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Professional Development

The VASSP-VFEL Professional Program Series® Rationale

The VASSP-VFEL Professional Program Series® is designed to enhance the beliefs, knowledge, and skills of principals, assistant principals, lead teachers, support staff, and student leaders – always with the goal to improve student achievement. The experiences and activities included in each Professional Program are guided by best practices in professional development, current research, applicable standards, federal, state, and local expectations, and school needs. The VASSP-VFEL Professional Program Series® endeavors to provide timely professional development experiences that are an alternative to more traditional programs and settings. Our conferences, workshops, and institutes are presented throughout the commonwealth offering easier access to attendees. In addition, we build our curricula with your valuable time and professional development needs in mind. Whenever possible our activities are created and implemented by other practicing administrators, consultants, and Association staff who have an expertise in a particular area. This ensures that you are getting exactly the information you can most benefit from and are having it delivered by a colleague who can become a long-term resource to you. All of these factors result in time spent that is valuable both as a learning experience and as a statewide networking opportunity.

We understand the importance of providing professional development experiences to administrators that are current, support the growth of the individual, establish and maintain a professional learning community, and promote the achievement of Association strategies and educational goals. The Professional Program Series also recognizes and encourages the professional growth that often occurs apart from these specific experiences through additional formal education, unique classroom experience, and identified personal development.

The VASSP-VFEL Professional Program Series® (originally developed in 1985) promotes and encourages a system of beliefs that:

  • instructional leadership and school administrative skills positively affect student learning;
  • the classroom and school should be rigorous and create environments in which all students and teachers acquire, construct, and apply knowledge;
  • research, theory, and collaborative practical experience all combine to develop effective instructional practices; and
  • professional growth demands continuous improvement and life-long learning.

Therefore, the VASSP-VFEL Professional Program Series® will be composed of a continuation of differentiated opportunities that support:

  • principal and assistant principal needs and interests at various stages of career development;
  • development of principals and assistant principals as administrators and instructional leaders in an era of high stakes accountability;
  • professional inquiry and support for the academic learning community, research, and expertise;
  • best practices – principal-to-principal instruction – both general and content specific, rooted in a combination of research, theory, and practical experience;
  • a focus upon Association strategies, goals, and identified needs;
  • pedagogical and content area skill development for teachers;
  • the improvement of leadership skill development of students; and
  • the realities as well as the future possibilities of the profession.