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Deer Park Union Free School District

 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. | Focus & ImpactEach Local Education 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.> | Career Ladder PathwaysEach 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. | Sharing the WorkThe Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grant has resulted in the development and sharing of a wide variety of tools, tips, and resources. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have been highlighted for their work through various media outlets and NYSED videos, and have also created tools and resources that are available to the field.

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.

Continuum Graphic

This graphic represents the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) continuum recommended by the New York State Education Department.

Program Summary

The implementation of the Deer Park Union Free School District’s Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) program has provided new and positive options for district principals and teachers to advance their career and professional expertise while addressing critical district needs. In particular, Deer Park has focused on highly skilled interventions for district populations that were identified to be most in need. In addition, STLE has allowed Deer Park to re-align district leadership structures to integrate a significant number of teacher leader positions within the collaborative decision-making framework.

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Through STLE, Deer Park had four (4) overall project goal areas: (1) aligning ongoing work with teachers and leaders into career ladder opportunities for novice, professional and leader experiences for teachers and principals and implementing compensation for these positions; (2) establishing and effectively implementing a communication plan that re-aligns district personnel to include new teacher and principal leader positions; (3) utilizing and expanding district data analysis to identify specific and customized program interventions for high need students that could be effectively supported through the career ladder positions; and (4) implementing a number of focused programmatic interventions to support student achievement and growth  This was an important next step for the Deer Park as it moved toward the fulfillment of the complete Teacher and Leader Effectiveness continuum. 

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Promising Practice

  • Teacher Leaders host a “Teacher Studio” by planning and implementing model lessons with colleagues for collegial reflection
  • Identified and worked with the most effective teachers in the analysis of student data and supported novice, developing and ineffective teachers in their use of data to inform instruction.
  • Extended models of group, small group, individualized and content-focused coaching including creation and support of teaching strategies for the district’s special need, English language learners (ELL), low-income and middle school populations.

Sustainability

The Deer Park Union Free 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 a change in use of Title IIA funds.  Stipends will be reduced based on need and focus areas.  Compensation will take place in the form of participation in professional development, curriculum development and mentoring opportunities.

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.

This graphic represents the five common talent management challenges. LEAs may address one or more of the five common talent management challenges of preparing, recruiting, developing, retaining and providing equitable access to the most effective educators using career ladder pathways.

Reach

  • 45 Teacher Leaders directly impact 354 teachers which impact 4,154 students
  • 3 Principal Leaders directly impact 2 principals, 6 assistant principals and 354 teachers which impact 4,154 students

Areas of Focus

The Deer Park Union Free School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of developing and providing equitable access to effective and highly effective educators. 

Common Talent Management Challenges

Common Talent Management Challenge Local Educational Agency (LEA) Efforts
Development

Through STLE, Deer Park created an Teacher Leader Technology Coach who supports teachers and administrators in various stages of the career ladder through professional development and coaching with a focus on the integration of technology into the curriculum. All Teacher Leaders have participated in peer coaching training provided by NYSUT. A cohort of Professional reading teachers are participating in the Wilson Level 1 Reading Program Certification training and course with a focus on high need/high risk students. In addition, Teacher Leaders K-12 host a “Teacher Studio”, where model lessons are collaboratively planned and delivered for colleagues, and then evaluated using the district-adopted Danielson rubric.   

Equitable Access

The district has identified its most effective teachers to coach their peers and provide job-embedded professional development and support to ensure that all teachers have access to effective teaching practices. Common language, assessment, practice, and high expectation is being spread throughout the district to reflect a shared goal of increased rigor and accountability.              

Other Areas of Focus

Other Areas of Focus Local Educational Agency (LEA) Efforts
Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)

Principal Leaders developed a toolkit for the district to provide concrete examples that exemplify highly effective instruction.  Teachers participating in Teacher Studio spend time reviewing, analyzing and applying the Danielson rubric to their colleagues’ lessons to ensure inter-rater reliability.  

College and Career Readiness Standards in ELA and Math

The implementation of the college and career readiness standards has been supported through this grant through the creation of curriculum guides, pacing calendars, and instructional resources, as well as through the development of sample exemplary lessons that are available on-line, creation of common assessments, collaborative close studies of the standards, job-embedded professional development and attendance at conferences.

Evidence-Based Instruction

Teacher and Principal Leaders have created common college and career ready standards-aligned assessments. The data from these common assessments is analyzed and used to provide professional development and individualized teacher support, as well as to inform instructional decisions for students.  As a result of the common assessments and data analytics, there has been increased collaboration between principals, Teacher Leaders, and the teaching staff.

High Need Students

Teacher Leaders have provided differentiated professional development, coaching, and mentoring to Special Education (SpEd) and English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers along with support in curriculum modification which has resulted in improved instruction.  In addition, K-2 Teacher Leaders worked with the Teq company to revise reproducibles to make them more user friendly (e.g., larger font, more spacing, examples on every page, interactive SmartBoard lessons) for ESL students. A cohort of Professional reading teachers are participating in the Wilson Level 1 Reading Program Certification training and course, and are working 1:1 with high needs/high risk students and receiving 1:1 coaching through the program.

Parent Engagement

Teacher and Principal Leaders have organized and conducted parent workshops. In addition, the district has initiated a video on demand project where Teacher Leaders are being recorded teaching college and career ready standards-aligned lessons. These videos are available for parents on-line (see Resources section, below, for a link to these videos).

Areas of Impact

The Deer Park Union Free 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. 

Areas of Impact

Initial Student Impact
  • 500+ parents participated in the Common Core Math Night with positive feedback from parents and teachers.
  • Teachers have noticed an improvement in students' abilities to succeed with formative assessments that reflect the more rigorous work of the college and career readiness standards in both literacy and mathematics.
  • Teachers are learning, collaborating and using time more effectively, allowing them to identify student need better.   The district is reporting higher levels of student engagement as well as more uniform expectations and increased rigor as a result of collaboration and common materials and assessments. 
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • 25 primary teachers participated in the turnkey training with the math manipulatives.
  • All Teacher Leaders have participated in a 2 day/15 hour peer coaching course through NYSUT. 50 teachers have participated in the Teacher Studio and Peer Coaching as a result of this training.
  • 200 teachers have participated in training or coaching directly with the Technology and Teacher Leader coaches or have benefitted from turnkey training
  • The grant has provided teachers with best practice methodologies to gain knowledge in the college and career readiness standards, and has provided the opportunity for curriculum and resource development, professional development, collaborative planning, coaching and mentoring.

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 Career Ladder Pathway

Teacher Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Teacher
  • Be mentored and participate in district initiatives. 
  • Will be briefed on the career ladder rungs and will be expected to participate in activities supported by coordinators and coaches.
N/A

2

Professional Teacher
  • Professional teachers can apply for coaching opportunities (Teacher Leaders) in Common Core content areas based on their level of expertise in those content areas.    
N/A

273

Teacher Leader

Teacher Leader 

  • Teacher Leaders develop exemplary curricular materials and provide turnkey training, mentoring and coaching through release time.

Technology Coach  

  • The Technology Coach will coordinate instructional technology curriculum writing projects, support the use of instructional technology in prek-12th grade classrooms, participate in training workshop/s and provide turnkey training, support teacher and parent curriculum resource development,  demonstrate model lessons for colleagues, participate in teacher studio and attend collegial circle meetings. These activities will support the development of teachers at all levels of the Teacher Leader Continuum.

Coordinator/Coach 

  • The Teacher Leader Coordinator/Coach will assist with management of the STLE grant, coordinate teacher leader professional development and curriculum writing projects, participate in training workshop/s, provide turnkey training, support curriculum resource development, demonstrate model lessons for colleagues, participate in teacher studio & attend collegial circle meetings.
Teacher Leader: $2,000 annual stipend; Technology Coach: .6 FTE; Coordinator/Coach: 1.0 FTE

Teacher Leader: 45; Technology Coach: 1 (part-time); Coordinator/Coach: 2 (part-time)

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • Novice principals may take on a leadership or coordination of a building level project, extending beyond original responsibilities.              
To be determined by the number of hours and the scope of work of the project. 0
Professional Principal
  • Professional principals can take responsibility for multi-school projects and activities.
To be determined by the number of hours and the scope of work of the project. 2
Principal Leader
  • Princpal Leaders may be responsible for the design and implementation of programs of district-wide impact.
Annual stipend not to exceed $2,000 3

Sharing the Work   The Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grant has resulted in the development and sharing of a wide variety of tools, tips, and resources. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have been highlighted for their work through various media outlets and NYSED videos, and have also created tools and resources that are available to the field.

Resources

  • Select Deer Park Teacher Leaders participated in a Video on Demand project creating informative videos about the college and career readiness standards-aligned work in action in the classrooms for staff, parents and students.  In addition, as a part of Deer Park’s parent engagement outreach, Teacher and Principal Leaders have led in-person presentations to the community on topics such as an “Introduction to the Common Core”. These videos and presentations are intended to serve a multitude of purposes: to share best instructional practices with colleagues, to allow students to review instruction again, and to help parents understand the 'what' and 'how' of instructional practice in the district.
  • The New York State Career Ladder Pathways Toolkit, a new, interactive, web-based toolkit that includes profiles of adaptable career ladder pathways models, resources, and best practices to help address the five common talent management challenges that contribute significantly to equitable access , resources that will help LEAs implement the Department’s recommended framework and steps to design and implement robust career ladder pathways.
  • To learn more about the Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE)  grant program and to access additional resources for career ladder pathways visit: EngageNY: Improving Practice Landing Page

The Office of Teacher/Principal Quality & Professional Development invites you to submit tools and resources to STLE@nysed.gov that will further help the field, including but not limited to: gap analysis templates, career ladder pathway design principles, communication plans, description of sample roles and responsibilities, tools that help gauge the return on investment and strategies for program evaluation. 

Local Media

We encourage you to continue to contribute to the on-going conversation on Twitter by sharing your work using #STLE.