Professional Development and Staff Training
The goal of professional development and staff training program is to establish a common understanding of the tools necessary for staff to create a school climate that promotes safety, civil communication and respect for differences. As required by M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, the content of school wide and district wide professional development will be informed by the LPS Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan and research.
A. Annual Staff Training on the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan
The district will annually offer professional development and training to staff and will include the following topics:
- Orientation to the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, including staff duties under the plan, an overview of the steps that the principal or designee will follow upon receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation and an overview of the bullying prevention curricular to be offered at the schools,
- Definition of bullying, cyberbullying and retaliation,
- Identifying the signs and symptoms that a student may be a target/victim of bullying, cyberbullying or retaliation,
- Cyber safety, which shall include information on the incidence and nature of cyber-bullying and strategies for promoting cyber-safety,
- Ways to prevent and respond to bullying or retaliation for students with disabilities that must be considered when developing students’ Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs). This will include a particular focus on the needs of students with autism or students whose disability affects social skills development.
Staff members hired after the start of the school year shall be required to participate in school-based training during the school year in which they are hired, unless they can demonstrate participation in an acceptable and comparable program within the last two years.
B. Ongoing Professional Development
The district will, as resources allow, offer additional professional development and staff training on topics intended to build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify and respond to bullying. Additional areas identified for professional development might include:
- Promoting and modeling the use of respectful language,
- Fostering an understanding of and respect for diversity and difference,
- Building relationships and communicating with families,
- Constructively managing classroom behaviors,
- Using positive behavioral intervention strategies,
- Applying constructive disciplinary practices,
- Teaching students skills including positive communication, anger management and empathy for others, and/or
- Maintaining a safe and caring classroom for all students.