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Huntington 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

Huntington Union Free School District developed career ladder pathways for teachers and building principals designed to utilize their expertise and reflective practices so that educators are able to adequately assess their performance and set personalized development goals accordingly.

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As a result of the STLE 1 and 2 grants, Huntington’s primary focus on external professional development shifted to the internal development of teacher leaders and their subsequent engagement in peer coaching, mentoring, and turnkey training.  The district’s Focus Walks, an informal and non-evaluative observation model, allow teacher leaders, serving as peer academic coaches, and administrators to visit classrooms across the district in an effort to identify aspects of instruction in need of improvement or fine-tuning and specific student needs. Through Focus Walks, the district has been able to provide support to teachers as they integrate college and career ready standards by identifying and sharing best practices, in addition to the development of targeted professional development. The district is seeing a significant shift in the way teachers are teaching and students are learning as evidenced by the analysis of practice collected through the use of digital observation tools and protocols.  Rather than the teacher-centered instruction observed in the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year, end of year results showed a significant increase in the number of lessons built around students interpreting academic vocabulary, writing arguments, reading closely, citing evidence, and determining central ideas of text. Huntington’s teacher and principal leaders, as well as their focus walk process, are critical systemic elements that ensure all students have equal access to high quality educators and work toward closing achievement gaps.

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Promising Practice

  • Coordinated and facilitated professional development to support teachers’ continuous learning and improvement of practices. 
  • Worked with teachers to develop effective lesson plans that incorporate the shifts in mathematical practices identified as key components of the college and career ready standards.
  • Utilized classroom walkthroughs across the district to ensure professional development activities offered by the district are meeting the needs of teachers.
  • Encouraged teachers to obtain National Board Certification. 
  • Developed a peer observation and mentoring model to promote collaboration and support teaching and learning throughout the district.

Sustainability

Huntington has used Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grants to fund the development and implementation of its career ladder pathways. The district is committed to sustaining grant-funded activities to the most significant extent possible, including the career ladder pathways.  The Superintendent will continue to address financial concerns through the standard budgetary process, Title IIA Grants, and partnerships with the district’s Teacher Center and local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).       

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

  • 12 Professional Teachers directly impact 100 teachers which impact 1,250 students
  • 16 Teacher Leaders directly impact 75 teachers which impact 1,000+ students
  • 1 Family Involvement Coordinator directly impacts 75 teachers which impact 1,000+ students 

Areas of Focus

The Huntington Union Free 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 Challenges

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

Before the STLE-funded initiatives began, the district depended heavily on external professional development resources and opportunities to meet many of their teacher and leader effectiveness needs.  This included the use of consultants, as well as promoting attendance at specific conferences, and engaging teachers in the National Board Certification process.  They found that generic professional development was often not relevant to a specific teacher’s or school’s needs. Huntington believes that ongoing, job-embedded, targeted professional development should be based on the district’s vision and their schools’ related learning goals for all students.  As such, professional development must meet the individual needs of teachers and be optimally tailored using the teacher’s Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) results and student outcome data. As a result of the STLE 1 and 2 grants, Huntington’s primary focus on external professional development shifted to the internal development of teacher leaders and their subsequent engagement in peer coaching, mentoring, and turnkey training.  It is Huntington’s objective to encourage their teacher leaders to pay it forward and help develop the next group of teacher leaders that may positively influence their peers in a similar manner – both formally and informally.

Retention

In response to the student achievement and talent management needs, the district designed career ladder pathways that provide significant and meaningful opportunities for career advancement; provide opportunities to develop and share expertise in a collegial and collaborative setting. Huntington 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., $3,500 stipend for Transitional Student Coaches, $2,000 stipend for Demonstration Teachers, and an additional $6,000 stipend for the Turnaround Initiative Principal).    

Equitable Access

Huntington is committed to providing every child with access to a well-prepared, highly effective teacher and principal in order to become college and career ready by the time they graduate from high school.  To achieve this end, the district continues to do everything within their means to provide teachers and leaders with the resources and support necessary to ensure that they and their students will be successful.  Huntington’s teacher and principal leaders and focus walk process are critical systemic elements to ensure all students have equal access to high quality educators and close achievement gaps. 

Other Areas of Focus

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

Huntington uses multiple measures to determine the types of professional development that should be offered to their teachers; APPR data is one tool used to pinpoint the professional development needs of staff by group.  The district uses data gathered through their Focus Walks and classroom observation tool, in conjunction with APPR data, to determine professional development needs and to identify individuals who may need more intensive support in a differentiated model of professional development.  

College and Career Readiness Standards in ELA and Math

As part of their roles and responsibilities in Huntington, the Demonstration Teachers present lessons used for coaching and mentoring teachers; these lessons have been inquiry based demonstration lessons to STEM school teachers to build their capacity, and secondary math, focus on teacher centered coaching strategies to promote student engagement, “heavy coaching” activities.  The district is also supporting a “Bridge” program that was instituted to meet the need of their English Language Learners, with wrap around support services that include an Elementary Math teacher and ESL teacher, providing instruction to students at varying levels of language acquisition as beginners in a safe and supportive learning environment. 

Evidence–Based Instruction

Before the STLE-funded initiatives began, Huntington found that systematic data analysis and interpretation of formative and summative data disaggregated by subgroup (especially for student identified subgroups) was not systematically shared in a comprehensive, consistent fashion among departments and across the district. Through the work of Focus Walks, aspects of instruction in need of improvement or fine tuning in line with the college and career readiness standards are being monitored. Based upon observations from these Focus Walks best practices are identified and shared out, specific to student need. During Focus Walks it was evidenced that explicit instruction about a vocabulary activity or word learning strategy was fully implemented 27% of time; and partially implemented 35% of time; SMART Board in use 74% of the time, technology in use by students only 17% of time and technology in use by teachers 66% of time (Fall 2014).

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

Curriculum and pedagogy was developed for district’s STEM magnet school, which also serves as a professional development hub for teachers in other buildings. The STEM Coach provides Inquiry Based demonstration lessons to STEM school teachers to build their capacity.   In addition, the Science Coordinator has been instrumental in helping to revamp of elementary science program to ensure alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards and college and career readiness standards.  The district has also made great strides towards an inquiry based Science program at the elementary level to ensure that their students develop key 21st century skills.

High Need Students

Huntington instituted the Bridge Program to meet the need of their English Language Learners (ELL), with wrap around support services that include an Elementary Math teacher and an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher who provide instruction to students at varying levels of language acquisition as beginners in a safe and supportive learning environment. 

Areas of Impact

The Huntington 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
  • Increased the percent of students demonstrating proficiency on New York State (NYS) Grades 3-8 Math state assessments by 4% from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
  • Increased proficiency in Grades 3-8 Math by 3% for English language learners and by 6% for economically disadvantaged students from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
  • Increased the percent of teachers rated Effective or Highly Effective by 15% from 2012-13 to 2013-14, for State-Provided Growth Ratings.
  • Curriculum developed for the district’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) magnet school, allocates an uninterrupted hour+ STEM block every day in which inquiry-based instruction and project-based learning experiences are implemented.
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • Twelve teachers are currently pursuing National Board Certification. Prior to the grant, only one teacher in the district had obtained National Board Certification.
  • At onset of Focus Walk process, targeted strategies were demonstrated in less than 20% of observed classes.  One year later, the percentage is greater than 50.
  • 100% of principals develop targeted annual action plans built around the district’s goals and mission. Professional principals serve as mentors to novice principals in more formalized and weekly programming than prior years.
  • Teacher leaders and professional teachers, more carefully selected than in previous years, are actively mentoring novice teachers.

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

Transitional Student Coach

  • Meet regularly with teachers of students who are "at risk" and develop individual student action plans.
  •  Work with students "at risk" of not completing their high school studies due to successive failures in grades 8-10.
  •  Monitor student progress and adjust action plans as needed to ensure that students remain on track and receive the individualized assistance they need.
  •  Provide career exploration opportunities that connect high school performance to college & career readiness
$3,500 stipend

1

Professional Teacher

Professional Transitional Student Coach

  •  Responsibilities of Novice Transitional Student Coach.
  •  Provide mentoring and support the growth and development of the Transitional Student Coach at the novice level.

CCLS/DDI Demonstration Teacher

  •  Work collaboratively with district coaches in math, ELA, science and other areas to develop lessons that incorporate college and career ready standards.
  •  Present demonstration lessons as part of the coaching and mentoring processes at all levels.
  •  Participate in debriefing sessions with district coaches in math, ELA, science and other areas as part of job-embedded professional development.
  •  Video-record classroom lessons that can be used for training purposes based on CCLS and guidelines provided by coaches.
  •  Ensure seamless alignment among the four domains of the adopted teacher evaluation rubric (Danielson 2011) and the mentoring process.

Parent University Coordinator:

  •  Develop Parent University workshops for parents that focus on developing parent knowledge on such items as the college and career ready standards (math and ELA).
Professional Transitional Student Coach: $3,500 stipend; CCLS/DDI Demonstration Teacher: $2,000 stipend; Parent University Coordinator: $2,000 stipend

Professional Transitional Student Coach: 1; CCLS/DDI Demonstration Teacher: 12; Parent University Coordinator: 1

Teacher Leader

Data Expert and Instructional Guide (Elementary/Secondary)

  • Provide professional development to teachers on the use of data to improve instructional practices.
  • Work with their peers to analyze results of interim assessments.
  • Make predictions on student outcomes based on data analysis.

Academic Discipline Coaches (Elementary/Secondary)

  • Collaborate with teams of teachers to develop 5-week action plans related to instruction and addressing individual student needs.
  • Monitor the integration of classroom instructional planning and student results on interim and summative assessments.
  • Monitor written curricula in Atlas Rubicon to ensure alignment with the college and career ready standards.
  • Provide intensive, ongoing and job-embedded professional development, demonstrating and modeling best instructional practices.

Elementary Science Coordinator

  • Manage and evaluate the district's elementary science program.
  • Align elementary science curriculum with assessments.
Data Expert and Instructional Guide (Elementary/Secondary): TBD; Academic Discipline Coaches (Elementary/Secondary): .4 FTE; Elementary Science Coordinator: $4,000 stipend

Data Expert and Instructional Guide (Elementary/Secondary): 9; Academic Discipline Coaches (Elementary/Secondary): 6; Elementary Science Coordinator: 1

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • Create building level action plans that align with district goals and objectives.
  • Work with teacher leaders to develop strategies and timelines for formative and summative data collection and analyses.  Use these analyses to inform instructional practices and to improve student learning.
  • Develop a range of opportunities for parent engagement and involvement, including events that take place at various times during the day, evening and school year.
  • Collaborate with other district principals to share best practices, and promote both horizontal and vertical articulation.
  • Formally and informally observe teachers; participate in the district focus walk process.
  • Continually promote the district's mission.
  • Lead pertinent professional development workshops for building staff throughout the year.

Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Staff Developer

  • Provide opportunities for training and articulation between Universal Pre-Kindergarten teaching staff and Kindergarten teachers at each of the district's primary 
Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Staff Developer: $1,500 stipend Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Staff Developer: 4
Professional Principal

Family Involvement Coordinator

  •  Assist in the development of a family-friendly school climate.
  •  Develop programs and activities designed to engage families in improving student achievement.
  •  Help administrators, teachers, staff and families develop strong partnerships; enhance communication between parents, families, and school staff.
  •  Develop and implement effective family involvement strategies and activities to empower students and their families.
  •  Take part in opportunities for professional development by attending meetings and training activities for family involvement coordinators; turnkey ideas and experiences.
  •  Participate in and support district activities and programs for families.
  •  Help to recruit partners to become part of the district's family involvement program and in the development of a cohesive school community.
Family Involvement Coordinator: $7,500 stipend Family Involvement Coordinator: 1
Principal Leader

Mentor for Teacher Leaders

  •  Create professional development sessions to train coaches on evidence-based instructional practices using interim, formative and summative assessment data acquired from AIMSweb, i-Ready, local and state assessment data.
  •  Use data from the BOCES Assessment Reporting System (BARS) to assist building principals in the development of their annual action plans with targets for student improvement and action items associated with closing achievement gaps among subgroups.
TBD 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

  • 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. 

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