Learn about some of our successful capacity-building efforts from the customers themselves.
Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School, Maspeth, N.Y.
My school, Intermediate School 73 in Queens, N.Y., has struggled with poor student achievement for many years. I saw the opportunity to turn this trend around by partnering with ASCD to provide capacity-building professional development, and a framework with practical strategies to improve student outcomes. We have worked with ASCD over the past two years, and scores have increased dramatically. In addition, there is a new, more exciting tone in the building. The learning community that has developed among the teachers is strong. I have observed more positive problem solving about teaching and learning. Even when our ASCD partners are not in the building, the work continues. The role of the principal doesn't allow me to provide the quality of PD, personally, that ASCD does. Having ASCD as my partner gives me great comfort and confidence, so I can fulfill my other responsibilities. Our DI journey is helping us to better understand student needs and how to provide for them.
Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School
Dougherty County School System, Albany, Ga.
In the Dougherty County School System, we began capacity-building professional development with ASCD in 2007 and continue working with ASCD Faculty and staff on our journey to implement differentiated instruction. With the assistance of ASCD staff, we developed an "Action Plan for K–12 School-Based Implementation of Differentiated Instruction" that provided us the vehicle to assess, monitor, and adjust along the way. Dougherty County teacher leaders for each building, district leadership, and ASCD staff met user-group style to gather feedback and determine next steps to customize PD for sustainability and growth in 2010 and beyond.
Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Dougherty County School System
Omaha Public Schools, Omaha, Neb.
Several years ago, the demographics of Omaha Public School District’s student population changed; challenges with achievement and the hiring of several hundred new staff members caused an increased awareness of our district meeting the needs of our diverse student population. After researching best practices, we decided to implement differentiated instruction districtwide. ASCD assisted us with designing a differentiating instruction model that could actually be implemented systemwide in an urban school setting. In June of 2007, ASCD team members met with the initial group of Omaha teachers and administrators to discuss the implementation and next steps for moving forward. Using the teacher leader model of capacity-building professional development, we are continuing to build site-based knowledge and local experts who are working with ASCD Faculty members to develop expertise in effective school-based learning practices.
Human Resources Development
Omaha Public Schools
Richland School District 2, Columbia, S.C.
[Our] partnership with ASCD has been a very positive one. We have felt that rather than doing a one-shot workshop—whether it's two days, five days, or a week, whatever—we feel like by bringing in the experts from ASCD, over time, we're building capacity on the school level. We've seen the interest increase, we've seen the student engagement increase, and we tend to see student achievement increase, as well. Building that capacity within the district has really made a difference.
Curriculum and Professional Development Director
Richland School District 2
Southfield School District, Southfield, Mich.
Great things are happening in Southfield School District, just outside Detroit, Mich.! Partnering with ASCD, we have completed the first year of a K–12 implementation focused on differentiating instruction as the "umbrella" for teaching and learning. Our first few steps in making the decision to partner with ASCD included investigating, exploring, studying data, and attending an ASCD DI [differentiated instruction] conference. We are pleased with the research ASCD has readily available. It gives us a head start and saves us a lot of groundwork.
The ASCD Faculty member helped us create an environment for collegial learning, colleague-to-colleague. Teacher leaders are videotaping lessons and bringing classroom artifacts to share during sessions with the ASCD Faculty member. We solicited buy-in from our board/community, and at a recent meeting, we shared the power of what we are doing and the impact it is making with the teacher leaders involved. Teachers who are not involved in the work have heard positive things about it and have approached us asking to get involved. We’ve received many testimonials from teacher leaders about how DI has changed their teaching and renewed their mission.
The implementation will continue in the next school year and next steps will include classroom visitations and setting up demonstration classrooms within schools. Through our relationship with ASCD we are building capacity within, while changing our culture, teacher attitudes, and instructional practice.