The Academic Leadership Year – Part 5

Once schools know the number of students needed for success, their next step would be to identify the teachers of the assessed areas and their students. In the past, Ed Directions’ coaches have looked at multiple years’ scores in content areas to determine: 1) Were they successful last year? and 2) Have they been successful in the past? This identification process is the beginning of the school’s development of a student-focused school improvement plan. While the purpose is to ensure that the school reaches goal on the state assessment, it will enable the teachers to assess their entry status in terms of reaching the school goals.

The Ed Directions coaches use the tool below to help estimate their students’ performance based on prior performances and to stimulate grade level/discipline professional learning community discussions about student priorities and grade level or discipline specific support systems that will need to be in place for students to move.

Assessment Area: Grade Level:

Last year’s goal:

Last year’s actual score:

This year’s school goal:

Number needed to reach goal:

Teacher:

Teacher:

Teacher:

Student

Previous score

Student

Previous score

Student

Previous score

Projected score:

Projected score:

Projected score:

Before teachers can begin their planning for units, lessons, progress monitoring, and data management, they will need to do an assessment of the students that they will be expected to move towards learner and performer proficiency. First, they will need to establish possible barriers to student growth. Most Ed Directions coaches use the tool below to begin the study by identifying students at risk for non-academic issues.

Potential Non-Academic Barriers

Teacher: Subject: Section: Student Total:

Student

Attendance issues

Behavior issues

Poverty issues

Parental support issues

Technology barriers

Community alienation

The coaches follow this up with an identification of students who have specific identified needs. They use the tool below to collect data and facilitate a discussion of special needs supports with teachers, discipline groups, and grade level groups.

Special Needs Areas

Teacher: Subject: Section: Student Total:

Student

Learning disability

Behavior disability

Attention deficit issues

Physical limitations or disability

Lack of English language proficiency

Social or emotional barriers

The coaches will also try to identify academic indicators that the student should be considered at risk. The tool below is used to collect and organize that data and facilitate teacher discussions.

Academic At Risk Indicators

Teacher: Subject: Section: Student Total:

Student

Bottom quartile score in academic area

Bottom quartile scores in multiple academic areas

Past year failure and tested area class

Multiple failures in the past academic year

One or more years behind year cohorts

As a plan, teachers will also need to consider areas that impact the development of learner and performer competencies. They use the tool below to collect and organize the state of for discussion.

Underperformance Indicators

Teacher: Subject: Section: Student Total:

Student

Inadequate academic base

Attitude problems

Issues with perception of self or proficient work

Issues with complex or multiple step thinking work

Inadequate prior successful experience

There are very few instances when an Ed Directions coach will require a school to use all of the tools included in steps one through five of this process. Most will complete the first step to identify red flag priority areas and then work with school leadership to determine which of the other tools will yield the most “bang for the buck.” It is important to note though that the quantification and identification will be critical for the school and for the teachers in the school to develop plans that are truly intentional, student-outcome-focused plans for school improvement.

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