School Leaders: Assuring Opportunity for All Students in the Implemented Curriculum

Providing evidence that you guarantee students access to content.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the school leader’s responsibilities for assuring students a guaranteed and viable curriculum, ensuring the implementation of a standards-aligned curriculum, and making sure that teachers have enough instructional time to deliver the implemented coursework. In this post, we’ll look at ways in which school leaders can maximize time to increase student achievement.

Domain 3, element 3 of the Marzano School Leadership Evaluation Model considers the school leader’s duty to assure that all students have the opportunity to learn the critical content of the curriculum. Whether you’re undergoing a transition in instructional practice or simply guaranteeing access to coursework in a traditional sense, you may be wondering, “How do I document what I’ve done?”

First, identify evidence that verifies what you already do. The course schedules you created, your co-teaching models, extended learning opportunities you offer, or supplemental materials that support struggling students can all serve as sources of evidence. However, to really build your expertise in element 3 of Domain 3, think beyond the obvious and ask yourself some questions.

Do you…?

∗  Implement additional instructional strategies to help underperforming students?
∗  Promote programs to all students?
∗  Monitor class enrollment to ensure equity?
∗  Consider students’ post-secondary goals when planning coursework?
∗  Encourage students to adopt goals that they once might not have considered?
∗  Look beyond graduation to students’ post-secondary endeavors and map your support accordingly?
∗  Make connections for families who might feel disenfranchised from school?

It All Begins With Data

Clearly, a school leader can’t undertake 24 different projects to cover all 24 elements. There will always be some overlap. In Domain 1, you   examined the data to get a sense of how well students are learning (Domain 1, element 1). From here, you can determine which students are underperforming and what they are struggling with (Domain 1, element 2). Using data, you can   track their progress throughout the year and identify and monitor strategies or programs that may help them (Domain 1, element 5).

Suppose you are reviewing data focused on eighth-grade students with less-than-proficient reading scores. You can follow these steps to ensure that all of those students have access to all courses:

1.  Examine overall numbers of proficient students and look for trends in these percentages across years.
2.  Identify students who are not proficient and then plan an intervention for those students.
3.  Track the effectiveness of the intervention, noting quantitative and qualitative positive changes.
4. Examine the progress and identify the strategies that helped students improve.
5.  Create a plan to increase the rate at which students may make further improvement.
6.  Cultivate a professional development plan to extend the desired outcomes and help other teachers learn the strategies that proved effective.
7.  Continue to monitor and evaluate until the use of this instructional strategy assures that ALL students have access to the courses and an improved potential for learning the material.

Sources of Evidence

When you speak to your evaluator, share what you would share with your team of teachers. Data reports, data dialogue notes, grouping information, sheets
for tracking progress, and intervention details will all do. You can also share professional development details and   observations you’ve completed, as well as
the professional development plan you created to prepare teachers to deliver this instruction. Reflection sheets, faculty meeting notes, action plans, and   student artifacts can also serve as valuable evidence.

Throughout the country, principals have begun to focus on assuring that all students have an opportunity to learn. Your goal should be to become highly skilled at providing this assurance. The Marzano model can help you capture all your efforts and secure that they benefit your school.

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