On September 12, 2022, the Board of Education approved a Strategic Plan that will guide the district over the next five years. This plan was thoughtfully developed by a comprehensive constituent group to align with our mission & vision.
Tonight, at the March 13, Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Maureen Long will detail the progress that has been made. That information is outlined below.
- GOAL 1: STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND SUCCESS
- GOAL 2: SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING
- GOAL 3: DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSIVITY
- GOAL 4: FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY (Budget development process underway-update to come)
Our school community will provide the necessary supports and opportunities for proficiency and success among our students. Faculty and staff will have the knowledge and skills to develop and implement curriculum and instruction that meet the unique needs of all learners.
GOAL 1-OUTCOME 1
By June 2026, content areas will have standards-based curriculum, including cross-curricular mapped units, which include standards, prioritized outcomes, progression of learning targets and summative success.
GOAL 1-OUTCOME 1: ACTION STEPS
- A DRAFT* Scope and sequence and progression of learning targets based on prioritized standards will be developed for Math K-6, one grade level of each MS Content Area, one grade band for special area teachers, in conjunction with grade level support team.
- A DRAFT* Scope and sequence and progression of learning targets based on prioritized standards are developed, opportunities will be identified where cross curricular planning and development can occur. As these opportunities arise they will be further developed and implemented.
K-5 classroom teachers are utilizing release time and conference days for curriculum development with their grade level partner and instructional coach. Grades 2, 4, and 5 have focused on math.
Middle school teachers are utilizing release time and conference days for curriculum development and have a BOCES coach at their disposal for support. They are on pace to complete one grade level.
Special area teachers have the opportunity for release time but also had two half days with the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction from BOCES to develop curriculum maps that meet the needs of special area classes. Each teacher is on pace to complete one grade band.
Middle school social studies and ELA are working together to create cross-curricular opportunities for students. This year they are focusing on creating these opportunities in grade 8.
A BOCES Library Specialist is scheduled to present to staff in April. The focus will be the use of diverse texts and texts that support science and social studies curriculum.
GOAL 1-OUTCOME 3
By June 2026, Menands School will fully implement a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) so teachers and staff can screen/identify appropriate and targeted intervention pathways for struggling students.
GOAL 1-OUTCOME 3: ACTION STEPS
- Create a DRAFT K-8 MTSS/Response to Intervention (RTI) guide that includes, benchmark data protocols, expectations, and indicators for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 including when students would be referred to IST and what data they would need to bring to the committee.
A MTSS committee was established and it includes participation from a variety of instructional staff (classroom teachers, counselor, social worker, speech and language pathologist, school psychologist, AIS providers, coordinator of PPS, and principal). The committee has met twice so far this year to discuss universal screeners, diagnostic assessments, and entrance/exit criteria for AIS. They will continue to meet monthly for the remainder of the year.
GOAL 1-OUTCOME 4
By June 2026 faculty will engage regularly across the school year in data review cycles including grade level and full faculty review.
GOAL 1-OUTCOME 4: ACTION STEPS
- Trend data, by subgroup population, will be reviewed during a faculty meeting to identify subgroups for focus and progress will be monitored through classroom based assessments where students can access their individualized learning path.
In October and January/February a total of four teacher meetings were used to conduct data review cycles. This data check looks at clusters of students who were either demonstrating low growth/low achievement, low growth/high achievement, high growth/low achievement or high growth/high achievement. Intervention plans were then discussed by grade level teams.
Our K-2 self-contained classroom staff met on 1/24 to review data and progress with the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE). Individualized goals were created for each student based on their skills assessment and the scope and sequence.
We are committed to the development of the whole child by engaging students, staff, and families in opportunities that create and foster a safe and supportive school community.
GOAL 2-OUTCOME 1
By June 2026 all teachers and staff will be employing the Responsive Classroom Model and Fly 5 (Social Emotional) Curriculum to support a consistent schoolwide commitment to a safe, healthy and nurturing learning environment, enhancing staff ability to identify, mitigate and minimize behaviors interfering with student learning.
GOAL 2-OUTCOME 1: ACTION STEPS
- All staff will be provided the opportunity to participate in Life is Good professional development opportunity focused on trauma informed practices and self care.
- All instructional staff will have successfully completed the initial, comprehensive Responsive Classroom Training (Elementary and/or MS Core Course).
- Dedicated time will be included in the schedule, and all K-5 classroom/homeroom teachers and 6-8 homeroom teachers will be conducting Morning Meeting or Advisory consistently across the school year.
- Special Area Teachers will be partnered with classroom/homeroom teachers to co-facilitate morning meeting and advisory to the extent the schedule allows.
- Staff who piloted Fly 5 in the 21-22 school year will serve as turnkey trainers for those who have not yet implemented the program.
- All homerooms K-5 will complete the beginning of the year assessment for Fly 5 and implement lessons twice a week.
Utilizing scheduled teacher and faculty meetings, as well as Superintendent’s Conference Days in the 2022-23 school year, all instructional staff participated in the “Playmaker 202” course, offered through Life is Good. The professional development program focuses on the disposition, approach and wellness of childcare providers. The work is grounded in the belief that to better care for children, we must better care for the adults who serve them. The culminating capstone event is scheduled for the March 17, 2023 Superintendent’s Conference Day.
To date, 26 instructional staff members have completed the initial four day Responsive Classroom Training. The remaining 14 staff members are scheduled to do so during a spring offering in 2023. Additionally, during our October 5, 2022 Superintendent’s Conference Day an opportunity was provided to non-instructional staff with a focus on employing responsive classroom strategies in the cafeteria.
Morning Meeting (K-5) and Advisory (6-8) is scheduled daily and is conducted consistently across all homerooms.
Each middle school homeroom teacher is partnered with a special area or support teacher to facilitate advisory meetings. These partnerships rotated at the 13 week mark and will rotate again at the end of the second trimester.
Two of our classroom teachers have assisted teachers at the K-2 or 3-5 grade levels to implement the Fly 5 curriculum.
K-3 teachers have scheduled Fly 5 lessons twice a week and 4th-5th grade teachers have scheduled it once a week.
GOAL 2-OUTCOME 2
By June 2026, methods of successfully communicating with all families will have been identified and implemented.
GOAL2-OUTCOME 2: ACTION STEPS
- Conduct surveys to assess current communication systems in place in the classroom, school and district. This will include surveying staff, and parents relative to the systems currently in place and the information conveyed, and their perceived value and effectiveness.
- Conduct a comprehensive review of the survey results to identify effectiveness of current systems and content at all levels.
- Participate in an exploration of communication platforms available to teachers, schools and districts to identify those not currently being utilized that may be of value for consideration.
In coordination with our BOCES Communications specialist, sample surveys have been collected. The district Technology Committee will meet in March to use the samples as a basis to develop a survey or surveys specific to meeting this goal. It is expected the surveys will be deployed by April 1, 2023.
Administration and Technology Support Services have begun to explore potential communications platforms. Updated membership of the Districtwide technology Committee have been identified, and will engage in further exploration during the spring of 2023.
GOAL 2-OUTCOME 3
By June 2026, the purpose and membership of the Wellness Committee will have been reviewed and revised to better support and promote the wellness of students and staff.
GOAL 2-OUTCOME 3: ACTION STEPS
- Review and assess committees (and membership) required by policy, NYSED, or education law, as well as those historically in place in the district.
- The Health and Wellness Committee membership will be identified and come together for regularly scheduled meetings.
All committee memberships have been reviewed; Guidance was provided by our BOCES Safety Specialist around required (by NYSED or regulation) committees and membership. Based on this information, the district identified an overarching Health, Safety & Wellness Committee and further identified the following subcommittees: The Health & Safety Committee and Safety Teams.
The membership was identified, and an initial meeting was conducted on January 11, 2023. Meeting dates for the remainder of year one were also identified.
GOAL 2-OUTCOME 4
By June 2026, student support services will have identified and implemented a protocol to identify student (particular, specific, unique, circumstantial) needs, communicate those needs with relevant staff, and plan collectively to address those needs.
GOAL 2-OUTCOME 4: ACTION STEPS
- Support Services (school counselor, social worker, psychologist, nurse) will work with administration to assess and refine current roles and responsibilities relative to identifying and communicating students’ needs and collectively addressing them.
The Student Support Services team has established bi-weekly meetings starting in September including our school counselor, school social worker, school nurse, school psychologist, and Coordinator of PPS. These meetings allow the department to communicate important information regarding the needs of students K-8. We are in the process of creating a chart of current roles and responsibilities pertaining to each member of the team.
Recognizing the diversity of our student body, the MUFSD is committed to the growth and development of our school community to provide an equitable education for all students that eliminates race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexuality and disability as predictors of student success, and creates a community where all members feel valued.
GOAL 3-OUTCOME 1
By June 2026, the district will identify and implement consistent professional learning aligned with Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI).
GOAL 3-OUTCOME 1: ACTION STEPS
- All instructional staff, and administrators will participate in a book study of “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain.”
- Review of work product from the book study to identify steps to be implemented to create more culturally responsive classrooms.
- Planning, inclusive of professional development, and implementation of identified steps resulting from book study and subsequent review.
- All instructional staff, and administrators will participate in a book study of “Grading for Equity.”
Over the course of regularly scheduled monthly Teacher Meetings & Faculty Meetings all administrators and instructional staff completed a book study of “Culturally Responsive teaching and The Brain”.
A select group of 2 administrators and 2 instructional staff members are currently participating in a Book Study (a joint effort between SUNY Albany & Capital Region BOCES) of “Grading for Equity”. They will use this experience and the relevant resources to develop the full faculty book study to be conducted during the 2023-2024 school year.
GOAL 3-OUTCOME 2
By June 2026, the district will implement equitable and inclusive practices for assessing and meeting school and community needs.
GOAL 3-OUTCOME 2 ACTION STEPS
- The district will seek out opportunities to conduct bias training, for faculty, staff, board, and PTA leadership.
- Schedule and conduct bias training.
- Identification of a means of ongoing training for new hires.
- The district will research options for a comprehensive equity audit of all resources, instructional practices and opportunities.
The district has identified Roseann Bayne, from CITI BOCES, an expert in this area to work with the district to provide this training. She is scheduled to meet on March 14, with members of the Board of Education, the PTA Executive Board, and members of the District DEI Committee to present her workshop: Identifying & Interrupting Implicit Bias.
Roseann Bayne is tentatively scheduled to conduct her workshop: Identifying & Interrupting Implicit Bias for the full faculty and staff at a September 2023 Superintendent’s Conference Day.
Roseann Bayne has also been identified as the party who will conduct a comprehensive equity audit of resources, instructional practices and opportunities.
GOAL 3-OUTCOME 3
By June 2026, the district will implement systems (policies, practices, and protocols) to promote an equitable and inclusive school climate to insure the diversity of our school community is valued and respected.
GOAL 3-OUTCOME 3 ACTION STEPS
- The district will complete a comprehensive review of all board policies through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusivity.
- In particular, the district will review and revise the Code of Conduct to reflect equitable and inclusive practices, and to include restorative practices.
- The district will provide professional development aligned with implementation of restorative practices.
- Consideration of the development of the school calendar to reflect the diversity of our school community.
The initial comprehensive policy review was completed, and all revised and/or updated policies were implemented as of December 12, 2022.
The board approved the final reading of the revised Code of Conduct, inclusive of restorative practices at its meeting on September 12, 2022.
A survey of families was conducted in January to assist the district in identifying potential future adjustments to our school calendar in recognition of holidays and observances of our community, as well as to identify considerations that should be made given observances (ie. fasting, prayer).