The Institute for Excellence in Education can work with your school in a variety of ways as you develop and implement your annual school improvement plan. Each of our programs is designed to inform and structure that process while encouraging the in-school collaboration necessary to ensure the changes are sustainable and tailored to your school’s needs. These programs are approved uses of Title 1 money—and in some cases, Title 2 money as well.
We have had significant success helping schools with school improvement planning, and we look forward to working with your school, too. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or special requests you might have about the programs listed below.
Learning Walks are a systematic, collaborative approach to gathering quantitative and qualitative data about a school so that school leaders can make better-informed decisions. During a Learning Walk, teams of educators visit a school and use previously identified criteria to evaluate its effectiveness and its success in implementing key programs. We then document the findings and provide them to the school to help guide the school’s continuous improvement efforts.
Data Use, Analysis, and Processes
Data can be a powerful school improvement tool, but it can also be overwhelming. IEE works with schools to identify their current needs for data processes and then provides professional development and coaching to help teachers and school leaders use the data effectively.
Research confirms that teaching is a complex intellectual activity, and that teachers who think at higher levels produce students who are higher-achieving, more cooperative, and better at problem-solving. It is the invisible skills of teaching—the thinking processes that underlie instructional decisions—that produce superior instruction. Cognitive CoachingSM is a research-based model that enhances and leverages teachers’ cognitive processes.
Focused Instructional Model (FIM/ROCK): Part 1
Through the FIM process, teachers examine achievement data, comparing results with assessments. Teachers identify key power standards, establish daily practice problems, and implement a regular routine of checking student comprehension. On a biweekly basis, instructors administer formative assessments to monitor student progress. The resulting data is used to evaluate student mastery of the standards. Students, in turn, chart their progress and identify their own learning targets.
Focused Instructional Model (FIM/ROCK): Part 2
Building on FIM-1, teachers develop common assessments aligned with the power standards, Common Core State Standards, and Stiggins’ research on high quality assessment. Data collected on student mastery in FIM-1 is used to develop daily lesson plans scaffolded to meet individual student learning needs.
Major shifts in literacy instruction are on the horizon as a result of the shift to Common Core. Content area teachers need to understand and utilize “Close and Critical Reading” and “Academic Vocabulary,” elements of disciplinary literacy. Only those content area teachers who actively help students read and write like content area specialists will adequately prepare students for the challenges of the Smarter Balanced Assessments.
Closing the Achievement Gap (CAG)
Disruptive students and special-needs students are often removed from traditional classrooms and placed with accommodation specialists. These specialists, however, may lack content area expertise—a barrier to meeting Common Core State Standards, which require students to attain deep levels of understanding in each content area. IEE’s CAG work clarifies each teacher’s responsibilities in the education of every student, particularly those with special needs. CAG supports content area teachers as they include all students in the instructional process, while it helps special-needs teachers provide accommodations for regular instruction.
Cognitive Student Intervention (CSI)
Teachers need an environment where they can teach without interruption and where all student have the right to learn. When a student’s behavior interrupts others’ learning or a teacher’s delivery of a lesson, the student needs time to reflect on his or her behavior. Cognitive Student Intervention is a process that uses minor crises in a student’s daily classroom experience to create teachable moments. The CSI process provides teachers and students with an opportunity to build constructive relationships as they tackle difficult situations.