District Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Goals & Actions Taken

Goal #1 - K-12 Alignment

Ensure that teaching and learning strategies are aligned K-12 to maintain a collaborative professional environment where best and next practices are discovered and shared, while fully implementing common core initiatives that provide rigor and relevance for students along with deep thinking, reflection and innovation.

  • Mixed grade/faculty meeting collaborations
  • Planned transition meetings conducted at appropriate benchmarks
  • K-12 instructional coaching team created to train our new educators and build capacity throughout our district. This is also a cost savings opportunity to use our newly created experts rather than bring in staff developers from the outside.
  • Mixed grade level PBL (Project-Based Learning) institutes/PD (Professional Development) conducted for all teachers
  • Middle School liaisons for humanities, math, and science created to allow for curriculum integration
  • K-12 Goldmansour and Rutherford continue to support our ICT team in collaborative instruction team models
  • Vertical articulation opportunities at faculty meetings and/or Superintendent Conference Days
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays 10th period, teachers are encouraged to have collaborative time together for planning. Students are able to attend HEART program those days, in lieu of 10th period extra help
  • High school departments meet with middle school teachers within the same discipline to ensure vertical alignment is occurring. Specifically, the math department meets once a month, with middle school teachers to discuss the best learning paths for our students to take as they progress through the mathematics curriculum.
  • Next Generation Science standards roll out K-5
  • Character Education discussions through unit projects and/or 2nd Step
  • Team Planning Meetings and Critical Friends Protocol to revise and edit teaching
  • Evaluation of high school math sequence and transition to Algebra Trigonometry and not Algebra II Common Core. This alignment removed the mandate of taking the Algebra II CC Regents Exam.
  • Instructional coaches deployed from within the faculty provide annual Institutes and summer training to our faculty. Coaches work in conjunction with our staff developers from outside agencies.

Goal #2 - Collaborative Professional Environment

Nurture a collaborative professional environment that builds the capacity of the staff through ongoing professional development that is sustainable and embedded in structure, culture, and climate when providing time to think, plan, and collaborate in the ongoing refinement of teaching practice.

  • Teacher training and staff development considered a priority and supported in multiple areas throughout the district. PD (Professional Development) is emphasized and encouraged to ensure teaching staff are provided with high quality opportunities to learn and grow pedagogical skills.
  • Goldmansour and Rutherford are working with our teachers in Integrated Co-teaching Teams to provide strategies for teachers to work together as an ICT unit and provide the differentiation necessary to meet all learners where they are as students
  • A five year relationship was created with the New Tech Network (NTN) to train our teachers in deeper learning PBL practices that engage our students and make their learning relevant to their interests and their lives
  • Dr. Paul Yellin works with the district to train our teachers in the neurodevelopmental constructs that are an integral part of our Learner Profiles. Ongoing training helps the development and understanding to spiral into a meaningful practice that will empower students to become the best learners possible.
  • Classes were developed to introduce our students to the components found within the learner profiles and give them the background necessary to create and understand their own individual profiles so they understand their strengths and challenges that are specific to them as learners
  • Instructional coaching begins throughout the district with our newly created teacher experts that took part in the first phase of PBL and ICT training
  • Our school psychologist visits classrooms weekly to confer with teachers on Tier 1 strategies for supporting a variety of student learning needs in our RtI protocols
  • Staff led PD/ASSD hours, and authentic learning institutes are led by coaches help to build capacity throughout the district with our K-12 educators
  • Educators are encouraged to run professional development sessions that their peers may attend. Allowing the faculty to present areas of their expertise provides a variety of experiences in which peers can choose from to improve their craft. Specifically, there have been 4 professional development activities that the high school math teachers have run for teachers within the whole district, as well as specific departments. Different opportunities are available and encouraged for staff to participate in PD outside of the school, including BOCES workshops, graduate classes, site visits, and other various workshops.
  • 2-hour delays are built into the calendar for additional team planning and collaborative time to move our teachers’ skills forward
  • Updated training for all high school math teachers on the use of technology upgrades specifically related to calculation
  • PD for secondary social studies teachers as it related to the new Global (2018) and US History (2019) Regents exams, among many other topics

Goal #3 - Passion for Teaching & Learning

Foster and support an ongoing passion for teaching and learning through the implementation of authentic, project based experiences that promote engagement, motivation and deeper learning and provide diverse career, civic, and educational opportunities.

  • With New Tech Network's (NTN) PD, teachers have been trained to cultivate better, more authentic deeper learning experiences for students that cover important topics
  • Instructional coaching - coaches are available to work with teachers as needed to help them with the PBL planning process and brainstorm ideas and solutions to problems
  • Conversations at faculty meetings and goal-setting meetings are designed to grow expertise and efficacy among our teachers in our new teaching practices
  • Demonstrated implementation of our new pedagogical practices observed during classroom visits by administrators and colleagues
  • Discover Create and Innovate (DCI) classes offered at middle and high schools to grow 21st Century skilIs and agency within students
  • The staff is trained in Project Based Learning/Problem Based Learning and Dynamic teaching that encourages students to see the connection between content curriculum and a use outside of the classroom. The faculty is encouraged to utilize this type of instruction as often as possible in various ways that work for their specific group of students and curriculum. Specifically, in-house Institutes are offered for faculty to be trained locally. Conversations are also being had at the building level to discuss ways to put PD structures in place that can sync well with scheduling demands.
  • 2-hour delay days for collaborative planning of deeper learning experiences are well utilized to grow expertise within departments and grade levels
  • The High School Educational Planning Committee focuses on deeper learning experiences
  • Teachers utilize learning protocols to provide positive, productive feedback to teachers as they implement new initiatives and instructional practices
  • Students become empowered to stress the importance of relevant, inquiry-based learning through presentations and videos

Goal #4 - Space, Tools, and Capacity for Growth

Provide the space, tools and capacity to grow and change as needed to meet the demands of the learner in a campus where technology is ubiquitous and access is available to all and where the classroom supports multiple learning styles to fit the needs of all students.

  • Smart Schools funding used to upgrade our infrastructure throughout the district and ensure that wifi is available for use within all classrooms and can service the 1:1 technology used by our students
  • 1:1 devices for students (Chromebooks) are available along with iPad carts to be used as needed
  • NWEA MAP testing (adaptive online progress testing used as a universal screening) is integrated throughout the district to gauge growth in all disciplines
  • Google Classroom is a regular part of our practices and our day
  • Interactive screens in classrooms help extend the use of technology
  • Assistive Technology evaluations for several classified students in partnership with the Westchester Institute of Human Development make educational technology more accessible
  • Many different modalities of technology are available to educators and students including Chromebooks, iPads, Smart TVs, and Smartboards. We have a lot of potential to grow and improve, and training is available in order to do so. The addition of Google Drive and Gmail is helpful in allowing access to school files from home and beyond for work outside of the campus.
  • Implementing and training staff on the ideas of SAMR (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition) and teaching students to use technology as a tool to create rather than substitute.
  • Technology used throughout the district in classrooms, Makerspaces, and the DCI (Discover, Create, Innovate) classrooms. New inventions grow from a supportive environment where technology is used to create and inspire.

Goal #5 - Learner Profiles

Support the creation and implementation of “Learner Profiles” that reflect input from administrators, teachers, support staff, coaches, students and families to address social, emotional and academic needs of the student.

  • All 4th, 7th and 9th grade students participate in a course through which they develop their own Learner Profiles
  • Students make connections with their newly acquired understanding of the neurodevelopmental constructs and learn how they can manage their individual strengths and challenges in their own learning process. Bypass strategies are utilized for students to focus on their strengths and to bypass their weaknesses.
  • Students are developing better metacognitive skills K-12 through their access to their Learner Profile which help them learn.
  • Students in 4th grade are hearing stories about students their age who each have a different challenge with their learning. Students discuss strategies and set their own learning goals which are then used as a discussion point in their student-led parent conference.
  • In 7th grade, students learn about different neurodevelopmental constructs and evaluate their own learning strengths and challenges. Students built a final project that allows future teachers to better understand each student's individual learning strengths and challenges along with social and emotional strengths and challenges.
  • In 9th grade, a new Freshman Seminar course was designed and created. In this course, 9th graders are provided with tools for success in high school, goal setting opportunities, career exploration activities/guest speakers, resume building, emotional intelligence activities/strategies, information on brain development and substance abuse education. Students also explore their learning strengths and challenges and receive a printed Learner Sketch that outlines their learning profile along with strategies for alleviating challenges.
  • Neurodevelopmental constructs and Learner Profiles are also used to drive CST (Child Study Team) discussions on struggling learners and assess students for learning strengths and challenges
  • The Yale RULER (recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing) Program and Second Step address social/emotional needs
  • Walkthroughs with our psychologist allow for targeted conversations with classroom teachers about the learning needs of their students through the lens of neurodevelopment construct framework

Goal #6 - Robust Educational & Extra-curricular Opportunities

Maintain and enhance a robust, diverse, and inclusive platform of educational and extra-curricular opportunities and effectively communicate the availability to all students K-12, while ensuring that they nurture the qualities entrepreneurial problem solving such as leadership, social and civic responsibility, and a spirit of curiosity and discovery.

A wide variety of extra curricular activities are available throughout the district for students at all grade levels. Students are encouraged to take part in as many areas of interest as they can while remaining successful in managing their time and partake in the level of activities that are healthy for them to balance. A protocol is available for students/faculty to initiate the potential additions of new activities.

Opportunities include:

  • Modified sports
  • JV Sports
  • Varsity Sports
  • Intramurals
  • PTA Enrichment
  • Student Council
  • Lunch Bunch
  • Garden Activities
  • Arts and Culture Activities
  • Drama
  • Chess
  • Independent Studies
  • Classical Cafe
  • Poetry Out Loud Competition
  • Trips to Frost Valley, NY City/Broadway, Washington DC, Habitat for Humanity Senior trip to New Orleans among many others help to shape well-rounded individuals
  • Many other clubs and interest groups are available throughout elementary school, middle school and high school

Goal #7 - Learning Through Local & Distance Travel

Embrace the concept of a campus that allows students to engage in learning through travel to the community and beyond (physical or virtual travel), promoting opportunities year-round both on campus and in the community.

  • 7th grade Community Service Day
  • Debate Competition at Bard College
  • Arts in the Community (e.g. displays in Foodtown windows)
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Learning Experience (6th grade)
  • Field trip to Long Dock Pond to work with the DEP and River Keepers on environmental data collection (7th grade)
  • Field trip to the West Point Foundry (8th grade)
  • Senior Kayak and disc hockey experience to utilize the surrounding area.
  • Frost Valley 8th grade trip, NY City/Broadway 9th grade trip, Washington, DC sophomore trip, Habitat for Humanity senior trip to New Orleans, among many others help to shape well-rounded individuals
  • Various collaborations (different each year) through DCI classes. For example, students presented to the Cold Spring Village Board their ideas for a skatepark design and tunnel beautification project
  • Field trips are encouraged and supported. In the high school specifically, there are some instituted field learning trips that expose the students to cultural, historical, collegiate, and service experiences, e.g. Model UN trip, Literacy Magazine trip, etc.
  • Opportunities for special presenters to come into the classrooms: Hudson Highlands, Puppies Behind Bars, Paws for a Cause, various authors, etc.
  • Authentic audiences for work and final products
  • K-12 Discovery Day/Night to highlight our K-12 PBL Units of study conducted throughout the year
  • Virtual travel to classrooms throughout the world and partnerships forged with teachers and students of different cultures
  • Opportunities to bring experts into our classrooms in a virtual format to extend student thinking and experiences

Goal #8 - Fiscally & Educationally Responsible Financial Planning

Craft a financial plan that is both fiscally and educationally responsible, creating greater efficiencies through shared services and stronger relationships with municipalities and neighboring school districts, while tapping into new revenue sources.

  • Developed consortiums with neighboring districts to best utilize resources that don’t need to be replicated in all districts
  • Create special education consortium classes that allow districts to create learning environments that will meet the needs of all learners
  • The Haldane Academy built great capacity into the district for serving the social-emotional and learning needs of many of our high school students who might otherwise have to be educated out of district
  • Look to create budgets that better utilize the resources that we presently have in different, more cost effective ways
  • Allow students to tuition into the district in mainstream, special education, and consortium classes on a limited basis to support the budget and bring additional funding into the district
  • Ensure maximum efficiency throughout all aspects of the district
  • Consider alternative ways to use faculty and staff so we are maximizing their potential and the potential of their talents throughout the district

Goal #9 - Long-Range Facilities Planning

Create a long range facilities plan that will begin to match the buildings and the classrooms to the dynamic vision of the community and its students, ensuring a safe, efficient, collaborative and inspiring place to learn.

  • Ongoing study with the Building and Grounds Committee to consider the needs of the District and the older buildings that need ongoing upkeep
  • Bond Referendum Steering Committee meets on a regular basis to consider the components and needs within the district to be considered and included in a potential bond referendum
  • Two MakerSpaces are created throughout the district to help our students learn in classroom settings that promote collaboration and allow for flexible learning structures
  • Outdoor Learning Areas are built to allow our students to be educated in non-traditional learning environments. The District retained ownership of the James Pond classroom during the recent sale of Haldane land to continue to us it as an educational tool.
  • Ongoing discussion/planning that meet the needs of our students and celebrate the concepts within the Strategic Plan
  • Upgrade the technology infrastructure using the Smart Schools Bond Act funding to resolve connectivity issues that have progressed as more technology was brought into the district
  • Utilize the solar panels that were recently installed on the schools in a way that is safe and educational for the district
  • Safety audit conducted by the district to ensure a safe learning environment for our students, to the best of our ability
  • Studies conducted in areas that may need to be addresses by the facilities committee to gauge the need for renovation

Goal #10 - Two-Way Community Communication

Sustain ongoing two-way communication with the community to make it an integral part of any future initiatives and foster an understanding of the living strategic vision for the schools’ structure to refine and revisit plan.

  • Use of parent meetings, PTA, district meetings, Board of Education meetings, PTA Coffees, Board of Education sub-committee meetings, staff meetings, ASSD and CTC meetings to keep the Haldane Strategic Plan a living document that reflects the needs of the district throughout the developmental process to meet the needs of our students in an ever changing global environment
  • Use of electronic communication systems to send voice, text, and email messages that share timely information when needed
  • Email blasts are sent to keep community members up to date on District and community happenings
  • Distribution of district newsletters, budget newsletters, and the Haldane Almanac to keep parents apprised
  • Twitter and Facebook pages share communication and pictures of events occurring throughout the District
  • Televised Board of Education meetings allow community members to access meetings from their homes
  • Board Docs provides easy access to written communication related to Board of Education meetings