Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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Professional development supports student learning and enhances teacher growth in knowledge, skills and practice. It is a shared responsibility of the teacher, the school and the Division in providing students with quality educational experiences based on current research, curriculum materials and high expectations and standards.

Teachers are to feel encouraged, enabled and motivated to explore, take risks and think critically (reflect) about their professional practice and the complex challenge of improving student learning.


  1. The focus of professional development must always be on improving student learning.

  2. Any professional development initiative is to be to provide professional development opportunities and ongoing supports that help teachers meet the diverse learning needs of students.

  3. Professional development promotes effective implementation of the Alberta curriculum and relevant instructional strategies and assessment techniques.

  4. Professional development must be reflective, data-driven and revised as needed to meet the needs of learners.

  5. The needs of the teacher, school and Division are considered in supporting student learning as its primary focus, while respecting the professional judgment of the teacher.

  6. Teachers are to direct their professional learning through the development and review of professional growth plans.

  7. School-based Professional Development Committees provide input into the development and implementation of school and Division initiatives.

  8. The School-based Professional Development Committee shall:
    1. Assume accountability for all school professional development funds.
    2. Collaborate with the Division to administer professional development.
    3. Provide input, consultation and resources in the development of school-based professional development initiatives.

  9. Collaboration is essential between the teacher, the school, and Division administration to organize and administer Division-wide professional development activities and initiatives, as well as to facilitate and support personal and school-based professional development activities and initiatives.

  10. The Division ATA Professional Development Committee shall:
    1. Assume the responsibility of dispersing all funds contributed by the Alberta Teachers’ Association for professional development purposes, and
    2. Monitor the reports and coordinate activities of the school-based Professional Development Committees.
    3. Support the work of school-based Professional Development Committees.

  11. The Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, in consultation with stakeholders, shall assume the responsibility for developing Division professional development activities, dispersing funds, and evaluating the success of Division professional development activities.

  12. The Division recognizes the need to provide resources in time, funding, and infrastructure to support professional development.

  13. To facilitate professional development:
    1. Each teacher shall be entitled to one (1) day per year for individual professional development.
    2. Students may be excused on specified dates for either the entire day or at the noon hour for the remainder of the school day.
      1. Specific dates will be calendared according to Administrative Procedure 130. Any changes to calendared Professional Development dates must be submitted by the Principal and approved by the Superintendent.

  14. The Division will annually budget a specified amount per full-time equivalent for individual professional development.
    The Division also recognizes the need to allocate resources for staff development, Division based in-service, and special needs in-service.

  15. The Division shall pay for the cost of substitutes according to the following guidelines:
    1. Individual professional development – a total of one (1) day F.T.E. yearly to the school. Unused days will not be carried over to the next school year.

  16. School-based Professional Development Committees, in conjunction with the Principal, may approve individual teacher professional development to a maximum of two (2) days per year per teacher. Any days over that limit must be approved by the Superintendent.

  17. Individual schools may, at their own expense, exceed the number of substitute days outlined in clause 15 above.

  18. School-Based Professional Development
    1. School-based Professional Development Committees shall be organized as outlined in The Professional Development Handbook for Westwind ATA Local #12 and report to the Division Professional Development Committee (with a copy for Division Office):
      1. Before the end of October – the annual school-based plan.
      2. On June 15 – the plan achievement and financial statement.
    2. School representatives sit on the Division ATA Professional Development Committee.
    3. Block funding received from the Division shall be distributed to the schools on a full-time equivalent teacher basis annually.
    4. At least two (2) weeks prior to the requested leave, the teacher shall submit the request form (Form 424-1) to the appropriate school-based Professional Development Committee which will:
      1. Review programs and approve appropriate requests;
      2. Submit the form to the Principal for recommendations and approval;
      3. Forward the request to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
    5. Notwithstanding, teachers have the right to appeal all decisions to the Superintendent.
    6. The Superintendent will approve the absence and funding for a substitute and return a copy of the request to the school.
    7. Upon returning from a professional development activity, the teacher shall make a report as determined by the Principal.

  19. Division-Based Professional Development
    1. The Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources may direct specific personnel or all teachers to attend professional development activities.
    2. The Division will pay the entire cost of the professional development activity, including substitute costs.
      At least two (2) weeks prior to the requested leave, the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources shall notify the personnel requested to attend the activity, and personnel will and submit form (Form 424-1) to the Division accounting department.
    3. Upon returning from a professional development activity, the teacher shall share the information as directed by the Principal.


Section 18,33,52,53,68,196,197,204,222 Education Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Personal Information Protection Act

Teaching Profession Act

Certification of Teachers Regulation 3/99 (Amended A.R. 206/2001) 

Practice Review of Teachers Regulation 4/99

Ministerial Order 016/97 – Teaching Quality Standard

Ministerial Order 001/2013 – Student Learning

Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12

Practice Review of Teachers Information Bulletin 3.3.2


Approved: April 10, 2003

Amended: August 21, 2018