PD Credits

For full information to the entire document from the TNDOE regarding professional development points, please visit https://tn.gov/assets/entities/sbe/attachments/5.502_Educator_Licensure_Policy_1.27.17.pdf#page=14  .  

Educators must earn a total of thirty (30) professional development points (PDPs) to advance or a total of sixty (60) PDPs to renew a teacher license including professional, professional occupational, and professional school services personnel licenses. PDPs must be approved in the state licensure system. Individuals employed by a local education agency (LEA) must have the LEA approve the accrued PDPs for advancement or renewal. At the time of advancement or renewal, if the educator is NOT employed in a Tennessee public school, appropriate documentation for all activities for which PDPs are requested must be provided to the office of educator licensing and preparation. If a non-employee, including retirees, contacts you regarding licensure renewal, please direct them to The State of Tennessee Office of Licensure https://www.tn.gov/education/topic/licensing-faq . 

Reasons for PDP denial include, but are not limited to: activity not related to improving educator effectiveness; activity conducted outside the validity period of the license (effective dates); activity lacks adequate documentation; or duplicate activity. At the time of advancement or renewal, if the educator is employed in a Tennessee public school, the local education agency (LEA) must retain documentation for each completed activity for which the educator is awarded PDPs. 

Activities used for PDPs must be completed within the validity period of the license being advanced or renewed and must be related to improving educator effectiveness by: 

  1. Developing content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, or pedagogical content knowledge; or 
  2. Enhancing educator effectiveness (e.g., world language courses for those working with students for whom English is a second language, coursework that supports understanding and use of data). 

Activities not related to improving educator effectiveness do not qualify for PDPs. This includes training activities such as sessions on blood borne pathogens and suicide prevention. While these training opportunities are highly valuable and often mandated, they do not explicitly focus on educator effectiveness. The table on the following page provides information 

Acceptable PDP options, number of PDPs awarded, and required documentation: 


PDPs Awarded  

Required Documentation 

Professional Learning 

1 clock hour = 1 PDP 
Approved Micro-credentials = 5 PDPs

Certificate, transcript, or verification signed by the Director of Schools (or designee)

Continuing Education 

1 continuing education unit (CEU) = 5 PDPs

Certificate or transcript

 College/University Coursework 

1 semester hour credit = 10 PDPs 


Overall level of effectiveness rating (approved TN model) 

Overall Score of 5 = 20 PDPs
Overall Score of 4 = 15 PDPs
Overall Score of 3 = 10 PDPs

Information is maintained by the department. No additional documentation is required

National Board Certification 

Initial Certification = 30 PDPs
Renewal Certification = 15 PDPs

Official documentation from NBPTS 

          TASL Credit is managed through the Office of Schools.  416-3774


School Level PD

  • School principals should ensure that the school PD plan (SIP, CPL, or other) aligns to courses that are being placed in PLZ. Courses that are not aligned should not be placed in PLZ. (For example, faculty meetings to review school dismissal procedures should not be placed in PLZ.)
  • All school-level PD should entered into the PLZ (both for after-school and during school hours).  Faculty meetings and PLC Meetings do not count towards PD credit unless they include a measurable professional development outcome.

Course Designer Expectations

All course designers will:


Course Requester Expectations


Course Requester definition - This is an office-level role responsible for creating courses and corresponding sections. A submission by a Course Requester is sent to the Course Reviewer / Approver.

  1. All district-level PD must be entered into the PLZ by each department.  Every department will have a course requestor and an approver in the PLZ. 
  2. All course requestors and approvers will be required to complete an annual training on the PLZ. Course This training will include performance tasks which will be scored.  Participants will be able to retake the tasks if needed and all resources are available in PLZ under the resources tab to support course requestors and approvers.
  3. Course entry should include what participants will know, understand and be able to do as a result of attending the professional development session.
  4. See step-sheets http://vlp.scsk12.org/kbase/category/31/the-professional-learning-zone.html 
  5. Course Requestors who want to reserve space at the TLA for sessions should use the "Manage Room Request" feature at the time of course entry.  Course requests completed via email, phone, or other methods may not be accepted.
  6. Courses should be submitted no less than 2 weeks prior, as course approval must be routed through several layers.
  7. Attendance should be approved within 5 days of the training conclusion.

Course Reviewer Expectations

Course Reviewer definition  - This is an office-level role responsible for the first level(s) of review of submitted courses and sections. This role has the ability to approve the course for second-level review or return it to the Course Requester for changes. This role is applicable only when a multi-tier review process is required; otherwise, review and approval goes directly to the Final Approver.


Final Approver Expectations

Final Approver definition - This is an office-level role responsible for the final review of submitted courses and sections. This role has the ability to give final approval so the course becomes visible in the catalog. This role also has the ability to return the course to the Course Requester if changes need to be made.


Office Administrator Expectations

Office Administrator definition - This is an office-level role with access to administer PD functions for the assigned office only. Functions include creating and managing courses, verifying certificates, managing recurring dates, and managing office-level roles.


Teacher Expectations

Teacher Expectations


  • All teachers are expected to register for any School and/or District-level PD through the PLZ.
  • Teachers who arrive at PD sessions who have not registered are subject to being asked to leave the session.
    • Session space is Teacher Expectations often determined by the number of participants, not the number of seats available.  Even when seats are available, participants may be asked to leave and register to attend another session.
    • Many PD sessions are designed and reserved for a specific grade-level or subject area.  Please refer to the course description to determine in the PD applies to your content area or grade-band.  It is at the discretion of the instructor to determine if the course is applicable for registered participants. Teachers may be asked to withdraw or be manually removed from the course.
  • Participants are expected to attend the entire duration of the training to receive credit.  Partial credit may not be awarded for partial attendance. 
  • Teachers will not receive credit for a course on their transcript until attendance is approved by the course instructor and the online survey is completed by the teacher in the PLZ.

TLA Reservation and Use

Reserving Space at the TLA 

  1. When entering a course in the PLZ, the instructor should request a room through the "manage room request" feature in the PLZ.  Do not call to reserve your room or fill out additional forms.
  2. If you need to use space at the TLA, but there is no course in the PLZ, you may complete the online form found at http://vlp.scsk12.org/reserve 


Utilizing the TLA 

  1. When reserving a room, we expect facilitators to supply their own materials (for example, chart paper, markers, all copies, etc.).  Unfortunately, we cannot provide training materials or make copies of materials.
  2. Upon completion of room use, please return the room set-up to its original format.  Turn off all lights and technology.
  3. Providing meals for participants is allowed.  Please communicate directly with the food provider to share the name of your session, room number, and a contact person.  Please direct the food provider to either enter through the front door or downstairs back door (for multipurpose room, L11, and auditorium).
  4. It is expected that the department providing the food for participants clean up after the meal.  This includes disposing of all food and trash.  Failure to do so will result in the department no longer being able to provide meals during sessions at the TLA.
  5. Parking is only allowed In parking spaces.  Please do not park in reserved spaces.  Please do not park in handicap spaces without the proper approval.  
  6. Parking the front of the building in the fire lane is not permitted.  Doing so may result in towing.
  7. The front door remains locked.  Please utilize buzzer to enter the building.
  8. The Teacher Resource Room is only available for die-cuts from the hours of 8:00am-6:00 pm.  Please approach the front desk for access to the room. 

PD Principles

Professional Development & Support Theory of Action and Guiding Principles

Shelby County Schools has committed to reach Destination 2025 and our 80/90/100% goals.  Reaching these goals will require a profound shift in district culture, including in the Professional Development & Support and Academics departments.

In Shelby County Schools, we believe that teachers have the most important job in the district, as our teachers are the primary drivers of our students’ achievement.  We believe that teachers can adapt their practice to increase student achievement when they experience high-quality professional learning, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that teachers have the professional development experiences that will enable them to adapt their practice to ensure that our students reach Destination 2025.

To improve professional development, which we define as any experience that teachers engage in to improve their instructional practice, SCS will establish five design principles that all future professional development experiences will embody:


  1. ALIGNED:  Professional development must be aligned to SCS’s goals, vision of effective teaching, academic priorities, and evaluation system.

First and foremost, any SCS professional development must be directly tied to Destination 2025 and the key pillars of the district’s strategic plan.  In addition, PD must be directly aligned to the district’s vision of effective teaching (captured in the TEM or elsewhere), academic priorities (such as literacy, writing, and early childhood education), and needs defined by teacher observations (such as planning, clear delivery of content, etc.). 

  1. DIFFERENTIATED:  Professional development must be tailored to individual and collective teacher needs and differentiated by need, content, and grade band.

PD must be based on teacher needs (performance, experience, and areas of growth), as well as by their content area and grade-level.   SCS uses teacher and student performance data, both qualitative and quantitative, to determine what professional development to offer to meet differentiated needs.

  1. PRACTICE-BASED:  Educators learn best when they have the opportunity to apply what they have learned, so our professional development consistently involves opportunities for practice.

High-quality professional development involves practice so that teachers can immediately implement what they have learned in a session rather than “sitting and getting” information.  Educators practice newly learned strategies/skills and apply content in sessions and then also commit to employing newly learned skills in their classrooms.


  1. EMPOWERING:  Teachers and principals must be able to choose supports that are most aligned to improvement of their practice. 

In alignment with the strategic plan, principals should have options to choose supports and professional development experiences that are most needed for their teachers and students.  Teachers should have the ability to reflect on their own instructional strengths and opportunities for improvement, then select professional development experiences that will improve their students’ achievement.

  1. MEASUREABLE:  Professional development’s impact must be measured and evaluated strategically.

Professional development is intended to improve teacher performance and student achievement, so we must name the change we expect to see in teacher and student performance as a result of professional development experiences.  Given the time and resources professional development consumes, we must measure the effectiveness of PD so that we can determine where to spend more time and resources, given the outcomes that we see.  We will track engagement in PD mapped to student achievement and teacher improvement so that we can ensure that we are spending resources on strategies that actually improve teacher performance and ultimately, student achievement.