How we help
The E-Squared Solution can help any school, anywhere in the world, reach new heights of equity and excellence right now. Our core conviction is that it is practices, not programs, that lead to student success. E-Squared schools and systems focus on a set of research-based leadership and teaching practices that are sustainable over the long term. Even as leaders, budgets, and political environments change, the commitment to equity and excellence will be consistent. Because of our commitment to focused professional practices, we often help schools save money and time by discarding expensive and time-consuming programs that are not used and that have no impact on student results.
The five core competencies of an E-Squared System
1. Focus: Get rid of the clutter before adopting our framework. Before we start, we need to know the calendar of initiatives and programs that compete for the time, attention, and resources of the system and schools.
2. Collective efficacy: The degree to which teachers, principals, and system-level leaders identify causes of student achievement as those they can control or influence compared to those they cannot control or influence
3. Feedback: Effective assessment and immediate feedback for students, teachers, and leaders. The acid test is the degree to which teachers can say, at any moment throughout the year, which students are proficient, which are in need of intervention, and which are in need of extended learning. Leaders must similarly be able to identify the strengths and challenges of every teacher. District-level supervisors must also be able to know specific strengths and challenges for each school and district leader.
4. Instructional effectiveness: Systematic, frequent, and consistent feedback to every teacher. This is independent of the teacher evaluation policies that may be externally mandated. Feedback, not evaluation, is what drives improvements in teaching practices.
5. Leadership effectiveness: Focus on the essentials of instructional leadership, data analysis, change leadership, and effective management.
How it works
Phase 1: Pre-assessment. This includes data analysis at the school and system level as well as interviews with system and building leaders and surveys of teachers. The two fundamental areas of inquiry are the greatest successes of schools and districts and the greatest challenges for the year ahead. The pre-assessment includes an inventory of every program, initiative, and professional development workshop in the district and schools, including a review of the curriculum and assessment system to determine the degree to which the school and system have a guaranteed and viable curriculum.
Phase 2: Leadership orientation. This includes three 3-hour seminars for all system and building administrators and instructional leaders. The first seminar provides the latest research on high-impact leadership. The second focuses on practices to improve specific and actionable feedback to teachers for improved student results. The third is on high-impact decision-making, linking evidence to feedback and support. In addition, it includes a 45-minute overview for community leaders, parent leaders, governing board members, and other key stakeholders.
Phase 3: Teacher orientation. This includes two 3-hour seminars for every teacher in every subject, Pre-K through 12. The first seminar addresses effective instructional practices, with a blueprint for every educator, from the most experienced veteran as to the first-year teacher. The second focuses on curriculum and assessment directly related to each teacher’s subject and grade level. Maximum size of 30 participants per seminar.
Phase 4: Leadership coaching and support. Ten 45-minute coaching and support sessions for leaders who participated in Phase 1. These coaching and support sessions are focused on individual needs for central office and school leaders and can be provided in either one-to-one sessions or small group sessions In addition, cohorts of six to eight principals meet month to consider common challenges and share their most effective leadership practices.
Phase 5: Teacher coaching and support. This includes eight 3-hour per school observations, including classroom observation, teacher meetings, PLC meetings, and other support as the principal may direct. For schools with more than 500 students, more than eight 3-hour observations will be required.
Phase 6: Post assessment and leadership seminar. This includes a post-assessment survey of teachers and data review of achievement and equity measures, and a three-hour seminar for all leaders, as well as planning for next steps.
Phase 7: Sustainability provided by locally based E-Squared Certified Coaches.
The E-Squared Solution is a whole-system improvement process. It requires the direct involvement of all leaders, including senior leaders, principals, and teacher-leaders, as well as the participation of all teachers. The E-Squared Solution is deliberately designed to require the focused attention of district and building leaders and is not a “drive-by” workshop that will soon be forgotten. The coaching, follow-up, and assessment are integral parts of the system. It is essential to note that “whole-system commitment” means every school, every leader, and every teacher. Although funding and focus are often allocated only to the highest-need schools, our experience and research provide compelling evidence that schools benefit most when every school, regardless of labels or test scores, is committed to equity and excellence. Reform models fail when they are focused only on “target” schools rather than on whole-system reform. Systems make a five-year commitment to E-Squared, and by the end of that time, the system has certified E-Squared Coaches who will sustain the impact of these teaching and leadership practices far into the future.