Johnstown awarded grant

JOHNSTOWN – The Greater Johnstown School District is one of 42 N.Y. school districts slated to receive a $244,000 grant aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of teachers.

According to a news release from the district, the state grant program is called the State Education Department’s Strengthening Teacher/Leader Effectiveness, or STLE 3 Program.

Superintendent Robert DeLilli stated in the news release that Johnstown will receive funding through the third and final phase of the program.

“STLE grants are targeted to support school districts utilizing a comprehensive approach to recruitment, development, support, retention and equitable distribution of effective teachers and school leaders as part of their implementation of an Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan,” according to documents published on the New York state Department of Education website.

Patricia Kilburn, Director of Curriculum, Testing & Personnel for the Johnstown District stated in the school’s news release that the funds will be used to support the following initiatives:

Professional learning communities for teachers and principals;

Creation of three-rung career ladders for principals and teachers, unavailable in the district thus far;

Mentorship programs for teachers and principals; and

Integrating iPad technology and professional learning communities via blended online learning platforms.

Professional Development Planning committee will be serving as a hub for Johnstown teachers to submit applications for participation in the following opportunities made possible by STLE3 grant funding:

Elementary School Grade Level Leadership

Pursuing National Board Certification

Pursuing a Certificate of Advanced Study in Teacher Leadership, a SUNY Plattsburgh satellite program); and/or

Leading a Professional Learning Community of teachers in an area/subject of the applicant’s choosing; and/or

Participating in a professional learning community, one of which will include applying for an iPad and a virtual iPad course hosted by Johnstown High School Media Specialist Dylan Thomarie.

District administrators, Johnstown Teachers Association representatives and PDP Committee members indicate there has been a high level of interest and excitement among staff members about the STLE3 grant and the opportunities it presents.