CST Convening Materials – Building Systemic and Sustainable Turnaround Efforts: An SEA Discussion



Plenary Room

Thank you to to everyone for making The Center on School Turnaround’s (CST) two-day fall conference, entitled Building Systemic and Sustainable Turnaround Efforts: An SEA Discussion a big success. The conference was designed for SEA turnaround and improvement leaders and their teams and offered the opportunity to speak with experts in the turnaround field and allowed states to share practices. The four breakout sessions were designed to maximize engagement and discussion.

Below you will find links to download all of the materials from the conference.

Agenda, Participants List, and Other Conference Downloads

  • For a detailed overview of the conference, download the Agenda.
  • To see who attended the conference, download the Participant List.
  • To find out more information and network with conference attendees, download the Profile Slides that were displayed throughout the conference.
  • To learn more about the Center on School Turnaround, download our three page Overview and a summary of the Center’s Year 3 Projects.
  • To learn more about the Center on School Turnaround’s Network of State Turnaround and School Improvement Leaders (NSTIL), download the 1-page Flyer. You can also get to know the NSTIL leadership planning council, through their Profile Slides.
  • To see how the Center on School Turnaround is structured, download a copy of our Organizational Chart.

Plenary Materials


Breakout Session Descriptions and Downloadable Materials

Breakout Session #1: 1:00 – 2:15pm; Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Arkansas Department of Education – Planning and Preparing Districts and Schools for Turnaround

Participants will obtain step-by-step processes to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment. The processes involve a variety of tools that leads to the evaluation of the effective use of interventions and actions that support school improvement. The comprehensive needs assessment process in Arkansas provides guidance toward a true school improvement plan. The Arkansas Department of Education, Public School Accountability, School Improvement Unit, is taking processes and onsite training directly to schools at the point of service. The essential step of the comprehensive needs assessment process provides an overall alignment of resources to student achievement and teacher instructional needs across the state.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AK, AR, IA, IL, MD, ME, MO, MS, NE, VA
  • Facilitator: Lenay Dunn, Center on School Turnaround at WestEd
  • Presenter(s): Mitzi Smith, School Improvement Specialist, Arkansas Department of Education; LaDonna Spain, School Improvement Specialist, Arkansas Department of Education
  • Handout: Conducting a Comprehensive Needs Assessment in your School

Colorado Department of Education – Leveraging Change in Districts Through a School Turnaround Network

Colorado is entering the fourth year of its statewide accountability system and is developing and refining ways to support low-performing schools and districts. Through cross-department support systems, Colorado’s staff provide services around data analysis, improvement planning, performance management, leadership development, and more. The School and District Performance Unit has expanded its support services to work with district and school leaders through the Turnaround Network, and to develop a School Turnaround Leadership Development grant program.

Montana Office of Public Instruction – Developing an Early Warning System

The Montana Early Warning System is a dropout tool available to all Montana schools. The model helps schools identify their students who are at-risk for dropping out. The early warning system is used for sixth through twelfth grade students. Up-to-date results from the early warning system can be run at any time during the school year. Results are computed at the student level and include the risk for that student dropping out, how that risk has changed over time, and what attributes are contributing to the risk for that student. The 2012-2013 school year was the pilot year for the model; lessons learned and changes to the model were made during the 2013-2014 school year. The presenters will discuss how schools are using the early warning system and lessons learned during the first two years. The presentation will also cover how the model was developed and validated, including some of the statistical methods and analysis used.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AL , MT, NC, ND, NV, PR, WY
  • Facilitator: Julie Corbett, Corbett Education Consulting
  • Presenter(s): Eric Meredith, Education Data Analyst, Montana Office of Public Instruction

Texas Education Agency – Building District Capacity

Critical to the conversation of school turnaround is the role of the districts. This session is meant to highlight the Texas Education Agency’s efforts to build capacity in districts overseeing turnaround efforts.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: CA, GA, KS, LA, MN, NM, OR, TX, UT
  • Facilitator: Trent Sharp, Texas Comprehensive Center
  • Presenter(s): Sally Partridge, Associate Commissioner of Accreditation and School Improvement, Texas Education Agency; Michael Greenwalt, Director, Program Monitoring and Intervention, Texas Education Agency

Breakout Session #2: 2:30 – 3:45pm; Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Georgia Department of Education – Measuring District Effectiveness

The Georgia team will share its journey in working to build capacity at the district level. As a result of the ESEA flexibility waiver and the work with SIG schools, the need for district ownership and commitment to underperforming schools became apparent. Georgia is breaking down the silos at the SEA in an effort to support districts through collective efforts of multiple SEA departments (School Improvement, Federal Program, Special Education, and Curriculum and Assessment).

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AR, CO, GA, IA, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, NM, OK, OR, TX
  • Facilitator: Don Doggett, Southeast Comprehensive Center
  • Presenter(s): Barbara Lunsford, Associate Superintendent for School Improvement, Georgia Department of Education

New Hampshire Department of Education – Developing Problems of Practice in an Effort to Build Capacity

This session will discuss the development of New Hampshire’s statewide Problems of Practice Model (Elmore, 2013) for School Innovation, which emerged from the state’s annual Educator’s Summer Summit. Grounded in implementation science and best schools practices, the guiding principles are transformation through sustainable innovation(s); research-based best practices to include action research and practitioner case studies; and long-term increases in student outcomes through academic and cultural shifts. In its third year, the Summit is moving towards full implementation, expanding participation from kindergarten to grade 12 educators and administrators to include the prenatal to school and community-based preschool communities. Presenters will address how New Hampshire is implementing an Integrated Model of Title Management for Priority, School Improvement Grant, and Title IA funding; increasing research-based practices; and offering meaningful feedback to each program through a tri-annual peer review process in its pilot year.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AL, AZ, CA, KY, LA, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, PR, UT
  • Facilitator: Mark Williams, Academic Development Institute; Center on School Turnaround
  • Presenter(s): Mary Earick, Administrator, Bureau of Integrated Programs, New Hampshire Department of Education; Amy Allen, Principal Parker Varney School, Manchester, New Hampshire; Michael Quigley, Idlehurst Elementary School, Somersworth, New Hampshire

Virginia Department of Education – Lead Turnaround Partners

This session highlights the state education agency-led effort to build the capacity of local education agencies that have priority schools by collaborating with lead turnaround partners.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AK, IL, IN, ME, NV, VA, WA, WI, WY
  • Facilitator: Kandace Jones, Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center
  • Presenter(s): Yvonne Holloman, Associate Director, Office of School Improvement, Virginia Department of Education

Breakout Session #3: 10:30 – 11:45am; Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Indiana Department of Education – Statewide Tiered Support Systems

This session is designed to highlight Indiana’s effort to strategically develop a statewide system designed to support schools across the state.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AL, CO, GA, IN, LA, MD, ME, MO, MS, MT, NM, NV, WI
  • Facilitator: Alison Segal, Mass Insight Education
  • Presenter(s): Cindy Hurst, State Title I Coordinator, Indiana State Department of Education; Charlie Geier, Director of Early Learning and Intervention, Indiana State Department of Education; Teresa Brown, Assistant of Outreach, Indiana State Department of Education

Kentucky Department of Education – Developing Turnaround Coaches

In an effort to enhance efforts at the local level, school leaders, Education Recovery Specialists, and Education Recovery Leaders document their work in schools against the ten Certified School Improvement Specialist standards to earn the national, evidence-based Certified School Improvement Specialist (CSIS) designation. This session is designed to highlight Kentucky plans to improve school turnaround efforts.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AK, AR, AZ, CA, KY, ND, OK, OR, TX, UT, VA, WY
  • Facilitator: Lenay Dunn, Center on School Turnaround at WestEd
  • Presenter(s): Deb Page, President, The Institute of Performance Improvement; David Raleigh, Superintendent, Owen County School District; Danny Osborne, Principal, Owen County High School

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction – Ensuring Equity for All Students

The mission of Student and School Success is to ensure equality in outcomes for students in the identified 281 schools that represent approximately 250,000 of the state’s children. To realize its mission, Student and School Success identifies and disrupts inequitable and culturally ineffectual practices, replacing these with a vision of equity that every child receives what she or he needs to develop to his or her full academic and social potential. The change drivers to ensure effective implementation of the mission/vision are transformational teaching for learning and courageous leadership. Success is measured by the degree to which the initiative reduces and eliminates the achievement, opportunity, and learning gaps that have lingered in the state, which have created a system of institutionalized classism and racism that holds many children back and has prevented them from reaching their full potential.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: IA, IL, KS, MI, MN, NE, NC, PR, WA
  • Facilitator: Caryn Ward, National Implementation Research Network/Partner; Center on School Turnaround at WestEd
  • Presenter(s): Andrew Kelly, Assistant Superintendent for Student and School Success

Breakout Session #4: 1:00 – 2:15pm; Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kansas State Department of Education – Integrating Continuous School Improvement Efforts

Over the past few years, it has become apparent that the state education agency’s role is changing or needs to change to support districts as they strive meet the accountability requirements designed to improve outcomes for all students. The Kansas State Department of Education will describe its system-wide approach to implementing the Kansas Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver. This approach includes integrating multiple federal and state programs for technical assistance and continuous improvement planning in a meaningful, deliberate manner for accountability, capacity building, and sustainability.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: Download
  • States: AK, AR, AZ, LA, ME, MI, MT, ND, TX, UT
  • Facilitator: Heather Mattson, Center on School Turnaround at WestEd
  • Presenter(s): Colleen Riley, Director Early Childhood, Special Education and Title I Services; Sandra Guidry, Assistant Director, Early Childhood, Special Education and Title I Services

Minnesota Department of Education – Building Regional Support Systems

In 2011 the Minnesota Department of Education implemented a new statewide system of support that works exclusively with schools receiving a focus or priority designation because of low student achievement levels or persistent achievement gaps. The system establishes a consistent, cohesive, regional infrastructure for effectively and efficiently providing equitable access for school improvement support throughout the state. This session will be a conversation about how the Minnesota system of support is implemented, the focused support schools receive, system results, lessons learned, and next steps.

New Mexico Public Education Department – Effective Leadership in Turnaround Schools: Principals Pursuing Excellence

Effective leadership is essential for successful school turnaround efforts. The New Mexico Public Education Department Priority Schools Bureau designed the Principals Pursuing Excellence (PPE) program in early 2013 to support and develop principals who are committed to dramatically improving their students’ academic performance and possess the desire (as well as demonstrated competencies) to become transformational leaders.

The PPE program’s goal is to educate, mentor, and empower principals to develop the competencies and practice the behaviors that drive significant gains in student achievement. In the first year, 53 percent of participating schools grew one or more school grades; 18 percent grew two or more school grades; and 3 percent grew three school grades. This session will provide participants with an overview of how PPE grew from a conversation to a state-funded mentorship program. The session will describe the journey in identifying a problem; the challenges and barriers; the success; and how in the second year, local school boards have come to the table to support the turnaround work.

  • PowerPoint Presentation: View Prezi
  • States: AL, CA, IN, KY, MD, MO, MS, NM, NV, NC, OK, OR, PR, VA
  • Facilitator: Bryan Hassel, Co-Director, Public Impact
  • Presenter(s): Elisabeth Peterson, Turnaround Specialist, Priority Schools Bureau New Mexico Public Education Department

Related Center on School Turnaround Resources

  • District Readiness to Support School Turnaround. This guide provides state education agencies (SEAs) and districts (LEAs) with guidance about how to assess the district’s readiness to support school turnaround initiatives and it also provides an introduction to turnaround readiness conditions that will help districts to best position resources to enable turnaround schools to succeed.
  • Edited Volume The State Role in School Turnaround: Emerging Best Practices. With chapters written by leading researchers and practitioners actively engaged in the work, this edited volume examines the role of the state education agency in school turnaround efforts. An emphasis is placed on practical application of research and best practice related to the State Education Agency’s (SEA’s) critical leadership role in driving and supporting successful school turnaround efforts.

Other Resources Mentioned at the Conference