New York State Education Department I State Office of Religious and Independent Schools I Catapult Learning

Change Makers: Coaching Empowers

Your Teaching and School Leadership

Working with an instructional coach reminds us that we are all life-long learners! Developing a coaching culture increases staff engagement and accountability and leads to improved performance and results. It is often a struggle to see who benefits more from coaching the teacher or the coach themselves!

~As a novice teacher I was honored to receive coaching.  I was given support and encouragement as I started to navigate the beginning of my career. After teaching for over 20 years, I realize that the strategies and guidance I received from my coach has shaped and continues to shape the educator I have become! –Christina Libson- Teacher – St. Mary’s Manhasset School

~Watching teachers grow and develop best practices is the most rewarding part of the job. My teachers are my students, any educator’s goal is to help their students thrive. – Christine Abdou Instructional Coach

~Promoting higher quality instruction could potentially impact the least-fortunate students the most – Carolyn Scarano Instructional Coach and Teacher (Martin DePorres School)

Are you interested in developing a culture of coaching in your school? Do you have a teacher who might be interested in peer-to-peer coaching in your school?   

The Long Island PDRC proudly announces an exciting coaching opportunity for religious and independent school leaders and teachers. Starting January 2022, and in collaboration with the Upstate PDRC, we are launching a Literacy Coaching Program to support the development of literacy skills in K-5. The program will begin with a review of Best Practices in the Literacy Classroom and will continue with PD to support literacy coaching including peer-to-peer coaching and evidenced-based best practices in coaching as well as 1:1 coaching support. Leaders and Teachers are welcome to join this unique opportunity. More information will be available soon along with sessions dates and times.

Leadership Circle for Principals and School Leadership

Purposely designed to build a community of leaders who learn and problem-solve together, join the Fall Cohort of the Leadership Circle to discuss, share, and plan for an exceptional school year. Meeting twice a month, each virtual session will have a driving focus and will be facilitated by Mitch Center of Center Educational Consulting. 
Join us on Monday, October 18th at 10:15-11:15am The focus of the session will be Prioritization.
Target audience: Principals, Asst. Principals, School Administrators and Leaders

Strengthening Writing and Thinking Across the Curriculum

A Writing Community
Join a unique Writing PLC to further strengthen writing in your classroom. Hosted by Dr. John Collins of the Collins Writing Program, this series will be a blend of content and implementation Q&A. This cohort will meet virtually on the first Monday of the month.
Join us on Monday, November 1st at 3:30-4:30pm.  
Target Audience: Educators who have previously participated in Collins Writing Program Courses.


Community Spotlight

This month, we shine our spotlight on Martin De Porres School, an independent school servicing Long Island students Grades K-8 for over 10 years.
Jamal* was a troubled 14-year-old when he arrived at the Martin De Porres School. He was constantly in trouble for physical altercations in the public-school setting. His life was on a downward spiral. Jamal needed a placement where he could be successful socially and academically. The Committee on Special Education recognized this and offered him placement at the

Martin De Porres High School. Over time,  Jamal’s behaviors decreased and there were tremendous strides in his academic performance.  He went on to become an honor student and graduate with a New York State Regents Diploma. What a success story!!

*name changed for discretion.

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that all have the capacity to learn in a manner so that they build self-esteem,

connect to a supportive school community and foster an optimistic worldview.


youth who struggle with internal and external factors beyond their control

that have contributed to a failure to thrive in school.


an environment that cultivates interpersonal relationships,

maintains structure and provides opportunities to build competence.


our students to cultivate the skills necessary to be constructive members of the community

who will positively influence others and the world around them.


our students in a way that helps them develop empathy with others.

Community News

Are you interested in spotlighting your school or sharing school news?

Would you like to submit a calendar item or an article for inclusion?


Leadership Corner

What are the things that only I can do?

By Mitch Center

I recently talked with a colleague about my first day on the job as a school administrator. I was a Leadership Resident with New Leaders for New Schools, functioning in many ways in a role that was similar to an Assistant Principal. After having spent my whole career in the classroom, the transition to leadership was new and foreign. I’ll never forget the first day of school, greeting the kids in the school yard and introducing myself to families. And I remember the kids filing into the building with their teachers excitedly, and then within a matter of minutes, silence. The halls were cleared. The schoolyard was empty. Kids were in seats and teachers kicked off the day and I remembered thinking, “Now what?” 

It seems funny now, looking back, that I wasn’t really sure what to do next. What’s my role? My function? My purpose? My schedule? Do I just wait for things to happen and then respond? Do I wait to be told what to do by the principal? I know other new administrators have had this experience, a sense of loss from not being in the classroom anymore, and a feeling of being rudderless and without direction.

~Mitch Center provides leadership professional development and coaching for Catapult Learning and is a monthly contributor to our Leadership Corner Conversation.

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So what is your purpose? Your function? Your role? Is it to launch the day and wait for events to unfold? Is it to manage all the technical aspects of administration – budget, bus arrival, scheduling, etc.? Or is it to be the lead learner or change maker in the building, the one who sets the model for all kids and adults on how to live a learning mindset? Another way to define the role – for yourself and other administrators – is to ask yourself, “What are the things that only I can do?”

Based on your skillset and positional authority, what can ONLY you do? When I was that young administrator figuring out my new role, I realized that compared to teachers, only I can move freely between classrooms during instructional time. Only I could see the many great strengths and talents that existed across classrooms. For me, unlocking those, finding ways to share and uncover talents – that became my purpose.

As a reflection prompt, think about this…what does your role and your talent allow you to do that only you can do? And related to that, what are YOU doing, that can be done by someone else, freeing you up to do the change-making work you know your school needs?

37th Annual Rise Conference

Join religious and independent educators across the state at the RISE Conference, this year the event will be held completely virtually with over 35 complimentary workshops and 3 prestigious keynote speakers.

The Long Island PDRC offers the following sessions:

Math educators from across NYS are invited to attend the math problem-solving workshop, Representing Word Problems: drawings, tables, actions, and lists. Join your colleagues to discuss and examine ways to extend your students’ math thinking. This session is provided by our national math expert, Dennis Desormier, Catapult Learning, on Wednesday, November 10, at 10:45am.

K-5 educators interested in growing STEM in their classrooms are invited to join, STEM and Literacy in Grs. K-5, presented by Liz Gallo, Whymaker.Co and supported by Catapult Learning. This engaging session will be offered at 6:15pm on Tuesday, November 9, and again at 1:45pm on Wednesday, November 10.

NYSED Resources and More

Coming Soon

Content is currently being developed to strengthen instruction and learning of early childhood literacy. Help us customize this professional learning by letting us know your needs. Complete this brief and anonymous survey.


Would you like to submit an article for inclusion or highlights from your school community? Do you have a comment or suggestion?