Earning Professional Learning Hours

Earning Professional Learning Hours

Next to each course on the Framework there is a number in parenthesis () that indicates the length of the course. Some courses may not indicate a number because there may be a range. Not everything on the framework qualifies for flex time, but most should qualify for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours. All earned hours will be recorded in Edugence for teachers to access for documentation for their portfolios.

Professional Learning Flex Day Requirements

The Northwest Independent School District recognizes that highly-trained professionals have the greatest impact on student learning. Determining your professional learning needs is an important part of every educator’s professional growth. Our students need educators who are trained in effective strategies and have in-depth content knowledge so that they can support students in content development and process skills. NISD strives to offer professional learning opportunities that enhance teachers’ knowledge, skills, performance and attitudes.

Developing a Plan

It is important that the teachers, as well as campus and district personnel, work together to develop professional learning plans for professional growth. Each year teachers will identify targets for professional growth by using classroom data, walkthrough and T-TESS documents, student testing data, and the T-TESS Goal Setting and Professional Development form.

Throughout the course of the year, teachers will reflect on their progress toward the professional goals that were established in their goal setting meeting with their administrator. At the end of year conference, teachers work with administrators to define goals for the upcoming year and to determine professional learning areas of focus. During the reflection process, teachers and administrators will reflect on the teacher’s T-TESS formal and informal observations and their Domain Scores to help pinpoint areas of focus. The Professional Learning Framework categorizes professional learning opportunities by the four T-TESS Domains to assist teachers in making professional learning choices that best fit their needs.

The campus and district personnel must communicate campus and district goals with teachers to ensure alignment between the campus, district, and classroom. The campus and district personnel will design professional learning opportunities to meet the varied needs of our students and staff.

Earning Flex Day Hours

Getting Your Plan Approved

Teachers will work closely with their administrator to determine their professional learning goals. On the Goal Setting Form in Edugence, teachers and their appraisal will determine summer courses for the teacher to take. The signed form will signify the teacher’s commitment to the sessions and the administrator’s approval of the summer courses. These courses will count toward the employee’s Flex Time.


  • All professional learning applicable to flex days must be taken during off-contract time.
  • Core content teachers are required to attend a 3-hour Content Institute. June offerings of Content Institutes are eligible for flex time.
  • School-wide professional learning sessions that address campus initiatives will be accepted with principal approval.
  • Prior approval from the principal is required for all sessions.
  • Sessions must be at least 90 minutes to qualify for consideration.
  • The principal will certify the  flex days and/or report non-compliance

Credit may be given for (with Principal pre-approval):

  • Weekend conferences and conferences off contract time
  • Summer training sessions in and out of the district
  • Up to 6 hours of presenting a workshop at the district level
  • New Hire required training
  • 6 hours of site-based training off contract time (constitutes one day)
  • Up to 3 hours of online staff development (these should be limited to special circumstances where the teacher can’t receive job-specific training) Must be approved by campus principal.

Credit will not be given for:

  • More than 6 hours of Presenting a workshop
  • Supervising of student competitions (i.e. UIL, DI, etc.)
  • Curriculum Writing (this is compensated through extra duty pay)

Required to Fulfill Professional Learning Flex Day Requirement

Classroom Teacher

Campus Instructional Teacher (CIT)

Intervention Specialist

GATES Teacher



Speech Pathologist

Occupational/Physical Therapist




What Happens if I Do Not Get My Hours?

Teachers that do not fulfill their required 18 hours of Professional Learning during the required time may be docked at their daily rate of pay (up to 3 days) in order to return the compensation received for the flex day hours. Payroll deductions shall be done in half-day or full-day increments depending on the amount of time not fulfilled.

Domain IV in T-TESS is directly tied to Professional Development. Teachers may also be documented in this Domain if they have not satisfied their Professional Learning Goals and Requirements. Professional Learning should be directly related to the goals, objectives and priorities of the campus or district as outlined in the Developing a Plan section.

Flex Hours and CPE Credit

NISD requires flex time so that teachers can take off the designated Professional Development Flex Days. As previously stated, in NISD for hours to count for flex time the training must occur outside of the teacher’s contract time. Flex time must also be approved prior to the teacher attending the training to count for flex time. This is documented on the Teacher’s Goal Setting Form in Edugence.

The State of Texas requires teachers to acquire one hundred fifty (150) hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours every five (5) years. This exceeds our 18 hours that NISD requires for flex time. It is important that teachers obtain the required 150 hours of CPE credit every 5 years because The State Board of Education may audit teachers for documentation of those hours.