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Monticello Schools wins $399K “Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness” Grant Award

October 16, 2012

Principal Bill Frandino with studentsThe Monticello Central School District is slated to receive a $399,125 grant from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to help support teachers and administrators in their endeavor to ensure that all students are college and career ready. Monticello was the only school district in Sullivan County to receive funding for this grant.

Focus of grant funding

The “Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Grant” is a two-year grant that will fund activities around the following three main goals:

1. Increase the number of students enrolled in the district’s in-house special education program that graduate with a Regents diploma.

2. Increase the number of students entering science, technology, engineering or math fields (STEM) after high school.

3. Expansion of the Gateway to Technology program at the middle school level. Gateway to Technology is a nationally-recognized curriculum of hands-on research-based STEM courses. The grant will fund extensive training for teachers and all required computers and equipment.

“The expansion of the programming affected by grant monies will provide students with more opportunities for learning,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel A. Teplesky. “It will also help fund the resources necessary to support additional professional development for teachers and school leaders.”

What we still have to do to get the money

The grant is contingent on the district receiving NYSED approval of its teacher and principal evaluations (Annual Professional Performance Reviews or APPR) by January 17, 2013. Monticello is currently in the process of finalizing its administrator and teacher APPRs and expects to have them filed with the state before the January deadline.

Two-year Plan for Monticello Schools

The grant will fund activities during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years, including:

• Creation of a “District Integrated Co-Teaching Team” which will help strengthen co-teaching. Monticello currently has co-teaching classrooms throughout the district. In these classrooms, general education and special education teachers team to teach classes that include students of all abilities.

• Extensive training for teachers across the district on topics that will help them personalize instruction for all students - ensuring success by all students.

NYSED Statement

In a press release, New York State Education Commissioner John King said, “STLE grants are targeted to support school districts and charter schools utilizing, as part of their implementation of an APPR plan, a comprehensive approach to recruitment, development, support, retention and equitable distribution of effective teachers and school leaders.”

The complete NYSED press release can be viewed at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/stle-grants-announced.html

The Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Grant application was written in partnership with the Capital Region BOCES Grants and Development Service.

Photo: Emma C. Chase Elementary School Principal Bill Frandino, right, discusses an English language arts lesson with fourth-grade students, from left, Lauryn Grodin, Emily LaRuffa, Madison Kehoe and Astha Patel.