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Is your district ready to support a turnaround?

Chronically low performing schools do not exist in a bubble. They are part of a system. For this reason, their success at transforming themselves into high-performers will depend on much more than the actions of adults within the school building. It will hinge in large part on the support they also get from the district.

Turnaround experts at the University of Virginia have identified key elements within the school district that need to be in place to support the transformation of an individual school. Before you embark on a school turnaround, your school leadership team should assess the degree to which these elements are present.

Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = agree, 4 = strongly agree

District Leadership

Infrastructure to provide needed support and tailor accountability to the particular turnaround situation

Capacity to recruit, develop and retain talented staff

Effective instructional tools and support

Results

Add up your rating scores from the self-assessment above.

If your total is:

Between 43-48 pointsYou’re ready to plan your turnaround! Click here to begin.
Between 32-42 pointsYou can start planning, but be sure to pay attention to building district capacity in your weaker areas as part of the plan. Click here to begin.
Between
0-31 points
Before using Leading the Change, you should first examine your district’s capacity in more depth so you can be sure the district can support school turnaround

About the District Readiness Self-Assessment

Adapted primarily from “District Readiness to Support School Turnaround: A Users’ Guide to Inform the Work of State Education Agencies and Districts”, University of Virginia Partnership for Leaders in Education. Also informed by “Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools,” U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse; Report of the VSBA Task Force on Schools in Challenging Environments, Virginia School Boards Association; and Data-First, Center for Public Education.

Next Step

data-cycle-progressNow, take a look at a brief overview of the data cycle and how it can be best used to address turnaround schools.