Yellow Sessions (10:30 - 11:20am)

Y. M. 4. Creating High Performance in a High-Poverty, High-Minority, High-ELL School

Presenter: Ivan Tolentino, Principal, Thomas A. Edison School

About the school: Gr K-5; Westchester County; Portchester-Rye UFSD; 430 students; ED 61%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 80% 2,3,4; 34% 3,4; ethnicity: H/L 89%; W 7%

Participants will learn about the importance of having a Community-School model, an approach to ENL services, a focus on Mindsets, and Anti-Defamation-League-prize-winning character education. In addition, Mr. Tolentino will address his transition into his role as principal - attention to the school’s physical environment, teacher and staff beliefs, and classroom non-negotiables.

Participants will see evidence of the school’s achievement growth and photographs of initiatives discussed.

Participants will walk away with descriptions of initiatives to bring back to their teams for possible implementation.


Y. M. 5. Embracing the Adventure: Encouraging Risk-Taking - Giving Permission to Fail

Presenter: Dr. Ann Pedersen, Deputy Superintendent and future Superintendent, Lawrence UFSD, Nassau County

About the school: Nassau County, Lawrence UFSD

Lawrence Middle School: Gr. 5-8; 581 students; ED 78%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 72% 2,3,4; 33% 3,4; ethnicity: H/L 48%; B/AA 25%; W 20%

Lawrence Elementary School: Gr. 3-5; 569 students; ED 82%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 65% 2,3,4; 37% 3,4; ethnicity: H/L 51%; B/AA 19%; W 22%

Participants will learn about the importance of de-escalating concerns about testing results in order to encourage risk-taking, recognizing "the fierce urgency of now," using each moment of instructional time wisely, and focusing on AMPS (attention, memory, processing, and sequence). She will bring copies of the Lawrence Resource Guide developed to ensure consistency for the district's 3,000 students. 

Participants will see evidence of the school's achievement growth and samples of the district's Resource Guide.

Participants will walk away with a table of contents for a model resource guide. 


Y. A. 2. Clear and Loving Structures: How Our “What I Need” (WIN) System Builds School Culture and Ensures Every Student’s Needs Are Met

Presenters: Paul Kesler, Principal of John Kennedy School; two Gr 3 teachers

About the school: Gr 2-4; Genesee County; Batavia City School District; 530 students; ED 64%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA (343 students tested): 65% 2,3,4; 33% 3,4; ethnicity: W 74%, Mult. 12%, H/L 8%

Participants will learn about how we implemented WIN (What I Need) AIS for all students. Participants will learn how we have utilized our PBIS team to help build our school culture and about how our students have benefited from having clear and loving structures. Participants will also learn about our processes for training our new teachers to become leaders within the school.

Participants will see the school’s WIN Schedule that allows homogeneous groups each day in math and ELA at all levels, photos of STEM activities designed to enrich all of our students, and photos of our WIN and PBIS Programming. We will also show data on how we have sustained strong academic results among similar districts (particularly in math), data of how we found success in improving the attendance of some of our frequently absent students, i-Ready data that shows how our students are closing the achievement gap, and several years of discipline data.

Participants will walk away with a roll-out plan for making changes to their schedule to provide AIS for all students. They will also leave with a process for implementing a Check-In/Check-Out attendance system with persistently absent students.


Citrus Green Sessions (11:25am - 12:15pm)

G. A. 1. Steps to Success: The Process of School Improvement

Presenters: Dr. John McKenna, Principal of Fletcher Elementary School / Past President, SAANYS; Dr. James Newton, Superintendent of Tonawanda City School District

About the school: Gr 4-5; Erie County; Tonawanda City School District; 280 students; ED 54%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 75% 2,3,4; 47% 3,4; ethnicity: W 92%, H/L 4%, Mult. 2%

Participants will learn about 1) a school-wide goal-setting system and how to develop a structure for success around those goals, and 2) how to set up a school-wide data-collection and data-analysis system.

Participants will see copies of all documents used to communicate with the staff and collect data; video of data teams in action; and student data, portfolios, and anecdotal data illustrating student growth and success.

Participants will walk away with a copy of the structural model Dr. McKenna utilizes to set goals and communicate with staff on a daily basis, and the school’s data-collection system.


G. A. 3. Deciding Moments: Factors that Motivate Students to Choose to Learn and Persevere

Presenters: William (Bill) Frandino, K-5 Principal of Emma C. Chase Elementary School, and Teachers

About the school: Gr K-5; Sullivan County; Monticello CSD; 300 students; ED 55%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 72% 2, 3, 4; 34% 3, 4; ethnicity: W 70%, H/L 16%, Mult 6%

Participants will learn about  a balance of formative assessment strategies, use of benchmark data, and the growth and perseverance mindset, and will gain ideas for creating intrinsic motivation and avoiding toxic grading practices. Participants will reflect on a handful of key moments for instructional decision-making and compare research-based best practice to what currently exists within their learning environment. 

Participants will see three years of growth and achievement data, photos of examples of initiatives in action, data illustrating the past three years of growth and achievement on NYS exams and NWEA benchmark assessments. 

Participants will walk away with a sketch of initial first steps for implementation of any strategies they wish to try, developed with the time and support of presenters. 


Emerald Green Sessions (1:15 - 2:05pm)

G. A. 4. Building a Culture of Belonging and Success

Presenters: Gina Cappiello, Principal of Valley Cottage Elementary School; Michelle O’Sullivan, Math Specialist; Amy Leibel-Farrugia, Reading Teacher

About the school: Gr K-5; Rockland County; Nyack CSD; 453 students; ED 41%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 69% 2, 3, 4; 38% 3, 4; ethnicity: W 43%, H/L 24%, B/AA 18%

Participants will learn about how to create a focus on the Growth Mindset, initiate an off-campus homework assistance area in or near low-income housing developments, and roll out a successful PBIS program.

Participants will see evidence of the effectiveness of what we do in test score growth and behavior incident reduction. We will show photographs of our Growth Mindset messages and our Homework Club, and artifacts and photos from our PBIS program.

Participants will walk away with on outline of a plan for implementing PBIS.


G. A. 5. Recipes for Success: How Malverne Students Achieve

Presenters: Dr. James Hunderfund, Superintendent; Steve Gilhuley, Assistant Superintendent; Rachel Gross, Common Core Chair; Daniel Nehlsen, Principal, Howard T. Herber Middle School; Ed Tallon, Principal, Davison Avenue Intermediate School

About the schools: Gr 3-5 and 6-8; Nassau County; Malverne UFSD; 776 students combined

Middle School: ED 48%, ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 70% 2, 3, 4; 40% 3, 4; ethnicity: B/AA 55%, H/L 28%, W 19%

Intermediate School: ED 49%, ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 82% 2, 3, 4; 49% 3, 4; ethnicity: B/AA 48%, H/L 23%, W 23%

Participants will learn about recipes for success: technology, Spotlight Standards, committees, branding, curriculum reviews, extra-curricular activities, collaboration, Twitter movement, ceremonies

Participants will see evidence of success: testimonials, data, awards, recognitions; videos (Spotlight Standard Initiative, K-12 Tech); photos (students learning and activities, K-12); data (discipline records, regents scores, NYS assessment data, STAR data); our Twitter feed (#gomules – universal hashtag highlighting all events, departments, and programs)

Participants will walk away with samples of successful initiatives (Perception and Branding Initiative, RtI, Technology Initiative, Spotlight Standards Initiative)


Blue Sessions (2:10 - 3:00pm)

B. M. 1. Target and Eradicate: Let’s Get Off the Hamster Wheel: How One School’s RtI Program Took the Challenge and Won!   

Presenters: Patricia Sotero, Principal of Center Street Elementary School; two reading specialists

About the school: PK-4; Chemung County; Horseheads CSD; 370 students; ED 49%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 78% 2,3,4; 35% 3,4; ethnicity: W 89%, Mult. 6%, H/L 3%

Participants will learn about creative and doable practices that positively impact student academic challenges including ELA (reading and writing) and Math. How-to’s we implemented that can be recreated in any district. Our story: we believed we were spinning our wheels and not moving enough students out of remediation and back into the classroom. We focused on doing laser remediation with high accountability to one another and the students. Some strategies participants will learn about are: repeated exposure, not just skill and drill; I Met My Goal program to set goals together with students; the Power of “Yet;” extensive support during the school day; bringing in outside organizations and retired individuals to assist with reading; using multi-level comprehension questions every day to reinforce higher level thinking.

Participants will see copies of all documents used to communicate with the staff and collect data; video of data teams in action; and student data, portfolios, and anecdotal data illustrating student growth and success.

Participants will walk away with a packet of all the information including copies of all documents used to communicate with the staff and collect data; student data, portfolios, and anecdotal data illustrating student growth and success.


B. M. 2. Looking at EACH Student as an Individual

Presenter: Dr. Nancy W. Hackett, Superintendent, Sullivan West CSD

About the schools: Sullivan County; Sullivan West CSD; 1,100 students combined

SW High School: Gr 7-12, ED 43%, ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 69% 2,3,4; 48% 3,4; ethnicity: W 88%, H/L 6%, A 2%

SW Elementary: Gr K-6; ED 50%; ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 67% 2,3,4; 31% 3,4; ethnicity: W 84%, H/L 10%, A 5%

Participants will learn about benchmarking to create high standards while giving individual attention to each student; a creative and fun way to conduct a curriculum review to identify gaps or redundancies, and then build a 3-year plan; the value of treating poverty as a factor to consider with explicit training in diversity and poverty factors.

Participants will see evidence of practice effectiveness: benchmark scores and growth, photos of our curriculum review process.

Participants will walk away with a plan for possible implementation of a curriculum review.


B. M. 3. Success for All: Whatever it Takes: Removing Obstacles, Empowering Students

Presenters: Dr. Ralph Ferrie, Superintendent; Kevin Dougherty, Principal of Elmont Memorial HS; Dr. Christopher Salinas, Principal of Sewanhaka HS

About the schools: Gr 7-12; Nassau County; Sewanhaka Central High School District

Elmont: 1,714 students, ED 51%, D student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 78% 2,3,4; 38% 3,4; ethnicity: B/AA 76%, H/L 14%, W 1%

Sewanhaka: 1,623 students, ED 56%, ED student performance on 2016 NYS ELA: 89% 2,3,4; 37% 3,4; ethnicity: B/AA 32%, H/L 29%, A 21%

Participants will learn about the hallmark initiatives of our success: Whatever it Takes, Removing Obstacles, Empowering Students.

Participants will see evidence of success: Regents scores; AP enrollment; teacher, student, and parent anecdotal data. Video and photos of instruction, counselor meetings, data analysis will also be shared.

Participants will walk away with samples of strategies that can be implemented to help support students coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.