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Lockport City 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

Prior to the Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) 2 grant, the Lockport City School District had no formal career ladder pathways for teachers and principals. Lockport was determined to strengthen its Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) continuum by developing and implementing robust career ladder pathways for the most effective teachers and principals, thereby increasing student achievement and attracting and retaining top talent. 

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Lockport’s career ladder pathways for both teachers and principals support and encourage teamwork and collaboration, as well as provide opportunities for professional growth and leadership. Though discrete activities such as professional development had been taking place in the district before STLE 2, these activities had not yet been integrated into the TLE continuum, informed by data and with measurable goals. Training was offered for teachers on the career ladder to develop coaching skills and evidence-based strategies to support the development and retention of professional colleagues. 

Lockport identified problems of practice surrounding their high need students, and sought to address student performance by selecting and training STEM coaches and developing a rigorous STEM curriculum through their partnership with Niagara University; to select and train Literacy coaches to work with teachers supporting the ELA college and career readiness standards with an emphasis on at-risk students; to select and train Mentor Teachers to provide job-embedded professional development focused on the college and career readiness standards; and to select a teacher to create a bridge between Niagara University’s Teacher Education program and Lockport’s mission to prepare students for  college and careers. 

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Promising Practice

  • Master Teacher Leaders in STEM and ELA co-teach, model lessons, and provide job-embedded professional development for their colleagues
  • STEM Coaches have created portable STEM labs for all K-4 buildings and have trained teachers on how to use these labs.
  • Building-based data teams meet monthly to review data, analyze gaps and discuss ways to inform instruction to address the gaps found.
  • Literacy Coaches have created a video for classroom teachers to help them visualize and to understand how the classroom teacher and the Reading Specialist can work together to implement join-in Tier Two Interventions for Response to Intervention (RtI) purposes

Sustainability

The Lockport City School District intends to sustain some Teacher and Principal Leader positions through Title II dollars after the end of the grant period is over. 

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

  • 20 Curriculum Mentors (Professional Teachers) directly impact 392 teachers which impact 4,747 students.
  • 5 Teacher Leaders directly impact 392 teachers which impact 4,747 students
  • 3 Principal Leaders directly impact 9 principals and 392 teachers which impact 4,747 students.

Areas of Focus

The Lockport City School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of of developing, retaining and providing equitable access to 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 STLE grant has made a significant impact throughout the district. With the assistance of the career ladder pathway teachers, the STEM program in the 7/8 building is thriving. Literacy Coaches have provided job-embedded professional development in K-12 classrooms across the disciplines.  Teachers have attended professional development sessions on the Common Core modules in ELA and mathematics at Erie 1 BOCES and, as a result, are finding the implementation of the modules not as daunting. 

Retention

Prior to the STLE grant, Lockport had no formal career ladder pathways for teachers and principals and intended to increase student academic achievement by attracting and retaining talented teachers with the implementation of a robust and dynamic career ladder. Lockport created a structure incorporating professional development being integrated into a comprehensive Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) continuum where teachers and principals are recognized and compensated for their excellence with increased roles and responsibilities that impact classrooms and instruction district-wide (e.g. $3,000 stipend Lead STEM Curriculum Mentor, $1,500 stipend Principal Leader). 

Equitable Access

The grant has allowed Lockport to have Teacher Leader positions in each of the district’s 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.

Other Areas of Focus

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

Lockport continues to use multiple aspects of the APPR process to identify what its teachers need most.  Targeted, ongoing and job-embedded professional development is offered through mentors and teacher leaders as a result.  Professional development is offered on an individual and group basis depending on need in an effort to support and build capacity of the teachers within the district.

Evidence-Based Instruction

Each month, building-based data teams meet regularly to review data, find gaps and discuss ways to inform instruction to help "fill" the gaps found. Before the implementation of the STLE grant, students in grades 3-8 just met or underperformed students state-wide on the NYS assessments in ELA and math. After the implementation of the grant with its career ladder component and targeted professional development, an increase in both ELA and math assessments was evidenced in June 2014. The district is hoping to see an even greater increase in these state assessment scores in June 2015.

Parent Engagement

Two Teacher Leaders, with the help of many other teachers, teaching assistants, and parents hosted a "Family Literacy Night". Graduate students from Niagara University joined hands with these teachers, parents and staff and hosted "centers” throughout the gymnasium which engaged students and their parents in literacy activities.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

The STEM Coach and STEM Curriculum Mentor are helping classroom teachers incorporate STEM projects as a part of the implementation of the curriculum modules and have also created portable STEM labs for all K-4 buildings.  In addition, the STEM Coach and STEM Curriculum Mentor are designing lessons and implementing STEM projects in grades K-3 and 5-6. 

Areas of Impact

The Lockport City 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 9% for all students, 3% for students with disabilities, 8% for economically disadvantaged students and an average of 7% for minority students from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
  • Increased the graduation rate for all students by 8%, for students with disabilities by 30% and for economically disadvantaged students by 21% 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.
  • The district reports that teachers and teacher leaders feel valued, and that teachers are taking the initiative to offer their expertise to colleagues.  The value is not necessarily because of extrinsic motivation (i.e., stipends), but has become much more intrinsic and related to an increased credibility from their peers.  

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
  • Roles and responsibilities consistent with classroom teacher
  • Will share at least one lesson at a faculty meeting that demonstrates implementation of the CCLS instructional shifts 
N/A

5

Professional Teacher

Curriculum Mentor:

  • Mentor teachers who received a rating of D/I and/or new teachers and/or interested veteran teachers in the areas of Math and ELA/Literacy
  • Attend bi-weekly mentor/mentee meetings
  • Attend PD targeted to mentoring

Lead Literacy Curriculum Mentor:

  • Leads Literacy Curriculum Mentor Teachers in the area of Literacy
  • Facilitates PD pertaining to Literacy Coaching
  • Co-teaches with Literacy Curriculum Mentors to help facilitate learning in Literacy Coaching

Lead STEM Curriculum Mentor:

  • Leads Math Curriculum Mentor Teachers in the area of STEM
  • Facilitates PD pertaining to STEM
  • Co-teaches with mentors to help facilitate learning in STEM

Coordinating Teacher:

  • Works as a liaison between Lockport and participating Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) to better prepare IHE pre-service teachers and Lockport “host” teachers
  • Leads professional development on edTPA 2014 requirements
Curriculum Mentor: $1,200 stipend; Lead Literacy Curriculum Mentor: $3,000 stipend; Lead STEM Curriculum Mentor: $3,000 stipend; Coordinating Teacher: $1,500 stipend

Curriculum Mentor: 4; Lead Literacy Curriculum Mentor: 8; Lead STEM Curriculum Mentor: 8; Coordinating Teacher: 1

Teacher Leader

Master Teacher - Literacy Coach:

  • Coaches his/her peers to improve instructional delivery
  • Plays significant role in professional development and coaching
  • Co-teaches and models lessons
  • Trains to assess teacher performance

Master Teacher - STEM Coach:

  • Coaches his/her peers to improve instructional delivery
  • Plays significant role in professional development and coaching
  • Co-teaches and models lessons
  • Trains to assess teacher performance
1.0 FTE Salary

Literacy Coach: 4; STEM Coach: 1

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • Opens school for visitation
  • Contributes resources (e.g., video and electronic) to resource library
One additional professional development day outside of the available professional development days in current principal contract 0
Professional Principal
  • Opens school for visitation
  • Leads year-long lesson study or other professional development
  • Contributes resources (e.g., video and electronic) to resource library
  • Conducts community workshops to inform on current education topics
Two additional professional development days outside of the available professional development days in current principal contract 0
Principal Leader
  • Instructional Leadership of teacher representatives K-12 to help align curriculum to college and career readiness standards in ELA and math at both elementary and secondary levels
$1,500 annual stipend STEM K-8: 1; ELA/Writing K-6 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

  • In this Introduction to STLE webinar, Lockport City School District shares all relevant information on the STLE grant and the implementation process within the district.  Included in this webinar are career ladder pathway position descriptions for both teachers and principals, as well as all relevant timelines for the completion of work.  This may be useful to LEAs looking for examples of how to succinctly message the work of career ladder pathways, or of grant implementation in general, to relevant stakeholder groups. 
  • As a part of their career ladder pathways, Lockport created the position of Master Teacher – Literacy Coach.  In this presentation, the Literacy Coach details what literacy coaching is and what coaches do on a daily basis for colleagues and stakeholders that may be new to this model of embedded professional development. 
  • 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

  • Watch Lockport City School District educators reflect on the STLE grant in this video, as they answer the following questions: What impact did I make as a result of my involvement with the STLE grant? What impact did the STLE grant have on my teaching and learning?
  • In these Teaching Vignettes, Lockport City School District shares the work of their career ladder pathway teacher leaders and the impact that this work is having on the collaboration and teamwork within the classroom. 

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