Case Study: School Turnaround
When Holyoke Public Schools was identified as one of the state’s lowest performing districts, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education appointed a receiver superintendent to oversee the turnaround process. The receiver superintendent, in turn, hired SchoolWorks.
- Assess the school’s areas of strength and need, and provide leadership coaching and instructional supports to immediately impact student learning.
- Shadow the principal to identify leadership style, strengths and weaknesses.
- Conduct co-observations of classroom instruction with the administrative team to calibrate expectations on the characteristics of effective instruction and to collectively provide feedback to teachers.
- Assign a team of consultants, including experts in English language learning and special education, to lead a School Quality Review (SQR) and subsequent action-planning session.
- Create a tight, actionable plan for school improvement.
- Develop a safety communication plan and streamline procedures for student entry and dismissal, attendance monitoring, and transitions between classes.
- Develop an Instructional Guide that clearly articulates expectations for well-structured lessons to promote student engagement and ownership of learning.
- Design and deliver a series of professional development sessions that focus on targeted instructional shifts in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
- Conduct leadership coaching with the principal and leadership team, assisting in the development of clearer administrative meeting agendas that incorporated accountability and calendars for completion of tasks.
- Facilitate administrative team classroom walk-throughs to gather evidence throughout the year on classroom culture and instructional practices.
- Guide the school through reassignments of staff, as well as the hiring and on-boarding of new personnel.
- Attendance at the school rose more than 5% and discipline incidents reduced by half.
- Results from administrative team classroom walk-throughs showed positive trends in the extent to which teachers incorporated elements from the Instructional Guide into their daily practice.
- As a result of the successful engagement with the Peck Community School in 2015-2016, SchoolWorks was asked to extend its lead partner work by spearheading a personalized learning program at the school. In 2016, the school adopted the P3 program, based on the Summit Public Schools model.