Professional development in Wilton public schools

The $82,376,563 fiscal year 2019 (FY19) school budget approved by the Board of Education last month allocates $374,021 to the improvement of Wilton public school staff’s professional knowledge, competence, skill, and effectiveness — otherwise known as professional development.

Superintendent Kevin Smith’s originally proposed FY19 budget allocated $424,021 to professional development, but that was cut $50,000 to make room for textbooks and online licenses, a social worker, a special education secretary, and an English language learner teacher.

The budget approved by the Board of Education on Feb. 22 allocates $374,021 to professional development. This figure reflects a $15,707, or 4.38%, increase over the district’s current year professional development spending, as well as a nearly 30% increase from FY16.

According to the proposed FY19 school budget, the district spent $288,971 on professional development in FY16, $280,903 in FY17 and $358,314 in FY18, and projects to spend $442,030 in FY20 and $434,257 in FY21.

FY19 spending breakdown

The $374,021 for professional development in the proposed FY19 budget breaks down as follows:

Miller-Driscoll, $80,450:

  • $32,550 to cover professional development and training for K-2 certified staff.

  • $30,200 for English/language arts professional development.

  • $8,450 for training in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards for first and second grade.

  • $3,200 to cover Teachers College Coaching Institute expenses and registration for three humanities coaches.

  • $2,800 for mathematics teacher training.

  • $2,000 to cover tuition and fees for two administrators to attend leadership program, as well as additional funds for yearly training.

  • $1,250 to cover conference expenses and registration of three reading interventionists and professional learning expenses and registration of one math interventionist.

Cider Mill, $66,675:

  • $30,000 for in-service training to support Ready Access/Digital Learning, school climate, core curriculum, and research-based practices, as well as certificate training for two staff.

  • $26,660 to cover professional learning for special educators, reading specialists and classroom teachers, as well as training for humanities coaches.

  • $3,000 to cover in-house professional learning for math educators.

  • $2,500 for instructional leaders to attend training and professional learning programs to support implementation of core instruction, as well as workshops to support math implementation.

  • $1,400 to train four full-time interventionists and cover the costs of things like annual conferences and institutes.

  • $800 for “pupil personnel” training.

  • $640 to cover foreign language educators’ conference and seminar fees.

  • $525 for art teachers to attend conferences on curriculum development.

  • $500 professional learning for staff working with students identified as gifted.

  • $350 for music teachers to attend conferences.

  • $300 for three physical education teachers to attend conference.

Middlebrook, $14,920:

  • $9,595 for “professional learning partnership with Teachers College Reading/Writing Project, NELMS [New England League of Middle Schools] Conference, STEM Lego Mindstorms and other professional development workshops and conferences.”

  • $5,325 for instructional coaches to work with CT Science Center to complete curriculum development, as well as Coaching Institute for humanities coach.

Wilton High School, $32,303:

  • $10,250 to cover “registration and expenses for staff participating in professional development activities” for instructional program improvement.

  • $10,185 for a two-week training for the Introduction to Engineering Design Project Lead the Way teacher and to cover per diem training compensation.

  • $3,000 to send instructional coaches to national and regional conferences “to support instructional and curricular needs.”

  • $2,258 to cover the cost of physical education state/regional conferences and updated trainings on new student activities.

  • $1,500 for athletic department staff training and conferences.

  • $1,200 to cover training costs for Peervention training assistance.

  • $1,000 for “Poetry Out Loud programs.”

  • $1,000 for state and national conventions for art staff development.

  • $1,000 for NEASC follow-up conference, as well as follow-up work for the school’s two- and five-year plans.

  • $910 for yearly state conference registration fee for health teachers, as well as training in wellness techniques.

Special services, $69,295:

  • $20,000 for psychological services staff.

  • $15,000 for ongoing training and support to evidence-based reading instruction for students with reading disorders.

  • $15,000 for social work staff training and certification.

  • $7,295 for school climate and school safety training and conferences, as well as training for staff on professional development days.

  • $5,000 for speech and language staff professional development.

  • $3,000 for preschool special education staff to attend professional development training and workshops in and out of district.

  • $3,000 for training and conferences for central support services staff.

  • $500 for Community Steps staff professional development.

  • $500 for occupational and physical therapy staff professional development.

District, $55,475:

  • $53,050 to cover professional development and conferences for teachers, administrators, curriculum coordinators, and paraprofessionals.

  • $1,425 for public health staff to participate in a professional in-service program and yearly technical support and Web-based training.

  • $1,000 for district staff to attend meetings to receive training and information on testing.

Central office, $15,000:

  • $10,000 for superintendent’s administrative services.

  • $4,000 for the Human Resources Department.

  • $1,000 for the Finance Department.

Technology: $1,243 for staff development and training, including conferences, workshops, classes, and trainers for new software, and to “meet competency standards.”

Library Learning Commons: $37,160 for Train-the-Trainer professional development for library media specialists and technology instructional leaders and lead teachers to “build capacity at each school for purposeful use of digital resources.”

Support services: $1,500 for required Occupational Safety and Health Administration training and conferences for staff development.


Staff sometimes have to attend professional development activities during the school day, making substitutes an associated cost of professional development.

The education board’s proposed budget allocates $47,500 to cover the cost of substitutes filling in for staff undergoing professional development. Reflecting a $900, or 1.93%, increase over the current year, this figure breaks down as follows:

  • Middlebrook: $12,000.

  • Wilton High School: $9,000.

  • Miller-Driscoll: $8,500.

  • Central office: $8,000.

  • Cider Mill: $6,000.

  • Special services: $2,500.

  • Library Learning Commons: $1,500.

The Board of Education’s FY19 proposed budget is available at .