Accountability Designations | Complaint Procedures | Improvement Plans | Parental Involvement Policy | Right to Know
- Voorheesville Elementary School: Good Standing
- Voorheesville Middle School: Good Standing
- Clayton A. Bouton High School: Good Standing, 2019-20 Recognition School
To learn more about ESSA Accountability Designations, please visit the New York State Department of Education’s website.
Parents and other stakeholders have the right to a process to file complaints and allow for the timely resolution of such complaints. Complaints filed against a local entity such as a school district will be reviewed by NYSED’s Office of ESSA-Funded Programs.
A complainant may include any of the following: parents, public agencies, and other individuals or organizations. If the complainant is a minor, the complaint or appeal shall also be signed by his or her guardian, unless the statute or rule under which the complaint or appeal is filed prohibits this requirement.
Each LEA in New York State is required to disseminate, free of charge, adequate information about these complaint procedures to parents of students, and appropriate private school officials or representatives.
Step 1: Attempt to Resolve the Complaint at the Local Level
Complaints/appeals regarding the administration and implementation of any of the programs listed above should first be addressed at the local level.
Complaints related to ESSA funded programs at the Voorheesville Central School District must be sent first to the Superintendent of VCSD or his/her designee. If Voorheesville CSD fails to resolve the complaint within 30 business days or fails to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complaint may then be sent to NYSED.
Complaints/appeals regarding a regional Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Services (METS) Program Center’s administration and implementation of services for migrant eligible students should be sent first to the Director of the regional METS Program Center. Complaints/appeals regarding student eligibility for the NYS Migrant Education Program, should be sent first to the Director of the Identification and Recruitment (ID&R) Statewide Program Center. METS Program Centers and ID&R contact information is available at https://www.nysmigrant.org/mets. If the METS Program Centers and the ID&R Program Center fails to resolve the complaint within 30 business days or fails to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complaint may then be sent to NYSED.
Step 2: Submission of Complaint to NYSED
To initiate a complaint with NYSED, a complainant must submit a written, signed complaint including the following:
A statement that the State, local educational agency, neglected and/or delinquent facility, or METS Program Center has violated a requirement of a federal statute or regulation that applies to any applicable program listed above.
The facts on which the statement is based, including sufficient information as to when, where and the nature of activity that is perceived to be in violation of law and/or regulation.
Documentation of attempts to resolve the issue with appropriate personnel at the local level where the child, subject to the complaint, attends (e.g. school building, school district, neglected and/or delinquent facility, METS Program Center, or grantee administrators). Appropriate personnel could include the child’s teacher, building principal, pupil personnel director, METS Director, Director of the Facility, the superintendent and/or local board of education.
The complainant’s recommendation for resolving the complaint.
Complaints may be emailed to CONAPPTA@nysed.gov with “COMPLAINT” in the subject line of the email. Alternately, a complaint may be mailed to NYSED at the following address:
New York State Education Department
Office of ESSA Funded Programs
Attention: Complaint Coordinator
89 Washington Avenue, Room 320EB
Albany, New York 12234
Step 3: Review of Complaint
Once a complaint is received, the complaint coordinator will issue a Letter of Acknowledgement, via mail or email with confirmation, to the complainant that contains the following information:
- The date that NYSED received the complaint;
- The name and contact information of the assigned complaint coordinator;
- How the complainant may provide additional information; and
- A Statement of the ways in which the complaint coordinator may investigate the complaint.
The complaint coordinator retains authority for determining the manner in which the allegations will be investigated, which may include, but are not limited to, a review of written documentation, interviews, and/or on-site investigations.
During the investigative process, the complaint coordinator may contact the entity in question (“the alleged”) to inform them of the complainant’s allegations and request documentation necessary to determine whether a law, rule or regulations related to the administration of the covered programs was violated.
The complaint coordinator may, if necessary, request additional information from either party. Unless the complaint coordinator grants an extension, based on extenuating circumstances, the documentation from the alleged must be received within the stated timelines in the Letter of Allegations.
Step 4: Resolution of Complaint
Within 60 State agency work days of receiving the complaint, a Letter of Resolution will be sent via mail or email with confirmation to the alleged with a copy to the complainant. The letter will specify whether the allegation is sustained by the complaint coordinator and if any corrective action is required. If corrective action is required, the Letter of Resolution will specify the actions needed, timeline for implementation and the acceptable documentation for resolution. If the complaint coordinator finds an additional violation, which was not cited in the original Letter of Allegations, the complaint coordinator will add this violation to the Letter of Resolution.
In the case of exceptional circumstances, an extension of the 60-day complaint resolution period may be required. The State Education Department has determined that exceptional circumstances may include, but need not be limited to, such occurrences as:
- illness of involved parties;
- cancellation of scheduled on-site reviews due to unscheduled school closings;
- the need for extended review activities beyond those specified in the original written notification; and/or
- any other mutual agreement to changes in review scope or activity.
When exceptional circumstances are identified, the revised date for the completion of the complaint review will be provided in writing to all parties involved in the complaint or appeal. All parties to the complaint have the right to initiate a request for an extension beyond the 60 business day complaint resolution period based on exceptional circumstances. All such requests must be presented to the State Education Department.
Step 5: Appeal of Resolution to U.S. Department of Education
Both parties have the right to appeal the complaint coordinator’s Letter of Resolution to the United States Secretary of Education within 30 days of receiving the letter. Such appeals should be submitted to:
United States Department of Education
Compensatory Education Programs
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Room 3W230, FOB #6
Washington, D.C. 20202-6132
The Voorheesville Central School District believes in the importance of ongoing adult learning opportunities to support our district’s goal to “create an academic culture of openness and continuous improvement, including continuous teacher development, and high quality instruction.” Professional development will not only focus on aligning district priorities to practices through targeted professional development, but will also allow for differentiation in which teachers may self-determine areas of need, with both paths mindful of the goals and intentionality of instruction and the ultimate goal of student achievement. The District recognizes that topics important for staff development should be continuous and not merely “one and done” conferences. Whether it be embedded work with a consultant, on-going collaboration between teachers and an administrator or conversations with colleagues in grade level, department meetings, or Professional Learning Communities, sustained and reflective work is essential to professional growth.
When determining professional development needs to improve student achievement and to ensure continuous professional learning for our faculty and staff, the Voorheesville Central School District uses staff surveys, analyzes both qualitative and quantitative data, and meets with the Professional Development Committee to structure the PD plan for the school year. Additionally, the district is committed to writing and revising curriculum aligned to the New York State Standards, Common Core Learning Standards, upcoming Next Generation Standards and national standards.
The following district priorities have been the focus of our professional development and have been articulated in The Voorheesville Central School District’s Educational Plan with Professional Development Pathways and Board Goals with Action Steps. The 2018-19 plan will expand professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, including options for self-directed PD. Areas identified in this plan and supported by professional development include:
- Creating a data informed culture to support teachers in strengthening student growth
- Using effective classroom practices to foster deep student engagement and growth, especially project based learning
- Attending to students’ social and emotional growth
Section I: NYSED Regulations
Section 100.2(dd) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education requires that each school district create and implement a plan for professional development by September 1, 2000 and annually thereafter. In September of each new school year, time will be set aside during the Superintendent Conference Day to provide professional development in the area of School Violence and Prevention training. The district may choose to provide the professional development through an online program or through a consultant who works directly with faculty. In accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) as well as section 52.21 and Part 80, the Voorheesville Central School District will provide annual district required training to discourage the development of discrimination or harassment and to enable employees to prevent and respond to discrimination or harassment. In addition, school professionals applying for or holding a certificate or license on or after December 31, 2013 must complete a state approved training class on the social patterns of harassment, bullying and discrimination from an approved provider.
Section II: Needs Assessment
Teachers were surveyed for their interests in honing their craft as part of the ongoing professional development planning cycle. Overwhelmingly, teachers from all three buildings (63%) rated “Promoting Active Student Engagement” as an area in which to focus attention. At the secondary level, the survey revealed that staff were interested in assessment work, with 41% surveyed indicating that they are interested in the topic of “Developing High Quality Assessments” and 54% interested in “Aligning Teaching Practices to Quality Assessments.” The middle school was also interested in RTI, with over half of the staff selecting that as a topic of interest. Faculty at the elementary school supported learning more about building a comprehensive writing program. Finally, all three buildings regarded “Working with the Disruptive Student” as a valuable professional development topic. (For complete survey results, see Appendix B.)
Additionally, the Voorheesville Central School District reviews multiple data sources when determining professional development for the faculty and staff. The following items are analyzed regularly to determine the focus and content of the professional development plan:
- School Report Card
- NYS and District Assessments (e.g., 3-8 testing and Regents exams)
- Disaggregated Student Achievement Data
- Supervisor and Department Data Analyses and Recommendations
- Student Attendance and Discipline reports
- Graduation and Drop-out Rates
- Special Education Identifications and Annual Reviews
- NYS Learning Standards
- Academic Intervention Services and RtI Records
- Fountas and Pinnell Elementary Benchmark Reading Assessments
- Professional Development Survey
- Professional Development Evaluation/Feedback Surveys
- Longitudinal Student Performance Data
- Star Math and Star Reading Assessment Data
- Professional Performance Reviews and Observations/Evaluations
- Program Evaluations
- Feedback from Curriculum and District Cabinets
- SED Regulations and Mandates
Section III: Professional Development Hours
Registering with the State Education Department
Beginning July 1, 2016, all permanently or professionally certified teachers, educational leaders and Level III teaching assistant certificate holders will be required to register with SED in the month of his/her birth. This registration process will be done using the State Education Department’s TEACH system. These certificate holders will be required to register every five (5) years thereafter.
Accruing Continuing Teacher and Leader Education Hours
A holder of a classroom professional teaching certificate, educational leadership certificate or Level III teaching assistant certificate must complete 100 hours of Continuing Teacher & Leader Education hours (CTLE hours) every 5 years in order to maintain certification. This applies to teachers and leaders who are new to teaching and leading (initial certification issued after February 1, 2004) and all teaching assistants with a Level III certificate. The required 100 hours over a five-year period for professional development will be allocated as 20 hours per year.
The following is an example of how these hours could be accrued:
- 2 District Conference Days – 12 hours
- 1 Conference out of district – 6 hours
- 3 one hour Professional Forums/Book Study Group- 3 hours
Voorheesville Central School District will make every effort to provide those subject to CTLE requirements in house opportunities each year, but also encourage those employees to request out of district offerings that target their specific needs. Employees can verify if an organization or consultant has been approved by NYSED as a CTLE sponsor by visiting the NYS website http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/resteachers/CTLESponsors.html
The district resources used towards CTLE hours include:
- Director of Curriculum
- School Counselors
- Director of Pupil Personnel Services
- Director of Technology
- Technology Teachers
- Athletic Director
- Department Chairs and Leaders
- School Building Principals
- Work Based Coordinator
- Math and Reading Specialists
- Teacher Leaders
- Speech Therapist
- BOCES ENL provider
- Social Worker
- Capital Region BOCES
- Stephanie Affinito, Literacy
- Questar III
- Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Schools
- AP Training with College Board
- Project Lead the Way
- Institutes of Higher Education (i.e. University of Albany; Union College, SCCC)
- NYS Master Teacher
- Greg Tang
- NYSED Trainings & Committee work
- Hoonuit, a.k.a. Atomic Learning
- Future of Education Technology Conference
- Catherine Snyder, PhD
- STAR Assessments
- Frontline, RTI
- Teacher’s College
- Bureau of Educational Research
- Graeme Francis, percussionist
- Learner Center Initiatives
- Great Capital Region Teacher Center
- Capital Region Music Education Symposium
- Corwin Press
- State and National Organizational Conferences (NYS English Council, NYSMMA, etc)
- Magellan Foundation
- ASCD, NYSASCD
- Amazon Education
- Math Learning Center/Bridges
- Learner Center Initiatives
- Dr. Alan Fiero
- Cap District Council for Social Studies
- Dr. Jennifer Bashant
- Greater Capital Region Teacher Center
Additional Options for Obtaining Professional Development
- Credit Bearing University or College Credits- each semester hour of credit = 15 clock hours (Note: this applies to credits beyond those needed for permanent/professional certification.)
- All BOCES sponsored offerings (NERIC, Model Schools, School Support Services, etc.)- Hour for hour credits for seat time, as determined by the presenter.
- All Greater Capital Region Teacher Center Offerings- hour per hour credit for seat time, as determined by the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center.
- Other providers as approved by State Ed.
- Presenting and/or attendance at a District, Regional, State or National Conferences- up to 15 hours per event
- Continuing Education Units (as required for continued licensures i.e. Speech and Language Pathology, etc.) hour for hour as approved by the licensing committee.
- Conferences: Hours of attendance in actual learning settings only (no time given for travel or overnight stays).
Certificate holders must retain a record of the CTLE programs attended and the number of hours s/he has completed. (Specific requirements can be found on the VCSD PD tracking sheet, Appendix A.) Additionally, the PD Module in Stafftrac will be used for the approval, tracking and accounting of professional development hours by the District Office/Director of Curriculum. If a certificate holder would like to use Stafftrac to assist in tracking CTLE hours, s/he must provide evidence to the Director of Curriculum or the Superintendent of Schools that the PD was done by an approved provider for CTLE.
Teacher Improvement Plan
Any teacher or principal who receives a TIPS plan will be eligible to receive PD in the areas of concern as mandated by the plan.
In addition to the district provided professional development workshops that are not subject to additional compensation, the district will from time to time support in-service courses taken by teachers with payment for in service salary credits subject to the following conditions and restrictions:
- The In-service must be pre-approved by the Superintendent
- The In-service must be taken by the teacher outside of the contract hours
Section IV: Mentoring Program
The VCSD will provide a mentoring program for new teachers still holding an initial certification. The purpose of the mentoring program is to support new teachers in the classroom and to ease the transition from teacher preparation to practice, to promote interaction between new and experienced teachers, to increase retention of promising teachers, and to meet state requirement for certification. The mentor may assist the mentee with instructional techniques, time management and classroom management strategies as well as share information about school procedures and rules. The district will provide time, upon request, for the mentor to observe instruction and provide feedback. This observation will not be used for any district evaluation purposes.
Selection of Mentors
Mentors for new teachers are selected by the building principal or his/her designee. The principal/ designee works to choose a mentor who has a common grade level or department with the mentee, has experience with district procedures and can act as a role model to the new teacher. Additionally, the district has a Mentor Coordinator who ensures that the mentoring program is implemented appropriately throughout the year.
- A mentor must possess a valid New York State Teacher Certificate License and have at least three years of teaching experience.
- A qualified mentor is a teacher who:
- Is a skillful teacher
- Is able to transmit effective teaching strategies
- Has a thorough command of the curriculum being taught
- Is a good listener
- Can communicate openly with the beginning teacher
- Is approachable and empathetic/sensitive to the needs of the beginning teacher
- Understands that teachers may be effective using a variety of styles and is careful not to be overly judgmental
- Has maturity, self-assurance, enthusiasm, patience, and confidence in his/her knowledge and ability
- Demonstrates commitment to their own professional growth
- A mentor must have successfully completed mentor training.
- A mentor must agree to abide by the expectations of the Mentoring Program.
Preparation of Mentors
Project coordinators will meet in the early spring semester to project the need for mentors for the upcoming school year. The Mentor Coordinator will facilitate recruitment of potential mentors. Mentors are solicited annually to accommodate participation of prior mentors, veteran teachers or interested teachers.
In order to provide effective mentoring, training will be provided to all mentors. Mentor training may include but shall not be limited to such topics as adult learning theory, teacher development, mentoring relationships, peer coaching, time management methodology, how to engage beginning teachers in critical reflection on their teaching practice, and the mentor’s skill in collecting and interpreting evidence of effective teaching.
Role of the Mentor
The mentor’s role is to provide guidance and support to a new teacher. Additional mentor responsibilities may be negotiated and reflected in a collective bargaining agreement, but generally will reflect the needs of the new teacher being mentored. A basic role is to ensure that new teachers start off the new year with the resources and materials that they need to be successful, focusing on the construction of adequate lessons and addressing issues of classroom management.
Some general roles that mentor may assume:
- Instructional, professional and personal supporter
- Liaison with administration and other teachers, as needed
- Confidential colleague providing feedback
- Resource in the areas of school policy, procedures and routines
Types of Mentoring Activities
Activities should be developed consistent with program goals and intended outcomes. Consideration should be given to needs common to the group (awareness of the district’s policies and procedures); individual needs (develop a particular teaching skill), and needs specific to a category of teachers (bilingual, special education, career and technical education, and speech therapists etc.). Additionally, mentoring activities should be research-based in the areas of instructional strategies and classroom management.
Types of mentoring activities may include, but shall not be limited to, modeling instruction for the new teacher, observing instruction, instructional planning with the new teacher, peer coaching, team coaching, and orienting the new teacher to the school culture.
The information obtained by a mentor through interaction with the new teacher while engaged in the mentoring activities of the program shall not be used for evaluating or disciplining the new teacher, unless withholding such information poses a danger to the life, health, or safety of an individual, including but not limited to students and staff of the school; or unless such information indicates that the new teacher has been convicted of a crime, or has committed an act which raises a reasonable question as to the new teacher’s moral character.
The mentor and the mentee will initially be brought together at the New Staff Orientation in August, preceding the start of the school year. During the August training, mentees will receive generalized training to provide familiarity of school building housekeeping and district utilized software. From there, it is recommended that the mentor and mentee meet at least weekly for the first month. After that, the two teachers should meet to develop a plan individualized to the specific needs of the mentee and to map out future meetings (no less than once a month), classroom visitations, and possible conferences.
The mentor will provide on-going feedback to the mentee based on the individualized plan that was initially established.
Time Allotted for Mentoring
In order to achieve the program’s goals and outcomes, sufficient time must be allotted for mentoring to occur. Some mentoring activities – planning, reflecting, commenting, and record-keeping – can occur during non-instructional periods, while other activities—team teaching, modeling instructional strategies, role playing, etc. may need to occur during the instructional day.
Through the building principal or program coordinator, provisions will be made for release time, as needed, for the mentor and mentee for conferences, classroom visitations and observations, and/or for other mentoring activities.
Time allotted for mentoring may include, but shall not be limited to, scheduling common planning sessions, releasing the mentor and the new teacher from a portion of their instructional and/or non-instructional duties, and providing time for mentoring during superintendent’s conference days, before and after the school day, and during summer orientation sessions.
V. Goals and Implementation Plans
The following professional development goals and objectives have been identified for the 2018-19 school year. The data collected, generated and analyzed by the Voorheesville Central School District in conjunction with district and school level plans will support the goals, objectives, strategies, activities, and evaluations of this professional development Plan. The district goals and each of the objectives designed to achieve such goals (all of which are detailed on subsequent pages) were identified through completion of needs assessments.
The latest Voorheesville Central School District Board of Education Goals (2017-18) and the results of the Needs Assessments (Level 1 Needs Assessment for VES & VMS; Climate Survey) will be used during the 2019-20 school year.
The district will create an academic culture of openness and continuous improvement, including continuous teacher development, and high quality instruction across all grade levels.
- Goal 1: Improve Instruction
- Provide Professional Development
- PD Committee Plans for PD for the year on these topics:
- Next Gen Science Standards
- Promote active student engagement
- Support for students who struggle, including social/emotional needs
- PD Committee Plans for PD for the year on these topics:
- Improve Grade to Grade Transitions
- ES Homework Committee establishes guidelines
- Homework guidelines communicated on website, open houses
- Guidelines monitored and reviewed throughout the school year
- Support Students Who May Struggle
- Revise RTI Plan
- Develop and Revise Curriculum
- Summer Curriculum Work
- Report on Summer Work
- Review District Assessments K-12
- Form K-12 Assessment Committee
- Review Assessments in district and propose revisions if needed
- Provide Professional Development
The district will support student achievement by developing students’
- Potential for scholarship, curiosity, critical thinking, and problem-solving
- Capacity for independent, self-directed learning
- Social and emotional growth and well-being
- Provide Additional Options for Academic Programs 6-12
- Develop Budget Proposals with Program Enhancements
- Enhance CTE Offerings through BOCES
- Enhance Work Based Learning and Integrate with Course Offerings
- Provide Opportunities for Academic Support K-12
- Enhance AIS offerings at MS and HS
- Provide Opportunities for Academic Enrichment K-12
- Develop a CTE program in Business Education
- Enhance Role of Dept Chairs/Leaders
- Dept Meetings Focused on Instruction
- Support and Enhance Counseling Program K-12
- Develop District Counseling Plan and implement
- Report on status of plan and implementation
- Review and Act on Student Performance Data
- Form a district assessment committee to review data
- Provide Transition Support for Students
- Students meet with new teachers at each level:
- College Nights for Grades 10, 11, and 12
- Grade 8 students meeting with 9th grade teachers
- Grade 5 students meet with 6th grade teachers
- Moving Up Day at the ES
- Students meet with new teachers at each level:
- Support Students’ pursuit of higher education
- Complete revision of the School Profile
- Extracurricular enhancements
- Complete revised Wrestling merger agreement with BKW
In addition to these goals, the Professional Development Committee has set the following professional development objectives/major initiatives for the 2019-20 school year:
- To provide training and support to VES teachers implementing Units of Study in Writing
- To provide training and support to MS/HS teachers for Compassionate Classrooms/ Trauma Informed Instruction and to extend SEL learning to all staff (drivers, food service, etc)
- To build capacity for Next Generation ELA, Math and Science Standards
- To allow for individualized choice of PD through Hoonuit, a district-wide online program
The Professional Development plan will be evaluated based on:
- Participants’ reactions (surveys and informal feedback)
- Participants’ Learning (faculty meeting shares, surveys, formal and informal observations)
- Participants’ use of Knowledge and Skills (teacher product, teacher formal and informal observations)
- Organization Impact (budget, interviews with building leaders and staff)
- Student Learning Outcomes (student performance records)
Parental Involvement Policy
Statement of Purpose
The Voorheesville Central School District (VCSD) is committed to the concept that all children can learn, and that the education of each child is everyone’s responsibility. The educational success of each student depends upon a commitment to excellence on the part of teachers, administrators, support staff, parents, and community members. The goal of the District is to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge and experiences in order to prepare them to be a global citizen and to spark intellectual curiosity so as to value life-long learning. To accomplish this goal, it is the intention of the VCSD to establish a partnership with parents and the community. By working closely together, we can create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
To ensure compliance with Federal Title I guidelines, the Board of Education further directs the administration to implement programs, activities, and procedures to achieve parental involvement in planning, designing, and implementing such programs. All such programs are intended to strengthen the relationship between home and school.
The VCSD will be governed by the following statutory definition of parental involvement; and expects that it’s Title I schools will carry out programs, activities and procedures in accordance with this definition:
Parental involvement means the participation of parents/guardians in
regular, two-way and meaningful communication involving student academic
learning and other school activities, including ensuring:
- that parents play an integral role in assuring their child’s learning, (e.g., registering for a parent-teacher conference with both classroom and remedial staff)
- that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their children’s education at school, (e.g., attend Open House, annual meetings; parent-teacher conferences; communicate concerns with teacher, etc.)
- that parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committee to assist in the education of their child; and
- the carrying out of other activities as described in ESSA regulations
Furthermore, in regards to Title I, the VCSD shall ensure the following:
- Joint Development of School, Parent and Family Engagement Policy
The VCSD will involve parents in the joint development of the district’s Title I plan and the process of school review and improvement. The policy will be reviewed annually.
- Annual Meeting for Title I Parents
There will be an annual meeting in which all families are invited. The meeting will inform families of the school’s participation under Title I, explain the requirements under this part, and the right of families to be involved. Dates and meeting times for Title I meetings will be publicized on the website and/or through local Board meetings. The District’s School Parent & Family Engagement Policy will be available on the school website. It will also be sent electronically annually. Hard copies of the policy will be available upon request.
- Types of Parental Involvement
There are many ways in which parents can become involved with their children’s education. The VCSD values at-home contributions (planned home reading time, informal learning activities, regular time set aside for homework; etc.) as well as those that take place at school and in the community. The VCSD will support the development of activities that promote the schools’ and parents’ capacity for strong parent involvement. Parents and families will be provided timely information about school programs served by Title I. Advance notice will be shared electronically and/or through flyers, with the District ensuring that it is in a format, and when practicable, it is written in a language that families can understand.
- School Support and Assistance
The VCSD will provide the necessary coordination, technical assistance, and other necessary support, to assist participating schools in planning and implementing effective parent involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance. Administrators will be supported in receiving professional development in implementing effective parent and family involvement activities through (1) sharing best practices with each other (2) consulting with other community based organizations and/or (3) being provided professional development by experts in that area.
- Matching Programs to the Needs of Our Community
The VCSD will educate teachers, pupil services personnel, principals and other staff in how to work with, value and utilize the contributions of parents as well as how to reach out to, communicate with and work with parents as equal partners; to implement and coordinate parent programs; and build ties between parents and the school. Examples of this goal are the parent volunteer program, parent involvement in school fund-raisers, parent participation in parents’ nights, open houses, and community activities at school. Parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s programs by conversing with teachers, accessing teacher websites and volunteering in the many activities which include families in the district.Each year the VCSD assesses the needs of children and their families in this community through a variety of measures, including community forums, surveys and parent conferences, so that the Title I program is tailored to meet those needs. Administrators, teachers and parents work together in monthly meetings including the school building Site Based team, the Community Alliance Committee and the PTA. Through these programs, the district learns of parents’ needs and concerns. Staff, including principals, will be provided education on how to engage families effectively.Workshops and other programs will be made available to provide assistance in areas such as literacy, numeracy, and technology, and other areas as needed. Notification of these workshops will be made available through various communication channels such as building newsletters, flyers and through electronic means.
- Curriculum and Assessment
Parents and families can find a description of the curriculum and academic assessments being used on the Voorheesville CSD website’s Curriculum page. Benchmark and progress monitoring assessments, in early literacy, English language arts and mathematics are used to measure students’ progress. Also included and explained on this page are the achievement levels for the New York State Testing Program and resources parents can use to support their child. The District shall provide assistance to parents in understanding the NYS standards, state and local assessments, interpreting progress monitoring assessments and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their child. In addition to the website resources, this may be done through BOE meetings, Open House or parent/teacher conferences.
The VCSD will take action to ensure that the information related to the school and parent programs, meetings and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in an understandable format. The VCSD’s Title I schools will offer a flexible number of meetings, such as morning and evening, and may provide transportation, child care or home visits, as such services related to family engagement. Additionally, parents will have opportunities for regular parent meetings with their schools. For example, elementary school parent- teacher conferences are offered twice a year. At the secondary level, the school counselor can meet solely with the parent or arrange for the parent to meet with a child’s grade level team. Parents can formulate suggestions and participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children. Schools will respond to those suggestions as soon as practically possible.
- Advisory Committee
The district will evaluate the Title I program annually. Parents will be involved in the annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the program in improving the academic quality of schools served under Title I funds. Findings of annual evaluations will be used to design strategies for more effective parental involvement and to revise, if necessary, the requirements of this policy. Parents will be notified of the meeting via the district website and/or other electronic means. The Committee will review state and local data as well as any current surveys. Agenda items will include the following: barriers to greater family participation, the needs of families to assist with the learning of their children, strategies to support successful school and family interactions.
Right to Know
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), parents/guardians have the right to know the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers, including:
- Whether a teacher has state certification for the grade levels and subjects he or she is teaching;
- Whether a teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;
- Whether the teacher is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher;
- Whether their child receives services from paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications; and
- Whether their child has been taught for four or more weeks in a row by a teacher “who does not meet applicable state certification or licensure requirements at the grade level and subject area in which the teacher has been assigned.”
Parents/guardians may request their child’s classroom teacher’s professional qualifications by contacting Director of Curriculum Karen Conroy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-765-2382, ext. 703.
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), parents/guardians have the right to know specific information about the required assessments their child will take. These assessments include:
- NYS Assessments:
- In the spring of each school year, Students in grade 3-8 take
- the NYS Assessment for English Language Arts
- the NYS Assessment for Mathematics
- Grades 4 and 8 this year took NYS Science Assessment. Next year it will only be Grade 8. The year after that it will be grades 5 and 8 with an updated assessment.
- Our Local Benchmark Assessments:
- PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) assessment is used in kindergarten as a universal screening tool. The results are used to provide effective literacy instruction and prevent future reading problems.
- The Star Assessments for Reading and Math are used in grades 1-8 as a universal screening and progress monitoring tool to identify students at risk of experiencing difficulties in reading and math.
- The Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessments are administered one to one with students and are used as an additional resource for K-3 teachers. The results assist teachers with providing effective literacy instruction and student placement for guided reading.
- Benchmark assessments are scheduled for universal screenings three times a year (September, January/February, and May/June) and usually take about 20-30 minutes a session.
- Screening results are not included in the calculation of any student grades. Parents who are interested in results of the screenings may issue a request with the child’s teacher.