Program Description (2012-2013)
The Contract for Excellence Program has been established by the New York State Department of Education to fund initiatives in schools that have been identified on the New York State Report Card as either being a School/District in Need of Improvement or a School Requiring Academic Progress. Districts must target funds to students with the greatest educational needs, including but not limited to students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency or who are English language learners, and students living in poverty, giving priority to schools serving concentra tions of such students. The programs and activities that are implemented as part of the Contract for Excellence must be aligned with schools' achievement needs and have the greatest likelihood of positively impacting student achievement. They also must be used to address specific areas of the instructional program as defined by the state.
During the 2012-2013, Literacy Curriculum, Enrichment Specialists and Consultant Teachers will serve to increase Time on Task by provided targeted Academic Intervention services to identified students in need of further literacy and mathematical development. All students' achievement will be able to be addresses through measures of growth, providing instruction to those who are in need of academic support due to low performance, as well as those who need to be challenge to move beyond grade level expectations. Teacher and Principal Quality Improvement is largely at the elementary level being facilitated by the Literacy Curriculum and Enrichment Specialists, who will continue to provide professional development to teaching staff. They will serve as consultants/members of school-based Inquiry Teams, providing expertise in data analysis and assessment review. Literacy Curriculum Specialists were instrumental in the redesign of district-wide assessments and will be facilitating, with the assistance of the Enrichment Specialists, the design and implementation of two ELA-based Common Core units of study. Overall, dollars previously maintained have increased in this area, with particular attention being paid to Teacher and Principal Quality Improvement as the district supports Race to the Top promoted evaluation systems.
Class Size Reduction will continue to be supported by C4E funds to ensure our K-3 classrooms are of optimal size. One additional first grade teacher will be supported with class size reduction dollars to ensure a lower teacher-student ratio. Reduced class sizes also supports the Academic Intervention Services that have been implemented at all levels, ensuring equal access to needed instruction. Overall, dollars previously maintained have increased in this area.
Middle School and High Restructuring efforts will continue to focus on supporting smaller learning communities. Professional Learning Communities at the Middle Schools, with the inclusion of Middle Years Programming and Academic Intervention support, allows for school-based inquiry teams to identify and address students in need. The MYP program supports the lesson and unit design, aligning the Common Core to support all students' readiness for college and future careers. Additionally, at the High School, Academic Intervention Services will be delivered through a collaborative approach with literacy and the arts. Academic Literacy and Art Teachers will partner to provide instruction that taps into higher level thinking, reading and writing skills utilizing a Visual Thinking Strategies curriculum and embedding the Reading Apprenticeship approach. Additionally, a Social Worker, Psychologist and an Art teacher will continue to be supported at the High School to ensure that needed attention to sub-group populations and graduating cohorts is provided through guidance and enriched opportunities. Continued support for the Regents academy provides opportunities for students at risk of school failure to transition from 8th Grade to 9th grade within a smaller setting. Overall, dollars previously maintained have decreased due to the decrease to the overall contract and inclusion of BHS in Title 1 funding.
Each of the new and innovative programs that have been selected will be adopting the practices that were outgrowths of the district's three year strategic plan, first adopted in the summer of 2010. The plan establishes benchmarks, measured and reported to the Board of Education quarterly, that assist staff in gauging their instruction, classroom practices, student progress and classroom goal setting.
Documents For Public Comment:
Contract for Excellence Narratives 2012-2013
Certification of Requirements
Contract for Excellence Public Comment Form