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Title 1 Schoolwide Plan  

Accountability Plan Components

 

1. Comprehensive Needs Assessment

 At Watervliet Elementary School (UPK – 06), academic assessments include report card grades, teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, math and reading DIBELS, MONDO, ELA and math benchmark assessments and child study team/RTI recommendations. These assessments, along with required state academic assessments at this level, will determine the success of all students in this schoolwide program. The child study/RTI teams meet three times a year to review student data and determine what services students need and what services can be discontinued.

The elementary school has a building level team that focus on educational needs of students. The building level team meets regularly throughout the school year to review data and discuss where improvements must be made.

At the elementary school, students identified by the RTI (Response to Intervention) Committee, specifically those students who are not achieving proficiency based on the state cut scores, will be assigned AIS/RTI interventions in the subject areas required to pass State Assessments. AIS (Academic Intervention Services) reading and AIS mathematics is offered during the school day.

2. Schoolwide Reform Strategies

There are several school reform strategies that have been implemented over the past several years.

1.  The Watervliet Elementary School has focused on reading and writing instruction and practice. Teachers were trained through the Reading First Grant on how to use progress monitoring techniques to monitor and adjust student instruction based on individual needs. This model was originally introduced to grades K-3 and has since been implemented through 6th grade. The building uses DIBELS and Mondo from Wireless generation to collect data for all students. In addition, the district uses the same progress monitoring techniques in math for grades K-3.

2.  Instructional practice is another area that we have been working on making changes. Many teachers have been trained in Response to Instruction in order to identify Tier 1 students and have begun creating instruction that incorporate this approach as part of their ELA, math, social studies and science curriculum. Additionally, the elementary school is experimenting with Business Centers (Differentiated Instructional Model) to further student ownership and motivation in the classroom.

3.  Technology Integration to increase student engagement and achievement has also been a focus. All classrooms in grades 2-6 have been outfitted with Smart Boards. Teachers have been provided with staff development that focuses on how to integrate the technology, as a teacher and learning tool, into classroom instruction. The school is beginning to implement Google Apps for Education to further integrate technology. This will help improve motivation, differentiation and to measure academic progress.

3. Instruction by Effective-Highly Effective Teachers

Watervliet City School District has adopted a hiring practice that requires all new and existing teachers to meet the “highly qualified” requirements as outlined by federal legislation. Our Clerk to the Board checks on all potential candidates for employment for certification status prior to appointment these candidates to positions in the district. We have a mentor program at Watervliet and all new teachers are hired and assigned a mentor to ensure that all the necessary professional development has been completed each year through the person’s tenure year.

Watervliet Elementary School is compliant with the 100% highly qualified teacher requirement.

4. Strategies to Attract Effective/Highly Effective Teachers

Watervliet holds as a top priority the recruiting, hiring, and retaining of effective/highly effective, highly qualified and fully licensed teachers to serve its students. Efforts made by the school include:

   Establishing close relationships with local universities and colleges with teacher education programs. Specific universities and colleges targeted for recruitment efforts include SUNY Albany, Russell Sage College and the College of St. Rose.

   Attendance at job fairs that are held in the Capital Region when necessary.

   The use of OLAS to post our positions and receive applications for highly qualified teachers

   Offering a competitive benefits package and salary.

   Providing a comprehensive orientation that facilitates a successful transition into teaching.

   Providing opportunities for teachers to improve their instructional skills through a comprehensive professional development program.

   Including teachers in the continuous improvement planning process, and other school initiatives and activities.

The school has developed a plan to ensure that it complies with ESEA 2015. Research indicates that one of the most significant initiatives schools undertake to retain staff is to create a team-based collaborative culture within the school. The focus at Watervliet on grade-level teams and on having teachers as active members of the improvement team serves to ensure that the school achieves greater consensus, collaboration, and cooperation throughout the school This should be as asset in ensuring that the teacher turnover rate remains low.

5. High Quality and Ongoing Professional Development

In accordance with section 1119 and subsection (a)(4), Watervliet provides high-quality and ongoing professional development for teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, pupil services personnel, parents, and other staff to enable all children in the school to meet the state’s student academic achievement standards.

Watervliet plans to carefully integrate its professional development for the staff-for both teachers and paraprofessionals-into its collaborative team-focused culture and its ongoing teacher supervision and support model. The cornerstone of that model is the grade-level team arrangement, which provides daily opportunities for common planning/professional development time for the grade-level teachers within the regular school days as well as regularly scheduled vertical house/full faculty meetings outside of the school day.

The 2016-2017 professional development schedule for the school’s teachers and paraprofessionals is as follows: Every teacher receives three hours per month of professional development in all core subjects and/or technology.

6. Strategies to Increase Parental Involvement

Watervliet believes that parents are an integral part of the school and student success. The school desires parents to be involved in their child’s education, and the partnership of parents, students, and teachers within the school promotes an optimum learning environment to ensure success. The school’s Parent Involvement Policy and the Parent-Student Compact agreement are used in the school’s Title I program to ensure that parents have the opportunity to provide input in Title I programming and participate in the improvement process. (Please see the Parent-Student Compact and the Parent Involvement Policy, which are attached as Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 respectively. The school’s parents are also asked to complete the school’s Annual Title 1 Parent Survey (See Appendix 3); information from that survey is reviewed as part of the school’s comprehensive needs assessment and the evaluation of the school’s Schoolwide Plan. The PTA is also active with monthly meetings that help increase parent involvement with the school.

Through these activities and parental involvement components, the school assures that it appropriately: 1.) provides assistance to parents; 2.) provides materials and training to help parents work with children to improve their achievement; 3.) trains teachers and other required staff in the importance of and how to partner with parents; 4.) coordinates and integrates to the appropriate degree its parent involvement activities with other programming; 5.) communicates information related to school and parent programs, and activities are communicated in an understandable format and language; and 6.) provides full opportunities for parents with limited English proficiency, disabilities, and parents of migratory children to be involved with in the activities of the school and to receive appropriate information and school reports. As such, it complies with NCLB Sections 1118(e) 1-5 and (f).

Parental involvement activities, and the parent involvement component of this Schoolwide Plan, will be involved in the annual evaluation of the schoolwide plan. Feedback from parents provided through communication and their participation in the evaluation process will be incorporated into the review process and the Schoolwide Plan and programs will be adjusted accordingly

Additionally, results of individual student academic assessments will be discussed with parents regularly and, as appropriate, will be shared in a language that parents can understand. As such, the school complies with ESEA 2015.

7. Preschool Transition Strategies

Watervliet is committed to connecting with preschool age children in order to prepare them for school and has developed preschool transition strategies to ensure that incoming students are well-prepared for kindergarten.

Our CPSE (Committee on Pre-School Special Education) has a kindergarten team (psychologist, special education teacher, regular education teacher and speech teacher) participate in transition meetings.

At Watervliet, we have four UPK classrooms in the elementary school building that collaborate with HeadStart. Each classroom has eighteen students. Our kindergarten teachers work with UPK teachers to create a smooth transition to kindergarten for our students.

8. Teacher Participation in Making Assessment Decisions

Teachers at Watervliet play an active role in making assessment decisions for their students. Specifically, teachers choose to implement as appropriate tests and assessments that measure student performance with respect to the school’s curriculum. Through the formative assessment planning process, teachers work collaboratively with respect to the curriculum in order to identify what specific knowledge or skills students need to know and also to identify how they will determine when such learning has taken place. Teachers participate in the decision-making process regarding whether they use curricular program assessments, common grade-level assessments, or other formative or summative assessments to determine or gauge student learning on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Instruction is adjusted according by each teacher as they work to ensure mastery is attained by each student within their classroom and at the school.

9. Assistance to Students Having Difficulty Mastering Standards

The school has implemented activities to ensure that students who experience difficulty mastering standards are provided with effective and timely additional assistance. The school has developed measures to ensure that students’ difficulties are identified on a timely basis in order to provide teachers and school leadership with sufficient information on which to base effective assistance. As noted above, teachers utilize formative assessment to meet the varied learning needs of students. The school uses differentiated instruction by implementing small group sessions and flexible grouping in order to meet each student’s individual learning needs. As such, it employs differentiated instruction in order to address the needs of all children in the school and particularly those at risk of not meeting challenging State standards.

An RTI team holds meetings throughout the year to discuss students and their needs. This is a team approach with teachers, parents, administration and anyone else who may have important information on the student, participating in the discussion regarding the student. During these meetings the stakeholders ask and answer these questions: 1) What do we want each student to learn; 2) How will we know what each student has learned; and 3) How will we respond when students have difficulty learning. By answering these questions collaboratively, teachers ensure that appropriate intervention is delivered to students who are having difficulties mastering challenging state standards.

Strategies for meeting the needs of the students which are discussed in the RTI meetings include:

   Adapting time allotted for learning task or completion of assessment

   Adapting the number of items that the learner is expected to complete or learn

  Adapting the goals or outcome expectations while using the same materials

   Adapting the way instruction is given to the leaner. For example: visual aids, hands-on activities, or cooperative groups.

Teachers log interventions on data triangles and into our software system in e-school. These results are shared with everyone on the team as appropriate.

The district has adopted the Common Core curriculum and assessments.

10. Coordination and Integration of Federal, State, and Local Services and Program

Watervliet ensures that the use of all federal, state, and local funds is coordinated to ensure focus on the goals, strategies, and action activities identified in the Schoolwide Plan. Furthermore, coordination and integration of all federal, state, and local services and programs are ensured through collaboration among administration, staff, parents, and other stakeholders as part of the school’s improvement planning process. Specifically, the school utilizes funds from State and local sources, as well as federal sources-including Titles I and IIA to support the goals identified in the Schoolwide Plan. While funding will not be consolidated, the school’s general educational program (State and local funds) as well as supplemental programs (supported through federal Title I funds). The school’s professional development program, supplemented with funding available through Title IIA, is also supported by Watervliet’s Schoolwide Plan.

Curriculum Alignment
The district has been working for the past seven years at aligning all ELA and Math curriculum vertically and horizontally prek-6. All subject areas across the district were also asked to develop curriculum maps that align to the NYS Common Core Learning Standards. The goal for 2016-2017 school year is that all curriculum will continue to have operational curriculum maps including assessments and activities that will now align to the Common Core Standards and these maps will be placed on the Google drive. Studies have shown that having an aligned curriculum is the best way to increase student achievement.

Download a copy of this plan (PDF)

 

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