School Improvement

Professional Learning Services

Supporting Successful School Improvement

In the fall of 2017, states are finalizing and submitting their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans. While states will have additional flexibility in how they support students, there will be an increased focus in schools identified for improvement. Across the country, student growth will be prioritized and measured in a variety of ways across all student populations.

Generation Ready brings an established track record to school improvement. In fact, a study in 2012 performed by the Legislative Research Bureau of the state of Arkansas – A Review of School Improvement Consulting Expenditures and Results – sought to evaluate the providers of all school turnaround services in the state between 2006 and 2011. In the hundreds of schools working with partners over that five-year period, Generation Ready was the only company that delivered statistically significant literacy and math gains relative to the control group.

Generation Ready is a lead school improvement partner with the state department of Massachusetts.

Generation Ready’s school improvement work starts with using a common framework for school improvement known as the Six Essential Practices of Effective Schools. Everything we do – from our methods, to our instructional content and the technology that underpins all our work – is grounded in this evidence-based framework.

Generation Ready has a mission-driven spirit about its work. It’s not window dressing. There is a level of commitment there, backed with successful practices. These are good people doing good things.”

– Dr. Mike Ward, Professor of Education Leadership and former two-term State Superintendent of the Public Schools of North Carolina

Everything that we do—from our methods, to our instructional content and the technology that underpins all our work—is grounded in our Six Essential Practices of Effective Schools.

Research has shown that there are characteristics that all schools need in order to succeed, and as such, these practices lie at the heart of all of Generation Ready’s engagements, appearing in literal form in our rubrics and learning progressions.

These practice-based goals are combined with your own district teaching framework rubrics to ensure that the goals and practices you follow are best matched to your specific needs for professional learning.

Generation Ready employs a Continuous Cycle of Improvement that builds leader and teacher capacity, allowing your schools to change in ways that support teacher and leader development to improve practices that impact student learning. No two schools are the same, nor will one approach work for every school. As such, each engagement begins with a diagnostic process, followed by a shared “Plan of Action” with input and collaboration from key stakeholders. Frequent monitoring of the plan through data collection allows us to engage in a continuous cycle of improvement where we can adjust the plan based on observation and outcome data. By modeling effecting teaching and leading in your school or district, we create a shared vision of effective instruction, a common goal for school success, and a higher expectation for student achievement.

Our Services

The job embedded coaching model is central to our effectiveness.  Only through this approach can we ensure the lasting behavioral change required in teachers and administrators to improve persistently low performing schools.  Through this approach we gain deeper insight into teacher and administrator performance as well as a greater understanding of student, teacher and leader learning needs.

In addition to comprehensive job-embedded school services, we also have Comprehensive Needs Assessments which are a key part of a successful school improvement process. A Comprehensive Needs Assessment examines how the work in a school impacts the quality of the instructional core across classrooms. It provides an opportunity for a school community to reflect on its improvement planning processes and self-evaluate how well, and systematically, its educators make instructional decisions in service of student learning.

Comprehensive School Improvement Services

  • Deep-dive into organizational structures, challenges, curriculum, level of capacity and achievement
  • Build an initial assessment and action plan using our 6 Essential Practices Framework and the detailed rubrics behind each of the practices provides substantial data
  • Combine observation, formative and summative assessment data to paint a complete picture of the school’s structures, practices, and context in the community
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders on priorities and entry points to develop the school improvement plan

Comprehensive Needs Assessment

  • 90-min meeting with school principal
  • Two teacher team meetings, one 30-45-minute meeting to observe and interview a teacher team, and a second 20-30-minute meeting to facilitate a Q & A with teachers from at least two teams.
  • A meeting with 10 to 12 students for approximately 30 minutes
  • A meeting with approximately 4 to 6 students to review their best work
  • A meeting with 8 to 10 parents for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Approximately 12 class visits for 15-20 minutes per visit to observe a range of grades and subjects, across both tenured and untenured staff
  • One half hour for document review for the consultant
  • One hour for consultant reflection before the feedback meeting
  • The remainder of the time will be used for the final feedback conference
  • A complete report will be delivered at the completion at the meetings and surveys with the findings, recommendations and data

Case Studies

Click on the case studies below to open.

Okolona High School, Okolona, MS

Area of Focus: School Turnaround

Okolona serves 291 students with 73% of the students on free and reduced lunch. Nearly 100% of the student body is African American. Students in Mississippi must past the Subject Area Testing Program, Second Edition (SATP2) to graduate. Prior to 2011, the school was at the bottom 15% of the pass rate in the state and received an F rating. They received a School Improvement Grant (SIG) in order to support their efforts to increase student achievement. Generation Ready began working with Okolona in 2011, and the results of the two-year partnership with the school is remarkable. During this time, Okolona High School moved from an F rating to a C rating. In addition to the increased results shown in the accompanying graphs, teachers developed a purposeful focus to design lessons with a rigorous instructional focus. Teachers were able to facilitate sustained engagement by students, and ensure that a comprehensive lesson strategy was taught, from introducing objectives, to teaching to the objectives, to the use of specific strategies for closure to check for understanding.

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Horn Lake, Desoto County, MS

Background

  • Generation Ready partnered with Horn Lake Middle School in 2015 to implement the Middle School Literacy Initiative (MSLI)
  • MSLI is a comprehensive approach to raising literacy outcomes
  • The primary focus of the work was to improve the Tier I literacy instruction across content areas

Focus of Services

  • Generation Ready provided 40 days of onsite coaching support for Grade 6
  • Supported the use of a universal reading screener to target instruction and monitor student progress
  • Improved Tier I literacy instruction by supporting teachers in:

    » Increasing the quantity and quality of student time on text

    » Providing explicit reading comprehension instruction

    » Increasing the volume of academic vocabulary

    » Expanding academic discussion

Results

  • The percentage of students in the At or Above Grade Level groups increased from nearly 22% in the fall to nearly 46% in the spring

  • The percentage of students in the At Risk group decreased from 44.1% in the fall to 16.7% in the spring

  • Student scores grew 7.5 DRP levels on average in the spring vs. fall … +150% higher than the national median for Grade 6 students

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Bronx High School for the Visual Arts, Bronx, NY

Generation Ready support for Bronx High School for the Visual Arts began in the summer of 2014 with two consultants facilitating an Internal Coherence Workshop for the principal and the school’s leadership team. The two leadership consultants have worked with the school each year since for a total of 80+ days/year. Foci for the leadership work has included transformative leadership, distributed leadership, teaming and professional inquiry. For both years additional Generation Ready consultants have supported literacy in ELA, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Special Education for approximately 35 days per year per consultant. The content area consultants have focused on embedded instructional coaching. All consultants have provided full-staff workshops and self-selected workshops on topics related to the Common Core State Standards and the Danielson Framework for Teaching.

During these two years the school has moved from the status of “Priority School in State Receivership” to “Focus School”.

Enrollment: 483


Demographics:
Asian: 4%
Black: 27%
Hispanic: 61%
White: 7%


English Language Learners: 2%


Student with Special Needs: 27%

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