Expanding Partnerships with Both Public Prep & Chelsea Public Schools
Over the past several years, SchoolWorks has conducted School Quality Reviews at both Public Prep (a network of 5 New York City charter schools) and Chelsea Public Schools (a Boston area school district with 9 schools). These School Quality Reviews have provided school and district/network leaders with formative feedback in selected focus areas, such as school leadership and instruction. They have also guided school and district/network leaders as they developed action plans to guide their improvement efforts.
This year, SchoolWorks has expanded its partnerships with both Public Prep and Chelsea Public Schools. SchoolWorks is providing both school systems with a reliable, research-based classroom observation system, as well as training school and district/network leaders to use that system. This support will ensure that all school and district/network leaders share a common understanding of high quality instruction, and that they can conduct reliable, accurate classroom observations. The specific supports that SchoolWorks is providing include:
- A Full Day, Introductory Classroom Observation Training – This training provides participants with an introduction to the SchoolWorks classroom observation system. During this training, SchoolWorks facilitators introduce participants to SchoolWorks’ instructional indicators and rating system. Participants then have opportunities to practice conducting classroom observations (using video), discuss their ratings with colleagues, and norm their ratings with SchoolWorks.
- A Certification Process for Each Participant – In the month following the introductory training, participants take a certification test to show that they can reliably conduct classroom observations using the SchoolWorks classroom observation system. Those who do not pass the certification test are given personalized feedback and opportunities to pass additional tests.
- Additional Opportunities to Practice – SchoolWorks facilitators conduct follow up classroom observation trainings throughout the year to provide school and district leaders with additional practice and ensure that they can observe classrooms reliably.
Initial feedback from school and district/network leaders following the full day, introductory training has been positive. More than 40 participants from the Chelsea and Public Prep trainings responded to our feedback survey. 100% of respondents to our feedback survey agreed or strongly agreed that their session was “relevant to my work.” Similarly, 100% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their session was “helpful in advancing my understanding of the content covered.” And 98% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “the facilitation and delivery of their session was effective.”
At SchoolWorks, we’re excited about these partnerships. We think it’s critically important that all school and district leaders share a common understanding of high quality instruction, and can conduct reliable, accurate classroom observations. This approach will help school and district leaders identify instructional trends within and across schools, as well as provide teachers with targeted support and feedback. And ultimately, we expect these partnerships will have a positive effect on student learning.