Response to RCSD Committee Questions Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.

Any partnership should begin with as much clarity as possible and we see your questions as an initial piece of figuring out whether we might engage in a partnership with Rochester. Please know from the outset that we believe sustainable change must be local. Unlike a CMO or even those who bill themselves at EPOs, we do not have an interest in isolating East or ourselves from the broader fabric of the Rochester community. We have done our best to provide you with answers to your questions in an expedient and concise manner since we know you are operating under tight time constraints. If there are follow-up questions we will look forwarding to addressing them at our meeting with the committee this week.

1. Based on the enrollment numbers provided, how will School Turnaround accommodate all of the students currently enrolled at East High School and those that will transfer from East to other secondary schools? The projected reduction of enrollment numbers at East High School is due to our belief that the current enrollment is too large and that size is a factor in East's current poor performance. The average size for secondary schools in Rochester is 700. We see this as right sizing. We will work with the district to come up with a plan for those students who are displaced by the reduction in East's enrollment while maintaining relatively the same composition that currently exists at East. 2. What will be the (enrollment) process for students being accepted into the school? We would recommend an open enrollment process that requires parents and students attend an information session to understand the plan for East, the changes to the program, the expectations for students and parents under the new plan, and a commitment in the form of a signed home/school compact. To ensure that the school's demographics remain the same as East's current student population, we would work with the district to come up with a plan for the weighting of the enrollment so that the special education and ELL are represented similarly. 3. How will School Turnaround address student attendance? In order to ensure that we are not reinventing the wheel, School Turnaround will assess the systems that East currently has in place for addressing student attendance and determine what needs to be done (if anything) to improve its effectiveness and ensure it comprehensively addresses attendance problems. In addition to the use of data captured in student information systems to identify patterns of absences and to track daily attendance, there are a variety of

strategies that can be implemented to address student attendance issues. We will collaborate to develop proactive attendance strategies that utilize personalized human interaction, quality instruction, access to meaningful career technical education, and a commitment to creating a physically, emotionally and intellectually safe learning environment for all students. The most effective strategy for improving student attendance is to create a learning environment that motivates students to want to be in school. We will work with teachers to create equitable classroom environments that are designed to meet the needs of every learner. Classroom teachers will be supported in their efforts to differentiate instruction in ways that tap into the various learning styles and intelligences of the students they serve. Lesson plans will be developed with student interest in mind and the creation of opportunities for students to make connections to real life situations. Students will also have the opportunity to access learning through technology as part of the classroom blended learning model. In addition to the classroom structure, students will be provided with opportunities to apply learning through service and other authentic experiences. Another strategy that will be employed includes the linking of students with attendance issues to a staff person that serves as mentor or academic career manager for the duration of the student's time at the school (Junior or Senior High School). Students who are truant or tardy on a regular basis, or that have emotional or behavioral issues, will be assigned a mentor. Each mentor will be the primary point of contact between the home and school for each mentee. In this way, we will ensure that these students develop a supportive relationship with an adult in the building that they can trust. The administration at the school will work closely with teachers, the building leadership team and school planning team to come up with the best solutions for improving attendance and monitoring the performance of at risk students. The building Principal and leadership team will make school an inviting place for parents and students and will message the role that everyone plays in ensuring all students are in school every day. 4. How does School Turnaround address scheduling in block periods for students? How will this scheduling strategy be implemented? School Turnaround has a lot of experience implementing block scheduling in comprehensive high schools engaged in turning around academic achievement. The primary focus is to ensure that students have extended time in the core subject areas of literacy, math and science. Students will receive double periods of literacy and math daily, and extended lab periods for science. In addition, AP classes will all have extended time regardless of subject area. Block scheduling also allows for teachers to teach a fewer number of classes – which means more focus in planning. It means fewer students for each teacher as well – which reduces grading of work and papers and makes it substantially more feasible to establish relationships that are meaningful with all of their students. Research is clear that relationships are a key part of effective teaching and learning at the middle and high school level. In addition, block scheduling makes it possible to have extended common planning times for teachers, which facilitates a collegial and collaborative atmosphere and allows for on-site professional

development. 5. Why isn’t CTE programming addressed in the proposal? Is there a plan to implement CTE programming for students? And 6. What will happen to the existing CTE programming at East; i.e. Optics, Culinary Arts, and TLI? And 7. There is a lack of mention of career pathways, how will career pathways be addressed? Career and Technical Education is an important part of any comprehensive high school and East High School clearly has a rich history of these programs. We would anticipate that a number of the current offerings would continue. Our initial approach would be to evaluate the effectiveness of each offering by speaking with students and teachers at East as well as any potential employers in each of the respective industries and sectors in order to determine if there are ways that these programs might be improved to more fully assure student career readiness. In addition, when it comes to career pathways – both those that exist directly from high school and those that are linked to higher education – we will meet with key employers and work with the district liaisons and the board to identify areas of strong potential for additional types of training and preparation. This is clearly an area where it is important that the broader community be involved in decision-making. The ultimate career pathway for students at East is to have opportunities to choose from. This is why we are committed first and foremost to preparing students for college acceptance – whether they choose to attend or go straight to a career or extended training in an area. The path to this is through attaining a rigorous academic education – which would infuse the core offerings as well as the CTE offerings. 8. How will School Turnaround engage and/or collaborate with parents of East High School? What parent engagement strategies will be implemented? How will the parent community advisory group be formed and engaged? Please provide a detailed explanation. School Turnaround's thinking around school and family partnerships is guided by Dr. Joyce Epstein's (John Hopkins University) Framework of Six Types of Parent Involvement. The Types of Parent Involvement include: o Parenting: Helping all families establish home environments to support children as students o Communicating: Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school program and children's progress o Volunteering: Recruit and organize parent help and support o Learning at home: Provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum related activities, decisions and planning o Decision Making: including parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives o Collaborating with the community: Identify and integrate resources and services

from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning and development. Our strategies are as follows regarding this approach: Parenting a. Work with parents to support family literacy and include parents in the schools authentic reading program by providing them with strategies to motivate their children to become better readers through book clubs b. Use the Student and Family Support Center to increase parent access to support programs around health, nutrition and other services c. Train parents to understand student performance data Communication a. Create usable reports for parents re: student performance data b. Engage parents and students in the personal target setting based upon performance data c. Clearly communicate to parents the turnaround plan for the school and the role they can play in it d. Hold parent information sessions (Parent Academies) after each benchmark assessments and share student progress towards personal targets Volunteering a. Establish a space in the building as a parent room or family center for volunteer work, meetings, and resources for families b. Encourage parents to volunteer in the school and/or classrooms to support the teachers, administrator and students c. Survey parents to identify all available talents, and availability to volunteer d. Engage parents in the service learning component at East High School Learning at Home a. Provide parents with information related to the skills required for students in all subjects at each grade level b. Use the Family Support Center (and website) to disseminate information about homework policies and how to monitor and discuss homework at home c. Involve families in setting student goals each year and in planning for college and work Decision Making a. Establish a parent and community advisory committee b. Include representatives from the parent and community advisory committee as part of the School Based Planning Team at East c. Institute the Parents Academy to provide parents with an overview of the turnaround process at East and solicit direct feedback from the total parent population

d. Create (if it does not currently exist) a student government organization e. Continue to support the existing PTSA Collaborating with the Community a. Use the Student and Family Support Center to disseminate information for students and families on community health, cultural, recreational, social support, community activities that link learning skills and talents, including summer programs for students and other programs and services 9. How will School Turnaround address the needs of English Language Learners? Particularly, how would the “intentional late language immersion program” and “Spanish language opportunities” remain the same and how would they differ from our current Transitional Bilingual Program? Given the short time period between the release of the East High School RFP and the deadline for submitting a proposal, School Turnaround was not able to assess the school's current Bilingual program nor determine its effectiveness. Before changing anything related to how East currently serves its English Language Learner population, we would first look to see how it being approached and look at student performance data to determine if the strategies are effective. 10. What criteria was used in the selection of Empire State College as the higher education partner, providing a credit-bearing professional development set of coursework that addresses the immediate needs around NYS and Common Core standards; creating an effective teaching and learning environment; and socialemotional traits and needs for students. The core mission of SUNY’s Empire State College is “dedicated faculty and staff use innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to higher education that transform people and communities by providing rigorous programs that connect individuals' unique and diverse lives to their personal learning goals. ESC’s commitments center around applying divergent thinking to the ways in which adult learners are able to approach, engage in, and be successful at their own learning. They have a strong set of tools that accommodate virtual learning. They have recently re-envisioned and redesigned their teacher education program to align with the changing needs of the current times in public education. They have the flexibility and adaptability of a small college, which allows them to partake in a give-and-take with School Turnaround and the staff at East. As a part of the SUNY system they have the resources and system-wide network at their disposal. 11. Enrollment projections indicate a high level of attrition, what is the rationale for the enrollment projections presented in the proposal? The enrollment projections provided in the proposal show attrition from grade level to grade level due to our expectation that a small percentage of students will be retained at the current grade level the following year. Therefore, the attrition pattern actually reflects anticipated retention within a grade from year to year.

12. Please provide a precise timeline for the turnaround process, including recruitment, staffing, and professional development (training)? All timelines will be contingent upon the contract award process. However, generally speaking we anticipate the following. Recruitment for the leadership at East would commence immediately. With the following expectations: May 16-June 15 – Recruitment June 16-July 15 – Selection and hiring July 16-August 1 – Initial training With regard to the rest of the staff we would expect the following: May 16-May 31 – Intensive on-site walk-throughs and meetings with stakeholders (teachers, non-instructional staff, students, and parents) to determine staffing needs. This will assist in determining the organizational composition and structure going forward June 1-June 30 – Reconstitution of staff – interview process for existing staff as well as those who are interested in applying July 1-August 15 – Intermittent training sessions for core positions as needed August 16-August 31 – Intensive training and planning sessions 13. East High School currently has programming to support students with autism. Will this programming be continued? We plan to continue the programming in support of students with autism. 14. How will the school’s current population of ELL and Special Education students be addressed; particularly newcomer students? School Turnaround does not plan to make any immediate changes to the school's current strategies for serving Special Education or English Language Learner populations. If granted the contract, we will work closely with the Special Services Department and ESOL Department to assess the effectiveness of its support for students with disabilities and ELL students at East High School. 15. How exactly will RTI and PBIS be enhanced? If awarded the contract, School Turnaround will assess the school's current implementation of the Response to Intervention and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support Frameworks to determine if they are being implemented with fidelity. Once that assessment has been completed, we will work with the Specialized Services Department Coordinator and the school's leadership team to develop a course correction plan as appropriate.

In response to the school's low performance in ELA and Mathematics in grades 7 and 8, School Turnaround will utilize a modified Response to Intervention framework for planning the instructional program. All students entering grades 7-9 will be universally screened prior to the start of the school year to determine where they are performing relative to their grade level. All students will receive 90 minutes of ELA and Mathematics instruction (twice the amount of time student currently receive). Students that do not perform at or above a grade level proficiency defining pre-identified "cut score" on the universal screener will receive an additional 30 minutes of Tier 2 support during the school day using artificial intelligence and small group tutoring. Additionally, all students will participate in 30 minutes of authentic reading as part of a teacher led book club. 16. What is School Turnaround ‘s experience with urban schools and/or school districts that have demographics similar to East High School? School Turnaround works primarily with very urban or very rural schools – both of which encounter challenges that are more likely to be found in those settings. Our work is almost exclusively with high poverty schools. Much of our work is with students of color, those who are English Language Learners, and those who seek learning modifications for special needs. The cities where we work are primarily small to medium-sized cities (not ones like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles or Houston). We have worked in cities such as Youngstown, Cleveland, Columbus and Lorain in Ohio where we were the lead external partner to the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio State University in an initiative to provide support to lowperforming schools. We have worked in urban areas in the following states: New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Washington and Hawaii. 17. How will School Turnaround address student safety? School Turnaround views student safety as falling into three areas: the Physical, Social/emotional, and intellectual. School turnaround will work with the Leadership of the school to create an environment at East where student safety is addressed in each area. Physical Safety If awarded the contract, School Turnaround will take a two-pronged approach to addressing student physical safety at East High School. We will first review East High School's written plan for addressing student safety: the School Safety Plan and Student Code of conduct. We will assess the School Safety Plan for quality, compliance and accessibility. We will also review the school's Student Code of Conduct and will ensure that it includes the provisions of the Dignity for All Students Act, prohibiting discrimination and harassment against any student by employees or students (including cyber-bullying), and provisions for responding to such acts. Once the Principal is hired, we will convene a team that includes the School Resource Officer, school Sentry staff, non-instructional support staff, teachers, students and parents to assess the implementation of the written plan and the perception of safety at East High School. We will use the feedback from these stakeholders to make adjustments to the currently employed strategies to keep students physically safe. We will communicate the plan to staff, students

and parents, and will provide specific training for staff as necessary. Social/Emotional Safety School Turnaround will work with the Principal and East staff to address student social/emotional needs via the school-wide implementation of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Framework with fidelity. Continuous training will be provided to all staff in support of the program and how the continuum of positive behavioral support for students is implemented in the classroom and non-classroom settings. Intellectual Safety School Turnaround will work with the Principal and instructional staff at East High School to ensure that every classroom establishes an emotionally and intellectually safe learning environment. The key is making risk-taking in learning a norm for all so that students have the ability to challenge themselves and each other in productive and meaningful ways. 18. What sources did School Turnaround use to understand the current state of East High School? In order to understand the current state of East High School, School Turnaround conducted a site visit, interviewed the Principal and other community stakeholders, reviewed the school's comprehensive education plan for 2013-2014, website, and NY State test performance data since 2010. Given the restrictions of the RFP process we were not able to speak at length with certain people whose viewpoints we would have liked to include and whose viewpoints we will seek out if awarded the contract. 19. Is there data that can be provided beyond that listed on page 25 that further indicates the schools’ longitudinal success for 3 or more years beyond school turnaround’s exit? We are happy to provide additional data. It will be helpful to know the types of data that is being sought so that we are able to provide it in a way that is useful and specific. 20. Is School Turnaround proposing to revamp the Bilingual Education program? If so, what will the Bilingual Education program look like under the leadership of School Turnaround? At this time we do not have enough insight into the effectiveness and structure of the bilingual program. The program will be assessed for effectiveness during May and June. Our commitment is to making bilingual education on par with the rest of the opportunities offered at East. Our estimation is that this will take new strategies and strengthening of existing ones. We would anticipate working with the existing staff on undertaking this. Our team has members with strong credentials in ESL and bilingual education. 21. What do the social/emotional support and discipline structures and policies look like? Will these be managed under School Turnaround policies or board/district policies? Are there tiers of progressive intervention and discipline? The plan indicates

that support staff will be trained to support students socially and emotionally, but what support staff? Will there be additional social workers or other support staff? Will there be ISS? OSS? Will there be clauses or statutes that allow students to be expelled and forced into other schools in the district? The new East High School will continue to follow the discipline policies and Code of Conduct School of the Rochester City School District. Under the district policy, there are tiers of progressive discipline and intervention. East Junior and Senior High School will follow the RCSD policies and procedures associated with assigning consequences for inappropriate behavior, including In-School Suspension and Out of School Suspension as appropriate. Any decision to remove a student from the school in response to a severe violation of the Student Code of Conduct will fall under the purview of the Superintendent and Board of Education. School Turnaround has no plan to recommend or propose any special statutes or clauses to expel or force students to other schools. School Turnaround will work with the East Leadership Team and school community to incorporate Restorative Practices in its interaction with students that violate the Student Code of Conduct. One of School Turnaround’s long-term goals for the school will be to move the East High School community from a punitive-to-a-restorative mindset, resulting in students reflecting on and taking responsibility for their actions and coming up with a plan to repair harm. Turnaround will work with the Principal and East staff to address student social/emotional needs via the school-wide implementation of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Framework with fidelity. Continuous training will be provided to all staff in support of the program and how the continuum of positive behavioral support for students is implemented in the classroom and non-classroom settings. 22. Given our rich history with community partners, what is School Turnaround’s approach to maintaining and enhancing these community-based partnerships? School Turnaround is an initiative of The Rensselaerville Institute (TRI), an organization with deep roots in successful community renewal work. Successful partnerships need to be about a mutually identified and important goal – in this case the success of the young people in East’s care. Part of our motivation for using the tools of TRI’s Community Sparkplugs program is precisely because it will take much more than the immediate school community to assure change. There are strong partners for East who want to help the school flourish and succeed. The common goal is there but a unified strategy – one where all partners get a voice – will need to be in order for these partners to feel the ownership that comes with true partnership. Our tools and the expertise of community sparkplugs staff at TRI will facilitate this work. 23. What curriculum will be adopted? School Turnaround and the Planning team will assess the school's current curriculum by grade level and subject area to determine its alignment to Common Core Learning Standards. No decisions will be made regarding the curriculum delivery system (textbooks or curriculum products) until a determination is made as to the current written curriculum's CCLS alignment.

Curriculum planning will follow a backwards design protocol that starts with the alignment to state and Common Core Learning Standards, development of benchmark assessments to measure achievement of standards, and development of the units of instruction as outlined in the schools curriculum resource documents or curriculum maps. 24. Instead of providing average enrollment figures of schools served, please provide actual enrollment figures of these schools that School Turnaround has partnered with in the past. We have worked with hundreds of schools over the past decade. We will happily provide figures for schools that are of particular interest to the committee but would like some guidance in what schools would be most helpful. It should be noted that our largest high school was Permian High School in Odessa, TX, which had 2,474 students in grades 10-12, and our smallest high school was Elaine High School in Elaine, Arkansas that had 171 students in grades 7-12. Generally speaking the urban high schools with whom we work will range from 700-1,400 students. 25. Please explain the use of the term “spark plug”? What does it mean in reference to educational strategies and educators? The Rensselaerville Institute’s core work is with identifying and helping the people who spark change and giving the tools of a results framework to help them achieve the changes they want to make for themselves and their community. Educational turnarounds, like other ventures, are largely determined by the mettle of the specific individuals who lead them. Plans can specify targets but only individuals can reach them. Think of your own experiences. Consider any example of effective human enterprise: a church, civic organization, organizational bureau, or whatever. Ask yourself why it works so well when compared to others of its kind. The chances are high that the answer is not the presence of a long plan, a mandate from above, or even an expensive budget. The explanation is probably a person. Here are six factors that appear strongly associated with those individuals who have turned around failing schools: 1) energy; 2) a bias toward action; 3) a results orientation; 4) personal responsibility, 5) desire for teamwork and 6) core educational know-how. In each case, we think of the factor, not as a personality trait, but simply as a general tendency or disposition that can be defined in behavioral terms with indicators to signify its presence. Sparkplugs are local, not national. Indeed, their strength comes from fully understanding and being anchored in local dynamics, not in seeing a project as a stepping-stone to national visibility or broader networking. They rely on six strategies: diagnosis, target-setting, data use, message and brand, alignment of resources, and successful classrooms. Beyond the sparkplugs at the educator level (leaders – both formal and informal – as well as teachers), we see the notion of community sparkplugs as inherently necessary to the change at East. These come in the form of students, parents, and community members. Our work would use this model to engage students in service learning through elective credit. We would also hope to build this into a means of engaging parents and community members as well.

26. Please describe the recruiting and hiring practices of School Turnaround. Turnaround leaders are of a different mindset and make-up than other leaders and it is important to be clear on this. School Turnaround has had fourteen years of assessing and supporting leaders. In hiring, School Turnaround uses a matrix and accompanying rubric that look at the readiness for change and the capacity for change. In leaders we assess the six characteristics that mark turnaround leaders: energy, personal responsibility, a results framework, bias to act, inclination to teams, and educational know-how. Our initial plan is tied to our commitment to being a local partner – which means we would first recruit from within the district. We also have a national network of turnaround leaders that we would recruit from if needed. Finally, we would use standard recruiting pathways in New York State. In teachers and other staff we look for two things: the ability to put students and their achievement first; and the ability to learn – for which we use the definition that states “learning is an enduring change in behavior.” As previously stated, change takes a different set of skills and our expectation is that we are here to support the people who are willing to build the skills necessary to make East a success. All hiring involves in-person interviews with our senior leadership staff at School Turnaround. Content area specialists will focus on interviews with teachers. Teacher selection will also be in part determined by on-site observation of current teaching staff - and stated interest on the part of teachers who wish to continue. 27. Will the 1000 students projected to be enrolled all be current students? If not, what percentage is anticipated to be? What happens to the other students that are not admitted? School Turnaround will work with the District to develop a plan for enrollment that establishes as a priority the enrollment of students who are currently in the school. We anticipate that the plan would include a provision for currently enrolled students to be given preference over all other students. All students that enroll in the new East High School will be required to attend an information session prior to acceptance to learn about the changes that are being made at East Junior and Senior High, the expectation for students and parents and sign a home/school compact before gaining admittance to the school. School Turnaround will work with the Rochester City School District to develop a plan for students that are not admitted due to the reduction of seats in the school. 28. Will projected enrollment mirror the current make-up of the student body? Or, would a relocation of more intensive programs such as our 12:1:1 and Autism program be provided, which provides an 8:1:3 setting? Is the plan to exclude students with disabilities requiring more restrictive settings than integrated co- teach? The projected enrollment will mirror the current make-up of the student body. We do not anticipate the relocation of any of the Specialized Services Department programs. School Turnaround will work closely with the Rochester City School District and the Executive Director of Specialized Services to develop the plan going forward for student with disabilities at East High School.

29. Will the school accept a 7th grade population of which 1% of students met standards on Math and ELA as is the current status of the 7th grade? Yes. We will accept those students as they come to the school. We will not, however, accept that kind of failure in performance going forward. School Turnaround is aware of the 20122013 performance of 7th graders on the NY State Assessments in ELA and Mathematics. We share the sentiments of the current school staff and leadership that a lot of work needs to be done in order to reverse this trend of low performance in a time compressed manner and will make the necessary changes to the school's instructional program to drive increased student achievement. This will be a heavy lift and will require a renewed commitment towards excellence on the part of the staff, parents and students of East High School. 30. How will the needs of over-aged, under-credited students and/or other students who have specific circumstances/challenges be addressed? Will students continue to have access to and be dually-enrolled at East and other programs such as Young Mothers, Interim Health Academy, Rochester International Academy, LyncX, Youth and Justice, Home Hospital Tutoring? We do not have enough information about any of these programs at this time in order to answer this question fully with regard to the individual programs being offered. However, all East students, regardless of circumstances and challenges will be served with a strong, rigorous education that is differentiated to fit their needs. Any program wishing to serve East students will need to meet that criteria. We would certainly welcome working collaboratively with all that do. 31. Will East continue to use systems such as PowerSchool, PowerTeacher, SPA, etc., and if so, will these continue to be managed solely by the district? What role will School Turnaround play in ensuring that this information is accurate and improving these areas? School Turnaround plans to continue to use the student information systems currently in place at East High School and will work with the District and the staff on site at East High School to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. 32. Similarly, who will be responsible for managing transportation, food service, instructional technology support (helpdesk assistance), etc.? Will these obligations remain with the district? What role will School Turnaround play in advocating for improvements in these areas that directly service student needs and consequently affect their learning? These functions will be maintained at the district in order to keep East a part of the RCSD and to ease transitions into and out of the turnaround phase. School Turnaround will work with the district on an MOU to outline some core functions that affect the turnaround process as well some protocols for communication and good working relationships. There will be some clear needs for East in order to facilitate the increase in achievement and we will want to clarify these at the outset. They will likely include start and end times for bussing as well as a clear nutrition component – as stating points. These will be all within the realm of current district

spending and capacity so this won’t be about additional resources but rather around aligning existing ones to better meet East’s needs. 33. The proposal states that School Turnaround would comply with state regulations, but does not indicate whether the school would follow the district’s APPR plan or a version of their own. Please provide clarification. School Turnaround has not been provided access to the district’s full and detailed APPR plan. We would certainly review it and take it into consideration since we want to balance the turnaround process with keeping East very much part of RCSD. 34. There is very little detail around the development of student interests and electives, and no mention of specialized East High programs, both in the budget section as well as in the strategic planning section. How does School Turnaround plan to address these areas that the Superintendent has deemed a priority? Will the plan incorporate a partnership with BOCES as the state has deemed a priority? As noted below in our response to question #43: It is important to capture teacher and student interest in the electives that are offered. Common Core standards are not as dependent on curricular programs as previous standards. This means that there are other avenues within elective content areas that may be used as long as the standards are being achieved. This means that students and teachers should think about what interests them. Electives are an opportunity to explore this by developing them based on teacher interest and expertise. We will survey students about interests and use these to inform the courses that are selected and supported for electives. Our Community Sparkplugs program is going to be geared specifically toward student interest. Students will have the ability to identify and develop projects of their own choosing. What is it they want to change in their school and community? What do they need in order to undertake this? Change happens because people make it happen. Creating leaders in the students at East is an important commitment of ours. Student book clubs will take place daily. Students will have a choice in what book they read for each cycle. There will be a menu of books that are selected by a student advisory committee and that are relevant and high-interest for students. These book clubs will be for students and as such should be determined by them. In addition, the student government and student turnaround advisory committee will play a substantive role in shaping the direction of the school. This includes determining what extracurricular activities and events take place at the school. School Turnaround has worked with BOCES and Liberty Partnerships and we are exploring how we can reignite our work with both in the context of East. 35. Will the school be exempt from current voluntary staff transfer processes once the new staff is hired? Will this only be for the duration of the EPO involvement or beyond?

We would ask for an exemption for the first year. Subsequently in year two we will ask for some smaller modifications around core subject areas. By year three we would anticipate the school would no longer be exempt. 36. Will students be allowed to transfer out to or in from other RCSD schools and/or outside districts throughout the year and in future years or will students enrolling in 7th grade be the only students accepted in that cohort through graduation? Students will be allowed to transfer out to or in from other RCSD schools and/or outside districts throughout the year. Acceptance will be dependent upon availability of space. All applicants will be required to attend an information session regarding the school plan, expectations for students and parents, and sign a home/school compact prior to being placed on the list for admittance to the school. The compact will serve as part of the application for enrollment into the school. Students will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis, following the date stamped order of application. Upon acceptance, all Junior High students will be assessed using a universal screener and will be placed in the appropriate grade by performance score. High School student placement will be dependent upon number of credits earned to date. Within a reasonable variation we would remain within the current composition of the student body. 37. Will middle school students still participate in the district’s school choice (placement) process for 9th grade or will they be required to remain at East? Middle school students will be allowed to participate in the district's school choice placement process for 9th grade and will not be required to remain at East. Nonetheless, we will do everything within our power to provide an academic program that is competitive with the other "choice" programs throughout the district. 38. Regarding the benchmark and other assessments: a. What percentage of instructional time across a school year will be spent testing? The percentage of instructional time spent on testing (all assessments excluding quizzes) across a school year will be no more than 5 percent for students in the Junior High School and 6 percent for students in High School. b. Please provide a detailed overview of the proposed assessments. The proposed assessments for students in the Junior High School will include: (1) Diagnostic Assessment (universal screener - 3 times per year), (2) Benchmark Assessment (3-4 times per year), (3) Short cycle assessments (every 3-4 weeks), (4) lesson specific formative assessments (on- going), and (5) the NY State Assessments. The proposed assessments for students in the Senior High School will include: (1) Benchmark Assessment (3-4 times per year, (2) Short cycle assessments (every 3-4 weeks), (3) lesson specific formative assessments (on-going), and (4) the NY State Regents Examinations. c. If School Turnaround is creating these assessments and systems for reporting, what

will happen when they leave? Will these assessments belong to School Turnaround or to East? School Turnaround will develop the benchmark and short-cycle assessments for literacy and math. School Turnaround will license these assessments for the sole purpose of East High School at no cost – meaning East may use them in perpetuity for no charge. Any additional use would need to be contracted separately. d. Will teachers be trained in how to develop valid, effective assessments to build capacity? As part of the school Professional Development Plan, teachers will be trained to develop valid, effective assessments. 40. How are the “professional learning teams” created for the teachers? Is there a process for creating these teams? Professional learning teams will be created based around grade level and content area clusters at the outset. This will be the initial work. After the initial work there will be flexible teams that teachers and support staff have the opportunity to determine the focus (so long as it fits within supporting student achievement) and where they would like to join. Each staff member will set goals for him or herself each year. These goals lay out what they want to achieve for their students and what changes they need to make in their own teaching and support. Professional learning communities will support these goals. This means that after initial core work, staff will be able to determine what professional learning community will best support their goals. 41. What does a “push-in service” for ESOL look like? In other School Turnaround partner schools, "push-in services" for ESOL mirror the inclusion model for Special Education Students. ESOL support staff pushes into the classroom for all instruction and assist the ELL students in the classroom. Accommodations for testing varies, with some students being pulled out of the classroom for tests and quizzes, and others remaining with their peers dependent upon level of support needed. 42. What credit recovery program will be used, as the district already uses Aventa? For Year One we would anticipate staying with Aventa unless there is dramatic evidence to suggest otherwise. 43. What are “teacher created electives” and how will they be developed? It is important to capture teacher and student interest in the electives that are offered. Common Core standards are not as dependent on curricular programs as previous standards. This means that there are other avenues within elective content areas that may be used as long as the standards are being achieved. This means that students and teachers should think about what interests them. Electives are an opportunity to explore this by developing them based on teacher interest and expertise.

It is a rare thing that teachers get agency in what they teach. And elective teachers are the ones who are often left to the side. We will ask elective teachers, “If you were given free choice in what you taught for a course and how you went about teaching it, what would you teach? What would students gain from that?” Over the course of the summer these elective teachers will be able to develop their courses with the support of School Turnaround and the school leadership, as well as Empire State College. 44. Can you explain how daily walk-throughs will be effective and not disruptive to classrooms? People get better not because they are monitored but because they are helped. All turnaround leadership should operate from the vantage point of helping teachers. Our framework for daily walk-throughs is geared toward the principle that small, incremental, daily change is more lasting than front-end training that takes place away from the action – which always happens in classrooms. Principal time in classrooms is meaningless unless it results in improved student learning. How can it be helpful for a teacher to get a page of notes two weeks – or longer – after the actual lesson takes place? The successful classroom is built by principal support in real time—not just the continuing visits but immediate feedback. This means giving teachers your observations and insights such that they can continually improve. Within the framework for classroom visits, the most critical element of both types is shelf life. There’s not a lot of value hearing about something done the week before. In fact, we believe that even 24 hours later is a bit too long. Classroom visits are short. They take 2-5 minutes per classroom. When students are accustomed to these visits they don’t even note the leaders entering the room. Instruction and learning are not disrupted. The results of these visits aren’t going into personnel files. We see consistently that teachers are much more likely to respond to these suggestions that come in less than five minutes, than any other intervention. It’s only one thing – which is infinitely more doable than a list of ten things or even three. Teachers don’t feel they have to go home and plan everything differently or take more coursework. Most will respond within the same period or day. 45. You mention “syllabi.” Will it be teacher created? Yes. The syllabi mentioned in the proposal under the heading of Learning Environment refers to the guidance documents that will be created by teachers as evidence that instruction is aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards and meets the requirements for each course of study. 46. What will happen with the Student Support Center that currently exists at East High School? School Turnaround recognizes the importance of the Student and Family Support Center and will continue to support its existence and if granted the contract to manage East High School

as the EPO will reach out to all partnering agencies to communicate the commitment to maintaining the program.

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