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High Expectations Communicate Respect

As a new school year begins, educators need to set and communicate expectations to the students in their classrooms. When identifying expectations, teachers often struggle deciding whether expectations are too high, too low, realistic, and uniformly applied. Popular research continues to indicate that setting high expectations leads to better results than setting moderate or low expectations, because students feel respected as participants in the classroom community. While the classroom teacher is …Read More

Starting the Year Off Right

As we approach the start of another school year, there are many staff members who play a role in the success of the school. A CLI Model district has designated leadership teams with specific roles.  The Curriculum Coordinating Council (CCC) is responsible for making academic recommendations for the district, while Subject Area Committees (SACs) are grade level and/or course representatives designing curriculum, instructional plans, and assessments for a content area. …Read More

The End of the School Year is in Sight

Yes, the end of the school year is in sight. Teachers are worried about finishing the curriculum, checking in books, taking down the posters from the walls, entering grades, and all of their other year-end tasks. Administrators are ticking items off of their own lists and sending out reminders and final instructions for the last days of school even as they contemplate their summer worklists. Everyone is anticipating liberation from this school year. This is a typical ending for many schools across the country. There is just a seemingly abrupt ending followed by a collective sigh.

But, what if it was different?Read More

Using Google Sites to Increase Curriculum Implementation in the Classroom

Within the last year, over half a dozen current and former CLI districts have opted to organize their local curriculums using the new CLI Online Curriculum Library, a Google Site template. The benefits for districts using Google (now called G-Suite for Education) are widely known: free email accounts (Gmail), file storage (Google Drive), and file creation (Google Docs). One application that may be underutilized due to time or training constraints is Google Sites. Google Sites could easily serve as your district’s intranet, a closed network only accessible by those within your district.Read More

Systematic Implementation to Achieve a Systemic Vision

In current school accreditation models, the existence of a systems approach is valued and evidence of that approach is necessary for a favorable review. Accreditation teams are looking for indications of examining the whole system as well as documentation on taking care of the details. One accreditation team’s review of a school district stated that “The district has a strong understanding of the big picture but does not seem to have a method of reaching their desired outcomes.”Read More

Using Data to Improve Instruction in Five Steps or Less

Now, review the three essential pieces already mentioned above: curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Begin with the locally-written curriculum. Check the alignment of the curriculum to the state standards; particularly the standard that students performed poorly on. Ask yourself or your PLC these questions: Does the local curriculum require the same skills and knowledge as those in the state standards? Is the “essence” of the standard the same when it was …Read More

Conflict Resolution Techniques for Facilitators

The keys to mediating conflict are to identify the signs of dysfunction, determine when to intervene, and provide the correct guidance to reach a resolution. When issues are more involved, it may require multiple meetings to come to an agreement. Using a systematic approach to meetings is just one dimension of being a good facilitator. To create a positive experience for everyone, facilitators should also be adept at mediating conflict and leading groups to solutions through various questioning techniques.Read More

Initial CLI District Response to 6 Key Elements of the Every Student Succeeds Act

Analysis of relevant elements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) suggests topics of discussion for the CLI district’s curriculum coordinating council. Although those who prepared ESSA say the act places most responsibility for establishing provisions to ensure school accountability on states, many stipulations included at the federal level do not allow much leeway for creativity or alternative interpretations. It is therefore suggested that curriculum coordinating councils place the selected relevant topics found in the table below on discussion agendas. Read More

Curriculum is a Roadmap

“Curriculum” is discussed on a daily basis in conversations within schools among administrators, teachers, support staff, and outside stakeholders. Strangely enough, it is a term that carries fundamental misconceptions that make those conversations difficult. Unless everyone involved in the conversation has the same definition for curriculum, what is said and what is heard are often very different.Read More