Case Study: Monitoring Site Visits for Turnaround Schools

Child in school

When the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sought a way to guide its most underperforming schools through a three-year turnaround process, it recognized the value of providing meaningful feedback to schools and their leaders. The Department turned to SchoolWorks for help developing a process that would give principals and their staffs concrete areas of focus as they sought to turn around their schools.

The Challenge
  • Design a formative process for monitoring site visits for Level 4 (underperforming) schools as part of the accountability framework of the three-year turnaround process
  • Ensure that the process yields information required by the Department to make decisions on whether each school will exit turnaround status
SchoolWorks Approach
  • Collaborate with the Department to develop a protocol that incorporates a third day to each site devoted to analysis of site visit findings and action-planning with school leadership
  • Work closely with the Department to ensure the process is responsive and respectful
  • Facilitate annual monitoring site visits to all Level 4 schools throughout the State and develop resulting public reports
The Results
  • In the second year of the three-year turnaround process, many of the 40 schools saw considerable academic growth
  • Surveys showed that school and district leaders found the working prioritization sessions on the third day of the review valuable in focusing the turnaround work on specific objectives
Dates: 2010 – 2013

 

"We already had some understanding of what needed to be done, but it was very validating to have a clean set of eyes see it as well."
- School Leader