Windsor Central High School

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

The Professional Learning Community journey began in 2006 when Rick and Becky DuFour came to the Windsor Central School District. Student achievement was lackluster, staff collaboration was limited, structures were inconsistent, and the culture was toxic. As Rick and Becky introduced Professional Learning Communities to the PK-12 staff, many staff members immediately had “aha moments” while others almost instantly dismissed this new concept. Following the two-day opportunity, rather than going back to business as usual, the District committed to fully implement what had been presented.

The first step in our journey was to articulate a compelling and shared vision. “Vision provides a sense of direction and basis for assessing both the current reality of the school and potential strategies, programs, and procedures to improve on that reality (DuFour, R., DuFour, R, Eaker, R, Many, T., Mattos, M., 2016, p. 39). A challenge for leaders was to help team members bring this vision to life. When considering the Windsor vision, it was imperative to create a focus to prompt action and motivate staff. The superintendent displayed an image of a lighthouse to the staff with the slogan, “Why Not Windsor?” The staff was encouraged to create programs to become a model for others, challenged to shift the paradigm from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning, to dismiss excuses and to view obstacles as opportunities for continuous improvement. As a result, over the past 14 years, each building within the school district has been transformed. The PLC approach has allowed for deliberate and systematic cultural change.

Our Professional Learning Community has resulted in an increase in our student achievement. Using student data to inform our instruction has become "the norm" in the building. Common assessments are closely aligned to the state standards, instruction is research based and effective, and teachers respond to common assessment data faithfully.

A steady increase in student performance rankings among peers across the region has been maintained. All grade level assessments undergo continuous evaluation of the essential learnings and assessment process to ensure that this achievement is maintained.

Empowered teacher teams have focused on the four critical questions:
• What do we want students to learn?
• How will we know if they have learned?
• What will we do if they don’t learn?
• What will we do if they already know it?
(DuFour, Dufour, Eaker, Many, 2010)

By closely dedicating efforts toward improved student performance on benchmark, formative, and summative assessments, teachers have geared instruction to meet identified needs. Curriculum documents are living documents based on essential learning standards and are regularly updated by teacher teams. These agreed upon essential learnings are considered the “bar”, describing the essential ideas in each curriculum that every student must master in order to move forward. In 2017, teacher teams collaborated to create a new report card that reflected both Process Criteria (based on behaviors) and Product Criteria (based on academic essential learnings) to better communicate progress and to provide feedback to learners and their families.

As evidenced above, the intentional systems put in place during the onset of our PLC journey continue to pay high dividends as we continuously grow our practices to ensure success for all students. Without collaborative teaming and a strong focus on data-driven planning and instruction, much of our school's success would not be possible. Our PLC journey is never over-- we become stronger and discover ways to be more effective with every learning experience that takes place and every refinement towards further success that is made.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

All students enrolled in the same course complete a common final examination to ensure they have access to a guaranteed and viable curriculum regardless of the teacher to whom they are assigned. Common assessments (located in EDoctrina for ease of data analysis) that are directly linked to learning targets/essential standards have been created for every course by collaborative teams of teachers who teach the course.  These assessments are administered throughout the semester. In the event of singleton educators, every attempt is made to connect the teachers with someone in the region teaching the same course so that they can meet at a central location or virtually to create quality assessments and to discuss curriculum moves. 

All students and their parents receive either a progress report or a report card every three weeks throughout the school year. In 2018, the Windsor High School Report Card became a "hybrid," including percentage grades (for the sake of higher education purposes) and standards/product criteria to best communicate with families and students about the learning progress that is taking place.  Additionally, this report card has process criteria that are the same for students in grades K-12.  These 3 process criteria (agreed upon by the Windsor Grading Task Force) focus on behavioral components (behavior, social skills and work ethic.)  The report card also no longer includes "canned" comments, but instead has "free text comments" so that teachers can personalize a message for each student.  A copy of the report card is attached in the Resources section.

2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

Windsor Central High School stands by its collective commitments--we believe that it is our role as educators and school personnel to work collaboratively to ensure that ALL students learn and grow at ambitious levels and are provided with diverse and rich learning opportunities so that they can be the drivers of their own futures.  It is our obligation to set students up for success by providing enriching learning opportunities and to compassionately support them when they need assistance and/or take longer to learn.  The following practices are just a few examples of how we "walk the talk" of supporting ALL students:

Future Ready Knights Pathway Programs: Currently, there are 7 established career pathways that any Windsor High School student can access.  These pathways include: Agriculture, Business, Building Trades, Health Sciences, Education, Computer Science, and Engineering.  Advanced Manufacturing is currently in development.  When students enter these career pathways, they not only engage in courses aligned to the pathway, they also meet with community partners in the field, have the opportunity to job shadow and engage in after-school connected clubs and enrichment activities.  

Free AP and College Courses: In 2004, there were 4 advance-placement or college-level courses offered to Windsor High School students.  Today, 34 are offered!  As of 2019, all of these courses and their accompanying assessments are provided free of charge to the students, thanks to a Board of Education decision.  This has opened the doors for ALL students to participate, even if their families are not financially capable to pay for the experiences.  No longer do students and families need to worry about how they will afford the college classes that are offered.  These experiences provide students with an advantage when they leave high school with many college credits, potentially allowing them to graduate earlier from an institution or carry a lighter course load when they are acclimating to college life.

College Express Admission at SUNY Broome: Beginning in 2019, all Windsor seniors will be immediately admitted to the local university, SUNY Broome.  The Windsor Class of 2020 is the first full class ever in Broome County history to have this admission opportunity--to use as an option no matter what their post-graduation plans may be.     

Free On-Site PSAT and SAT Assessments and Khan Academy Support: All Windsor High School students in grades 9-12 have the opportunity to take the PSAT's and SAT free of charge during their school day in the comfortable environment of their own classrooms.  Following the assessment, each student is provided with a free online personalized tutorial by Khan Academy that allows students to focus on their areas of leverage and practice for the next exam to improve their scores.

Chromebook Gifting at Graduation: Windsor is a 1:1 Chromebook High School.  To support students as they graduate and move on to post-high school plans, the District gifts them their Chromebook that they have used their senior year.

Advisory Block: Students are engaged in an Advisory Block twice per week for 30 minutes.  This time serves as an opportunity for students to receive interventions/additional help from their teachers, build genuine relationships with staff members, as well as participate in various extension opportunities.

Full Time Literacy Educator: Windsor High School employs a full-time literacy educator.  Using the QRI-5 and other assessment tools, literacy assessments are completed on every student.  This provides opportunities for intervention to support students who find grade level/content specific text to be difficult to access.

3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

The entire staff is organized into collaborative teams, typically by course although a few teams are interdisciplinary and others are departmental. Each team within the District is led by an identified teacher leader who has applied for the role, has interviewed for the position, and has been appointed by the Board of Education.  Team leaders facilitate the setting of team and individual teacher SMART goals that directly align to the building goals and district goals.  As mentioned above, in some instances, singleton teachers have been paired with a regional counterpart to discuss curriculum and assessment virtually. 

Each week teachers meet at the end of the day to engage in a collaborative team meeting for approximately one hour. Additional time for data analysis and planning is provided throughout each quarter, as needed. Teams develop several common assessments each semester and use the results to impact their practice and to improve their programs. Each teacher is able to determine the success of his or her students on each skill assessed according to the agreed-upon standard established by the team, on these valid team assessments, in comparison to all the other students who completed that assessment.

Two instructional coaches and one Director of Learning and Continuous Improvement are available to support collaborative teams and their leaders in regard to effective team meeting planning/implementation as well as generating instructional plans aligned to the District’s Instructional Playbook (defined areas of effective instruction.)

The Windsor Central School District believes in celebrating the staff for their tremendous work in collaborative teams throughout the year.  Each August, the full district staff meets for three days of professional learning to continually grow and impact the upcoming year.  This time is also the perfect time to celebrate the success of the previous year.  The Windsor Board of Education hosts a celebratory barbeque to honor all who have worked so hard to impact student achievement and learning.




Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Each year, the Windsor Central High School Building Principal and Associate Principal present their "State of the Building" report to the Board of Education.  This report includes: 

-Teacher Evaluation Data

-Student Counts

-Graduation Rates (Building, District, 4 year and 5 year percentages)  The 5 year percentages are rarely reported at a state-level yet became critically important to report as the Windsor CSD team reflected on our practices and beliefs.  We realized that it is our goal to have ALL students graduate--even if it takes them a little more time.  We want to acknowledge and celebrate ALL graduates, whether they complete in four or more years.  

-Regents Exam Data

-Advanced Course Offerings

-Special Education/504/RTI Data and Information

-PSAT/SAT Exam Data (exams provided to all high school and middle school students free of charge)

-Athletic Data

Note: The 2018 and 2019 Windsor High School State of the Building presentations are included.

This annual report is just one example of the continuous use and reflection of data that is focused upon throughout the year.  Students, educators, administrators and Board of Education members utilize various forms of data (from Common Formative Assessments aligned to Learning Targets, to Summative Assessments that are tied to Essential Standards, to state and national assessments and other reports) to make instructional and other critical decisions in the best interest of students in the Windsor Central School District.

Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) Model School District (only school district in New York State to receive this distinction in this year--first ever in the state)

2017 Eastern Southern Tier Stem Hub Grant Recipient

2018 Niche Top Athletic Program (22nd in Upstate NY, 32nd in NYS) 

2018 Niche Top Upstate NY School District to Teach (26th) 

2018 Best Communities for Music Education NAMM Foundation Award (Top 4%)

2018 National Ag in the Classroom Conference Scholarship Award Winner

2018 Ag Literacy Grant Recipient 

2018 Ag Incentive Cornell Grant Recipient

2018 Parks and Recreation Grant Recipient

2018 Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant Recipient 

2018 Walmart Foundation Grant Recipient

2019 Community Foundation of South Central New York Grant Recipient for support of the Telemedicine Clinic

2019 "First to Say Thank You" Celebration Received National Attention on CBS This Morning

Superintendent Jason A. Andrews, Ed.D. named 2019 NYS Superintendent of the Year

Two Students Named 2019 NYS Music Association All-State Selections

Senior Named 2019 Make-Up Artist at New York Fashion Week

Two Students Place 1st and 3rd at Skills USA Competition (in Cabinet Making and Entrepreneurship) 

Selected for Inaugural NYS Farm to School Institute (1 of 6 in the state)

Future Farmers of America Chapter Established and Recognized in 2019--first in the school in over 50 years

Class of 2020 Admitted to SUNY Broome--First time ever in Broome County that a full class has been instantly admitted to the college