The school must achieve academic and organizational excellence through outstanding instructional quality coupled with the school’s key design elements to remain a viable educational alternative in the community. Student performance and teaching and learning are measured monthly and/or quarterly through data collected and tracked by multiple assessment instruments, including STAR Math and Reader Testing, Benchmark Exams utilizing DataDirector Software, and full-length practice tests for state assessments. Student performance are documented and reviewed by teachers, and school administrators. From these performance results, teachers will create intervention plans to improve individual student achievement. There is an extensive teacher observation and enrichment program, in which each and every teacher is visited biweekly and given feedback, with resources tailored for their individual needs using NYSED approved models, such as Danielson Framework for teacher evaluation and the Teachscape program. SASCS hired several instructional coaches who perform class observations as well as feedback to improve the instruction. There is research evidence that performance-based accountability policies and the performance information they provide encourage teachers to work harder, be more instructionally focused, and develop their instructional capacities. Therefore, teachers are incentivized based on student performance, home visits, and extracurricular activities up to $4,000. In addition, the school uses a comprehensive system based on its performance metrics to more effectively oversee school operations and school leadership using NYSED approved models, such as Marzano rubric. Based on these rubrics, school leaders are also incentivized up to $15,000.
For greater accountability and transparency for parents, SASCS has been using the Apple Education System Web-Enabled Student Information System Database for tracking student academic performance, assignments and assessments.
Several key decisions, such as hiring instructional coaches, having two teachers at K-4 grades and ELA and math subjects in Middle school, professional development workshops and summer institute were based on data collected throughout the years based on student success.
SASCS increased its academic reporting to parents to monthly (first Friday of every month) plus end-of-quarter progress reports (typically resulting in 4 reports home per quarter), which provides more frequent information to parents, particularly those who do not have Internet access, or are uncomfortable with accessing the database for information.
SASCS also started providing monthly results of STAR testing, enrollment numbers, and financial dashboard system to the board on a monthly basis for accountability and feedback purposes.