The primary goal and objective of the Cleveland Hill UFSD is to improve student achievement and growth. During the development and presentation of the 2014 – 2015 budget and strategic plans for the district, Mr. MacSwan, Superintendent of Schools, highlighted the investment in a three year targeted professional development plan for district staff called Project Achieve. This district initiative was focused on improving teaching and learning through the proper training and equipping of staff with the tools to meet the challenges in preparing our students to meet the new learning standards. Project Achieve focused on the following three components: Common Core Curriculum and state curriculum, Data Driven Instruction (DDI) and Decision Making, and New York Teaching Standards. Building leaders leveraged available resources to address these components in the strategic planning process. During the initial Project Achieve iniative, there were significant gains in student achievement, particularly in the areas of English and Mathematics in the Elementary School and Middle School. Similar gains were seen in the high school in the areas of Mathematics and four year graduation rates.
In Project Achieve, the elementary school teachers worked on the development of units and lessons that reflect the instructional shifts in the Common Core. This work facilitated the opportunity for staff to vertically and horizontally align curriculum through cross grade level planning. The middle school focused in the area of curriculum alignment to the Common Core and professional development was structured around literacy and the utilization of content area coaching. Lesson design centered on incorporation of differentiated instruction techniques and the utilization of a common language of instruction. Finally, the high school concentrated on the exploration of Common Core Module adaptation, a review of common interim assessments for rigor, and the design of lesson plans to reflect the Common Core shifts in Math and ELA.
Throughout the district in all buildings, there was a focus on the development of interim assessments and common formative assessments. The plan provided for the implementation of Data Driven Instruction (DDI) and Decision Making Models to design strategic action plans for all students. Project Achieve was an ambitious and collaborative initiative that clearly provided a roadmap for success.
With the high level of success of the Project Achieve initiative, the School Board supported Project Achieve II. While the focus on the first initiative leaned more towards the content areas of Math and ELA, Project Achieve 2 shifted to begin to address curricular changes in Science and Social Studies. At all levels, Project Achieve II was (and is) geared to meet the new New York State Social Studies Standards (K-12) and the implemenation of the new Science Standards (K-12). At the elementary school, teachers are designing interdisciplinary units that address both Social Studies and Science, but, also integrate Math and ELA skills. At the secondary level, Social Studies curriculum and instruction work is focused on addressing the "Inquiry Arc" as outlined by the New York State Education Department. Concurrently, the Science departments in both the high school and middle school are designing curriculum and assessments that address the 3 dimensions provided by the New York State Education Science Department.
At each level, there is also a focus, through all core content areas, enhancing the co-teaching model. Professional development is being provided to teachers in each building that outlines best practices in co-teaching and provides a network of support for teachers working in those classrooms.
Through the dedication and effort of the Cleveland Hill staff, plans are well underway for the coming school year and everyone is excited about the opportunity to provide the highest quality learning environment for the students of the district.