A Strengths-Based Approach to Rapidly Improving Schools
It may seem counterintuitive to focus on what is already working to improve schools. Yet, with so much transition in recent years, it is helpful to ground our work in something that is solid or in something that can become a strength with dedicated effort. That doesn’t mean that we ignore needs or gaps that are uncovered in the data. But, it does provide hope that shifting desired practices can produce better outcomes for students with time, energy and resources. Since the release of the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement, the Center on School Turnaround and Improvement has provided increased specificity around practices associated with turnaround leadership, talent development, instructional transformation and culture shift. Through stories of successful transformation journeys, participants will hear examples of how strengths were prioritized and built to foster conditions for rapid school improvement.
Dr. Hofer helps lead WestEd's Center on School Turnaround and Improvement. He has worked with educators at all levels to support school improvement in 25 states and counting. Terry is a collaborator who brought together a table full of SEA school improvement leaders at this conference in 2020 just before COVID and has continued to meet nearly every other month to highlight practices with appeal to the field and to discuss issues and challenges of common interest. Those experiences and more are built into today’s session.