A tradition of pride and excellence in education started long ago in Cortland. Because it is important to capture this history, we have constructed a page dedicated to our history. Always a work in progress, we are trying to document the important events and transition. Special thanks goes to the Cortland County History Center for access to their archives and their assistance with the research.
District Mission The Cortland Enlarged City School District values all community members as partners in creating a positive learning environment for all students. This environment prepares all students to reach their fullest potential in becoming life-long learners, and successful, contributing members of the society in which they live.
District Vision Success is the product of a mutually supportive partnership between the school, family and community. Students and staff take pride and accept responsibility for the school, creating a safe and supportive environment. It is a culture where all are welcomed and accepted and interactions are positive and productive. Our instructional environment is engaging and relevant and reflects the best practices in instructional design and delivery, including 21st century skills. It allows teachers to work collaboratively within professional learning communities, promotes student engagement and participation in the school community and challenges and supports students at the individual level. The instructional environment is progressive and authentic through the use of technology and project based learning, promotes independent thinking and ensures teachers and students are continuous, self-directed learners. Our instructional environment uses assessment to drive instruction and results in all students graduating.
Each year at CECSD, we review our goals and assess our progress. This year, the CECSD continues to take a determined approach toward the accomplishment of its six big goals. These goals are:
Theory of Action- The first goal for the district is a deliberate plan of action that will lead the district to reach these components which will result in high levels of learning by all students.
Measurable Goals- Each of the goals, as well as other key indicators, are being monitored as we implement them. The data we are collecting is used to gauge the progress and help us make adjustments along the way.
Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum- In order to have high levels of learning by all students, we have to be clear about what we want our students to learn and how we will ensure that our students will be successful. All of our teachers have been working closely with their colleagues on conference days, after school, and during the day to identify the essential learning outcomes for our students and to monitor progress toward those essential learning outcomes.
Engaging instruction- If we want Cortland graduates to be "world-ready," the classrooms in which they learn to be ready for their future must be places where they are active and interested in the learning. In addition to being present in school, we are working to ensure that our lessons are more engaging for students and the learning opportunities are ones in which students can find meaning. We believe that in addition to helping our students be ”world-ready,” more students will stay in school and graduate if they are more engaged. All of our teachers are including active learning strategies in their lessons and are systematically looking for ways to involve students in their learning. The fourth tenet ensures that our students will receive instruction that is not only engaging but allows for student choice, involvement and input.
Social and Emotional Learning- Being successful in school and being “world-ready” for life after graduation depends on developing skills beyond facts and subjects in school. The district has been developing a set of learning objectives that go beyond subjects in school and include all aspects of a happy and successful life. At many of our schools, we will use the Positivity Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping youth build stronger relationships by recognizing the character strengths in themselves and others, as our program.
Community Engagement and Communication- If we want our graduates to be “world-ready,” a BOE committee, in coordination with district leadership is developing a plan to better communicate with the community. All of our newsletters have a new look and consistency. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been launched. You can follow us on twitter at @CECSDistrict, @CECSD_Athletics, @CECSD_HS, @CECSD_JH, @CECSD_Barry, @CECSD_Randall and @CECSD_Smith. Each school will be sending out a monthly communication via email to parents and stakeholders. The website was updated in the spring and will be updated frequently with news stories from events going on throughout the district and other helpful information.
Our District’s plan creates a vision of the future to move our district forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.