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October 21, 2014
Race To The Top

Latest News

Race to the Top news

Instructional Leaders Update

   Stay up to date on Race To The Top news with the latest Instructional Leaders Update e-newsletter.

Questions? Contact:

Dr. Lynne Wells, 464-3985
Laura Combs, 464-

About this page

In November 2010, 21 area school districts pooled $3 million in federal Race To The Top grants to form the Capital Region Network Team, an unprecedented regional collaborative charged with raising student achievement. Members of the Network Team An Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from each of the participating districts, run the Network, deciding what support it needs (in terms of training and staffing), what direction it will take and how to use the pooled funds.

Districts participating in
the Capital Region
Network Team:

arrow bulletCity School District of Albany

arrow bulletBerne-Knox-Westerlo

arrow bulletBethlehem

arrow bulletBurnt Hills-Ballston Lake

arrow bulletCobleskill-Richmondville

arrow bulletCohoes City

arrow bulletDuanesburg

arrow bulletGreen Island

arrow bulletGuilderland

arrow bulletMenands

arrow bulletMiddleburgh

arrow bulletMohonasen

arrow bulletNorth Colonie

arrow bulletRavena-Coeymans-Selkirk

arrow bulletSchalmont

arrow bulletSchenectady City

arrow bulletSchoharie

arrow bulletScotia-Glenville

arrow bulletSharon Springs

arrow bulletShenendehowa

arrow bulletSouth Colonie

arrow bulletVoorheesville

arrow bulletWatervliet

Access an evolving, collaborative platform for educators here:


Below, find Race To The Top news and information shared with members of the Capital Region Network Team. The latest update is listed under each subject heading. Click "Archives" for additional news in that subject area.


The latest from Instructional Services

The Learning Registry

The power of the Internet in teachers' hands

From U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan: "After much hard work, a diverse group of collaborators has created a tool that will make it much easier for teachers to have access to learning materials that will help them do their jobs."
Visit The Learning Registry


Common Core State Standards

Inquiry teams: what you need to know

Instructional services offers trainings to get districts started

As part of the Federal Race To The Top initiative, each building in a school district is required to form an inquiry team a group of teachers and building principals charged with analyzing data, identifying student achievement gaps, and formulating steps to close those gaps. Full Story

Help with Common Core Learning Standards

Instructional Services coaches offer collaborative
opportunities, individual coaching, and intensive training to districts

For school districts across the Capital Region and New York State, the transition to the Common Core Learning Standards as part of the federal Race To The Top initiative will be one of the most challenging undertakings since No Child Left Behind. This year will be especially intense, as 12 "shifts" in curriculum and instruction are required to be completed by the end of the school year.  Full Story




Assessments & Use of Data

2011 Regents Review 2.0 Soon to be Available

This year’s Regents Review 2.0 will soon be available! This comprehensive TV and web-based test-prep series is designed for high school students studying for the June 2011 Regents exams. The series features one-hour, in depth review programs on 14 different subjects – one program each for the specific NYS curriculum areas tested annually through Regents exams. The shows will begin airing in early may on all nine NYS Public Television stations.


New Grades 3-8 ELA Testing Program Memo and Resources

The Office of State Assessment has released the following resources that relate to the Grades 3-8 Testing Program:




Educational Systems Quality Review

McKenna, DiCaprio report on ESR pilot process

A special thank you to Lori McKenna, Director of Federal and State Grants, and Joe DiCaprio, Principal at Pleasant Valley CSD representing Schenectady City Schools, for reporting on the pilot they undertook with the Educational Systems Review (ESR) process at the past RttT meeting.

McKenna described the administrative function on coordinating the implementation and the importance of the comprehensive planning in a district. DiCaprio described the building process and the positive impact. He spoke of the process the team went though to look deeply into their building, their leadership, teaching and learning, the use of data, resources and climate to develop a plan that was meaningful to the building. He expounded on the engagement and ownership of all staff, parents and community members and then detailed the action steps they will be pursuing for their students.

They reported the ESR proved to be a tool that got to the core issues and their root causes. Their candid review illustrated the potential of looking at the educational system in all buildings.

Thank you, Schenectady City Schools for your willingness, and to Lori and Joe for your great work!




Great Teachers & Leaders

The Education Department issued a statement yesterday on the appeal of the APPR court ruling. You can read it here

The Education Department has also issued new guidance, dated September 13, 2011, on APPR, in conjunction with recently adopted emergency regulations.
View the updated guidance on APPR here

There are two different documents for your review.

First, the document entitled “Guidance to the Field on Teacher and Principal Annual Professional Performance Review” has a detailed questions and answer section beginning on page 72, discussing how the recent court ruling impacts APPR. Please review these pages specifically.

The Department’s guidance on how to proceed in light of the legal challenge to the regulation is that “school districts and BOCES should complete the negotiations needed to implement the new APPR system, assuming the provisions declared invalid are not in effect.” (SED APPR Guidance, R3., page 73, updated 9/13/11). We understand that this guidance is not as definitive as one would hope.

Second, the document entitled “Summary of the Provisions in the Regulations” updates what is commonly referred to as the “green sheet”. Please review these updated tables specifically.


Video Tutorials

CCLS: Six Shifts In Mathematics

CCLS: Six Shifts in ELA/Literacy (Shifts 1-3)

CCLS: Six Shifts in ELA/Literacy (Shifts 4-6)


SLO Webinar (March 19, 2012)




Other news

New Report: Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing

The Council of Writing Program Administrators, National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project have published Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. The framework, written by college and high school faculty, describes the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills as well as habits of mind and experiences that are critical for college success.




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