Transform or Redesign an Existing School
Transformation and Whole-School Reform
To achieve the goal of graduating all students ready to succeed in college and careers, educators must teach and students must learn those habits of mind and habits of work necessary to produce that success. Indicators of college readiness include not only achievement on state exit exams, but proficiency in analytic writing in the content areas, reading and comprehension of complex text, procedural and intellectual knowledge, higher order thinking, time management skills, perseverance, the capacity to take initiative (sense of agency, ability to seek out someone to get help in college) and the development of social capital and self-confidence.
ISA’s Approach to School Improvement
ISA uses a capacity-building approach to whole school reform that includes individual and team job-embedded coaching, summer and winter institutes, workshops, and other professional development strategies to help schools to: (1) improve student academic achievement and attainment; (2) build school leadership skills for facilitating and implementing the organizational and instructional changes necessary for whole school transformation; (3) implement a college ready, CCSS aligned instructional program in mathematics, ELA, science, and social studies as well as embed literacy and scaffolding strategies across content areas; (4) enact a student advocacy system that personalizes students’ experience and provides them with close caring relationships with teachers and the social and emotional supports necessary for school success; and (5) foster family and community engagement to develop a sense of agency and confidence among the diverse education stakeholders. ISA’s work is guided by a model; there is no set way that the model must be implemented. It’s a partnership, not a prescription.
ISA’s School Redesign Process
ISA’s high school turnaround process is planned and executed in collaboration with the district and each high school’s leadership, so that the school principal is seen as and is, in fact, the leader of the turnaround and so that the school and wider community has strong commitment to and ownership of the process and outcomes. Throughout the process, the school principal works closely with an ISA leadership-school turnaround coach, who has experience in high school turnaround and as a secondary school leader.
ISA’s consulting services for high school turnaround has four components to address the particular values, goals, student performance outcomes, and context of each school. Detailed descriptions each phase and its associated components and activities are as follows.