Jamestown City School District
Total STLE Award
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.
In developing their career ladder pathways model through the STLE 3 grant, Jamestown recognized that many teachers and leaders in the district had been challenged to fully understand and adjust to the significant scope of change reflected in the Regents Reform Agenda. In order to support the alignment of higher quality teaching and evidence-based instructional practices to more rigorous college and career ready standards and curricula, Jamestown envisioned career ladder pathways in which their highest performing teachers and leaders would develop specific expertise in one of the three key elements of school improvement: college and career ready standards and curriculum, evidence-based instruction, and effective instructional practices. By developing the expertise of Teacher and Principal Leaders and fostering leadership through collaboration, they anticipated that their highest performing teachers would further develop their own capacity while supporting their colleagues to do the same.
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Prior to the STLE 3 grant, the district’s efforts to elevate teachers to a role of peer leadership were informal and primarily focused on assigning mentors to novice teachers. This is still an element of Jamestown’s career ladder pathways, however, using STLE 3 grant funds, the district seeks to develop a more comprehensive system of job-embedded professional development, wherein all educators in the system receive the support they need to strengthen their content knowledge and pedagogical skills. As a result, they expect to increase the likelihood that every child benefits from high quality teaching and learning to support their academic success.
Jamestown began to implement career ladder pathways in the 2014-15 academic school year that reflect their vision to have teacher leaders in every school. They district found a gap between this vision and the reality of their current capacity and systemic readiness for teacher leadership. While many educators in the district meet the selection criteria for a teacher leader role, few educators possess the confidence in their ability or capacity to serve as a peer leader. Several applicants acknowledged or indicated that they are still learning about the new standards and curriculum, do not yet have a solid grasp on the essential elements of a systemic response to intervention program, or are concerned about having the time or confidence to take on additional responsibilities for coaching their peers, while maintaining a full-time teaching load. As a result, Jamestown experienced fewer applicants than anticipated for career ladder pathways positions.
In response to this challenge, Jamestown adjusted their career ladder pathways model to include two Instructional Coaches, full-release teachers, that will provide comprehensive coaching and support to teachers in kindergarten through grade six. Additionally, they selected Peer Coaches, full-time practicing teachers, in all elementary schools to provide similar coaching and support to colleagues within the building. Both district-level and school-level teacher leaders support all elements of their improvement goals, including curriculum and instruction aligned with the college and career ready standards, driven by data to inform and improve student learning. In addition, the district continuously recruits and develops Mentor Teachers to provide coaching and feedback to teachers new to the profession or those developing their practice. On the principal career ladder pathway, Principal Mentors provide individual and small-group support to novice and experienced principals. The district is currently recruiting Principal Coaches that will provide leadership and support to other principals seeking to strengthen their instructional leadership skills as well as create a video library for principals across the district. Jamestown is committed to drawing upon and developing the capacity of their current leaders while continuing to recruit and develop others to share their talent and expertise.
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- Involved a multitude of stakeholders to ensure effective communication and that the strategic direction is aligned with community and district values.
- Reallocated resources as necessary to sustainably fund implementation of career ladder pathways.
- Collaborated with teacher and principal associations to define teacher and principal leader roles and responsibilities, as well as selection criteria and processes.
- Developed a robust set of professional development offerings for teachers and principal leaders that will serve as a strong foundation for the work to be accomplished.
The Jamestown City School District 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 district budget has substantially increased professional development for 2014-15, with plans in place to sustain this increase in future years. The district is also evaluating vacant positions to determine whether these may be reassigned as full-release teacher leader positions to support and sustain program goals in future years.
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.
- 10 Mentor Teachers directly and indirectly impact 150 teachers which impact 3,000 students
- 10 Teacher Leaders (Peer Coaches and Instructional Coaches) directly and indirectly impact 150 teachers which impact 3,000 students
- 1 Principal Mentor directly impacts 80 teachers which impact 1,600 students
Areas of Focus
The Jamestown City School District set out to address the common talent management challenges of 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|
Teacher Leaders provide individualized and small group support to teachers. They have also collaborated and engaged with building and district administrators to support professional learning for all instructional staff. The Mentor Teachers, Peer Coaches and Instructional Coaches all work with faculty providing assistance in developing sound pedagogical skills. Instructional Coaches and Peer Coaches facilitated after-school workshops for colleagues on topics such as Teachscape Learn and Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. The Principal Coach provides leadership and support to other principals seeking to strengthen their instructional leadership skills and has captured their own practice on video to create a video library for professional growth among current and prospective principals. Summer Leadership Retreat was held to prepare individuals for their career ladder roles as well as initial and ongoing workshops focused on providing learning focused feedback, enactment of curriculum aligned to college and career ready standards, and analysis of student learning data. Four teacher leaders, three professional teachers, and four administrators attended varying NYSED Network Team Institutes for support in implementation of college and career ready aligned curriculum.
The Jamestown City School District has identified and supported highly effective educators and distributed their talent across content areas and grade levels in ongoing efforts to retain the absolute best teachers and principals for its students. Jamestown created a structure involving Instructional Coaches, Peer Coaches, Mentor Teachers, Principal Mentors and Principal Coaches (e.g., $3,000 stipend for Peer Coaches, $1,000 stipend for Principal Mentors). As the district moves forward, career ladder pathways will be seen as a direct support to the district’s vision and strategic plan, since the two are intertwined. With more hands available to support the work of leadership and learning, Jamestown hopes to lessen the demands on any one individual to allow the entire system to grow as a result of collaboration and shared leadership.
Jamestown began to implement career ladder pathways in the 2014-15 academic school year that reflect their vision to have teacher leaders in every school. Jamestown is committed to drawing upon and developing the capacity of their current leaders while continuing to recruit and develop others to share their talent and expertise. The district continuously develops Mentor Teachers to provide coaching and feedback to teachers new to the profession or those developing their practice to extend their reach beyond their classrooms. On the principal career ladder pathway, Principal Mentors provide individual and small-group support to novice and experienced principals. Teacher Leaders also provide individualized and small group support to teachers. They have also collaborated and engaged with building and district administrators to support professional learning for all instructional staff. Through this model, Jamestown hopes to create a high-performing district culture of shared leadership, wherein teachers and leaders work collaboratively to continuously improve educator effectiveness and high levels of learning for all students and staff.
Other Areas of Focus
|Other Areas of Focus||Local Educational Agency (LEA) Efforts|
Areas of Impact
The Jamestown 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||
|Early Impact on Talent Management System||
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|
|Peer Coach: $3,000 stipend; Instructional Coach: FTE||
Peer Coach: 8; Instructional Coach: 2
Principal Career Ladder Pathway
|Principal Title||Roles and Reponsibilities||Compensation||Number Serving in Role in 2014-15|
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.
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.
We encourage you to continue to contribute to the on-going conversation on Twitter by sharing your work using #STLE.