December 29, 2011
December 29, 2011
December 22, 2011
Deecember 23, 2011
December 27, 2011
Students at Liberty are not just learning to read, they are reading to learn.
Liberty staff work together to develop engaged readers and encourage students to read more every day. Liberty restructured the school day so students read and study novels for thirty minutes, independently as pairs or with a teacher. All teachers are involved, from the reading coach to the gym teacher.
“At first, non-reading teachers were apprehensive about their ability to support students to become more engaged readers but we embraced the goal,” said Michelle Roesch, Literacy Coach. “We provided professional development to the entire staff. The training gave everyone the tools they needed to speak a common language when it came to reading.” That language was also provided to students.
This collaboration has deepened the relationships between students and their teachers. “Students stop me in the hallway to tell me what’s happening in the book they are reading,” 5th grade communications teacher Jennifer Caprara added. More proof that collaboration can yield promising student results, Pittsburgh Liberty made AYP in 2010-11.
Pittsburgh Liberty is making progress in student growth and shooting for the STARs. STAR schools are PPS schools in the top 15% of all PA schools for student growth.
Beginning in September 2011, the District launched STAR – Students and Teachers Achieving Results – an opportunity for school teams to be applauded for the hard work they do to accelerate student achievement. The first STAR schools will be announced in 2012-13 based on this year’s results. You can read more about STAR by clicking here.
Thanks to our collaborative efforts to develop multiple measures of school and teacher effectiveness, we are now able to more consistently and accurately identify the great work our principals and teachers are doing in their schools every day to make extraordinary impacts on student growth through opportunities like STAR.
In the New Year we will be working to highlight more of these success stories. Stay tuned.
*The District’s STAR Rewards and Recognition opportunity is funded by foundations and state and federal agencies that believe Pittsburgh Public Schools is leading the way to transforming urban education
Dear PPS Educators,
I continue to be inspired by all of your contributions to the creation of a District where teachers are evaluated fairly and recognized for their impact on students. We agree that teaching is complex, that student outcomes matter, and that no single measure of teacher effectiveness is perfect.
I would like to step back and highlight the progress we’ve made together in the development of our professional growth system, and identify our next steps. In August, we committed to the following priorities for 2011-12:
Over the next several months, and throughout 2012-13 we will continue working together to further refine how these measures are used for professional growth, evaluation, promotion and placement (e.g. Career Ladder roles), and our new Rewards & Recognition opportunities.
This work is also happening within a broader context. The state of Pennsylvania is moving forward with teacher evaluation systems based on multiple measures. The issues of evaluation and student feedback are also being grappled with nationwide. We want to continue to be leaders in this work.
We have come a long way on our journey together to create a fair and reliable evaluation system, and there is much to celebrate. With that I encourage us to keep in mind that, as with any truly groundbreaking work, there will be challenges along the way that together we will partner to solve.
Please take advantage of all of the tools available to you on the PPS Portal regarding RISE, Value-Added measures, and the Tripod student survey. Be encouraged to contact the Help Desk or reach out directly to your principals and District administrators with any questions. Look forward to additional information from your RISE Leadership teams and in the PPS Portal in the New Year.
I look forward to continuing to break ground together.
Teaching is more than a profession. It’s a passion.
Pittsburgh’s teachers are creative and resourceful. They are leaders who value collaboration and see the future potential in every child. Our teachers inject that added spark that helps students learn more and achieve their goals.
If you are a teacher who believes this is true, you owe it to yourself to find out more about exciting 2012-13 Career Ladder roles that will allow you to take what you love about teaching and build on it. This year, a streamlined online application process will be open January 9, 2012 – February 5, 2012 for interested teachers.
2012-13 Career Ladder roles offer teachers opportunities to impact the lives of our highest-needs students and include:
Be on the lookout for more information in the mail and online. Also visit the My Teaching Career website frequently to learn more about these new roles and upcoming:
Since 2009, we have been working to better organize the tools that can help you be successful as a PPS educator. This work has not been without challenges. Thanks to your input and patience, you now have access to a new Gradebook tool and RISE software system. As many of you know, our vision is to bring the tools and information you need together in a single, easy to access PPS Portal, accessible in and out of your school building.
Many of you have already been accessing this secure and confidential portal to use the RISE software. Currently, the PPS Portal includes professional development resources (RISE software and information about Value-Added Measures and the Tripod student survey).
Early in the New Year, the PPS Portal will also include Gradebook and breaking District news through the ‘District Notes’ and ‘Did you know?’ sections on the ‘Dashboard’ tab. You will also be able to take a journey through our effective teaching work by looking back through our videos archives, also located on the ‘Dashboard’ tab. Additional features will continue to be added to simplify your teaching experience.
This new technology is a result of extensive collaboration. For more than a year we’ve been gathering input from teachers so that we could design a web-based tool that’s driven by your needs. Going forward, we will continue to gather your feedback and make any changes necessary to ensure the portal is efficient and user-friendly. Please be sure to contact the Help Desk with your comments and suggestions.
As tools and capabilities are added, we are confident that the portal will have the ability to simplify the many tasks that are part of your daily routine. With your continued input, the portal will only get better with time.
December 21, 2011
December 20, 2011- This evening the District introduced a new strategic buyout plan intended to reduce the hardship of impending workforce reductions necessary under the approved 2012 General Fund Budget. The 2011-12 Voluntary Employee Severance Plan will be available to full time teachers who earn a minimum base salary of $80,000 as of June 30, 2012, and who are not eligible for full or reduced retirement benefits under the Pennsylvania Public Employees’ Retirement System. Employees electing the plan will receive $55,000 paid out over eight years, plus applicable contractual severance pay. The Board approved the plan at tonight’s Legislative Meeting. (more…)