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Greece 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 Envision Greece 2017 strategic plan, developed through a partnership amongst district administration, Board of Education members, union representatives, faculty, and community members in 2011-12, focuses on three priorities: evidence-based instruction, aligning curriculum with the college and career ready standards, and improving teacher and leader effectiveness to close achievement gaps and increase graduation rates.

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In 2011-12, when the district first applied for STLE 1, there was a need district-wide for effective strategies to accelerate student growth and close gaps in achievement.

Targeted, job-embedded professional development in all schools was identified as the most effective way to ensure that the highest need students have access to the most effective teachers. Greece viewed the implementation of the Teacher Leader Effectiveness (TLE) continuum, with an emphasis on career ladder pathways, as critical to ensuring that all students graduate on time with the 21st Century skills needed to be college and career ready.

Through STLE, Greece has continued to support the implementation of a career ladder for teachers and principals. Teacher Leaders, Lead Principals, and a Turnaround Initiatives Principal work collaboratively and side-by-side with classroom teachers and school leaders to support district-wide implementation of college and career ready standards, evidence-based instruction, and Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). Greece's initiatives under STLE provide for release time and stipends for Teacher Leaders, Lead Principals, and the Turnaround Initiatives Principal.  In addition, all educators receive aligned, purposeful professional development to develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to reach district goals.

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Promising Practice

  • Developed a strategic plan that defines goals and strategies to improve performance and measures the effectiveness of academic programs and operational systems on an annual basis.
  • Involved a wide-range of stakeholders to ensure that all programs and actions are strategically aligned with district goals to close the achievement gap and ensure that all students graduate from high school and are college and career ready.
  • Developed and implemented a refined recruitment and selection process for career ladder positions to ensure the highest quality Teacher and Principal Leaders.
  • Clearly defined and aligned professional development expectations for Teacher and Principal Leaders as well as all District Office staff to focus squarely on closing achievement gaps and ensuring equity and access to quality schools and programs.
  • Created a labor management partnership consisting of teachers, building leaders, and district office administrators focusing on teaching quality, professional learning, and collaborative structures and practices that support local reform initiatives.
  • Trained the School Improvement Team to analyze data and improve student performance and reprioritized district office supports to better meet the unique needs of buildings.

Sustainability

  • New contract language was approved regarding Teacher and Principal Career Ladder Pathways and will be included in the new Greece Teacher Association (GTA) and Greece Administrators and Supervisors Association (GASA) agreements.
  • The district built capacity to fund the positions over the course of the two year grant period by building unallocated/unfilled positions into the annual budget, improving staff utilization through efficient master scheduling and securing a teacher contact resulting in savings which were reallocated to sustain this priority initiative. 

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.

Greece CSD Area of Focus Graphic

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

  • 30 Teacher Leaders directly impact 1,076 teachers which impact 11,442 students
  • 4 Principal Leaders directly impact 13 principals which impact 796 teachers which impact 7,890 students
  • 1 Turnaround Initiative Principal directly impacts 4 principals which impact 357 teachers which impact 4,595 students

Areas of Focus

The Greece Central School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of recruiting, developing, retaining, 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
Recruitment

Greece created the position of Turnaround Initiative Principal, with a salary of $140,000, to hire a school leader responsible for ensuring that other principals across the district develop the skills needed to maximize their influence on student outcomes, more efficiently use resources, improve job satisfaction, and increase retention of high performing teachers.  In addition, Greece developed and implemented a refined recruitment and selection process for career ladder pathway positions to help ensure the highest quality Teacher and Principal Leaders. Qualifications for the positions include demonstrated capacity to accelerate achievement with the lowest performing students, at least five years of successful classroom experience, at least three years of Effective or Highly Effective evaluation ratings, and demonstrated leadership skills. To maximize the effectiveness of this initiative, Teacher Leaders are expected to serve in the role for three to five years.

Development

Greece partnered with the New York City Leadership Academy (NYCLA) to implement an annual summer leadership academy and standards-based teacher leadership program to address the need for robust and systematic leadership development absent prior to STLE. Throughout the year, Teacher Leaders spend part of the day teaching the lowest performing students and provide job-embedded professional development to their peers for the remainder of the day, engaging them in critical and targeted reflection on ways to best support continuous professional growth and increased student achievement.

Retention

Prior to the STLE grant, analysis showed that Greece was losing effective, experienced teachers and principals to other districts that offered career advancement opportunities. GCSD 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., $3,000 stipend for Teacher Leaders, $4,000 stipend for Principal Leaders, and an additional $6,000 stipend for the Turnaround Initiative Principal). 

Equitable Access

Teacher Leader positions provide opportunities for highly skilled teachers to share their expertise with their colleagues while continuing to teach part-time to ensure that the lowest performing students have access to the most effective educators.  Blended online learning opportunities have allowed students to recover credits at higher rates.  The Turnaround Initiative Principal mentors all Novice Principals for their first two years, and provides intensive coaching for any principal rated lower than Effective on his/her annual evaluation or any principal leading schools identified as falling below district expectations.

Other Areas of Focus

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

Greece’s APPR Teacher Leaders assist and support teachers (and principals) in implementing the evaluation system. They meet with K-12 building principals to review their buildings’ current status, identify emerging needs, and identify action steps with regard to the integration of APPR implementation, professional learning community (PLC) implementation, and teacher leadership. In addition, Teacher Leaders attended the NYSUT Educator Academy to gain a deeper understanding of the APPR process.

College and Career Readiness Standards in ELA and Math

As part of their roles and responsibilities in Greece, Teacher Leaders assist colleagues in implementing curriculum aligned with the college and career ready standards, using technology, and evidence-based strategies. They serve as a resource for staff across multiple buildings by providing information and training on research-based best practices, increasing access to appropriate resources, and conducting action research as needed.

Evidence-Based Instruction

Four district-based Teacher Leaders attended the Learning Forward Conference in Nashville, TN, where they participated in sessions hosted by national leaders in the field on the collection of data, data analysis, and data-driven instruction. Greece also utilized the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)/United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Center for School Improvement to conduct School Improvement Team training to build the capacity of these groups to analyze data and improve student performance. This work led to a reprioritization of district office supports to better meet the needs of particular buildings.

Dissemination of Promising Practice

Through STLE-D Greece has established itself as a Technical Assistance Center, offering four 1-day visitations, and two 2-day convenings that allow other school districts to learn about their labor-management collaboration, observe the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Continuum in action, and receive professional development in design thinking. Partners are supported in the implementation of the Regents Reform Agenda –college and career ready standards, evidence-based instruction, and APPR –and are guided in the use of design thinking to advance innovation in practice.

Areas of Impact

The Greece 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
  • Strategies developed using the Public Education Leadership Project  (PELP) Coherence Framework coupled with the district’s strategic plan for improved performance have contributed to an increased number of students meeting proficiency in  Grades 3-8 Math by 4% between 2012-13 and 2013-14.
  • Cohesive efforts and a strategic plan with defined goals and strategies to improve performance have also helped reduce the number of student subgroups, by measure, where the district did not meet AYP from 11 in 2011-12 to 4 in 2012-13.
  • Credits recovered through blended online learning opportunities have increased by 60% in the first quarter of 2014-15 compared to the previous year.
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • Restructuring of roles increased the percent of Highly Effective and Effective educators working with the highest need students. Teacher Leaders spend 50% of their time working specifically in high need areas.
  • The shift from grade level and department meetings to Professional Learning Communities has increased time spent in evidence-based analysis and action by 30%.
  • Embedded professional development (PD) provided by Teacher Leaders has accounted for 50-75% of the PD experiences in schools.
  • By creating a structure involving intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, as well as formal and informal recognition, 100% of Principal and Teacher Leaders have been retained in leadership roles in the district through career ladder pathways.

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
Teacher with No Previous Teaching Experience
  • Classroom teacher
  • Participate in mandatory new teacher induction prior to their first school year and receive two years of formal mentoring
  • Encouraged to earn Masters' degrees and are eligible for tuition reimbursement
  • Advance to Novice Teacher when s/he has two years of experience and has received at least one Effective (E) or Highly Effective (HE) rating in the past two years
No stipend provided. Compensated according to current contractual agreement.

39

Novice Teacher
  • At least two years of experience as a classroom teacher and at least one year of E/HE rating in the past two years
  • Classroom teacher
  • Receives instructional support from Teacher Leaders
  • Responsible for reviewing and responding to student performance every three weeks as a part of the school and department Professional Learning Community (PLC) process 
No stipend provided. Compensated according to current contractual agreement.

64

Professional Teacher
  • At least two years of E/HE rating in the past four years
  • Novice Teacher roles and responsibilities
  • May be a member of the School Improvement Team
  • May provide professional development
  • May serve on Curriculum Writing and other district committees
  • May become a coordinating teacher for student teacher placements
  • May teach summer school and other tutorial classes
No stipend provided. Compensated according to current contractual agreement.

872

Teacher Leader

Elementary, Secondary, and APPR/Data Coach Teacher Leaders:

  • At least three years of E/HE rating in the past five years
  • Professional Teacher roles and responsibilities
  • Serve emerging needs of classroom teachers as defined by classroom teachers
  • Provide professional development and coaching for colleagues to improve student achievement
  • Serve on District Leadership Development teams and on district improvement initiatives
  • Provide model classrooms, demonstration lessons for peers
  • Provide professional development for school leaders and district administrators as needed
$3,000 Stipend and compensation according to current contractual agreement.

PD Teacher Leader (Elementary): 10; PD Teacher Leader (Secondary): 16; APPR Teacher Leader: 4

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • At least one year of Effective (E) or Highly Effective (HE) rating in the most recent three years as a classroom teacher
  • At least one year of E/HE rating as a school building leader (SBL) in the past three years
  • Provide instructional leadership for building staff
  • Responsible for creating a data analysis and response process to monitor students by face and name and reviewing student data every three weeks as part of the school Professional Learning Community (PLC) process
  • Participate in monitoring weeklong Leadership Academy Induction Program prior to start of school year
  • Receive formal mentoring and coaching for first two years
No stipend provided. Compensated according to current contractual agreement. 5
Professional Principal
  • At least two years of E/HE rating as a school building leader (SBL) in the past three years
  • Provide instructional leadership for building staff
  • Responsible for knowing every student by face and name and reviewing student data every three weeks as a part of the school Professional Learning Community (PLC) process
  • Responsible for leading school improvement team and PLC development to close achievement gaps
No stipend provided. Compensated according to current contractual agreement. 13
Principal Leader
  • At least three years of E/HE rating as a school building leader (SBL) in the past five years
  • Professional Principal roles and responsibilities
  • Mentor new principals in their roles as instructional leaders aligned with EnVision Greece 2017 Strategic Plan
  • Responsible for participating on the District Leadership Development Team and other district improvement initiatives
  • Collaborate to design the annual Leadership Academy and Data Summit in alignment with achievement results
  • Serve on Superintendent's Principal Cabinet advising systems level analysis and decisions
  • Serve as a strong linkage for the Superintendent to the classroom
$4,000 stipend and compensated according to current contractual agreement. 4
Turnaround Initiative Principal
  • Must have at least five years of experience as a principal
  • At least three years of E/HE rating as a school building leader (SBL) in the past five years
  • Ensure principals develop skills to maximize their influence to close achievement gaps
  • Provide Novice Principals with PD in their initial two or three years
  • Provide coaching for principals rated lower than "Effective" on his/her evaluation and in schools identified as "falling below district expectations”
  • Increase retention of highly skilled principals, and in turn, teachers
  • Implement the District Focus School model
  • Respond to individual school needs and engage in system-wide models of professional learning
$6,000 stipend and compensated according to current contractual agreement 1

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

  • Explore The Development of Career Pathways in the Greece Central School District video collection to hear school leaders and educators from the Greece Central School District share the specific objectives they set out to reach with career ladder pathways, supported by an STLE grant. They outline their team approach, design thinking and future of innovation. In addition, you will hear about the challenges, messaging, turning points, and above all, you will see the conviction that this work is a long-term commitment in Greece, not a token effort. 
  • Greece Central School District hosted two We Teach 2 Lead Summits, supported by the STLE Dissemination Grant: Principal Leadership.  The purpose of these summits was to bring statewide educators together as a community of practice, and to provide information and technical assistance to LEA representatives interested in taking on similar work. To access materials shared at this conference, and to read more about the work Greece has accomplished over the past three years in developing Teacher Leaders, Principal Leaders, and District Level Leaders, please see: 
  • 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

  • Greece's Teacher Leaders In Action and Principal Leaders landing pages details the work of career ladder pathway participants in the district and showcases video clips of the work of both Teacher and Principal Leaders. 

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