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New Leaders Urban Excellence Framework


| Table of Contents

Introduction

4

Aligned Staff

34

Lever 1: Recruitment, selection and placement of staff����������������������� 36

Learning and Teaching

10

Lever 1: Curriculum aligned to both state

and college-readiness standards���������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Lever 2: Consistent and quality classroom practices,

routines and instructional strategies��������������������������������������������������������� 16 Lever 3: Utilization of diverse student-level

data to drive instructional improvement�������������������������������������������������� 18 Lever 4: Pyramid of academic

preventions and interventions��������������������������������������������������������������������� 21

Culture

22

Lever 1: Clear school mission and values are

focused on college success for every student���������������������������������������� 24 Lever 2: Adults translate the mission and values into

behavioral expectations that include a code of conduct��������������������� 25 Lever 3: Adults create a culture of achievement and high expectations where all students are valued��������������������������� 28 Lever 4: Families are purposefully engaged in the academic and social success of students����������������������������������������� 32

Lever 2: Development of high-performing instructional Leadership Team�������������������������������������������������������������������� 39 Lever 3: Consistent feedback and professional learning to drive instructional improvement������������������������������������������� 42 Lever 4: Monitoring and management of staff performance������������� 45

Operations and Systems

50

Lever 1: Tracking of clear and focused school goals

and strategy adjustment based on progress������������������������������������������� 52 Lever 2: Time use aligned with school-wide goals�������������������������������� 52 Lever 3: Budget, external partnerships and facilities aligned to strategic plan��������������������������������������������������������������� 54 Lever 4: Political context and school system relationships managed to ensure a focus on learning���������������������������������������������������� 57

Personal Leadership

62

Lever explanation�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������62 Concept map�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������64 Lever 1: Belief-based, goal-driven leadership������������������������������������������ 66 Lever 2: Culturally competent leadership������������������������������������������������ 66 Lever 3: Interpersonal leadership��������������������������������������������������������������� 67 Lever 4: Adaptive leadership����������������������������������������������������������������������� 67 Lever 5: Resilient leadership������������������������������������������������������������������������67

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Glossary

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Index

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| Introduction

| UEF Structure and Key Insights

Why we developed the UEF

Categories

A principal’s job, first and foremost, is to diagnose their school’s needs and match them to effective principal actions and school practices that drive student success. Successful principals use their diagnosis to build an action plan that pushes their school—and student achievement—to the next level.

The Urban Excellence Framework focuses on five categories of school practices. Among them, there are two primary drivers of student achievement: rigorous, goal and data-driven learning and teaching and achievement and belief-based school-wide culture. Two additional categories of a principal’s work are essential to supporting these drivers: building and managing a high-quality aligned staff to the school’s vision and instituting operations and systems to put the vision into place. Undergirding all of these categories is the personal leadership modeled by a principal who sets the tone for all student and adult relationships and practices in the school.

Category Relationships

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Student Achievement Goals

Learning & Teaching

Culture

Aligned staff

Operations and Systems

directed by principal

Our findings to date are based on an extensive review of the available research on the practices of effective schools, turnaround schools, secondary schools, and leadership; over 100 visits and case studies of schools that were identified after achieving dramatic gains; a review of all resources available through New Leaders’ Effective Practice Incentive Community; and the collective knowledge of many New Leaders staff, principals, and leaders in the education reform field.

Each category is divided into a set of Key Levers, each representing a collection of practices evident in our highest gaining schools.

GOAL

Research and methodology

Key Levers

primary drivers

New Leaders developed the Urban Excellence Framework to understand exactly what schools achieving dramatic gains are doing and to share that knowledge throughout our community of leaders. Armed with this knowledge and aligned system supports, we have every confidence that schools led by New Leader Principals will see the transformative success necessary to drive significant gains in student achievement and close the achievement gap.

Supporting categories

PERSONAL LEADERSHIP sets the tone for the school

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| UEF Structure and Key Insights

Concepts

Structure Category

Each Key Lever is then divided into a set of Concepts to guide the reader. Each page of the field guide contains one concept described over three states of school development.

Stages Lever

Lever

Concept

Lever

Concept

Stage 1 Actions Practices

Stage 2 Actions Practices

The Urban Excellence Framework is rooted in strong evidence the schools pass through stages of development as they make gains in student achievement. In each stage of development, principals take a set of highimpact actions that drive the implementation of effective school practices. Students make dramatic learning gains not just when the school enters Stage 3, but each time the majority of a school’s practices move into the next stage.

| How to use The UEF is not an exhaustive list of all the things a principal must do or a one-time evaluation rubric; rather, the UEF is a living document designed to be revisited over time as a part of the diagnostic/action planning cycle. Once a principal has diagnosed her school’s practices at the key lever level, she can begin to build an effective action plan to move the school forward. The principal might find that most of her school’s key levers fall into Stage 1, but that there are still a few in Stage 0. She might choose to focus heavily on those before initiating a general push to move all key levers toward Stage 2. When conducting a diagnosis, we have found that it is not useful to say “this school is in Stage 2.” A good diagnosis of school practices within each key lever would likely reveal inconsistencies within categories. One might find, for example, a school in Stage 2 in terms of how staff use data but in Stage 1 with regards to academic interventions. It is therefore crucial to understand stages both generally across the UEF and very specifically at the level of each key lever. Whatever the outcomes of a diagnosis, evaluating a school’s practices within each key lever as Stage 0, 1, 2, or 3 should NOT be understood as an evaluation of the school leader. Many New Leader Principals enter schools where every key lever will be diagnosed as Stage 0 or 1; it takes a very skilled and effective principal to progress to Stage 1 or 2. New Leaders thinks of great principals as not only those who lead Stage 3 schools, but those who, at any starting point, can identify the highest impact areas for change and make dramatic student learning gains as they push to the next stage.

Stage 3 Actions Practices

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| How to use: document map

Category The learnings in the UEF are divided into five major categories that are central to school improvement

Lever

Concept description

A subset of key levers that leaders push to guide improvement

Each page of the field guide contains one concept described over three stages of development

Stages The UEF describes how a principal’s actions and a school’s practices evolve and build across three stages of development

Principal Actions Actions the principal takes that drive the consistent implementation of effective school practices

School Practices Observable practices and structures that are in place in the school

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Learning and teaching category map

LEVER 1

LEVER 2

LEVER 3

LEVER 4

Curriculum aligned to both state and collegereadiness standards

Consistent and quality classroom practices, routines, and instructional strategies

Utilization of diverse student-level data to drive instructional improvement

Pyramid of academic preventions and interventions

What students need to know and be able to do

How students are taught and the classroom environment

How student progress is measured and used to guide and improve instruction

CONCEPTS

CONCEPTS

CONCEPTS

Supports for students below grade level and preventions for students at risk

CONCEPTS

➜➜ Alignment to Standards: Standards to identify and define what students need to know and be able to do ➜➜ Scope and Sequence: A curriculum map built on standards with a clear scope and sequence

➜➜ Routines and SchoolWide Practices

➜➜ Data Collection and Analysis

➜➜ I nstructional Strategies: How best to deliver content

➜➜ Formative/Interim Assessments

➜➜ Interventions and Preventions

➜➜ Grading

➜➜ Lesson Plans: A translation of the curriculum map into daily, weekly, and monthly activities driven by practices and strategies ➜➜ Curricular Materials: Materials are matched to both the standards and learning needs

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Curriculum aligned to both state and college-readiness standards

Concept 1:

L E V ELEVER R 1 1 Learning and Teaching

1

• Research and gather district, state and Common Core Standards to ensure alignment of curricular work with a focus on reading, mathematics and other tested areas

Concept 2: School Practices

• Analyze curriculum and standards for vertical alignment and progression through the grades of all curricular subject areas, Stage including science and social studies • Lead teachers in planning for curriculum alignment to the Common Core Standards

• Ensure curriculum maps in all tested subjects clearly identify which standards are taught when Stage

1

• Teach teams what rigorous student work looks like in every course and in every grade

• Ensure college readiness curriculum is in place aligned to the Common Core Standards

Principal Actions

• The reading and mathematics curriculum are aligned to grade level expectations as defined by the state assessment or Common Core Standards

• Articulate a definition of rigor aligned to college readiness

Principal Actions

2

Curriculum aligned to both state and college-readiness standards

Alignment to Standards

Principal Actions

Stage

LEVER 1:

• Identify and address gaps between written, taught, and tested curriculum • Ensure clear grade level expectations for reading and mathematics scope and sequence

Scope and Sequence

School Practices • Every teacher has a curricular map that shows them what students need to know and be able to do at their grade level throughout the school year

V E R 11 Learning and Teaching L ELEVER

LEVER 1:

• Grade level teams and subject alike teams have agreement on the curriculum map

• Stop offering courses not aligned to college-going standards (e.g. no students are taking only “consumer math” or other watered down coursework)

School Practices

Principal Actions • Implement common expectations of rigor and ensure that all staff understand how it applies to specific subject areas

• Teachers build vertical alignment of the curriculum by meeting with colleagues from the grade level above and the grade level below • Curriculum encompasses state standards and is aligned with college and career-ready expectations and teachers regularly extend the rigor and depth of the content

Stage

2

School Practices • Curriculum mapping extends to a content rich curriculum that does not focus on teaching to a text book • Curriculum includes specific skill sets necessary for the next grade and school level • Courses are specifically aligned include a clear trajectory to the PSAT/SAT/ACT

• Consciously increase the number of advanced placement and honors level courses for the goal of having every student participate in an advanced placement or honors class

Principal Actions

Stage

3

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• Lead annual process where staff review, refine, and internalize standards for what all students should know by the end of each grade level and across grades for college readiness • Ensure curriculum requires students to routinely address and wrestle with complex integrated problems

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School Practices

Principal Actions • Engage all staff in curriculum planning, implementation, evaluation, and adaptation through structured collaboration

• The curriculum goes beyond state standards and tested areas to require higher levels of learning that will lead to college and career success • Students are comfortable with the process of inquiry, discovery, and self questioning to solve complex problems

Stage

3

School Practices • Curriculum materials and maps are revised annually based on student achievement results

• Build capacity of teachers to analyze and align standards, curricula, instructional strategies, and assessment tools • Ensure curriculum teaches students how to use the process of inquiry to solve complex problems

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Curriculum aligned to both state and college-readiness standards

CONCEPT 3:

L E V ELEVER R 1 1 Learning and Teaching

• Create standard lesson planning templates

1

• Review lesson plans on a weekly basis for consistency with school-wide practices—focus on the tested areas • Articulate clear expectations for common planning time; model effective planning that has an unwavering focus on student learning

Principal Actions • Lead staff in creating more in-depth lesson planning processes that consistently includes differentiation, re-teaching and assessment Stage

2

• Develop capacity of the Leadership Team to review lessons and monitor implementation • Develop teacher teams capacity to review and assess lessons • Collect, review and archive lesson plans for future years

Principal Actions • Allow for more individualized structures that teachers might use to create lesson plans

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Concept 4: School Practices

Principal Actions • Review the curriculum materials to ensure that they are a good match to the curriculum and lesson plans

• Lesson plans for the year, unit, week, and day are written and reviewed on a regular basis • All lesson plans include clear objectives, opening activities, multiple paths of instruction to a clearly defined curricular goal, and formative assessments • Staff curricular planning demonstrates a shared understanding of standards that translate to rigorous expectations of student work

Stage

1

School Practices

• All lesson plans include formative assessments of student learning • Teacher teams have deep and frequent conversations about formative student data and strategies to adjust instruction for every student

• Make certain the curriculum materials match to the curriculum plan in all subject areas and that materials are culturally relevant to the students Stage

2

• Ensure all curriculum materials include rigorous content and require students to apply knowledge

• Systems are in place to ensure that lesson and unit plans are aligned to the scope and sequence Stage

Urban Excellence Framework

School Practices • All materials are examined for clarity of purpose and relevance to students

School Practices • Grade and content level teams review standards, curriculum maps and curriculum materials to refine the scope and sequence so that the written, taught and tested curriculum align • Curriculum specialists support the development of weak content areas • Curriculum material analysis assesses whether students’ prior ideas are taken into account, and the relevance of content and any methods to include the prior knowledge of students

Principal Actions

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• Ensure staff have access to curriculum materials that differentiate based on student needs

• Teacher teams share lesson plans and review plans from previous years to ensure that work becomes part of the institutional memory

School Practices

Curricular Materials

• Create and institute a criteria for making judgments about the instructional design of curriculum materials

Principal Actions

• Systems are in place to ensure that lesson and unit plans are written and reviewed on a set schedule

• Differentiation is incorporated into every lesson

Stage

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Curriculum aligned to both state and college-readiness standards

Lesson Plans

Principal Actions

Stage

LEVER 1:

V E R 11 Learning and Teaching L ELEVER

LEVER 1:

• Ensure that staff are actively looking for connections between content areas

School Practices • All curriculum materials includes rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills in alignment with the Common Core Standards • Students know the ideas specified in the standards and draw upon them in a variety of contexts

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Concept 1:

L E V ELEVER R 1 2 Learning and Teaching

• Identify and implement three to five critical school-wide routines and practices that impact student learning

1

Consistent and quality classroom practices, routines, and instructional strategies

Routines and School-Wide Practices

Principal Actions

Stage

LEVER 2:

• Ensure that every staff member has the skills to implement the non-negotiables with fidelity • Monitor the implementation of the three to five non-negotiable routines and practices

Concept 2: School Practices

• Routines and learning environment in core content areas are consistent across classrooms and matched to meeting grade-level. Examples include: • Learning outcomes shared with students • Transition time used effectively to maximize learning • Pre-instructing the content area vocabulary of the lesson

Principal Actions • Assess instructional strategies currently being implemented for consistency across grades and classrooms with a focus on ELA and math Stage

1

• Three to five non-negotiable practices are visible

• Identify three to five instructional strategies matched to the student needs that the staff feel, if consistently applied, would improve student engagement • Implement school-wide professional development that inspires commitment to the implementation of the three to five instructional strategies

Instructional Strategies

School Practices • Teachers are taught how to use the identified instructional strategies

V E R 21 Learning and Teaching L ELEVER

LEVER 2: Consistent and quality classroom practices, routines, and instructional strategies

• All staff participate in schoolwide professional development on instructional strategies • All staff are observed, at least briefly, on a weekly basis, with a focus on the implementation of identified instructional strategies

• Monitor the implementation of the instructional strategies

Principal Actions • Review and revise school-wide routines, practices, and strategies based on student learning data Stage

• Involve students in leading and facilitating school-wide practices

2

School Practices • Routines and learning environment are consistent across classrooms and matched to meeting gradelevel expectations in all content areas. Examples include: • Maximizing quality of instructional time through consistent and efficient structures for class opening, homework collection, within-class transitions, and formative assessments • Students have frequent opportunities to lead through peer-teaching

Principal Actions • Implement follow-up and support structures for instructional strategies and routines Stage

2

• Create structures for differentiation where instructional strategies are varied to meet all students needs and to ensure that all students master content • Match instructional strategies to content and to approach

School Practices • Teachers are taught how to use a variety of instructional strategies to differentiate content based on student learning needs • Classroom instruction demonstrates connection to students’ lives and high-quality experiences of rigorous dialogue and critical thinking skills

• New staff and students are introduced to the practices and routines

Principal Actions • Build teacher capacity to implement a variety of practices and strategies to meet and engage all students

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Principal Actions

• All teachers implement the school-wide classroom practices, routines, and teaching strategies consistently and with quality • Students routinely lead and facilitate school-wide practices

Stage

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School Practices

• Systematically and regularly review the effectiveness of instructional strategies

Stage

3

• Model and provide feedback to teachers about the instructional strategies on a consistent basis

School Practices • Staff have a broad repertoire of instructional strategies that are referenced in lesson plans • Classroom instruction demonstrates high quality experiences of rigorous dialogue and critical thinking skills

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LEVER 3: Utilization of diverse student-level data

Utilization of diverse student-level data to drive instructional improvement

LEVER 3:

Data Collection and Analysis

Learning and Teaching

LEVER 3

Principal Actions

Stage

1

Concept 2: School Practices

• Determine the most important student learning data points that will drive decisions and make every decision based on that data

• Student data is public and always used as the basis for decisions around instruction and adult professional learning

• Hold regular one-on-one meetings with teachers or teacher teams to review data for their students and to set next steps for re-teaching—explicitly link conversations about assessment to conversations about how to change instructional practice

• Data is always on the table when decisions are being made

• Build initial systems to track attendance, grades, and credit earning for secondary students, especially 9th graders, to identify early “off track” warning signs

• Staff have data on the achievement gap in their school and utilize that data to intentionally prioritize closing it

Principal Actions • Implement on-going common interim assessment cycle

Stage

1

• Analyze interim assessments for alignment to state standards and written curriculum. If interim assessment is not available, pick or develop an assessment that is aligned with state standards and written curriculum

• Hold teachers accountable for knowing and displaying student learning data during classroom observations and teacher debriefs Stage

2

• Support and develop staff ability to analyze data, to identify and prioritize needs, guide grouping, and re-teaching for continuous improvement • Create action plans for whole-school professional development with and for teachers to address any learning gaps that exist across classrooms

Principal Actions • Make every instructional and student support decision based on student data (including formative assessments) Stage

3

• Train Leadership Team to use detailed student data when providing support and feedback to teachers • Empower teachers to collectively design re-teaching strategies based on data

School Practices • Teachers track the learning of every student on multiple measures and makes this data visible and available • Continuous data review process is in place (including aligning assessments, analyzing interim and formative assessments and taking action based on results through re-teaching and other strategies) to ensure students learn taught material

Stage

2

• Leadership Team reviews disaggregated data to track and monitor the progress of all students

School Practices

• Interim assessments are given 3 to 4 times per year to determine if students learned what was taught • Teachers review assessments at the beginning of each interim assessment cycle and forecast student performance • Time to re-teach content is built into the scope and sequence

• Interim assessments are written to be above state standards and aligned to developed college readiness standards

• Build teacher capacity to use interim assessment analyses to inform and guide re-teaching and to support instructional decisions

• Instructional decisions throughout the year, including student grouping/differentiation and interventions, are based on interim and formative (daily/weekly) assessments

• Hold teachers accountable for re-teaching and observe for effective re-teaching

• Teachers routinely use classroom assessments to re-teach or refine instruction in addition to regular interim assessments

• Implement a process for students to keep a notebook of their own goals and progress data

• Implement a comprehensive student assessment process that includes formative and interim assessments

Stage

3

School Practices

• Train staff in the effective development and use of formative (daily/weekly) assessments

Principal Actions

• Teacher teams use detailed student data to inform their strategies and planning • Every teacher differentiates instruction and/or re-teaches key concepts based on formative student achievement data

School Practices

• Ensure quick (48 hour) turnaround of data so that leading data trends and gaps in learning are used to guide decisions

• Performance of secondary students— and especially 9th graders—is tracked closely throughout the school year to ensure that they remain “on track” to graduate in four years

Principal Actions Principal Actions

Formative/Interim Assessments

V E R 31 Learning and Teaching L ELEVER

Concept 1:

to drive instructional improvement

• Students “own” their assessment and learning data (e.g. they clearly understand its purpose and have frequent access to it) and are involved in developing personal plans for improvement

School Practices • Teacher teams have deep and frequent conversations about formative student data and strategies to adjust instruction for every student • Teachers use an established protocol connected to an instructional framework to monitor students progress through frequent checks for understanding • School staff regularly review college acceptance, matriculation, persistence, and graduation data to improve school-wide learning and teaching, culture, and college supports

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Utilization of diverse student-level data to drive instructional improvement

LEVER 3:

Grading

Learning and Teaching

LEVER 3

Principal Actions

Stage

1

2

Concept 1: School Practices

• Create expectations and clear structures for grading and reporting

• Staff and students understand grading policies and the grading criteria

• Clearly articulate how grades should be given out at school

• Staff keep timely grade books

• Define and implement a “standardsbased” grading policy that focuses on students’ attainment and is not used to punish students for missing work or class time.

Principal Actions • Articulate a pyramid of preventions and interventions that include classroom based practices and strategies that all teachers implement Stage

• Review grade books on a weekly basis

Principal Actions

Stage

Pyramid of academic preventions and interventions

1

School Practices

• Allot extra time in the school day for core subjects for all students not yet achieving at grade level (e.g. creating two literacy periods—one to teach at grade level and one to teach developing skills for those not on grade level)

Principal Actions • Continue to develop an explicit pyramid of interventions and preventions

• Grading expectations are consistent and known by all

Stage

• Identify separate and specific consequences for missing time and immediately making up missed work

• Identify the 10% of students who need the highest level of interventions and create plans to support them

2

• Create process for the development of an individual plan for every student in your school that address both preventions and interventions • Provide students who need additional supports with required interventions

Interventions and Preventions School Practices

• Differentiation is an implemented prevention in every classroom

V E R 41 Learning and Teaching L ELEVER

Concept 3:

LEVER 4:

• Rapid interventions target groups of students who have significant learning gaps and/or who lack key foundational skills • IEPs are clearly written and identify multiple strategies that are closely followed • Students receive rapid, data-driven interventions matched to current needs, and intervention assignments and schedules are frequently updated to reflect student needs and progress

School Practices • A student tracking system that uses assessment information, course grades, teacher referrals, and attendance to track each individual student and their intensity/schedule of interventions • Students who are in danger of failing a course receive interventions immediately upon first warning sign; services are provided prior to the failure • All students have individualized learning plans

Principal Actions • Build inter-rater reliability so that grading policies are consistent across classrooms Stage

• Institute technologies that will allow for on-line grade books

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School Practices

Principal Actions

• There is inter-rater reliability across classrooms • Students are graded for what they know and are able to demonstrate • Students and families can continually monitor performance in on-line grade books

Stage

3

• Identify effective and aligned community resources to increase time and talent dedicated to system interventions (e.g. college student tutors, parent support, local businesses provide resources and space)

School Practices • School staff and leaders engage students in the creation and implementation of their intervention • Regular classroom instruction identifies and addresses varied student needs and is focused on prevention and scaffolding to reduce the need for additional interventions

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Culture category map

LEVER 1

LEVER 2

LEVER 3

LEVER 4

Clear school mission and values are focused on college success for every student

Adults translate the mission and values into behavioral expectations that include a code of conduct

Adults create a culture of achievement and high expectations where all students are valued

Families are purposefully engaged in the academic and social success of students

Ways in which adults and students display the vision, mission and values through specific behaviors

Ways in which adults take responsibility for creating positive school cultures by supporting the presence and strength of student voice

The descriptive vision of success that guides the direction of the school and the principles that are used implement the mission

Processes to intentionally include students’ families in the work of the school

CONCEPTS CONCEPTS

➜➜ Vision, Mission and Values: Creation and refinement of a clear and compelling vision, mission, and set of values

CONCEPTS

➜➜ Behaviors: Behaviors derived from the vision, mission, and values are described and taught ➜➜ Code of Conduct: Code of conduct for behavioral expectations ➜➜ Pyramid of Behavioral Interventions 1

Sequencing Note: Principal should establish the Pyramid of Behavioral Interventions after defining the consistent behaviors and implementing the code of conduct. Many students will demonstrate positive behaviors based on the consistent and effective implementation of the code of conduct. The Pyramid of Behavioral Interventions should then be established to support the 10-20% of students who will need additional interventions and supports beyond the consistent code of conduct.

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CONCEPTS

➜➜ Adults Build Student Relationships: Adults build strong relationships with students

➜➜ Family Engagement: Family engagement that supports the college going and life planning for students

➜➜ Cultural Competency and Diversity ➜➜ Student Voice: Structural opportunities for students to effectively use their voices ➜➜ Aspiration/Life Plan: Building aspirations for college, career and life success

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Concept 1:

Vision, Mission and Values

L E V ELEVER R 1 1 CULTURE

Principal Actions

Stage

1

LEVER 2: Adults translate the mission and values into behavioral expectations that include a code of conduct Concept 1:

School Practices

Principal Actions

• Create (or revise) a compelling and aligned vision, mission and set of values focused on college success factors

• Leadership Team and/or small group of leaders shows alignment to and support for school mission, vision and values

• Identify and models behaviors that every staff member and every student will live to enact the vision

• Scaffold the communication of the vision, mission and values in phases that staff can digest

• Vision, mission and values are shared with students and staff

• Within the behavioral expectations articulate the importance of social emotional, effective effort and social responsibility skills and the connections to student success in school, college, and life

• Create on-going structures and times for adults and students to reinforce the values and behaviors

• The values include some variant of: • Every student can and will be ready to succeed in college • Effective effort that leads to success is expected and taught • Adults and students share ownership for student success

Stage

1

• School staff shares a common understanding of vision, mission, and values in practice and can describe the vision and the mission and can explain how they are present in the daily life of the school

Principal Actions

Stage

2

• Establish system to consistently review and revise the vision, mission, and values along with a broad group of stakeholders • Ensure that the values promote successful social-emotional skills that will help students succeed in college

Principal Actions • Benchmark success against other highperforming schools (visits) to evaluate/ refine their mission/vision and values Stage

3

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• Track student performance in college to check that the vision, mission, values, and behaviors are rigorous and leading to student success • Put system in place that will prevent adults and students from falling back to or adopting negative behaviors

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• Support and teach adults how to support and teach effective effort strategies; social emotional skills, and social responsibility skills as part of the behavioral expectations

• The Leadership Team translates the vision and mission of the school into a step-by-step school improvement plan

Principal Actions

• Leadership Team own the communication and modeling of the vision, mission, and values of the school

School Practices

School Practices • Effective effort (teamwork, study skills, organization, time management, resiliency, valuing mistakes, seeking assistance; persistence); social emotional (honesty, interpersonal competence, self-esteem, positive view of the future, taking informed and responsible action, investigating democratic participation in society) and Social Responsibility Skills (service to others) are taught to all students • School has multiple formal structures where school values and expected behaviors are taught and reinforced daily • Student social emotional, effective effort, and social responsibility skills are included and explicitly named in the expectations of behavior • All members of the school community use common, shared language to describe the school values share a common understanding of expected behaviors

School Practices

• Stakeholders are deeply involved in the process of refinements and revisions of the vision, mission and values

Behaviors

• Establish age and developmentally appropriate behavioral expectations

Stage

2

• Staff refer to vision, mission, and values for all major decisions and planning

• Create structures to implement frequent teaching and re-teaching of behaviors • Establish a system to ensure how to behave positively through effective effort skills, social emotional strategies, and social responsibility strategies are explicitly taught and expected • Expose staff continually to grade and age appropriate behaviors and supports

• Students have internalized the school’s vision and mission • Students drive school direction in alignment with school vision/mission

Principal Actions Stage

3

• Build student capacity and experience in teaching the values and behaviors to others and for holding one another accountable for living them

School Practices • Induction and re-teaching systems are in place for new and returning staff, students, families and communities • Adults use teachable moments and find time to reinforce and teach behaviors • Staff consistently model Effective Effort, Social Emotional skills and explicitly narrate their modeling for students • Students demonstrate competency in Social Emotional Competencies (e.g. empathize with others, cooperate, resist negative social pressure, make ethical decisions, exhibit respect) “I can help myself grow in certain areas of SEL”

School Practices • Students have a clear and consistent role in teaching behaviors to new and younger students • Students energize their peers and focus on achievement

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V E R 21 CULTURE L ELEVER

LEVER 1: Clear school mission and values are focused on college success for every student


Concept 2: Code

of Conduct

L E V ELEVER R 1 2 CULTURE

Principal Actions • Build school level code of conduct or discipline system that explicitly outlines consequences (positive or negative) to specific behaviors Stage • Create a clear accountability system

1

so that all infractions are addressed in a consistent manner

• Hold staff responsible for all students, not just behavior or results in their own classrooms • Ensure that adults know how behavioral expectations translate to all parts of the school day including: opening of day, lunch time, class transitions

Principal Actions • Use multiple forms of student data to monitor and revise the code of conduct and identify benchmarks and milestones to gauge and measure adoption of behaviors Stage • Create rituals and plan for time to

2

recognize students and staff for positive implementation of the code of conduct

• Create structures/opportunities for students to serve as role models and teach other students • Develop the schools capacity to respond to students’ needs in developmentally appropriate ways

Principal Actions • Implement structures for peer mediation where students serve as the role models and monitors for each others behaviors Stage

3

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Concept 3: Pyramid School Practices

Urban Excellence Framework

Principal Actions

• Clear code of conduct is published and shared widely

• Create a pyramid of behavioral interventions that mirror the academic intervention pyramid with social and emotional development support

• Rituals and public forums demonstrate what the code of conduct entails • All staff are trained in the behavioral expectations regularly and consistently hold all students to the code of conduct • Structures exist to celebrate students who are demonstrating behaviors that reflect the values

Stage

1

of Behavioral Interventions School Practices

• Data systems exist to track all discipline referrals and interventions

• Design and implement systems to gather positive and negative school culture and behavior data

• Data is used to identify structural issues that need to be addressed (e.g. transitions that consistently cause problems, times of day that are problems for students)

• Establish a basic system of identifying the students who need more interventions/ additional supports

• Teacher team structures exist to identify students with significant behavioral and learning challenges

• Create a student intervention team to support students in crisis

School Practices

Principal Actions

• Students who live the behaviors are given additional freedoms and gradually take more personal responsibility for themselves • Discipline system and behavioral expectation are consistently implemented • Systems are in place to review the number of referrals and analyzed to identify patterns or trends in referral data

Stage

2

School Practices

• Ensure proactive push-in and mental health support are provided to students in need of additional supports

Principal Actions

• Students energize their peers and focus on achievement • Students hold themselves and each other accountable for their words, actions and performance

• Be disciplined about creating a highly effective and efficient pyramid of interventions and additional supports (including wrap around services for the students with the most significant needs)

School Practices • Student intervention teams trains and supports all adults to learn how to support students in crisis • Students in crisis are referred and receive their first intervention within 48 hours • All staff receive professional development on how to implement the social/ emotional and career skills curriculum

• Ensure that all adults are trained to identify and support students in need of additional supports

• Disaggregated referral data is regularly reviewed to ensure that consequences are not different based on race, class or ethnicity

• Students hold one another accountable for living by the expectations for student conduct

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LEVER 2: Adults translate the mission and values into behavioral expectations that include a code of conduct

V E R 21 CULTURE L ELEVER

LEVER 2: Adults translate the mission and values into behavioral expectations that include a code of conduct

Stage

3

School Practices

• Ensure that interventions support academic, social and emotional needs for all students

• Students who are at risk are identified prior to incident and receive additional supports

• Monitor data to ensure that no child is invisible

• Multiple members of the staff have the skills to serve on the student intervention team

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Adults create a culture of achievement and high expectations where all students are valued

Adults create a culture of achievement and high expectations where all students are valued

Concept 1: Adults

Build Student Relationships

L E V ELEVER R 1 3 CULTURE

Principal Actions

Stage

1

• Design a plan for every student to have time for one 1-1 caring adult relationship in the building

• At least one adult-student relationship proactively supports each student’s learning

• Create structures to facilitate that adults have the skills to provide authentic care for students

• Organize student community into cohorts with supporting rituals and routines that build positive cohort identity and foster strong relationships amongst and between students and adults

Principal Actions • Create times and structures for adults across content areas to discuss students’ performance and behavior in multiple settings Stage

3

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School Practices • Regular time for staff and students to meet and build relationships on a daily or weekly basis

• Create teacher team structures that looks at the whole student, not just their results in a particular content area

2

Concept 2: Cultural

• Create time and structures and processes for adults to build strong relationships with students

Principal Actions

Stage

New Leaders

Urban Excellence Framework

Principal Actions • Declare that cultural competence is an important part of the school’s culture

Stage

1

School Practices

• Provide formal and informal professional development to teachers and staff to improve their understanding of how their own world views inform their interpretation of the world • Address and correct moments of cultural incompetence

Principal Actions

• Multiple adults proactively support students’ learning

• Lead conversations with staff about inequities and about honoring diversity

• All staff feel comfortable reinforcing behavioral expectations and supporting students and school spaces, beyond their own classrooms

• Lead teachers through a process to identify students’ strengths and assets Stage

2

School Practices

• Adults frequently discuss and act together to improve the learning and personal development of each individual student

• Build staff capacity to lead and create culture building activities

Stage

Competency and Diversity School Practices

• Staff has a profile for every one of their students that includes their strength and growth areas • Teachers seek to understand how other individuals (adults and students) make sense of the world. • Data is disaggregated to ensure that traditionally under-served and under-performing students are not being treated unfairly

School Practices • School community values and promotes the cultural values of students and parents • The physical environment reflects students’ backgrounds, culture, and interests • Staff take responsibility for knowing each student’s cultural background, assets, and growth areas

Principal Actions

• All students are known well by multiple adults

• Staff lead culture-building activities with students and parents/families

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LEVER 3:

V E R 31 CULTURE L ELEVER

LEVER 3:

School Practices • Pedagogy is culturally and developmentally responsive and relevant • Teachers use culturally competent language and demonstrates knowledge of students’ development

3

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Adults create a culture of achievement and high expectations where all students are valued

Adults create a culture of achievement and high expectations where all students are valued

Concept 3: Student

Voice

L E V ELEVER R 1 3 CULTURE

Principal Actions • Create systems and processes to gather student input and to build opportunities for student voice Stage

Concept 4: Aspiration/Life School Practices

• Shape the environment to make explicit links between student aspirations, effort and achievement (e.g. publicly displayed school symbols and rituals)

• Students use their voice in ways that are appropriate in the school settings to express their feelings and ideas

Stage

1

Principal Actions • Create structures and developmental opportunities for children to show leadership voice (e.g. student council, student peer review board)

2

Principal Actions

• Students have opportunities to contribute ideas for school improvement

1

Stage

LEVER 3:

• Change or develop structures to improve the student experience • Build the capacity for staff to support student leadership

School Practices

Principal Actions • Gather resources, create timelines, and structures for college and career access and experiences for all students

• Students know how to respectively challenge adults and others in a way that allows their voices to be heard • Students are frequently recognized for their contributions to the school community • Students have multiple opportunities to contribute to school practices and decision making about their learning experiences

• Model and create system where staff and students create short and long term goals

Stage

2

• Create conditions where students are able to take risks and analyze the impact of their actions

Stage

3

School Practices

• Create opportunities for students of all ages to manage projects and to make decisions

• Students implement strategies to manage time and projects, to work in teams, and to make responsible decisions

• Institute supports to guide students in experimenting with making decisions including opportunities to learn from mistakes

• Students analyze data to inform and lead change

• Mobilize and galvanize the community to interrupt social inequities

• Students drive school direction in alignment with school vision/mission • Students take a systems approach to address injustices within the school and in the larger community

Principal Actions • Create systems for sharing goals and learning

Stage

3

School Practices • College and career aspirations are a visible part of students every day experience in the school • Clear messages about effort leading to college success are visual and vocalized by all • All students engage in a college going- career development process that includes setting short term and long term learning, and college/career goals

School Practices • Students develop and articulate their life trajectory with a written plan that describes clear year by year short term goals and long term goals that address college and beyond • Students engage in a rich college-going and career access experiences • All students defend and complete a post-secondary plan, dedicated staff are in place to help students understand the college admissions process, researching colleges, applying to college, applying for financial aid and scholarships

• Students identify and challenge injustices within the school and/or in the community (e.g. advocating on behalf of others)

Principal Actions

Plan

V E R 31 CULTURE L ELEVER

LEVER 3:

• Build structures that facilitate cohort and grade relationship amongst students to support student learning • Create opportunities that facilitate exposure and experience to goals or experiences described in their life plan

School Practices • Students hold each other accountable for meeting their short and long term goals and maintaining high aspirations • Students take ownership of their aspirations by developing a plan that includes benchmarking goals, and take action on the plan and course correct in order to meet the goals • Students share aspirations and plans with each other and support others in meeting benchmarks • Students reinforce and build their skills beyond the school and are able to identify their strengths and challenges as learners

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LEVER 4: Families are purposefully engaged in the academic and social success of students Concept 1: Family

Engagement

L E V ELEVER R 1 4 CULTURE

Principal Actions

Stage

1

• Create a flexible definition of engagement that values multiple types of family engagement and interactions

• Leadership Team builds awareness of biases about what family is, and what family engagement means

• Develop and implement short-term and long-term plans for family engagement that match the school and community context

• At least one person, in addition to the principal, is designated as a lead in family engagement work

• Based on the analysis of the family and community’s need, identify 2-3 school-wide practices to initiate family engagement

Principal Actions

Stage

2

• Create multiple opportunities for engagement to ensure that interactions do not feel hierarchical to families

• Communication with parents is integrated into teacher planning

• Track and analyze whether all families are engaging in positive two-way exchanges

• Provide on-going and relevant meetings to staff and families that support and foster high level family engagement

3 |

School Practices • Families are actively involved in key moments of student learning

• Gather and evaluate data from families about the quality of family engagement

32

• Systems are in place that engage families on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis about their child’s performance (both positive and negative)

• Train the staff on how to engage with families respectfully and effectively

Principal Actions

Stage

School Practices

New Leaders

• Parent engagement data is reviewed regularly and plans are adapted as needed

School Practices • Families are viewed by all faculty and staff as critical partners in each student’s academic and personal development • Multiple entry points are in place to engage families staff members take responsibility for execution • Staff members take collective responsibility to engage families

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Urban Excellence Framework


Aligned staff category map

LEVER 1

LEVER 2

LEVER 3

LEVER 4

Recruitment, selection, and placement of staff

Development of highperforming instructional Leadership Team

Monitoring and management of individual staff performance

Professional learning structures to drive instructional improvement

Processes to identify, hire and place staff to get the right people “on the bus”

Leader develops staff and creates a Leadership Team to support instructional excellence

Processes to monitor and evaluate staff performance

Processes and structures to create a professional learning community that helps to develop staff skill and expertise

CONCEPTS CONCEPTS

➜➜ Recruitment ➜➜ Selection and Hiring ➜➜ Placement

CONCEPTS

➜➜ Building Teacher Leaders: Pipeline Development ➜➜ Leadership Team Development: Development of the Leadership Team ➜➜ Leadership Team Supports: Create structures to support the Leadership Team

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➜➜ Outline Performance Expectations ➜➜ Teacher Assessment: Assess teacher skill and effectiveness

CONCEPTS

➜➜ Professional Learning ➜➜ Teacher Team Structures

➜➜ Observation and Feedback ➜➜ Monitoring ➜➜ Evaluation

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Recruitment, selection, and placement of aligned staff

LEVER 1:

Recruitment, selection, and placement of aligned staff

Concept 1: Recruitment

L E V ELEVER R 1 1 ALIGNED STAFF

Principal Actions • Assess and expand recruiting sources, by hiring as early as possible and by seeking sources beyond the traditional district candidate pool

Concept 2: Selection School Practices

• Identifies many sources for high quality recruits Stage

1

1

Principal Actions

2

• Recruit for diverse expertise: build networks with traditional and non-traditional teacher sources; engage Leadership Team members in networking to potential staff members at every opportunity

Principal Actions • Identify and fill specific vacancies early to ensure school has a diverse skill set and expertise Stage

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New Leaders

School Practices

• Implement application and interview protocols to rigorously screen prospective teachers for belief that all students can reach college and for commitment to student learning, not just to teaching their content area

Principal Actions • Develop clear selection criteria and clear process for selection, including demo lessons and formal interview process

• School maintains an ongoing active recruitment network outside of standard district resources Stage

2

School Practices

• Organize on-going professional development for all staff involved in hiring teachers

Principal Actions • Develop Leadership Team members capacity to manage selection process

• School has intensive recruiting, selection, induction, and mentoring processes for any new staff

• Create structures that allow multiple constituents to have a role in hiring Stage

3

36

• Select teachers who have demonstrated content knowledge, who share beliefs in students, and who are willing to learn and develop

• Recruitment efforts cast a wide net for candidates outside of traditional venues

Stage

Stage

Principal Actions

and Hiring

School Practices • Clear selection criteria, protocols, hiring and induction processes are in place

V E R 11 ALIGNED STAFF L ELEVER

LEVER 1:

• Appropriate number of staff members are certified according to state and district guidelines for ELL and Special Education services

School Practices • Selection process focuses on matching staff to specific position expectations • Selected candidates demonstrate a willingness to explore and deepen their understandings of students’ cultures

School Practices • Selection process is managed by Leadership Team and includes input of other key stakeholders (e.g. students, family members and other members of the community)

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Recruitment, selection, and placement of aligned staff

LEVER 2:

Development of high-performing instructional Leadership Team

Concept 3: Placement

L E V ELEVER R 1 1 ALIGNED STAFF

Principal Actions

Stage

• Strengths, not tenure or other considerations, are used to determine teacher placement

• Create induction processes for new staff at the time of placement

• Strongest teachers are placed with 6th and 9th grade students to ensure strong starts to secondary school • School has intensive induction and mentoring processes for any new staff

Principal Actions

2

• Grade and content level teams have strong leadership

• Balance grade and content teams to ensure that more experienced teachers are mentoring and working with less experienced teachers

• Each team has a mix of new and more experienced teachers to support learning

• Ensure induction system is on-going and touches all staff throughout the school year

• Assess needs and strategically deploy people based on skill and need, even if that means moving teachers from grades they have taught in the past Stage

New Leaders

• Provide leadership opportunities and support for leadership roles for “fully aligned and highly skilled” staff

• School has on-going system of induction for new and returning staff

Urban Excellence Framework

School Practices • Aligned and skilled teachers are identified and developed as leaders

1

Principal Actions • Identify mid-level and high performing teachers for development and leadership opportunities Stage

• Develop a clear pipeline for teacher development

School Practices • Teachers participate in regular development opportunities • High performing teachers have opportunities to stretch and demonstrate their own leadership

2

School Practices

Principal Actions

• Strongest staff are placed in highest areas of need

3

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Teacher Leaders

Stage

Stage

3 |

Principal Actions

School Practices

• Attract and hire talented grade level and department leadership

Principal Actions

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School Practices

• Assess staff skills and places teachers in grade level and content areas based on their skills and qualifications

1

Stage

Concept 1: Building

V E R 21 ALIGNED STAFF L ELEVER

LEVER 1:

• Encourage teachers to participate in high quality self-reflection and action research activities (e.g. National Board certification, advanced degree programs) • Track retention rates of effective teachers and incentivize those teachers to stay in role

School Practices • Staff members proactively assume leadership roles • To the greatest extent possible, retention of teachers and recommendations for leadership are determined on the basis of demonstrated effectiveness as measured by student learning • Structures are in place to support teacher retention by creating opportunities for growth and development

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Development of high-performing instructional Leadership Team

Concept 2: Leadership

L E V ELEVER R 1 2 ALIGNED STAFF

1

Development of high-performing instructional Leadership Team

Team Development

Principal Actions

Stage

LEVER 2:

• Review any existing instructional leaders to ensure they share full alignment to the school’s mission and approach to instruction and culture. If any lack alignment, take immediate steps to remove or replace • Build instructional Leadership Team that includes aligned and highly skilled staff with a range of expertise

Concept 3: Leadership School Practices

Principal Actions • Model effective team meeting protocols and processes for looking at student outcomes and planning responsive strategies

• Meetings are focused on student achievement data and building Leadership Team members to be instructional leaders • Members of the Leadership Team have a individualized development plan based on their strength and growth areas

Stage

1

• Create monitoring systems to track the work of Leadership Team members and their teams

Team Supports

School Practices • Protocols are used during Leadership Team meetings

V E R 21 ALIGNED STAFF L ELEVER

LEVER 2:

• Leadership Team members use protocols to lead their departmental or grade level teams

• Train Leadership Team members on observation and performance management expectations and process

Principal Actions • Utilize great teachers who share values, beliefs, and commitment on key positions on the Leadership Team Stage

2

• Develop succession plan for essential roles on the Leadership Team • Build capacity of Leadership Team members to conduct observations and provide effective feedback

School Practices

Principal Actions

• Leadership Team of fully aligned and highly skilled staff is in place • Directly focus weekly discussions on student learning outcomes to target key needs for instructional program or school culture • Leadership Team members conduct observations and provide effective coaching and feedback

Stage

2

• Leadership Team members take part in regular learning walks where they are looking for the implementation of specific practices

Principal Actions • Build systems for distributed leadership • Expand the roles of the Leadership Team to include teacher evaluation Stage

3

School Practices • Highest skilled and fully aligned teachers receive substantial leadership opportunities and are supported in taking on these roles (even to the point of leaving the school to become leaders in other schools if necessary for their continued development) • Leadership Team consistently models and enforces school-wide philosophy, core values, and responsibility and efficacy

• Develop reporting systems so Leadership Team members can share feedback, input, and concerns of the teams they are leading

• Leadership Team members have clear and consistent ways in which to share concerns, challenges and successes of teams they are leading

• Create clarity around decision making, especially letting staff know when the decision will be by consensus, vote, or by principal decision

• An expanded group of people are involved in decision making processes • Staff understand the roles and responsibilities of the Leadership Team

• Ensure the processes and roles of the Leadership Team are clear to all members of the staff

Principal Actions • Create systems to track the work of the Leadership Team while giving them additional autonomy to manage projects and teams Stage

School Practices

School Practices • Leadership Team members successfully lead autonomous projects • Structures ensure that Leadership Team members have instructional leadership responsibilities

3

• Instructional leadership is provided by multiple Leadership Team members using consistent protocols and processes and a relentless focus on data

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Monitoring and management of staff performance

Concept 1: Outline

L E V ELEVER R 1 3 ALIGNED STAFF

• Set and share performance expectations aligned to school-wide goals for each staff member or at least for members of the Leadership Team

1

• Create documents and templates that make performance management schedule, calendar, sequence and staff expectations clear and transparent

Principal Actions

Stage

2

Monitoring and management of staff performance

Performance Expectations

Principal Actions

Stage

LEVER 3:

• Personalize performance management system for each grade and subject area, including: • Team or grade level student achievement targets • Team or grade level performance goals • System for consistent monitoring and follow-up on improvement

Concept 2: Teacher School Practices

• Each staff position (or at least members of the Leadership Team) has clear performance expectations aligned with mission and school-wide expectations for instructional practice and student behavior responses, with a clear job design (responsibilities) and clear selection criteria aligned to expectations

Principal Actions

Stage

1

School Practices

• Once expectations are established, conduct a series of observations and conversations with each staff member and identify each into one of three categories: • Fully aligned and high skilled • Fully aligned and willing/able to grow, but not high skilled • Not aligned and/or unskilled and unwilling/unable to develop

Principal Actions • Use diagnostics to identify any staff that are not aligned to mission/values or are unable to develop necessary skills to meet role expectations

• Performance management system includes team goals and feedback

Stage

2

Assessment

School Practices • Non-aligned staff are identified and counseled out or, where necessary, removed through existing formal processes

V E R 31 ALIGNED STAFF L ELEVER

LEVER 3:

School Practices • Diagnostic data is used to inform performance plans for misaligned or underperforming staff

• Counsel out or, where necessary, remove through existing formal processes, staff identified by this diagnosis

• Align performance management system to city/district rating system while maintaining its robustness

Principal Actions

Stage

3

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• Personalize performance management system for each staff member, including: • Individual student achievement targets • Individual performance goals • System for consistent monitoring and follow-up on improvement

New Leaders

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Urban Excellence Framework

School Practices

Principal Actions • Use diagnosis data to inform the scope and sequence for school-wide professional learning and to inform individualized plans for staff

• Every adult in the school is aligned to high achievement goals and understands their specific role

School Practices • Teacher diagnosed data is used to inform individual teacher development plans

Stage

3

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Monitoring and management of staff performance

Concept 3:

L E V ELEVER R 1 3 ALIGNED STAFF

1

2

Concept 4: School Practices

• Create an observation protocol for walk-throughs which are done frequently with school-wide foci

• Instructional Leadership Team is in place and begins conducting staff observations

• Build capacity for Leadership Team members to do consistent observations

• Teachers receive concrete and actionable feedback

• Hold 1:1 meetings with teachers (within 48 hours of walk-through) to give feedback around progress with non-negotiables and instructional practice; include discussions of specific student work and data

• Teachers receive feedback within 48 hours of an observation or walkthrough

Principal Actions

Stage

• All staff are observed, at least briefly, on a weekly basis, with a focus on school-wide consistent routines and school-wide priorities for improvement

• Create systems and schedules for conducting frequent, brief and differentiated observations by members of the leadership team based on teacher need

• An expanded group of school leaders engage in observations and provide feedback based on a consistent set of expectations and protocol

• Provide regular feedback and/or has systems in place so that staff have feedback from the leader or a member of the leadership team

• Instructional leaders review lesson plans for evidence of re-teaching and spiraling

Principal Actions • Observe, with Leadership Team, all teachers frequently and provide immediate feedback

3

• Expand observation protocol/practice to include consistent school-wide expectations, individual teacher development areas, and study of specific student sub-groups as identified by data • Implement a system for consistent support and follow-up to gauge improvement that includes formal and informal feedback from members of the leadership team, master teachers and other school leaders

Principal Actions

Stage

1

School Practices

• Use analyses of student learning outcomes to update observation protocols

Stage

Monitoring and management of staff performance

Observation and Feedback

Principal Actions

Stage

LEVER 3:

• Monitor and ensure consistent implementation of non-negotiable practices or strategies by review of lesson plans, students work and by conducting walk-throughs of every classroom for 5-10 minutes at least 2-3 times per week

2

• Non-aligned or poorly performing staff are closely monitored through additional reviews of work and observations

• Monitor new or struggling staff more frequently to support their development • Become a constant presence in the classrooms of staff identified as “not aligned and/or unskilled and unwilling/ unable to develop” and develop a plan to counsel out or remove them through existing formal processes

Principal Actions

Stage

School Practices V E R 31 ALIGNED STAFF L ELEVER

LEVER 3:

• Hold teachers accountable for student learning including knowing and displaying student work and data during classroom observations and teacher debriefs • Support struggling teachers with specific improvement plans that focus on what steps they will take to improve their performance

School Practices • Leadership Team members monitor teachers through review of data, student work, and observations • Struggling staff are put on specific performance improvement plans that address their specific needs

School Practices • Leadership Team members provide frequent observations and feedback to staff on instructional practices and handling of student conduct concerns, with follow up to ensure improvement • Observation protocol/practice includes not only consistent school-wide expectations but individual teacher development areas and study of specific student sub-groups as identified by data • All new teachers and all teachers with specific development needs are mentored by highly skilled peers

Principal Actions • Track and monitor staff review data to ensure that monitoring is occurring and that individual staff interventions are effective Stage

3

School Practices • Staff demonstrate consistent high-quality practices for instruction and student/staff culture • Developing staff are taking rapid action to close the gap between current practice and expectations for quality practice

• Assess or have a system in place to assess each teacher’s strengths and weaknesses to determine specific supports 44

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New Leaders

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Monitoring and management of staff performance

LEVER 4: Professional learning structures to drive instructional improvement

Concept 5: Evaluation

L E V ELEVER R 1 3 ALIGNED STAFF

Principal Actions • Establish clear and rigorous process for reviewing any teacher approaching tenure Stage

1

• Implement a consistent performance evaluation and supervision system aligned to the city/district system

• Identify and move out the severely mediocre and poor teachers

2

• Implement and communicate clear and transparent evaluation processes that include assessment of student outcomes to all staff

• Ensure that evaluation processes are clear and transparent to all staff and includes assessment of student outcomes, learning environment, quality of instruction and planning

3

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Principal Actions • Design comprehensive professional learning plan and calendar aligned to public goals, performance management, and individual goals.

• Tenure decisions are reviewed to ensure the teacher meets expectations for teaching skill, beliefs, and willingness to learn and develop • Performance management system is in place

• Provide professional development for all staff focused first on school-wide and classroom non-negotiables, then aligned, rigorous Stage curriculum mapping, and finally instructional strategies based on learning gaps

• Underperforming staff are put on improvement plans and appropriate support is provided • There is extensive documentation on consistently underperforming staff and an urgency to dismiss them

New Leaders

• Develop a clear plan for adult learning across the school, aligning: • Topics for whole group professional development sessions • Goals/protocols/expectations Stage for teacher team meetings

2

• School has a clear professional learning calendar of topics aligned to established school expectations; all staff have skills and understandings to meet expectations • The professional learning plan includes trainings, cycle of lesson observations, coaching, and mentoring

• Prioritize teacher support for teachers with clear development needs, including full lesson observations and peer mentoring

School Practices • Teacher-driven professional development focuses on student learning challenges and progress toward student achievement goals. It occurs during the school day and includes teacher team meetings and peer visitations • All new teachers and all teachers with specific development needs are mentored by highly skilled peers

• Create structures for job-embedded collaborative learning: Professional Learning Communities, protected time for grade level/content area planning, protocols for systematic examination of practice

School Practices • Staff receive frequent feedback about their performance and as needed are given ample notice and opportunity to improve

Principal Actions

3

Urban Excellence Framework

School Practices

• Directly engage in professional development as leader/facilitator or active participant; set clear expectations for implementation of presented practices and strategies and monitor their implementation and use

Principal Actions

Stage

|

Learning

• Identify classrooms and schools that demonstrate strong instructional programs and results for staff visit and reflection

School Practices

• Use effective processes for managing underperforming staff, including learning specific district-approved practices for HR management (e.g. specific union regulations and timelines)

Principal Actions

Stage

School Practices

1

Principal Actions

Stage

Concept 1: Professional

V E R 41 ALIGNED STAFF L ELEVER

LEVER 3:

School Practices

• Structure professional learning around compelling student data

• Professional development is jobembedded, rather than activity-based

• Provide individual teachers and teacher teams access to new research and other developmental resources based on identified development needs,

• Staff share a collective awareness of individual skills and growth areas. They self-direct professional development based on student achievement outcomes

• Develop individual development plans and focus areas for each teacher

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LEVER 4: Professional learning structures to drive instructional improvement Concept 2: Teacher

Team Structures

L E V ELEVER R 1 4 ALIGNED STAFF

Principal Actions • Create teacher teams (if not in place) and protocols focused on student outcomes, student data, and student work Stage

1

• Articulate clear expectations for common planning time; model the process and the unwavering focus on student learning

School Practices • Instructional strategies, instructional consistency, instructional development of staff, and definitions of rigor are discussed at teacher team meetings • Teacher teams use protocols and processes designed to guide collaboration • Grade level and/or subject-alike teams have common weekly planning times with clear outcomes focused on student learning and not just student behaviors • Teacher teams build common assessments

Principal Actions • Implement protocols in team meetings for frequent, group analysis of data for root causes

School Practices • Teacher teams frequently analyze data for root causes. Based on this analysis, students are re-grouped and targeted, and the curricular scope/sequence is re-visited throughout the year • Special Education teachers collaborate closely with all other classroom teachers to ensure effective planning and instruction to implement IEPs

Stage

2

• Leadership Team members lead effective teacher team meetings focused on student learning data and student work • Leadership Team members serve as instructional leaders in the school who lead effective teacher team meetings focused on student learning data and student work

Principal Actions • Provide individual teachers and teacher teams access to new research and other developmental resources based on identified development needs Stage

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• Teacher teams have deep and frequent conversations about formative student data and strategies to adjust instruction for every student • Teacher team discussions are clearly focused on student by student learning progress and student work, not just general standards and strategies

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Operations and systems category map

LEVER 1

LEVER 2

LEVER 3

LEVER 4

Tracking of clear and focused school goals and strategy adjustment based on progress

Time use aligned with school-wide goals

Budget, external partnerships, and facilities aligned to strategic plan

Political context and school system relationships managed to ensure a focus on learning

Processes and structure to define and track clear goals

The processes and structures to use time effectively and efficiently

Processes, structures and systems to ensure that the budget and physical space support learning

Processes to navigate the context within which the school operates

CONCEPTS

CONCEPTS

➜➜ Goals and Priority Areas: Create clear goals and identify priority areas ➜➜ Action Plans: Create action plans and milestones

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➜➜ Calendar ➜➜ Scheduling: Weekly and Daily Schedules

CONCEPTS CONCEPTS

➜➜ Budget and Resources ➜➜ External Partnerships ➜➜ Facilities

➜➜ Stakeholder Relationships: Build and manage stakeholder and community relationships ➜➜ District Relationships: Build and manage district relationship

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LEVER 1: Tracking of clear and focused school goals and strategy adjustment based on progress

and Priority Areas

L E V ELEVER R 1 1 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS

Principal Actions

Stage

1

• Determine the few and focused priorities for the current year and for the next 3 years (short and long term) by using assessment of student achievement and school practices and asking the guiding questions: Where do I need to get students? What do I have to do to implement school practices that will drive student achievement gains?

Concept 2: Action School Practices

Principal Actions • Develop clear actions, milestones and benchmarks for the strategic plan for both implementation and student progress

• Initial one-year strategic plan and priorities are in place and aligned to the urgent goal of making dramatic student achievement gains within first two years Stage

Plans

School Practices • Clear milestones and benchmarks for student outcome progress—including specific targets for student sub-groups as well as grade cohorts—and school practice implementation are in place

V E R 11 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS L ELEVER

Concept 1: Goals

Tracking of clear and focused school goals and strategy adjustment based on progress

LEVER 1:

1

• Limit implementation of new initiatives to those that will receive adequate resources and time for professional development and monitoring • Regularly review progress to assess progress to goals and to adjust strategies as needed

Principal Actions • Develop one and three year strategic plans with clear targets and milestones

Stage

2

• Identify Leadership Team members who are responsible and accountable for the implementation of aspects of the strategic plan

3

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• Leadership Team uses available evidence and data to adjust strategies and goals

• Clear milestones and benchmarks for student outcomes—including specific targets for student sub-groups as well as grade cohorts—and school practice implementation are in place

• Work with school leaders to co-create annual goals (before year starts)

• Leadership Team creates short- and medium-term action plans to address areas of concern and recognize areas of success

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• Determine key metrics to measure progress against each strategic priority area Stage

2

School Practices

• Use annual data, interim and formative data and school improvement plan milestones to monitor, track, and review progress—systematically adjusting strategies where needed

• Build staff ownership for the goal areas for which they teach in or supervise

Principal Actions

• Strategic plan priorities are public and assigned—with a common understanding of short and long term goals

• Set milestones and benchmarks for implementation and student progress (e.g. interim assessments, attendance) in the school improvement plan

Principal Actions

Stage

School Practices

• Review student data and progress against strategically planned milestones, and financial/operational information at least two times per year; revise plans and priorities based on data to reach dramatic gains

Principal Actions • Lead ongoing planning process and multiple reviews of progress against plans each year that engage all staff (e.g. summer retreat) Stage

3

School Practices • Milestones and benchmarks are commonly known and clearly tracked. If not met, contingency plans are created to reach required result

School Practices • Formal reviews of progress against the strategic plan and milestones are conducted at least 2 times a year, in addition to regular review of school data • Leadership Team meets regularly (at least 1x per week) to analyze a consistent set of key school indicators, including individual student-level and classroom/ grade level data. The Leadership Team has institutionalized the practice of reviewing key data at every meeting. The Team creates short- and mediumterm action plans to address areas of concern and recognize areas of success New Leaders

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Time use aligned with school-wide goals

LEVER 2:

Time use aligned with school-wide goals

Concept 1: Calendar

L E V ELEVER R 1 2 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS

Principal Actions • Establish a calendar of all professional development, assessments, and key decision points for student interventions based on assessment results Stage

Concept 2: Scheduling School Practices • Staff have a clear calendar of major assessments and professional development activities that include cycles of lesson observations, coaching, and mentoring • Dates on the calendar set aside for PD and assessments are not altered without adequate notice to staff, students and families

1

Principal Actions

Stage

1

Principal Actions • Create a master calendar of all events with members of the Leadership Team and add/adjust dates as needed

School Practices

• Create a daily/weekly schedule aligned to strategic priorities and focused on student needs: • Multiple times per week for teachers to plan together • Develop clear class schedules, literacy blocks, push in/pull out schedules, credit recovery schedules • Ensure schedule meets district and state requirements for ELL and Special Education instruction • Create extra time in the school day for core subjects; students not yet achieving at grade level receive additional instruction time (e.g. creating two literacy periods—one to teach at grade level and one to teach developing skills for those not on grade level)

School Practices • Principal time is prioritized around observations, PD sessions, teacher team meetings, and operations needs

V E R 21 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS L ELEVER

LEVER 2:

• School has a detailed and consistent schedule of teacher team meetings, Leadership Team meetings, class schedules, and intervention activities, including staff and students involved in each. Principal is aware of this schedule at all times • Class time for learning and teaching is maximized with few to no interruptions

• Analyze and revise all transitions throughout the school day and eliminate any interruptions to class time (such as public address announcements) to maximize learning

• Staff have a clear and detailed calendar of the semester and a tentative calendar for the school year prior to its start

Stage

2

Principal Actions

Stage

2

Principal Actions • Continually adjust school calendar and schedule to match shifting priorities and needs based on frequent reviews of student-level data Stage

3

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• School calendar and daily/weekly schedule create adequate time for all student interventions and adult development activities and are flexible enough to adjust to new priorities and needs

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• Develop a schedule that allows all students access to collegeready and advanced courses

School Practices

Stage

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• Establish clear weekly schedules for Leadership Team meeting time, teacher team meetings, PD sessions, and teacher observations

• Use student learning data and teacher input to adjust schedule as needed to maximize time spent on learning and to ensure that all students are given ample time to make up any missed course work

School Practices • Detailed daily/weekly schedule of classes, curriculum focus (such as literacy blocks), student interventions, teacher team meetings, and PD sessions is public and managed by Leadership Team members • Create a daily/weekly schedule for staff professional learning aligned to strategic priorities

School Practices • Every moment of available time— in and out of the traditional school day—is focused on increasing student achievement

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Concept 1: Budget

L E V ELEVER R 1 3 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS

1

• Conduct comprehensive review of ALL current resources (financial, staff, in-kind, supplemental, external partners/programs/ resources)­—and wherever possible shift existing resources to align to strategic priorities

Principal Actions

Stage

2

• Forecast new resources and materials needed 2-3 years out based on the strategic plan (e.g. robust classroom libraries to increase literacy skills of students) and begin purchasing and planning for these needs

Principal Actions • Effectively leverage all potential resource sources through an ongoing, active approach to budget and resource management Stage

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• All existing school resources are reallocated to match strategic plan priorities

Stage

1

School Practices

• Review existing community partnerships and decide to maintain, eliminate, or replace based on initial cost-benefit analysis, focusing on one to two key areas that will have high impact (mental health, after school programs, tutoring, etc.)

Principal Actions • With Leadership Team, actively seek and cultivate external partners to fill gaps or enhance/extend programming­— all in support of school-wide goal

• New resources and external partnerships are adequate to fund PD and student intervention time and skills

Partnerships

School Practices • A criteria is established to review and identify partnerships

School Practices • External partners/programs are aligned with school’s key goals around student achievement and social/emotional development

Stage

2

School Practices

Principal Actions • Collaborate with external partners to create explicit links to the school-wide goals

• Finances and other resources are aligned with strategic priorities

Stage

3

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Concept 2: External

and Resources

Principal Actions

Stage

LEVER 3: Budget, external partnerships, and facilities aligned to strategic plan

V E R 31 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS L ELEVER

LEVER 3: Budget, external partnerships, and facilities aligned to strategic plan

School Practices • External partners/programs actively advance school’s progress toward achieving key goals • External partners are fully invested in school’s success

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Political context and school system relationships managed to ensure a focus on learning

Concept 3: Facilities

L E V ELEVER R 1 3 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS

Principal Actions • Conduct full-building facilities survey prior to start of school, assess and prioritize immediately needed repairs and desired improvements Stage

Concept 1: Stakeholder School Practices • School building is clean and safe; all basic facilities (bathrooms, windows, sinks, locks) are in working order — there are no ‘broken windows’ or safety hazards

1

• Create systems to maintain the building’s safety and cleanliness • Identify a few ways to creatively use and manipulate space to support academic priorities and initiatives

School Practices • Physical plant supports major academic priorities/initiatives (e.g. reading nooks, improved library, enhanced computer lab comfortable staff lounge/meeting area)

2

• Continually asses the ways in which space is used to maximize learning

Stage

3 |

Stage

2

Principal Actions

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Stage

1

Principal Actions

Stage

Principal Actions

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School Practices • Entire physical plant (common spaces, classrooms, hallways, resource rooms) supports and advances school-wide goals and initiatives visually and materially

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• Share school vision and strategic plan with community/political leaders to engage their support

Stage

School Practices • Community leaders receive consistent communication about key school events and information • Structures are in place to ensure that all stakeholders have multiple opportunities to engage in a dialogue with members of school leadership • Communications from stakeholders are responded to in a timely manner, with appropriate tone and with a tailored message

Principal Actions

School Practices

• Map community leaders and key political relationships

• Leadership Team drives key messages to internal and external stakeholders

• Incorporate community input into the school’s plan

• Stakeholders have multiple ways to communicate with all staff in addition to key leadership

• Build staff capacity to build meaningful relationships with community members and all stakeholders

Principal Actions

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• Develop an initial plan to communicate with key community leaders and school system managers. Plan should include a communication calendar, key messages, audiences, communication mediums, timeline for rollout, and staff responsibilities for executing the plan

Relationships

V E R 41 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS L ELEVER

LEVER 4: LEVER 3: Budget, external partnerships, and facilities aligned to strategic plan

School Practices

• Actively involve community leaders in planning for the school

• Community participation is evident in multiple aspects of the school

• Put structures and processes in place to consistently partner with stakeholders including staff, families, and students to inform and adjust strategies

• Stakeholders and community members have multiple ways and opportunities to become involved in the school

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LEVER 4: Political context and school system relationships managed to ensure a focus on learning Concept 2: District

Relationships

L E V ELEVER R 1 4 OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS

Principal Actions • Proactively set expectations and share strategic plan with district/ school system manager Stage

School Practices • School system managers receive consistent communication about key school events and information

• Share school vision and strategic plan with district/ school system manager

1

Principal Actions

Stage

2

• Establish clear message to district/ system manager around strategic plans; create confidence and “buffer” from system management to allow staff to implement strategic plans

• Anticipate opportunities where district management can advocate on behalf of the school Stage

3 |

• Strategic plan is translated to district/system process so that it incorporates specific strategies to meet district/system expectations

• Maintain constant contact with district office to share successes and challenges

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School Practices • District/system manager has a clear sense of the school’s plans and is a strong advocate for the school


Personal Leadership category explanation New Leaders has always recognized that leadership is an essential component of school transformation. In our research of effective school practices we have learned that not only is leadership essential, but that the principal sets the tone for all student and adult relationships in the school. Our field research and assessments of leader practices indicate that the level of Personal Leadership skill of a principal is one key differentiator in driving student achievement gains, successfully managing adults, and retaining their positions Each category of the UEF includes principal actions, but the personal leadership category outlines key actions that must in place at all times and through all of the school’s stages of development. These actions allow the leader to maintain focus on the school’s goals and to ensure that all of their actions mirror the vision, mission, and values of their school community. This category is divided into five key levers that describe the personal leadership behaviors that support school success: Belief-Based, Goal-Driven Leadership; Culturally Competent Leadership; Interpersonal Leadership; Adaptive Leadership; and Resilient Leadership. This is the only category that does not include school stages because the leader must demonstrate these actions across all stages of school development. These actions are fundamental and speak to the principal’s overall belief, intent and approach to students, staff, families and community members. The manner in which these principal actions are implemented may change as the school improves and as more systems and structures are in place, but throughout their time as principal a leader must model personal leadership in their actions. We have learned that successful leadership cannot be reduced to a single style or personality type. These are skills that can be developed and expanded over time—they are not innate or fixed. Successful leaders are interested in developing additional skills and are open to adapting their leadership style when necessary. To do so leaders need to take time to reflect on their actions, their perceptions and the ways in which they are reacting to challenges.

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In essence, the principal’s leadership style must strike a balance between being very firm about non-negotiables—clear expectations will be established so that all students and staff can do their work better, and the principal will relentlessly provide supports and follow up to ensure they are implemented—and demonstrating genuine engagement with others, humility, and relationship-building.

Belief-Based, Goal-Driven Leadership Strong leaders must have an unwavering belief in the ability of all children to achieve at high levels—they must inspire the staff with a sense of possibility and a concrete pathway to realize the school’s vision. They must set ambitious, but achievable goals and keep them present for all members of the school community. Additionally, they hold themselves personally responsible for achieving the school goals.

Culturally Competent Leadership We recognize that leaders must consciously strive to create an inclusive environment. That begins with every leader developing an understanding of their individual biases and perceptions as well as the ways in which they are perceived by others. It includes actively addressing statements of bias, cultural incompetence and/or prejudice to ensure that the school is a safe and supportive place for all students.

Interpersonal Leadership To create change in a school a leader must be able to build strong and trusting relationships with multiple stakeholder groups. This includes the development of strong communication skills that are always respectful and that are tailored to meet the needs of various constituents.

Adaptive Leadership Leaders who are implementing changes in their schools must be able to support the staff, students, and families manage the emotions of change. The leader helps the school community live with discomfort as they change the culture and expectations in the school while maintaining a focus on the vision that the community has agreed upon.

Resilient Leadership Resilient leaders demonstrate resolve in the face of adversity and challenge; leaders must constantly look for solutions and be able to problem solve and identify creative solutions. Leaders must also reflect on their actions—they consciously use feedback and criticism to improve their leadership.

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PERSONAL LEADERSHIP category map

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LEVER 1

LEVER 2

LEVER 3

LEVER 4

LEVER 5

Belief-based, Goal-driven Leadership

Culturally Competent Leadership

Interpersonal Leadership

Adaptive Leadership

Resilient Leadership

Leader consistently demonstrates belief in the potential of every student to achieve at high levels

Leader continuously dismantles inequitable and exclusionary practices and creates a fully inclusive environment where all children and adults thrive and learn at high levels

Leader builds trusting relationships and facilitates active communities of adults and students dedicated to reaching school goals

Leader mobilizes others to resolve challenges requiring changes in values, beliefs, assumptions, and/or habits of behavior

Leader demonstrates self-awareness, ongoing learning, and resiliency in the service of continuous improvement

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Belief-based, goal-driven leadership

consistently demonstrates belief in the potential of every student to achieve at high levels

E R 1 1-5 Levers Personal LeadershipL E V

Actions • Create and maintain school-wide urgency and commitment to the hard but necessary work of ensuring high academic achievement for all students • Set high but achievable goals for students • Inspire a school-wide sense of positivism and possibility

LEVER 2:

Leader

Interpersonal leadership

builds trusting relationships and facilitates active communities of adults and students dedicated to reaching school goals

Actions

• Create institutional systems and structures that reinforce the certainty and belief that all students can achieve at high levels

• Build trusting relationships with individuals and always treat others with respect—even those who may not share the same beliefs

• Act strategically after seeking multiple perspectives, engaging key stakeholders, reflecting, and predicting impact

• Hold self and others accountable for outcomes by focusing all decisions on student needs, not adult outcomes

• Build school-wide capacity by establishing trusting relationships amongst others

• When leading groups of people, select appropriate facilitation and leadership strategies

• Motivate and inspire individuals and groups by communicating their value in supporting the work/goals of the school

• Balance appropriate communication strategies for diverse constituents and contexts (e.g. active listening, seeking feedback)

L E V E R1-51 Levers

Leader

LEVER 3:

Culturally competent leadership

Leader

continuously dismantles inequitable and exclusionary practices and creates a fully inclusive environment where all children and adults thrive and learn at high levels Actions • Break down barriers to student learning that stem from inequities and intersections among race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and language, and for other historically or currently marginalized groups • Consistently address the dynamics of power within the community to foster a pervasive ethos of equity and inclusion • Seek out and engage diverse perspectives to build an effective organization in an environment where poverty, oppression, and inequities persist

• Demonstrate personal growth through a lifelong self-assessment of biases and privileges; create learning opportunities and a supportive culture for others to do the same • Build the school’s and community’s collective capacity by initiating direct conversations about cultural competency, providing professional development, and creating learning opportunities from moments of cultural incompetence or conflict

LEVER 4: Leader

Adaptive leadership

mobilizes others to resolve challenges requiring changes in values, beliefs, assumptions, and/or habits of behavior

Sequencing Note: In order to do the difficult work of adaptive change management, building organizational and relational trust, as described above, is an essential foundation

Actions • Identify root causes, and especially adaptive (as opposed to technical) issues that need to be resolved

• Establish and maintain a sustainable level of urgency and ongoing learning needed to tackle adaptive challenges

• Take risks to challenge existing school and district/CMO practices, policies, and traditions—including those that you have created— that do not have a positive impact on student achievement, while also building on the existing strengths that do have positive impact

• Recognize and manage the emotions of change (e.g. resistance, fear, loss); address the stages of the change process and support staff as they face challenges and implementation dips

LEVER 5: Leader

Resilient leadership

demonstrates self-awareness, ongoing learning, and resiliency in the service of continuous improvement

Actions

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• Demonstrate personal resolve and maintain core confidence and belief in self and the school even in the face of adversity

• Take initiative and remain solutionsoriented at all times to move the work of the school forward

• Continuously reflect on performance, seek feedback, and actively pursue opportunities to improve personal leadership and the school

• Proactively build the professional and personal supports—including adequate personal time—that are necessary for sustaining school leadership over time

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Personal Leadership

LEVER 1:


| Glossary

Action plans: Action Plans are created to address leader and school identified priority areas. They are detailed documents that are intended to meet short- and longer-term priorities and goals. Action planning clarifies strategic goals and priorities for all members of the school staff and community so that human fiscal resources are used effectively school-wide. Action plans should include: a set of specific activities; persons responsible for implementing each activity; resources needed to conduct each activity; a timeline for completing each activity, and benchmarks for measuring success or lack of success of each activity. Adaptive leadership: Leader addresses emotional responses to change and mobilizes others to resolve challenges requiring changes in values, beliefs, assumptions, and/or habits of behavior. Adults build student relationships: Adults take responsibility to create and to build strong, positive, and respectful relationships with students that support academic achievement and student growth. Aligned staff: Effective principals manage their school’s human capital to drive teacher effectiveness and to make breakthrough student learning gains. These principals recruit, select, and evaluate teachers based on high standards— rewarding top performers and dismissing or counseling out teachers who cannot or will not meet expectations. They develop individual teachers’ leadership capacity and—crucially, over time—build philosophically aligned leadership teams with genuine responsibility for guiding the core work of the school. Aspiration/Life plan: Students connect their aspirations to concrete life plans that outline how they can realize their goals. A student’s life plan connects aspirations for college, career and life success to specific goals, metrics and steps. When life plans work well students are able to adjust their plans to ensure they stay on track to achieve their goals. Behaviors: Behaviors are specific age appropriate actions that are derived from the school’s specific vision, mission and values. These behaviors describe what success looks like in the context and setting of the school and along the continuum of student development. These behaviors are described and taught and they are clear to both adults and students. Belief-based goal-driven leadership: Leader consistently demonstrates belief in the potential of every student to achieve at high levels. The belief in students drives all work in the school and undergirds all of the leaders’ decisions and work.

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Budget and resources: Resources including time, staff allocations and finances are used to support the goals of the school and to improve student achievement. Calendar: Times include PD, days off, school trips, testing, everything that is happening in the school aligned with school-wide goals. Code of conduct: Outlines behavioral expectations, rewards, and consequences clearly in alignment with the vision, mission, and values identified by the school. A strong code of conduct makes it clear to adults and students how positive behaviors are rewarded and the consequences for poor behavior. Common Core Standards: The Common Core was created through a state led committee coordinated by NGA Center and CCSSO. Based on college and career readiness standards and K-12 learning progressions the Common Core aligns standards across states. For the first time these shared standards will allow states to work together to build on lessons learned from two decades of standards based reforms. Culture: The unwritten rules and traditions, norms and expectations of a place (taken from Shaping School Culture by Deal and Peterson) Culture is best described as “the way we do things around here.” Cultural competency: An awareness of one's own cultural worldview; attitude towards cultural differences; knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews; and cross-cultural skills. Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. Culturally competent leadership: Leader continuously dismantles inequitable and exclusionary practices and creates a fully inclusive environment where all children and adults thrive and learn at high levels. Curricular map: A chart or plan that outlines the arc of content that students need to learn over the course of the year. The plan will outline how one unit deepens and builds upon the content from earlier units. It will also include a vertical articulation of how the learning from one year will develop from one year to the next.

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| Glossary

Curricular materials: Documents, artifacts, texts and any other resources that support instruction; resources should be matched to both the standards and student learning needs.

Inter-rater reliability: Extent to which two or more individuals (coders or raters) agree; addresses the consistency of the implementation of a rating system.

Data collection and analysis: The school has a way to collect, retrieve, disaggregate, and summarize diverse student-level data and student information to drive instructional improvement.

Leadership Team: A group of philosophically aligned teachers and administrators, may not align with district mandated definition.

Data-driven instruction: Interim assessments are given 3 to 4 times per year and there is quality teacher-lead item and student level analysis in every grade/content area and targeted and sustained action taken from analysis. Differentiation: Differentiated instruction is well organized, well planned and addresses not only different ability levels, but also different needs, interests and strengths of the learners. Differentiation of instruction allows for whole group instruction, heterogeneous small group cooperative work, and individual instruction. It allows the teacher to create student centered learning experiences that focus on varied approaches to content, process, and product. In addition, it provides for ongoing, embedded, authentic assessment of students' skills, interests and learning style (Tomlinson, 2005). Effective effort: Central idea in modern education reform that effort can be deterministic of one's success. When students believe they can increase their ability it has a profound effect on their exertion of effective effort and ultimately their achievement. This belief influences the policies, practices, and procedures of the school. It also shows up in individual teacher interactive behavior and in classroom routines and structures. Formative assessments: Frequent (daily or weekly) classroombased assessments of student learning that provide immediate feedback to teachers and students about learning and progress. Interim assessments cycles: Evaluate students’ knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of academic goals, within a limited time frame and are designed to inform decisions at both the classroom and beyond the classroom level, at the school and district levels. Interpersonal leadership: Leader builds trusting relationships and facilitates active communities of adults and students dedicated to reaching school goals.

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Learning and teaching: Highly effective principals ensure that the curricula and instruction are aligned to standards for college and career readiness; they develop teachers around a coherent set of instructional strategies. Lesson plans: Translating the curriculum map into daily, weekly, monthly activities driven by practices and strategies. Mission: The mission defines how a school will achieve its vision of success—as the school’s goals change based on student need the mission or the way to achieve the vision may change. Observation: Extend beyond mandated formal classroom observations to include frequent (weekly or biweekly) information classroom observations to support teacher development. Both the formal and informal observations inform the summative evaluation of each teacher. Off track: A descriptor for students or goal areas that have not key milestones. These descriptors are often used as part of a dashboard of metrics to help a leader quickly assess the current performance of students or a goal area. This metric can also refer specifically to secondary students who demonstrate a range of risk factors that identify them as “off track” for graduation in four years. Such risk factors include low attendance, failing grades, or limited credit accumulation. Note: “On track” is used at times in this document to represent the positive view of such metrics. For example, a secondary student that is “on track” has demonstrated high levels of attendance, does not have any failing grades, and has accumulated credits at a pace necessary for on-time graduation.

Operations and systems: Effective systems to support learning by ensuring that there are structures and processes in place to assess the school’s needs, determine areas of focus and align resource allocation to drive school improvement.

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| Glossary

Personal leadership: Undergirding all of these categories is the personal leadership modeled by a principal who sets the tone for all student and adult relationships and practices in the school. Therefore, it is critically important that the principal’s leadership style strike a balance between being very firm about non-negotiables—clear expectations will be established so that all students and staff can do their work better, and the principal will relentlessly provide supports and follow up to ensure they are implemented—and demonstrating genuine engagement with others, humility, and relationship-building. Professional learning: Educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators. Pyramid of behavioral interventions: Adults translate the vision, mission, and values both into effective effort behaviors and a code of conduct set of behaviors. Addresses behavioral infractions dependent on how the student responds to the code of conduct. Resilient leadership: Leader demonstrates self-awareness, ongoing learning, and resiliency in the service of continuous improvement. Re-teaching: Critical part of data-driven instructional cycle where adults identify what students have not yet learned and build these concepts into their scope and sequence and teach them differently. Scaffold: Developed as a metaphor to describe the type of assistance offered by a teacher or peer to support learning. In the process of scaffolding, the teacher helps the student master a task or concept that the student is initially unable to grasp independently. The teacher offers assistance with only those skills that are beyond the student’s capability. Of great importance is allowing the student to complete as much of the task as possible, unassisted. “Scaffolding is actually a bridge used to build upon what students already know to arrive at something they do not know. If scaffolding is properly administered, it will act as an enabler, not as a disabler” (Benson, 1997). Scope and sequence: Create a curriculum map built on standards with a clear sense of that encompasses the breadth

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and depth, in order to ensure the students needs for future learning and building on what they have already learned. Social emotional skills: Skills that help students recognize and manage emotions, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviors. It is the process through which students enhance their ability to integrate thinking, feeling, and behaving in order to achieve important life tasks. These skills include: self esteem, sense of purpose, resiliency, control over their future and aptitude to build relationships. Social responsibility skills: A set of skills that supports student’s development as a productive member of society. Students learn to take informed and responsible action; investigate democratic participation in society; and investigate to understand rights. Student voice: Adults give students the tools to have an impact on their own learning and the direction of the school. Teacher assessment: Leader assesses teacher skill and effectiveness to determine individual and group professional development and to determine teacher placement. Teacher team meetings: Faculty members participate regularly in academic learning teams organized by competencies (literacy); by discipline (math, science, or social studies), by department (special education) or by course (algebra 1) to review student level data, to assess and improve students’ learning outcomes. Vertical alignment: the process of creating a seamless flow of instruction from one grade level to the next. Vision: Creation and refinement of a clear and compelling image that reflects a high standard of performance; represents future accomplishments and presents a unifying theme. Values: Description of a set of principles derived from the vision and mission that will guide the definitions of specific behaviors and a code of conduct. For example: the value “be respectful” might come from a vision and mission for the school and then be translated into specific behaviors, i.e. ways to demonstrate respectful behavior in the code of conduct.

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| INDEX

A

L

Action Plans, 53 Adaptive Leadership, 67 Adults Build Student Relationships, 23, 28 Aligned Staff, 34–38 Aspiration/Life Plan, 23, 31

Leadership Team Development, 34, 40 Leadership Team Supports, 34, 41 Learning and Teaching, 10–21 Lesson Plans, 10, 14

B

Observation and Feedback, 35, 44 Observation and Monitoring Operations and Systems, 50–60 Outline Performance Expectations, 35, 42

Behaviors, 22, 24–27 Belief-based, goal-driven leadership, 64, 66 Budget and Resources, 51, 56 Building Teacher Leaders, 34, 39

C Calendar, 50, 54 Code of Conduct, 22, 25–27 Cultural Competency and Diversity, 23, 29 Culturally Competent Leadership, 65, 66 Curricular Materials, 10, 15

D Data Collection and Analysis, 11, 18 District Relationships, 60, 61

E Evaluation, 35, 46 External Partnerships, 51, 56–58

F Facilities 51, 56–58 Family Engagement, 23, 32 Formative Assessments, 14, 18–19

G Goals and Priority Areas, 50, 52 Grading, 11, 20

I

O

P Personal Leadership, 62–67 Placement, 34, 38 Professional Learning, 35, 47 Pyramid of Behavioral Interventions, 23, 27

R Recruitment, 34, 36 Resilient Leadership, 65, 67 Routines and School-wide Practices

S Scheduling, 50, 55 School Culture, 23, 27–31 Scope and Sequence, 10, 13 Selection and Hiring, 34, 37 Stakeholder Relationships, 51, 59 Standards, 10, 12-15 Student Voice, 23, 30

T Teacher Assessment, 35, 43 Teacher Team Meetings, 18, 47, 48, 55 Vision, Mission, and Values, 22, 24, 25

Instructional Strategies, 10, 17 Interim Assessments, 11, 19 Interpersonal Leadership, 65, 67 Interventions and Preventions, 11, 21

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Urban Excellence Framework

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Urban Excellence Framework

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© 2011 New Leaders Inc. All rights reserved. 30 West 26th Street | New York, NY 10010 | 646.792.1070 | www.newleaders.org Baltimore | California’s Bay Area | Charlotte | Chicago | Jefferson Parish | Memphis Milwaukee | Newark | New Orleans | New York City |Prince George’s County | Washington, DC New Leaders is a national nonprofit that develops transformational school leaders and promotes the system-level policies and practices that allow strong leaders to succeed. Founded in 2000, New Leaders provides leadership training in 12 urban areas: Bay Area (CA), Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Jefferson Parrish (LA), Newark, New York City, Prince George’s County (MD), and Washington, D.C. Over the past 10 years, New Leaders has trained more than 700 school leaders who are raising student achievement and graduation rates in high-need schools across the country. Beyond its signature principal training program, New Leaders conducts leadership development with existing school and district administrators, and designs effective leadership policies and practices for school systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.newleaders.org.


Urban Excellence Framework