Close the opportunity gap by providing small group math instruction for our highest need students in order to accelerate their academic growth.

Summer Training to Improve Student Outcomes

Summer Training to Improve Student Outcomes

Tim Johnson

“Make the complicated simple, and the simple powerful.” –Bill Graham

 We just completed our summer training for instructional leaders (Math and Literacy Fellow Coordinators) who coach and lead teams of fellows (Math Fellows, Literacy Fellows, Fellow Residents).

We did a few things to revamp our content and approach due to participation in the National Principals Academy Fellowship with Relay Graduate School of Education.

Average overall participant rating for the training was 9.35 out of 10. Shout-out to Kathy Crawford, Nina Conley and Anthony Sarlo for making this happen!

Here’s the participant pre-work and here’s the daily training agenda.


1. Increased Focus
During the 2016-2017 school-year we introduced an intensive focus on student culture, observation feedback and weekly data meetings. All based on training and coaching from Relay. So, our participants had a strong foundation in the key practices and we continued this focus in our summer training for next school year.

We spent each morning on one of the practices noted above and utilized substantial pre-work in each session. Afternoons were spent in smaller teams on topics like strategic planning and staff culture. Narrowing our focus lead to increased clarity of direction and purpose.


2. Building a Culture of Practice
Each of the morning sessions was built around practice – for example, participants reviewed a 10-minute clip of instruction with a partner, identified a “what and how” action step, planned and practiced the meeting, received feedback and then practiced implementing the feedback.

Focusing on practice and moving our adult professional development delivery from “presenter” to “facilitator” shifted the ratio of talking and thinking to participants and the morning flew by; energy was high.


3. Locking It In
In the afternoons participants engaged in strategic planning that helped them to lock in, codify and systematize their learning to ensure implementation during the 2017-2018 school year.


4. Improving Student Outcomes
The central purpose of our summer training for coordinators was to further develop skills and practices that will improve outcomes for kids. Directly connected to that end, Roland Fryer recently released a study on management training for principals which you can read here. From the abstract:

“The findings show that offering management training to principals significantly increases student achievement in all subjects in year one and has an insignificant effect in year two. We argue that the results in year two are driven by principal turnover, coupled with the cumulative nature of the training. Schools with principals who are predicted to remain in their positions for both years of the experiment demonstrate large treatment effects in both years – particularly those with principals who are also predicted to implement the training with high fidelity – while those with principals that are predicted to leave have statistically insignificant effects in each year of treatment.”

These findings bode well for us as 100% of our instructional leaders are continuing with us for the 2017-2018 school year and for our second year of intensive focus on student culture, observation feedback and weekly data meetings.