District Support

The district promotes state-of-the art strategic school designs.
  • Does your district provide a menu of school design templates for schedule, staffing, teacher teams, student groupings, and interventions that each school can match to its needs and priorities?
The district ensures leadership capacity to implement strategic school designs.
Does your district:
  • Provide principals with support and training to develop, implement and manage resources for innovative, strategic school designs?
  • Empower principals to hire and assign staff and make schedule changes according to school and student needs?
  • Give principals the ability to make spending decisions independently?
  • Share best practices across schools?
Principals have clear targets for school performance and effective resource use.
  • Do measures exist at the school and/or district level to ensure resource use is linked to improved performance?
  • Are performance and resource use targets regularly monitored and supported by district leadership?

Teaching Effectiveness

The district improves teaching quality by building teaching teams that maximize combined expertise.
  • Are teachers deliberately organized into teams with complementary skills and experience?
  • Do teams in all schools have at least 90 minutes of collaborative planning time per week?
  • Do teams and teachers receive support from coaches, specialists, or experts when they need it?

Instructional Time

The district maximizes instructional time on core academic subjects while varying time based on subject and student priorities.
Does the district help schools:
  • Maximize academic time in core subjects within the school day for students who need it?
  • Extend learning time beyond the standard school day for students who need it?
  • Use a variety of block and other scheduling options to achieve instructional goals?

Individual Attention

The district encourages the use of student performance data to gauge learning and adjust instruction.
  • Does the district provide teachers with effective formative assessment tools?
  • Does the district encourage teachers to adjust instruction based on student performance data?
The district provides schedules, groupings, and structures that create targeted individual attention and personal relationships between students and teachers.
  • The district provides schedules, groupings, and structures that create targeted individual attention and personal relationships between students and teachers.
  • Do schools use a variety of strategies (e.g., small-group instruction, tutoring, looping) to provide individual attention to students who need it?

Special Populations

The district implements cost-effective strategies for students with special learning needs that integrate with general education and emphasize ongoing assessment and response.
  • Do schools tailor their instructional model and approach for special populations (e.g., special education, ELL, gifted) based on the needs of specific students?
  • Does the district use Response to Intervention techniques or other interventions to support struggling students?
  • Are most special education and ELL teachers certified in core academic subjects as well?

Portfolio Management

The district manages a portfolio of school sizes, programs, and governance structures to meet a range of student needs and learning styles.
  • Has the district deliberately created a portfolio of school types (e.g., charter, magnet, specialty, standard) and sizes to meet students’ needs?
  • Does the district proactively match students with the most appropriate school size, structure, and program offerings?
This school portfolio balances cost with choice, equitable access to high-quality programs, and innovation.
  • Does the district have a clear plan for staffing small and specialty schools to balance program needs with cost-effectiveness?
  • Does the district monitor school vacancy rate and take action to maximize the use of facilities?
  • Are students with specialized programming requirements (e.g., special education, ELL, gifted) assigned to schools in a way that balances high-quality, cost-effective instruction with the need for inclusion and choice?
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