When problems and challenges arise that require detailed analysis, skilled review by experienced practitioners, and a strategic plan for an in-depth intervention, outside perspective can be extremely helpful. The Center works with districts to conduct reviews, gather multiple sources of evidence, and engage school personnel in analyzing the data to understand the root causes of dilemmas and to identify strategies well-suited for moving forward.
The Center tailors these reviews to the specific needs of districts. Options include, but are not limited to:
Capacity and Coherence Reviews
Designed along with other LEAD Connecticut Partners, the capacity and coherence review helps district leaders understand the degree to which the district has the relative capacity and coherence necessary to support its improvement agenda. Using the LEAD Connecticut Capacity and Coherence Framework (link to document under resources), a team will analyze existing artifacts, interview key stakeholders, conduct focus groups, administer surveys, and observe key improvement strategies. This helps us understand the degree to which the organization is focused around a small number of priorities or aligned in its structures and systems, and then to help build or shape the culture necessary to sustain and invest in leaders.
Central Office Effectiveness Reviews
We work to review structures, systems, and routines of the central office, especially as they relate to how well central office operates as a cohesive team and if central office leaders have a coherent approach to partnering with school leaders. Using interviews, focus groups, artifact analysis, surveys, and observations, this review helps unearth how well central offices build the capacity for sustained and focused instructional improvement.
We work with district and school leaders to conduct equity audits to more fully understand the nature and degree of the inequities experienced by students (and sometimes educators) within a district. We gather multiple sources of evidence, triangulating achievement, perceptual and observational data to unearth root causes. The equity review is co-designed and implemented with leaders in the district, creating the conditions to lead to a plan of action.
Bloomfield Public Schools is part of a vibrant community in service to our young people. We have charted our course toward excellence, with a consistent focus on our four priorities: holistic accountability; rigorous curriculum; positive school climate; and family/community engagement. We invited the Center for School Change to be a critical friend in this work, by welcoming a Capacity and Coherence Audit. Findings confirmed some of what we knew, and suggested impactful strategic work to further align efforts. The prioritization of a longer school day focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), vigorous community partnerships, and diligent integration and analysis of data was supported and encouraged through this process. A focus on coherence within the district has enhanced our strategic approaches to funding, and effective use of existing resources, while raising expectations for our students, staff and families.