School or District Transformation
After an opportunity to interview key leaders and personnel in a school, Dr. Katz examines closely the relationships, school culture, curriculum, instructional strategies, formative and summative assessments, leadership configuration and structures, scheduling frameworks, academic rigor, family involvement, business and community partnerships to develop a master plan for improvement, restructuring, to assist the school or district leadership. This work must be systemic and takes place over several years with multiple visitations. Classroom Walk-throughs are also customized to help the school/district leaders identify patterns and trends in the school so they can strategically begin working on areas that need improvement or change. Dr. Katz often uses the work of Richard Elmore whereby school/district leaders identify a problem of practice and then develop Action Steps for improvement.
Another systemic approach used with schools and districts comes from the work of Richard and Rebecca DuFour and Robert Eaker’s Professional Learning Communities. The collaborative nature of this approach helps schools/districts understand that their efforts should always incorporate these four key questions:
- What do I want students to know and be able to do?
- How will I know when they have learned it?
- What will I do when they don’t learn the intended content?
- How will I handle students who already know the content?