This is the time of year we prepare for what we affectionately refer to as “STR Season” at Partners. Yes, our School Transformation Review (STR) has an entire season dedicated to it!
The STRs help us take stock of strengths and areas of opportunity at our partner school sites and are grounded in our School Transformation Rubric. This process typically consists of site visits by a team of Partners staff who conduct classroom visits, leader interviews, and teacher focus groups. The visiting team uses the evidence collected to inform scoring on our School Transformation Rubric, a research-based framework of 76 best practices for school leadership, teacher professional learning and classroom instruction, particularly for schools serving large populations of English Learners and students of color. Our school and district partners deeply value this process because it helps them look at systems and adult development at their schools and use the data to guide their planning for future years.
As you know, the effects of COVID-19 have impacted almost everything, including our STRs and the data we typically gather (e.g., evidence from in-person classroom visits). In the absence of many of our standard data sets, we are thinking creatively to do our best to gather evidence for the STR process both for our own learning and to support our clients. Our Program Development and Support team has dedicated time and effort to ensuring STRs are successful even in this very unique year. The team has integrated all that we’ve learned from different versions of STRs we’ve conducted during the pandemic (STRs from spring and fall 2020) to design a process and develop materials for spring 2021. Key pieces of the STRs for this spring include:
- All STRs will use the same set of modified line-items that align with distance learning.
- Most schools expected to do the STR will be conducting their reviews with the following components:
- Leader interview(s) conducted virtually
- Teacher focus group(s) conducted virtually
- Artifacts will be collected
- A new teacher survey to collect information we are not able to gather effectively in focus groups
- Each STR will be calibrated and scored (pre-score and calibrated score)
- Executive summaries will be written
We look forward to sharing results and our learnings with you in the next few months!