School Quality Reviews (SQRs) are powerful tools for school systems engaged in any type of improvement effort. They a provide clear, rigorous, and rubric-based picture of schools’ academic and operational health. School Quality Reviews can also provide a key qualitative input to School Performance Frameworks.

SEN’s SQR work is overseen by Carolyn Yaffe, who as the Executive Director for School Quality in the New York City Department of Education, oversaw the design and execution of the School Quality Review process across the NYCDOE’s 1,700 schools.

SEN provides SQRs as standalone tools for districts seeking diagnostic or summative measurements of school quality – or as part of larger engagements incorporating the broader range of SEN’s school improvement tools.

SQRs can be used to:

  • Establish a common understanding and roadmap to school quality within a school building or across a school system
  • Provide snapshots of school quality before and after an intervention
  • Analyze multiple schools’ strengths, weaknesses, and overall quality relative to one another
  • Provide a common language with which to evaluate school progress, allowing members across district and school teams to discuss results and identify action steps – such as priorities for professional learning and allocation of support and resources – to drive improvement

School Empowerment Network’s SQR Approach

At the onset of the SQR process, SEN engages with school district senior leadership to tailor the review to the client’s particular needs. Key elements of our SQR process include:

  • Meetings with school leadership, classroom visits, teacher team observation, and focus groups with key stakeholders (teachers, parents, and students)
  • A feedback session to highlight rubric-based strengths and areas of growth
  • Detailed school-level reports with rubric ratings to memorialize feedback for school communities
  • A district-level report analyzing common themes across SQRs to inform priorities, planning, and support

Our SQR Rubric

The SEN School Quality Review rubric is comprised of 10 indicators belonging to three quality categories:

The Instructional Core

  • Indicator 1: Curriculum
  • Indicator 2: Pedagogy
  • Indicator 3: Assessment

School Culture

  • Indicator 4: Positive Learning Environment
  • Indicator 5: High Expectations

Structures and Systems for Improvement

  • Indicator 6: Leveraging Resources
  • Indicator 7: Goals and Action Plans
  • Indicator 8: Teacher Support and Supervision
  • Indicator 9: Teacher Teams and Distributed Leadership
  • Indicator 10: Continuous Improvement