Caldwell’s presentation is called "From Sanctions to Success: Building Leadership Capacity to Accelerate Learning in a Culturally Diverse, High-poverty District." This session will provide a “nuts and bolts” description of Caldwell’s remarkable improvement journey — moving from the most severe level of state/federal sanctions to making AYP in over half its schools in less than two years. Superintendent Roger Quarles will explain how the district engaged in partnerships with the State Department of Education and Boise State University to reach ambitious goals for student achievement and to retain high-quality staff through building capacity in leadership, instruction, and relationships.
Improving a single school can be done; however, improving an entire district represents a challenge of considerable magnitude. Caldwell is meeting that challenge.
Following a systemic two-year improvement effort, six of 10 schools in Caldwell have, for the first time, made adequate yearly progress. The remaining four schools are within close range of meeting the same target.
This presentation to a national audience will include specific examples of how the district is: 1) moving from resignation to hope; 2) making keen use of local resources to engage in key partnerships; 3) developing and implementing a leadership academy designed to build instructional leadership and a culture of relational trust throughout the system; 4) partnering with Idaho’s statewide system of support, Idaho Building Capacity, to provide a leadership coach for every principal; 5) guiding, monitoring, and supporting on-going improvements and interventions; and 6) maintaining the determination and courage necessary to stay the course.
Research provides evidence that leadership plays a vital role in moving from single-school “pockets of excellence” to districtwide improvement. Because leadership is second only to classroom instruction in school-related factors that influence student learning, building leadership capacity is critical to gaining and sustaining improvements in student achievement. Such leadership capacity involves deepening leaders’ knowledge and skills related to instruction and learning and gaining the ability to foster relational trust.
By strategically developing leadership capacity, Caldwell’s culturally diverse, high-poverty district has made dramatic and rapid improvements in student achievement.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/roger_quarles/2/