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School Support Teams Correlates and Indicators for Effective Schools: 

School Support Teams Correlates and Indicators for Effective Schools Proficiency for All Montana Students Assessment Conference Jack O’Connor Christine Hultin-Brus


“We affect generations to come with the decisions that we make today.” Joel Osteen

School Support Visit: 

School Support Visit Observations of the School Reviewing of Documentation Determine Alignment Between the School and Correlates

Who is on a Team School Support Team (SST): 

Who is on a Team School Support Team (SST) One leader, six or more members Experienced Montanans: administrators, teachers, parents, school board trustees, representatives from higher education and the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) Committed to ALL Montana students

Scholastic Review: 

Scholastic Review The scholastic review is a comprehensive assessment of a school’s environment, efficiency, and academic performance. The purposes of the review are to analyze the strengths and limitations of the school’s instructional and organizational effectiveness and to make specific recommendations to improve teaching and learning.


“Quality is everyone’s responsibility.” W. Edwards Demming

Before the Visit: 

Before the Visit Preparation Steps OPI makes initial contact Leader follow-ups Initial meetings are planned Contents of school portfolio is discussed Interview schedule is planned Perception Surveys

The School Portfolio: 

The School Portfolio Five-Year Comprehensive Education Plan Effectiveness Reports Test scores Professional development activities Staff evaluation process Lesson plan template Master schedule Master contract School board minutes And much more…


“Data provide the power to… make good decisions, work intelligently, work effectively and efficiently, change things in better ways, know the impact of our hard work, help us prepare for the future, and to know how to make our work benefit all children.” Victoria L. Bernhardt

The Visit-Busy Days: 

The Visit-Busy Days Sunday Organize the week’s work Prepare to enter the school to serve and assist Meet with the faculty Begin review of school portfolio Monday-Thursday Daily on-campus work Debrief each evening: assess data gathered and plan for the next day Friday Exit visit with the schools. Present findings.

3 Areas of Montana OPI School Improvement Model: 

3 Areas of Montana OPI School Improvement Model Academic Performance Curriculum Classroom Evaluation/Assessment Instruction Learning Environment School Culture Student, Family, Community Support Professional Growth, and Development, and Evaluation Efficiency Leadership Organizational Structure and Resources Comprehensive and Effective Planning

Performance Descriptors Academic Performance: 

Standard 1 Curriculum The school develops and implements a curriculum that is rigorous, intentional, and aligned to state and local standards. Performance Descriptors Academic Performance

Performance Descriptors Academic Performance: 

Standard 2 Assessment The school utilizes multiple evaluation and assessment strategies to continuously monitor and modify instruction to meet student needs and to support proficient student work. Performance Descriptors Academic Performance

Performance Descriptors Academic Performance: 

Standard 3 Instruction The school’s instructional program actively engages all students by using effective, varied, and research-based practices to improve student academic performance. Performance Descriptors Academic Performance

Performance Descriptors Learning Environment: 

Standard 4 School Culture The school/district functions as an effective learning community, and it supports a climate conducive to performance excellence. Performance Descriptors Learning Environment

Performance Descriptors Learning Environment: 

Standard 5 Student, Family, and Community Support The school/district works with families and community groups to remove barriers to learning in an effort to meet the intellectual, social, career, and developmental needs of students. Performance Descriptors Learning Environment

Performance Descriptors Learning Environment: 

Standard 6 Professional Growth, Development, and Evaluation The school/district provides research-based, results-driven professional development opportunities for the staff, and it implements performance evaluation procedures in order to improve teaching and learning. Performance Descriptors Learning Environment

Performance Descriptors Efficiency: 

Standard 7 Leadership School/district instructional decisions focus on support for teaching and learning, organizational direction, high performance expectations, creating a learning culture, and developing leadership capacity. Performance Descriptors Efficiency

Performance Descriptors Efficiency: 

Standard 8 Organizational Structure and Resources The organization of the school/district maximizes the use of time, all available space, and other resources to maximize teaching and learning and support high student and staff performances. Performance Descriptors Efficiency

Performance Descriptors Efficiency: 

Performance Descriptors Efficiency Standard 9 Comprehensive and Effective Planning The school/district develops, implements, and evaluates a comprehensive school improvement plan that communicates a clear purpose, direction, and action plan focused on teaching and learning.

Daily Observations-Interviews: 

Daily Observations-Interviews Groups Observed and Interviewed All teachers Classified staff Students Administrators Parents Support personnel School board members Observations and Interviews look at 3 Areas

Daily Work-Classroom Visitations: 

Daily Work-Classroom Visitations Visit all teachers’ classrooms Make observations based on the Correlates within those 3 Areas Not an evaluation

Daily Work Sessions: 

Daily Work Sessions During this time period, the team works on the final report which will be presented to the school in the near future. This report takes into consideration all the data and perceptions gathered by the team about the school/district. It is collaboratively done, and consensus must be reached in all findings and recommendations.

Exit Interview: 

Exit Interview School gets a debriefing of team’s week Lead gives school a small sampling of their findings Recommended next steps Final report in three-four weeks

The Final Report: 

The Final Report Holistic process Consensus model for team members Based on documented evidence & a research-based process Provides a foundation for optimal growth and development The Road Map to Proficiency

Action Items: 

Action Items School Review Report Begin Generating Three Action Items Identify additional services Discuss continued support Begin Improvement Use Leadership, Staff, Students, and Community to make changes

Ongoing Support: 

Ongoing Support The Team Leader and OPI Continues to assist the school Collaborates with school improvement team Maintains communication Monitors Guides


“Real, sustainable change doesn’t happen in a moment. It’s a process.” John Maxwell

The School’s Homework: 

The School’s Homework Submits revised 5YCEP to the OPI Implements action plan Adheres to timeline Creates ownership Maintains contact with team leader and OPI

One Year Later: 

One Year Later A Second Full Team Review The process repeats Data will validate that action plans have led to significant gains, and will assist in policy decisions and professional development.

What Makes the Montana School Support Team Unique?: 

What Makes the Montana School Support Team Unique? Solid Foundation Based on research Based on the school’s vision and mission Based on a commitment to closing the achievement gap Based on expertise Trained in the correlates for school improvement Trained to understand and incorporate cultural relevancy Incorporates Creating Sacred Places for Children Works closely with Indian Education For All

What is the Most Important Feature of the SST Process?: 

What is the Most Important Feature of the SST Process? Collaborative Efforts Ongoing throughout the year Strong support system Culturally relevant correlates

Who Will We Visit?: 

Who Will We Visit? Schools Not Making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)-Identify the greatest need Schools Making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)-Long-term vision The Five-Year Comprehensive Education Plan and the annual Effectiveness Report become living documents, and schools see exactly where they are in relationship to their goals and action plans.

Moving Forward: 

Moving Forward “A school that is willing to examine itself critically is one that will increase the odds that its students will succeed.” Hoachlander and Mandel 1998

Our Students Win: 

Our Students Win Commitment, not compliance.

Correlates & Indicators Web page: 

Correlates & Indicators Web page Visit opi.mt.gov Select Title I from the dropdown menu Pick Scholastic Reviews and School Support Team Visits Choose Correlates and Indicators

The Building Blocks: 

The Building Blocks Learn-Ed Nations Inventory Prepared by Northwest Regional Laboratory 2002 Leadership Beyond The Seventh Generation III: Creating Sacred Places for Children Prepared by the Creating Places Project Team for the National Indian School Board Association 2003 Scholastic Audit Process and Protocol Guidebook-Kentucky Department of Education Correlates of Effective Schools - Dr. Lawrence Lezotte

Contact Information: 

Contact Information Christine Hultin-Brus: 406-444-0721 email: chultin-brus@mt.gov Jack O’Connor: 406-444-3083 email: JO’Connor2@mt.gov Montana Office Of Public Instruction Box 202501 Helena, MT 59620-2501 Fax: 406-444-3924

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