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.
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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- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.