Wednesday, November 16, 2016

MASBO Fall Institute : "Creating a Culture that Learns"

Karen Mapp, Harvard Graduate School of Ed (moderating)
Nina Zockoff Culbertson, Rennie Center
Dianne Kelly, Superintendent, Revere
Ventura Rodriguez, Director at DESE

Mapp: seeing family members "as co-creators and co-producers"

Kelly: "we live in a world where there is no stability"
support a "continuous state of change"
need partners to support ongoing changes
working with other districts for curriculum: "over half of kids who move out of district move among" five districts working together
collaborative leadership: "empowered teachers to do the work and embrace the change"
"narrative about public education in this country is disheartening"
leadership potential of teachers is not tapped
need to change the narrative

Rodriguez: works with Level 4 and 5 schools and districts, but level 3 as well "as districts are being more proactive to really step up"
organizations to bring in organizations "that may include academics, but may go beyond academics"
"yes, academic achievement is critical...but you have to support the whole child"
when working with Level 4 or 5, finance systems looking at impact "either aren't in place or aren't very strong"
"Tons of information on the profiles page" (on DESE's website)
live in a time of dimishing resources
"doing more with less"
Commissioner "interested in providing support" around that work but not providing more support?
Turnaround practices, published every year
districts and schools that are sustaining gains
supports around non-academic supports and family engagment
"if you have to make choices, what are we seeing in terms of practices" that are most successful
field guide coming "very practical, very hands on"

Zockoff Culbertson: strong element of partnership
schools are addressing needs academically, and non-academically
Schools are taking on these additional needs
external partners being brought in as co-collaboratives

How do we make these collaborations and partnerships work?
Kelly: making sure you're not partnering with those who are going to say "here's what we're going to do to your kids or your schools"
"what's specific to Revere"
Not what is canned off the shelf
meet family needs, while bringing families into the schools
"shared responsibility and ownership"
Rodriguez: ownership really important
Holyoke on "secondary redesign"
Zockoff Culbertson: how does it work on a day to day, week to week situation
having a partnership coordinator
making it seamless and making them part of the school
"without that, they seem to have less structure in how they integrate into the school community"

Q about coordination among five districts?
five business agents have been very involved in the work in terms of finances
do work of alignment once in terms of plans
decided to hire a coordinator to have five districts working together, was financed by state in a pilot program
business managers had to get together to figure out how that was going to work
teachers working together across districts to determine curriculum based on standards
working to have program assessed by outside agency to see how it is working

key strategies to lift up
Zockoff Culbertson: Burke in Boston has 62 partners
makes sure every partner builds a relationship with at least one student and every student has a relationship with one adult
partners buy into mission and vision
really have an "all hands on deck" approach
Rodriguez: data for vision and mission
opportunity to partner across different districts; sharing resources
some at DESE see themselves as "regulatory entrepreneurs"
Zockoff Culbertson: have to have teachers on board
opportunities for teachers to see how they partner with others

Question: is DESE supporting best business practices as well as best practices?
"a large part of the new work"
recognition from the department that we needed to support the work around sound business practices
shared resources is important; shared information and knowledge
"solutions are going to be locally generated"
"I know some of you are doing this already"

Question: partnering with parents
using time with parents to go over rules, rather than talk about goals for that year
can parents answer question about school year is about?
ask parents about their hopes and dreams for their child, what teachers should know about the children; inviting parents to be partners with us
generational challenges with schools: families that for generations have felt that they aren't wanted by schools
"one phone call, one packet home isn't going to do it"

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