Underperforming schools require significant transformation to achieve their goals

One for all.

Underperforming schools often require significant changes to achieve their goals. School transformation is a process that involves thorough analysis, observation, and assessment of a school’s strengths and challenges, followed by an implementation plan to improve in all areas.

Transformation and turnaround initiatives can seem impossible and daunting, to say the least, especially when student success is at stake. Catapult Learning understands that it’s never easy to change a school system, but with the right support and experts with first-hand experience, it is possible to improve academic performance. This was the case for two school districts in Utah during the 2015-16 school year. Both the San Juan and the Granite School Districts had two schools on the state’s transformation list, meaning that major changes were necessary for all four schools. These districts engaged Catapult Learning to implement a school transformation program in hopes of turning all four schools around.

The Process

To best understand each school’s needs, Catapult Learning initiates a Collaborative Quality Analysis (CQA). This analysis, as well as our school-needs assessments, identify the strengths and opportunity areas for each school through a comprehensive and collaborative diagnostic process that:

  • Combines observation data, stakeholder perception feedback, and documented evidence in order to assess a school’s strengths and challenges
  • Employs assessment activities that include school document review, lesson plan review, student work review, record review and discussion, stakeholder focus groups, and lesson observations
  • Benchmarks findings against best practices utilizing our Catapult Learning School Development Rubric
  • Shares results in a comprehensive report that describes a school’s strengths, opportunities for growth, and recommended next steps

The collaborative process results in a summary report and recommended next professional development steps, forming the basis of an implementation plan designed to further strengthen already-strong areas and improve on areas of need.

Catapult Learning Success Story: How School Transformation Helped the Utah School Districts

Both the San Juan and Granite districts had two schools placed on Utah’s school transformation list, meaning these four schools desperately needed improved instructional practices. Through collaboration with school leadership, Collaborative Quality Analyses (CQA) and school-needs assessments were performed. Based on the results of these thorough analyses, Catapult helped each district create a plan to improve instructional practices and develop a data-driven improvement plan.

The result? By 2018, all four schools had successfully exited the transformation list with the help of Catapult’s assessments and professional development plans that were tailored to each individual school’s needs. Because of the success in the Granite and San Juan School Districts, the state of Utah has since partnered with Catapult Learning to support more than 15 other schools identified for transformation—all of which have also exited the transformation list. Eight years later, Utah continues to use Catapult Learning professional learning for school improvement services.

Catapult Learning’s School Transformations

Some schools require a top-down transformation; others only need help in certain areas. Catapult Learning provides both whole-school transformations and targeted school transformations based on each district’s needs.

Our whole-school transformation builds leader and teacher capacity through learning events designed to ensure sustained improvement through leadership development, teacher development, coaching and mentoring, and implementation. Catapult works collaboratively with district and school teams to diagnose organizational needs and prescribe a customized plan that incorporates both professional development and coaching.

Catapult’s targeted school transformation focuses on specific areas, such as instructional consistency and literacy development. Building Instructional Coherence helps teachers elevate the quality of their instruction through a consistent and cohesive instructional model that leverages best practices in planning, instruction, and assessment across all grade levels and content areas. To develop literacy in all subject areas, Catapult uses Literacy First®, a data-driven, comprehensive, research-based reading reform process that supports the Academic Content Standards and the reading and comprehension of increasingly complex texts. A three-year professional development coaching and leadership training for grades Pre-K to 12, the Literacy First transformation framework:

  • Creates a literacy-rich culture that motivates students in their own learning
  • Develops a student-centered approach to classroom instruction and classroom management that pinpoints and addresses specific skill gaps
  • Establishes strong relationships among PD consultants, teachers, and administrators

With guidance from Catapult Learning’s professional learning experts—backed by more than 45 years of PD experience—your school’s transformation can mirror the success of those in Utah. Learn more about our school transformation process and how you can partner with Catapult by visiting https://catapultlearning.com/school-transformation/.

One holistic program. Positive impact for all.

At Catapult Learning, we know that your educators support all student needs. That’s why we support your educators, all the way. To help educators address a range of academic challenges—including student behavioral issues, classroom management gaps, and leadership development—we offer a comprehensive training program backed by decades of experience as educators and coaches.