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Rochester 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

Rochester City School District applied for the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant and three STLE grants to allow them the opportunity to enhance the career ladder pathways already in place in order to engage more educators in collaborative practice. The overarching key has been the ability to align efforts and refine the work of preparing the workforce systemically and in alignment with district goals.  In an effort to enhance and highlight current practice, STLE has provided Rochester with opportunities to re-examine the current model of career advancement for both teachers and leaders.  As a district with a preexisting career ladder pathway structure that met minimum requirements of the grants, TIF and STLE have challenged district leadership to think strategically about the use of performance data to select and advance individuals within the workforce on career ladder pathways.

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The district views each rung as a dedicated step toward leadership and incentive opportunities. The teacher career ladder pathway currently includes four rungs: Intern Teacher, Resident Teacher, Professional Teacher, and Lead Teacher.  These rungs provide opportunities for teachers to advance within the teaching profession and move into leadership roles. The principal career ladder pathway includes three rungs: Novice Principal, Professional Principal and Lead Principal. These rungs provide opportunities for principals and other administrators to advance within administrative leadership roles. Rochester’s collaborative efforts with the Rochester Teachers Association and the Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester continue to strengthen the educator mentoring programs, Career in Teaching (CIT) and Career in Administration and Supervision (CIAS). Rochester and the Rochester Teacher Association work collaboratively through the CIT mentor teacher internship program to provide opportunities for teachers to advance on the career ladder pathways. New administrators are mentored through Rochester’s CIAS program.  This program allows administrators to move through the principal career ladder pathways with the appropriate supports. 

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Promising Practice

  • Aligned all elements of the district to work in tandem in order to strengthen and sustain the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Continuum.
  • Involved a multitude of stakeholders to ensure that the strategic direction is aligned with community and district values.
  • Engaged in conversation with local institutions of higher learning to support pre-service teachers and provide opportunities for teachers to work towards additional certifications in areas of need.
  • Developed and implemented a refined recruitment and selection process to ensure high quality teacher and principal leaders.
  • Provided Mentors and Instructional Coaches with support and continuous job-embedded professional learning.

Sustainability

Rochester has used the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) and 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, including career ladder pathways, beyond the grant term. All teacher career ladder pathway positions established will be sustained and have been included in the Rochester Teacher’s Association contract.  

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A strong willingness from the Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester to take an active role in STLE efforts has opened the door for further conversation and continued opportunities for Rochester’s school leadership constituency group.

Rochester is reallocating funds to be able to sustain programs and personnel related to career ladder pathways through the standard budgetary process. Additionally, Rochester is reviewing current funding allocations through Title I and Title IIA to determine if reallocation of funds is appropriate and necessary for sustaining a comprehensive Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Continuum.

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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

  • 5 Lead Teachers/Mentors directly impact 115 teachers which impact approx. 2,300 students
  • 6 Lead Teachers/Peer Reviewers directly impact 202 teachers which impact approx. 4,040 students
  • 29 Lead Teacher/Instructional Coaches directly impact 499 teachers which impact approx. 9,980 students
  • 7 Lead Principals directly impact 30 principals which impact approx. 16,144 students

Areas of Focus

The Rochester City School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of preparing, recruiting, developing, and retaining the most effective educators through their career ladder pathway model.

Common Talent Management Challenges

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

Rochester teachers have been able to earn a Bilingual Extension through a district partnership with an institute of higher education to increase the number of highly qualified, full-time teachers for the district’s large bilingual population. Teachers have also participated in a formal Autism training.

Recruitment

Rochester internalized the work of Jim Collins, author of Good to Great (2001), to mean recruiting and further developing the right teachers and educational leaders and then placing them strategically to obtain high yielding results. As a result, RCSD chose a professional learning theory of practice to focus on defining effective teaching, providing consistent training and high impact coaching, while utilizing The Framework for Teaching (Danielson 2011), professional learning standards, and Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) in order to improve student achievement. The district began making strides towards this goal by inviting the right people to join its team, as modeled through their reorganization plans and efforts at the time they applied for the STLE 1 grant that continue to date.  In addition, a comprehensive recruitment effort was initiated to attract new teacher hires to the high-need areas of English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities (SWDs) and be supported by ongoing orientations to familiarize them with Rochester practices and expectations for excellence.   

Development

Professional learning is essential to the district’s school reform efforts. In Rochester, teachers and school leaders learn collaboratively and work together to develop a school culture that supports and sustains instructional improvement, and helps students develop the habits of mind to achieve and succeed. Teacher and principal leaders are critical in helping focus professional learning, coaching support, and innovative instructional strategies to dramatically increase student achievement. Career in Teaching (CIT) utilizes mentors and lead teachers to provide job-embedded professional learning to teachers. Career in Administration and Supervision (CIAS) utilizes mentors and lead principals to provide job-embedded professional learning to principals. The Office of Professional Learning provides high quality support systems for teachers and principals and ensures the availability of diverse and effective professional learning experiences aligned with the district’s professional development and strategic plans. 

To supplement PD offerings and allow for “anytime learning”, Rochester educators developed online PD learning experiences aligned to the Danielson rubric and Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). These on-line learning courses are supporting the district goals of increased student achievement and continued professional advancement. These courses center on the ELA CCLS modules (K-8) and offer an opportunity for educators to expand their practice. Immediate feedback is provided to participants as they progress, a key component.


Retention

Rochester created and subsequently refined 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 as well as for professional development (e.g., $5,000 stipend for Instructional Coaches).

Other Areas of Focus

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

Rochester has developed foundational and role specific professional learning activities to build critical attributes articulated in Danielson’s Framework for Teaching and the Multidimensional Principal Performance Rubric (MPPR). As part of their roles and responsibilities, Teacher Leaders in the Mentor position mentor both teachers who have received a rating of Developing or Ineffective, as well as new teachers. In facilitating professional development, the district has provided materials to support the implementation of the Framework for Teaching as an evaluation tool approved to be used with APPR; the district provided textbooks to support Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right, Strategies of Assessment for Learning. Grade level and/or department meetings are used to monitor changes/improvements in practice. Additionally school administrators were granted access to, and reviewed, teacher performance data.  This is used with teachers to determine trends over time and to examine need by Domain and Component of the Framework for Teaching rubric. Consultants have also been brought to the district to provide continued professional development to deepen the understanding of the Framework for Teaching rubric.

Evidence-Based Instruction

During the Fall 2014 a large emphasis was placed on evidence-based instruction. A 20-hour foundation course on evidence based instruction was written, piloted, improved upon, and delivered to over 650 teachers and administrators. In addition to the content, administrators received training on protocols to support the implementation of evidence based instruction school-wide.

Dissemination of Promising Practice

The Rochester STLE-D program is highlighting the work of effective and highly effective principals, who took advantage of activities implemented in previous STLE grants, and provides them with structured opportunities to share their successes with district school leaders who did not participate. Project partners, Michael Murphy and J. Davies and Associates, are providing guidance as Rochester not only disseminates information, resources, and opportunities for collegial sharing, but also learns to institutionalize and champion continuation of these practices.  The STLE-D program is a learning model where effective principals: 1) further examine professional learning  standards, collaborative learning, and learning methods to support them as school leaders and  teachers of other leaders; 2) engage in direct and side-by-side coaching with a third party  consultant to gain the skills necessary to effectively work with adult learners; and 3) disseminate effective professional learning practices through the facilitation of learning methods as models and opportunities for collaborative learning with leaders. 

Areas of Impact

The Rochester 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
  • A district study in fall 2014, which included 1,100 teachers, showed an increase in the state-provided growth scores of teachers of English Language Arts (ELA), math, or both by 2.5% for those working with an Instructional Coach.
  • Average student Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) reading growth in grades 1-6 from fall 2014 to winter 2015 benchmarks grew 6.1 Rasch Units (RITs). The average rate of normed reading growth for the same period and grade levels is 5.1. Rochester students grew at a rate above the average norm for that period in tested reading skills.
  • The graduation rate exceeded 50% in 2013-14 for the first time since the implementation of the new college and career ready standards.
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • 17 teachers, representing a 13% increase for the district, completed the Bilingual Extension program in year 1 of STLE 1 to expand the number of bilingual classrooms being taught by certified bilingual teachers.
  • Through STLE 1, 3,227 teachers and 464 administrators gained access to a Learning Management System (AVATAR) that links professional learning to the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) goal setting process.  Administrators and teachers can review historical documents within the system, review evaluation data, and plan professional growth opportunities.
  • 82 Instructional Coaches provided 70,212 contact hours to teachers across the district during the 2013-14 school year, providing targeted professional development and instructional support.

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
Pre-Novice Teacher

Intern Teacher:

  • Receive mentoring and support from a Career in Teaching (CIT) mentor.
  • Develop pedagogical skills.
  • Develop the skills necessary to work effectively in an urban environment.
  • Based on demonstrated knowledge and skills, the CIT Panel will either recommend that an Intern Teacher progress to the Resident Level after their first year or that the internship be extended by one year to further develop their professional practice.
Not funded through STLE

N/A

Novice Teacher

Resident Teacher:

  • Demonstrate increased competencies and further develop practices and behaviors consistent with professional expectations for teachers.
  • Demonstrate effective practice that is evidenced by progress in students’ performance.
  • Continue to improve knowledge of their subject matter and student engagement in active learning.
  • Take part in professional learning opportunities to continuously improve their instructional practice. 
  • Teachers who receive an Effective or Highly Effective evaluation rating and obtain tenure progress to the Professional level.
  • At least one year of HE/E rating in the past two years
$800

5

Professional Teacher
  • Demonstrate practices and behaviors consistent with the professional expectations for teachers.
  • Demonstrate effective practice that is evidenced by progress in students’ performance.
  • Create increased educational opportunities for students.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of their subject matter and engage students in active learning.
  • Involve parents and the community in supporting students’ education.
  • Improve the school environment.
  • Take part in professional learning opportunities to continuously improve their instructional practice.
  • At least two years of HE/E rating in the past four years
$1,200

468

Teacher Leader

Mentor, Peer Reviewer and Instructional Coach:

  • Professional Teacher roles and responsibilities.
  • Increase the opportunity for success of students and teachers by exhibiting, teaching, and inspiring excellence in the profession.
  • In addition to teaching, assume additional responsibilities that may include, but not be limited to serving as a mentor teacher, peer reviewer and instructional coach.
  • At least three years of HE/E rating in the past five years
Mentor: 5-10% of base salary; Peer Reviewer: 5-10% of base salary; Instructional Coach: $5,000

Mentor: 5; Peer Reviewer: 6; Instructional Coach: 29

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • Receive mentoring and support from a Career in Administration and Supervision (CIAS) mentor.
  • Develop their skills against the domains of the Multidimensional Principal Performance Rubric (MPRR).
  • Based on demonstrated knowledge and skills, The Career in Administration and Supervision (CIAS) Panel will recommend that the Novice Principal progress to the Professional level.
  • The Superintendent will determine if the Novice shall be granted a fourth year to receive tenure or proceed to the Professional level.
  • At least one year of HE/E rating in the most recent three years as a classroom teacher
  • At least one year of HE/E rating as SBL in the past three years
N/A 0
Professional Principal
  • Continuously demonstrate and develop their skills against the domains of the Multidimensional Principal Performance Rubric (MPPR): Shared Vision of Learning; School Culture and Instructional Program; Safe, Efficient, Effective Learning Environment; Community; Integrity, Fairness, Ethics; Political, Social, Economic, Legal and Cultural Context.
  • Take part in professional learning opportunities to continuously improve their instructional practice. 
  • At least two years of HE/E rating in the past three years
N/A 0
Principal Leader

Mentor:

  • Serve as mentors to Novice Principals.
  • Continuously demonstrate and develop their skills against the domains of the Multidimensional Principal Performance Rubric (MPPR) :Shared Vision of Learning; School Culture and Instructional Program; Safe, Efficient, Effective Learning Environment; Community; Integrity, Fairness, Ethics; Political, Social, Economic, Legal and Cultural Context.
  • Take part in professional learning opportunities to continuously improve their instructional practice. 
  • At least five years of experience as a SBL (a year-long internship counts as one year)
$1,200 per mentee 7

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. 

Local Media

  • Rochester City School District has a dedicated STLE page, where visitors can read more about Rochester's STLE programs as well as the district's "Three Core Pillars"

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