Letters: Rhinebeck CSD pledges fidelity to ‘best teaching practices’

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The Rhinebeck Central School District, along with all other school districts in New York State, will be facing a number of ongoing challenges throughout the coming school year. The ongoing implementation and fine-tuning of the state’s annual professional performance review process, the administration of the state’s new assessment program, and compliance with its tax levy cap are among them. Inextricably bound with those three tasks is the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards, upon which student achievement and teacher performance is now based.

To that end, much work has been accomplished last school year, and this past summer, by members of our teaching and administrative staffs in reviewing, revising, and developing local curricula to ensure alignment with the Common Core Standards. The end-game is to provide a K-12 continuum of teaching and learning that ensures all students are well-prepared for their futures, with aspirations that include post-secondary education and/or careers, with the critical-thinking skills and deep learning that Common Core requires — and that they require for their success.

For our school district, that process is two-fold. The first step is to teach with unwavering fidelity to those curricula that we have aligned with the Common Core Standards — in all classes, at all grade levels, and in all subject areas. The second step is to teach with unwavering fidelity to “best teaching practices,” as they are outlined in Charlotte Danielson’s “Framework for Teaching,” and in which the District’s APPR plan is firmly grounded.

I have no doubt that the accomplishment of these next steps will have the desired result, across our school district, of preparing our students for success in the college and/or career of their choice. And I have no doubt that it will happen due to the dedication, perseverance, and hard work of our staff, the motivation and enthusiasm of our students, and the ongoing support of our parents and community, as they recognize and embrace the importance of this goal for the future.

Joseph L. Phelan
Superintendent, Rhinebeck Central School District

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