 other students. Their “pod teacher” builds a deep understanding of those children as learners and people, and communicates frequently with children’s families. Students are “in class” with their pod for much of the day, enabling them to build strong relationships.
As part of their daily schedule, students have “community time,” which is dedicated to students’ social-emotional development and creates space for discussion and community building. Our social emotional curriculum will help students build agency, set goals, and develop executive functioning skills—all necessary to succeed on their individualized learning plans (ILPs).
On Wednesdays, DC Prep teachers participate in staff professional development, individual, and group meetings, so there is no live instruction. Teachers prepare materials for students to use during their virtual learning sessions.