Inservice Guidelines

These guidelines are provided to assist in planning approvable in-service education activities. Details of your plan should be kept on file in your central office.

The guidelines must be followed to complete the 200 Day Accountability Reporting - Created From EIS (On-line Reporting Only)


In-Service education is defined as a program of planned activities designed to increase the competencies needed by all licensed personnel in the performance of their professional responsibilities. In this context, "competencies" are defined as the knowledge, skills, and attitudes which enable personnel to carry out their tasks with maximum effectiveness.

Guidelines for Development of Inservice Plans

In-service education shall be consistent with the Professional Development Policy for Tennessee Schools.

The development of a comprehensive in-service plan is a significant educational endeavor for each local school system. A minimum of five (5) days of planned in-service education, each of which shall be equivalent to not less than six hours of activities, shall be developed. All five of these days shall be identified in the annual school calendar. In-service credit shall not be allowed for participation in activities which are scheduled during regular teaching days or at any time for which participants are being paid for other than in-service reasons.

A recommended sequence for developing system-wide in-service education programs is to (1) assess needs, (2) establish priorities, (3) develop objectives, (4) design in-service activities, and (5) evaluate. The system-wide plan should reflect the assessed needs of all professional staff.

Designing Approvable Activities

Resources and appropriate instructional strategies needed to achieve specific objectives must be identified when designing approvable in-service activities. A variety of possible strategies and activities should be included.

Approvable Activities for In-service

  1. In-service activities designed to develop the competencies of apprentice or probationary teachers. (Priority shall be given to these activities. Supervising teachers shall be designated to work with these teachers.)
  2. Instructional assessment and improvement studies.
  3. Workshops and/or other activities based on the assessed needs of a school or school system.
  4. Development and coordination of system and school-wide curriculum.
  5. Conducting staff development programs/activities that are consistent with needs identified at the building and/or system level.
  6. Studies of: teaching methods and strategies, classroom management, child development, curriculum and instruction, motivation, community involvement, planning and evaluation.
  7. Workshops, seminars, institutes, state sponsored activities, teacher-center activities, professional organization sponsored activities, and college or university sponsored activities which are related to a teacher's assignment or to a school's or system's objectives. (To validate these activities, a written record of attendance/participation must be maintained.)
  8. Specific training for instructional assignments.
  9. Service as a free consultant to other schools and LEAs, excluding travel time.

Non-Approvable Activities for In-service

  1. Parent-teacher conferences.
  2. Teachers working in their rooms.
  3. Putting grades on permanent record forms.
  4. Business meetings for a professional association.
  5. Coaching clinics/cheerleading clinics.
  6. College courses for credit.

These are not meant to be comprehensive lists. Only those activities which are most frequently asked about are addressed.


Local school systems are responsible for the evaluation of in-service programs and should keep on file brief evaluations of all approved in-service programs.

Local Inservice Committee

A committee composed of representatives from each of the following categories shall comprise the system-wide in-service planning committee membership: superintendent or designee; instructional supervisor; principal; and teacher(s). Adequate representation of teaching staff is critical to the successful development and implementation of the plan. If possible, a college or university consultant, parent, or other appropriate representatives should be involved.


To provide the resources needed for planned in-service activities, the local board of education is encouraged to adopt an adequate budget for this purpose. The coordination of all available funds for covering costs that meet the local in-service needs should be pursued.

Legal Basis: T.C.A. Section 49-6-3004

  1. Each public school system shall maintain a term of not less than two hundred (200) days, divided as follows:
    1. One hundred eighty (180) days for classroom instruction;
    2. Ten (10) days for vacation with pay;
    3. Five (5) days for in-service education;
    4. One (1) day for teacher-parent conferences; and
    5. Four (4) other days as designated by the local board of education upon the recommendation of the superintendent of schools.
  2. Vacation days shall be in accordance with policies recommended by the local superintendent of schools and adopted by the local board of education.
    1. In-service days shall be used according to a plan recommended by the local superintendent of schools in accordance with the provisions of this section and other applicable statutes, and adopted by the local board of education. A copy of this plan shall be filed with the State Commissioner of Education on or before June 1 the preceding school year and approved by him. The commissioner shall require that in-service training include the teaching of the components of the Juvenile Offender Act, compiled in title 55, chapter 10, part 7 to all teachers and principals in grades seven (7) through twelve (12). The commissioner shall also encourage the use of two (2) of the in-service training days to provide training to teachers, principals, and other school personnel, and, to the extent possible, school board members, on issues of prevention and intervention strategies for students in the area of behavioral/emotional disorders.
    2. The needs of probationary and apprentice teachers shall be given priority in the planning of in-service activities. Apprentice teachers shall be assisted by supervising teachers in the development of competencies required by the State Certification Commission and the local board of education.
    3. The plan shall also give priority to staff development activities. Staff development activities shall include an assessment of teacher and administrator evaluations made previously by the State Certification Commission and the local school system. Career level III teachers and supervisors shall be assigned to aid those teachers seeking to improve teaching competencies.