What Does Each School Need?

1
The district systematically assesses student needs, teacher capacity, and school practice at each school.
Does your district:
  • Have an effective method for evaluating student needs at each school?
  • Manage the distribution of the highest-needs student populations across schools?
  • Have an effective method for evaluating principal and teacher performance?
  • Have well-defined set of school essentials used for school improvement planning?

What Does Each School Get?

1
The district allocates resources equitably based on individual schools’ needs.
Does your district:
  • Ensure that students with greater learning challenges at all schools receive additional resources to support these needs?
  • Tailor the amount of turnaround funding required according to each school’s needs and current funding levels?
2
Schools used allocated resources effectively to support instructional goals.
Do turnaround schools:
  • Have lower class sizes and teacher loads for the most critical grades, subjects, and students?
  • Maximize instructional time in core academic subjects?
  • Extend learning time for students who need it?
  • Does your district provide guidelines for differentiating instructional time and increasing individual attention based on student need?

How Effective is Your Turnaround Strategy?

1
The district has a deliberate and effective turnaround strategy for persistently low-performing schools.
Does your district:
  • Have a systematic way to assess school performance and determine which schools need additional support?
  • Have a turnaround strategy that includes the key success factors of a transformational leader, expert teacher teams, help for at-risk students, school designs that allow individualized interventions, and additional resources?

What are the Right Interventions?

1
The district’s turnaround strategy tailors interventions to individual schools’ needs.
Does your district:
  • Have clear performance standards for turnaround schools and leaders, with tangible consequences for meeting and falling short of those standards?
  • Determines which federal intervention strategy is most appropriate based on each school’s student needs, teacher leadership capacity, and instructional practice?
  • Use turnaround school investments to change underlying structures, rather than for add-ons to existing programs (e.g., tutoring, afterschool programs)?
  • Ensure school supervisors for turnaround schools have reduced spans of control and provide differentiated levels of support to schools based on performance level?
2
The district invests first in mission-critical areas.
Does your district:
  • Have an effective method for placing high-capacity principals in turnaround schools?
  • Provide incentives for teachers to work in turnaround schools?
  • Provide additional health, social, and emotional support to students in at-risk categories?
  • Provide turnaround schools with tools to use that data to adjust instruction to meet ongoing student needs?
3
The district’s intervention strategy addresses staffing needs.
  • Do principals at turnaround schools have authority to staff their school to match an instructional vision?
  • Do turnaround schools have support for removing low-performing teachers?
  • Are most specialist teachers at turnaround schools certified in core academic subject areas?
  • Are teachers in turnaround schools are provided with at least 90 minutes of collaborative planning time (CPT) per week?
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