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Standards of Best Practice



Teachers are the core component necessary for the success of our programs and the fruition of our philosophy. The following standards were adapted and modified from the National Standards by and for the Hanover, Norwich, and Dresden Schools as a part of the school professional development plans. These criteria define what SAU 70 believes are the standards of best practice for its educators.

Effective Planning and Management of the Instructional Environment
The educator will:

  • incorporate district and school philosophy and guidelines into his/her annual planning for student learning.
  • establish short- and long-term goals derived from unifying themes of fundamental importance to students in their present and future lives.
  • identify individual and group needs and use appropriate strategies, which may include the use of up-to-date technologies, to meet those needs.
  • frame curriculum around students’ own prior knowledge and experience.
  • plan inspiring and engaging ways to present unit(s) of study.
  • plan for the effective assessment of student learning.
  • create an environment that is positive for student learning and involvement.
  • demonstrate an openness to student challenges about information and ideas.
  • use time and classroom space to promote optimal learning.
  • maintain appropriate standards of behavior, mutual respect and safety.

Effective Instruction/Communications
The educator will:

  • demonstrate an up-to-date knowledge of curriculum content.
  • identify confusions and misconceptions as indicated by student responses; use regular assessment strategies and remediate, reteach, or extend teaching to meet individual and/or group needs.
  • communicate clearly in writing and speaking, and use precise language.
  • understand and show the relevance of the subject to life-long learning.
  • use appropriate instructional techniques.
  • model the skills, attitudes, values, and processes central to the subject being taught.
  • provide options for students to demonstrate competency and mastery of new material and accept a variety of means or methods when appropriate.
  • integrate the teaching of reading, listening, writing, speaking, viewing, and the use of appropriate learning tools (e.g. calculator, computers, etc.) within the discipline.
  • provide frequent instructional opportunities where students are interacting with ideas, materials, teachers, and one another.
  • design curriculum experiences in which students take increasing responsibility for their own learning.
  • use appropriate questioning techniques.
  • evaluate and try innovative approaches, and refine instructional strategies, including the effective use of technologies, to increase student learning and confidence to learn.

Promotion of High Standards and Expectations for Student Achievement
The educator will:

  • define and communicate his/her expectations to students.
  • monitor students’ understanding of the curriculum effectively and adjust instruction, materials, or assessments when appropriate.
  • communicate student progress to parents, students, and staff members in a timely fashion using a range of information that may include portfolios, anecdotal records, and other artifacts.
  • prepare and maintain an accurate and efficient record-keeping system for the quality and quantity of student work.
  • use individual and group data appropriately and maintain confidentiality concerning individual student data and achievement,
  • provide feedback to students regularly on their progress.
  • promote confidence and perseverance in the student that stimulates increased personal student responsibility for achieving the goals of the curriculum.
  • act positively on the belief that all students can learn and that appropriate modifications of instruction and curriculum will enable all students to be challenged to the full extent of their abilities.
  • encourage and support students to believe that effort is the key to high achievement; acknowledge and value student work, study, and inquiry.
  • identify students who are not meeting expectations regularly, and secure a student’s cooperation in developing a plan that defines both teacher and student responsibilities for learning.
  • demonstrate an attitude of fairness, courtesy, and respect that encourages students’ active participation and commitment in learning.
  • build positive relationships with students and parents to enhance students’ abilities to learn effectively.
  • recognize and respond appropriately when a student is having social and/or emotional difficulties that interfere with learning and/or participation in class.

Understanding and Appreciating Student Life
The educator will:

  • understand the principles and patterns of child growth and development, and use this knowledge when working with students.
  • strive to ensure equitable opportunities for student learning.
  • address the needs of diverse student populations by applying federal and state regulations, Board of Education policies, and district and school guidelines.
  • seek to be informed about current issues affecting the intellectual, emotional, and social development of children and adolescents.
  • interact positively with and encourage students to develop relationships with others.
  • guide and support students with their emotional, social, and intellectual development.
  • provide opportunities for students to share in making appropriate decisions about their own learning.
  • participate regularly in student or school activities.
  • be interested and involved with the non academic needs of his/her students.

Meeting Professional Development Plan Expectations and School Responsibilities
The educator will:

  • assist in the development and implementation of school improvement plans.
  • cooperate with administrators and colleagues to consistently meet the expectations of the school community.
  • act in a constructive and cooperative way with parents and respond in a receptive way to their contributions.
  • be familiar with the school’s philosophy and be be able to share it with others.
  • keep parents informed of student progress and school requirements; work in partnership with parents to support the total development of the student.
  • establish and maintain professional boundaries with students and parents.
  • share responsibility for achieving the goals and addressing the priorities of his/her team, department, building, and school district.
  • support, work collaboratively with, and value the contributions of fellow educators.
  • work constructively with others to identify school problems; suggest possible solutions; and support their implementation.
  • work collaboratively in planning and implementing interdisciplinary curriculum, instruction, and other school programs; share expertise and new ideas with colleagues.
  • reflect on his/her effectiveness; model continuous learning for students and colleagues.
  • seek out and collaborate with school based specialists and resource personnel.
  • participate in professional development activities and share information and resources.
  • comply with state requirements regarding teacher certification.
  • seek means for personal and professional renewal and rejuvenation.

Ensuring Student Achievement
The educator will:

  • administer a series of common assessments and individual course assessments that support the curricular goals of the district, building and discipline.
  • ensure that assessments allow students of varied learning styles to demonstrate individual knowledge, skills and dispositions.
  • systematically employ “pre” and “post” assessments to assess performance level and progress of both individuals and the class, and adjust instruction accordingly to ensure optimal learning.
  • use an appropriate “portfolio” of assessments that chronicle the effect that instruction, including differentiation and feedback, has had on student growth and performance.
  • demonstrate teacher pedagogies that engage students in metacognitive reflection to improve performance.
  • develop an assessment strategy to ensure that each child grows and develops in the best way possible (for them) with the understanding that children learn at differing rates and from different starting points.
  • develop assessments that measure student performance against standards established by each school and the district and that reflect the district’s emphasis on mastery of 21st century skills and habits of mind, and deep understanding of the enduring understandings of each discipline.

(Ensuring Student Achievement indicators were added 9/6/12.)

Dresden Board

Adopted 20 June 2006

Revised 14 June 2011

Hanover Board

Adopted 21 June 2006

Revised 15 June 2011

Norwich Board

7 June 2006

Recoded from GBI-E to GCO-E 17 July 2009