Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN)
provides technical assistance to support school districts’ systematic implementation of evidence-based practices.

Foundations of School Improvement

"School improvement is not easy and quick.  Data-driven change requires the commitment and perseverance of individual practitioners sustained by the focused efforts of the whole school community."

~Got Data? Now What? p. 8

Foundational Graphic

Leadership 

Building Leadership Team: Considerations for Establishing or Refining (PDF) The Building Leadership Team (BLT) is the driving force behind school improvement efforts because it has the most direct contact with educators using effective innovations. As the BLT begins or continues the work of school improvement, the leadership team may need to define or redefine membership. This resource is a tool that can be used as teams navigate building wide improvement and sustainability of the system.

Building Leadership Team: Functions & Duties (PDF) Individuals are asked to be on committees or to be members of a group without truly understanding how to function as a collaborative team member.  This resource offers leaders and leadership team members the foundational knowledge about HOW to function as a leadership team member.  

District Leadership Team Considerations

Defining and/or Refining the Leadership Team (video) The leadership team in your system plays an important role.  This group is responsible for setting school improvement goals, serving as key communicators to all stakeholders, analyzing data to make school-wide decisions, and determining professional development needs.  This tutorial will provide context as the administrator is creating a leadership team or is redefining the current team. 

This “School Leader Digital Learning Guide” is a resource to help you consider, plan, fund, implement, maintain, and adapt learning programs that meet the unique needs and requirements of the students and teachers that you serve. The guide is oriented toward digital learning principles and practices that enable and empower students and teachers of all abilities and zip codes while advancing student agency (i.e., initiative, intention, and responsibility in pursuing their education), their personalized learning, their mastery of skills and competencies, and protecting their privacy.

Engaging in the Right Work - The leadership team sets the culture of the school. To sustain that culture, it then becomes their job to monitor the implementation of the work. By providing psychological safety, tight participation structures, asking the right questions to intentionally bring an equity advocacy lens to all leadership groups - this dialogue happens by intention rather than by chance. Equity becomes the first lens a team utilizes further focusing direction, cultivating collaborative cultures, advocating for marginalized groups, deepening learning, and securing accountability.

Leading with Instructional Focus - A key component of continuous improvement is reflection. The purpose of this tool & video tutorial is to guide leaders to take a balcony view of the current state of student learning in their system and promote conversation that assists leadership teams to collaboratively make decisions about adaptive solutions, based upon data, and especially for groups defined by gender, race/ethnicity, language, disability, and socio-economic status

Communication

Communication Feedback Loop

Effective Communication The leadership team is the conduit of communication for all stakeholders (students, staff, parents, community members, etc).  A clear method and protocol of how, when, and why something is communicated will ensure that the leadership team is proving consistent messaging, giving necessary information to the appropriate groups, and helping to process information.  

Data-Based Decisions

Collaborative Learning Cycle The collaborative learning cycle (Got Data, Now What by Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman) is a framework that establishes a learning forum for group exploration of data.  Structured engagement with information and fellow learners ignites the processes of inquiry and problem-solving.  This question-driven model promotes specific cognitive processes and group-member interaction in three phases: 1 - Activate and Engage.  2 - Exploring and Discovering.  3 - Organizing and Integrating.

How Might We Look at Our Data? 

Guide for Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for School Improvement The SEA and LEA Guides for Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for School Improvement were developed to help State Education Agencies, Local Education Agencies, and schools conduct self-studies for identifying interventions that are most relevant and appropriate based on need, with the strongest evidence-base possible, for implementation in schools needing improvement. The guides provide tools for facilitating the self-study process. Quick-start guides are available for those who desire an overview of the process along with the tools to begin right away.

Using Evidence-Based Practices in School Improvement Evidence requirements in the ESEA. Using evidence in every step of the school improvement process. 

Data-Based Decision Making Developing a systematic and purposeful way of exploring data as a leadership team is essential in the successful implementation of effective practices for school improvement. 

Improving Your Systems Through Advocacy:  Most leadership teams in Kansas are compromised of people that have different backgrounds and experiences than the students they serve.  We are entrusted to make decisions that affect students and our backgrounds and experiences may give us blind spots from flexibly understanding the data and making decisions.  

Collaboration

Becoming Adaptive: Virtual Collaboration Planning Tool: This tool utilizes information from the Becoming Adaptive: Virtual Collaboration Guide to assist with planning for an efficient and successful virtual collaboration.

Becoming Adaptive: Virtual Collaboration Guide: This document will guide you through the necessary planning of an efficient and productive virtual collaboration.