Professional Development Guidelines

Master In-service Plan

Miami-Dade County Public Schools has a Master In-Service Plan on file with the Florida Department of Education and these are the components that must be used when proposing professional development courses for 2012-2013. Departments may only use the components that have been assigned to their respective department.

Assigning Learning Value to Professional Development

Professional development provides a systematic process designed to increase the competencies needed by instructional and non-instructional personnel to perform their assigned duties and in the case of instructional personnel to improve the academic performance of students. The competencies addressed are knowledge, skills, aspirations, and behaviors. They are intended to enable personnel to perform their task with maximum effectiveness.

The competencies are new skill sets beyond the scope of assigned duties and responsibilities and are intended to realize performance improvements over time. Participants will not receive master plan points for any activity that is part of their assigned job task or activities pertaining to personal improvement not directly related to his/her job responsibilities, or informational meetings, etc.

Examples of activities that will not have a learning value assigned include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Administering/scoring tests for students or teachers
  • Attending activities designed for personal improvement, e.g., tax preparation, financial management, stress management
  • Attending meetings or informational sessions
  • Chaperoning activities involving students
  • Preparation of grants
  • Evaluating textbooks
  • Participating in an activity that does not incorporate all of the quality Professional Development Standards
  • Record-keeping
  • Serving as an in-service instructor
  • Serving on or attending bargaining agency meetings
  • Serving on councils, committees, or advisory boards
  • Testing/screening of students

To ensure that programs are designed for high quality professional development, it is imperative to have guidelines for everyone to follow. All professional development conducted in the district or sponsored by a district office must conform to the standards of Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council) and the Florida Professional Development System Evaluation Protocol System. The district, regional offices and the schools work together to provide a continuum of high quality professional development and learning opportunities to all employees.

District offices focus on professional development with quality programs including content, pedagogy, and support structures; schools focus on Lesson Study and Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Book Study, and School Improvement Initiatives. As a result, specific components are identified for either school use or central office use. Together, professional growth will be focused and sustained to move the district towards reaching its goals.

School-based Components

The following school-based components and course proposal templates will be written by staff at the Center for Professional Learning and be available for schools to schedule sessions. Each of the school-based components has a maximum value of up to 120 MPPs.

  • 7-507-309 School-based Professional Learning Communities
  • 7-507-308 Book Study
  • 7-506-028 Action Research
  • 2-512-355 School-based Improvement Initiatives
  • 2-003-395 School-based Technology
  • 2-408-368 School-based Curriculum Content
  • 2-409-410 School-based Instructional Support Strategies
  • 7-507-320 Lesson Study

Posting and Registering for PD

District and region professional development should be posted on the PD Menu & Registration System as follows: September to December offerings – August 20, 2012; January to May offerings – December 14, 2012.

All professional development activities must be posted on the PD Menu & Registration System at least two weeks before the scheduled date in order to provide employees with sufficient time to register prior to the commencement of the session or course.

It is critical that school-based PD is also posted on the PD Menu & Registration System with enough lead time for teachers and instructional personnel to register prior to the start of the activity. Teachers who do not pre-register for school-based PD will not be awarded master plan points for their participation. The school PD Liaison should advertise school-based PD through email, flyers, or notices posted where personnel sign in each day. However, it is the individual teacher’s responsibility to register for PD.

District Policy on Walk-ins

Participants must pre-register for all professional development in order to be awarded master plan points for successfully completing all session/course requirements. For those participants wait listed: Instructors will need to manually accept participants on the wait list for that session. Successful completion of a course/session includes: pre-registration, attendance on all designated days and at the times posted, completion of all course assignments and follow-up, signing in on the official session roster for every meeting date, and completing the electronic evaluation within ten days after being notified by email. All requirements must be adhered to in order to be awarded master plan points. Participants are not permitted to attend a session for which they have not previously registered for (walk-ins). There are no exceptions to this policy.

Course registrations generally close two hours before a session is scheduled to begin. In the event that an individual arrives at a session for which he/she has not registered and the session is considered a District mandatory session (i.e., IPEGS, co-teaching, ESE/ESOL Compliance Training, etc.), the instructor may allow the individual to enter the session. However, the individual will not receive Master Plan Points unless the instructor sends an email to Mr. Carl Smith, Supervisor, PD Data Center at by the close of that business day of the first session requesting manual registration for the individual. At the time of the request for manual registration, the following information must be provided: name and employee number of individual, session title, date and location. In addition, the individual’s name and employee number must be manually added to the official roster by the instructor and the individual must sign-in as all other participants.

Master Plan Points for Recertification

Individuals planning on renewing their Professional Certificate at the end of June in any given year should plan on completing all professional development required for certificate renewal by the end of April of that year. There should be no expectation that any professional development attended in May or June will be closed out and master plan points awarded in time to meet certificate renewal deadlines. While staff in the PD Data Center constantly strives to accelerate processing time in terms of closing out courses and awarding master plan points, the volume of courses and the security procedures required to close out courses necessitates six to eight week to process. Therefore, each educator is responsible to monitor the number of master plan points that they have acquired over the five-year validity period, and to insure that courses/sessions are completed by April 30 of their renewal year.

System Generated Sign-in Sheets / Independent Hours

Awarding Credit:
System-generated sign-in sheets are required for face-to-face, instructor lead professional developments.  Sign-in sheets for course sessions are available on the PD Menu and Registration System.  A link to the sign-in sheet is e-mailed to the instructor and facilitator prior to the start of the course session.  The use of system-generated sign-in sheets greatly reduces the time needed to award credit and must always be used. 

Record Keeping:
The independent work, as entered in the course session template, is printed on the sign-in sheets. At the end of the session, the fully completed and signed sign-in sheets are faxed to the PD Data Center at 305.883.1443.


Twelve master plan points is the maximum number of points that can be earned each year for attending conferences.  All conferences are posted under the component 2-408-369.

Professional Development Scheduling Guidelines for 2012-2013

Contract Days

This chart identifies the days available to be utilized for Professional Development during 2012-2013:




November 6, 2012

PD Day

District Initiatives

February 1, 2013

PD Day

District initiatives

October 25, 2012

End of Grading Period Secondary Early Release Day

School-based PD

December 13, 2012

Secondary Early Release Day

School-based PD

January 17, 2013

End of Grading Period Secondary Early Release Day

School-based PD

February 14, 2013

Secondary Early Release Day

School-based PD

May 2, 2013

Secondary Early Release Day

School-based PD


Elementary Early Release

One a Month

School-based PD

PD Moratorium Dates

In order to assist with planning professional development for the 2012-2013 school year, please be aware of the following blackout dates:

  • August 22 – September 21, 2012
  • March 11 – April 26, 2013
  • During these blackout periods, District offices should not offer PD that pulls teachers out of classrooms.
  • However, on-site and District-sponsored PD can be offered as needed on early release days and teacher planning days (as stipulated in the M-DCPS – UTD contract).
  • Please note that any state-required PD scheduled for the turnaround schools are exempted from the moratorium

There may be instances when the moratorium dates cannot be adhered to because of special circumstances, please contact Dr. Christine Master at 305.995.7616 for information on receiving a waiver.

Professional Development Guidelines in PDF