Delaware Talent Cooperative

EQUITY. RECOGNITION. EXCELLENCE.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

OVERVIEW
What is the Delaware Talent Cooperative? The Delaware Talent Cooperative (Co-Op) is designed to put the most effective educators in front of the students who need them most — and to support schools that have high populations of traditionally underserved students. The Co-Op encourages some of the state’s most accomplished educators (teachers, specialists, and school leaders) to transfer to the highest-need schools or to continue working there. It includes awards and recognition for educators, professional development, leadership opportunities, and grant opportunities for participating schools. Why start the Co-Op? Students from low-income communities tend to be taught by newer, less experienced educators, even though these students typically are most in need of our best educators. Delaware is renewing its commitment to putting the most effective educators in the schools that need them most. The state is supporting this commitment with financial resources for educators and schools through the Co-Op. This initiative and other statewide efforts are about:

 Keeping all of us focused on student learning.  Working together to increase the academic success of our students, particularly those who have traditionally been underserved.

 Treating educators like the professionals they are.  Highlighting outstanding work in Delaware’s
schools. The Co-Op complements other state initiatives to support and strengthen teaching, including the new state-led Teacher Advisory Councils (TACs), statewide Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and the upcoming Teaching & Learning Conditions Survey (TELLDelaware — www.telldelaware.org). TACs are groups of teachers that meet regularly with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) to weigh in on the most pressing educational issues for our students and schools. If you are interested in participating in a TAC, visit www.DEtalentcoop.org.

BENEFITS
What are the benefits for participating educators? Benefits for educators (teachers, specialists, and school leaders) who join the Co-Op include: working in participating schools. Educators can earn this award annually, for a total of up to $20,000. Participating schools all have high populations of traditionally underserved students. (See When do eligible educators earn retention awards? for details.)

 Retention awards: Between $2,500 and $10,000
over two years for eligible educators already

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Delaware Talent Cooperative
EQUITY. RECOGNITION. EXCELLENCE.

 Attraction awards: Awards up to $20,000 over
two years for eligible educators to transfer to participating schools.

What are the benefits for participating schools? The Co-Op provides incentives to help participating schools retain their most effective educators and recruit others. Participating schools can also receive grants of up to $10,000 for school improvement efforts. A school is eligible for a grant if (a) it has at least two educators participating in the Co-Op (any combination of educators receiving attraction and/ or retention awards); and (b) it has met at least 50 percent of student growth targets in the 2012–13 or 2013–14 school year. Decisions about how to use school grants will be made by educators at the building level. Participating schools will be asked to submit a one-page proposal to apply for their grants and to provide periodic updates about how grant funds are used. DDOE will provide a template for the proposals. Grants are not available for schools classified as Partnership Zone or Focus.

 Formal recognition by DDOE for their commitment and practice, including an annual convening of Co-Op educators with Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy.

 training (attraction award educators) Initial
and ongoing professional development (all educators) at no cost to the educator. All Co-Op educators become part of a professional learning community that spans all districts and schools throughout the state.

 Leadership opportunities as well as
opportunities to learn from others in the Co-Op.

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
Which schools are eligible to participate? Eligible schools are schools that serve high populations of traditionally underserved students. Specifically, a school is eligible if it meets at least one of these four conditions: Schools are not eligible if they:

 not participate in the Delaware ComprehenDo
sive Assessment System (DCAS).

 is a Partnership Zone school. It  participated in the state’s Talent Retention It
program in 2011–12.

 fewer than 100 students. Have  special schools serving distinct populations Are
(e.g., classified as Intensive Learning Centers). Participating schools are expected to comply with all requirements of the Delaware Performance and Appraisal System (DPAS II), such as required observations and roster verification process. Which schools are participating? All eligible districts and charter schools received a letter of invitation from DDOE dated December 14, 2012. Districts and charter schools must tell the state whether they intend to participate by January 14, 2013. A list of participating schools will be available on the initiative’s website, www.DEtalentcoop.org.

 is one of the top 15 schools in at least two of It
these three statewide categories: – Highest percentage of non-white students – Highest percentages of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals – Highest percentages of English language learners

 least 75 percent of its students are non-white, At
eligible for free and reduced-price meals, or English language learners.

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Delaware Talent Cooperative
EQUITY. RECOGNITION. EXCELLENCE.

WHICH EDUCATORS ARE ELIGIBLE AND HOW TO APPLY
Which educators are eligible for attraction awards? For the 2013–14 school year, eligible educators are English language arts (ELA) and math teachers in grades 3 to 10 and school leaders who are highly effective. An educator is considered highly effective if he or she meets at least one of the following criteria: to apply and interview at all participating schools where openings match their expertise and qualifications. Schools and districts have final authority to determine which staff to hire for any open positions — and whether to hire an educator participating in the Co-Op or another educator. Co-Op educators transferring to a new school must transfer to their new schools by October 15, 2013, to be eligible for the financial award. After that date, Co-Op educators who are eligible to transfer will be moved to the next year’s Co-Op cohort. Educators who have not accepted jobs in participating schools by October 15 can participate in professional development and other Co-Op activities throughout the spring, summer, and school year. Which educators are eligible for retention awards? For the 2013–14 school year, eligible educators are all teachers, specialists, and school leaders who currently teach in a participating school and meet at least one of these criteria:

 or she earned a Highly Effective summative He
rating at the end of 2011–12.

 or she was rated Exceeds on Component V of He
the DPAS II in summer 2012 (based upon the 2011–12 school year). DDOE will review any individual educator’s Component V report if he or she wants to apply for the Co-Op and believes that he or she should have been rated Exceeds on Component V. Eligible educators also must commit to working in a participating school for at least two years. Educators who are on improvement plans are not eligible. Next year, attraction awards will be available to educators who work in other subject areas and grades. How do educators apply for attraction awards? Educators interested in transferring to a participating school must complete an online application by March 22, 2013. Applications will be available at www.DEtalentcoop.org beginning January 28, 2013. Throughout April, DDOE will screen all educators who completed an application and met the eligibility criteria. By April 29, 2013, DDOE will notify educators who are accepted to the Co-Op. DDOE will share the names and qualifications of accepted educators with participating schools in May. Educators who are accepted will be considered for job openings in participating schools for the 2013– 14 school year. Co-Op members will be encouraged

 or she earns a Highly Effective summative He
rating in Spring 2013.

 or she is rated Exceeds on Component V of He
the DPAS II in spring 2013. Eligible educators also must commit to staying in their current school for at least two years. Educators who are on improvement plans are not eligible. How do educators apply for retention awards? There is no need to apply for retention awards. DDOE will notify all educators in participating schools who qualify for the two-year award — and automatically pay the award to those educators as long as they commit to remaining in their school for two years and being active in the Co-Op program.

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Delaware Talent Cooperative
EQUITY. RECOGNITION. EXCELLENCE.

AWARD DETAILS
When do eligible educators earn attraction awards? Teachers and school leaders who transfer to participating schools will receive up to $10,000 in the fall of 2013 (their first year in their new school). They will receive up to $10,000 in fall of 2014 (their second year) if they meet at least one of the following criteria: For educators who do not teach ELA or math, each participating school will receive a pool of funds for retention awards. For each school, total funds will be based on the number of educators who do not teach ELA or math. Funds will be divided equally among teachers who earn a Highly Effective summative ratings and/or Exceeds ratings on Component V of DPAS II. School leaders will receive an award of up to $10,000 over two years — up to $5,000 in fall of 2013 and up to $5,000 in fall of 2014 — as long as they stay in the same school and remain active in the Co-Op program. The exact amount of awards will be based on the number of eligible educators in the Co-Op. Educators of all subjects and school leaders who earn a second Highly Effective summative rating and/or Exceeds rating in spring 2014 will receive a second retention award ($2,500 to $10,000 over two years), bringing their total award to as much as $20,000. Educators who earn retention awards in consecutive years can collect the two awards simultaneously. For ELA and math teachers as well as school leaders, the exact amount of awards will be based on the number of eligible educators in the Co-Op. For non-ELA or math educators, each year’s award will be calculated using the formula described above. Can the same educator earn a transfer award and a retention award? No, but as explained above, educators can earn retention awards in consecutive years.

 Earned at least an Effective summative rating at
the end of 2012–13.

 rated at least Satisfactory on Component V Are
of DPAS II in summer 2013. Eligible educators also must stay in the same school for the second year. Educators who are on improvement plans are not eligible. The exact amount of awards will be based on the number of eligible educators in the Co-Op. When do eligible educators earn retention awards? Eligible ELA and math teachers will receive an award of up to $10,000 over two years — up to $5,000 in fall of 2013 and up to $5,000 in fall of 2014 — as long as they stay in the same school and remain active in the Co-Op program. The exact amount of awards will be based on the number of eligible educators in the Co-Op. All other eligible educators will receive awards of $2,500 to $10,000 over two years — half in fall of 2013, half in fall of 2014 — as long as they stay in the same school and remain active in the Co-Op program.

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Delaware Talent Cooperative
EQUITY. RECOGNITION. EXCELLENCE.

SKILLS, COMMITMENTS, AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Which skills will make someone successful in this program? Educators and school leaders should demonstrate that they can have a strong impact in the classroom and the school. Critical skills include: Co-Op professional development sessions, and be involved in Co-Op activities. For teachers and specialists, this involvement may include participating in a TAC, attending or presenting at information sessions about the Co-Op, being a new teacher mentor, and being a teacher leader in their building or district. For school leaders, it may include serving as a leader of leaders or mentoring new administrators. What professional development will be part of the Co-Op? During spring and summer 2013, the Co-Op will hold initial training for transferring educators. This professional development will focus on understanding diverse learning needs of students, getting to know school culture, and taking on new leadership roles. Transferring educators will be expected to attend these trainings, and those who receive retention awards may be asked to help facilitate the sessions. Ongoing professional development will deepen educators’ skills in these areas and focus on mentoring other educators and building collaborative learning communities at their schools. School leaders’ ongoing professional development will focus on leadership training, attracting and retaining excellent educators, and building school culture. All professional development will be provided at no cost to Co-Op participants.

 Leadership skills, demonstrated by serving in
leadership roles, understanding the attributes of an effective leader, and advocating for teachers and families.

 Collaboration and team building skills,
such as having knowledge of adult learning strategies and group dynamics, having effective facilitation skills, having strong written and oral communication skills, and being respectful and positive in interactions with others.

 Effective instruction skills, demonstrated
by using student achievement data to improve student outcomes; setting ambitious goals for all students, regardless of background or past performance; taking personal responsibility for all students’ meeting those goals; and/ or building staff capacity to provide effective instruction.

 Reflection and constant learning skills, such
as being able to reflect on one’s performance to identify challenges and successes. What are Co-Op participants committing to do? Co-Op participants agree to serve in a participating school for at least two years, participate in

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Delaware Talent Cooperative
EQUITY. RECOGNITION. EXCELLENCE.

KEY DATES AND MORE INFORMATION
What are the key dates for the program?

 2014: Teachers in the 2013 Co-Op Cohort Fall
receive the second half of their awards How can I learn more about the program? DDOE is holding information session on the following dates and times:

 December 20, 2012: Information session
for Kent County, 1–3 p.m., Capital District Administrative Office

 January 3, 2013: Information session for
Sussex County, 9–11 a.m., Laurel Middle School Library

 County: December 20, 2012, 1–3 p.m., Kent
Capital District Administrative Office

 January 7, 2013: Information session for
New Castle County, 1–3 p.m., Red Clay District Administrative Office

 Castle County: January 7, 2013, 1–3 p.m., New
Red Clay District Administrative Office

 January 14, 2013: Eligible districts/schools
notify DDOE of their intent to participate

 Sussex County: January 3, 2013, 9–11 a.m.,
Laurel Middle School Library DDOE is holding two information sessions by webinar:

 January 23, 2013: Webinar information session for educators, 3–4 p.m.

 January 28, 2013: Online application for
attraction program becomes available

 January 23, 2013, from 3–4 p.m.  January 30, 2013, from 4–5 p.m.
You also can e-mail your questions to Angeline Willen, Director, Teacher & Leader Effectiveness Unit, DDOE, angeline.willen@doe.k12.de.us. Questions will be answered within two business days. How was the Co-Op developed? DDOE worked with an Advisory Council that included representatives of the DDOE, the Delaware State Education Association, the Delaware Charter Schools Network, community organizations, districts, and schools. The Advisory Council participated in developing the initiative by providing input and advice at key points in the process. DDOE also held focus groups with teachers across the state, and their input helped shape the program. For example, feedback from the Advisory Council and focus groups promoted the idea of recognizing teachers in non-tested subjects and grades and including grants to schools. Education First coordinated the work in conjunction with Teacher & Leader Effectiveness Unit staff.

 January 30, 2013: Webinar information session for educators, 4–5 p.m.

 March 22, 2013: Deadline for applications
for attraction program (educators eligible for transfer awards)

 March and April 2013: DDOE screens Late
applications

 April 29, 2013: DDOE selects 2013 Co-Op By
Cohort members (for attraction program) and notifies all educators who applied

 2013: Educators eligible for transfer awards May
begin to interview for jobs in participating schools while participating in the first two professional development seminars

 June 30, 2013: DDOE identifies and notifies By
educators who will receive 2013 retention awards

 2013: Summer Institute, other training July
(exact dates to be announced)

 October 15, 2013: Deadline for educators to
transfer to a new school to be eligible for the attraction award

 2013: Teachers in the 2013 Co-Op Cohort Fall
receive the first half of their awards

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