The staff development provided by a district to an educator other than a principal must be conducted in accordance with standards developed by the district and designed to improve education in the district.
The staff development provided by a district to a principal shall be governed by Education Code 21.3541 and rules adopted under that section. [See DNB]
Education Code 21.451(a), (a-1)
Staff development shall be predominantly campus-based, related to achieving campus performance objectives, and developed and approved by the campus-level committee.
A district may use district-wide staff development that has been developed and approved through the district-level decision process. [See BQA and BQB, as appropriate]
Staff development may include:
- Training in technology, conflict resolution, and discipline strategies, including classroom management, district discipline policies, and the Student Code of Conduct;
- Training in preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying;
- Digital learning; and
- Instruction as to what is permissible under law, including opinions of the United States Supreme Court, regarding prayer in public school.
The digital learning training must discuss basic technology proficiency expectations and methods to increase an educator's digital literacy; and assist an educator in the use of digital technology in learning activities that improve teaching, assessment, and instructional practices.
Education Code 21.451(b)–(d), (d-3), (g)
Students with Disabilities
Staff development must include training that is evidence-based, as defined by Section 8101, Every Student Succeeds Act (20 USC 7801), that relates to the instruction of students with disabilities and is designed for educators who work primarily outside the area of special education.
A district is required to provide such training only if the educator does not possess the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the individualized education program developed for a student receiving instruction from the educator. A district may determine the time and place at which the training is delivered.
In developing or maintaining such training, a district must consult persons with expertise in research-based practices for students with disabilities, including colleges, universities, private and nonprofit organizations, regional education service centers, qualified district personnel, and any other persons identified as qualified by the district.
Education Code 21.451(d)(2), (e)–(f)
Staff development must include suicide prevention training that must be provided to all new district educators on an annual basis, as part of a new employee orientation and to existing district educators on the following schedule adopted by TEA rule:
- All districts shall provide the training to all new educators as a part of new employee orientation during the 2016–17 school year.
- Each subsequent school year, districts shall provide the training to all new educators as a part of new employee orientation.
- Districts shall provide the training to all currently employed educators on or by September 30, 2016.
The suicide prevention training must use a best practice-based program recommended by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) in coordination with TEA. The training may be satisfied through independent review of suicide prevention training material that complies with guidelines developed by TEA and is offered online.
Suicide prevention training that was provided to existing educators by a district on or after September 1, 2013, may be used to meet the requirements if the training program is on the recommended best practice-based list, or is an online program that meets the TEA guidelines for independent review.
Districts shall maintain records that include the name of each educator who participated in the training.
Education Code 21.451(d)(3)–(d-2); 19 TAC 153.1013
Mental Health Support Programs
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in coordination with TEA and regional education service centers (ESCs), shall provide and annually update a list of recommended best practice-based programs and research-based practices in the areas specified below for implementation in public elementary, junior high, middle, and high schools within the general education setting. Each school district may select from the list a program or programs appropriate for implementation in the district:
- Early mental health intervention;
- Mental health promotion;
- Building skills related to managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making;
- Substance abuse prevention and intervention;
- Suicide prevention;
- Grief-informed and trauma-informed practices;
- Positive behavior interventions and supports and positive youth development; and
- Safe, supportive, and positive school climate.
"School climate" means the quality and character of school life, including interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, as experienced by students enrolled in the district, parents of those students, and personnel employed by the district.
The programs on the list must include components that provide for training counselors, teachers, nurses, administrators, and other staff, as well as law enforcement officers and social workers who regularly interact with students, to:
- Recognize students at risk of committing suicide, including students who are or may be the victims of or who engage in bullying;
- Recognize students displaying early warning signs and a possible need for early mental health or substance abuse intervention, which warning signs may include declining academic performance, depression, anxiety, isolation, unexplained changes in sleep or eating habits, and destructive behavior toward self and others; and
- Intervene effectively with students described above by providing notice and referral to a parent or guardian so appropriate action, such as seeking mental health or substance abuse services, may be taken by a parent or guardian.
A district shall provide training described in components 1–3, above for teachers, counselors, principals, and all other appropriate personnel. The district may use a program from the DSHS list above to satisfy the training requirements. [See Mental Health Support Programs, above]
A district is required to provide the training at an elementary school campus only to the extent that sufficient funding and programs are available. A school district may implement a program on the list described at Health and Safety Code 161.325 to satisfy the training requirements. [See FFB]
If a district provides the training, a district employee must participate in the training at least one time, and the district shall maintain records that include the name of each district employee who participated in the training.
Health and Safety Code 161.325
Child Abuse and Maltreatment
A district's methods for increasing awareness of issues regarding sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children [see BQ, district improvement plan, and FFG] must address employee training.
The training must be provided as part of employee orientation to all new employees. The training may be included in staff development under Education Code 21.451.
The training shall address:
- Factors indicating a child is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment;
- Likely warning signs indicating a child may be a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment;
- Internal procedures for seeking assistance for a child who is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment, including referral to a school counselor, a social worker, or another mental health professional;
- Techniques for reducing a child's risk of sexual abuse or other maltreatment; and
- Community organizations that have relevant existing research-based programs and that are able to provide training or other education for employees, students, and parents.
A district shall maintain records of the training that include the name of each employee who participated.
If a district determines that the district does not have sufficient resources to provide the required training, the district shall work with a community organization to provide the training at no cost to the district.
Education Code 38.0041
Each principal or other appropriate administrator who oversees student discipline shall, at least once every three school years, attend professional development training regarding Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter G. The professional development shall include training relating to the distinction between a discipline management technique used at the principal's discretion under Education Code 37.002(a) and the discretionary authority of a teacher to remove a disruptive student under Education Code 37.002(b) [see FOA].
The professional development training may be provided in coordination with an education service center through the use of distance learning methods, such as telecommunications networks, and using available TEA resources.
Education Code 37.0181
Special Programs Training
Texas Adolescent Literacy Academies
A teacher shall attend a Texas adolescent literacy academy under 19 Administrative Code 102.1101 if:
- The teacher teaches at a campus that receives a rating that reflects unacceptable performance and that fails to meet the state system safeguard performance target in reading for one or more student groups; and
- The teacher teaches in general education, special education, or English as a second language for students in grade 6, 7, or 8, and:
- The teacher is a certified, full-time English language arts and reading teacher who instructs English language arts and/or reading for at least 50 percent of the teacher's instructional duties; or
- The teacher is a certified, full-time content area teacher who instructs mathematics, science, and/or social studies for at least 50 percent of the teacher's instructional duties.
A teacher described above is required to complete the training not later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the rating that reflects unacceptable performance is assigned.
A teacher who is required to attend an academy is eligible for a teacher stipend upon completion of face-to-face training if funds have been appropriated and are available for that purpose. A teacher who completes online training is not eligible for a stipend.
The stipend shall not be considered in determining whether a district is paying the teacher the state minimum monthly salary [see DEA and DEAA].
Each school district with teachers required to attend and complete Texas adolescent reading academies must maintain records to verify teacher attendance and completion in accordance with the district's record retention policy.
Education Code 21.4551(c), (e); 19 TAC 102.1101
Gifted and Talented Education
A district shall ensure that:
- Before assignment to the program for gifted students, teachers who provide instruction and services that are part of the program have a minimum of 30 hours of staff development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students, assessment of student needs, and curriculum and instruction for gifted students.
- Teachers without the required training who provide instruction and services that are part of the gifted/talented program complete the 30-hour training requirement within one semester.
- Teachers who provide instruction and services that are part of a program for gifted students receive a minimum of six hours annually of professional development in gifted education.
- Administrators and counselors who have authority for program decisions have a minimum of six hours of professional development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students and program options.
19 TAC 89.2
Elective Bible Course
A teacher of an elective Bible course offered under Education Code 28.011 [see EMI] must hold a minimum of a High School Composite Certification in language arts, social studies, or history with, where practical, a minor in religious or biblical studies. The teacher must successfully complete the staff development training developed by the commissioner of education with respect to Bible elective courses. Education Code 28.011(f)
Automated External Defibrillators
A district shall annually make available to employees and volunteers instruction in the principles and techniques of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
The instruction provided in the use of AEDs must meet guidelines for approved AED training under Health and Safety Code 779.002. Each school nurse, assistant school nurse, athletic coach or sponsor, physical education instructor, marching band director, cheerleading coach, and any other employee specified by the commissioner, and each student who serves as an athletic trainer, must:
- Participate in the instruction; and
- Receive and maintain certification in the use of an AED from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or a similar nationally recognized association.
Education Code 22.902
Extracurricular Activity Safety Training
The following persons must satisfactorily complete the extracurricular safety training program developed by the commissioner:
- A coach or sponsor for an extracurricular athletic activity;
- A trainer, unless the trainer has completed the educational requirements for licensure as a licensed athletic trainer set forth at 22 Administrative Code 871.7 and the continuing education requirements at 22 Administrative Code 871.12;
- A physician who is employed by a district or who volunteers to assist with an extracurricular athletic activity, unless the physician attends a continuing medical education course that specifically addresses emergency medicine; and
- A director responsible for a school marching band.
The training may be conducted by a district, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or a similar organization, or by the University Interscholastic League (UIL).
Education Code 33.202(b), (f); 19 TAC 76.1003
A superintendent shall maintain complete and accurate records of the district's compliance and the district shall make available to the public proof of compliance for each person employed by or volunteering for the district who is required to receive safety training.
A campus that is determined by a superintendent to be out of compliance with the safety training requirements shall be subject to the range of penalties determined by the UIL.
Education Code 33.206; 19 TAC 76.1003(e)
A district shall require that each employee who serves as an athletic coach at or above the seventh grade level for an extracurricular athletic activity sponsored or sanctioned by the UIL complete:
- The educational program developed by the UIL regarding the health effects of steroids; or
- A comparable program developed by the district or a private entity with relevant expertise.
Education Code 33.091(c-1)
At least once every two years, the following employees shall take a training course from an authorized provider in the subject matter of concussions:
- A coach of an interscholastic athletic activity shall take a course approved by the UIL.
- An athletic trainer who serves as a member of a district's concussion oversight team shall take a course approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) or a course approved for continuing education credit by the licensing authority for athletic trainers.
- A licensed health-care professional, other than an athletic trainer, who serves as a member of a district's concussion oversight team shall take a course approved by the UIL, TDLR, or the appropriate licensing authority for the profession.
The employee must submit proof of timely completion of an approved course to the superintendent or designee. A licensed health-care professional who is not in compliance with these training requirements may not serve on a concussion oversight team in any capacity. [See FM]
Education Code 38.158
Resources for Staff Development
If a district receives resources from the commissioner's staff development account, it must pay to the commissioner for deposit in the account an amount equal to one-half of the cost of the resources provided to the district. Education Code 21.453(b)