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Success Stories

When Leadership Teams adopt the Indistar® mindset, they soon discover the joy of engaging in deep discussion about the things that matter most—the professional practices of all staff in providing students with the education they deserve.

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“We will not go back. This is what is driving our work and the shift in our results.”




“We had a chance to listen to one another—as opposed to someone else’s interpretation of what was said and how—and trust began to build.”




“Indistar, first and foremost, provided us with the benchmarks and reflective moments to assess and know deeply what great instructional strategies are and whether or not we used them in our school and in every classroom.”




“This kind of partnership between school and home was not happening before [Indistar].”




“These principals are now better equipped to guide their Leadership Teams and their schools to more effectively implement [Indistar] in Maine.”




“Indistar is about the people using the tool and the indicators it is built upon that are observable and measurable behaviors that you can see. It reminds us that agendas and minutes are important not for their own sake, but because of what is decided in those meetings and how and what those decisions will mean for changing practice and behavior.”



"This, to me, is the essence of ADI’s program—targeting instruction to each student. It is a workable, systematic way to reach each child.  The students assume a new level of responsibility for their own learning, and it is very effective."


Laurie Small, Principal


View All Success Stories Below:

  • Solen High School

    Read the newest Success Story on Solen High School in Solen, North Dakota!

  • Lead Hill School District

    Lead Hill School District is in the midst of a hero’s journey and Indistar is aiding as its guide.


  • Scott Dual Language Magnet School

    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.

  • Maine Priority Schools (TLN)

    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.

  • Vancouver Public Schools (3 Parts)

    Part 1 of Vancouver Public Schools' multi-part story of their expansion of Indistar throughout the district.


    Click here to read Part 2.


    Click here to read Part 3.


  • Salina Public Schools

    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.

  • Wichita Public Schools

    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.

  • Williams-Sullivan Elementary

    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.

  • Albany High School



    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.

  • Dougherty Comprehensive HS

    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.

  • Westlawn Middle School

    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.’”

  • New Stanley Elementary School

    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.

  • Monroe Comprehensive High School

    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.

  • Augusta School District

    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.

  • Cedarville School District

    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.”

  • Knollwood Elementary School

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • Washburn Elementary School

    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.

  • South Prairie Elementary School

    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.

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