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TCS Receives State Grant Funding for a Leader Development Program

Tonawanda City Schools has been awarded a $215,750 grant from the New York State Education Department to develop and implement a Career Ladder program to recruit, develop and retain effective teachers and principals.

The Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grant allows the district to “home grow” selected teachers and principals by training them to interpret student data and collaborate with peers on instructional strategies to lead to higher student achievement.

The district designed its Career Ladder program to include intensive content-oriented professional development in data analysis and professional learning communities. Interpreting data collected from school report cards, state assessments, district testing and other sources will help guide future instructional programming decisions at all grade levels. The teachers and principals in the Career Ladder program will share their expertise with other teachers through coaching and turn-key training.

The leadership opportunities fall within three “rungs” of the ladder: novice, professional and leader. Teachers and principals will be required to meet specific criteria in order to be selected for the Career Ladder program.

Under the teacher rungs are novice data specialists, professional instructional coach, and leader data/instructional coach. The teachers who are chosen as novice data specialists and professional instructional coach receive a stipend and continue as a classroom teacher. The leader data/instructional coach would be a full-time position.

Under the principal rungs are novice principal, professional principal and principal leader. Principals who are selected will receive a stipend and will continue in their role as building principal.

“The District has a long tradition of providing outstanding educational opportunities for its students,” said Assistant Superintendent Mary Beth Scullion, who will administer the program along with Director, Pupil Personnel Amy Edgerton. “The grant will equip our teachers and educational leaders with the knowledge, skills and commitment to provide academic challenge and growth for our students and teachers for the next decade.”