Please use the links below to access district plans:
- Asbestos Management Plan
- District Safety Plan
- Pesticide Application Notification
- Title 1 Schoolwide Accountability Plan Components
- Smart Schools Investment Plan
The Watervliet School District submitted on Oct. 12, 1988 to the New York State Education Department the School District’s Asbestos Management Plan. In accordance with the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1987 (40CFR Part 763), the Asbestos Management Plan for both schools is available and kept on file at the business office (Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School). These records may be reviewed between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Keith Heid, LEA Designee, at 629-3200, Ext. 5.
Watervliet City School District District-Level Safe Schools Against Violence in Education)
Commissioner’s Regulation 8 NYCRR §155.17
Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that require comprehensive planning and training. The New York State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law requires school districts to develop a school safety plan to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and natural/manmade disasters and to facilitate the coordination of state, local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. The district wide plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed building-level emergency response plans required at the school building-level. Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in each school district and its schools.
District Chief Emergency Officer
The Watervliet City School District has designated Lori Caplan, Superintendent of Schools, as the district’s chief emergency officer (CEO). The CEO is responsible for coordinating communication between staff and law enforcement and first responders and for ensuring staff understanding of the district level safety plan. Additionally, the CEO ensures that building level emergency response plans are annually updated.
Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines
The Watervliet City School District District-Wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 8 NYCRR §155.17(e)(3). At the direction of the Board of Education, the Superintendent appoints the District Wide School Safety Team and charges it with making recommendations regarding the development, maintenance, and implementation of the district-wide school safety plan. The finalization of the plan ultimately rests with the Superintendent, with adoption by the Board of Education by September 1 of each school year.
B. Identification of School Teams
The Watervliet City School District has created a district-wide school safety team and building-level emergency response teams for every school building. Both consist of, but are not limited to, representatives of the school board, students, teachers, staff, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel, law enforcement and other first responders. The District-Wide Team Membership is as follows:
- Dr. Lori Caplan, Superintendent
- Don Stevens, Administrator
- Kirsten DeMento, Administrator,
- Janelle Yanni, Administrator
- Kelly Webster, WES Administrator
- Ryan Groat, WHS Administrator
- Rebecca Smith, Administrative Assistant, WHS
- Chrissy Daniels, Administrative Assistant/Parent, WES
- Ashleigh Fraley, Chemical Hygiene Officer/Teacher
- TBA, Police Chief
- BOCES TBA, Health, Safety, and Risk Management Consultant
- Dennis Lane, Teacher/Health Coordinator
- Thomas Garrett, Fire Chief
- Allison Santiago, Social Worker
- Beth Lipson, Social Worker
- Sue Vogel, School Nurse
- TBA, School Nurse
- TBA, School Board Member
C. Coordination of District and School Plans and Teams
The district-wide school safety plan is directly linked to the individual building-level safety plans for each school. The protocols reflected in the district-wide school safety plan guide the development and implementation of each building-level safety plan.
In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be by that building’s safety team. Upon the activation of this team, the Superintendent, or his/her designee, will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified. Efforts may be supplemented by county and state resources through existing protocols when needed.
D. Plan Review and Public Comment
Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation, Section 155.17 (e)(3), this plan will be made available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The School Board shall adopt the District-wide Plan only after one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. The plan shall be formally adopted by the Board of Education. The commissioner’s regulation also requires that this plan shall be reviewed by the District Wide School Safety Team on an annual basis on or before September 1 of each year, and recommendations for updates be provided to the Superintendent. Hereinafter, all updates made by the District Wide School Safety Team shall be presented to the Board of Education for adoption pursuant to the aforementioned regulations.
In most cases, recommendations are specific and included in building-level plans. A copy of the district-wide plan is available at the Watervliet City School District Superintendent’s Office and online at the district’s website ( www.watervlietcityschools.org ). While linked to the district wide school safety plan, building-level safety plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law, in accordance with New York State Education Law §2801-a. Building-level safety plans and all updates are given to the New York State Police, Watervliet Police Department and Albany County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinator within 30 days of adoption.
Section II: General Emergency Response Planning
The district wide school safety plan provides the framework for the building-level safety plans. The purpose of a uniform plan is to ensure district-wide continuity for emergency responses. These general emergency responses will provide one consistent response system that will be used by all school employees, students, parents and emergency responders. This is particularly beneficial as students move from elementary to middle school and then to high school, and as full-time, part-time and substitute employees travel among the schools.
The District Wide School Safety Team has identified many factors that could cause an emergency in our schools and facilities within the district as well as factors that need to be considered when responding to an emergency. The detailed list of potential internal and external hazards or emergency situations is included in the confidential building-level safety plans.
A. Identification of Potential Emergency Situations (on and off school property):
Lists of areas on school property that have the potential to create an emergency situation have been identified. This list and floor/site plans have been created for reference and awareness. This list is not all-inclusive for every emergency. However, these areas have been identified as having the most probable impact on district facilities or district boundaries should they have or create an emergency, such as natural gas lines, fuel tanks and chemical storage. The detailed list and floor plans are included in the confidential building-level safety plans and are updated on an annual basis.
The District Wide School Safety Team in conjunction with the New York State Police, Albany County Sheriff’s Department, Watervliet Police Department, Watervliet Fire Department and city officials have identified potential emergency situations off of school property that could have an impact on the district. Factors that were considered include population, presence of hazardous materials, potential for emergency based on geographical potential and/or national trends and proximity to district property, such as airports, bridges, dams, major intersections, primary routes of hazardous cartage and SARA Title III locations of hazardous materials. The detailed list is included in the confidential building-level safety plans and is updated on an annual basis.
B. Multi-Hazard Response Guidelines
1. Actions: Included in the building-level safety plans are actions for handling multi-hazard emergencies that are in compliance with the Incident Command System (ICS). These guidelines include but not limited to:
- Initial actions
- Command post location (primary and secondary)
- Before, during and after school evacuation including evacuation routes and relocations sites (internal and external)
- Shelter in place
- Hold in place
- Emergency school cancellations, closing, early dismissal and delays including after-school, evening activities and weekends.
2. Emergencies: These include, but are not limited to the following multi-hazard response guidelines:
- Active shooter
- Air pollution
- Aviation crash
- Bomb threat
- Building structural failure
- Civil disturbance
- Crimes against people
- Electrical System Failure
- Energy supply loss (heating or water system failure)
- Fire alarm activation
- HAZMAT on & off-site
- Heating system failure
- Hostage situation
- Intruder situation
- Loss of Building
- Loss of Buses
- Mass casualty
- Medical emergency
- Natural gas leak
- School bus accident
- Severe weather emergency
- Threats of violence
- Toxic exposure
- Water emergency
3. Resources: The district has identified various resources that may be available for use during an emergency, including: the identification of personnel via school building teams; use of Incident Command System (ICS); a list of volunteer faculty/staff trained in first aid, CPR, and AED use; a master list of all vehicles in the bus garage; building floor plans/maps with shut-offs and potential hazards noted; American Red Cross sheltering agreements; and designated shelter sites with backup shelter sites. The district has agreements with any shelters that are used within the community. The specific, detailed information is included in the confidential building-level safety plans.
4. Incident Command System (ICS): The district has identified school personnel authorized to make decisions during an emergency. Through ICS the procedures to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies are clearly defined. ICS identifies the staff members and their backups assigned to provide assistance during emergencies. Each school building has a safety team that works under the Incident Command System. Each team is documented in detail. This document is given only to the building-level safety team, district administration, the New York State Police, Watervliet Police department and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department. The safety team details are located in the confidential building-level safety plans. Each safety team has been given an overview of the ICS, an ICS flow chart, ICS training and specific ICS roles and responsibilities.
5. Policies and Procedures for Training: The district has developed policies and procedures for National Incident Management System (NIMS), annual school safety training for staff, and school safety training and drills for students including scenarios based upon the multi-hazard response guides. Procedures have been established to provide this training on an annual basis to include but not limited to: early dismissal/go home drill, fire drills, lockdown drills and table top exercises.
Individual schools use various faculty/staff surveys and forms, in order to obtain feedback on the drill practiced. School administrators then address any concerns or questions noted and share them either in written form or in faculty/staff meetings. District administrators and principals will meet to discuss any reports of multi-hazard training, actual and potential hazards and/or violence (implied threats, direct threats and/or actual acts of violence). The discussions are the key to debriefing as a district. Actions and procedures that are carried out successfully are verified and areas in need of improvement are noted as needed. This level of district awareness assists each principal and administrator in responding to future training, actual emergency responses and implied threat, direct threats and/or actual acts of violence.
The district conducts drills and other training exercises to test components of the safety plan, including the use of tabletop exercises, in coordination with local and county emergency responders and preparedness officials. The district administrators and building-level teams participate in tabletop exercises with local responders. Schools that have multiple floor levels also prepare and practice a non-ambulatory emergency evacuation plan.
Section III: Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence
A. Policies and Procedures
Schools will activate their building-level safety team and will refer to their building-level safety plan and the multi-hazard response guide. The multi-hazard response guides are reviewed by the district-wide school safety team to ensure content and consistency throughout the district. These policies and procedures are for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including consideration of zero-tolerance policies for school violence. The following types of procedures are addressed in the confidential building-level safety plans:
- Contacting appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.
- Inform the building principal and Superintendent.
- The use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation. Informing the building principal of implied or direct threats.
- Determine the level of threat with principal and Superintendent/designee.
- Monitoring the situation, adjusting the district’s response as appropriate to include possible implementation of the safety team.
- If the situation warrants, isolate the immediate area and evacuate if appropriate.
- If necessary, initiate lockdown procedure and contact appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Monitor the situation; adjust the level of response as appropriate; if necessary, initiate early dismissal, sheltering or evacuation procedures.
- Communication with parent/legal guardian, and general public, as needed.
NOTE: The Watervliet City School District Code of Conduct also describes policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school. The district’s code of conduct also supports school safety and security. The code of conduct is pursuant to the district’s safe and drug-free schools policy and the no weapons policy.
B. Response Protocols
These are identified in the district-wide school safety plan, along with definitions of ICS roles and responsibilities. The multi-hazard emergency response guides address specific procedures and protocols for responding to bomb threat, intruders, hostage takings and kidnapping including:
- Identification of decision-makers.
- Notification of administrators/agencies – All district administrators, principals, their secretaries and building custodians have a confidential emergency reference card. This card specifically outlines which agency and which administrator(s) need to be contacted under which emergency circumstances. This document is updated on an annual basis and designed to be kept near the phones at work and at home if needed during “off” hours.
- Plans to safeguard students and staff.
- System for student release (reunification)
- Procedures to provide the Capital District Transportation Authority, if necessary.
- Debriefing procedures.
C. Communications Protocols
The district has established policies and procedures to contact parents, legal guardians or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. In the Watervliet City School District, the following communication methods will be taken:
- For small-scale incidents, schools may activate their Crisis Team and will refer their crisis intervention plan. Depending on the incident, school personnel may directly call the parents/legal guardians of all students directly impacted. All other parents/legal guardians will receive an informational notification via the district website or One Call Now system. Meetings may be scheduled in a timely manner for further discussion if necessary.
- For any major incident, the building-level safety team will be activated. The district will be working with the media (TV, radio, newspaper), website, social media and the One Call Now system to relay pertinent school related information (i.e. how and where parents can be reunited with children, etc.). Community meetings and/or press conferences may be scheduled in a timely manner to discuss the particulars of the incidents and the district’s response.
Section IV: Communication with Other Agencies
The district-wide school safety plan provides the framework for the building-level safety plan with regard to communication with other agencies.
A. The Watervliet City School District is fortunate to have substantial ties to the City of Watervliet. In case of an emergency within any one of our facilities, that facility would dial 911 for emergency assistance. If involvement were needed from other local government agencies, then the Superintendent or their designee would act as that contact person. Additional procedures for communications can be found in the building-level safety plans. The following examples are the types of arrangements that could be used by the District:
- Principal (building-level IC or backup IC) or Superintendent (district wide IC or backup IC) in an emergency would contact the county dispatch center for fire, EMS, or police by calling 911.
- Principal (building-level IC or backup IC) or Superintendent (district wide IC or backup IC) contacts the highest-ranking local government official for notification and/or assistance.
B. Arrangements for obtaining advice and assistance from local government officials responsible for implementation of Article 2-B of the Executive Law will be carried out through the protocols established in the building-level safety plans. The following are examples of the types of arrangements that could be used by the district during countywide emergencies:
- Superintendent (district wide IC or backup IC) in an emergency will contact the Albany County Emergency Management Coordinator and/or the highest-ranking local government official for obtaining advice and assistance.
- The District has identified resources for an emergency from the following agencies: Albany County Emergency Management Office, Watervliet Police Department, Albany County Department of Health, American Red Cross, New York State Police, Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Albany County Department of Mental Health and Capital Region BOCES Health/Safety/Risk Management..
- If the emergency is within the school district boundaries and has the potential to impact the surrounding community, the Superintendent or designee will notify the appropriate city officials (ex: highway dept., city mayor, and/or public safety).
C. Along with the phone tree, the district has access to the following information about each educational agency located in the school district, including information on:
- School population.
- Number of staff.
- Transportation needs.
- Business and home telephone numbers of key officials of each such educational agency.
The details are considered confidential, due to the school specific information and administrator home phone numbers, and are located in the confidential building-level safety plan.
Section V: Prevention and Intervention Strategies
Security Measures and Procedures: The district procedures require the following: visitor sign-in and visitor badges (during regular school hours), single point of entry, buzz-in door surveillance systems, fingerprinting of employees, volunteer screening, and employee badges. The district also employs school monitors that are routinely present on campus. Video surveillance and security intrusion systems are also used to improve security.
Security Policies: To further enhance school security and student, faculty and staff safety, the district has the following policies in place:
- Suspected Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting – 7530
- Code of Conduct – 7311
- Covers Anti-Harassment in the School District, Dignity for All Students, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds, Weapons in School and the Gun-Free Schools Act – 7550, 7551, 7552
- School District Officer & Employee Code of Ethics – 6110
- Drug-Free Workplace – 6151
- Drug-Free Workplace Act – 6150
- Emergency Closings – 3510
- Recruiting and Hiring (covers fingerprinting of prospective school employees ) – 6170, 6210
- School Building Safety – 5680, 5681, 5682, 5683
- School Safety Plans and Teams – 5681
- Child Abuse in an Educational Setting – 8211
- Violent or Disruptive Incident reporting – 3430
- Anti-Harassment in the School District – 3420, 6121, 7550, 7551
Identification of Warning Signs: The Watervliet City School District has implemented procedures for the dissemination of materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors (threat assessment) when deemed appropriate. The district employs school social workers, counselors and psychologists/behavioral specialists who assist the district in identifying early warning signs in students and early intervention/prevention strategies. Designated personnel also play a key role in suicide prevention programs.
Appropriate Prevention and Intervention Strategies:
- Collaborative efforts with state and local law enforcement officials
- Training of hall monitors and other security personnel
- Compliance with DASA regulations
- Non-violent conflict resolution training programs
- Extended day school programs
Prevention and Intervention Programs: Strategies for improving communication among students, between students and staff and the reporting of potentially violent incidents. Highlights of the major programs are noted below (not all inclusive):
Watervliet Junior/Senior High School (Grades 7-12)
- Counseling Center – All students are assigned a school counselor who works with the students and parents.
- Pupil Studies Team (PST) – Members (Principal, Assistant Principal, Psychologist, School Counselors, and School Nurse) meet monthly to discuss students who are referred by members of the committee or teachers. Specific interventions are developed and staff are assigned to monitor progress.
- Progressive discipline process – Teachers discuss behavior with students, communication with parents/legal guardians and use classroom behavior consequences. Teachers write referrals to document behavior that continues after teacher intervention. The student meets with the Principal or Assistant Principal or Dean of Students to discuss the behavior and its consequences.
- Extracurricular Activities – There are extensive opportunities for students to become involved in productive, fun activities before and after school.
- Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educational Network (GLSEN) – To foster mutual respect in the high school.
- Operation Graduation – To improve school performance and/or social interactions.
- Every student is assigned an adult mentor.
- Peer mediation services.
- No Place for Hate School.
- Bully box (anonymous reporting).
Watervliet Elementary School (K-6)
- Character/bullying assemblies
- Response to complaints protocol.
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) – Comprehensive approach to work toward an atmosphere of tolerance school-wide.
- Conflict resolution and social skill in classroom training by guidance and social workers.
- Social skills training.
- Bully box (anonymous reporting).
- Feelings: Counselor works with all students on the four basic feelings; happy, sad, mad, scared.
- Problem solving strategies.
- School wide approach to appropriate behavior – Three rules.
- Peaceful School Bus behavioral protocols.
- No Place for Hate School.
Prevention and Intervention Training: The district has developed descriptions of job duties, the hiring process and the screening process. As required by the SAVE legislation, all employees are fingerprinted and have a criminal background check via the NYS Education Department.
Section VI: Recovery
A. District Support for Buildings
The district realizes that some emergencies may require external support for an individual school since it may require additional expertise or personnel requirements. If/when a building-level safety team or crisis team is faced with threats of violence or actual violent incidents, the district-wide safety team will assist as follows:
- Acting as a sounding board for the building principal/supervisor of implied or direct threats and/or violent acts.
- Assisting in determining the level of threat and appropriate responses.
- Sending a district-wide team member to support the building-level safety team.
- Monitoring the situation and adjusting the District’s response as appropriate.
- Assisting with parent/legal guardian, faculty/staff, and media communication.
- Assisting with coordinating building and grounds security.
- Assisting with offering a “backup” crisis team (another school team and/or an outside group) if the affected team needs assistance.
- At the monthly Principal and Directors meetings, threats and/or violent acts are shared and discussed with administrators.
B. Disaster Mental Health Services
The district realizes that some emergencies may require external support for an individual school since it may require additional expertise or personnel requirements. If/when the building–level safety team is faced with threats of violence or actual violent incidents, the district-wide safety team will assist as follows:
- Sending a district-wide team member to each affected school building as a liaison between the school building and the district office.
- The team may involve the school physicians, school nurse coordinator, school psychologists or District office administrative staff as needed. If necessary, additional Albany County or city resources can be called upon.
- The School District has school based medical and mental health services available on-site from Whitney Young.
- Continued feedback from those directly impacted is sought. Building and district support is offered during the incident with projected plans to assist if needed during heightened stressful times such as a re-occurrence of a similar event and anniversaries of the original incident.
- Assisting with parent/legal guardian, student, and faculty/staff debriefing and/or post-incident crisis intervention. If needed, assisting in contacting additional outside mental health resources.
- Assisting the schools with the creation of written statements being distributed to faculty/staff, parents/legal guardians; press releases and media requests through the district’s public information officer and communications office. The district has a large resource of letters, press releases and media procedures that take the burden off the individual school building team.
New York State Education Law Section 409-H, effective July 1, 2001, requires all public and non public elementary and secondary schools to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty and staff regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year.
The Watervliet City School District is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty and staff who wish to receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. The following pesticide applications are not subject to prior notification requirements:
- a school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72 hours following an application
- anti-microbial products
- nonvolatile rodenticides in tamper-resistant bait stations in areas inaccessible to children
- nonvolatile insecticidal baits in tamper-resistant bait stations in areas inaccessible to children
- silica gels and other nonvolatile ready-to-use pastes, foams or gels in areas inaccessible to children
- boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
- the application of EPA designated biopesticides
- the application of EPA designated exempt materials under 40CFR152.25
- the use of aerosol products with a directed spray in containers of 18 fluid ounces or less when used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging or biting insects including venomous spiders, bees, wasps and hornets.
In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good-faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list.
Residents who would like to receive 48-hour prior notification of pesticide applications must notify the district in writing. Please send your written request to:
Keith Heid, Pesticide Representative
Watervliet City School District,
1245 Hillside Drive, Watervliet, NY 12189.
Phone: (518) 629-3200, Ext. 5.
Fax: (518) 629-3268
1. Comprehensive Needs Assessment
At Watervliet Elementary School (UPK – 06), academic assessments include report card grades, teacher and School counselor recommendations, STAR Reading and Math, Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Assessment, ELA and math benchmark assessments and IST/RTI (Instructional Studies Team and Response to Intervention) recommendations. These assessments, along with required state academic assessments at this level, will determine the success of all students in this schoolwide program. The RTI teams meet three to five times a year to review student data and determine what services students need and what services can be discontinued.
The elementary school has an IST team that meets frequently based on student needs. The IST team meets regularly throughout the school year to review data and discuss where improvements must be made.
At the elementary school, the RTI (Response to Intervention) Committee in conjunction with administrators, specialists and teachers, identify those students who are not achieving proficiency based on multiple measures which include NYS cut scores and the students’ scores on local assessments using STAR Reading and math, will be assigned AIS/RTI interventions in the subject areas required to pass State Assessments. AIS (Academic Intervention Services) reading and AIS mathematics is offered during the school day.
2. Schoolwide Reform Strategies
There are several school reform strategies that have been implemented over the past several years.
1.The Watervliet Elementary School has focused on reading and writing instruction and practice. Teachers were trained how to use progress monitoring techniques to monitor and adjust student instruction based on individual needs. This model was originally introduced to grades K-3 and has since been implemented through 6th grade. The building uses STAR Reading and Math and Fountas and Pinnell to collect data for all students. In addition, the district uses the same progress monitoring techniques in math for grades K-6.
2.Instructional practice is another area that we have been working on making changes. Many teachers have been trained in Response to Instruction in order to identify Tier 1 students and have begun creating instruction that incorporate this approach as part of their ELA, math, social studies and science curriculum. Additionally, the elementary school is experimenting with Business Centers (Differentiated Instructional Model) to further student ownership and motivation in the classroom.
3.Technology Integration to increase student engagement and achievement has also been a focus. All classrooms in grades K-6 have been outfitted with Smart Boards. Teachers have been provided with staff development that focuses on how to integrate the technology, as a teacher and learning tool, into classroom instruction. The school is continuing to implement G Suite to further integrate technology. This will help improve motivation, differentiation and to measure academic progress.
3.Instruction by Effective-Highly Effective Teachers
Watervliet City School District has adopted a hiring practice that requires all new and existing teachers to meet the “highly qualified” requirements as outlined by federal legislation. Our Clerk to the Board checks on all potential candidates for employment for certification status prior to appointing these candidates to positions in the district. We have a mentor program at Watervliet and all new teachers are hired and assigned a mentor to ensure that all the necessary professional development has been completed each year through the person’s tenure year.
Watervliet Elementary School is compliant with the 100% highly qualified teacher requirement.
4. Strategies to Attract Effective/Highly Effective Teachers
Watervliet holds as a top priority the recruiting, hiring, and retaining of effective/highly effective, highly qualified and fully licensed teachers to serve its students. Efforts made by the school include:
*Establishing close relationships with local universities and colleges with teacher education programs. Specific universities and colleges targeted for recruitment efforts include SUNY Albany, Russell Sage College, the College of St. Rose, Clarkson University and Empire State College.
- Attendance at job fairs that are held in the Capital Region when necessary.
- The use of OLAS to post our positions and receive applications for highly qualified teachers
- Offering a competitive benefits package.
- Providing a comprehensive orientation that facilitates a successful transition into teaching.
- Providing opportunities for teachers to improve their instructional skills through a comprehensive professional development program.
- Including teachers in the continuous improvement planning process, and other school initiatives and activities.
The school has developed a plan to ensure that it complies with ESSA. Research indicates that one of the most significant initiatives schools undertake to retain staff is to create a team-based collaborative culture within the school. The focus at Watervliet on grade-level teams and on having teachers as active members of the improvement team serves to ensure that the school achieves greater consensus, collaboration, and cooperation throughout the school This should be an asset in ensuring that the teacher turnover rate remains low.
5.High Quality and Ongoing Professional Development
In accordance with section 1119 and subsection (a)(4), Watervliet provides high-quality and ongoing professional development for teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, pupil services personnel, parents, and other staff to enable all children in the school to meet the state’s student academic achievement standards.
Watervliet plans to carefully integrate its professional development for the staff-for both teachers and paraprofessionals-into its collaborative team-focused culture and its ongoing teacher supervision and support model. The cornerstone of that model is the grade-level team arrangement, which provides daily opportunities for common planning/professional development time for the grade-level teachers within the regular school days as well as regularly scheduled vertical house/full faculty meetings outside of the school day.
The 2018-2019 professional development schedule for the school’s teachers and paraprofessionals is as follows: Every teacher receives three hours per month of professional development in all core subjects and/or technology. Both paraprofessionals and teachers receive professional development at 3 Staff Conference Days.
6. Strategies to Increase Parental Involvement
Watervliet believes that parents are an integral part of the school and student success. The school desires parents to be involved in their child’s education, and the partnership of parents, students, and teachers within the school promotes an optimum learning environment to ensure success. The school’s Parent Involvement Policy and the Parent-Student Compact agreement are used in the school’s Title I program to ensure that parents have the opportunity to provide input in Title I programming and participate in the improvement process. (Please see the Parent-Student Compact and the Parent Involvement Policy, which are attached as Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 respectively. The school’s parents are also asked to complete the school’s Annual Title 1 Parent Survey (See Appendix B); information from that survey is reviewed as part of the school’s comprehensive needs assessment and the evaluation of the school’s Schoolwide Plan. The PTA is also active with monthly meetings that help increase parent involvement with the school.
Through these activities and parental involvement components, the school assures that it appropriately: 1.) provides assistance to parents; 2.) provides materials and training to help parents work with children to improve their achievement; 3.) trains teachers and other required staff in the importance of and how to partner with parents; 4.) coordinates and integrates to the appropriate degree its parent involvement activities with other programming; 5.) communicates information related to school and parent programs, and activities are communicated in an understandable format and language; and 6.) provides full opportunities for parents with limited English proficiency, disabilities, and parents of migratory children to be involved with in the activities of the school and to receive appropriate information and school reports. As such, it complies with ESSA Sections 1118(e) 1-5 and (f).
Parental involvement activities, and the parent involvement component of this Schoolwide Plan, will be involved in the annual evaluation of the schoolwide plan. Feedback from parents provided through communication and their participation in the evaluation process will be incorporated into the review process and the Schoolwide Plan and programs will be adjusted accordingly.
Additionally, results of individual student academic assessments will be discussed with parents regularly and, as appropriate, will be shared in a language that parents can understand. As such, the school complies with ESSA.
7. Preschool Transition Strategies
Watervliet is committed to connecting with preschool age children in order to prepare them for school and has developed preschool transition strategies to ensure that incoming students are well-prepared for kindergarten.
Our CPSE (Committee on Pre-School Special Education) has a kindergarten team (psychologist, special education teacher, regular education teacher and speech teacher) participate in transition meetings.
At Watervliet, we have four UPK classrooms in the elementary school building that collaborate with HeadStart. Each classroom has eighteen students. Our kindergarten teachers work with UPK teachers to create a smooth transition to kindergarten for our students.
8. Teacher Participation in Making Assessment Decisions
Teachers at Watervliet play an active role in making assessment decisions for their students. Specifically, teachers choose to implement appropriate tests and assessments that measure student performance with respect to the school’s curriculum. Through the formative assessment planning process, teachers work collaboratively with respect to the curriculum in order to identify what specific knowledge or skills students need to know and also to identify how they will determine when such learning has taken place. Teachers participate in the decision-making process regarding whether they use curricular program assessments, common grade-level assessments, or other formative or summative assessments to determine or gauge student learning on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Instruction is adjusted according by each teacher as they work to ensure mastery is attained by each student within their classroom and at the school.
9. Assistance to Students Having Difficulty Mastering Standards
The school has implemented activities to ensure that students who experience difficulty mastering standards are provided with effective and timely additional assistance. The school has developed measures to ensure that students’ difficulties are identified on a timely basis in order to provide teachers and school leadership with sufficient information on which to base effective assistance. As noted above, teachers utilize formative assessment to meet the varied learning needs of students. The school uses differentiated instruction by implementing small group sessions and flexible grouping in order to meet each student’s individual learning needs. As such, it employs differentiated instruction in order to address the needs of all children in the school and particularly those at risk of not meeting challenging State standards.
An RTI team holds IST meetings throughout the year to discuss students and their needs. This is a team approach with teachers, parents, administration and anyone else who may have important information on the student, participating in the discussion regarding the student. During these meetings the stakeholders ask and answer these questions: 1) What do we want each student to learn; 2) How will we know what each student has learned; and 3) How will we respond when students have difficulty learning. By answering these questions collaboratively, teachers ensure that appropriate intervention is delivered to students who are having difficulties mastering challenging state standards.
Strategies for meeting the needs of the students which are discussed in the IST meetings include:
- Adapting time allotted for learning task or completion of assessment
- Adapting the number of items that the learner is expected to complete or learn
- Adapting the goals or outcome expectations while using the same materials
- Adapting the way instruction is given to the learner. For example: visual aids, hands-on activities, or cooperative groups.
Teachers log interventions on data spreadsheets and into our software system in e-school. These results are shared with everyone on the team as appropriate.
The district has adopted the NYS curriculum and assessments.
10. Coordination and Integration of Federal, State, and Local Services and Programs
Watervliet ensures that the use of all federal, state, and local funds is coordinated to ensure focus on the goals, strategies, and action activities identified in the Schoolwide Plan. Furthermore, coordination and integration of all federal, state, and local services and programs are ensured through collaboration among administration, staff, parents, and other stakeholders as part of the school’s improvement planning process. Specifically, the school utilizes funds from State and local sources, as well as federal sources-including Titles I and IIA to support the goals identified in the Schoolwide Plan. The school’s professional development program, supplemented with funding available through Title IIA, is also supported by Watervliet’s Schoolwide Plan.
The district has been working for the past nine years at aligning all ELA and Math curriculum vertically and horizontally prek-6. All subject areas across the district were also asked to use the aligned NYS Next Generation Learning Standards. The goal for 2018-2019 school year is that all teachers will continue to use assessments and activities that will align to the NYS Standards, and increase the rigor. Grade level curriculum materials and pacing maps will be stored on Google Drive. Studies have shown that having an aligned curriculum is the best way to increase student achievement.
B. School Parent Involvement Policy and School Parent Compact
The School Parent Involvement Policy and School Parent Compact (Appendix A) are located on the school website.
C. Planning to meet the needs of homeless students.
The Watervliet City School district is part of a McKinney Vento Grant consortium. The money received provides students with extra resources such as, school supplies, personal hygiene products and supplemental food. Additionally, the school can provide transportation home from after school activities, sports, as well as tutoring for homeless students.