Strategic Education Collaborators: Your Partner in you Continuous Improvement Journey.
What sets Strategic Education Collaborators apart from our competitors is our experience as former building and district level administrators. We know the world our clients live in every day because our staff has extensive experience working in schools. We not only apply researched based practices we have a vast amount of experiential expertise unlike many large consulting firms. We believe in building close working partnerships with our clients to be as our name implies, be your strategic education collaborator to unlock your collective talents to achieve your organization’s goals.
We believe that any schools can be turned around when they undertake bold, systemic changes to reverse deeply embedded patterns of dysfunction. This includes putting a clear focus on the success of all students and subgroups of students, especially students with disabilities and English learners. We have the expertise and experience to partner with schools to undertake such efforts. As a turnaround partner, we will work with district leadership, school administration and staff to identify key base line quantitative and qualitative data specific to student achievement and key customer feedback. This data will provide the LEA trending and current leading and lagging continuous improvement indicators. Successful research based continuous improvement efforts require close collaboration among key stakeholders: teachers, parents, district administrators, building administrators, parents, community leaders, and external support providers. This collaborative effort relies on a commitment to making significant, comprehensive, and often difficult changes to produce real and lasting improvements in student outcomes.
Comprehensive Diagnostic Review Process and Methodology
Diagnostic Review Process:
To conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of the school’s areas of strengths and potential areas of need. The process will include collecting, analyzing, and reporting data, as well as identifying areas of strength and concern to be considered for continued improvement. The needs assessment process may include the following data collection methods as determined by the client:
- A pre-assessment reflection with key stakeholders on school strengths and potential areas of need using research based Continuous School Improvement frameworks
- Interviews with site and district administrators and lead department and grade level teachers (including special education and classified staff)
- Focus groups of teachers, students, and parents
- Classroom observation visits
- Online staff, student, and parent surveys
- Academic achievement data
The Diagnostic Review by Strategic Education Collaborators will provide an essential comprehensive base line of student achievement and key stakeholder data. It is recommended by Strategic Education Collaborators the LEA and district use this baseline data in their the Improvement Planning process through collaboration among key stakeholders: teachers, parents, district administrators, building administrators, parents, community leaders, and external support providers This comprehensive needs assessment can be used by local stakeholders as a basis for action planning and/or a baseline from which to measure progress over time.
We implement a mixed-methods approach to better understand the quality of activities contributing to higher and more meaningful desired outcomes. Our approach provides a breadth and depth of data collection procedures (both quantitative and qualitative) and allows for multi-level analyses. Data for needs assessments may be collected using the following approaches:
- Structured classroom observations focused on the use of evidence-based classroom practices.
- Interviews with key district administrators, site administrators, and general and special education teachers, captured a depth of knowledge not highlighted in surveys and document data analysis.
- A series of parent, student, and teacher focus groups contributed a variety of perspectives from stakeholders throughout the school community.
- Online teacher surveys examined perceptions and beliefs regarding quality of instruction, school climate, and relationships with and among staff.
- Data analysis explored recent school academic achievement trends in state and district assessments.
Random sampling is used to select participants for interviews, teacher focus groups, and classroom observations attending to grade level, content area, and team assignment. Attention is paid to stakeholders across the school, including general education teachers, special education teachers, program specialists/coordinators, and assistant principals. Strategic Education Collaborators work with district administration and site principals to recruit a sample of representative individuals for the pre-assessment stakeholder meeting, student focus groups, parent focus groups, and all surveys.
Classroom observations and survey data is analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages, and means) to determine similarities and differences among respondents and across assessment areas. Focus group and interview data is independently compiled and analyzed according to research-based qualitative content analysis procedures including coding of responses, categorization of emerging themes, and synthesis of findings and lessons learned. Analyses begin by identifying emerging themes and categories. Focused coding techniques are used to elaborate and connect themes when possible, and to delineate potential sub-themes within the broader topics. This process allows for a more rigorous classification and management of text and narrative into controllable bits of data, so that Strategic Education Collaborators can make valid inferences from interview, focus group, and survey data.
Classrooms across the school will be observed for data collection visits across English language arts (ELA), math, social studies, science, and special education classes. A Strategic Education Collaborators developed observation protocol based on Danielson’s Framework is used to gather data around instructional practices (e.g., lesson objective and relevancy to learners), teaching approaches (e.g., direct and constructivist instructional methods), formative assessment, language development (including vocabulary), and implementation of literacy and mathematical College and Career Ready Standards instructional shifts. Active learner engagement as well as learning environment (e.g., routines and procedures) will also be noted.
As part of the needs assessment process, individual interviews will be conducted with school administrators (principals and assistant principals), district administration, school specialists, office staff, and teachers. Interviews last on average 45 minutes. Interview questions cover the following areas: (1) positive attributes at the school, (2) challenges at the school, (3) school climate, (4) communication, (5) formal and informal staff feedback processes, (6) implementation of standards-based curricula, (7) use of periodic assessments to assess student learning, (8) professional development, (9) student achievement, and (10) continuous improvement efforts. Interview data is independently compiled and analyzed using qualitative content analysis including coding of responses, identification of emerging themes, and synthesis of findings. Strategic Education Collaborators identifies emerging themes for each interview and focus group item. Focused coding techniques are then used to elaborate and connect themes within the Colorado Standards for Continuous School Improvement.
As part of the needs assessment process, focus groups will be conducted with groups of teachers, parents, and students. Focus groups last on average 45 minutes. Focus group questions cover the following areas: (1) positive attributes at the school, (2) challenges at the school, (3) school climate, (4) communication, (5) formal staff feedback processes, (6) student achievement and other student outcomes, (7) parent and family engagement, (8) teacher quality, and (9) areas for improvement.
Stakeholder Feedback Surveys:
The use of stakeholder feedback surveys may include teachers, community members, parents, students and staff. The survey will be distributed to teachers via, a web-based survey platform. Surveys will be emailed to the teachers prior to the on-site visit and they will be given a week to complete the survey. Survey responses will be analyzed using descriptive data, while qualitative responses are coded and analyzed for emerging trends.
Diagnostic Report Presentation
Presentation to School Leadership:
The purpose of this meeting is to bring a near final draft of the report to the school leadership. The version brought to this meeting has already been fully edited by Strategic Education Collaborators and printed in a spiral-bound format. The goal is to walk the leaders in the meeting through the full report to experience and vet the full document. Edits can be made where clarity is needed; improved wording (to a degree) and any corrections that the lead agrees to make can be considered. The goal is to get each improvement standard to be “owned” by a leader for presenting to the Full Stakeholder group. Each leader will get 5 to 10 minutes to walk the full group through what they believe to be the key findings, assets and recommendations for their assigned standard.
Presentation to Stakeholder Groups:
This presentation can be given to representation of a multitude of stake holder groups or to individual stakeholder groups, like teachers, as desired by the client. The staff at Strategic Collaboration Collaborators will proved a detailed presentation and report for the client to digest and to ask interpretive question of the presenters. Copies of the report and/or and Executive Summary will be provided in an electronic form. Hard copies of the report, or segments of the report, will be the responsibility of the client to produce and distribute.
Pricing is based on several factors including the scope of services the client elects and the size of school/staff. The pricing of Strategic Education Collaborators is competitive with market peers but dollar for dollar, the quality of the product and service is what sets Strategic Education Collaborators apart from other consulting partners. Please contact Strategic Education Collaborators to pricing and scheduling.