Windsor Central School District
- Number of Students: 1,592
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 53%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 1%
- Percent of Special Education: 13%
Schools in District
- Windsor Central High School
- Windsor Middle School
- A.F. Palmer Elementary
- C.R. Weeks Elementary
- Floyd L. Bell
- White: 92%
- Black: 2%
- Hispanic: 2%
- Asian: 1%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 1%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
- Multiracial: 2%
- Other: 0%
Windsor Central School District is a dynamic public educational facility with a focus on student performance today AND student success for the future. Strategic planning focuses on the district’s four goals, which are centered on attaining high student performance in core subjects, high graduation rates, on-par reading levels, and high participation rates in the community. To ensure these expectations are achieved, Windsor CSD implements continued professional development of best practices for all instructional staff. Windsor continually and purposefully plans and then acts to ensure its mission of creating a stimulating environment where students are independent learners and grow to become successful citizens.
Windsor understands the value in having a multi-disciplinary approach in engagement and student performance. Teaming is prevalent throughout the district. At Windsor Middle School, there are grade level teams who have time devoted daily to meet and plan multi-disciplinary connections. Windsor Central School District is a professional learning community where the idea of a closed door, isolated instructor is not the norm. Rather, working with others to plan curriculum, analyze student assessment data, create action plans and ensure the success of all learners is the reality. Through professional learning communities, skill based instruction becomes multi-disciplinary and vertically aligned. Educational equity is at the forefront of Windsor’s beliefs. No matter the teacher a student may have at any grade level, they should be leaving that grade with the same skillset mastered as any other student. In Windsor, failure is not an option. Collectively the entire school community works to ensure success of all. The success of students is not just measured in the classroom, but in their future endeavors as well.
Windsor Central School District, since under the leadership of Jason A. Andrews, Ed.D., has evolved into a district that not only does great things for kids, but has the evidence to back up the effectiveness of this work. While under Jason’s leadership, Windsor has moved from the bottom of the region in test scores and performance to reaching and maintaining the district goal of ranking in the top 4 districts of the region on an annual basis. Given Windsor’s low socio-economic status, this goal first seemed unattainable to many. Through strategic planning and a clear focus, it is now a reality. This success can be attributed to Windsor being a Professional Learning Community where teachers are constantly working collaboratively to plan curriculum, analyze student assessment data, create action plans and ensure the success of all learners. Educational equity is at the forefront of Windsor’s beliefs. No matter the teacher a student may have at any grade level, he/she will exit the course with the same skillset as any other student in the grade level. Data collected and analyzed demonstrates this to be true.
Through Professional Learning Communities, proficiency in core subjects is not only demonstrated in high stakes testing, but is demonstrated at least three times per quarter through common assessments. Common assessments are built by groups of teachers and focus on the essential learnings of the course. To support this initiative, Windsor teachers utilize an online data collection program, Edoctrina, that provides the teachers quick and useful data on assessments and supports them in creation of specific action plans to ensure student success for all.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
At all instructional levels in the school district (elementary, middle level and high school) common assessments are regularly administered (three times per quarter). In addition, the following strategies are utilized to monitor student learning on a daily basis:
For AIS and special education students, frequent short assessments are administered to determine short term flexible groups for targeted intervention.
Academic Focus Forms (Student Literacy Goal and Student Math Goal sheets) – individual forms for each AIS child - are used to guide intervention; grade level discussions, and assessment/test preparation. Therefore, each student has at least two professionals – classroom teacher and service provider – working together to provide interventions.
Progress monitoring of all students in ELA and Math occurs in small groups as part of guided reading and math instruction.
Small group, station based learning is present in classrooms of various disciplines throughout the district. These structures enhance engaged learning opportunities and support teachers with delivering individualized, targeted instruction.
Student Support Teams (SST) have been organized in each building that focus on short term interventions for students. As part of student reviews, individuals can be assigned to reteaching time or learning centers with AIS providers. Student intervention action plans are developed as appropriate.
Student progress is monitored every three weeks in all buildings to identify students in need of intervention. In one building, 3 week grades are entered into a spread sheet so that student success/failure rates can be monitored and addressed. In all buildings, ten week report card failures are summarized and reviewed. Appropriate intervention services are then provided by academic and support staff. All students PK-12 receive progress reports at 3 and 6 weeks and report cards at 10 weeks.
Student reading levels are assessed three times per year by a district- level benchmarking team. This team, comprised of literacy specialists from across the district, was formed to provide an efficient and consistent measure of students' literacy abilities. The data are utilized for making decisions about grouping, materials, and teaching points/interventions. The benchmark levels are reported to families on the quarterly report cards (along with information regarding skills that are being practiced at the students' current reading level.)
Elementary staff regularly meet with AIS providers to check on student progress toward instructional goals.
Daily checks of previous days' learning objectives are facilitated through bell ringers at the start of class.
Recognition of student achievement is accomplished by the publishing and posting of the honor roll and merit roll each quarter. Best work is highlighted in a variety of ways using social media.
Student attendance is closely monitored with letters and phone calls after 7, 14, and 21 days of total absences. Counselors follow up with each student and their family.
Parent Access through the student management system eSchool Plus allows parents to access student academic, discipline and attendance data on an immediate basis.
Student learning has also been impacted by a district-wide emphasis on effective classroom instructional strategies:
The Beginning of Class
Posted Objectives (learning outcomes)
Bell Ringer Activity: “a chance to look back before we look forward!”
The Middle of Class
Anticipatory Set: “grab your audience!”
Independent Practice (rehearsal)
Checking for Understanding
The End of Class
Closure (summary activities-teacher led)
Closure (summary of lesson essentials-student led)
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
The following interventions have been institutionalized:
Learning Center– remediation time at the end of the school day for students who need additional help with a concept, studying for a test, or completing homework.
Academic interventions have been implemented with scaffolded levels of support for students. Each student has an AIS goal sheet which is created specifically for their needs. Intervention includes both academic and social-emotional support for students.
Students may request to eat lunch in their classroom and meet with their teacher to receive additional help.
Each elementary building has a fulltime school counselor to assist students and staff with social and developmental issues.
Grade teams meet daily and respond to learner needs through a variety of measures. Timely intervention has been assisted by the creation of the enrichment and remediation mod at each grade level. Students who are in need of academic assistance are assigned to Math or ELA academic intervention class as needed or as deemed necessary by performance on NY State Assessments.
The Middle School has also instituted an Advisory Program that provides a connection for every student with at least one adult, peers and the school. All activities help foster student moral and performance character. Weekly plans guide activities and the Advisory Jobs Program assists students in the development of school pride, individual and collective responsibility and fosters community development through team work and school improvement. Advisors also meet with students at the time of each progress report to discuss and set goals.
The Middle School’s Golden Ticket program rewards students for achieving “Merit Points”. Positive Points are earned through weekly good behavior, perfect attendance, being student of the month, being citizen of the month, school/community service, and receiving “Principal Points”. Negative points are subtracted for being sent to Correction Center, having a written referral, and being suspended for a half day or a full day. In addition, students must also qualify by earning a 75 average in each subject area.
Once a quarter, a two hour window of time is dedicated to the Golden Ticket program. Students earning a Golden Ticket attend a Golden Ticket event (movie, sledding, kickball, etc.) Students not achieving Golden Ticket status are provided additional targeted instruction, individual academic support and an opportunity to catch up on their work to improve their grades.
Homework Center – remediation time at the end of the school day for students who need additional help with a concept, studying for an exam, or completing homework. The homework center meets four days per week from 2:30-3:15 pm and is staffed by two (2) teachers.
AIS – incoming 9th grade students who have scored a 1 or 2 on their 8th grade assessments are automatically assigned AIS services. In addition those upperclassmen who are recommended by their teachers are placed into AIS, if their schedule permits.
Student Support Team – the building level team meets to review students, and the behaviors that are negatively impacting their success. The Team suggests possible strategies that can be used to change negative behaviors into positive ones. Reviewed as part of the referral process are academic progress, health issues, behavior, and attendance which are the four domains of the high school’s RTI pyramid.
Differentiated Bell Ringers are used to assess student learning and differentiated lessons based on student knowledge and understanding of the present instructional topics are used by staff daily.
In an effort to reduce dropout rates, students are identified as "at risk" and are invited to an eight-week summer program called "Transition Academy" that is designed to provide a sense of belonging while improving academic and social skills.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Weekly district grade level meetings occur to discuss Essential Learning, Common Assessments, Curriculum Mapping, and Best Practices. From these meetings teachers set student specific goals based upon agreed upon common assessments and plan reteaching strategies. They also self-audit developed documents to insure their alignment with State standards and assessments.
Instructional coaches provide confidential, non-evaluative support to strengthen teacher practice and promote student achievement.
Building schedules are developed with non-negotiables that prioritize time for collaboration and common planning.
Collaboration: PLC planning/collaboration is part of the normal workday on Mondays as the length of the teachers’ day is extended by 45 minutes. Teachers meet in grade level teams in their buildings and monthly at the district level. Professional development and additional team planning time is available, upon request.
District wide, teachers are encouraged to make peer visitations.
Each team has developed team norms, protocols and commitments by each team member to guide members in working together. Norms have helped team members clarify expectations regarding how they will work together to achieve their shared goals and are in place for all teams across the district.
In developing team norms, staff were asked to address the following:
Time – when do we meet, begin/end and promptness
Listening – listening to others and discouraging interrupting
Confidentiality – openness and confidential information, what is said after the meeting.
Decision making – how to make decisions – how to deal with conflicts, and what is advisory
Participation – encourage all to participate and attend
Expectations – what is expected and required of each team member
Following common assessment administration, team time is spent on the analysis of the results, development of an action plan and reflection. Guiding questions are:
What targets from the assessments require more attention? Are any patterns evident? Is reteaching necessary?
Is there a particular class/group that needs additional instruction? Which students require remediation?
Which targets were areas of strength or weaknesses? Can a different instructional strategy improve student performance?
An action plan is developed from the above that addresses a Short Term Plan (reteaching students/targets), Reassessment (make-tests, ongoing formative assessments, observation) and Long Term Plan (instruction/curriculum adjustments). After the Short Term Plan and Reassessment are completed faculty members have an opportunity to complete a reflection of the assessment results.
School-wide functions during the school day are often supervised by non-teaching personnel (administrators, teaching assistants, aides) allowing teaching staff to work in their collaborative teams. An example would be a school play. Performers give their final dress rehearsal to students during the school day. Students watching the performance are supervised by non-teaching personnel and building administrators while teachers work in their collaborative teams.
Superintendent Conference Days continue to allow teachers time to address one or more areas in the “loop”; 1. Developing Essential Outcomes, 2. Creating Common Assessments, 3. Analyzing Data, 4. Creating an Action Plan in which all students will be brought up to proficiency as determined by the team.
Teacher Leaders have been identified at each elementary grade level and secondary content area (by building). These leaders support the PLC work by facilitating data sessions and serving as liaisons between the team and the administrative members.
Contracted time has been leveraged – every Monday from 2:30-3:15 all professional staff meet to collaborate as a Professional Learning Community. During this time staff focus on the alignment of NYS core curriculum, essential learning and common assessments in their courses and departments.
Additional Achievement Data
Please see attachment titled, "Windsor Assessment Results 2016-2017."
Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) Exemplar District and School 2016-2017
Recognized by New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia as a model of community schooling: http://www.windsor-csd.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=53GUYB&dasi=3GAB
Agriculture in the Classroom $350,000 Grant awarded by Senator Fred Akshar (2017): http://www.windsor-csd.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=53GU2B&dasi=3GAB
9th grader, Autumn Knight, selected as a "Summer Scholar" presenter at the Power of 3:00 Summit in New York City (November 2017): http://www.windsor-csd.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=53YB30&dasi=3GAB
9th grader, Alexandra DiGennaro selected to play at Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House (2017): http://www.windsor-csd.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=53G0A0&dasi=3GAB
Recognition as a SMART Showcase Building in 2009
Presented at 2009-10 PLC Conference in Albany, NY
Named a “Mix It Up Model School” by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance program in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16, 2016-17
Faculty member, Stefanie Olbrys, named the New York State Middle School Social Studies Outstanding Teacher of the Year, 2015-16; ASCD Emerging Leader, Class of 2017
Named 2017 National Model School (two presentations given at the 25th Annual Model Schools Conference June 2017, Nashville TN)
Youth Services of America School of Service 2017-2018
2017 9/11 Day of Service Grant Recipient (funded a student-led project that collected and shipped goods for military personnel overseas, delivered donuts, cider and thank you cards to local first responders) See video at: http://www.windsor-csd.org/WindsorMiddleSchool_home.aspx
Good Sports Award Recipient for "Winning at Wellness" after-school program
Named a “Mix It Up Model School” by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance program in 2016-17
Odyssey of the Mind New York State Champions, 2010
USDA Healthier U.S. Challenge Award-Bronze level, 2014