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  1. 1. School District of the City of York Superintendent’s Entry Plan: “Great Expectations: Failure is Not an Option” Dr. Deborah L. Wortham, Superintendent School District of the City of York September 2011250 31 North Pershing Avenue • York, Pennsylvania 17401 • 717-849-1201
  2. 2. Board of Directors for theSchool District of the City of York Mr. Samuel Beard, President Ms. Beverly Atwater, Vice President Dr. Julio Aguayo Mr. Gary Calhoun Mr. James Morgan Ms. Margie Orr Ms. Jeanette Torres Ms. Sandie Walker Rev. Dr. Aaron Willford
  3. 3. Entry Plan Component: Healthy School District of the City of York Superintendent’s Entry Plan Dr. Deborah L. Wortham It’s my honor and privilege to serve as the new leader of learning for the School District of the City of York. The Superintendent’s Entry Plan illustrates my mission and vision, the challeges and opportunities we face, and how we might work together to help each student be successful. The Entry Plan is organized around five goals for educating the whole child through quality policies, teaching, services, and results. This approach provides a way for all students, teachers, administrators, parents, and stakeholders to work together as we help each student to achieve success in school, in higher education, and in the workplace. “We invite you to work with us and contribute to the success of each student.” Healthy! Challenged! Safe! Entry Plan: Educating the Whole Child Engaged! Supported! Learn more about the School District of the City of York here: http://www.ycs.k12.pa.us 1
  4. 4. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Getting Started: Listen and Discover Listen and Discover: Upon becoming the Superintendent, I walked through the community of each school with administrators, teachers, staff, and community leaders. We passed out fliers, knocked on doors, and made introductions to the community. The compelling question was: “What can we do to become a great school district? We wanted to learn more about local issues and the taxpayers’ vision of the school district. Collaborative conversations with school board members, administrators, teachers, facilities and support staff, and “I discovered a strong students helped to learn about their backgrounds, responsibilities, key commitment by everyone issues, and what they wanted to preserve and change. for the community.”What was learned in community experiences and collaborative conversations? Accepting invitations to share the mission and vision of the district with various organizations such as Better York, Kinsley Construction, Crispus Attucks, Wolf Organization, Community Progress Council, City Council, Mayor’s Office, Commissioners, Representatives, and the Women’s Giving Circle, led to the unification of leaders committed to transform the School District. This collaborative process encouraged over 850 stakeholders to express their views about the schools and school district and included insights from the Reaching Higher Report. Through this fact-finding journey, we also learned it was clear that the district had a nick- name that had a negative connotation. York City would be transformed to “The School District of the City of York!” We had to rebrand the district!What was discovered about our schools’ capacity to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)? The Big Picture -- Schools Across the District! Question: How many of our schools are meeting or making progress toward AYP targets? District Schools Targets Met AYP Status William Penn High 17/25 Corrective Action Hannah Penn Middle 19/29 Corrective Action Smith Middle 18/29 Corrective Action Goode Elementary 18/19 Corrective Action Jackson Elementary 20/21 School Improvement Devers Elementary 18/19 School Improvement Ferguson Elementary 23/23 Making Progress Davis Elementary 17/17 Making Progress McKinley Elementary 15/15 Making Progress Answer: Three out of nine schools are making progress! 2
  5. 5. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Getting Started: Analyze School Level DataInside the School Data! Looking deeper into the school AYP data illustrated below uncovers keyfindings for determining next steps for improvement.Key Findings:1. Three schools regressed in 2011 student achievement -- shown in red. This means they will need to shape and implement new strategies to overcome 2011 obstacles while striving to meet and exceed the 2012 AYP target. n William Penn High in mathematics n Hannah Penn Middle in reading n E. F. Smith Middle in reading and mathematics2. Four schools increased student achievement in 2011 -- shown in Green. This means their expected 2012 student performance is set at 10% over 2011 student performance. n Goode Elementary in mathematics n Devers Elementary in mathematics n Ferguson Elementary in mathematics n Davis Elementary in mathematics3. In the middle and high schools, less than half of the students are able to read and perform mathematics proficiently while the elementary schools are showing signs of progress but still have 12.5 to 25.4 points to increase for reading and from 2.3 to 4.0 points to increase for mathematics in schools that didn’t exceed the target in 2011. 3
  6. 6. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Getting Started: Listen, Discover, and LearnWhat was learned about our students’ capacity to read and perform mathematics? • Findings: Based on 2011 PSSA results, the big picture demonstrates that our elementary, middle, and high schools need Premier instruction to improve reading and mathematics. • Analysis: The data call for a dramatic and focused transformation to move beyond meeting AYP targets, build on instructional strategies such as those in elementary schools where the targets were exceeded in mathematics, and customize instruction to support students with IEPs and special needs. The data clearly show our task gets more difficult each year. • Action: Our school district’s performances on PSSA assessments of student performance in reading and mathematics require immediate and long-range improvement in classroom teaching and student achievement. Each of our students must be a proficient reader and mathematician in order to reach our mission of becoming a Premier District where failure is not an option!How does the entry plan act on the data? When teachers analyze state testing program data with their class- room data, they discover insights that remain hidden from teachers Data-Driven who continue to use traditional analyses. By analyzing data about Instruction specific content standards and indicators rather than grade level equivalents, teachers get closer to the underlying causes of student performance. This leads to improvements in teaching practices that are aligned with both state and local standards and student needs. The challenge of school improvement to help all of our students Intense Professional to become proficient in reading and mathematics requires building Development professional learning communities at the District, school, and class- room levels and job-embedded, on-demand professional develop- ment. We need to transfer and implement with fidelity strategies learned from professional development sessions. School principals are leaders of learning. This means they must spend 50% of their day in classrooms observing instruction and, Leading for Learning then, providing feedback to teachers for on-going improvement. This approach implements the idea that leaders of learning “inspect what they expect” and provide strategies and resources.From what was learned, what is the commitment of this Entry Plan? Commitment and Mission: The Superintendent will lead the School District of the City of York to achieve the following mission: As a professional learning community, we educate the whole child by providing an engaging and challenging learning environment to ensure each student receives a premier education. “Failure Is Not an Option” The goals and strategies of this entry plan will guide the Superintendent to lead the School District of the City of York toward continuous improvement and success. 4
  7. 7. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Entry Plan Goal 1: Healthy Goal 1: Establish support systems for each School District of the City of York student to enter school healthy and to learn about and practice a healthy lifestyle. Healthy Students = Healthy Learners! Students who are ill, come to school hungry, have trouble breathing, are visually impaired, or who struggle to stay on task because of special needs typically don’t do well academically. Strategies:1. Support universal breakfast with flawless customer service for elementary, middle, and high school students that accommodates all students despite transportation problems, late arrivals, and other similar obstacles.2. Conduct community conversations with parents/guardians and other social, corporate, and religous community members to discuss “Educating the Whole Child in the School District of the City of York.”3. Meet with parents/guardians, advocacy group leaders, state education officials, and the Director of Special Education to guarantee compliance in all affairs regarding students with special needs.4. Develop strategies to prevent student obesity because of its impact on poor academic performance and increases in health and education costs.5. Outsource all food services to comply with the findings and recommendations of an external audit.Entry Plan Component: Healthy Entry Plan Goal 2: Safe Goal 2: Provide safeguards and procedures for each School District of the City of York student to learn in an intellectually challenging environ- ment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults. Safe Schools = Effective Schools! Typically, students who feel safe and secure and are drug-free typically learn more. Students who are distracted by misbehavior, fights, and other forms of violence struggle to perform well. Strategies:1. Establish and implement a “uniformly dressed” attire policy for our students that will eliminate inappropriate clothing, recognize non-students in schools, and assist in resisting peer pressure.2. Establish criteria and procedures for conducting and acting on the results of student discipline hearings and implementing a zero tolerance policy.3. Establish the student identification badge to ensure orderly procedures and faciliate communication throughout all school district policies and procedures.4. Renovate the cafeteria settings to improve the school culture and promote fine dining behaviors. 5
  8. 8. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Entry Plan Goal 3: Engaged Goal 3: Improve instruction continuously to engage each School District of the City of York student actively in learning and to connect them with the school and broader community. Quality Teaching = Quality Learning! Students who receive quality instruction typically are motivated to learn, apply knowledge and skills to solve problems, use technology creatively, and share their work within and outside their classrooms and schools. Strategies:1. Market the District mission statement to guide people, time, and money to improve student achievement for each student and rally stakeholders toward a shared outcome.2. Establish a District Professional Learning Community to advise the Superintendent on the implementation and continuous improvement of an action plan for learning improvement.3. Conduct the Superintendent’s Leadership Academy to expand content knowledge and develop skills in instructional leadership, literacy development, assessment, and management efficiency.4. Create and implement district and school improvement plans required by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education that align and implement our district mission and vision of success.5. Implement an instructional improvement process that aligns daily lessons with the assessment anchors and eligible content used to define and measure AYP in reading and mathematics.Entry Plan Component: Healthy Entry Plan Goal 4: Supported Goal 4: Ensure that each School District of the City of York student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults. More Support = More Results! Students learn effectively when supported by caring, qualified adults. Teachers perform better when they feel comfortable with new skills, knowledge, and technology needed to support student needs and interests. Strategies:1. Develop, implement, evaluate, and constantly improve a professional development plan for the District and the elementary, middle, and high schools.2. Re-design faculty and committee meetings into professional learning communities that focus on the mission and vision to improve teaching and learning in every classroom.3. Conduct learning walks of classroom instruction on a regular basis to keep abreast of the evidence of learning delivered in the elementary, middle, and high schools.4. Restructure the organization of the Superintendent’s office and administrative staff to align and support the District mission for improving student achievement.5. Identify an employee assistance program to support all staff to perform their roles effectively. 6
  9. 9. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Entry Plan Goal 5: Challenged Goal 5: Ensure that each School District of the City of York student is challenged by a well-balanced, rigorous curriculum and is prepared for success in school, in higher education, and in their career choices. Rigor = Success! Today’s students expect to learn content and to interact with technologies in collaborative settings. They deserve a curriculum and teachers excited and able to help them transform class- work into real world solutions and new knowledge. Strategies:1. Conduct a curricular audit to discover alignments and gaps between District subject matter areas and Pennsylvania Content Standards, Assessment Anchors, and Eligible Content to ensure rigor and relevancy.2. Initiate a curriculum development process to provide schools with a well-rounded curriculum that includes required content areas, emerging content, and enrichment options for all students.3. Add a rigorous core curriculum and increase the arts, foreign languages, technology, student-centered enrichment programs, and credit recovery interventions.4. Expect students and teachers to use technology as an integral part of their classroom teaching and learn- ing experiences and as a collaboration and communication method. How can we become a premier school district? Failure is Not an Option in Our Schools! We will overcome all challenges by dedicating ourselves to the following principles that guide student achievement in high performing school districts: 1. Common mission, vision, and goals 2. Ensuring achievement for all students with systems for prevention and intervention 3. Collaborative teaming focused on teaching and learning 4. Using data to guide decision making and continuous improvement 5. Gaining active engagement from family and community 6. Building sustainable leadership capacity 7
  10. 10. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Success: Aligning Proven Models with our GoalsFocus on the following Action Steps and Best Practices for Success! First: Focus on the whole child! We must expect and strive to prepare all students to graduate with the 21st century knowledge, skills, and know-how to do quality work in higher education, in careers of their choice, and in their personal lives. Second: Base our actions on an urgency to achieve our goals and expectations. By working together in professional learning communities, we will become a premier school district. 8
  11. 11. Entry Plan Component: Healthy Action: Becoming a Premier School District Whether it’s student achievement, quality teaching, or parent involve- ment, we know that confidence facilitates growth and development. Now that we have set our goals for the new school year and merged them with confidence and effective effort, the following ten pathways will lead us to success and continuous improvement. 10 Pathways to Success: 1. Educating the Whole Child - Apply the Entry Plan goals and strategies to implement the whole child approach for each student, in each school, and in each of our local communities. 2. Data-Driven Decision Making - Start with our mission, implement activities for improvement, measure progress and results, and continuously make improvements. 3. Professional Learning Communities - Collaborate with School Board and local community members, students, parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, Lincoln Intermediate Unit associates, and PDE. 4. Efficacy - Mobilize available resources to solve problems, nurture confidence, apply effort, and increase the capacity of adults and students to help them achieve high expectations in school and beyond. 5. Failure is Not an Option - Believe in the expected performance of staff and students as they strive for success, use setbacks as learning experiences to make adjustments, and never consider failure. 6. Danielson’s Framework for Teaching - Adapt this research-based framework as the foundation of the District’s mentoring, coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes. 7. iObservation - Use this instructional and leadership improvement system to collect, manage, and report longitudinal data from classroom walkthroughs. 8. Character Education - Support schools to foster ethical, responsible, and caring students by modeling and teaching character traits such as respect, justice, integrity, perseverance, and courage. 9. Compelling Conversations - Engage in collaborative discussion to share beliefs and practices that transfer into data that are trusted, timely, and supportive of driving accurate instructional decisions. 10. Standards Aligned System - Access the PDE web site to select clear standards, fair assessments, curriculum, instruction, materials and resources, and interventions to improve student achievement. We want to hear from you: During the implementation of this Entry Plan, we will be constantly seeking ideas, comments, suggestions, and questions to help us reach our goals. I invite you to use one or more of the following options to send me your inquiries or feedback. Thank you. Mail: Dr. Deborah L. Wortham, Superintendent School District of the City of York 31 North Pershing Avenue York, PA 17401 E-Mail: worthamd@ycs.k12.pa.us Telephone: 717.849.1201 9