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Ossining 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 Ossining Union Free School District pursued and was awarded three successive Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grants to increase the capacity of teachers and leaders through sustained professional learning experiences, so that they were better equipped to use data for responsive leadership and instruction, to engage in effective instructional practices, and to integrate the college and career ready standards. 

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It was the district’s goal that this increased capacity would cultivate a shared responsibility for English language learners (ELLs), students with disabilities (SWD), and other identified subgroups, as a means to close gaps in academic achievement.  The district focused significant efforts through STLE 1 on strengthening the quality of the district’s educators by engaging them in professional learning, emphasizing research-based best practices.  The professional development plan, implemented in collaboration with the Bank Street College of Education and several leading educational experts, includes embedded coaching and training on the Response to Intervention Model (RtI), the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) and best practices in instructional technology.  Teachers and leaders have received extensive training on the integration of college and career ready standards in the development of Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), and creating authentic performance-based assessments.  In addition, Ossining expanded its principal career ladder pathways under the STLE 1 grant to include a Lead Principal and a Leadership Candidate position.  Lead Principals, Highly Effective principals, as determined by Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), remain in their role as principal of a high-needs school and mentor, coach, and provide professional development to Novice Principals, administrative interns, and Leadership Candidates.  The Leadership Candidate position is designed to support and place candidates from within the district in leadership positions in partnership with the Future School Leaders Academy at Bank Street College of Education.  This partnership equips candidates with the broad-based school leadership skills and competencies needed for administrative roles.

Using the STLE 2 grant, Ossining added three additional roles to its teacher career ladder pathways, including a Professional Learning Associate, an Instructional Coach, and Teacher Coordinators.  The district also added two additional roles to its principal career ladder pathways, including an Instructional Leader to the Community and an Instructional Leader to Staff.  The Professional Learning Associate position provides an opportunity for novice teachers to collaborate with an experienced educator as they refine their teaching skills and begin to develop their teacher leadership capacity. Instructional Coaches, serving in a capacity that was previously successful in the district, provide embedded coaching in K-12 classrooms as well as work on curriculum modules and the integration of college and career ready standards. Teacher coordinators provide embedded coaching to their colleagues in science and world languages. The Instructional Leader to the Community and Staff positions allow district principals an opportunity to share their experience and skill with novice educators and community members.

Ossining’s teacher and principal leaders in career ladder pathways are having a positive impact on teaching and learning across the district.  In particular, all Leadership Candidates that graduated from the Future School Leaders Academy at Bank Street College of Education have been retained in administrative positions as a result of their participation in the program.  Once they transitioned into their new positions in the district, they received training and mentoring from a Lead Principal.  The districts career ladder pathways model has proved to be an effective system for developing the capacity of internal candidates for school leadership. 

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Promising Practice

  • Partnered with local higher education institutions dedicated to building teacher and principal leaders.
  • Involved a multitude of stakeholders to ensure that the district’s focus is aligned with community and district values.
  • Developed and implement a refined recruitment and selection process to ensure high quality teacher and principal leaders.
  • Clearly defined and aligned professional development expectations for teacher and principal leaders.

Sustainability

Ossining has used Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grants to fund the development and implementation of its career ladder pathways.  Ossining continues its resource development to ensure sustainability of the professional learning and career ladder components of STLE activities, including submitting letters of inquiry and grant proposals to funding entities as appropriate.       

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 Mentor Teachers directly impact 45 Professional Learning Associates which impact 2,650+ students
  • 3 Instructional Coaches directly impact 352 teachers which impact 4,400+ students
  • 3 Leadership Candidates directly impact 148 teachers which impact 2,085+ students
  • 2 Lead Principals directly impact 3 Leadership Candidates and 2 Novice Principals which impact 1,101+ students
  • 1 Instructional Leader for Staff directly impact 3 Leadership Candidates and 8 assistant principals which impact 4,400+ students

Areas of Focus

The Ossining Union Free School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of of preparing, 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
Preparation

The Leadership Candidate position (Teacher Leader) is designed to support and place candidates from within the district in leadership positions in partnership with the Future School Leaders Academy at Bank Street College of Education. This partnership equips candidates with the broad-based school leadership skills and competencies needed for administrative roles. 

Recruitment

Ossining 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. 

Development

The district’s 45 Professional Learning Associates receive mentoring and one-on-one coaching from the same number of Mentor Teachers. Ossining’s 3 Instructional Coaches provide professional learning experiences and embedded coaching for their colleagues in grades P-12. The district’s 2 Teacher Coordinators provide professional development and embedded coaching for teachers on use of evidence-based best practices in science and world languages.

Retention

Ossining’s teacher and principal leaders in career ladder pathways are having a positive impact on teaching and learning across the district. In particular, all Leadership Candidates that graduated from the Future School Leaders Academy at Bank Street College of Education have been retained in administrative positions as a result of their participation in the program. Once they transitioned into their new positions in the district, they received training and mentoring from a Lead Principal. The districts career ladder pathways model has proved to be an effective system for developing the capacity of internal candidates for school leadership.

Equitable Access

In addition to providing in-class support, the Instructional Coaches also provide professional development to new and early career teachers in an effort to enhance their capacity to effectively implement strategies and practices that will improve student achievement and produce positive student outcomes.

Other Areas of Focus

Other Areas of Focus Local Educational Agency (LEA) Efforts
College and Career Readiness Standards in ELA and Math

The Learner Center Initiatives consultant has provided professional development and support in the development of Common Core Integrated Year-long curriculum Units. Career Ladder opportunities are being provided to the Teacher Leaders who are designing, reviewing, and revising the Integrated Units of Study. They conduct grade level workshops to review the teacher-designed units and work with teacher colleagues to make revisions as necessary. The district also had Putnam-North Westchester with their High School mathematics teachers on the unpacking, reviewing, revising, and implementation of the new Common Core Regents Curriculum.

Innovative Practice

Through their work with PACE University Faculty, novice teachers and their mentors have had the opportunity to hone their pedagogical skills by working the Avatar Lab. This technology gives teachers a realistic experience of dealing with different students and learning styles in one classroom. The technology can also accommodate simulation for parent-teacher conferences and bilingual instruction.

Dissemination of Promising Practice

The Ossining Union Free School District is disseminating the increased capacity, leadership and management skills of its STLE principals to lead professional learning groups of non-STLE educators in Ossining and in two neighboring districts. Ossining STLE principals are leading professional learning groups of educators as a means to attain high levels of student success. The professional learning groups are focused on critical issues and evidence-based strategies to ensure educators have the knowledge and skills to implement initiatives with fidelity, and to also prepare them to support their peers as part of their professional learning plans. STLE principals are hosting professional development sessions and providing embedded coaching, as follows:

  • Training teacher leaders and administrators on the implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to support learning in a collaborative context.
  • Training a cohort of teacher leaders from the three districts on the use of the cognitive coaching approach as a means to critically and systematically examine instructional practice.
  • Developing a teacher community leaders stakeholder group to establish a community schools framework as a strategy for organizing resources around student success.
  • Creating a multi-district study group to collectively analyze the barriers the districts’ face in achieving the best educational outcomes for English language learners.
  • Developing cohorts of Ossining teacher leaders across disciplines who engage in activities to build their pedagogical strength, as well as their peer coaching, critical feedback and leadership skills. The STLE principals use the core content standards and the domains of the Framework for Teaching to guide teachers in developing curriculum modules, formative assessments and designing instruction that leads to improved outcomes.

Areas of Impact

The Ossining 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 Grades 3-8 Math Exams by 4% from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
  • 4 Instructional Leaders for the Community collaborated to implement a series of relevant workshops and meetings for approximately 75 parents of English language learners.
  • Newly integrated curriculum provides 100% of students access to quality instruction that reflects college and career ready standards and is differentiated for English language learners and students with special needs.
  • Increased the percent of Highly Effective and Effective educators by 3% from 2012-13 to 2013-14 to ensure students’ equitable access to excellent educators across district schools. 
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • 100% of Leadership Candidates that completed the Future Leaders Academy at Bank Street College through STLE have been retained in administrative positions in the district.
  • 100% of teachers participating in sustained professional development indicated that the sessions were helpful in developing quality curriculum and teaching new skills and strategies.
  • Seven teachers participated in technology integration training and served as “model classrooms” in the use of technology to promote content learning across disciplines, increase technology skills, and provide student opportunities to collaborate using technology.  
  • 100% percent of Novice Principals have developed comprehensive strategic building plans as a result of one-on-one mentoring with Lead Principals.

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

Professional Learning Associate:

  • Collaborate with Mentor Teachers to refine their teaching practice through the use of the TeachLive Avatar Lab and then share strategies and resources with peers.
$34.63 per hour for 10 hours

45

Professional Teacher

Mentor Teacher:

  • Provide one-on-one mentoring and coaching to first and second year teachers.
$1,500 stipend

45

Teacher Leader

Instructional Coaches:

  • Provide professional development and embedded coaching for teachers on use of evidence-based best practices (.75 FTE) while also providing direct instruction to students (.25 FTE).

Leadership Candidates:

  • Enroll in Future School Leaders Academy through Bank Street College.

Teacher Coordinators:

  • Provide professional development and embedded coaching for teachers on use of evidence-based best practices specifically in the area of science and world languages (responsibilities are in addition to teaching full course load). 
Instructional Coach: 75% FTE salary; Leadership Candidates: $7,000 tuition; Teacher Coordinator: $6,500 stipend

Instructional Coach: 3; Leadership Candidates: 3; Teacher Coordinator: 2

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal

Instructional Leader to the Community:

  • Plan and implement a series of workshops and learning sessions for support personnel and parents on school district educational policies.
$500 per session 4
Professional Principal

Instructional Leader for Staff:

  • Lead after-school study groups for Assistant Principals and Leadership Candidates focused on Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) domains and instructional best practices.
$2,500 stipend 1
Principal Leader

Lead Principals:

  • Responsible for peer mentoring and coaching of Novice Principals, Administrative Interns, and Leadership Candidates. 
$5,000 stipend 2

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 Teachscape Rubric of Instructional Specialists is a companion to the Danielson Framework for Teaching and is designed as an evaluation tool for Instructional Specialists.  This resource can be used by districts to assess the impact of educators serving in career ladder roles such as an Instructional Coach, a Curriculum Coordinator, and others whose focus is on supporting effective teaching and improved learning. This rubric also helps the district identify areas where instructional specialist may need additional professional development so they may better address the needs of educators within their school and district.
  • It is Ossining’s goal that the increased capacity of teachers and leaders through sustained professional learning experiences will cultivate a shared responsibility for English language learners, students with disabilities, and other identified subgroups, as a means to close gaps in academic achievement. This Dual Language Video, in both Spanish and English, highlights the many diverse learning experiences students have in Ossining, making the school to home connection and promoting parent understanding and engagement.
  • 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.

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 Ossining Union Free School District career ladder pathways provide opportunities for both teachers and principals to learn from one another and improve instruction. In this video, Ossining Superintendent Ray Sanchez and various teacher leaders discuss the impact of the STLE grant on teacher leadership within the district. 

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