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Five keys to success Janet Ives Angelis Kristen Campbell Wilcox University at Albany.

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Presentation on theme: "Five keys to success Janet Ives Angelis Kristen Campbell Wilcox University at Albany."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Five keys to success Janet Ives Angelis Kristen Campbell Wilcox University at Albany

3 Background Results of a study conducted Part of the Just for the Kids project Relies on achievement data (NY state assessments) over time (2003-5) 2 nd in a series of four studies in NYS Elementary schools (2005) Middle schools (2007) High schools (2008) Middle school science (2009)

4 Study Sample 10 consistently HP schools with 6 similar but consistently APs, based on 3 years of NYS assessment data (Grade 8 Math & ELA) Favor poverty (F/RL) Urban, rural, suburban Open admissions State average per pupil expenditures

5 2-day site visits Semi-structured interview protocols with teachers and administrators Documentary evidence collection Analyzed and wrote case studies for each site Cross-case analysis to develop best practice framework and reports The data Methodology

6 10 Higher Performers

7 Urban “High” Needs Schools, Limited Resources Westbury - Westbury UFSD Port Chester - Port Chester-Rye UFSD John F Kennedy - Utica CSD West - Binghamton CSD Niagara - Niagara Falls CSD Urban “Average” Needs Schools J.T. Finley - Huntington UFSD A. Leonard - CSD of New Rochelle Rural “Average” Needs Schools Holland - Holland CSD Vernon-Verona-Sherrill - Sherrill CSD Suburban Queensbury - Queensbury UFSD For a case study of each school: The Schools

8 5 Key Elements

9 Higher- Performing Middle Schools 1. Trusting and respectful relationships 2.Emotional/Social well-being 3.Collaboration 4.Evidence-based decision making 5.Shared vision of mission and goals

10 JFTK-NY cf. NMSA This We Believe JFTK-NY Relationships Emotional Well-Being Collaboration Evidence-Based Decision Making Shared Vision NMSA This We Believe Culture Matters: Collaboration Shared vision Safe environment High expectations for all Adult advocate for every student

11 JFTK-NY cf. Breaking Ranks JFTK-NY Relationships Emotional Well-Being Collaboration Evidence-Based Decision Making Shared Vision Breaking Ranks in the Middle Relationships & Connections Collaborative leadership, professional learning communities Personalized environment Making learning personal

12 Higher- Performing Middle Schools 1. Trusting and respectful relationships 2.Emotional/Social well-being 3.Collaboration 4.Evidence-based decision making 5.Shared vision of mission and goals

13 Relationships Lay the Foundation Trust and respect make possible… security and well-being for students and faculty; constant collaboration; honest evaluation of results and willingness to make adjustments; development and enactment of a shared vision Findings

14 Respect Respect for and from all Clear expectations of students Shared responsibility I feel totally comfortable to talk about concerns with the principal. When the principal comes into my classroom – we have strong support and trust. We can’t do it alone.... Parents are involved here.

15 Trust The single most important thing... is to build trust with your faculty. Deliberate “Family” Provides safety to disagree, to share challenges, even failures

16 Trust Working on safety and security Less sense of shared ownership for performance “I” > “we” Able to focus on instruction, not discipline Clear sense of shared responsibility for performance “We” > “I” Community building deliberate Free from fear of blame; can openly admit failures or weaknesses APHP

17 Relationships: A Case in Point K. Nickson, 2007, Queensbury MS: Best Practices Case Study 2006 Grade 8 ELA

18 Case in Point: Queensbury MS Relationships Total Enrollment: 945, gr QMS statewide Eligible for Free Lunch8%37% Eligible for Reduced Lunch5%8% Limited English Proficient0NA Student Ethnic/Racial Distribution African-American2%20% Hispanic/Latino2%20% White95%53% Other1%7% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 ELA72%49% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 Math88%54%

19 Not playing politics as usual Relationships I’m not a politician. Queensbury Superintendent

20 Focus on student learning and performance Relationships We’re never done; we have to go up the next step of the ladder. Queensbury Superintendent

21 Enact a culture of self-improvement Relationships We can say, ‘What’s a better way to do this?’ and not be penalized. Taking risks is okay. It is okay to talk about weaknesses, to put them out there, to make self-improvements. Queensbury Teacher

22 Be approachable and trustworthy Relationships I believe that the principal’s leadership has been a driving force in why that school is doing so well. Queensbury Assistant Superintendent

23 Relationships: What does your school look like? AB We have not made fostering trusting and respectful relationships between educators and between the school and community an explicit priority and so we do not consistently support this. We clearly define expectations regarding respect for others as well as consequences for behavior that is disrespectful; these expectations are consistently supported by all personnel across the school Respect and responsibility are part of our character education programs, but I’m not sure that we have connected them with day-to-day practice in classrooms, hallways, and faculty rooms. A top priority for all personnel is modeling respect and responsibility in our interactions with our students, each other, families, and other community members The processes and practices we have put in place to purposefully foster collaboration and community are “spotty” and tend to be peripheral in the activities at the school rather than spotlighted and ongoing. We have multiple processes and practices that purposefully foster collaboration and community, and we draw students into our community as active participants in tackling what is important. We tap into a variety of resources from outside the school. Average your total circled #s and place that number in the next column Total: Average (Total divided by 3):

24 Higher- Performing Middle Schools 1. Trusting and respectful relationships 2.Emotional/Social well-being 3.Collaboration 4.Evidence-based decision making 5.Shared vision of mission and goals

25 Emotional & Social Well-Being Its lack interferes with learning Connect with every student: teaming, looping, “guide rooms,” activities, social services; special attention for those at risk Transitions: ES – MS; MS – HS Safety, security, diversity We use social emotional learning to focus on what’s common among us and not on what is different.

26 Emotional/Social Less consistent communication and “enforcement” of expectations Less consistently part of shared vision Respond to problems Fewer ways to draw students into community Clear expectations – for respect, responsibility, how to work -- consistently articulated and upheld Part of shared vision Prevent problems Ensure a connection for every student and provide multiple ways to draw students into community APHP

27 Case in Point: Vernon-Verona-Sherrill MS Emotional/Social Total Enrollment: 387, gr V-V-S statewide Eligible for Free Lunch25%37% Eligible for Reduced Lunch10%8% Limited English Proficient0NA Student Ethnic/Racial Distribution African-American1%20% Hispanic/Latino020% White97%53% Other2%7% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 ELA58%49% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 Math79%54%

28 Emotional/Social Well-Being: A Case in Point Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (V-V-S) Middle School Staff Learning is social before it’s cognitive. V-V-S Superintendent, Principal, Teachers

29 From One of the nice things about this place is that it focuses strongly on the fact that kids have an outside life, which they cannot leave behind when they come to school. V-V-S social worker J. Marino, 2007, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill MS: Best Practices Case Study

30 Develop a culture, because learning is social before it’s cognitive. Develop that culture within your staff; develop a family atmosphere. Families fight, argue, battle, but they take care of family business inside – support each other. Make sure you hire people that fit your culture. It’s imperative. V-V-S MS Principal Be a person first, principal second. Sign on the Principal’s bulletin board “Family”

31 Emotional/Social: What does your school look like? AB If you talked with different people, you’d hear different visions of success; not all would include emotional/social well-being but would likely focus on external markers like test scores. Most people in our school see a direct connection between emotional/social well-being and higher academic performance. They include nurturing students’ emotional and social well-being in how they define success Before and after school activities and services are seen as primarily for students in need of academic intervention We provide a variety of academic supports and special activities for all students in before and after school programs We remediate problems once they present themselves.We have systems in place (special education, counseling, and Academic Intervention Services) to anticipate and prevent behavioral and academic problems. Average your total circled #s and place that number in the next column Total: Average (Total divided by 3):

32 Higher- Performing Middle Schools 1. Trusting and respectful relationships 2.Emotional/Social well-being 3.Collaboration 4.Evidence-based decision making 5.Shared vision of mission and goals

33 Collaborative Conversations Purpose: student learning & achievement - collectively, individually Consistent, expected, frequent Scheduled and unscheduled Teams, committees - within and across grades and subjects - within, across, outside of school We communicate from one grade to the next. We respect teachers in the grades below. V-V-S Teacher

34 Collaboration Catch as catch can Expectation not articulated or clear Intermittent discussions Less decision making Each teacher responsible for own subject area Teachers left to own devices Teachers handed a curriculum New teachers “wait their turn” Scheduled time Expected Ongoing discussion of C,I, A, and student performance Decision-making ability Teachers reinforce skills across subjects Coaching, PD, support provided Teachers build living curriculum New teachers expected to play active role APHP

35 Case in Point: Port Chester Middle School Eligible for Free Lunch43%37% Eligible for Reduced Lunch9%8% Limited English Proficient14%NA Student Ethnic/Racial Distribution African-American11%20% Hispanic/Latino68%20% White21%53% Other1%7% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 ELA66%49% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 Math73%54% 6% 2% 4% 1% 12% 78% 8% 75% 79% Collaboration Total Enrollment: 790, gr PC MS state) 2007 cf. ‘06 46% 11% 12% 9% 71% 19% 1% 72% 86%

36 Collaboration: A Case in Point Port Chester Middle School Classroom Every teacher is a teacher of literacy. Port Chester Principal

37 Grade 8 ELA results, 2006 You need to work as a team; there’s nothing a teacher can accomplish alone. Teacher We are all ELA teachers. Teachers J. Marino, 2007, Port Chester MS: Best Practices Case Study

38 Blue 7H123L567 MathTP77+7 High7AIS 7 bl SSTP7+ 77Prep ELATP7+777Prep ScienceTP777+ Prep PlusTPRR7 redMath 7+PrepMSSRdg 7 PlusTP7+PrepMSSRR6 orAIS Rdg PlusTP7+SS 7+Sci 7+ Duty SCPrepRdg 6-8ELA 6-8SS 6-8SciSSR 7 blue Sample Team Schedule, Port Chester MS

39 Rebuilding the Wheel You have to have staff involved in decision making. We have 8 or 9 new teachers coming in next year. We need to go back and rebuild the wheel to keep the wave going.... We need to constantly overhaul and do tune-ups. Port Chester MS Assistant Principal

40 Collaboration: What does your school look like? AB We don’t have time to collaborate more than infrequently. Although it is hard to find the time, we manage to schedule common team and department meeting times so that collaboration can occur Teachers collaborate infrequently (less than once a week), and the topic of discussion may not be student progress. We have put in place formal and informal structures to encourage collaboration across grades and disciplines; collaboration focuses on essential matters of curriculum, instruction, and individual and collective student progress Teachers speak of the need for stronger reading and writing skills, but many do not know how to help students in those areas. Development of literacy skills takes place primarily in special education or AIS. Given the structures and expectations for working together, teachers integrate reading, writing, and literacy instruction across the curriculum We give new teachers time to acclimate before we expect them to play leadership roles. We mentor newer educators both formally and informally and expect them to do committee work and take on leadership roles from the beginning. Average your total circled #s and place that number in the next column Total: Average (Total divided by 4):

41 Higher- Performing Middle Schools 1. Trusting and respectful relationships 2.Emotional/Social well-being 3.Collaboration 4.Evidence-based decision making 5.Shared vision of mission and goals

42 Evidence-Based Decision Making Multiple sources - student performance data - teachers’, administrators’ anecdotal accounts - students, parents, and community input We invite students back after a semester or two at college and ask what was most helpful... [and not] so helpful. V-V-S Superintendent

43 Evidence-Based Decision Making Focus beyond the state assessments: standards and success in high school Data collected, analyzed, and acted upon consistently

44 Evidence Intermittent use Focus on state assessment data Benchmarks, if used, only 1ce or 2ce/year, only in ELA Diagnostic tests given only to students in need of services Less frequent sharing of data and less nuanced analysis of data Central to day-to-day activity State assessment data part of a larger data portfolio Frequent use of benchmarks in all core subjects Diagnostic tests in ELA and math for all to target resources where needed Use expertise and technology to identify patterns of performance AP HP

45 Evidence-Based Decision Making: A Case in Point West Middle School

46 Case in Point: West Middle School Evidence-Based Total Enrollment: 790, gr West statewide Eligible for Free Lunch48%37% Eligible for Reduced Lunch9%8% Limited English Proficient0NA Student Ethnic/Racial Distribution African-American19%20% Hispanic/Latino5%20% White72%53% Other3%7% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 ELA58%49% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 Math54%

47 Supporting high expectations I talked with key movers and shakers in the building. I asked what we should do, and from there we put it to a vote. Of the 80 or so people who voted on [the middle years and IB initiative], about 70 wanted it. - West Principal Evidence-Based

48 Identifying the gaps… The priority is to increase the performance of every student and subgroup. … It’s not about the standard. It’s about higher expectations for all. ” - West Assistant Superintendent Evidence-Based

49 Frequent use of a variety of assessments Evidence-Based We have frequent data huddles. West Principal L. Baker, Best Practices Case Study: West Middle School 2006 Grade 8 ELA

50 Evidence: What does your school look like? AB We administer benchmarks once or twice a year, usually in ELA; otherwise we tend to rely on individual teacher developed assessments. We administer frequent benchmark tests in all core subject areas; these are coordinated with other middle school(s) in the district We rely on administrators and our data warehouse to analyze assessment data; we share those results with teachers annually. Both teachers and administrators collect, analyze, and use data to inform practice; this is central to our practice. We also provide data in usable formats to students and parents Formal observations and student test scores are the primary source of evidence to evaluate teachers’ performance. A variety of student performance data, observations, examples of teachers’ work, and self-reflections constitute the portfolio of data we use to evaluate teachers. Average your total circled #s and place that number in the next column Total: Average (Total divided by 3):

51 Higher- Performing Middle Schools 1. Trusting and respectful relationships 2.Emotional/Social well-being 3.Collaboration 4.Evidence-based decision making 5.Shared vision of mission and goals

52 Shared Vision Central: Raising learning and achievement for all students Built by all Clearly articulated Echoed from central office to classroom Never done You never arrive, you are always becoming. Niagara Falls Deputy Superintendent I believe that if it’s not broke – then break it and fix it – complacency bothers me. Queensbury MS Principal

53 Vision Less agreement on vision – may be “handed down” Rewards more general More students served in pull-out programs Co-developed and widely shared Rewards tied to vision More students included in mainstream classes APHP

54 Shared Vision: A Case in Point Westbury Middle School If a student wants to be at school, that is a form of success. WMS teacher

55 Case in Point: Westbury Middle School Total Enrollment: 849, gr WMS statewide Eligible for Free Lunch62%37% Eligible for Reduced Lunch12%8% Limited English Proficient14%NA Student Ethnic/Racial Distribution African-American46%20% Hispanic/Latino51%20% White1%53% Other2%7% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 ELA58%49% Meeting/Exceeding Standards, Gr. 8 Math52%54%

56 2006 Grade 8 ELA High student achievement is our number 1 goal. It’s ongoing every year. Westbury MS Principal Supporting students' academic, social and moral growth westburyschools.org

57 Sharing and Enacting the Vision Relationships – with parents, students, teachers; it’s a partnership. I pride myself in forming relationships. Westbury MS principal Individual departments (ELA, math, ELL) offer extensive workshops for parents. Westbury superintendent K. Nickson, Best Practices Case Study: Westbury Middle School The board is student centered. Westbury superintendent

58 Supporting the Vision Regular goal-setting, review, and reporting – in support of strategic plan Team expectations: student contracts and rewards Introducing accelerated math MARS (Maximum Achievement Results and Success) for at-risk students Be careful what you wish for

59 Vision: What does your school look like? AB We recognize teachers and students for good performance, but we do not specifically tie awards to our mission and goals. We tie recognition and rewards for teachers and students directly to our mission and goals; for example, students might win a poster contest about good citizenship or receive an award for completing 100% of their homework over a five-week period Under pressure from the state, we are declassifying more of our students, but many of our teachers are unfamiliar or resistant to differentiating instruction and co-teaching. We include as many classified students as possible in a classroom with differentiated instruction and/or supportive services; special and regular educators often co-teach, and special educators know curriculum (by content and day) to be able to support students also served in a resource room Teachers generally work independently of each other; we occasionally experience tensions between parents, other community members, and school faculty, which get in the way of our vision of serving every student well. Our vision is centered on creating a successful learning environment for every student; the sense that “we” all share responsibility for achieving the mission is prevalent. Average your total circled #s and place that number in the next column Total: Average (Total divided by 3):

60 Interpreting the Results “Do It SMART:” Five Steps to Improvement Step 1: Determine your priorities Step 2: Orient in that report section + relevant case(s) Step 3: Identify “lessons learned” for your context Step 4: Take inventory of those lessons for your context Step 5: SMART Goal setting from there

61 Step 1: Determine Priorities AveragePriorityCase in Point RelationshipsQueensbury Emotional and Social Well-Being Vernon-Verona- Sherrill CollaborationPort Chester Evidence-Based Decision Making West Shared VisionWestbury

62 Case studies of the HP middle, high, elementary schools Cross-site reports for each level 4-page summaries for each level Best Practice Frameworks, with detail and samples of evidence On-line surveys

63

64 Forthcoming: August 2009 Teachers College Press Wilcox & Angelis “Best Practices in Middle Schools”


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