Professional Learning

In support of the knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of our school leaders, teachers, and staff, the Brooklyn South Borough Field Support Center is committed to offering a menu of professional learning opportunities tailored to the expressed needs of our districts. The descriptions below attempt to capture the four types of professional learning we will be delivering though each BFSC division.

Types of Professional Learning


Turn Key (Train the Trainer)
Turn Key are targeted trainings where participants will learn practical knowledge, skills, and best practices on a given subject. Through modeling, participants will leave with the techniques and resources to return to their buildings and share the content of the PD with their colleagues.

Critical Friends Groups / Cohort Model
Critical Friends Group describes a type of professional development delivered through formal, ongoing interactions of small cohort or groups strategically assembled around a specific challenge or problem of practice. These strategic groups contribute to the participants’ professional growth and strengthen the school and district’s capacity to function as learning communities (Source: National School Reform Faculty). Prompted by trends that emerge from apparent needs and/or patterns in district wide data, the Brooklyn South BFSC intends to work with districts to assemble various types chorts to target problems of practice, share strategies and build capacity throughout districts.


Professional Cycle of Learning Cycle (PCL) / On-Site Support
“The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is developing the ability of school personnel to function as professional learning communities.(DuFour)”

Educators routinely engage in collaborative learning in various settings such as grade level and content area teams, lesson planning groups, study groups, action research, data inquiry teams, administrative or leadership teams, etc. Oftentimes these groups do not have the knowledge and skill to be highly effective and successful (Source: School Reform Initiative).

The BFSC will be providing intensive professional development support for teachers and school administration around multiple strategies and tools in service of creating and/or strengthening professional cycles of learning around dedicated problems of practice. In collaboration with each district, four schools nominated by Superintendents will take part in the BFSC PCL model. The diagram below and accompanying overview provides a detailed look of our vision for the PCL model based on an instructional problem of practice, however, PCL may also apply to non-instructional problems of practice.

Lab Sites (Highlighting Strong Practices)

Through collaboration with Districts, exploration, site visitations, and deep data analysis the BFSC hope to highlight strong practices that further student achievement, enhance systems and structures and contribute to success at the district, school leadership and classroom level. These successful discoveries, resources, tools and case studies will be shared throughout the borough to encouraging replication. While the form by which the various BFSC division may proceed in sharing these practices may vary, generally speaking they will take the following forms:

  • Inter-visitation between schools (within and/or outside their district)

  • Instructional rounds (within and/or outside their district)

  • Partnering schools (within and/or outside their district)

One-To-One Support

Brooklyn South Borough Field Support Center terms “One-to-One” as support provide by a division to non-instructional school staff when circumstances call for appropriate support. This support may include training to teachers or direct responsive email/phone communication and school site visits but is not necessarily limited to these types of interactions. Factors such as the capacity of the BFSC division, urgency of need/request, seasonal priorities, data trends and a District’s Superintendent's recommendations may be considered on a case by case basis in determining the level, intensity and frequency of “One-to-One Support.”