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ELC receives TLC grant

ELC receives $425,000 to implement the Teacher Leadership and Compensation program in August.

January 10, 2016
Amber Hovey - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

By Amber Hovey

Staff Writer

Recently, the Estherville Lincoln Central School District has received the Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) grant. According to, the TLC System "rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay, attracts promising new teachers with competitive starting salaries and more support and fosters greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other."

This will be the third year the grant has been offered, however ELC waited until last year to apply.

"We chose to wait and see how the program would be implemented," said ELC Superintendent Tara Paul.

Taking the lead of the TLC grant was Frank Christenson and Lili Jensen. The two ELC staff members reviewed models of the program from other schools and helped to write the application to be submitted and scored by the Commission on Educator Leadership and Commission.

"The plan mirrors plans implemented from other districts," said Christenson.

From the grant, the ELC School District receives $425,000 to implement the program, which requires a minimum of 25 percent of the staff to be placed in leadership roles. To earn a leadership role, staff must go through an application process. The application process includes an interview, an evaluation and a peer review by the District Leadership Team (DLT), which is made up of district administrators and teachers.

The leadership positions only last one year, however, teachers may reapply. To apply for a leadership position, teachers have to have been employed for one year and be in the profession for three years.

The first positions to be fulfilled are the instructional coaches said Christenson. In this role, teachers leave their classrooms for one year and work with other teachers and classrooms. The coaches look at engagement in the class, management of the classroom, how to make classes more engaging and strategies to help teachers improve.

"After the year is up, coaches can reapply or they can go back to their previous position," said Christenson.

Other leadership positions include model teachers, which are teachers who open their classrooms up to other teachers. Some teachers are also given the opportunity to create a before or after school class for teachers to come and learn something new whether it be strategies or technology. Another position is mentor teachers. These teachers help to mentor new teachers.

With these new leadership roles, ELC are looking to hire a full-time substitute teacher, which will allow instructional coaches to take teachers out of the classroom for an hour or so to learn new things that they may use in the classroom.

"We want to update strategies and give applicants the opportunity to work with their peers in order to provide the best education for the students," said Christenson. "We have big expectations from these positions."

The TLC System will begin August 2016 and will last as long as legislature will allot the money for the program said Paul.

"I think it can really propel teaching and learning," said Paul. "It will help take good teachers to great teachers and great teachers to exceptional teachers."

According to, the philosophy behind the TLC program is:

"Improving student learning requires improving the instruction they receive each day. There is no better way to do this than to empower our best teachers to lead the effort."



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