Instructional Initiatives

Vocabulary and Higher Order Thinking Strategies

Our 4 traditional high schools have participated in the Learning Focused vocabulary train the trainer program. This will allow our instructional coaches to train teachers on using key vocabulary strategies in their classrooms. According to research, the percentile gain in learning with application of these strategies is 33%. Through Lucid, Inc our high school coaches will be trained to help teachers use online, interactive, and shareable graphic organizers to help students’ depth of knowledge. Learning how to compare/contrast and analyze cause/effect are just a couple of examples of how to apply this tool to support student learning. Research shows a possible percentile gain of 45% when applying this instructional strategy.

Functional Professional Learning Teams

Each high school has organized PLTs with subjects where two or more teachers teach the same subject/level. These meetings are focused on instructional planning, implementing high yield instructional strategies, building common formative assessments, and data analysis of those assessments to see which students have learned the content and which students need intervention before the summative test. Data is also used to share best practice of teaching certain standards among teachers in the PLT. Meeting templates are used to guide the meetings as the PLT cycle follows DuFour's critical questions.  1. What do we want all studens to know and be able to do? 2. How will we know if they learn it? 3. How will we respond when some students do not learn?  4. How will we extend the learning for students who are already proficient?  Each high school principal has set PLTs as a instructional priortity.

Instructional Walkthroughs for Teacher Support

Instructional walkthroughs- Each high school conducts instructional non evaluative classroom walkthroughs that look for student engagement and implementation of high yield strategies. Data is used to guide professional development and teacher instructional support. School administration and instructional coaches develop a schedule to see teachers on weekly or bi weekly basis. District personnel are available for school support and feedback.