Building a district system of support for academies

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This workshop—designed for district leadership—will provide a framework for building a
district system of support so that academies at school sites thrive. Participants will hear
about leadership, equity, pathway design and quality, system alignment and operations
with attention given to the development of a broad-based coalition.

Published in: Education, Business
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Building a district system of support for academies

  1. 1. Building a District Systemof Support for Academies Academy Development and Structure - Academy Leadership Roman Stearns, ConnectEd Mike Henson, NAF
  2. 2. Agenda Introductions, Expectations, and Outcomes What is a Systemic Approach? Why Systems? What Do Systems Look Like? Are We Ready? Q&A
  3. 3. Introductions & Expectations Who are you? o Role, school, district What to you expect to gain from this session? o In a sentence
  4. 4. OutcomesParticipants will understand the need for a system of support to ensure sustainability of career academies be able to articulate the difference between programmatic and systemic strategies have a grasp of the various elements of a district-wide system have an initial understanding of the implications for moving to a systems approach have a sense of their district’s readiness to implement a system of academies
  5. 5. What is a Systemic Approach? Designed to involve, serve, and support all students, teachers, administrators, staff, business and community leaders Designed for the long-term to be scalable and sustainable Involves shifting policies, procedures, structures, leadership, and culture Some examples…
  6. 6. Problem Statement Principal Support. Site principal does not adequately understand academy needs and therefore does not provide the level of support necessary for high quality implementation Collaboration Time. Academy teachers do not have adequate collaboration time to design, monitor, and evaluate multidisciplinary projects, examine data, and address student intervention needs
  7. 7. Programmatic solution Principal Support. A district administrator or external support provider takes the principal under his/her wing to promote awareness; or replace the principal with someone who is more supportive Collaboration Time. On an academy-by- academy basis, negotiate scheduling solutions and/or union waivers that would allow for additional planning time
  8. 8. Systemic Solution Principal Support. Establish an ongoing principal leadership development program that systematically builds awareness and capacity of site administrators to deeply understand, support, and provide bold leadership that promotes high quality academy implementation Collaboration Time. Establish in district-wide policies and practices common planning time for academy teams of teachers as a priority when developing master schedules
  9. 9. Why systems? Historically, academies have been too person dependent and, as such, susceptible to deterioration when the leader leaves Academies have often been developed in spite of the system, rather than with support from it It’s the only way to move away from “pilot program” or “special project” status, and toward the primary strategy for secondary education
  10. 10. Fundamental Beliefs The district is committed to improving the educational experience and outcomes for all students through the use of career-themed academies The district is committed to open choice and equity for ALL students High school graduation and college and career readiness are a K-12 and community responsibility
  11. 11. What Do Systems Look Like? Small group activity o What are the implications of shifting to a more systemic approach to supporting academies? o 8 table groups o 3-5 members each o 20 minutes to grapple with question: How would district structures, culture, leadership, policies, and practices need to shift in order to…
  12. 12. Systemic Elements1. Equity, access, and choice2. High quality instruction3. Accountability systems4. Staffing5. Work-based learning6. Middle school career exploration7. Extended learning8. Facilities and budget planning
  13. 13. Report Out What are the two most compelling ideas that emerged from your group? OR What would be the two most critical implications for a district interested in moving to a more systemic approach to academy implementation?
  14. 14. Are You Ready?Complete surveys independentlyTable discussion: One person at a time, share one “high” result and one “low” result; for each… o How ready are you? o How do you know? i.e., What’s the evidence?
  15. 15. Readiness Assessment Guiding Questions LEADERSHIP, EQUITY, AND SYSTEMS ALIGNMENT Does the district have stable and bold leadership? Is there evidence of a commitment to equity? Are there effective communication channels throughout the district and out to the community? Are there potential local, regional partners who are also engaged in similar work to build regional capacity?
  16. 16. Readiness Assessment Guiding Questions CULTURE Is there evidence of a culture of schools being student-centered? Is there a culture of data use, inquiry and continuous improvement among adults? Does the district have an inclination towards systems rather than programs? Does the district and community value innovative approaches? Is there evidence of commitment to and experience with collaboration with community, civic, business and postsecondary partners?
  17. 17. Readiness Assessment Guiding Questions PRACTICE Is there widespread dissatisfaction with status quo and eagerness to improve student outcomes? Are foundational building blocks already in place in the District? i.e., What is the current state of career and technical education programs and funding?
  18. 18. Q&A
  19. 19. Contact Information Mike Henson NAF mhenson@naf.org (646) 584-1477 Roman Stearns ConnectEdrstearns@ConnectEdCalifornia.org (510) 849-4945

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