Ballston Spa Central School District
Total STLE Award
STLE Program Summary Local Education Agencies(LEAs) and local unions collaborated to develop programs that focus on various elements of a strategically planned Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Continuum, including preparation, recruitment and placement, induction and mentoring, evaluation, ongoing professional development/professional growth, performance management and career ladder pathways.
Before the STLE 3 grant, Ballston Spa Central School District had existing career progressions for both teachers and principals. Through STLE 3, Ballston Spa added a “top” or “third” rung (“Master Teacher Leader” and “Principal Leader”) to their teacher and principal career ladder pathways in order to maximize their top talent and leverage their expertise to impact instructional practice district-wide. These teachers and principals were invited to apply to participate in a yearlong Master Teacher Leader Fellowship or a Principal Leader Fellowship that provided opportunities to enrich the district’s existing professional development opportunities, including targeted instruction in content area knowledge, best practices, instructional coaching and to pursue professional growth.
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In addition to career ladder pathways, Ballston Spa has enriched its professional development opportunities to include targeted instruction in content area knowledge, instructional coaching and dissemination of best practices. The district also enhanced their already existing relationships with organizations such as Literacy Design Collaborative and Inquiry by Design, while also creating new relationships to support district initiatives. Ballston Spa has maintained a focus on creating a common language and vision for best practice, clearly defined expectations through their “Frameworks for Teaching” work and the district’s commitment to implementing a consistent and meaningful Annual Performance Plan (APPR) process.
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- Teacher and Principal Leaders leverage their expertise by offering targeted and job-embedded professional development opportunities for their colleagues on a variety of topics.
- A district-wide focus on technology has enabled Ballston Spa to create an interactive, differentiated approach to professional development by offering the same in-person professional development online, utilizing an instructional coach to follow up with teachers individually.
The Ballston Spa Central School District 's Board of Education, Superintendent and Business Official are preparing the district financially to be able to sustain programs and personnel related to career ladder pathways through the search for additional grant funds, providing professional development/in-service credits and also with a merit-based pay system.
STLE Areas of Focus and Impact Each Local Educational Agency (LEA) has identified measurable goals and outcomes aligned with their grant programs. Quantitative and qualitative data is meant to communicate the value and impact of this work by highlighting the reach of teacher and principal leaders, cost and time savings, as well as indicate the progress made towards the specific student achievement and talent management needs identified by each LEA. Program evaluation is ongoing; LEAs will continue to monitor impact through and beyond the grant period to better understand correlations between various district and building initiatives, the work of teacher and principal leaders, and the impact on student access and achievement.
- 6 Master Teacher Leaders directly impact 340 teachers which impact 4,203 students.
- 1 Principal Leader directly impacts 5 principals, 7 assistant principals and 340 teachers which impact 4,203 students.
Areas of Focus
The Ballston Spa Central School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of developing, retaining, and providing equitable access to the most effective educators through their career ladder pathway model.
|Common Talent Management Challenge||Local Educational Agency (LEA) Efforts|
Through a year-long fellowship, the Master Teacher Leaders participate in intensive professional development targeted at enriching their content area knowledge and enabling them to effectively coach other teachers. The Master Teacher Leaders are involved in providing professional development opportunities which are tailored to meet the needs of the teachers, co-teaching with colleagues, offering instructional coaching, providing data analysis, and assisting teachers in analyzing student data and using that data to drive instruction. In addition, Master Teacher Leaders integrate technology into their professional development sessions, as well as offering these sessions on-line, in order to uphold the district’s interactive, differentiated approach to professional development.
Ballston Spa has worked to ensure that Master Teacher Leaders are contributing to curriculum development, assessment design, and educational policy on school-wide, district-wide, and NYS level teams, and to sustain the long term involvement of Master Teacher Leaders and Principal Leaders through ongoing inclusion in district decision making. Ballston Spa has also created a structure involving intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, as well as formal and informal recognition to help in the retention of effective educators across the district, including providing monetary recognition for work outside of the school day (e.g., paid “in-service” credit for professional development hours completed beyond the regular work day, $5,000 stipend for Principal Leader, etc.).
To ensure that all students are being taught by the most effective teachers and principals, Ballston Spa continues to annually review composite evaluation scores to ensure that their high need students are served by the highest quality educators. At the time of the STLE 3 application, 98% of teachers receiving a composite rating of Highly Effective or Effective were equally distributed among the district’s Title I buildings. In addition, Ballston Spa has worked to extend the reach of Highly Effective and Effective educators to more students through the Teacher Leader Fellowship program and the contributions of Master Teacher Leaders.
|Other Areas of Focus||Local Educational Agency (LEA) Efforts|
|Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)||
The Principal Leader has shadowed all building principals during observations to determine inter-rater reliability. Quarterly, the Principal Leader creates and leads in-service training for teachers and administrators on the evaluation system, as well as participates in regional APPR sessions as led by WSWHE BOCES. Additionally, the Principal Leader has turn-keyed evaluation-based professional development at grade 6-12 and K-8 administrative meetings.
The work of teacher leaders (Teacher Leaders and Professional Teachers), from curriculum work to daily co-teaching and demonstration lessons with teachers, involves the college and career readiness standards. When coaching, teacher leaders specifically target these standards and rely upon them to determine the district’s areas of need during ongoing evidence-based instruction meetings. The district analyzes multiple measures and isolates specific standards and skills that are trends across particular classrooms or grade levels. These trends are then used to drive instruction and coaches participate in creating individual, team, school, and district-wide professional development to address needs discovered through evidence-based instruction.
Areas of Impact
The Ballston Spa Central School District has identified quantitative and qualitative impact data that it has seen and hopes to realize since implementing career ladder pathways and related STLE grant activities.
|Initial Student Impact||
|Early Impact on Talent Management System||
Career Ladder Pathways Each LEA participating in STLE 2 or 3 was required to develop and implement or enhance career ladder pathways rooted in sound implementation of their evaluation systems. Career ladder pathways were based on a minimum of three “rungs” including: novice, professional, and leader levels that were associated with specific roles, responsibilities, and optional district-defined compensation incentives.
Career ladder pathways are a systematic, coordinated approach to provide new and sustained leadership opportunities with additional compensation, recognition, and/or job embedded professional development for teachers and principals in order to advance excellent teaching and learning.
|Teacher Title||Roles and Reponsibilities||Compensation||Number Serving in Role in 2014-15|
||Compensation for novice teachers includes professional development credit as well as paid “in-service” credit for professional development hours completed beyond the regular work day.||
||Compensation for professional teachers includes professional development credits as well as “in-service” credit for professional development hours completed beyond the regular school day. In addition, professional teachers receive such credit for plannin||
Master Teacher/Instructional Coach
|Regular salary plus 8 additional summer days||
|Principal Title||Roles and Reponsibilities||Compensation||Number Serving in Role in 2014-15|
||Merit based pay system||2|
||Merit based pay system||3|
||$5,000 stipend & Merit based pay system||1|