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South Country 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

Through STLE, the South Country Central School District sought to improve the methodology and expectation of their educators, further strengthening the instructional leadership model that existed in the school district, by providing a variety of opportunities for the most effective educators to expand their reach beyond their classrooms to have a positive impact on student achievement districtwide.

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A careful needs analysis before applying for the grant indicated that districtwide family engagement was at an all-time low, with a steady increase in Spanish-speaking families to the district, and increasing number of “at-risk” students. As such, South Country has focused its efforts on leveraging its career ladder participants to provide a multitude of high quality workshops for district families to become partners in their children’s education. The district has created a culture of trust and shared partnership between community, families, students and teachers where each group works together to share in the responsibility of academic and social emotional success of students.

In addition, South Country has a dedicated focus on evidence-based instruction and college and career readiness standards in the classroom, including the use of peer coaching as a method of providing job-embedded professional development. Data Experts (Teacher Leaders) at the elementary, intermediate and secondary level have improved and increased the use of evidence-based instruction to drive instruction in several content areas. 

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Promising Practice

  • Transitional Student Coaches (Professional Teachers) are focused on students at risk of not graduating high school in four years 
  • South Country is focused on engaging families, in particular their growing Spanish-speaking population, by constructing a family engagement/professional development center with technology and libraries for all to use.
  • Extended the reach of the most effective teachers by enabling them to become leaders in their areas of expertise and turn-key trainers for other staff through targeted professional development.

Sustainability

The South Country Central School District Board of Education, Superintendent and Business Official have committed to sustaining the programs and personnel related to career ladder pathways through inclusion in the proposed budget for 2015-16.

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

  • 3 CCLS/DDI Demonstration Teachers directly impact 376 teachers which impact 4,414 students
  • 1 Elementary Science Coordinator directly impacts 178 teachers which impact 2,063 students
  • 2 Principal Leaders directly impact 12 Teacher Leaders (Novice, Professional, and Teacher Leaders) which impact 367 teachers which impact 4,414 students.

Areas of Focus

The South Country Central School District set out to address the common talent management challenges 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
Development

Through STLE, principals have been more involved with the incorporation of college and career readiness standards and the use of data to drive instruction. As a result of Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process, principals have realized the importance of improved instruction and student outcomes. The Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction has actively engaged in formulating and providing professional development for teachers at all levels district-wide. Principals have had access to Data Experts, CCLS Demonstration Teachers and other career ladder pathway positions to utilize as they see fit to improve instruction and provide professional development and training for colleagues. In addition, four teachers participated in the National Council of Teachers in English conference in Washington, DC and have turn-keyed their training to teachers districtwide. 

Retention

By leveraging their evaluation results in combination with observed student engagement in the classroom, South Country is making strategic talent management decisions around the retention of its effective educators. Those educators who have been identified as needing improvement will work closely with teacher leaders in their various roles on the career ladder pathway in order to improve instruction.  

Equitable Access

South Country strategically placed its most effective teachers with its neediest students districtwide, and have shifted educators based on student need in order to provide support services.  Transitional Student Coaches (Professional Teachers) are working with students at-risk of not graduating high school in four years, and have developed a system of weekly check ins as well as goals and progress monitoring systems

Other Areas of Focus

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

Central Office administrators observe all first-, second- and third-year teachers specifically looking for improved instruction.  In addition the building level administrators implemented the 5 minute walkthrough process that had been developed by the Walkthrough Administrator (Professional Principal), where administration looks for improved college and career readiness instruction and the incorporation of evidence-based instruction in the classroom.  

College and Career Readiness Standards in ELA and Math

CCLS Demonstration Teachers (Professional Teachers) present and model college and career readiness lessons and standards in the classroom.  The CCLS Demonstration Teachers have been actively involved in professional development for teachers districtwide, including modeling of writers workshop lessons, peer coaching, and professional development tailored for reading teachers. 

Evidence-Based Instruction

Data Experts (Teacher Leaders) are training teachers on the use of student data to drive instruction. The Data Experts have worked with teachers to develop methods for accessing student data, completing item analysis and utilizing that data in the classroom to focus on good quality college and career ready standards instruction focusing on the needs of students. 

Family Engagement

Through the district’s Family Involvement Coordinators and their Parent University Coordinator they reach out to parents’ districtwide to make them stronger partners in the education of their students. The Parent University Coordinator works directly with the Superintendent and the President of the PTA to develop Parent University workshops, including: Internet Safety, Emergency Response Training, and Common Core Math Strategies & Resources. The Family Involvement Coordinators have been able to accomplish transportation to and from school events, child care at school events, and family involvement kiosk at school events, simplified district website, improved family communication, and increased translator services. The district is also in the process of developing a family development/professional development center. The family engagement center will be equipped with personal computers for use by all families who do not have access to technology. The center will be used for Parent University workshops, registration of students, family engagement activities and professional development offerings. There will be a great focus on the district’s growing Spanish speaking population.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

An Elementary Science Coordinator (Teacher Leader) organizes elementary science curriculum and programs across all elementary schools districtwide. The elementary science coordinator has developed a scope and sequence for science K-5 that addresses current standards and reflects future standards presented in the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS).

Areas of Impact

The South Country 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
  • Transitional Student Coaches (Professional Teacher) have followed students who would be considered at-risk and encouraged appropriate educational objectives for the 2014-2015 school year and have so far observed the following:
    • 73% decrease of class failures
    • 40% improvement in school attendance
    • 47% improvement in school tardiness
  • Concerted efforts to increase family engagement districtwide has seen an increase in attendance of Spanish speaking families of 28%
  • Utilization of Right Reason Technology is enabling teachers to determine and derive the weaknesses of students to allow for multiple teaching modalities, and is anticipated to increase student achievement as a result
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • The incorporation of college and career readiness standards and the use of data has increased as a result of the work of the CCLS Demonstration Teachers and Data Experts at all levels
  • The concerted use of data has driven the placement of teachers with the neediest students districtwide
  • The implementation of the walkthrough process is generating immediate, actionable feedback for teachers

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

Parent University Coordinator

  • Organize workshops for parents districtwide

Family Engagement Coordinator

  • Engage families in the community who are not involved in their children’s education 
Parent University Coordinator: $3,000 annual stipend; Family Engagement Coordinator: $5,000 annual stipend

Parent University Coordinator: 1; Family Engagement Coordinator: 2

Professional Teacher

CCLS/DDI Demonstration Teacher

  • Work with coaches for math, ELA, and science to develop CCLS lessons. Present lessons as part of classroom walk through for coaching and mentoring. Participate in debriefing sessions. Provide PD. Record lessons for training purposes (DDP)

Transitional Student Coach

  • Meet with teachers of at risk students and develop individual action plans for student success
$4,500 annual stipend

CCLS/DDI Demonstration Teacher: 3; Transitional Student Coach: 2

Teacher Leader

Data Expert and Instructional Guide

  • Make predictions of student outcomes based on data. Provide PD to teachers on the use of data. Analyze results of interim assessments. Collaborates, monitors and reports results and SLO’s to the Superintendent.

Elementary Science Coordinator

  • Provides leadership to all elementary science teachers. Provide PD. Manage the district’s elementary science program
$5,500 annual stipend

Data Expert and Instructional Guide: 3; Elementary Science Coordinator: 1

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

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

Walkthrough Facilitator

  • Facilitates walk through process at secondary, intermediate, elementary levels       
$3,000 annual stipend 3
Professional Principal

Walkthrough Administrator

  • Developed walk through process
$5,000 annual stipend 1
Principal Leader

Mentor for Teacher Leaders/Coaches

  • Meet with district coaches for math and ELA and science to develop coaching activities which support CCLS and provide PD. Establish walkthrough schedules. Create a positive supportive culture around classroom walk through
$7,500 annual 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

  • A key component of the South Country STLE program was to build school to home relationships, especially with their growing population of English language learners.  The Parent University website, with resources in both Spanish and English, can be used as a guide for LEAs interested in hosting parent engagement and learning experiences that enhance the relationship between parents and the child’s school.
  • 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

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