The Regional Professional Development Academy (RPDA) was established in 1998 and has grown from the original fourteen-member collaborative to its current membership of forty-four school districts and schools. Our focus is on providing high quality seminars promoting best practices professional development for educators and parents. Membership into the academy is open to all public school districts and non-public schools and Schools for the Disabled in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The academy welcomes new and returning members each year in order to engage as many schools and school districts that wish to participate and to provide greater opportunity for professional development services to the member school districts.
The Academy continues to focus its efforts on providing quality workshops which address the needs of children with diverse abilities and has broadened its efforts to include children with needs in the general education program. Based on our Annual Needs Assessment Survey of the collaborative districts, staff identified their specific areas of need for training in addressing Autism, Behavior, Best Practices, Communication, Literacy, Mathematics, Mental Health and Social/Emotional Influences. In order to support the New Jersey Professional Development Standards of improved learning outcomes for students, the following statements represent the Academy’s goals and provide impetus for the planned activities:
To provide collaborative opportunities across district boundaries for effective professional development pertaining to educational programming.
To improve learning outcomes for non-traditional learners.
To utilize technology to support learning.
To increase the number of inclusive opportunities for learners with diverse abilities.