Networked Improvement Community: “Lifting Up” Leadership to Improve Outcomes
A “Networked Improvement Community (NIC) model offers a promising approach to school improvement…it is a radical departure from typical school improvement practice that will require significant changes to the cultures of schools” (Senechal, 2015). In an effort to “Lift Up” the capacity of district and school leaders to utilize a NIC model to improve schools, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in partnership with Region 5 Comprehensive Center (R5CC) has developed and is offering a supported NIC experience for local education agencies which provides a platform to collaborate with peers across districts while focusing on solving common problems of practice. This session will include learning and reflection cycles around the R5CC NIC model. The participants will gain access to facilitator resources for an 8-step NIC process, discuss in teams how to apply a NIC within their context, and network with others who are working on solutions to common problems of practice.
Dr. April Kiser-Edwards holds a B.A. in Psychology, M.S. in Education, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She began in the Navy facilitating capacity-building workshops pertaining to policy and protocols. Her doctoral work focused on leadership succession and developing a sustainable leadership pipeline. She believes that strong relationships in educational institutions empower the next generation of productive citizens.
Darnella Sims is the Director of School Improvement for Chesterfield County Public Schools in Virginia. Darnella is a participating school leader within the Virginia Department of Education's Networked Improvement Community experience and is leading the implementation of a Networked Improvement Community within her district around the locally defined problem of practice.
Lori Vandeborne has worked in education from the preschool to high school levels as an elementary and special education teacher, grades PK–12 building administrator, instructional coach, educational consultant, and career technology drop-out recovery and prevention school director. Ms. Vandeborne gained a regional perspective while coaching cohorts of superintendents and their leadership teams to develop and implement district mission, vision, and belief systems. Throughout her years of practice, she has led and participated on teams who have written, designed, and implemented grants and strategic plans in the areas of compliance practices with laws and rules, math and reading literacy, culture improvement, technology integration, personalized instruction, problem based learning, instructional strategy evaluations, workforce development, leadership development, response to intervention, parent involvement, college and career pathways, as well as the community development of a portrait of a graduate. Ms. Vandeborne’s wide range of experience provides her with a comprehensive understanding of academic content, learning progressions, district and building level culture, and instructional and leadership improvement best practices.