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Read the newest Success Story on Solen High School in Solen, North Dakota!
Lead Hill School District is in the midst of a hero’s journey and Indistar is aiding as its guide.
Indistar (Dirigo-Star in Maine) supports school improvement planning, implementation, and progress in Priority and Focus schools. The Transformational Leaders Network (TLN) supports the principals of these schools to more successfully utilize Dirigo-Star. But what is the TLN and how did it evolve in Maine? That’s the Success Story you’re going to hear about.
Using Indistar’s indicators of effective practice, Williams-Sullivan Elementary of Durant, MS increased its Quality of Distribution Index (the growth model used by Mississippi to measure achievement and academic growth) from 81, which is considered failing, to 132, moving the school directly into the achieving/successful column.
Wichita Public Schools is receiving national attention for its system coherence, initiative alignment, and explicit connection to improved teaching and learning. In a smart next step to their strategy, they are expanding the use of Indistar (KansaStar) from the district’s 28 priority and focus schools to all 90 school sites.
When the Salina Public Schools started using KansaStar (Indistar) in its Priority and Focus schools, they soon realized its potential and offered it to every school in the district.
Washburn Elementary School (Maine). Washburn Elementary is a Priority school in Maine where Dirigo-Star (Maine’s version of Indistar) has made a significant impact on the functioning of its Leadership Team.
Teachers at Albany High School in Albany, Georgia, are building tasks for Indistar's indicators of effective practice. It is critical that the actual work of improvement--what needs to happen, how, and by whom--gets to the teacher level. They have to be involved for it to work and for the work to be sustained.
South Prairie Elementary School (North Dakota). South Prairie is a rural, single-school district about 10 miles south of Minot, North Dakota and was one of the first schools in the state to assess the 99 NDMile indicators. Following the assessment, South Prairie's leadership team launched into the task of planning for 33 of the indicators.
Mindsets are changing at Dougherty Comprehensive High School in Albany, Georgia, and Indistar is helping to make it happen. Through focused and concentrated effort at changing practice and behavior, improvement and excellence is not the tall order it once appeared. Adults and students alike see the possibilities spread out before them—solutions and opportunities within reach, a few tasks at a time.
According to Presonia (Lynette) Alexander, “When I was appointed as principal to Westlawn Middle School [in Huntsville, Alabama] three years ago, people wanted to tell me all kinds of stories and rumors about what it was like here, about the bullying, the fighting, the despair, but I tell our teachers and our students, ‘We write our own story, we get our own messages out. We don’t let rumors or misconceptions do it for us.’”
Principal Ryan Most of New Stanley Elementary School in Kansas City, KS believes in taking risks and trying new approaches. All staff at New Stanley will be incorporating guitar playing into their instruction in an effort to model those beliefs and to also find new ways to engage students and encourage them to explore.
There is no hesitation, not a hint of apprehension. For all of the success that Monroe Comprehensive High School (MCHS) in Albany, Georgia, has already achieved in the last two years, Principal Vinson Davis and the entire leadership team attest that this story is only just beginning.
The K–12 leadership team for the Augusta School District in Arkansas can tell you what it takes to turn around academically distressed schools in a poor, rural school district: persistence. Read the compelling story of Augusta’s learning to use Indistar, its struggle to understand the indicators and implement plans to achieve them, and the surprising collateral benefits of the school choosing to focus on improving student engagement and assessment.
The designation of Cedarville School District, Arkansas, as a Focus School turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the state recommended the school to adopt Indistar. In its plan to improve classroom management, instruction, and rigorously align curriculum at all levels, the Cedarville leadership team found that Indistar “provided them with information and developed their capacity to do much more than just plan and track progress.”
Principal Deborah Warr of Knollwood Elementary School in north Rapid City, South Dakota, relates how “Indistar and its research provided us with a critical structure” to “tighten up our professional learning communities and use student data more strategically.” She and her leadership team engineered early release time once a week “to improve the quality and quantity of teacher collaboration.”
Todd County Elementary School, located on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation in Mission, South Dakota, is a new school this year, the result of a merger of two smaller schools. Principal Roberta Bizardie tells how Indistar is central in helping the faculty build trust and move toward a cohesive and collaborative culture. Before Indistar, setting goals in the school plan were empty exercises. Now, faculty "write goals and create tasks that describe HOW ever every child will learn…With Indistar the goal is not going away.”
Parker-Varney Elementary School in Manchester, New Hampshire, a Title I Priority School, sought to develop an environment conducive to personalized learning while attending to an indicator that required blocks of time for teachers to review student data to refine instruction. The solution was an Innovation Lab, in which up to 80 students receive individualized instruction in reading and mathematics. Parker-Varney is well on its way to redefining the student learning experience.
Enemy Swim Day School (Bureau of Indian Education). Located in South Dakota, Enemy Swim is one of the original “day schools” and has been in operation since 1930. The Leadership Team has been using Native Star (BIE’s version of Indistar) since 2011.
If Scott Dual Language Magnet Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, were to write a six-word memoir, it might sound like this: Blacklist to waitlist in two years; or, Built from strengths, success soon followed.
Solen High School
Lead Hill School District
Maine Priority Schools (TLN)
Vancouver Public Schools (3 Part Series)
Wichita Public Schools
Salina Public Schools
Washburn Elementary School
Albany High School
South Prairie Elementary School
Dougherty Comprehensive High School
Westlawn Middle School
New Stanley Elementary School
Monroe Comprehensive High School
Augusta School District
Cedarville School District
Knollwood Elementary School
Todd County Elementary School
Parker-Varney Elementary School
Enemy Swim Day School
Scott Dual Language Magnet School