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Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement


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How can a school become a place where all members of the staff are learning, growing, and working to increase student achievement? The answer lies in systems thinking and a focus on continuous improvement, two concepts that can transform staff development from something that people merely tolerate to something that they actively pursue to create lasting improvements in teaching and learning.

Table of contents



Making Staff Development a Worthwhile Endeavor

Systems Thinking As the Door to Continuous Improvement

Envisioning the Desired Results

Defining Reality Through Data

About the authors

Allison Zmuda is a longstanding education consultant focused on curriculum development with an emphasis on personalized learning. Just as she advocates for personalized learning to be used by her clients, she practices it when engaging with her clients. Allison is the coauthor of 12 books, curator of Learning Personalized, codirector of the Institute for Habits of Mind, and the co-creator of curriculum storyboards with the inspirational Heidi Hayes Jacobs.

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Robert Kuklis is a retired public school administrator who currently teaches a graduate course on curriculum at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He also supervises administrative interns at Pace University in White Plains, New York, and student teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City. He served as a public school teacher for 18 years, the last 9 as a social studies department chairperson. During his years as a teacher, he piloted units and wrote a unit for the Committee on the Study of History, a group promoting inquiry in the classroom. Kuklis was a high school administrator for 13 years and finished his public school administrative career by serving as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Newtown, Connecticut, for six and one-half years. While a principal in the 1980s, he worked as a lead facilitator for the Principals Academy, Syracuse University/New York State Consortium for School Improvement; and in the 1990s, he served as a principal of a high school being researched by the Coalition of Essential Schools, the research resulting in the book Kids and School Reform. As assistant superintendent in Newtown, Kuklis provided the leadership for developing and implementing standards-based curriculum throughout the district. Kuklis currently resides in New Rochelle, New York, and can be reached by phone at (914) 235-4840 or by e-mail at bobkuklis@optonline.net.

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