Indistar® addresses multiple challenges faced by state education agencies, districts, and charter organizations, answering the following questions:
1. How do we ensure that practices are aligned with research? ADI has spent the time researching and identifying the behaviors and practices that result in improved teaching and learning so that the district and school can spend its time implementing them; practices are aligned with research via Wise Ways® research summaries embedded in the system and available for download.
2. How do we assist a growing number of districts and schools in need of improvement with limited staff and resources? Indistar’s web-based technology does the traveling so that people don’t have to, allowing coaching, monitoring, and reporting via the web.
3. How do we build capacity and responsibility in districts and schools? Built-in training and coaching components, as well as research resources, transform district and school teams into highly-skilled, focused, and productive forces for improvement.
4. How do we efficiently differentiate supports to address each district and school’s unique needs? Indistar® provides parallel tracks for schools requiring rapid improvement (turnaround) and those on a continuous improvement trajectory. Additionally, the client may specify “key indicators” that are given special emphasis. Local assessment of practices efficiently aligns supports to specifically identified needs.
5. How do we check for Title I compliance and other regulations without burdening districts and schools with multiple processes? Indistar’s dashboard serves as a single portal through which all planning and reporting requirements can be accessed and documents submitted. This simplified approach reduces duplication and provides for convenient, electronic submission of reports.
6. How can we establish a “turnaround zone” with Indistar®? Indistar’s special features for schools in rapid improvement include a planning tool for the principal based on turnaround leadership research, with coaching from a rapid improvement mentor; the system can be targeted for use in schools in the process of turnaround or transformation.
7. How do we cultivate expertise to carry out the work of school improvement? Indistar® maximizes the availability of existing talent, making experts “virtually” accessible to coach multiple districts or schools in the implementation of effective practices, while simultaneously cultivating a new crop of coaches to join the ranks.
8. How do we eliminate the silos within our agency and our system of support? Indistar® lets users see how the dots of school improvement connect — and where they overlap — so that efforts reinforce one another, rather than compete. Funding and program silos are dismantled with communication applications that promote collaboration and transparency across agencies and levels, resulting in streamlined efforts and on-going assessment of what’s working and where adjustments are needed.
9. How do we clarify the roles personnel involved in improvement? Indistar® prompts users to assign responsibility to individuals for implementing and monitoring tasks so that roles and expectations are clear for everyone.
10. How do we maintain an intense instructional focus to impact student learning? Indistar® focuses on building and sustaining a strong instructional core, with an emphasis on aligned and differentiated instruction.