In this suite of sessions, your leadership team—representatives from throughout the system, including central office administrators, campus administrators, and key teacher–leaders—will engage in a set of research-based processes and tools to help you strengthen existing district structures to provide the necessary support for a standards-based instructional system.
Specifically, your team will practice using a cohesive set of protocols to help you zero in on key policies and practices that you and your colleagues can leverage to improve your whole education system.
Each of the leadership sessions is designed for 1 day and can include up to 35 participants.
Assessing and Advancing the Implementation of the College and Career Readiness Standards: A Set of Strategic Levers
Key leaders, representing all levels of the district system and including district and campus administrators and lead teachers, will engage in structured collaborative conversations about the implementation of the standards.
After identifying the current state of district structures and practices, this representative group will craft recommendations to district decision makers for advancing district-wide implementation of the CCR for mathematics and for English language arts—and of analogous standards for science and for social studies when they are available.
Study the Standards
In this session (also listed in the teacher strand), representative teachers and leaders will work toward a deep level of understanding of the purpose, intent, depth, and clarity of the standards. This session is also designed to foster among teachers and leaders a sense of urgency and a commitment to engaging in an ongoing study of the standards on campuses and throughout the district.
Teachers and leaders will practice using tools to explore the horizontal and vertical alignment of the standards. These tools can be leveraged among groups of teachers to build a common understanding of the standards and to strengthen system-wide capacity for continuing study of—and alignment of the instructional program to—the standards.
Classroom Walkthrough for Continuous Improvement
Campus principals, instructional coaches/lead teachers, and district instructional leaders will learn how to implement the Dana Center’s updated Classroom Walkthrough for Continuous Improvement processes and tools.[*]
By engaging in practice walkthroughs (through watching videos), participants will strengthen their understanding of the CWTCI data-collection “look-fors” (aligned to the expectations outlined in the CCR and other standards). Participants will also learn a protocol to support their continued conversations with colleagues around the revised data-collection look-fors.
Collect, Analyze, Reflect, and Act (CARA) cyclical improvement process
CARA is a collaborative process that involves teachers and leaders in reflective conversations designed to lead to action, usually in the classroom. District instructional leaders, campus principals, and instructional coaches / lead teachers will learn how to implement the Dana Center’s CARA cycle for continuous improvement.
Participants will have opportunities to explore the CARA cycle and see it modeled so that they will be comfortable using it in their schools. The cycle can be used with any kind of data that the school and/or district collect. When used regularly, the process is an effective tool for monitoring and adjusting.
Systems Thinking/Systems Changing
Key leaders, representing all levels of the system and including district and campus administrators and lead teachers, will engage in a change simulation designed for use by collaborative teams. Participants will gain a deeper knowledge of the change process and will experience planning for—and leading—organizational change.
Structures to Support the Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
Campus principals, instructional coaches/lead teachers, and district instructional leaders will engage in a process to identify and analyze the current state of critical structures (processes and procedures) that are necessary to support the ongoing work of teachers in developing and implementing the District Curriculum Framework and the collaborative endeavors of professional learning communities throughout the system.
[*] The Dana Center’s published Classroom Walkthrough for Continuous Improvement resource is now in its second edition (2011), so teachers and leaders who have already participated in our Classroom Walkthrough professional development will benefit from a refresher to learn about improvements in the new edition.