Transformation – “a complete or major change in something’s appearance, form, etc.; often for the better.”
Throughout the state, Race to the Top (RttT) participating school districts have been meeting regularly with their RttT Transformation Teams to review the work being done and preparing for transformative changes. Transformation in the classroom and in the buildings will affect the way districts operate as they work to increase student achievement and ensure all students are college-and-career ready.
In the RttT Southeast Region, districts are doing transformational practices that are demonstrating success and leading to higher student achievement, deeper community involvement, and collaboration at a level that exceeds much of what has happened previously in schools.
Franklin Local has been on the forefront of change as they have taken the lead in many of the reform initiatives through their participation not only in RttT but also in the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative (OAC). High school teachers in that district realized they could not gear up for the rigorous demands of College and Career Readiness individually and as a result, developed a Peer Assisted Review (PAR) process where teachers work collaboratively to release colleagues to plan together and support one another in the classroom. This process was self-directed by the high school staff and a total grass roots initiative including the pairing of teachers and the development of the schedule. Teacher-lead initiatives such as this one, transformed the work being done at this high school by breaking down walls and creating a culture of collaboration and “just in time” support.
Coshocton City Schools are working to better use data collected at the high school level. Content area teams administer assessments, both formative and summative, analyze the results of these assessments and use them to actually change the instructional practices in their classrooms. Discussion of the assessment results and the use of the 5-step process through the Ohio Improvement Process help staff members plan for instruction that will meet the needs identified through the assessments. Data is used regularly by these high school teachers to improve their instruction and not simply gathered and shelved.
Crooksville Exempted Village, another member of the OAC working very closely with Battelle for Kids, has been a leader in innovation and change for the better of the students they serve on a daily basis. Most recently, they have reconfigured a teaching position into the role of College and Career Readiness Coach and Community Connections. They understand that to have students ready for a fulfilling career or a successful college experience, more support was needed. Parents and the community had to be fully engaged with the educational process. The College and Career Readiness Coach works directly with the Crooksville students, staff, businesses and community to educate and provide safety nets for students as they explore options and plan for the future. The community is able to see how successful students can contribute to the Crooksville Community. The work done through this program far surpasses the traditional newsletter, open house, and career fairs of the past. Using a combination of social media, print and face-to-face meetings, a deep connection is being made between the school and the community. Creating a position for a College and Career Readiness Coach and having one person fully responsible for this important work will ensure the Crooksville students and community efforts will be productive and successful.
Transformation… often for the better, is happening in these districts and throughout the state.
Please contact the following individuals for more information on their programs:
Franklin Local Schools
Shannon Fitz, Director of Instruction – Superintendent of Franklin Local Community School
Coshocton City Schools
Kathy Carter-Robbins, Director of Curriculum and Learning
Crooksville Exempted Village
Alea Barker, Director of Curriculum