District tapped to serve as national model

The Fayetteville-Manlius School District has been invited by a national educational organization to serve as a case study and model of an exemplary school district. 

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has asked the district to apply for membership in its Learning 2025 Network of Demonstration Systems. AASA defines a demonstration system as an educational system that exemplifies student-centered, equity-focused practices with a solid commitment to the whole learner, overcoming marginalization and a future-driven outlook.

“This is a great honor and confirmation that the Fayetteville-Manlius School District is headed in the right direction,” F-M Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “Through this partnership, the district eventually could be recognized as a national lighthouse school system.” 

Districts selected as demonstration systems are partnered with a consultant who supports school administrators by sharing their knowledge of current research, guidance and evidence-based practices being implemented by the nation’s most respected individuals, organizations and districts.

Demonstration district leaders may also participate in conferences, professional learning opportunities and virtual meetings with representatives from other districts in the AASA Demonstration System network. They are granted access to such materials as AASA case studies, a dashboard to monitor their goals’ progress and monthly videos and webinars highlighting successful practices that can be used for staff professional development. 

“This opportunity will allow us to share our successes with school districts across the country while tapping into the expertise of leaders from other high-performing districts and educational organizations, which will ultimately benefit our students and staff,” Tice said. “The educational landscape is constantly changing, and this national membership would allow us to be on the cutting edge of student-centered, equity-focused educational models.”

The district is a member of two other AASA national networks: the Future-Focused Schools Collaborative and the Innovative Districts Empowering All Learners cooperative.

The Future-Focused Schools Collaborative is a national collaborative of select superintendents and members of their leadership teams studying the strategic planning process and promoting innovation within their district-wide plans. The collaborative is co-supported by the New York state-based Successful Practices Network. F-M joined the group in October 2018.

AASA’s Innovative Districts Empowering All Learners (IDEAL) cooperative promotes tapping into the individual interests, passions and talents of each and every child. Formerly called the “Personalized Learning Cohort,” IDEAL encourages students to have “voice and choice” in their own learning. F-M has been a member since 2015.

In addition, F-M has been recognized several times at the national level for its excellence in academics and programming, most recently in September 2020 when the U.S. Department of Education designated Mott Road Elementary School as a National Blue Ribbon School. The designation is reserved for K-12 schools that have achieved high levels of academic success or have made significant improvement in closing achievement gaps. Enders Road Elementary School earned the prestigious honor in 2014, and Eagle Hill Middle School received it in 2011.