Teaching and Learning Report
To: Michael Green
From: Asha Riley
Date: March 21, 2017
Re: Teaching and Learning
In our recent efforts to improve student achievement, we have engaged in a new process for continuous school improvement. The continuous action-planning process explicitly includes stakeholders from across the school community in examining data and determining what is needed to bring about equality in outcome for all students. Together with staff and other stakeholders, teams examine practices described in research as contributing significantly to building educator capacity for:
- Substantially raising student achievement,
- Identifying and closing opportunity and achievement gaps, and
- Removing inequitable structures that impact learning.
The continuous improvement planning process enables districts to ensure infrastructure, policies, and procedures are in place to support school teams to install, implement, and sustain new programs and innovations. This requires districts to engage their central office staff in continuously finding, designing, and implementing progressively more effective services and supports for improvement of teaching, leading, and learning across the district. Both districts and schools engage in an action planning cycle.
Together with their staff and other stakeholders, teams examine practices described in research as contributing significantly to improving student learning. Research suggests schools that are doing an effective job in meeting their students’ needs share common attributes:
- High expectations for all students
- Strong leaders and effective teachers
- Standards-aligned curriculum, instruction, and assessment systems
- Frequent use of data to inform instruction decisions and school improvement planning
- Extra supports to struggling students, accompanied by policies to make sure they get the benefit of these supports
- Safe and supportive learning environments
- Parent/family and community engagement
These practices are referred to as “School-Level Expected Indicators.” These Indicators were identified by the Academic Development Institute as essential to accelerate
The continuous school improvement process engages schools in assessing and building their capacity to initiate, support, and sustain improvements aligned with the attributes above. New learning occurs throughout the process and leads to changes in behaviors, policies, and practices, and ultimately, the culture of the school. As interventions and practices become embedded in the daily routine of the district and school, that is, as they become “the way we do things here,” Leadership Teams move forward in their continuous improvement process to identify emerging problems of practice. They then engage in the action-planning cycle depicted above to select and implement other research-based practices essential for addressing identified needs.
In the coming months, we will be sharing information