Home / Standards / 2020 Standards for Accreditation / Standard 3 - Professional Practices

Standard 3 - Professional Practices

Professional Practices ensure that practices and structures are in place to support and improve student learning.

The school maintains and implements a school improvement/growth plan, organizational practices, and productive community relationships to meet and support student learning needs. Educators engage in ongoing reflection, collaboration, and professional development to improve their practice and examine evidence of student learning and well-being to improve curriculum, instruction, assessment practices, programs, and services.

Principles of Effective Practice

Click on the topics listed below each Principle to reveal more details.

3.1 The school engages all stakeholders in the development and implementation of a school improvement/growth plan, which reflects the school’s core values, beliefs about learning, and vision of the graduate.

Descriptors of Effective Practice

The school develops and regularly updates a school improvement/growth plan that:

  • promotes a strategic mindset that incorporates backward design
  • includes specific and measurable goals with expected learning impacts
  • is informed by the perspectives of the school community and current research
  • is aligned with district priorities
  • is aligned to the Standards for Accreditation
  • informs decision-making in the school
  • reflects the school’s core values, beliefs about learning, and vision of the graduate
  • includes the evaluation of initiatives with opportunities for reflection and input from the various stakeholders.

3.1a Foundational Element - The school has a current school improvement/growth plan.

Descriptors of Effective Practice

The school has a plan that:

  • includes school-specific goals
  • informs decision-making in the schoo

3.2 Educators engage in ongoing reflection, formal and informal collaboration, and professional development to improve student learning and well-being.

Descriptors of Effective Practice

Educators, individually and collaboratively:

  • continuously examine their practice to ensure consistency with the school’s core values, beliefs about learning, and vision of the graduate
  • engage in authentic professional discourse for reflection, inquiry, and analysis of teaching and learning
  • engage in formal collaboration
  • engage in formal and informal professional development
  • use resources outside of the school, including educational research, to maintain currency with best practices
  • engage in peer observation
  • engage in supervision and evaluation using effective and timely feedback to improve practices that result in increased student learning
  • apply the skills and knowledge gained through professional learning to their practice.

3.3 Educators examine evidence of student learning and well-being to improve curriculum, instruction, assessment practices, and programs and services. 

Descriptors of Effective Practice

Educators, individually and collaboratively:

  • examine a range of evidence including:
    • student work
    • common course and common grade-level assessments
    • data from a variety of formative and summative assessments
    • achievement data, disaggregated by subgroups
    • individual and school-wide progress in achieving the school’s vision of the graduate
    • data from sending schools
    • post-secondary data
    • feedback from a variety of sources, including students, other educators, supervisors, families, and the school community.
  • use the examination of evidence to:
    • improve curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices
    • analyze data to identify and respond to inequities in student achievement
    • improve programs and services, such as health, counseling, library/information, and student support services
    • ensure that grading and assessment practices are aligned with the school’s beliefs about learning.

3.4 Collaborative structures and processes support coordination and implementation of curriculum.

Descriptors of Effective Practice

The school uses structures and processes to ensure:

  • effective curricular coordination within and among each academic area, department, and program in the school
  • vertical articulation within the school and with sending schools in the district
  • clear alignment between the written, taught, and learned curriculum.

3.5 School-wide organizational practices are designed to meet the learning needs of each student.

Descriptors of Effective Practice

Organizational practices include:

  • access to challenging academic experiences for all learners
  • courses throughout the curriculum that are populated with learners reflecting the diversity of the student body
  • learning environments and practices that are inclusive
  • opportunities for students to learn with and from students who are different from them, such as heterogeneously grouped courses.

3.6 Educators develop productive student, family, community, business, and higher education partnerships that support learning.

Descriptors of Effective Practice

Educators:

  • enable and promote relationships with the community, businesses, and higher education institutions that support authentic student learning experiences
  • engage students, faculty, and families in the school improvement process
  • engage students and families as partners in each learner’s education and reach out specifically to those families who have been less connected with the school.

2020 Standards for Accreditation

Download complete document (pdf) >>

Recommend a Resource

If you would like to

  • submit a resource to share with other CPS members
  • share how you have successfully used one of the resources already listed
  • make a suggestion or revision to this section of our website

please send us your ideas!