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Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central 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 Rotterdam-Mohonasen (“Mohonasen”) Central School District’s Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grant program focused on building the instructional skills of district teachers and administrators through professional learning communities and the implementation of career ladder pathways.  STLE funded activities were designed to build the capacity of teachers and principals for program/curriculum development and coaching/modeling of research-based best practices. Further, through STLE, the district launched a flipped classroom video lecture initiative so students could watch lessons outside of school hours and participate in more hands-on, application and analysis activities during class time.  These targeted activities were designed to improve student learning across the district and ensure all students, in particular economically disadvantaged students, receive high quality instruction.

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Through STLE, the district took a comprehensive approach to implementing the Regents Reform Agenda.  Grant funds were used to comprehensively address the professional development needs of educators across the district.  A college level, methods survey course focused on critical instructional practices allowed participants to employ strategies in a non-threatening threatening environment and opened a dialogue among education practitioners.  Through this work, educators are sharing their learning across classrooms and grades and are working together to improve student learning in their classrooms.  Mohonasen is experiencing a cultural shift to collaborative inquiry and learning.  This cultural shift was made possible because teachers and administrators were empowered to be creative, take academic risks and feel comfortable sharing with their professional learning community.

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Promising Practice

  • The district prioritized initiatives and created career ladder positions that ensured strong leadership.  Priority initiatives included instructional strategies that address the academic needs of students in poverty, college and career ready standards implementation in math and ELA, literacy in grades K-2, parent engagement, mentoring and the development of a library of flipped videos.
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are contributing to a cultural shift at Mohonasen where collaboration is driving improvement.
  • The integration of instructional technology such as flipped videos promoted student engagement 

Sustainability

The Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central School District will use general funds to sustain programs and personnel related to career ladder pathways through the general budget while further pursuing additional grant funds.

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

  • 26 Professional Teacher Leaders directly impact 176 teachers which impact 2,847 students
  • 3 Principal Leaders directly impact 1 principal, 4 assistant principals and 202 teachers which impact 2,847 students.

Areas of Focus

The Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of developing 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

Career ladder participants at Mohonasen have participated in professional development on topics such as mentoring, Instructional Strategies Approach to Reading, data analysis, as well as dissection and integration of college and career readiness standards. Teacher Leaders are then turn-keying the training and coaching their colleagues in instructional strategies, literacy, college and career readiness standard implementation in math and ELA, and data protocols.  In addition, Novice Teachers are enrolled in the Methods Survey class through SUNY Albany. The goal of the Methods Survey Course has been to expand and improve the instructional skills of district teachers so that they can more effectively “reach” and equitably educate all students—especially students with disabilities and students who are economically disadvantaged.  Mohonasen educators involved in the flipped classroom initiative also received 2.5 days of professional development around the implementation of the technology as well as how to organize a flipped classroom.  

Equitable Access

Prior to the STLE grant, Mohonasen identified an achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students/students with disabilities (SWD) and their peers. From 2008-2009 to 2011-2012, the difference between the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in grades 6-8 reaching proficiency on the state English language arts (ELA) exam and non-disadvantaged students was 20 percentage points, on average. In these same years, the difference between the percentage of SWD in grades 6-8 reaching proficiency on the state ELA exam and their non-disabled peers was, on average, 53 percentage points. The district continues to work to use APPR and student assessment data to better balance teachers’ and leaders’ skills across grade levels and buildings to address known gaps in student performance. The district wanted to institutionalize research based professional development and instructional strategies to improve student performance - a part of this professional development involved flipped classroom strategies and the integration of instructional technologies. Novice Teachers who are enrolled in the Methods Survey Course are focused on improving their instructional skills so that they can more effectively “reach” and equitably educate all students—especially students with disabilities and students who are economically disadvantaged.  

Other Areas of Focus

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

As the district analyzed and discussed trend data as a result of the evaluation process, it was determined that questioning techniques, student engagement, rigor and community connections were areas of focus. This allowed the district to tailor professional development sessions to address these areas of need and to facilitate discussions about differentiation of instruction.   During STLE 1, Teachers on Special Assignment provided professional development on inter-rater reliability, impacting 221 teachers. 

Innovative Practice

 Mohonasen has launched a flipped classroom video lecture initiative to allow students to watch lessons outside of school hours and participate in more hands-on, reinforcement activities during class time.  In addition, the district has created a library of professional development videos based upon Professional Teacher participation in flipped classroom professional development opportunities.

High Need Students

Through STLE 1, a special education review for the district was implemented. As a result of this review, the district implemented a new co-taught mathematics class at the middle school.  In addition, they implemented interdisciplinary global studies/English classes at the high school with a special education teacher as a part of the class in order to support programmatic needs.  Finally, the district made a concerted effort to have special education teachers work side by side with regular education teachers for all of the professional development activities that are being provided through the STLE grant to ensure instructional cohesion

Areas of Impact

The Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central 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 at proficiency or above  on New York State Grades 3-8 ELA Assessments by 1% for all students, 2% for Economically Disadvantaged students and 10% for Limited English Proficient students from 2012-13 to 2013-14.  
  • Increased the percentage of students that demonstrated proficiency on New York State grades 3-8 Math Assessments by 8% for all students, 3% for Students with Disabilities, 9% for Economically Disadvantaged students and 9% for English Language Learner (ELL) students from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
  • Co-teaching has allowed for greater opportunities to provide one to one student support and differentiated instruction. This has helped maintain and increase student engagement.  
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • The STLE 1 grant provided training, mentoring and coaching to teachers in the areas of mathematics, science, ELA, technology, special education and instructional strategies.  Professors from the University at Albany provided on-site instruction to teach a college level methods course and then also offer professional development in the areas of STEM, interdisciplinary coursework and instruction, effective teaching strategies, and working with special education populations effectively.
  • The percent of Mohonasen teachers scoring Effective or Highly Effective on State Provided Growth Ratings was consistently at 90% for both 2012-13 and 2013-14.

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
  • Enroll in Methods Survey course through SUNY Albany
$500 annual stipend

31

Professional Teacher

Professional Teacher Leader

  • Participate in professional development focused on the role of a teacher leader, strategies for a teacher leader and flipped classroom
  • Create 4 flipped classroom documents
  • Attend a minimum of 3 meetings during the school year    
$1,000 annual stipend

26

Teacher Leader

Reading Teacher and Instructional Coach

  • Participate in professional development focused on the role of a teacher leader, strategies for a teacher leader and flipped classroom
  • create 4 flipped classroom documents
  • take on literacy coaching as a part of the assignment
  •  curriculum development
  •  participate in literacy coaching training
  • attend a minimum of 3 meetings during the school year

Transitional Leader  (.5 instructional coach - .5 assistant principal)

  • Participate in professional development focused on the role of an instructional leader, strategies for a teacher leader and flipped classroom
  • create 10 flipped classroom documents
  • take on literacy coaching as a part of the assignment
  • participate in 25 hours professional development
  • attend a minimum of 3 meetings during the school year
  • work with principal leaders on district-wide initiatives, work with teacher leaders on curriculum development
Reading Teaching and Instructional Coach: $1,500 annual stipend; Transitional Leader: 1.0 FTE

Reading Teaching and Instructional Coach: 2; Transitional Leader: 3

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • Coordinate induction and mentoring component of the continuum              
N/A 0
Professional Principal
  • Mentor new principals
  • Lead one district initiative
$1,500 annual stipend 1
Principal Leader

Principal Leader              

  • Serve as principal mentor and take on two district-wide initiatives

Program Leader

  • Lead one district-wide initiative on CCLS and Flipped Learning
Principal Leader: $6,000 annual stipend for mentoring; Program Leader: $1,500 annual stipend Principal Leader: 1; Program Leader: 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

  • To support ongoing learning of educators across the district, a survey course was created to cultivate educator understanding on the most recent research based instructional methods.  The STLE Methods Survey Course Description can be used by LEAs interested in providing an extended professional development opportunity to further enhance educator understanding and build educator capacity for strong instructional practices.
  • 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

  • In this video, hear how Mohonasen's work with the STLE grant is impacting their teachers and helping to establish a collaborative environment that is pushing student achievement forward. 

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