Does Your District Provide WEEKLY Release Time Specifically for Teacher Collaboration?

Just curious. If the answer is yes, could you give me the details? Early release? Late Start? Every Week? Every other week? How much time are you given? Who decides how you use your time? Do you truly collaborate? Etc etc. 

Tags: collaboration, questionnaire, release, time

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Our district started Collegial time once a month years ago. They have morphed into staff meetings for the most part and allow for little time to collaborate and discuss issues central to teaching.
In the past, I've worked in districts that have weekly early release days (about 2-3 hours early). The time is usually spent in staff meetings, with a focus on professional development, but there are occassional days dedicated specifically to teacher collaboration, in grade-level teams. The P.D. was mostly planned by the math and literacy coaches (and occassionally the tech integration specialist) and was almost always extremely helpful. The coaches always surveyed the teachers after the P.D., asking for specific positives, negatives, and suggestions for future P.D. They used these surveys to guide future meetings.

The schools also aligned prep periods, so grade-level or subject-area teams could meet additionally every week.

I've seen other schools that provide a regular (monthly or bi-monthly) substitute for every teacher. On this day, a sub takes over your class while you observe other teachers at your school or other schools in the area. In terms of teacher motivation and quality, this seemed well worth the price.
We get a morning, or afternoon, once a quarter. We do collaborate, partly because we are hard working professional teachers ;o), and partly because we are given a list of things to discuss together by our curriculum director.
We get an hour every Wednesday morning called PLC (Professional Learning Communities). We have done it a few different ways including meeting in small random groups (I liked), as a whole staff (felt like a staff meeting), and in content teams (difficult for me since I am the only video teacher but I heard really useful for the math/english department). For me the most collaboration came from when we meet in randomly asisgned groups because we spent time catching up on what people were doing in their classes and then began to find ways to help/assist one another.
For the past three years, our school has Collaboration Days. This year it is Wednesday afternoon each week. The students are let out an hour and a half early, and we start cluster meetings at 2:00 (go until 3:30 or 4). The past two years, we have Friday morning collaboration time, from 8:00-9:50, and the kids came at 10. We use this time for professional development, staff meetings, assessment meetings, and general teaming. It works great, and having it on Wednesday is better than Friday because we can implement things we learn instead of forgetting them over the weekend, and it breaks the week up a little. The principal usually leads the meetings, but occasionally we have district-level SD and departmental teaming.
Great question. I enjoyed reading the different responses. My school does not offer time for collaboration, but I wish they did!



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