Lavelle Prep’s “New York State Charter School Dissemination Grant” Kicks Off Second Year

This September, Lavelle Prep entered Phase II of the “New York State Charter School Dissemination Grant” in collaboration with four community school partners.

Awarded in May 2016 by the New York State Department of Education, the grant provides financial support which enables Lavelle Prep, IS 24, PS 44, PS78 and Port Richmond High School to collaboratively share in the experience of disseminating best practices in our innovative approach to teacher and instructional evaluation, transparency in collegial conversations, lesson planning, professional development, and more.

Through the supportive funds, participating schools receive both on-site and off-site training, classroom collaboration and coaching, and enjoy fostering professional partnerships across school grades and districts – something that would not happen organically without these focused efforts.

Under the project management of Ms. Evelyn Finn and beginning in the Fall of 2016, nine Danielson certified teacher leaders from Lavelle Prep have split in teams of two, and were then assigned to teams of teachers at the participating district schools. After a week-long training led by Dr. Paula Bevan, a senior consultant at The Danielson Group, the teams developed a deep familiarity and understanding of the Danielson Framework for Teaching.

Melinda Moya & Dr. Paula Bevan

Through monthly collaborative work sessions, this training led to a developed as the teams began to transfer knowledge into practice via rotating classroom observations; beginning with a pre-observation conference and culminating with a post-conference where reflections and discussion of next steps are paramount.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, the teams have now begun Phase II, inviting new teachers in each participating school to join in the process while continuing to embrace the new knowledge and relationships, building upon the open-minded thinking and collegial relationships established in the year prior.  While “new” teachers are getting acclimated in their role within the partnership, “veterans” are also now receiving deeper training, with a new concentration on evaluation of those in roles of coach and leader, beyond classroom teacher.

Currently, the total number of professional participants within the program exceeds 45, thus effectively reaching over 20 classrooms, and hundreds of students. Additionally, community schools have also expressed interest in joining the grant, based on participating schools’ enthusiastic endorsements regarding the work.

Presentation of the program’s growth and successes will be presented at the 9th Annual Futures of Education Luncheon later this year.

We look forward to continued growth and results as the project will continues to grow through the initial three-year term.