Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen Successfully Completes 5-Year Strategic Plan
In 2016, the Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen developed a comprehensive five-year strategic plan, A Plan 4 Excellence, designed to move the district forward in five critical areas: Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM), core curriculum, social-emotional learning, special education, and facilities and security.
As noted by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Constance Evelyn at the time, “A Plan 4 Excellence defines critical opportunities for continuous improvement that we have created and will continue to nurture to maturity over the next five years. The plan includes our vision and mission for the district as well as definitive action plans that detail activities and timelines to achieve our measurable goals for district-wide success.”
Now, five years later, the district has achieved the objectives and goals established in 2016 laying a solid foundation for continued efforts to improve district programming, students’ connections to one another and all parts of their schools’ programs and activities. The District looks forward to building upon the collective efforts and strength of the Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen Community.
Highlights of the district’s efforts in developing its K-6 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum include the integration of STEM across all grade levels and subjects; alignment of projects with the national Next Generation Science Standards and NYS P-12 Science Learning Standards; and the incorporation of Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting Concepts and Innovation Labs into STEM-focused projects.
An inquiry-based teaching approach has been established across all core curriculum. This pedagogical method helped our students develop the skills to better understand topic themes and concepts. The Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen social studies curriculum has been fully aligned with the NYS K-6 Social Studies Framework.
In partnership with Yale University, the District implemented the RULER Program through professional development and course integration. The adoption of the RULER Program was pivotal in expanding the District’s social-emotional learning curriculum. The past five years has also been defined by the District’s expanded initiatives in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Meeting the needs of students with special needs has always been a priority of the District, and A Plan 4 Excellence outlined a four-year professional development plan that insured the practice of differentiated instruction within inclusive settings. The goal of having full and half day inclusion sections at all schools was met and the rate of inclusive education has increased by over 60 percent.
Through projects that were included in the District’s 2015 community approved bond referendum, the District made great strides upgrading and rehabilitating District facilities. District school buildings now more accurately reflect modern facilities practices and characteristics, and have advanced technology capacity and security features.
In looking forward, Superintendent Evelyn noted, “The 2021-2022 school year and the near future will assuredly bring opportunities to increase and improve the public education services we provide to the Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen School Community. The mainstay of our practice is our commitment to ensuring that we listen to our students and parents about what they would like to see as part of the next phases of improvement dedicated to high quality curriculum and instruction, leadership and innovation, and systems thinking. We work in service to our school community, and our District achievements should be reflective of the critical input we receive from the Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen Community.”
The development of the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan was a community-wide effort, incorporating
input from parents; community members; Board of Education members; District administration;
teachers; and District clerical, custodial, nursing and teacher aide staff. In all, over 160 District
representatives and community stakeholders participated in developing the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan. The District is extremely grateful to parents, staff, and community members that continue to support the District’s mission to promote academic excellence for all students.
To review the original 2016-2021 A Plan 4 Excellence and the 2016-2021 Strategic Plan Update documents, visit http://valleystream13.com/superintendents-corner/