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South Huntington 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

South Huntington has focused on addressing significant challenges related to its changing demographics on particular areas of student achievement, achievement gaps, and the long-term prospects of career and higher education opportunities for the district’s 6,000 students.  The number of high need students within designated sub-groups has steadily increased each year since the district initially applied for the STLE grant. 

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South Huntington recognized that working towards the success of high-need student populations required a commitment to be part of local and national dialogues as well as joining the pursuit of new resources and projects that push the boundaries of traditional practice. The district has worked with the Long Island Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Hub and other STEM organizations to design projects that increase the number of minority and female students who enter leadership roles in STEM fields.

The intention of the district is, and was at the beginning of the STLE 1 grant period, to infuse their overall Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Continuum into the schools in need of improvement efforts in order for maximum alignment to be achieved.  They also focused their efforts on a substantive body of work and opportunities to establish career ladder pathways positions that would motivate and retain Effective and Highly Effective teachers and leaders. The district expanded their pre-existing career ladder pathways as a result of STLE 1 by adding Administrative Data Coach, Data Coach and Common Core Coach positions. These teacher leaders provided direct support to building leadership and teaching staff around the implementation of college and career ready standards, Response to Intervention (RtI), and evidence-based instruction.

STLE 2 allowed South Huntington to shift its perspective on career ladder pathways from a district-wide focus to a more ground level initiative. South Huntington has been able to provide more targeted support where it was needed most, at the building level, by creating grade level leaders in grades K-5 and English language arts (ELA) and Math Coaches in grades 6-12. These individuals are providing support to district level coaches as well as acting as liaisons between their colleagues and administrators at the building and district levels. In addition, the district has been able to add targeted support coaches for key areas of need, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), English language learners, and college and career readiness.  In addition, the district has created a career ladder pathway position for a Parent Coordinator who works to establish partnerships with community-based organizations and provide outreach to bilingual Spanish speaking families.

On their principal career ladder pathway, the district created a Common Core Administrative Coach position for grades K-5 and one for grades 6-12 to support Common Core initiatives in the district, as well as to serve as liaisons between grade level coaches and building/district level administration. The English language learner Administrative Coaches coordinate and provide professional development activities related to differentiated intervention strategies and lesson design for English language learners in addition to supporting the district’s English as a second language initiative.

Career ladder pathways have enabled both teachers and leaders to be empowered to share their content and pedagogical expertise with colleagues, establishing a culture of shared ownership of district and building initiatives. Furthermore, the model of supports has helped with targeting building level goals to enhance student achievement. STLE 2 has also helped with the district’s ability to expand STEM initiatives and building programs at the high school level that will expose students to college and career opportunities. Two exciting opportunities that have resulted from this work are the introduction of a science research summer camp beginning in the summer of 2015 and participation in a science research competition with over 100 of our students that will see one of our projects travel on a Space X mission to the International Space Station in the spring of 2015. 

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Promising Practice

  • Established a dialogue focused on practice and innovation through professional learning opportunities, which will effectively integrate and support all career ladder pathway positions.
  • Involved a multitude of stakeholders to ensure that goals and objectives are aligned with community and district values. Partner with local businesses and community organizations.
  • Designed career ladder pathways to connect the district’s highest need students with the most Effective and Highly Effective teachers and principals.
  • Partnered with local institutions of higher education dedicated to building the capacity of teacher and principal leaders.  Partner with the Teacher Center to further develop the expertise of coaches for Instructional Rounds and the videotaping of best practices.
  • Revised the master schedule and school structure to empower the community of teacher leaders to share their expertise through embedded coaching, which will minimize the need for educators to leave the classroom for professional development.

Sustainability

South Huntington has used Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grants to fund the development and implementation of its career ladder pathways. The district is committed to sustaining all grant funded activities, including career ladder pathways, beyond the grant term.  The Superintendent and administrative teams are preparing the district financially to be able to sustain programs and personnel related to career ladder pathways through the standard budgetary process. 

The district is constantly reviewing internal programs to measure effectiveness and determine whether funds can be shifted to support staff and other programs that will have a greater impact on teaching and learning.

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

  • 19 Grade Level Coaches directly impact 458 teachers which impact 6,018 students
  • 3 Teacher Leaders directly impact 458 teachers which impact 6,018 students
  • 3 Principal Leaders directly impact 458 teachers which impact 6,018 students

Areas of Focus

The South Huntington Union Free School District set out to address the common talent management challenges 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 district’s partnership with Stony Brook University included graduate level courses and professional development for leaders, including workshops and mentorship. In particular, the effectiveness of school building leaders was supported through collaboration with the mentorship initiative.  Principals reported that the lessons and information shared in sessions hosted by Stony Brook mentors has supported the work they do with building coaches and other teachers.  Mentors have conducted book chats, walkthroughs, status update calls, and observed various interactions with staff providing actionable feedback to building leaders.

Recruitment

The district diversified their recruitment in order to attract the best candidates for those positions that need to be filled. This includes participating in the BOCES Diversity Fair and implementation of OLAS.

Development

Coaches will provide most professional development throughout the year. The district will continue to provide support in the following areas to their coaches and select teachers and administrators who will turnkey to the rest of the staff:

  • RtI
  • DDI
  • STEM
  • Technology Integration
  • Google Apps
  • Strategies for ESL
  • Strategies for SWD
  • ELA and math Common Core Support
  • CDOS and CTE

Administrators will continue to be trained during summer and evening workshops on the topics above as well as relevant topics that are determined during the school year. In addition, administrators attend workshops with their staff in order to better understand what they are learning.

Retention

South Huntington focused their efforts on a substantive body of work and opportunities to establish career ladder pathway positions that would motivate and retain Effective and Highly Effective teachers and leaders. The district expanded their pre-existing career ladder pathways as a result of STLE 1 by adding an Administrative Data Coach, Data Coach and Common Core Coach positions. These teacher leaders provided direct support to building leadership and teaching staff around the implementation of college and career ready standards, Response to Intervention (RtI), and evidence-based instruction. As a result of the district’s efforts, there is currently an 85% retention rate for novice and professional teachers who receive mentorship and support. 

Equitable Access

Career ladder pathways have enabled both teachers and leaders to be empowered to share their content and pedagogical expertise with colleagues, establishing a culture of shared ownership of district and building initiatives. South Huntington has been able to provide more targeted support where it was needed most, at the building level, by creating grade level leaders in grades K-5 and English language arts (ELA) and Math Coaches in grades 6-12. These individuals are providing support to district level coaches as well as acting as liaisons between their colleagues and administrators at the building and district levels. In addition, the district has been able to add targeted support coaches for key areas of need, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), English language learners, and college and career readiness.  In addition, the district has created a career ladder pathway position for a Parent Coordinator who works to establish partnerships with community-based organizations and provide outreach to bilingual Spanish speaking families. 

Other Areas of Focus

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

As part of their roles and responsibilities in South Huntington, the Common Core/College & Career Readiness Coach develops partnerships with businesses and organizations that will provide resources for the district, develops relationships with businesses and organizations to provide students with opportunities/internships to learn about different careers on Long Island, and  facilitates professional development and student workshops on skills that are necessary for higher education and the workplace success. Over 50 students have been placed in various part-time after school jobs with local business operators.

As part of their roles and responsibilities, the Common Core Coach provides professional development in English language arts and math to K-6 teachers, including coaching teachers on post-module ELA lesson adjustments in curriculum, materials and aligning NYS release questions to classroom practices. The Common Core Coach also provides direct support to K-6 coaches, as well as develops curriculum, pacing guides and supplemental materials. 

High Need Students

South Huntington is working on a pilot program with the implementation of instructional technology to support academic services inclusive of students with disabilities (SWD) and English language learners (ELLs). The district has created an iPad and Chromebook learning lab for targeted intervention across content areas, specifically, ELA and Math. South Huntington has also purchased and implemented Odysseyware for grades 9-12 to support academic services with reading intervention.

Family Engagement

South Huntington has been highlighted for their continued work on successfully using Teacher and Principal Leaders to engage families as authentic partners in their child’s education. The focus of their family engagement effort is to help parents understand New York’s new college and career ready standards, as well as to help families support their children’s learning and build understanding about the district’s transition to the Common Core State Standards.

South Huntington reports that regular articulation of the message using multi-language materials is key to their success. In addition to the traditional modes of communication such as weekly newsletters, spotlights, the school website, etc. the district has created a mechanism for parents to join the conversation through social media using Facebook and Twitter. They continue to investigate other avenues to reach underserved parents in their community.

Dissemination of Promising Practice

South Huntington is committed to the continuous strengthening of the TLE Continuum maximizing effective practice and student achievement. STLE-D activities enable the district’s principal leaders to assume the full, robust instructional leadership role that they have been preparing for under STLE 1 and STLE 2 and to serve as the supportive mentors that are needed for the district to realize the full benefit of teachers and assistant principals on a principal leadership pathway.

STLE-D principal leaders have broadened their band of responsibility by disseminating their successes and supporting teachers and assistant principal leaders throughout district schools. As a result, high-needs populations – including economically disadvantaged families, English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities - continue to benefit from the ongoing work of disseminating the information learned in STLE 1 and STLE 2.

Areas of Impact

The South Huntington 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 number of students demonstrating proficiency on the New York State (NYS) Grades 3-8 Math exam by 2% from 2013 to 2014. Black or African American students demonstrating proficiency increased by 3% from 2013 to 2014.
  • Students spend at least 15% more time engaged in STEM coursework as compared to previous years.
  • English language learners have shown a 4% increase in math performance and a 2% increase in reading performance on benchmark assessments administered in spring 2013 and spring 2014.
Early Impact on Talent Management System
  • Three teachers per year will begin participating in the Intensive Teaching Institute program in 2014-15, to receive certification in English as a Second Language to better support the district’s talent management needs.
  • Increased the number of teachers taking Teacher Center courses by 10% in 2014-15 from the previous year.
  • 6% of teachers in the district, with the support of teacher leaders, participated in targeted data team analysis to identify building level areas of strength and weaknesses in 2013-2014. These techniques were shared and applied in the classrooms of 100% of K-8 teachers during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. As a result, teachers increased data literacy and the use of data in curriculum planning.

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 Coordinator:

  • Establish partnerships with community-based organizations.
  • Support communication between the school district and Spanish speaking community members.

Grade Level Coaches and ELA/Math Coaches:

  • Participate in workshops, mentoring and leadership activities.
  • Provide support to Response to Intervention (RtI) Committees and building level In-school Support Teams (IST).
  • Serve as a liaison to building and district administration.
Parent Coordinator: $4,953.60; Grade Level and ELA/Math Coaches: $55/hour for a maximum of 80 hours

Parent Coordinator: 1; Grade Level and ELA/Math Coaches: 18

Professional Teacher

STEM Coach:

  • Support grades K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiatives.
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with higher education institutions and businesses to support professional development opportunities for teachers and educational opportunities for students.

Common Core/College and Career Readiness Coach:

  • Support grade level initiatives and the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards and aligned assessments.
  • Develop relationships with local businesses to provide internship opportunities for students.

Common Core Coach:

  • Provides ongoing professional development in English Language Arts (ELA) and math to grades K-6 teachers and direct support to grades K-6 coaches.
STEM Coach: 1; FTE Common Core/College and Career Readiness Coach: 1; FTE Common Core Coach: Not funded through STLE

STEM Coach: 1; Common Core/College and Career Readiness Coach: 1; Common Core Coach: 1

Teacher Leader

ESL Coordinator:

  • Provides direct support to the Supervisor of Curricular Services who oversees English as a Second Language and Dual Language programs.
  • Implement home language questionnaire and provide assistance to families with placement and support services.

Coordinator of Student Services:

  • Oversees Project Excel, Parent University, and Student Services Internships.

Coordinator of Preschool and Speech Services:

  • Oversees preschool program and speech services.
Teacher Leader positions are not funded through STLE

ESL Coordinator: 1; Coordinator of Student Services: 1; Coordinator of Preschool and Speech Services: 1

Principal Career Ladder Pathway

Principal Title Roles and Reponsibilities Compensation Number Serving in Role in 2014-15
Novice Principal
  • Participation in workshops, mentoring and leadership activities.
N/A 0
Professional Principal
  • Participation in workshops, mentoring and leadership activities.
  • Opportunities to take on additional responsibilities in key areas of need
N/A 0
Principal Leader

English Language Learner Administrative Coach:

  • Coordinate and provide professional development activities related to differentiated intervention strategies and lesson design for English language learners.
  • Support Common Core and English as Second Language  initiatives in the district.

Common Core Administrative Coach K-5 and 6-12:

  • Support Common Core and English as Second Language initiatives in the district.
  • Support grade level coaches with the coordination and implementation of trainings to colleagues.
  • Serve as a liaison between grade level coaches as well as building and district level administration.
English Language Learner Administrative Coach: $5,000; Common Core Administrative Coach K-5 and 6-12: $5,000 English Language Learner Administrative Coach: 1; Common Core Administrative Coach K-5 and 6-12: 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

  • In this video, watch how the South Huntington Union Free School District is successfully using Teacher and Principal Leaders to engage families as partners in education through the STLE grant.
  • 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. 

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