Download Session Descriptions and Conversations with Experts – PDF format

Session Descriptions

Networking with our Neighbors: Role-Alikes

Participants from each state will meet in small groups with others who have similar responsibilities and interests to support and sustain turnaround efforts in schools and school districts. This time will allow members to get to know colleagues from across the regions and develop contacts who can be a resource and sounding board regarding the challenges faced in this demanding work.

Promoting Positive Cultures for Turnaround Efforts

This session will address the importance of ethical leadership and creating a healthy school culture. Participants will examine why educators and leaders should put kids first, as well as strategies that will send this important message and that will get favorable results. They also will look at four important areas of leadership—creating purpose, capacity building, collaboration, and accountability. During this session, participants will learn (a) strategies on consensus building, (b) strategies on strategic planning and vision development, and (c) how to develop effective systems of job-embedded professional development. They will leave with an abundance of theoretical frameworks and practical strategies to improve their leadership effectiveness.

Recruiting and Maintaining Turnaround Leaders

In this session, participants will first consider school turnaround research literature to situate the unique challenges (and opportunities) that principals face in such settings. They then will focus on the particular turnaround challenge of recruiting and hiring the right school leaders. Finally, participants will identify strategies for recruiting and hiring turnaround principals and have time for facilitated work with some practical tools.

Sustaining Effective Turnaround Processes and Programs with Reduced Funding

We know from the research that approximately two-thirds of schools that begin reform programs do not sustain their reform efforts after the funding is eliminated. One of the root causes seems to be little or no practical planning for monitoring the implementation and progress of the program. This session will include practical planning for the eventual reduction or elimination of the funding. It will provide participants with research on the schools that were successful in sustaining their reform efforts and what they did to sustain with reduced or eliminated funding. Practical tools that can be used at the state, district, or school level to plan for reduced funding will also be shared.

Sustaining Turnaround and Rapid Improvement

This session will discuss the U.S. Department of Education’s support of the SEA’s role in aiding local education agencies in making necessary changes to create conditions for rapid school improvement. The speaker will also share how to best work with the Comprehensive Center network to sustain turnaround efforts.

  • Anthony Muhammad, Educational Consultant, New Frontier 21
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  • Carlas McCauley, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
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  • Robin Jarvis in breakout session table
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Conversations with Experts

During these sessions, state teams will meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with nationally recognized educators and researchers. These experts will answer specific questions related to identified topics.

U.S. Department of Education Perspectives

State staff will have the opportunity to interact with the speaker in a less formal setting to ask questions on context specific factors in the area of school turnaround.

Building Policymaker Capacity to Support School Turnaround

The presenters will discuss how state education agencies (SEAs) can work effectively with state and local policymakers in the area of school turnaround to collectively achieve desired outcomes.

SEA’s Role in Building Local Education Agency Capacity

Using an approach similar to the methodology the University of Virginia (UVA) utilizes, the presenter will share examples, with a state-specific focus, on how to leverage resources and other forms of technical assistance to get SEA staff thinking about how to support the work of LEAs with schools.

Planning and Implementing Extended Learning Time

This session will cover specific strategies that states can take to address findings from School Improvement Grant (SIG) monitoring visits regarding extended learning time (ELT) in middle and high schools. Research will be shared with SEA staff that will allow them to assist districts with planning for and implementing a successful ELT program based on promising practices.

Creating Healthy Learning Environments

SEA staff will be given practical strategies and tips on how to assist districts with changing the toxic culture of certain schools that embraces the turnaround mindset.

Monitoring and Evaluating Turnaround Efforts

The focus of this conversation will be on using the processes/tools of Implementation Science and Indistar as the basis for monitoring and evaluating the school turnaround supports SEAs are providing to LEAs and schools. The presenters will share the elements of these two processes, including coaching, performance measures, etc., to assist in informing the work of the SEAs.