School Reset Models
SEN reset models reduce the number of staff and students leadership team members are responsible for, enabling leaders to teach and support community members to meet the higher standards driving the turnaround work. An instructional coach working with 6-8 teachers, and a teacher monitoring academic progress for 15-20 students can be intimately familiar with the strengths and needs of each of their charges and can craft individualized development plans to help them hit their targets. The targeted support afforded by the reduced management load can lead to rapid improvements relative to scenarios where administrators are rolling out initiatives and expectations to large staffs and teachers have so many students they only know them as a number in a grade book.
SEN works well with districts that value school leadership as a lever for change. It is crucial that our partners understand the importance of supporting a school leader’s vision and are willing to provide him or her with autonomy to make necessary school-based decisions. We believe that if the district forces priorities that are not aligned with those dictated by the leader’s turnaround vision, the school is unlikely to progress. School leaders should be free to manage their budgets, establish best instructional practices, and, most importantly, manage talent in their buildings. Ideally, SEN leaders will have the freedom to make personnel decisions based on a rubric-normed observation and feedback cycle, as well as on student outcomes on assessments.
school reset options
For each New School or SLC at scale SEN prepares teams of 1 Principal/SLC Leader, 1 Master Teacher and 2 Lead Teachers who comprise the Instructional Leadership Team.
Option 1: Simultaneous division of a large school into smaller schools (or SLCs within the larger school) with renewed standards and culture.
Example: An elementary school (K-5) with 1,200 students is divided into three small schools (K-5) of 400 students each.
Option 2: Simultaneous division of the original school into Small Learning Community (SLC) grade bands, each with a dedicated team of teachers and leadership team. The principal leads a cabinet consisting of the leadership teams of all of the SLCs.
Example: An elementary school (K-5) with 1,200 students is partitioned into three Small Learning Communities: K-1; 2-3 and 4-5 respectively. Ideally the SLC leaders have the opportunity to build a teaching team that is aligned to their leadership.
Middle and High Schools
Option 1: Simultaneous division of a large school into smaller schools (or Small Learning Communities within the larger school) with renewed standards and culture.
Example: A high school (9-12) with 1,200 students is divided into three small high schools (9-12) of 400 students each.
Option 2: Small Learning Communities (SLCs) are phased in one-grade-at-a-time within a large struggling school, until an effective school reset is achieved in all grades. The principal leads a cabinet consisting of the leadership teams of all of the SLCs.
Example: A high school can be divided into a 9-10 grade SLC and an 11-12 SLC. Student expectations and teacher teams can be established at each level under the guidance of SLC leadership teams. SLCs can be grown from the 9th grade up, allowing for a complete culture reset in the school, or can be started in the 9th and 11th grades simultaneously.
Option 3: New small schools are phased in one-grade-at-a-time, until they completely replace the original school.
Example: A middle school (6-8) begins to be replaced by two small schools, beginning with grade 6 only, while the larger school continues to focus on and improve grades 7 and 8. The subsequent year the new schools would have grades 6 and 7 with the original school now serving only grade 8. In the third year the new schools would have completely replaced the original school.
SEN’s impact on students in the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan is clearly evident. Between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, student proficiency on the Michigan Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) increased for both Elementary/Middle school and High School students
Participants in our programs are expected to produce tangible, measurable results for their schools beginning in the first year of implementation. With our programs in place we expect to see improvements in the following areas:
- Success developing and implementing a turnaround action plan, based on a formal needs assessment (conducted by SEN and district leadership).
- Impact on teacher effectiveness: evaluation rating accuracy, teacher growth in observation /evaluation ratings and teacher retention.
- Impact on student performance on assessments at the school level, district level and national level.
- Impact on school climate and culture: improvement in student engagement in classrooms and increase in student on-culture behaviors outside classrooms.
- Portfolio assessments: products from the field (e.g. data analysis, lesson plan feedback).
- Leadership rubric: evaluation of competency mastery, based on deliverables and in-school performance.
- Teacher, student and community feedback: formal and informal surveys.
*** See here to see SEN’s 2016-2017 Impact Report****