Southeast USD, KS - Educator Effectiveness System Case Study


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Learn how this school district in a small farming community has used the resources and tools available in the Educator Effectiveness System to improve the experience for their teachers and students.

“Our district is the poorest in the state and that is a key block to teacher development but the Educator Effectiveness System is cost-effective and supplies everything we need.”
Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas

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Southeast USD, KS - Educator Effectiveness System Case Study

  1. 1. Educator Effectiveness System Case Study Small Rural School District Increases Student Engagement and Success with Effective Teaching Practices “The Educator Effectiveness System is making a positive impact on our teachers and as a result, increasing the quality learning experiences of our students. Administrators are witnessing significant changes in the schools.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas Profile The settlers of Cherokee, Kansas were eager to establish an education resource for their children and opened the town’s first school without delay. A mining settlement, it rapidly became a thriving boomtown until the demand for coal fell, mines shut down, businesses closed, and people left. The town nearly disappeared but the fertile land appealed to a few who settled in and built productive farmsteads. Today, Cherokee is a quiet farming community of 714 people with the goal of providing good education in their school district, Southeast USD 247 serving approximately 640 students in five schools. Despite a declining enrollment, shrinking budget, as well as difficulties recruiting and retaining teachers, there are also student advantages in a small, rural school system such as personal attention, a safe environment, and opportunities for everyone to be involved in extracurricular activities. District highlights have included: • A unique, state-leading K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program. • Additional high school courses and high school credit classes offered at the junior high level. • 100% reimbursement of dual credit college courses for high school students earning a B or better. • A partnership with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol has earned USD 247 a $600,000 grant to supply afterschool learning opportunities and an eight week summer camp. Focus Located in a disadvantaged area, USD 247 knows that personal issues affect many students such as no computer access at home, inadequate nutrition, busy parents with two jobs, and working students with limited study time. In an effort to incorporate the highest quality personalized educational experience for all students, it is focusing on the areas below:
  2. 2. • Authentic student engagement • Differentiated instruction • Data to drive instruction • Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports Solutions Optimistic, innovative, and committed to increasing student success through teacher growth, Southeast USD 247 Superintendent Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. is an amazing administrator who is transforming local education. He was intrigued in 2011 when he heard of PD 360 and rapidly recognized its great potential. He began finding ways to save district monies, including the restructuring of a $1.4 million School Improvement Grant. He then purchased the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) with its components PD 360, Observation 360, Evidence 360, and Common Core 360 to manage district focuses. • Dr. Fortmayer has encouraged authentic student engagement for higher achievement but the teachers have struggled. PD 360 is training teachers with programs such as Classroom Management Framework, Conscious Classroom Management, Teaching Strategies, and Working on the Work, all showing teachers using the practices in real classrooms. • To ensure that everyone receives an individualized education, PD 360 programs Differentiated Instruction for All Students, Differentiated Instruction Applied, Practical Student-Centered Learning, and Teaching Strategies are clarifying differentiated instruction for USD 247 teachers. • PD 360 programs like Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap and Data Driven Decisions to Improve Results are developing the teachers’ comprehension of using data to drive instruction. “Data is the foremost tool for identifying areas of need in classrooms. As teachers learn to track the spikes and dips in achievement, they can reproduce the triumphs, boost the spikes, and curb the dips.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas • Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework for Kansas schools to maintain the success of each child in the areas of reading, math, and behavior by aligning resources. It is beneficial to identify those requiring intervention as early as possible. PD 360 supports USD 247 and its realization of MTSS with the largest on-demand professional progress suite available that includes an ever-expanding library of over 2,500 videos on 130 topics. IMPLEMENTATION AND USAGE After EES training, USD 247 teachers were required to watch PD 360’s Compliance Series which includes safety concerns such as blood borne pathogens, bullying, and harassment. As encouragement to explore programs, $50.00 was given to each teacher completing a PD 360 scavenger hunt and $25.00 is given to the teacher with the highest monthly usage. Both incentives have worked very well and teachers have quickly learned to appreciate the program’s ease and flexibility. To accomplish professional growth goals, USD 247 utilizes EES components in a variety of ways: Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) PD 360 is a perfect resource for PLC planning and structure. Groups choose a focus, watch a video segment either individually before the meeting or together during the meeting, and then open discussions about implementation. Licensure Renewal Points Because PD 360 is convenient and user-friendly, USD 247 teachers are pleased that usage is applicable to the required license renewal hours. Professional Growth Plans As part of the evaluation process, all USD 247 teachers have professional growth plans. Relevant to each teacher’s specific needs, PD 360 programs are incorporated into the plans. | 801-572-1153
  3. 3. Cost Effective With continued state budget cuts, Dr. Fortmayer has found PD 360 to be more economical than traditional conferences and because educators have unlimited access, it is never just a one-shot training. EES has met his concern of finding development that is premium yet affordable. “Our district is the poorest in the state and that is a key block to teacher development but the Educator Effectiveness System is cost-effective and supplies everything we need.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas Student Aptitude USD 247’s testing scores have been the lowest in the state, but they are steadily rising and are now in the top three of its peers. Students are reaching advanced proficiency scores in reading and math. They are also achieving “standard of excellence” ratings in reading and math as well as 100 percent in science. Leadership Skills PD 360 is not only for teachers but also administrators with leader-specific training programs such as Motion Leadership by Michael Fullan and Principals as Leaders of Change. “PD 360 programs help administrators build credibility with their teachers with continued leadership training to know and understand the best classroom practices.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas Teacher Enthusiasm USD 247 teachers like what they are seeing on PD 360. Their enthusiasm for its personalized flexibility as well as their own professional growth is shown by their strong usage numbers. | 801-572-1153 Common Core State Standards Common Core 360 has all the tools and resources needed to prepare teachers. It has an ever-growing library of 300+ training videos, including 70 in-class examples of teachers applying Common Core. “Using Common Core 360 for standards alignment is very popular with our teachers. They are so pleased with the Math and Language Arts lesson plans that they would like plans for every area.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas BENEFITS Teacher Accountability In the past, it was difficult for supervisors to verify how much teacher learning occurred and more importantly, if it had any effect. Now USD 247 regularly tracks participation and follow-through. “Most teachers are not ready for training that is completely online, so follow-up is vital. The accountability in PD 360’s reflection use, instruction practices, observations, and teacher evaluations are essential to improvement.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas Improved Observations Observations are indispensable in schools and Observation 360 makes them more efficient for administrators and valuable for teachers. In addition to the extensive tools for performing detailed observations, principals can give teachers immediate feedback recommending pertinent PD 360 videos, all on their mobile device. “PD 360 improves our walkthroughs with nationally vetted best practices; Observation 360 helps us take instruction to a new level, while Evidence 360 makes the whole process easy and effective. Personal responsibility is growing because more dialogue is happening between leaders and teachers.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas
  4. 4. | 801-572-1153 About School Improvement Founded in 1991 by teachers, School Improvement Network has spent decades researching and documenting the best practices in education. From this research, School Improvement Network has developed the Educator Effectiveness System. This system delivers a process to improve teacher practice, and gives educators a set of powerful tools to drive the process. Research shows that districts and schools that use the tools in the Educator Effectiveness System produce better teachers and, as a result, experience dramatic increases in student achievement, driving up student test scores by as much as 30 percent in a single year. School Improvement Network works with thousands of schools and districts in every state and around the world and has visited over 3,500 classrooms to document best practices in action. Learn more at Southeast USD 247 PD 360 Usage February 2013 – March 2014 Registered Users 63 Collective Programs Viewed 327 Collective Segments Viewed 822 Collective Minutes Viewed 6,165 A 2011 independent study of PD 360 use in schools like those in Southeast USD 247 showed elevated minutes per user resulted in more than twelve times the gains in math proficiency rates and twice the gains in reading proficiency rates than district averages. Math Change 2.50 2.00 High Min/User Schools District’s Average 1.50 1.00 0.05 0.00 Comparative Change for High Min/User Schools vs. Districts Reading Change 12.0 times greater gains in Math vs. District 71.5% greater gains in Reading vs. District CONCLUSION As a forward-looking administrator, Dr. Fortmayer recognized the need for better development and was proactive in acquiring PD 360, Observation 360, Common Core 360, and Evidence 360 for his teachers. His tenacity is paying off with skilled teachers and outstanding education for every student. “PD 360 is revolutionizing education with practices to en- gage every student at every level. It is real, hands-on, and at the grassroots of what teachers want: the capability to search and find what they need when they need it and the ability to watch real classrooms to see the implementation.” Dr. Glenn A. Fortmayer, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, Southeast USD 247, Kansas