Wisconsin Continuous Improvement

Wisconsin is working to align and strengthen supports for districts and schools as they engage in continuous improvement. This stems from the drive to close achievement gaps and from changes in federal accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
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All resources in Wisconsin Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement Criteria and Rubric

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This document reflects years of collective expertise and research about what works to lead for equity: to build educational systems and align educator practices in service to each and every student, college and career ready. It explains the why, and what to do to engage in continuous improvement to improve outcomes for all students or for specific student groups. In addition, this is a synthesis common understanding of continuous improvement as an ongoing, data-driven process in which learning organizations deliberately and strategically collaborate to understand and replicate successes, and plan for and address areas of concern. When implemented effectively, the continuous improvement process culminates in long-term, embedded, positive change and progress in the school or district, thereby improving student outcomes (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction 2016, 6).

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Author: Wendy Savaske

Data Inquiry Journal at a Glance

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The Data Inquiry Journal (DIJ) allows educators to document ongoing data investigation and  design continuous improvement plans all in one convenient location within WISEdash for Districts. The Data Inquiry Journal is aligned to the Continuous Improvement Process Criteria and Rubric. This document provides an overview of the three parts of the Data Inquiry Journal.

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Author: Wendy Savaske

Student Data Privacy: Guidance, Checklist and Action Plan

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Purpose: The purpose of this resource is to understand the importance and legal requirements of protecting student data privacy and assess the status of current practices. Description: This resource is designed to be utilized collaboratively by district leadership teams and reinforced by school leadership teams. First, you will find guidance regarding policies, principles and protocols critical to protect student data. The checklist that follows is organized into eight items to assess and provide evidence regarding current status. Using the checklist, teams identify areas of need and plan actions to be taken to insure student privacy.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Examining Team Structures and Functions Template

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This resource provides recommended purposes and functions of district, school, and teacher teams engaged in meaningful continuous improvement. It also provides a blank template to document a district’s current state of linked team infrastructure. Comparing their current state to the recommended system provides an avenue to target improvement in collaboration and leadership practices.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

SLDS Data Use Standards

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Standards for Effective Data Use It’s clear that educators today need to develop data savvy. The Statewide Longitudinal Data System partners, comprised of educational leaders across 13 states, provide a set of Data Use Standards describing the knowledge, skills and behaviors needed for effective data use to inform instructional and programmatic decisions. It is recommended that school and district leadership teams reflect about their professional growth in data use knowledge, skills and professional behaviors. These standards provide a good beginning for such reflection as they detail “the essential knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors required by teachers and administrators to effectively use data to inform instructional and programmatic decisions.” The standards are divided into three subgroups, which are listed in the table below: Knowledge, Skills and Professional Behavior Standards for Data Use Knowledge Skills Professional Behaviors Fundamental Knowledge Processing Knowledge Conceptual Knowledge Planning Selecting Collecting Analyzing Interpreting Communicating Acting Ethical Use Rules and Regulations Collaboration Continuous Improvement

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Author: Wendy Savaske

Title IVA Needs Assessment Resources

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A comprehensive needs assessment aligned with the allowable activities is required if the district or consortia allocation is over $30,000. The comprehensive needs assessment must include, at a minimum, a focus on the three content areas identified above. Additional recommendations about conducting a needs assessment are located in the "Implementing Effective SSAE Program Activities" section which starts on page 15 of the Non-Regulatory Guidance document. Additional resources are available below.

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Author: Wendy Savaske

December 2016 Synthesis of Information on Evidence-based practices for school improvement: 20 studies and tools focused on evidence-based practices in school improvement

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This resource review focused on identifying tools and resources that may be useful as SEAs and LEAs follow steps of an evidence-based decision-making cycle (see figure) to identify and implement interventions to improve outcomes for students. The resources and tools included here are not exhaustive, but can serve as a starting point for further review and identification of evidence-based interventions.

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Author: Wendy Savaske

November 2016 Evidence-based Practices in school improvement five profiles of promising practices

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The purpose of these profiles is to demonstrate what evidence-based decision making looks like in practice. By highlighting this process, these profiles will help to guide others with important points to consider as they use evidence to select and implement interventions to improve student outcomes. This project identified four sites to profile (states and districts) that promote promising practices in the selection and implementation of evidence-based interventions to improve student and teacher outcomes. Among the promising practices highlighted are examples of how in 2009-2012 these sites used evidence to select interventions that have the potential to align to the new standards for levels of evidence as described in ESSA. The profiles document the promising practices, successes, challenges, and lessons learned related to the implementation of evidence-based practices in these sites.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Addressing the root causes of disparities in school discipline

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Stage 1: Digging Into the Data addresses the question “Do disparities in school discipline exist in our school or district?” The guide provides a set of tasks to help determine your data needs, harvest the data you already have at your disposal, identify additional data you may need, disaggregate and analyze your data, and then develop preliminary findings. Stage 2: Getting at the Roots of Disparities addresses the question “What are the root causes of our disparities in school discipline?” You will learn how to dig deeper and conduct a root cause analysis to understand why disparities exist in your discipline outcomes. Stage 3: Creating an Action Plan addresses the question “How will root causes of disparities in school discipline be addressed?” This stage walks you through developing an action plan for eliminating the disparities discovered in your root cause analysis that can be implemented, monitored, and continuously improved over time. The guide includes a Disciplinary Disparities Risk Assessment Tool to aid in data gathering and analysis. The tool contains a series of Microsoft Excel–based worksheets, with detailed instructions on the kind of data to gather and how to analyze your results using a set of key questions. The tool automatically generates visual data displays to enhance analysis. This tool can be used as-is, modified, or serve as a model for designing a tool that can integrate with or import data from an existing school or district database or student management system. The tool also can be used in concert with existing data collection efforts, such as those connected with positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). The guide also includes the following: • Templates to help plan and facilitate communication among stakeholders; • Real-world examples from schools and districts already experiencing success; • Sidebars and tip sheets to extend knowledge; • Links to useful resources; • Strategies for doing a thorough job without getting bogged down; and • Tips for undertaking tough conversations.

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Author: Wendy Savaske

2017 Using Needs Assessments for School and District Improvement

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This resource is guide was created by CCSSO and WestEd's Center for School Turnaround as a comprehensive resource. Topics covered include: -What is a Needs Assessment -Types of Needs Assessments -Designing a Needs Assessment (which includes: elements of a needs assessment, importance on stakeholder engagement, steps in a needs assessment, and methods of data collection) -Improvement Process (which includes: improvement cycle theory of action, planning and implementing change, working with frameworks) -Key Decision Points

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Author: Wendy Savaske

Four Domains of Rapid School Improvement: Indicators of Effective Practice

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In recent years, rapid school improvement — known most commonly as school turnaround — has emerged as the chief focus of dramatic and systemic efforts aimed at giving students better schools. To assist states, districts, and schools in leading or managing these efforts, in 2017 the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd (CST) developed Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework. That framework identifies four areas of focus that research and experience point to as central to rapid and significant improvement: turnaround leadership, talent development, instructional transformation, and culture shift. Within each domain, the framework also identifies three critical practices for taking action. during needs assessment, indicators serve as the objectives against which to consider prevailing practice (Corbett & Redding, 2017). Results from this mapping in the needs assessment stage inform the plan, helping leaders decide, for example, where to focus initial versus subsequent efforts or whether to focus more tightly on one or two particular domains versus other domains.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Fishbone Diagram

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Purpose: The fishbone diagram guides teams to categorize potential hypotheses of practices during the data inquiry process. Used most often to keep teams from jumping to conclusions, the fishbone diagram helps them focus on actionable causes for the student outcomes identified as high priority for improvement planning. While there are many versions of fishbone diagrams used for education, this resource is based on the key system features of the Equitable Multi-Level System of Support (MLSS), which offers multiple lenses for considering potential root causes. Description: This fishbone diagram is a template structured with MLSS features creating the “ribs” along the fishbone, while the student outcome priority is listed at the head of the fish.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Influencer Circle for Prioritizing Hypotheses of Root Cause

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Influencer Circle for Prioritizing Hypotheses of Root Cause Purpose: The influencer process guides teams to prioritize the likely root cause that has the greatest influence on other root causes. Description: This influencer process is a relations diagram. It is used to identify the most likely root cause of a student data problem generated during the data inquiry process. Teams use an influencer circle to study the interrelationships among those possible causes, helping them determine how hypotheses of practice (HOPs) connect to one another and which practices have the greatest influence. By completing this activity, teams identify dominant root causes to consider for improvement.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Hexagon Tool

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Purpose: The Hexagon Discussion and Analysis Tool helps organizations evaluate new and existing programs and practices. This tool is designed to be used by a team to ensure diverse perspectives are represented in a discussion of the six contextual fit and feasibility factors. Program indicators assess new or existing programs or practices that will be implemented along the following domains: evidence, supports, and usability. These indicators specify the extent to which the identified program or practice demonstrates evidence, supports for implementation, and usability across a range of contexts. Implementing site indicators assess the extent to which a new or existing program or practice matches the implementing site along the following domains: population need, fit, and capacity. The assessment specifies suggested conditions and requirements for a strong match to need, fit, and capacity for the identified program or and practice. The Hexagon Tool can be used at any stage in a program’s implementation to determine its fit with the local context. It is most commonly used during the Exploration stage: the period when a site is identifying possible new programs or practices to implement. If the organization has an Implementation Team, the Implementation Team can carry out this function for the organization.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Initiative Inventory

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The NIRN Initiative Inventory can be used to guide your team’s review of past and current programs to get a clear picture of successful strategies, and challenges, along with existing mandates and resource commitments. The NIRN Initiative Inventory Process Tool is available to assist teams in developing a plan for completing the NIRN Initiative Inventory.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Initiative Inventory Process

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The NIRN Initiative Inventory can be used to guide your team’s review of past and current programs to get a clear picture of successful strategies, and challenges, along with existing mandates and resource commitments. The NIRN Initiative Inventory Process Tool is available to assist teams in developing a plan for completing the NIRN Initiative Inventory.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske

Evidence-Based Improvement Strategies

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What are evidence-based improvement strategies? It is important that we ensure that students are impacted by programs, practices and strategies. The presentation defines evidence-based improvement strategy and research types in easy to understand language. In addition, it includes tools and resources to assist district and school teams.

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Author: Wendy Savaske

How-to Select an Evidence-Based Improvement Strategy

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How is the selection of an evidence-based improvement strategy related to continuous improvement? It is important that we ensure that students are impacted by programs, practices and strategies. The presentation illustrated how the selection of evidence-based improvement strategy fits within a continuous improvement process in easy to understand language. In addition, it includes tools and resources to assist district and school teams.

Material Type: Other

Author: Wendy Savaske