The PROSE Newsletter: April 2015 Issue
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Volume 1 | Issue 5 | April 2015

PROSE Heads to Maine for Some Maytime Mastery

PROSE, iZone, and Digital Ready have partnered to organize an Innovation Field Trip to Maine. Innovation Field Trips expose participants to new settings that are rethinking traditional education. This innovation Field Trip will take place in late May and will focus on competency-based education. Maine has been a a leader in this area, having passed policy in 2012 allowing for proficiency-based diplomas. By 2018, all Maine school districts are expected to award proficiency-based diplomas. Its first class of proficiency-based diploma graduates is this year, 2015.

We have planned a visit that will bring us to several middle and high schools to discuss and observe their learnings and successes in their competency-based education implementation journey -- what did they do prior to implementation to prepare their students, staff, and families; what are the systems used to support the practices; what have they learned along the way. You can learn more about Maine's implementation through their published case studies.
 REGISTER HEREMay 4 - PROSE End-of-Year Reflection: PROSE invites Lee Teitel to take PROSE schools through an interactive journey of innovation through adaptive leadership. During the course of the day, current and new schools will have an opportunity to reflect on implementation as a collective PROSE community in the areas of: Option PROSE, Mastery-Based Course Extension, Use of Time, Participatory Action Research, and Teacher Leadership. Register Now.

 APPLY TO iLearnNYC by May 15 iLearnNYC is a blended learning program that supplements face-to-face instruction in a traditional classroom with online learning resources. Click here to learn more about iLearnNYC, and complete this registration form by May 15 to register for the iLearnNYC program for the 2015–16 school year. You will be notified by May 30 of your acceptance into the program and informed about next steps. Please note that current iLearnNYC schools also need to complete the registration form for the 2015–16 school year. After registering for iLearnNYC, you can attend information sessions and workshops for schools on June 4 during the iLearnNYC End of Year Blended Learning Symposium; register for the symposium here by June 3. 

Mastery-Based Course Extensions at KAPPA International

Three PROSE schools have been participating in the Mastery-Based Course Extension Pilot this spring with the central PROSE team and the Office of Academic Policy. Through this pilot, schools with an existing mastery-based learning program have the opportunity to extend the time provided to students to master the content of a course and demonstrate proficiency. From this pilot, we hope to identify and share emerging and best practices for implementing a rigorous program that provides students with time flexibilities to complete their course of study and earn the respective credits beyond the current term.
KAPPA International High School in the Bronx has been participating in this pilot. The school started transitioning to a standards-based grading system in fall 2013, with the idea that grades would be used as a reporting mechanism for providing students, parents and teachers with accurate information regarding content and skills mastery without conflating it with non-academic data, such as class participation and homework completion. This focus on clearly identifying skills and content and then clearly assessing students' performance naturally led to the development
of Course Extensions. When, at the end of a marking period, a student has not yet achieved the desired levels of proficiency, rather than receiving a failing grade and having to repeat the entire course, the student is programmed for a Course Extension which specifically targets his/her individual gaps. When the student has closed those gaps, s/he receives the credit.
KAPPA International has seen high levels of student investment as students clearly understand why they have not received the initial credit and what it is that they need to do to complete it, rather than repeating the entire course and becoming disengaged. This requires a great deal of explicit planning and a transparent articulation of criteria for mastery associated with a specific course. This also requires flexible programming that allows teachers to work intentionally with small groups of students for unspecified amounts of time.
The preliminary results, in terms of student investment and mock Regents data, look promising and they look forward to sharing some more official learnings and outcomes in a few months.
RESOURCE CENTER: The PROSE panel has developed a set of resources to support current and prospective PROSE schools in the PROSE voting process. All ballot resources are available on the PROSE Knowledge Base. Resources include the Cohort 1 and 2 Ballot Guides; the Ballot Flexibility Planning Templates which simplify legalese language to be used in your ballot for clarity to faculty and Panel members; Operations Planning Checklist in case the flexibility sought impacts school operations; and the School Time Workbook to help you plan for modifications to your school program or schedule, as it is a centrally-established spreadsheet of the 2015-2016 DOE school calendar.

If you have questions or concerns about the ballot development and voting process, please consult these resources and reach out directly to and with additional questions or concerns.

 Policy Update

Answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions from PROSE schools have been posted on the PROSE Knowledge Base.

Option PROSE:
Because of evaluation changes in state law, Option PROSE in its current form is not going to be available next year. Once details of the law are finalized, the PROSE Panel will begin negotiating flexibilities for PROSE schools. Upon successful flexibility negotiation and availability, schools will be able to vote to adopt it.

PROSE Voting:
Based on the Memorandum of Agreement that established PROSE, the following aspects of the UFT and CSA collective bargaining agreements are able to be modified in PROSE:
  • Configuration of the existing work hours and/or work year (Article 6), including extending the school day and/or year, provided there is no diminution of annual salary
  • Programs, assignments and teaching conditions in schools and programs (Article 7)
  • Professional support for new teachers (Article 8G)
  • Professional development assignments and positions (Article 11 IV)
  • Working conditions of per session teachers (Articles 15C2 and 15C4)
  • Step 1 of the grievance process (Article 22B1a)
  • Transfers to the school (Article 18A, paragraph 1, sentence 2)
In addition, PROSE schools have been granted the ability to make changes to the student session times and annual calendar, provided that they still meet all NYS Education Department regulations for annual instructional days and weekly instructional time.
Cohort 1 and potential Cohort 2 schools who are interested in making changes to these regulations for implementation during the 2015-2016 school year, including converting flexibility that they have been implementing via annual SBO votes to 5-year PROSE votes, should include the details of the flexibility they wish to implement on the draft PROSE ballot they submit to the PROSE Panel for approval. These templates can be used to help structure ballots in these areas. Schools must wait to receive an approved ballot from the PROSE Panel before conducting a PROSE vote.
Since launching in December 2014, The PROSE Periodicals continues to reach a wider audience each month.
Meet the PROSE Team: Judith List

Judith List, CSA representative on the PROSE Panel, began teaching English in 1974 at the NY School of Printing in Manhattan. In 1978, Judith began teaching at Edward R. Murrow H.S. in Brooklyn, where she spent the next 28 years teaching English and as AP Supervision. In 2006, Judith began working at Brentwood HS in Suffolk County as Department Head, retiring from full-time work in 2012. Currently, as Consultant for the Executive Leadership Institute, the professional development branch of the CSA, Judith mentors school administrators and facilitates workshops on topics relevant to school leaders. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Education at Hofstra University.  
Sixth grader Nya Sutton said she was happy to be working in a group of three in her 35-student math class: "It's better," the 11-year old said. "It helps us understand more."
~Nya Sutton, M.S. 354 School of Integrated Learning
Copyright © 2015 Office of School Design & Charter Partnerships, PROSE, All rights reserved.

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