This summer I had the pleasure of working alongside my Education Elements colleagues to reflect on the incredible work our partner districts have accomplished in the past year. We had the opportunity to interview four districts, survey over 100 district leaders, and analyze thousands of data points. We also got to reflect on our own practices to see how we can improve.
We were inspired by the results of this process – particularly in the progress we’re seeing schools and districts make. Our partner districts report that their teachers are innovating more often, collaborating more effectively, and providing opportunities for students to shape their learning journeys more often.
Districts are also seeing changes in the way they work – team meetings and collaboration are more effective. We’re proud that 100% of the districts we work with consider Education Elements a trusted partner, and that they trust our work has had a positive impact on teaching, learning, and leadership at their organization.
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This year’s report, Building Responsive Systems to Transform Education, shares eight stories of how we are supporting districts to use and apply responsive practices and tools – across classrooms, leaders, teams, and organizations – to better meet student needs. Here are 5 highlights from the report:
Students are at the heart of everything we do, and our partner districts are making student-centered classrooms a priority. This past year, Wake County designed new schools focused on enhancing the student experience, and Memphis Street Academy used our Personalized Learning Toolkit to shape their classrooms and guide their school management practices.
Strong leaders at all levels need support, and implementations are stronger when people on the ground get the support they need. In a survey of our partner districts, we found that more than half of them identified Leadership Development as a top priority for the 2019-2020 school year. Our partner districts are sustaining change they’re making by building up their leaders. Yuma School District One (AZ) created a common language around their school leader core competencies to increase innovative practices and Dallas Independent School District (TX) developed trusting and powerful partnerships across all their campus coaches.
The work of teachers, coaches, and leaders is crucial to the success of a district, and our partner districts are finding new ways to work together. Equipped with tenets from The NEW School Rules, districts like Lakota Local School District (OH) and Allegheny Intermediate Unit (PA) find their meetings are more efficient, and their behaviors are more deliberate and tactical.
The design of an organization has a tremendous impact on its ability to achieve its goals. Our partner districts are planning for the future by meaningfully engaging their communities and iterating on a regular cycle. South Brunswick School District (NJ) implemented a comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan to involve their community early and often. And in Lewiston-Porter Central School District (NY), they are “checking their pulse” for progress on their current plans, and redefining their success metrics.
The tools districts use and how they are implemented impact their ability to achieve their goals. We’ve seen partner districts use our Responsive Org Playbook, The NEW School Rules book, the Personalized Learning Toolkit, and our personalized learning benchmark, Onpoint, to implement initiatives effectively and improve teamwork.
You can learn much more in the report about the journey each district took to get where they are now. I feel incredibly grateful and inspired to work with such remarkable district partners. I hope you’ll take a moment to download the report and read more about the ways our partner districts are building responsive systems to transform education. If this past year is any indication of what the future holds, I am so excited to see the progress our partner districts continue to make in the coming year.
Download your copy today!
About Andreea Mitran
As Impact Manager at Education Elements, Andreea works with districts across the country to use data to guide their implementation of personalized learning. She leads the Education Elements impact and survey work, providing crucial insights into initiatives and outcomes.