In 2017, a group of school districts in Delaware, Indiana, South Carolina, and Texas formed a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to provide one another with support, resources, and coaching. This community is based on an asset-based approach in which effective practices are vetted and shared among educators.
After five years, the network is expanding and the data is compelling:
Our Focus Areas: Change the Trajectory
1. Belong to an integrated and supportive Networked Improvement Community
We are a district-led, partner-driven community of districts dedicated to improving outcomes for all students through sharing resources, supports, and lessons learned across the network.
2. Vertical job-alike supports, professional learning communities, and coaching
Our professional learning community provides personalized opportunities for leaders to collaborate with one another. Reflective coaching allows for individuals to expand their knowledge within their specific role.
3. Leadership Academies
As the required knowledge and skills for effective leadership continues to grow, our approach to leaders (and aspiring leaders) is differentiated recognizing that each leader is also an individual and a learner. LeadersConnect places principals, assistant principals, and aspiring leaders into small communities of practice based on their self-identified problem of instructional practice. While the meetings are facilitated by the project-level staff, coaching and feedback is peer-to-peer.
4. Support for recruiting, retaining, and promoting educators
We provide an intentional focus on recruiting and retaining highly qualified employees. Members receive a Recruitment and Retention Playbook along with training support from within our HR working group. This professional learning community meets on a monthly basis to collaborate and share best practices within Human Resources.
5. Scalable school-based structure of professional learning
Two main levers for improving student outcomes rely on effective and replicable systems within each building. An Instructional Leadership Team is critical to provide a constant, laser-focus on the school’s goals and priorities while the professional learning communities utilize an asset-based approach to find uncommonly good results and expand those across and throughout grade levels.
6. Peer-to-peer coaching
Current research clearly indicates that the most effective way to improve student outcomes is one-on-one coaching for educators. However, to provide in person instructional coaching is time consuming and expensive. Our peer-to-peer model provides a vetted environment for educators at all levels to receive non-evaluative peer feedback from one another in a virtual environment.
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