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Frequently Asked Questions


   

Question

Answer

Developing/Proposing Courses:
1)  When planning for professional development, under what circumstances can Master Plan Points be awarded? To insure that professional development changes practice, the essential elements for high quality PD must be included in every offering. In particular, high quality PD 1) deepens teachers' content knowledge; 2) provides opportunities for practice, research and reflection; 3) facilitates transfer of learning through job-embedded practices; and 4) demonstrates a lasting impact in teaching practices and student learning. Professional development designers must also document transfer of learning through a follow-up requirement. The process to implement effective PD includes: planning, delivery, follow-up and evaluation. Appendix A provides a helpful framework to assist PD Liaisons in preparing high quality PD activities that will impact teaching and learning.
2)  What is sustained training, and why do we have to have at least 4 credits for a half day and 8 credits for a full day professional learning experience? In light of research confirming that "one shot workshops" of limited duration are not effective nor do they yield lasting impact, any professional development for which Master Plan Points will be assigned must be at worth at least 4 learning credits (MPPs) for a half day session and 8 learning credits (MPPs) for a full day session.  Therefore, any course proposed for less than 4 MPPs will not be approved.* Professional development planners must insure that enough time is reserved for learning and implementation to guarantee mastery of the specified objective(s) for the course.  
3) ' What is a component number? Component numbers are organized codes approved by the Florida Department of Education to catalogue and guide professional development activities and determine the number of Master Plan Points that will be awarded (4-120 MPPs) for professional development. Components include a title, general objective, specific objective, procedures, follow-up activities and evaluation.
4)  How is the appropriate component selected from the Master In-service Plan? Components are posted on the Professional Development Menu & Registration System Select possible components that align with the intended purpose of your professional development activity. Review the specified objectives for each component to ascertain component learning goals that are most closely related to the intended purpose of the professional development.  Individuals may also contact the Center for Professional Learning to inquire about appropriate components for the proposed professional learning.  
5)  If a component is assigned a set amount of MPPs, does the full value of the component need to be assigned when a course is proposed? No.  In designing a course, professional development planners can designate fewer MPPs than the total number of MPPs assigned to the component.  They must identify the specific objectives targeted by the course if they are not targeting all learning objectives under the component.
6)  How is the number of MPPs that should be awarded for a course determined? The number of MPPs to be awarded for a course should be based on the number of hours of instruction, including face-to-face contact and time reserved for follow-up activities. As an example, a course offered over three sessions, with three hours reserved for each session, would include a total of nine hours of face-to-face instruction. If three additional hours are allocated for follow up assignments, the appropriate number of MPP to be assigned to the course is 12 MPPs.
7)  What do you mean by "research-based" practices? All professional development should be based on research.  When planning professional development, the source of the research can vary (professional books/journals, internet resources, published authorities, etc.).  The author, title of the research source or theoretical foundation and date of publication should be identified. Professional development planners should cite research that is applicable to the specific content area addressed by the professional development.  If the content is related to reading, the research basis should reflect reading sources.  Similarly, if the content is related to behavior management, the research basis should reflect behavioral sources.  School Improvement Plans must cite research bases for strategies listed in the plan. These plans are helpful if you are looking for a research source.
8)   What is meant by "job embedded PD"? Job embedded PD emphasizes site-based professional learning that addresses student and teacher data and school specific needs. By allowing instructional personnel to acquire relevant practices and techniques that may be readily applied in their classrooms, job embedded PD facilitates effective professional learning that will impact student achievement. Examples of job embedded PD include school-based learning communities, action research, coaching and study teams.
9)  What is the difference between a course and a course session? A course is the basic outline for a specific professional development activity. Courses reflect indicators in a component that has been pre-approved by the district in order to enable participants to receive MPPs. Courses are based on standards for the specific PD activity and they include goals and objectives, as well as activities and evaluation criteria. Courses are assigned a component number, but no specific time/date/location is designated. Course sessions are specific scheduled sessions that are part of a district approved course.  Specific times/dates/locations/instructors/etc., are designated for each session. In order to obtain MPPs, a course must first be proposed and approved through the Professional Development Menu & Registration System  Following course proposal and approval, a session must be proposed and approved. Sessions cannot be proposed in the absence of a related course. (Note:  In light of the fact that the award of MPPs is recorded on the Staff Development Education System (SDES) through session completion, all PD events are configured into sessions for the purpose of awarding MPPs. Sessions are created from courses and courses are created from components.)
10)  How do I get learning credit (MPPs) for conference attendance? MPPs are NOT assigned for "conference attendance." Rather, following conference attendance, upon application and impact assessment of the knowledge acquired during the conference, MPPs may be awarded.  Individuals interested in obtaining MPPs through conference attendance must contact the corresponding content area district office not less than 45 days prior to attending a conference.  (As an example, teachers planning to attend a Reading Conference should contact the Department of Language Arts.)  In order to secure MPPs, the conference learning objectives must be identified and approved and a course must be proposed by the content area district office administrator on the Professional Development Menu & Registration System. Conference information, including agendas, logistical arrangements, etc., must be provided to the content area district office and prospective attendees must register on the Professional Development Menu & Registration System prior to the event. The content area district office will supply mandatory criteria that must be completed within 30 days after the conference. Following the conference, completed assignments must be submitted to designate content area district office personnel and an online course evaluation must be submitted in order to receive MPPs.   
11)  What should I do if I want to apply for MPPs for PD activities sponsored by outside entities claiming that their courses are appropriate for PD credit? In light of the fact that the Florida Department of Education authorizes school districts to assign MPPs for professional development activities, districts are held accountable for adherence to the Florida Protocol Standards for Professional Development. As such, corresponding district departments must design, deliver and monitor all professional development activities eligible for the award of MPPs.  This process prevents outside entities from issuing MPPs.  To receive MPPs for coursework delivered by an outside entity, the entity must contact the corresponding M-DCPS office in order to request that the department review the proposed activities, propose a course on the Professional Development Menu & Registration System prior to the event taking place, monitor and close out a course session accordingly. 
12)  What do I do with certificates obtained from agencies? The authority to assign MPPs for professional development experiences is granted to school districts under the direction of the Florida Department of Education.  Since FDOE holds districts accountable for and monitors adherence to the Florida Protocol Standards for Professional Development, the activities that are "sanctioned" as professional development are limited to those designed, delivered and monitored by M-DCPS departments.  As a result, there is no system to allow other agencies to access this process except in very specific instances, and therefore these certificates cannot be applied to earn MPPs.  This procedure is also applicable with respect to Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that are required to maintain various professional licenses, such as for nursing and technical professions. Coursework applicable to licensure renewal cannot be considered for MPPs unless the corresponding district content area office sponsors the PD activities though the Professional Development Menu & Registration System as described in question 11 above.
13)  How long after I have taken a course does it take for credit to be awarded? (recency of credit) Once a session and follow-up work have been completed, instructors must assign grades and submit documentation to the PD Data Center for review. Following confirmation that all requirements have been met, MPPs are awarded. Processing time varies depending on individual course requirements. If MPPs have not been awarded for a completed session within 45 days following completion of all course work, employees must contact the PD Data Center at 305.883.1084 to inquire why credit has not been awarded. Please note, each school district is required to report all earned learning credit to the Florida Department of Education at the end of each school year.  Any credit that was earned prior to the current school year, which has not been assigned and reported to FDOE, cannot be "added" to an in-service record.  For that reason, employees are urged to carefully monitor their own work and to review their in-service histories on a frequent basis to insure that all appropriate credits are assigned prior to the end of each school year.
14)  Explain how it's possible to exceed the maximum number of points allowed under a particular component?

All components listed on the Master In-Service Plan are assigned a finite number of MPPs.  During an individual's five-year validity period, personnel may not earn more MPP for a particular component than the number of MPPs assigned to that component.  In certain cases, individuals may complete two or more professional development sessions that have different titles but are categorized under the same component number.  If the total number of MPPs accrued for completion of sessions with an identical component number exceeds the total number of MPPs that may be awarded under that component, the individual will only receive the maximum number of MPPs assigned to the component.  To avoid maxing out a component, individuals should maintain accurate records reflecting the number of MPPs they have earned during a validity period for professional development activities categorized under specific component numbers.

15)  If I completed some professional development last year, can I get credit for it this year? No.  FDOE requires that professional development records be submitted to the Department at the end of each school year for the fiscal year in which the credits were earned.  If the professional development credit was not processed and assigned prior to June 30, of the year in which the in-service took place, then credit cannot be awarded.
16)  What does it mean to "bank" MPPs? "Banking" refers to saving MPPs earned for specific professional development activities completed during one validity period and applying those MPPs in a subsequent validity period.  In accordance with Florida Department of Education guidelines, only ESOL Endorsement and Reading Endorsement courses may be "banked."  SDES records available from the school site secretary or the PD Data Center designate courses that have been banked by including the letter "B" in the column labeled "Banked." When these MPPs are used for recertification, the letter "B" is changed to "U" to designate that the courses have been "used" for recertification.

*Please note, banked courses are not currently reflected on the PD History section of the Professional Development Menu & Registration System or on the Employee Portal. The school registrar must print an individual PD record from the SDES system for individuals to view their banked courses.

17)  Which courses am I able to bank? Only ESOL Endorsement and Reading Endorsement courses may be "banked". Completed ESOL Endorsement and Reading Endorsement courses are automatically banked.  If MPPs for banked courses are not needed for recertification, the MPPs will remain in SDES following recertification.  If MPPs are needed in order to recertify, MPPs from banked course(s) will be applied.  Please note, all MPPs earned for a banked course are applied if needed for recertification. Individuals may not apply only a portion of the MPPs earned from a banked course to recertify in light of the fact that only courses may be banked in lieu of MPPs.  As an example, if an individual requires 10 MPPs to meet the requirements for recertification and he/she has accrued 60 MPPs for a banked course, all 60 MPPs will be applied for his/her recertification.
18)  For a three-credit college course, what is the equivalent number of MPPs? Three college credits are equivalent to 60 MPPs. Two college credits are equivalent to 40 MPPs. One college credit is equivalent to 20 MPPs.   However equivalency does not indicate that the college credit will be converted into MPPs.  The district does not convert college credits into MPPs.  For questions regarding the applicability of specific college/university courses to certificate renewal, please contact the Office of Instructional Certification.
Certification/Endorsements:
19)  How many MPPs do I need to earn to be recertified? You must earn 120 MPPs during a five year validity period to be recertified for an additional five year period. If you are certified in three or more subject areas, you may complete recertification requirements in all subject areas over the course of two consecutive validity periods (i.e., ten years).  Please note, you must complete recertification requirements for at least two or more subject areas during the first five year validity period. Recertification for remaining subject areas may be completed during the next five year validity period. Teachers certified in three or more subject areas that have completed recertification requirements as outlined above will be eligible to teach all subjects listed on their certificate for the full ten year validity period. In the event that recertification requirements are not met for all subject areas within two consecutive validity periods, certification will be withdrawn for those subject areas in which recertification requirements were not completed. Teachers that elect to renew more than two subject areas during one validity period must earn an additional 60 MPPs for each additional subject renewed during the validity period.  As an example, if you are certified in five subject areas you may choose to complete recertification requirements for two subject areas during one validity period by earning 120 MPPs.  During the second validity period, you will be required to complete recertification requirements for the three remaining subject areas. In particular, during the second validity period you must earn 60 additional MPPs per subject area for a total of 180 MPPs. As another example, if you are certified in six subject areas and decide to renew 3 subject areas during each validity period, you must accrue 180 MPPs during each validity period.
20) In order to earn an endorsement; do I have to complete all endorsement coursework during one validity period? No. Partial completion of endorsement requirements during a preceding validity period is applicable to meet endorsement requirements upon the teacher's completion of remaining endorsement requirements during the following validity period.
21)  Where can I find out which courses I must take to earn an endorsement? All questions regarding the required courses for each endorsement program should be addressed to the Teacher/Director at the Center for Professional Learning (CPL) at chasental@dadeschools.net.
22) How do I know if I need to add an endorsement to my certificate? Teachers currently teaching in a specific area that lack corresponding certification/endorsement and are thus considered out-of-field will be given priority placement in endorsement offerings. Teachers interested in teaching Reading, ESOL, Gifted, Driver's Education,   or Autism  in the future, who do not have the necessary credentials, must take additional courses to become endorsed/certificated. To determine whether you must add an endorsement to you certificate, contact the Office of Certification at 305-995-7200.
23) How do I add an endorsement to my certificate after I have completed required coursework? Go to www.certification.dadeschools.net and download form 6743. Complete the form and attach a money order in the amount of $75 made payable to Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Mail the form and payment to the Office of Instructional Certification.
Records/Procedures:
24)  Where can I obtain a record of all MPPs that I have earned to date? For all courses that you have completed to date, your principal's secretary can generate the record from SDES. For courses that you have completed during your current validity period, you may access this information through the PD Menu & Registration System under the link to your PD History. Please note, the PD History link shows only those sessions completed during each employee's current validity period.  It does not list banked courses nor does it list all courses that an employee has completed throughout his/her employment in M-DCPS.
25)  I have completed all course work for a session I was registered for and I completed the online evaluation. However, my status for the session is identified as "Pending Approval." What does this mean? "Pending Approval" means that the PD Data Center has not yet reviewed the records for the session attended, including sign-in sheets, verification of follow-up and final grades from the instructor(s). Once all records are received and the PD Data Center enters the attendance and completion information in the system, your status will be revised. In particular, if the records verify completion of all course requirements, the status will reflect "Satisfactory" which allows the PD Data Center to officially award MPPs. In the event that course requirements were not completed (e.g., the teacher failed to attend the course he/she had registered for) the status will reflect "Unsatisfactory," and MPPs will not be awarded.
26)  After locating and registering for a course on the Professional Development Menu & Registration System, my status is listed as "Restricted Enrollment Pending" and not "Registered." What does this mean? A "Restricted Enrollment Pending" status indicates that you are not currently "Registered." This status is assigned pending a review to determine whether you have met criteria for course participation. Following the review, your status will be revised to reflect that you are "Registered" and thus enrolled in the course, or "Cancelled" indicating that you did not meet the criteria for course participation. For example, a reading teacher's registration might be cancelled if he/she attempted to register for a geometry course limited to mathematics teachers.
27)  Am I required to cancel my registration if I cannot attend a session? Yes. Click on the My Course link course in the PD Menu and Registration System. Select the course you would like to cancel and click Cancel in the upper left corner.
28) If a session is full and I am not able to register, can I nevertheless attend and receive MPPs, particularly if a registrant fails to attend? No.    The required course documentation for audit purposes is the official roster which is printed by the instructor prior to the class beginning and contains participants' signature.  For this reason walk-ins are not permitted.
29)  What does "wait list" status mean? You may choose to report to the first course session even though you are not listed as a "registered participant." If a registered participant does not attend, your name may be added to the course roster and you will receive MPPs upon completion.
30)  Am I required to complete an online evaluation? What are the consequences if I fail to do so? Yes. Participants must complete online evaluations in order to receive MPPs.  If the evaluation is not completed, you will not receive MPPs because you have not met all of the requirements for awarding master plan points.
 
 
     
Miami-Dade County Public Schools : 1450 NE Second Avenue : Miami, FL 33132 : Phone: (305) 995-1000 : Copyright 2005