Professional Development Units (PDU)

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    What is a Professional Development Unit (PDU)?

    A Professional Development Unit (PDU) is differentiated, action research learning with application to practice designed to support teachers and SSPs to improve or acquire skills focused on topics of student need, including closing the opportunity gap. This is learning beyond opportunities provided during contract hours and provides educators with the autonomy to opt in to additional development to continue to advance their professional practice. 

    PDUs have 3 components – Study, Demonstration, and Reflection, completed through a 45 hour (minimum) course of study. The action research learning involves study of a topic that will benefit student growth, with simultaneous application of the learning content towards a specific problem of practice. The experiential learning afforded by PDUs empowers educators to demonstrate the implementation of the best instructional practices, and reflect on learning, change in practice, and student performance with peers.

    Types of PDUs

    • District-wide - open to educators across the district
    • Multi-school/Regional - open to educators across region
    • School- Wide - open to educators within specific school
    • Small Group - 2-9 participants, can be school or district-wide
    • Personal/Individual - self-directed PDU

    2019-2020 PDU Guidelines and Submission Process Information

    PDUs provide educators and SSPs with the equivalent of 3 graduate credits (45 hours) that can be applied towards salary lane changes. PDU guidelines have been revised based on 2019 DCTA-DPS agreement to ensure and enhance the quality and rigor of all PDUs. The PDU application reflects the new PDU guidelines and DPS-DCTA Agreement. Applications are due according to the PDU Calendar, and reviewed 3 times per year. Each PDU application is reviewed by a content expert according to the PDU application rubric. The PDU application and rubric are designed to ensure each and every PDU provides the quality and rigor of graduate-level coursework, and have a significant impact on student and educator learning. All proposed PDUs, including those previously offered, will need to go through the submission process. 

    The fall deadline for PDU applications is August 23rd. 

    See the PDU Calendar for subsequent deadlines, including spring semester and all PDUs starting after September 16th. 

    The following resources are available to support PDU design and implementation:

    2019-2020 PDU Webinar

    Looking for more information on the new PDU guidelines and application process? The Professional Learning Team provided informational webinars covering the new guidelines and processes for PDUs in August of 2019. You can view the recorded webinar here.  

    For additional information on PDUs, see the FAQ document. Any questions not addressed in the PDU FAQs may be directed to the Professional Development Quality Specialist.

    Peer Reviewers in the 2019-20 School Year

    Peer Reviewers are an intrinsic part of the PDU team, providing feedback and support to PDU leaders throughout the PDU process. Reviewers receive a $1,000 stipend for participating in the peer review process for PDUs. To read the detailed job description, click here. The priority application for the 2019-2020 school year is June 14th. Applications will be reviewed dependent on additional content-area need after this date. Please contact the PD Quality Specialist for more information on serving as a Peer Reviewer or to apply.