Plan – “Narrow the Focus”

In the case of systemic school improvement, less is more. Educators can rise the tide by focusing a lot of energy on a single, relevant priority.

Ed Direction’s school transformation model begins with a comprehensive needs assessment that includes a root-cause analysis and exploration of school and district priorities. This in-depth appraisal helps us understand the greatest strengths of a team and opportunities to align priorities and otherwise establish focus areas for systemic school or district improvement.

Needs Assessment / Appraisal

To best understand a school’s strengths and opportunities for refinement, the Ed Direction team conducts a robust on-site needs assessment including a root-cause analysis. As relationships are a cornerstone of supporting systemic school improvement, we connect with everyone from the school leader to the lunch staff to understand multiple perspectives and ensure buy-in of the school’s transformation efforts. We leverage the growing body of educational research and triangulate a variety of relevant data sources including:

  • Student achievement data
  • Student artifacts, such as writing samples
  • Implementation artifacts, such as PLC minutes
  • Surveys, interviews, focus groups
  • Classroom observations

Transformation Planning Process

Following the appraisal, we develop a schoolwide transformation plan in collaboration with our clients that acts as a singular plan to meet all district and/or state planning requirements. While each plan is thoroughly personalized to the school or district, cornerstones of every plan include leveraging research, ensuring teacher buy-in, and planning for progress monitoring at 30-, 60-, and 90-day intervals.

Details of the Plan

Ed Direction’s school transformation model explores every organizational, leadership, and competency driver so the resulting plan can address every potential root cause and cross-functional issue. Specifically, these include:

Alignment of Standards and Curriculum

  • Curriculum maps and pacing guides
  • PLC procedures and processes

Assessment Practices and Achievement Results

  • Classroom level data
  • Curriculum-based assessments
  • Benchmarks
  • Screeners
  • DIBELS and SRI
  • State tests
  • Using data to inform instruction


  • Professional learning (talent development)
  • Selection
  • Training
  • Coaching

See the next step


Classroom Instruction and Student Engagement

  • Evidence-based instructional strategies
  • Student work samples
  • student engagement and behavior

Culture and Collaborative Relationships

  • Parent engagement
  • strength of data culture and collaboration
  • prevalence of growth mindset among students and adults
  • Student support services such as Special Education, RtI, PBIS, Language Acquisition, etc.


  • Evidence-based leadership practices
  • Teacher leadership and collaboration
  • Systems implementation
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