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Professional Learning

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Welcome to the Office of Professional Learning

The mission of the Office of Professional Learning is to support DPS personnel with sustained, relevant, rigorous, and customized professional learning that is standards-based, collaborative, and aligned with the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (NCPTS) and Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning to strengthen teaching and learning practices and improve student achievement.


The Office of Professional Learning oversees standards-based and professional learning as following:

  • offering teaching and learning workshops for school and district staff that supports their ongoing growth and development;
  • providing staff with choices of professional learning activities for licensure renewal that tie to individual, school, and district goals; and
  • ensuring that professional learning reflects current research and best practices in education.


  • Teaching and Learning Courses:  Teaching and Learning Courses are offered throughout the school year to increase educator effectiveness in subject-content, technology, and classroom practices. Teachers can view course offerings and enroll courses in MyLearningPlan®.
  • Superintendent Leadership Academy (SLA):  The SLA is an eighteen-(18) month, standards-driven, research-based program designed to develop aspiring leaders with critical leadership skills and knowledge that are required for transforming and leading schools.  The SLA consists of the following strands: Organizational/Instructional Leadership, Summer Residency, and School-Based Residency.   The SLA  program information sessions are held in the fall of each year.
  • National Board  Certified Teacher Program (NBCT): The NBCT program provides support to National Board Certified teacher, as well as current and potential NBCT candidates. The NBCT program is designed to foster mentoring and develop coaching and leadership of current National Board Certified. The Office of Professional Learning collaborates with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards® to offer Candidate Support Training for perspective NBCT candidates.  Teachers interested in pursuing National Board Certification should contact Alice Hagaman, NBCT Coordinator, at alice.hagaman@dpsnc.net.
  • Academically Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Add-on Licensure Program: The AIG Add-on Licensure program, in partnership with North Carolina Central University School of Education and the Duke University Program of Education, requires program participants to complete 4 (3 credit hour) courses or 12 hours and a practicum in one academic year.The program selects up to 40 teachers each year. Teachers who are selected to participate in the program make a three-year commitment to DPS.  The AIG  Add-on Licensure program information sessions are held in March of each year. Teachers interested in the AIG Add-on Licensure program should contact Elizabeth Cross, Director of Advanced Academics, at elizabeth.cross@dpsnc.net or call the Office of Professional Learning at (919) 560-2681.


    Additional Resources


    Contact Information

    To receive more information about professional learning, please contact:

    Dietrich A. M. Danner, Ph.D.
    Coordinator of Professional Learning
    511 Cleveland Street
    Durham, NC 27702
    Phone:  (919) 560-2681

    Jennifer Nifong
    Professional Learning Specialist
    511 Cleveland Street
    Durham, NC 27702
    Phone:  (919) 560-2681

    Marie Savoy
    Administrative Assistant
    Phone: (919) 560-2681

    Alfreda Gentry
    Administrative Assistant
    Staff Development Center
    2107 Hillandale Road
    Durham, NC 27705
    Phone: (919) 560-2609