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Gates Chili Central 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 Gates Chili Central School District recognizes the critical role that high-quality teachers and school leaders have on student achievement.  To that end, Gates Chili envisions a Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) continuum that attracts the finest candidates, holds teachers and school leaders accountable, provides differentiated support to improve performance, uses data systems effectively to monitor progress and offers opportunities for advancement along a career ladder from novice to leader ensuring that all students in the district are equipped with 21st century skills and graduate prepared to enter college and meaningful careers.

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In the 2011-2012 school year, Gates Chili underwent an extensive School Quality Review (SQR) process. A major recommendation that came out of the SQR process was that the district institute a professional development program centered on differentiation of instruction to support at-risk students – students with disabilities (SWD), English language learners (ELL) and students in poverty. Student data from these subgroups revealed achievement gaps in both ELA and Math at all grade levels. As a result of the funding secured through the first Strengthening Teacher Leadership Effectiveness (STLE) Grant, Gates Chili was able to offer targeted professional development on differentiated instruction and teaching students who live in poverty. During the STLE 3 application process, Gates Chili was finishing the process of redistricting 4 elementary attendance zones. The redistricting of the attendance zones was aimed at helping to balance the student populations among the buildings and also on creating a second site for the ELL program currently housed in one location.  The changes to the attendance zones required the district to shift some elementary staff, balancing the number of effective or highly effective teachers in each building. As part of that process, Gates Chili revised its teacher leadership structure. Through the STLE 3 grant, the district maintained previous created positions enhancing some positions duties to include the task of transitioning new students, families and staff members that enter the building as a result of their redistricting process. 

The STLE grants have helped Gates Chili provide quality professional development to their teachers and administrators.  Opportunities have been focused on developing a deeper understanding of content standards, assessment development and use and instructional strategies focused on college and career readiness standards, differentiation, understanding poverty and responsive teaching. 

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Promising Practice

  • Quality professional development  opportunities have been focused on developing a deeper understanding of content standards, assessment development and use and instructional strategies focused on college and career ready standard shifts, differentiation, understanding poverty and responsive teaching.
  • The district has developed and implemented its action plan to enhance curriculum and assessments.  This includes identifying rigor as the organizing theme of the work and collaboratively developing and communicating a district definition of rigor.
  • Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) in Gates Chili have, or are working towards, their administrative certificate and have the same roles and responsibilities of an Assistant Principal except supervision and evaluation of teachers. 

Sustainability

The Gates Chili Central School District's Board of Education, Superintendent and Business Official have committed to sustaining the programs and personnel related to career ladder pathways through collective bargaining and inclusion in the proposed budget for 2015-16.

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

  • 7 Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) directly impact 357 teachers which impact 4,080 students.
  • 2 Professional Principals directly impact 4 principals, 11 assistant principals and 357 teachers which impact 4,080 students.

Areas of Focus

The Gates Chili Central School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of developing and providing equitable access to the most effective educators through their career ladder pathway model. 

Common Talent Management Challenges

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

The grant has increased the district’s capacity to provide professional growth to teachers and administrators this year. Offerings continue to focus on meeting the needs of at-risk learners (both students with disabilities [SWD] and English language learners [ELL]) through trainings on differentiated instruction, development of the writing curriculum and understanding Lucy Caulkins’ Units of Study, and meeting the needs of students living in poverty. In addition, Gates Chili  offers professional development focused on increasing rigor in its curriculum assessment and instructional practices.  Additionally, the district has increased its ability to offer quality professional development and time with national consultants Cheryl Dobbertin and Giselle Martin-Kniep.

Equitable Access

The grant has allowed Gates Chili to have Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) positions in each of the elementary buildings in an effort to build capacity of the existing teacher population to ensure that the district makes certain that all its students have equal access to its best teachers and principals.  Specifically, the district is working to reduce an achievement gap between subgroups, specifically English language learners (ELL), economically disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities (SWD) compared to the general education subgroup.  The role of both Teacher and Principal Leaders has included analyzing these achievement gaps and providing professional development opportunities for teachers that focus on these subgroups.

Other Areas of Focus

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

Through the evaluation system the district created a common language to discuss effective teaching and leadership practices. The district’s teachers received training on the NYSUT rubric and Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). The district’s administrators participated in professional development activities to increase administrators understanding of the NYSUT rubric and the Multidimensional Principal Performance Rubric and to calibrate supervision evaluation practices.  In addition, the building principals worked with the Coordinator of Professional Development and Teacher Leaders to provide a variety of professional development opportunities from modeling and coaching, staff meetings, grade level and content area meetings as well as district offerings based on needs of individual teachers and principals identified through the APPR process at Gates Chili. 

College and Career Readiness Standards in ELA and Math

A teacher on special assignment (TOSA) works as an Elementary Instructional Specialist to assist in the implementation of the Common Core English Language Arts modules in a cohesive and consistent manner throughout the district. Gates Chili also continued their work with Cheryl Dobbertin by having her work with administrators in differentiation and college and career ready standards and assist in ensuring implementation of differentiated instruction and alignment to college and career ready standards in all classrooms. 

Evidence-Based Instruction

A teacher on special assignment (TOSA) works as an Assessment and Data Specialist to provide professional development around data driven instruction and work with the district’s collaborative inquiry teams to enhance their practice.

High Need Students

Gates Chili has been able to use grant funds to focus on closing the achievement gap between subgroups; specifically economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities compared to the general education subgroup.  The achievement of this targeted student group has been a concern for some time, and the grant has increased the capacity of the district to provide professional growth to teachers and administrators this year. Offerings continue to focus on meeting the needs of at-risk learners (SWD and ELL) through trainings on differentiated instruction, development of writing curriculum and understanding Lucy Caulkins’ Unit of Study, and meeting the needs of students living in poverty. In addition, Gates Chili offers professional development focused on increasing rigor in curriculum assessment and instructional practices.

Parent Engagement

Gates Chili is leveraging the expertise of their Professional Teachers by offering mini-courses to parents and community members on relevant topics such as college and career ready standards in ELA and math, curriculum modules, the Math Investigations Program and strategies to assist with homework completion. 

Areas of Impact

The Gates Chili 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

Areas of Impact

Initial Student Impact
  • Increased the percentage of students that demonstrated proficiency on New York State Grades 3-8 Math Assessments by 6% for all students, 3% for students with disabilities, 5% for economically disadvantaged students and an average of 5% for minority students from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
  • Increased the graduation rate for all students by 5%, for students with disabilities by 6% and for economically disadvantaged students by 4% from 2013 to 2014.
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • Increased percent of teachers scoring Effective or Highly Effective on State Provided Growth ratings by 26% from 2012-13 to 2013-14.

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
  • Teachers who voluntarily participate in professional development, curriculum writing and district or building committees.
Range of $225 - $265 annual stipend

168

Professional Teacher
  • Offer Professional Development on a Building or District level
  • Mentor
  • Write Curriculum
  • Present Parent Workshops
Range of $600.00 (providing professional development) – $1,500 (mentor) annual stipend

45

Teacher Leader

Teacher on Special Assignment:

  • Roles and responsibilities consistent with a building and District administrator. Four TOSAs function as Assistant Principals and have the same roles and responsibilities of an Assistant Principal except supervision and evaluation of teachers. Three TOSAs work with other teacher leaders and administrators on developing and enhancing curriculum and assessments through gap analysis and action planning.
$4,000 annual stipend

7

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • Principal participating in a professional learning community or leading professional development in their building outside of school day.           
$300 annual stipend 1
Professional Principal
  •  Participate in a professional learning community, lead professional development in their building outside of school day or mentor new principals.
Range of $300 - $1,500 (mentoring) annual stipend 2
Principal Leader
  • Participate in a professional learning community, lead professional development in their building outside of school day,mentor new principals. or lead district-wide professional development.
Range of $300 - $1,500 (mentoring) annual stipend 0

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

  • The Rigor definition and checklist was designed to ensure consistency in expectation across the district.  This tool can be used to evaluate the rigor and relevance of individual lesson and unit plans.  Each subcomponent on the checklist is aligned with the Quality School Rubric and NYSUT Teacher Practice Rubric and is focused on student centered inquiry that develops higher order thinking skills through authentic learning experiences. 
  • Gates Chili’s Curriculum Template is used to help teachers with unit plan development and provides a framework to ensure lesson and unit plans are tied to strong instructional practice. The template assists teachers with the development of strong connections between the enduring understandings and essential questions as well as key topics, concepts, skills, and desired outcomes.
  • As a part of their career ladder pathway responsibilities, Professional principals mentor new administrators.  The Gates Chili Administrator Mentoring Agreement provides a framework for implementing an administrator mentoring program including a clearly defined purpose and goals, and is helpful boilerplate language for LEAs looking to implement a similar program..
  • 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

  • The following presentations to the Board of Education were prepared and presented by STLE-funded Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA).  The TOSA (Teacher Leaders) identified through STLE were intimately involved in the work completed through the district’s Teaching is the Core grant and highlight how the district took a systemic approach to improving educational outcomes for students leveraging different resources from across the district to fulfill the unified vision for continuous improvement.

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