The Strategic System Snapshot | Mini Results:
Individual Summary

Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Standards & Instructional Resources
Teaching
School Design
Leadership
School Support
Funding & Portfolio
Community Engagement

HOW DO I INTERPRET MY RESULTS?

For each of the seven areas in The Strategic System Snapshot | Mini assessment, we show how your responses compare to “best practice.” Our definition of “best practice” is based on over 10 years of working with over 40 districts ranging from large urban and suburban districts to rural districts, state education agencies, and other education organizations that are leaders in their specialties. It is also based on a deep study of the research into what makes high-performing school systems succeed—even when they face limited resources and serve large numbers of students in poverty.

Read more about our vision for urban school system transformation in the District Design section of our website.

These results are not an evaluation of your district—they are the beginning of a strategic conversation. We hope they spark crucial discussions with your colleagues, and point to where more research and data may be needed. You can see a detailed report of your answers below.

A note about "Don’t Know": "Don’t Know" answers may lower your overall score in a particular section. If you marked "Don’t Know" for every statement in a section, that bar will not appear at all. Check your detailed report below for your "Don’t Know" count.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Learn What Your Peers Think: The Strategic System Snapshot | Mini is most useful when used in a group. For example, an entire leadership team can take the self-assessment as a part of the budgeting and strategic planning process. Each person’s answers are kept private, while the group result is visible to all. Learn more about setting up a group »

Understand the big picture: Learn more about our vision for transforming school systems:

Standards & Instructional Resources

Your Score:
Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Curriculum & Instructional Resources
Access & Support

Curriculum & Instructional Resources

1
Curricula and instructional resources are sufficiently rigorous at all grade levels, and teachers are provided with support to implement them.
Key Questions to Consider:

System Conditions

  • Does the district provide school leaders and teachers with rigorous and coherent curricula, instructional resources, and assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards?
  • Does the district ensure that there are rigorous learning opportunities at all schools?
change

Access & Support

2
Instructional programming and supports ensure all students have access to rigorous instruction and support for their unique learning needs.
Key Questions to Consider:

System Conditions

  • Do the instructional models for students with disabilities and English language learners focus on content in addition to learning needs?
  • Does the district enable schools to provide targeted, integrated, equitable, and efficient social-emotional learning (SEL) support, services, and programs?
change

Teaching

Your Score:
Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Hiring & Assignment
Professional Learning
Performance Measurement & Management
Career Path & Compensation

Hiring & Assignment

1
A strong teacher pipeline allows all school leaders to hire the right teachers for their school and assign them to teams that support professional learning.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the hiring timeline and process allow for schools to attract high-quality teachers?
  • Do district policies encourage the most effective teachers to work in the highest-need schools?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the hiring process result in high-quality teacher hires?
  • Do district recruiting practices result in a pool of high-quality candidates?
  • Do high-need schools have an equal or higher concentration of effective teachers?
change

Professional Learning

2
Teachers receive high-quality, growth-oriented, job-embedded professional development designed to meet school and individual needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district ensure professional learning around the common, cross-district learning needs of teachers?
  • Does the district enable job-embedded professional learning for teachers?
  • Does the district ensure teacher professional learning and/or support at critical career junctures, including induction, remediation, and transition to leadership, as well as support for additional certification in high-need areas?
  • Does the district ensure that teachers receive high-quality, growth-oriented, job-embedded professional learning that supports school and individual needs?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do principals have a manageable span of review?
change

Performance Measurement & Management

3
The teacher evaluation system is anchored in evidence of student learning and informs all other aspects of the human capital system.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Is the district's teacher evaluation system based on evidence and college- and career-ready standards?
  • Is the teacher evaluation system anchored in evidence of student learning, and does it inform all other aspects of the human capital system?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Are evaluation ratings an accurate assessment of teacher performance?
  • Does the evaluation system result in the ability to differentiate teachers?
  • Is the district’s teacher evaluation process and data used to support hiring, development, and assignment?
  • Does the district retain an effective teaching force and encourage struggling teachers to leave the system?
change

Career Path & Compensation

4
Teacher compensation models and career paths reward the greatest contributors, promote differentiated roles, and attract top talent to challenging schools.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district leverage the whole value proposition to attract and retain top teacher talent?
  • Does the district use its compensation system and career paths to leverage effective teachers to take on additional responsibilities and extend their reach to students or colleagues?
change

School Design

Your Score:
Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Instruction
Teacher Collaboration
Talent Management
Time & Attention
Whole Child
Growth-Oriented Adult Culture

Instruction

1
Teachers integrate effective standards-aligned curricula, instructional strategies, and assessments.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do school leaders and teachers share a clearly articulated instructional vision that defines their approach to teaching and learning, includes subject-specific practices, and is informed by rigorous expectations for excellent teaching?
  • Are instructional materials and instructional practice consistently rigorous for all students?
  • Are teachers across the district regularly assessing student progress through formative and interim assessments, and are they using data to adjust instruction?
change

Teacher Collaboration

2
Teachers are organized into expert-led teams that focus on the design and delivery of instruction and include ongoing growth-oriented feedback.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do teachers have sufficient time scheduled for collaborative work and professional learning?
  • Are teachers organized into balanced teams for the purpose of deepening understanding of standards and planning and improving instruction?
  • Is professional learning supported by qualified and school-based content experts?
  • Is teacher professional learning time used effectively?
  • Are teachers receiving growth-oriented feedback and sustained coaching to improve instruction?
change

Talent Management

3
Schools attract and retain the best teachers through the thoughtful design and assignment of roles and responsibilities to match skills with school and student need.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do schools assign the most effective teachers to highest-priority areas?
  • Do schools assign teachers to differentiated roles that increase the impact of highly effective teachers and enable additional support for new and struggling teachers?
change

Time & Attention

4
Student grouping, learning time, technology, and programs are matched to individual student needs.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Have schools made cost-effective investments in group size as a lever for individual attention?
  • Are master schedules aligned to ensure sufficient time for content mastery for all students?
  • Do schools adjust supports, interventions, and student grouping frequently based on student data?
  • Do schools support students with disabilities and English language learners (ELL) in a general education setting where possible?
change

Whole Child

5
Students are deeply known and receive more intensive social and emotional supports that are integrated when necessary.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Are schools building and maintaining an effective climate and culture based on shared expectations for values, behaviors, and routines that best support student learning?
  • Are students known deeply by adults and other students in their school?
  • Do schools ensure targeted, integrated, and efficient social and emotional services, including a deliberate approach to incorporating social-emotional competencies into student learning time?
change

Growth-Oriented Adult Culture

6
Teachers and leaders grow a collaborative culture in which they share ownership of a common instructional vision and student learning.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do school faculty demonstrate a professional culture based on trust, commitment, shared accountability, and shared high standards around continuous learning of students and adults?
change

Leadership

Your Score:
Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Hiring & Assignment
Professional Learning
Performance Measurement & Management
Career Path & Compensation

Hiring & Assignment

1
A strong leader pipeline ensures recruitment and retention of leaders with the right experience and skills for the job.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do district policies encourage the most effective leaders to work in the highest-need schools?
  • Does the hiring timeline allow for schools to attract high-quality school leaders?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district strategically place its most effective principals in the highest-need schools?
  • Does the recruiting and hiring process result in high-quality school leader hires?
change

Professional Learning

2
School leaders receive high-quality, growth-oriented, job-embedded professional development that supports district, school, and individual needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district provide school leaders and other instructional experts with significant support and training throughout the school year?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district place strong leaders and promising potential leaders where they can have the greatest impact and growth?
change

Performance Measurement & Management

3
The school leader evaluation system is anchored in evidence of student learning and informs all other aspects of the human capital system.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district use a clear and rigorous, standards-based school leader evaluation system?
  • Is the district’s principal evaluation data and process used to support compensation decisions, hiring, development, and assignment?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Are school leader evaluation ratings an accurate assessment of school leader performance?
  • Does the district retain effective school leaders and encourage consistently ineffective school leaders to leave the system?
change

Career Path & Compensation

4
The school leader compensation models and career paths reward the greatest contributors, promote differentiated roles, and attract top talent to challenging schools.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district leverage the whole value proposition to attract top school leader talent?
change

School Support

Your Score:
Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Integrated Planning Process
Differentiated Support & Accountability
Service Quality & Efficiency

Integrated Planning Process

1
Schools receive the support, guidance, and resources they need from cross-functional teams to implement strategic school designs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the school and district planning process and calendar allow a logical and integrated flow of all critical steps, from visioning to strategy to resource planning?
  • Is data integrated using a system that is easy for administrators, teachers, and central office staff to access and use?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do teachers, administrators and central office staff use data to drive resource allocation and other decisions?
change

Differentiated Support & Accountability

2
The central office provides sufficient and differentiated support to schools based on student and school leader need and holds schools accountable to goals.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do school calendars and schedules provide adequate time and flexibility to meet student needs (or support strategic school designs)?
  • Are there clear performance targets for which schools and school leaders are held accountable?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district provide sufficient support that varies based on school needs?
  • Does the district outline a set of research-backed priorities for schools and guidance to support implementation?
change

Service Quality & Efficiency

3
The central office actively manages costs and service quality within central departments and across the district.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do central office budgeting practices focus on service quality, district priorities, and fiscal sustainability?
  • Are central office departments held accountable for providing high-quality, coordinated, and cost-effective services to schools?
change

Funding & Portfolio

Your Score:
Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Equity
Transparency
Flexibility
Utilization & Efficiency
Governance & Programming
Choice & Assignment

Equity

1
Funding is allocated equitably across schools, adjusting for student and school needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Are the district's staffing and funding systems designed to consistently provide additional resources to students with greater learning needs?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district consistently provide additional resources to students with greater learning needs?
change

Transparency

2
Clear rules guide the “where, how, and why” of the flow of dollars in district and school budgets.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do school budgets provide a clear picture of how and where resources are allocated?
change

Flexibility

3
Schools have the flexibility to use resources to support their needs and strategies.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do schools have the flexibility to vary resource use based on student, teacher, and school needs?
change

Utilization & Efficiency

4
The school portfolio fully and cost-effectively utilizes physical facilities.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district make (or plan to make, if enrollment is changing) full use of existing facilities? Does the district have small schools either due to not using existing facilities or small buildings?
  • Does the district have a clear and cost-effective plan for staffing small (<350) and under-filled schools?
change

Governance & Programming

5
The mix of school operators and programs provides high-quality offerings and innovative designs across the district that are sustainable over time.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Has the district aligned programs, grade configurations, and school size across school levels so that students who move through a specific feeder pattern or choice area experience continuity of programs across school levels?
  • As permitted by state policy, does the district’s use of external school operators, if any, maximize local capacity and expertise within available resource levels?
change

Choice & Assignment

6
Student assignment policies maximize equitable access to high-quality programs within cost constraints to meet student needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Is there equitable access to high-quality programs and innovative designs for students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • How distributed are students of color and economically disadvantaged students across schools?
change

Community Engagement

Your Score:
Assessment
Needs Most Improvement
Needs Improvement
Close to Best Practices
Best Practice
Community Resources
Family Engagement
Stakeholder Engagement

Community Resources

1
The district and schools actively and effectively partner with community providers.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district partner with or support schools in partnering with community or alternative providers?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do schools partner with community or alternative providers?
change

Family Engagement

2
Schools actively and effectively engage families.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district encourage and support schools to partner with parents around meeting student learning goals?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do schools partner with parents around meeting student learning goals?
change

Stakeholder Engagement

3
The district and schools actively and effectively engage key stakeholders.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district engage with the local community around strategic resource planning?
change
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