What is PROSE?

The Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) program was established as part of the contract between the UFT, CSA and the DOE. The PROSE program enables schools who have a demonstrated record of effective school leadership, collaboration, and trust to implement innovative practices outside of existing rules. 

Administrators and teachers in 174 PROSE schools collaboratively engage in reflective conversations that surface changes and improvements to existing practices and systems with the goal of increasing student achievement and teacher effectiveness. PROSE enables collaborative schools to engage in an application and voting process to modify certain existing regulations and work rules for a period of five years.

Ultimately, the goal of PROSE is to improve teacher practice and student learning outcomes and drive innovation across the community of PROSE schools by supporting schools with a history of collaborative practices. PROSE schools also seek to develop a culture of reflection and continuous improvement at every level, in order to create structures that encourage the sharing of lessons learned and promising practices across the school system.

View the list of PROSE Schools.

How Can My School Become a PROSE School?

The application process for new PROSE schools will open in January 10, 2020 and continue through February 28, 2020. Check back in early 2020 for the application.

Option PROSE 

Option PROSE is an additional option for all teachers only in PROSE schools that voted for it on their PROSE ballots. Teachers cannot be required to select it. All teachers in Option PROSE schools should notify their principal or suitable administrator at or before their initial planning conference (IPC) whether they intend to select Option PROSE. The administrator should select observation option PROSE and then print IPC forms in the Advance Web Application. 

Teachers in PROSE/ schools who elect to use observation option PROSE on as the process by which they will be observed and evaluated will have the following performed throughout the year:

Evaluation by a principal or other school-based trained administrator: Minimum of two (2) informal classroom observations lasting a minimum of 15 minutes each (both may be unannounced but one must be unannounced); and

A Structured Review that includes a Mid-Year Check-In conference to discuss how the teacher is progressing with the implementation of the Structured Review Plan (SRP).

Steps of the Structured Review Process

  1. For teachers selecting Option PROSE the area of focus will be proposed by the teacher and discussed with the evaluator at the Initial Planning Conference (IPC) which is to be held no later than October 25, 2019.
  2. By November 5, 2019, the teacher will create and submit a Structured Review Plan (SRP) to the evaluator. The SRP will identify: (1) the specific area of focus; (2) the teacher’s purpose in focusing on this area; (3) the activities the teacher will undertake that align with his/her purpose and area of focus; (4) at least 3 components of the NYC MOTP Rubric upon which the teacher’s work shall be evaluated based on items discussed and presented at the structured review.
  3. The SRP is submitted to the evaluator who must either request changes or approve the plan by November 15. The SRP can be entered in the Advance Web Application and then printed for the evaluator and teacher to both sign by November 19, 2019, indicating that the plan has been approved. (The final signed form can be uploaded, if the school chooses, to the Advance Web Application.) If the SRP is not co-signed by this date, the teacher shall be observed and evaluated under their assigned observation type.
  4. Teachers and evaluators participate in a mid-year check-in between January 3 and February 14, 2020 to discuss how the implementation of the plan is progressing.
  5.  Between April 24 and June 19, 2020, the teacher and evaluator will participate in a face-to-face “Structured Review” to discuss the teacher’s overall experience with each part of the plan, as well as to review teacher-selected documentation that s/he has gathered or created during the implementation of the plan. Using the Structured Review Evaluator Form, the evaluator will score the teacher-selected documentation discussed on all components of the NYC MOTP Rubric that are included in the SRP, as well as all other components of the NYC MOTP Rubric for which there is evidence.

Other Notes

Additional attendees may be present at the IPC, Mid-Year Check-in, Structured Review and summative end of year conference with mutual consent of the teacher and the evaluator. 

The Structured Review and the summative end of year conference can be conducted at the same time, if there is mutual consent between the teacher and the evaluator.

Final Scoring

All NYC MOTP Rubric components that are included in the SRP, as well as all other components on the NYC MOTP Rubric for which there is evidence in the Structured Review will be weighted equally and averaged to create a Structured Review Score on a scale from 1-4.

An overall MOTP score, on a scale of 1-4, shall be the basis for the Teacher Observation Category component, and is the weighted average of the overall observation score and the structured review score with the following weights applied: The overall observation score will be weighted at 60% and the structured review score at 40%. In situations where impartial Independent Trained Evaluators (“Independent Evaluators”), is required by the UFT-DOE citywide negotiated contract, the independent evaluator shall be combined with the MOTP score, with the independent evaluator having a weight of 10% and the MOTP score counting for 90%. These will then be converted to the associated MOTP HEDI rating. 

Calendar Change Requests for PROSE Schools

To ensure all students are receiving adequate instructional time, and to avoid the risk of a reduction in State Aid, schools may not deviate from the NYCDOE school year calendar without prior authorization. 

Any changes to the NYCDOE school year calendar must be approved centrally. Calendar change requests that were approved as part of a school’s PROSE ballot must still be submitted through the NYCDOE Calendar Change Request Application. 

The Calendar Change Request review and approval process helps to ensure that:

  • Schools are meeting all State instructional time requirements (including both the number of school days per year and the amount of instructional time students receive). 
  • Schools are meeting the DOE contractual requirements (including by submitting school-based options (SBOs)/PROSE ballots and consulting appropriately with their staff members regarding schedule changes).
  • Parents have received sufficient notice.
  • The DOE is taking into account any considerations related to special education mandated services, avoiding conflicts with tests and other events, scheduling instructional make-up time, etc.
  • Students can still receive appropriate transportation and bus schedules and routes are appropriately adjusted. 

Principals should submit the change request at least 8 weeks prior to the first date affected. This allows time for correspondence and multiple layers of review as well as at least four weeks for parents, families, and the school communities to be notified. Under no circumstances may schools communicate that a change has been made until it has been formally approved via the Calendar Change Request process. 

Principals can request a calendar change using the Calendar Change Request Application. When completing the request, provide relevant details from the approved PROSE ballot in the comments field. For assistance, please contact your Director of Operations.

Note: Implementation of non-attendance days for students may be impacted by the number of aidable days in the NYCDOE Calendar as well as snow days taken for the year. Non-attendance days can only be taken after April 1st.

See the Calendar Change Requests InfoHub page for more information about calendar change requests, including frequently asked questions. 

Session Time for PROSE Schools

In accordance with State policies around school funding and State Aid, all schools (including PROSE schools) must provide all students with a minimum amount of instructional time per school year:

  • In grades K–6 a minimum of 900 hours of instructional time, over at least 180 aidable days
  • In grades 7–12 a minimum of 990 hours of instructional time, over at least 180 aidable days.

These are experiences where students are:

  • Receiving instruction from a teacher in an academic subject area
  • Engaged in instructional experiences which are supervised by a qualified pedagogue

Instructional time does not include minutes where instruction and/or supervised study time is not provided to students, such as lunch or recess. Schools must work to maximize student instructional time and prioritize time in the classroom. This may include reducing minutes of passing time between periods and eliminating homeroom if it is not operationally necessary.

In order to meet these requirements, all NYCDOE schools (including PROSE schools) must provide a total of 25 hours per week to students in grades K–6 and 27.5 hours per week to students in grades 7–12 of supervised instructional time, exclusive of lunch. This time may include supervised, instructional experiences overseen by teachers at the school that occur off-site.

To avoid the risk of a reduction in State Aid, and to limit the impact on bus scheduling and other services, schools may not open late, dismiss early, close, or treat any day as a non-attendance day (meaning, “release” one or more classes or grades) without submitting a calendar change request and receiving formal approval from Central in advance. Calendar change requests that were approved as part of a school’s PROSE ballot must still be submitted through the NYCDOE Calendar Change Request Application.

To request permission, principals must use the Calendar Change Request Application. See the Calendar Change Request page and on the Student Attendance Calendar on the InfoHub for more information.

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