Immaculate Heart of Mary School
                                  Christ is the reason for this school




Summary of IHM Plan

Diocesan professional development days have been provided giving staff members that are employed in the Paterson Diocese an opportunity to meet with teachers in the same subject and grade level areas. This has allowed for the sharing of ideas. These ideas were then used at future faculty meetings and later implemented within the classroom.

Student achievement as defined by the teachers at Immaculate Heart of Mary is the ability for all students to obtain, understand, communicate and apply knowledge and skills that will lead to academic success in school and in life as adults. Teachers communicated at faculty meetings specific needs in all curriculum areas especially critical thinking topics.

The professional development goals that are connected to the student learning goals for our school include improving reading strategies and incorporating technology across the curriculum.

Time has been set aside to incorporate professional development with the structure of the staff’s school day. Time will be allocated before and after school as well as during any mutual planning periods. We have developed teams based on our targeted goals in school, content area teams will share students’ work collaboratively, by utilizing ELMO to view documents into the computer to be projected onto a Smart Board. The administration will provide coverage for team members to observe practices of other teachers during the school day. Monthly faculty meeting will be held with professional development as its sole purpose. Utilization of ACSPC Region PD to further teacher communication and sharing will add to the learning communities and student successes.

Resource materials that will ensure continued professional learning will include Smart Boards, educational software, online magazines, educational journals, books, Discovery Education and Internet resources. Professional learning days will be allocated for quality professional development. Time will be set aside during the summer for faculty planning and development.

Key components to evaluate our professional development will be comparing test scores from both past and present. This will allow us to measure any change in reading comprehension scores and/or math scores and areas of critical thinking and it will allow us to recognize any new areas that need attention. A second component is the success that teachers have in applying new learning in technology in classroom. A third component is the success of students and teachers in realizing and incorporating DI & MI strategies. All will recognize personal learning style and primary MI. 


  1. Reflection

            Positive Aspects

The mission of the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Paterson is to develop communities that are Christ centered, academically excellent and welcoming. To this end, administrators and faculties will continue to provide professional learning opportunities that enhance the educational processes of our students to become lifelong learners. These opportunities for the schools in the diocese include:

  • Continuing development of  a collaborative culture through shared purpose and belief in reflective practice
  • On-going partnerships with universities and government agencies, such as William Paterson, Felician College, Stevens Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Picatinny Arsenal, St. John's University, College of Saint Elizabeth, and Notre Dame University
  • Diocesan learning opportunities on Blended Learning, Multi-Age, Marketing and Common Core implementation
  • In-servicing through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Collaborative Initiative ll for unit planning and assessment implementation
  • In-servicing through Region meetings empowering educators to provide turnkey sharing at the building level which foster collaboration
  •  Professional Learning Communities among all school staff 
    • Common planning time allowing for frequent meetings on grade/subject level within individual buildings as well as in region schools.
  • Use of federal, state and grant funding to provide high-quality presenters and coaches as resources for teacher improvement.

On-going coaching, modeling and mentoring for STEM & STREAM education

  1. Needs Assessment  

Student achievement is defined as attaining and retaining confidence, motivation, and an eager desire to become independent thinkers and life-long learners infused with Christ-like values.


The following common professional development needs emerged from the school plans, surveys and polls:

•           ACE Unit Planning and assessment

o          Math, Literacy, Reading, Science and Religion

•           Differentiated instruction

•           Needs of special population

•           Technology  implementation and training

•           Formative summative, and digital assessments

•           Test analysis

•           Curriculum mapping

•           Collaborative planning time

•           STEM

•           Vertical articulation

•           Higher level thinking skills

•           Funding

•           Blended learning

•           STREAM

•           Multi-age

•           Reading across the curriculum

•           Balanced literacy with emphasis on non-fiction

  1.   Professional Development Goals:

            The Diocesan Professional Development Committee believes that highly qualified, certified, competent, capable, and caring teachers must shape the educational environment in which the students participate in order to provide the best education possible. This life-long process focuses on acquiring knowledge, refining skills, developing strategies, and implementing practices that are in keeping with the teachers’ PDPs and contribute to effective student learning.


Student Learning Goals

•           To improve students’ math, literacy, reading, critical thinking and technology skills

Professional Development Goals

•           Teachers understand and implement CCCS through ACE Collaborative

•           Schools partner with institutions in STEM

•           Schools partner with institutions for  workshops such as  Writer’s/Reader’s

•           Teachers understand and implement differentiated instruction teaching strategies

•           School teams analyze their professional practices with focus on improving student learning

•           Teachers implement Unit Plans using UbD format focusing on the essential questions

•           Teachers will implement blended learning


  1. Professional Development Opportunities

Structures and Processes

            Professional development structures consist of both small and large teams (PLCs) within school buildings, as well as within academies and regions.  Curriculum articulation is both vertical and horizontal to ensure alignment with the Common Core. The administration supports the professional learning of the faculty by encouraging intra/inter-school collaboration. These meetings are followed by constructive feedback.  Other structures include:

  •  Continued relationships with colleges in providing programs such as literacy coaching and technology infusion.
  • Membership in the counties’ Education Technology Teaching Consortium (ETTCs).
  • Use of online course protocols which facilitate teacher interaction and communication on specific topics that address their students’ needs.
  • Continued learning through post graduate work.
  • PD opportunities to our schools by local school districts
  • Diocesean  PD related to test analysis and multi- age and blended learning. 
  • Professional development days within academies and regions.
  • Focus on student/teacher needs rather than the dissemination of information at faculty meetings.
  • ACE Collaborative website to access resources for thematic unit planning and performance assessments.
  • Catechetical certification through on-line courses
  • Webinars
  • Incorporation of on-site consultants
  1. Professional Development Resources


Time Allocations and Supporting Resources

  • Diocesan-wide support
    • Academies, parish schools, regional schools, and independent schools host professional day(s)
    • Regularly scheduled regional meetings
    • Academies, parish schools, regional schools, and independent PLCs for specific grade levels and subject areas
    • Teachers’ and principals’ orientations
    • ACE Collaborative workshops
  • On-site
    • Regular department meetings on the high school level
    • Several schools have extended faculty meetings; others meet weekly before school begins.
    • Several schools participate in peer observations
    • Several schools have monthly meetings that are subject oriented
    • Schools build time into the schedules to allow PLCs to meet
    • Title I, Title II, IDEA and school budget
    • Grants as they become available
    • Individual school foundations help to defray PD costs at several schools.
    • Summer technical training programs are offered at schools
    • Discounted tuition is offered to all Catholic school teachers from Catholic colleges and universities
    • Teachers take advantage of the courses offered by ETTC
    • STEM, iXL, Mutli-age, and Study Island training
    • Flip Charts produced by Mentoring Minds to assist teachers in implementing CCCS
    • Professional consultants
    • Discovery Education and webinars

Leadership Support

  • School leaders network and connect with community leaders and other professionals who can offer their expertise which supports professional development needs within schools.
  • Leadership provides opportunities for teachers to visit other classes, to meet and plan in collaboration with other teachers within buildings and within regions.


  1. Evaluation:

Professional Development Standards are effective criterion on which to base success.  These standards reflect a commitment to life-long learning by providing a framework on which teachers can base their development opportunities. The schools in the Diocese of Paterson will adhere to the Standards for Professional Learning “that increase educator effectiveness and improve results for all students.”

Educators will gain knowledge and skills to impact instruction:

  1. To analyze and apply assessment data
  2. To develop and implement new educational strategies that address individualized needs, ie. Blended learning, STEM, STREAM, Mulit-age, balanced literacy
  3. To better implement technological resources into the curriculum

Evidence that the staff has acquired new knowledge and skills will include: evidence of Christian atmosphere and collegiality in all settings, PLC minutes, teacher logs, annual school review by the Superintendent, PD evaluations, surveys, unit plans, observations, rubrics, standards based grading, authentic and differentiated assessments, Terra Nova results, evaluation of UbD unit plans by administrators, peer reviews, and critique of the effectiveness of ACE curriculum. 

Student data used will be standardized test results, rubrics and formal and informal assessments.

On-site evaluations are taken after each professional development offering. The surveys are examined for effectiveness. Future professional development opportunities are considered based on the results of the surveys.

Feedback from classroom teachers and all stakeholders after introducing, implementing and evaluating PD opportunities will give the additional data needed for further planning.

Professional development plan will encourage job embedded collaboration through peer mentoring, professional learning communities, peer coaching and mentoring. Observation of the above mentioned items will provide evidence of job-embedded collaboration.

Surveys are given to all stakeholders including students to assess Catholic identity defining characteristics and program effectiveness.


This plan will keep the schools focused on the New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers and School Leaders, Standards for Professional Development of Teachers, the New Jersey State and Diocesan Mentoring Program, and the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, as well as our own goals for enhancing student learning. The Diocese of Paterson will be in compliance with the newly updated New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers.

Standards for professional learning are:

  1. Learning communities: Occur within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment;
  2.  Leadership: Requires skillful leaders who develop capacity, advocate, and create support systems for professional learning;
  3.  Resources: Require prioritizing, monitoring, and coordinating resources for educator learning;
  4. Data: Uses a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning;
  5. Learning designs: Integrate theories, research, and models of human learning to achieve its intended outcomes;
  6. Implementation: Applies research on change and sustains support for implementation of professional learning for long-term change;
  7. Outcomes: Align its outcomes with educator performance and student curriculum standards.

Professional Development
In preparation for the new school year and all of it's exciting challenges, Mrs. Havelin, Mrs. DelPercio, Mrs. Borovcanin, Mrs. Koblick, and Mrs. Connor attended workshops given by Bosland Learning Plus, a professional development provider.  The workshops topics were Differentiated Instruction and Alternative Assessments. 

The entire faculty at IHM has been developing our skills at incorporating differentiated instruction strategies into the curriculum. This allows instruction to be given on a more individual basis. Dr. Karen Fassanella has been working with our teachers on a regular basis. Our students are assessed in the beginning of the year to find their learning style and multiple intelligence preference. Dr. Fassanella has given many hands-on tactics to be used in the classroom for teaching and our further work will be on alternative assessments. Through varied assessments the faculty is able to evaluate student learning. All of our professional development is aimed at increasing student learning. We are seeing results in our increase in Terra Nova, our standardized test, scores. We are so proud of our faculty always looking to improve, learn and grow - modeling for our students.

 Mrs Del Percio, our Kindergarten teacher, attended a workshop on Differentiated Instruction in Assessing Reading and Writing. It was given by a first grade NYC public school teacher who had two books published by Scholastic. The workshop provided writing samples to be critiqued and instruction about having writing conferences with the children. This will help to meet the learning styles and multiple intelligences of all the students.