Five school districts involved in the Washington County School Collaborative were awarded a Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness grant in the amount of $619,750. This grant is part of the $24.2 million that was awarded to 50 school districts, charter schools, and consortia as Phase 3 of the Strengthening Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness Program, which is supported by federal Race to the Top funds.
The five districts involved in the grant are Fort Ann, Argyle, Hartford, Hudson Falls, and Granville. The grant work consists of three objectives, which will be accomplished between March 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015:
Co-leads for this grant are Fort Ann and Hartford Central School Districts.Fort Ann previously received a Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Grant in Phase 1, which will be replicated among the five districts in phase 3.
“Fort Ann’s grant from STLE-1 became the foundation for the STLE-3 grant proposal we submitted on behalf of the Washington County School Collaborative,” said Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) Faculty Member Dr. Jerome Steele, who facilitates the Collaborative. “It builds on the teacher leader career ladder concept and increases the ability of each district to implement more rigorous curriculum, which ultimately benefits students.”
During March and April 2014, the Collaborative hired the Curriculum and Instruction Leader. Each district will also identify and nominate highly effective and effective teachers from across all academic levels and disciplines to become teacher leaders. These individuals will be at both the novice teacher and professional teacher level on the career ladder.
In May and June 2014, the teacher leaders and principal leaders participated in a series of professional development workshops coordinated by CASDA with SUNY Plattsburgh. There was ongoing professional development all summer and throughout the 2014-15 school year.
Part of the grant monies was used for tuition for SUNY Plattsburgh’s Teacher Leader Certification Program for up to 15 teachers across the five school districts. The Teacher Leader Certification Program is a yearlong program that began September 2014.
“The STLE 3 Grant presents an opportunity to really benefit these districts and teachers and principals,” said Steele. “It will help the districts create something that is efficient and sustainable for years to come.”
Steele also worked with the teacher leaders and principal leaders to develop a Professional Learning Community. CASDA provided coaching and professional development to increase the group’s collaborative learning. “The collaborative model is designed to get districts working more closely together and help them find and develop common ground,” he said.
For more information on the STLE 3 grant or the Washington County School Collaborative, please call Mr. Andrew Cook, Superintendent at Hartford Central School District at 518-632-5222.