The Consortium convenes long-term or short-term study groups to analyze aspects of the implementation of the Tri-State model in member districts, and to explore topics of mutual interest, such as school leadership, 21st Century Skills, student learning, and assessment. The following study groups are currently meeting:
Superintendents Study Group (SSG)
The Superintendents Study Group will meet three times in 2015-16 to discuss relevant readings, case studies and topics related to leadership. The study group's work is guided by two essential questions:
The group is facilitated by Marty Brooks, the Consortium's executive director.
This study group is composed of deputy and assistant superintendents and directors of curriculum. The group pursues questions about what constitutes 21st Century skills, and district leadership's role and responsibility to collaborate with staff by managing changes required in curriculum, instruction and administration to ensure that students graduate in possession of these skills. Over the last two years the group has adopted a format in which it met four times annually with part of each meeting devoted to a discussion of a reading selected for the group and part devoted to consulting on a case study presented by one of the group's members. The group is facilitated by Kathy Mason, former Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in Somers.
This group meets four times annually. Centered on the power of leadership study, the group has analyzed texts (Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded; Leadership on the Line by Heifetz and Linsky; Creative Innovators by Tony Wagner, for example) and will continue its focus on case studies presented by members of the study group.
In 2010, the group designed a protocol and a theory of action to guide visits to each other's schools, using Instructional Rounds in Education by City, Elmore, Fiarman and Teitel, as the framework for the visits. By agreeing that reflective practice, standards for higher-order thinking, the use of data to inform instruction, and creating authentic benchmarking processes are essential to sustain growth, the principals are committed to sharing ideas and questions in a professional network. The group is facilitated by former Somers Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Kathy Mason.
This study group will meet four times in 2015-16. In prior years, sessions were framed through the lens of Michael Fullan's The Six Secrets of Change. By defining their individual leadership styles, the principals shared issues of leadership that ranged from sustaining high standards and considering their legacies as building leaders. Bolman and Deal's The Wizard and the Warrior: Leading with Passion and Power, and Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath are texts studied.
This is the newest (2011-12) study group offered by the Consortium staff, and it is open to all APs in our member districts. The topics for discussion are set by the Study Group Coordinator, Ken Freeston , Superintendent of Schools in North Salem NY.
The language of the Tri-State scoring rubric is reviewed by a group composed of experienced visit team co-leaders. The goal is to clarify and refine the indicator definitions, study questions, and scoring rubrics based on the experience of using it in the visit setting. The group's recommendations are submitted for review and approval by the Steering Committee. Two years ago, the group undertook a thorough revision of the indicators, reducing them from fifteen to eight in number.
The Special Education Directors Study Group is designed to support the study of 4 topics relevant to the challenging work of Special Education Administrators. The group will meet 4 times during the 2015 – 2016 school year. The study group will use protocols and/or a Socratic approach to engage the thinking of each member. The first study group question will be: How can we use current brain research to support Students with Disabilities with Common Core Standards? The below reading will guide the discussion:
Participants will collaboratively determine the remaining 3 study questions. Dr. Jackie Taylor, former Superintendent of the Byram Hills School District, facilitates the group.
Additional information on the work of these study groups can be obtained by emailing Kathleen Reilly.
The Consortium responds to requests from members to conduct study groups based on specific topics of mutual interest. In previous years, two such study groups were convened, each for one session - one focused on programs for gifted students, and one focused on alternatives to Advanced Placement courses. Additional information on the work of these study groups can be obtained by emailing Kathleen Reilly.