Presentation on theme: "Building the Capacity of Schools to Meet Student Needs"— Presentation transcript:
1Building the Capacity of Schools to Meet Student Needs Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D.New York University
2Turning around under performing schools: Understanding the difference between technical and adaptive workTechnical work - A focus on managing the operations of the system, insuring that procedures are working and that employees are in compliance with policy.Adaptive work - A focus on the dynamic and complex nature of the work, its substance, meaning and purpose. Work guided by a long term vision, with medium and short term goals. An awareness that we are trying to achieve our goals in a constantly changing environmentRon Hiefitz - Leadership on the LineSchools sometimes lack capacity (e.g. data). Our work focuses on this lack of capacity. The level of support can be at a very basic level. Other times it is adaptive – often schools/districts are not rational. They do things because it is the way it’s always been done (idiosyncratic). Before beginning the work we need to get to know the system…strengths/weaknesses. Understanding what they are capable of. TACD – root cause.
3Key Adaptive Questions: What does it take to educate the children you serve?How do they learn at home?How do they use literacy and math?What are they interested in?What challenges do they and their parents face?What are their unmet needs that may impact learning?What are their dreams and aspirations?
4Building Capacity Requires: Clear understanding of student needsAcademic and non-academic needsAbility to understand what your staff needs to be effective in meeting student needsAbility to identify, access and utilize resources to meet student needsA plan for creating a culture that is aligned to your school’s goalsA plan for engaging your parents as partners to reinforce educational goalsOur work is mainly capacity building. Understanding in a broad sense what are the needs of the district…know academic needs (e.g. data) and non-academic (e.g. survey). Often the students in special ed and suspended have non-academic needs.The student outcomes is always due to the adult’s issues. Adults are blaming someone but not owning up to their faults. In the mind of the educator there is always a reason why things are the way they are….hence, the blame game.Focus on capacity building and acknowledge work that’s working that is not capacity building (e.g. tutoring in Denver).Culture – relationships, etc…
5Group DiscussionHow can you and your staff learn about your students needs and interests?How can you use this information to develop programs, curriculum and instructional strategies?How will you learn about the community where your school is located?
6Building school capacity requires an understanding of how to: Build partnerships between schools, local government and CBOs in response to:Health and social needs of children – PS 188Extended learning plan aligned to the academic plan - PS 28 Brooklyn, NY;Professional development for teachers based on student needs – Serving ELLs at Edison Elementary School in Portchester, NY, Multicultural HSAbility to implement and modify reforms based upon demonstrated effectivenessLiteracy across the curriculum at Brockton HS
7PS 28 obtains highest gains in literacy and math in Brooklyn -2012
9Capacity BuildingIntervene early and effectively in response to academic and social needsMinneapolis 3rd grade drop-out prevention planPersonalize the learning environment – PS 12, Academy of Business and Technology, BronxUse of data systems to monitor performanceImplement interventions to meet student needsEngage parents in effective partnerships that reinforce child development and learningPartnerships focused on learning needs - McCormick Middle School, BostonAddressing parent needs – Eagle Academy
10Building School Capacity Teaching and LearningExtended LearningSafety, mentorsCommunity partnersFamilyengagementHealth and NutritionHaving a broader view on servicing students
11II. Identifying and Responding to Student Needs: What does it take to educate the children you serve?Analyze student achievement dataWhat do the patterns reveal?Work with teachers to develop tools for diagnostic assessmentTalk to parents and students about their needs and interestsWork with social workers, nurses and CBOs to identify non-academic needsWhat are the challenges confronting their families and neighborhoods?
12Developing Professional Development Strategies in Response to Student Needs Achievement data will suggest areas where your staff needs to concentrateConduct regular classroom observations to get a sense of your teachers’ strengths and weaknessesLook for evidence of learningEngage senior teachers in peer mentoringProvide new teachers opportunity to observe effective teachersAsk teachers what kinds of training and assistance they needBring teachers together on a regular basis to analyze student work
13Teaching and LearningWe want teachers to see teaching and learning as connected activities: teach the way students learnUse teaching strategies that foster engagement – Socratic seminars, debate, project based learningFocus on evidence of mastery of skills and knowledgeFocus on performance – what can our students do?Class time must be on-task work time for students, direct instruction kept to a minimum
14Culturally Responsive Teaching They make expectations and standards explicit by modeling and exposing students to high quality workThey utilize diagnostic tools to check for understandingThey learn about their students interests in order to make their lessons culturally relevantThey focus on motivation and engagement by soliciting feedback and questions from studentsThey analyze student work with a focus on evidence of competence and mastery
15III. The role of the principal in developing school capacity? Provide the vision: keep the big picture clear:Why are we doing this?What will we achieve?Share the vision to achieve “buy-in”Use data to help staff understand the challenges facing your schoolStaff, students and parents must understand the vision and their role in achieving itDevelop a plan with clearly delineated roles and responsibilities for parents, students, teachers and staff
16Role of Principals continued Help staff to understand why certain practices and strategies are importantCreate conditions that enable teachers to be successfulStay focused on morale and quality control in all aspects of your schoolTake responsibility for maintaining a safe and orderly environmentWork on team building, model respect and a willingness to cooperateKeep systems working - maintenance, operations
17Characteristics of Effective Principals Function more like coaches than generalsLead by exampleShare leadership, do not make themselves indispensable - Your work is secondary to the most important activity in the school: teachingKnow their students and staff wellKnow parents and the community wellFind balance between flexibility and decisiveness: willingness to collaborate and willingness to make tough decisions
18Skills Needed by Principals Instructional leadershipKnowledge of finance and budget managementPublic relationsHuman ResourcesData management/analysisStrategic planningKnowledge of social welfare service delivery
19Reflection:Which of the skills needed by principals do you have already?How have your past experiences and training prepared you for a leadership role?What do you regard as the necessary steps for building support for school change?
20IV. Obstacles to School Improvement School policies and practices are at odds with academic goalsIneffective discipline - over reliance on suspension, failure to address underlying causes of behavior problems, discipline not connected to educational goals and character developmentInability to utilize your most effective teachersToo many teachers are isolatedInability to achieve consensus and “buy-in” among key stakeholders on plan for change
21III. Developing School Culture: Focus on Students Create opportunities for students to display leadership at schoolSolicit student ideas for school improvementProvide opportunities for leadershipCultivate attitudes and habits that promote academic achievementConfidence and competenceSelf discipline, self motivationOrganizational and study skillsImplement extra-curricular programs that help in developing these traits: Chess, Robotics, Poetry
22Developing a Student Centered School Culture Adopt rituals and practices that reinforce core valuesDevelop an advisory system with clear guidance to teachers on how to use the timeDevise strategies to break and counter race and gender-based stereotypesTeach code switchingCreate an environment where racial identity and achievement are not linked - Is it cool to be smart?
23Focus on Teachers and Staff Use achievement data to make it clear why change is necessarySet bench marksAnalyze patternsHold a retreat with staff to set goals and devise plans on how to achieve themMust find ways to win “buy-in”Provide training in how to relate to parents and build strong relationships with students
24Key Principles:Develop partnerships with service providers to address unmet non-academic needsHealth, nutrition, counseling, etc.Maintain quality control in interventions through ongoing evaluationTitle I and Special EducationAdhere to key principles:Kids who are behind must work harder and longer under better conditionsImproving the quality of teaching is the most effective way to raise student achievementLook for evidence of learning when evaluating teaching
25Key Questions When Developing a School’s Culture: What will it take to educate your students?What are their academic and social needs? What challenges do they face?What skills and resources are needed to meet their needs?How will you achieve “buy-in” from staff, students and parents?What practices and rituals will serve as the basis for your school’s culture?
26IV. Close the Gap Between Parents and School Engage parents in partnerships to support students based on respect and shared interestsInitiate contact before problems ariseDesign a variety of activities to engage parents throughout school year for parentsHire personnel who have cultural competence and are effective at working with parents
27Basic Requirements for Building Strong Relationships Between Parents and Schools Must be based on a recognition of mutual need, responsibility and respectMust be based on the recognition that all parents can help their childrenMust b e based upon understanding and empathy for the situation confronting parents and familiesSchools need personnel who can communicate effectively with parents - language and cultural skillsAre We Ready for Parental Involvement?What if parents are unhappy with quality of the school?Tolerance for tension and some degree of conflict is necessary
28Keys to SuccessStaff understands the external pressures students face and have devised ways to counter the pull of the streetsgangs, teen pregnancy, pressure to workStrategies for helping students to plan and think concretely about their future are in placeCode switching is taught explicitlyAdoption of social skills that make adults in authority feel at easeLearning to code switchSpeech, dress, demeanor