School Redesign Plan-Fall River, Doran

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					         Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

                         Fall River Public Schools

              Doran Elementary School Redesign Plan
                     Maria Pontes, Principal
                         January 2011

             Redesign Plan
             Implementation Timeline & Benchmarks
             Measurable Annual Goals
             Budget

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            Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

I. Executive Summary
The Fall River Public Schools understands that the central focus for transformation of our Level 4 schools
must be comprehensive instructional improvement that uses student data to significantly improve student
learning. A key vehicle to drive instructional improvement will be distributed leadership development and
collaborative professional learning. In order to assist our Level 4 schools, the district will seek to establish
an Innovation Zone. Within this zone, the schools and district will collaborate to ensure that each Level 4
school has maximum flexibility over resources and decision making in order to adopt innovative practices
that lead to sustained gains in student engagement and achievement. The district is committed to allow
Level 4 schools flexibility over district policies, such as human resources, staffing patterns and job
descriptions, budget, curriculum, assessment, and facility use. The district has also successfully
negotiated an agreement with the Fall River Education Association to provide additional instructional and
professional collaboration time to each Level 4 school.

In recognition that improvement in student achievement is a collaborative partnership between the district
and the school, the Fall River Public Schools are also committed to providing our schools with a
maximum level of district support. This support will include a robust leadership network designed to
provide Level 4 leaders with collegial and collaborative support, a school-based Redesign Coach to
coordinate the transformation process, SEI Category training for all faculty, training on inclusion
practices, assistance in creating Data Teams to drive conversations on instruction, and social and
emotional wellness initiatives.

The John J. Doran Community School vision is that students will be prepared for personal, social, and
academic success in middle school. This means that
- All students will exit eighth grade having met or exceeded the state standards in all subjects.
- All students will leave Doran equipped with the work habits and self-motivation they need to be
    successful lifelong learners.
- All students will receive necessary school-based and community supports to achieve social emotional
- All students will interact with peers and staff with kindness, respect, and empathy regardless of race,
    language, or socioeconomic status.

To realize this vision, we believe that instructional improvement to improve learning must be the central
focus of the John J. Doran Community School Redesign Plan. Instructional improvement does not,
however, occur in a vacuum. It requires a strong system of distributed leadership with high expectations
and shared internal accountability, and a professional learning community with a high level of discourse
focused on developing teacher expertise across each grade and across the school. It requires attention to
the whole child and the families of students who must be active partners in the enterprise of learning. And
it requires partnerships beyond the school in the community. The wide range of data we have examined
demonstrates the urgency of need. We have worked hard to confront this data and have identified four
Key Priorities that weave through the Conditions for School Effective Schools in an action plan that will
assure focus and coherence to the Redesign Plan. The descriptions below frame the story of how we will
move the school forward strategically as a whole community.

Key Priority 1: Build School Leadership, District Leadership and Community Partnerships
Leadership provides the central enabling support systems that make possible a dynamic synergy to
substantially increase student achievement. Doran’s leadership will collaborate with faculty, parents, and
students to develop a culture of learning that is sustainable beyond the presence of one leader.

Key Priority 2: Establish a Community of Highly Skilled and Effective Teachers

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

The professional development plan includes four main elements connected directly to data analysis for
improvement: Core Professional Development for all staff, Common Planning Time focused on
improving instruction, individual professional development based on each teacher’s needs and the
priorities of the Plan, and shared observations of professional practice. The Plan will increasingly harness
collective expertise to create a community of teacher- learners.

Key Priority 3: Create and Sustain Rigorous Aligned Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment that
results in significantly higher student achievement
We realize that we need to drastically alter our curriculum, instruction and assessment to enable our
students to learn to their fullest potential. Key elements of our plan are increased time for students;
documented, aligned, implemented curriculum that comes alive through effective instruction and
assessment; and a Pre-K-8 program to provide continuity of learning and support academic success.

Key Priority 4: Ensure That Students Ready to Learn
Our Wellness Team will coordinate with teachers, professional support staff and community partners to
provide social, emotional and wellness supports for our students and families, in school and in community
partnerships. We will create ongoing opportunities for family-school relationships to connect parents to
their children’s learning and increase participation in the school community. Together we will value the
whole child and provide supports to assure each child is ready to learn and engage in learning.

If we pursue these priorities with commitment and fidelity to these values, then we will have an effective
school-wide learning community with systems and accountability structures to ensure significantly
accelerated learning for all students at the Doran School who will enter high school as critical thinkers,
engaged learners, strong communicators who will work hard and embrace new challenges.

The redesigned school will look different from the school’s well-intentioned but fragmented efforts to
make incremental improvements. While sustainable redesign takes time, between Sept 2010 and June
2014, the new Doran will emerge as a stable higher performing school community. A visitor to the
school will see that there is a pre-K to grade 8 school in place with a coherent, documented curriculum
that is aligned and taught in every grade and across grades with fidelity. The school day is longer to create
time for more instruction. There is a safe environment where students work together in orderly and
responsible ways. Posters tell the story of expectations for being a Doran “citizen.” Students demonstrate
that spirit by their actions. High expectations for student’s intellectual engagement in learning and
effective instruction are visible in direct teaching, coaching, and guided inquiry that emphasize an
increasingly high level of student and adult-modeled discourse. ELL students are included increasingly in
regular classrooms with more co-teaching and less isolation. The classroom environments have well
organized resources and anchor charts, visual representations, big ideas, questions, and student work
posted – all revealing that thinking is valued and meaningful content is essential to stretching academic
language and skills to ensure deeper understanding.

At regular intervals during the year, students share their learning with other classes, at a family breakfast
or in formal exhibitions of the 5th grade and 8th grade projects. Families attend two conferences each year,
attend celebrations of learning, and increasingly understand how important it is for their children to be
present and ready to learn each day. When students or families need additional learning support or have
social, emotional or health needs, a teacher or counselor or other member of the Wellness Team identifies
and make sure those supports are in place. Teacher teams working together are also a visible feature of
the Doran School – observing each other or meeting in teams to analyze student work, review or plan the
next lessons, and look at external data that is posted electronically and on portable data walls that show
movement of students to higher levels of reading and math. Teachers participate in professional
development after school, on Saturdays, and before school to increase their knowledge, skills, and craft.

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          Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

II. District-Level Redesign
1. Analysis of Key District Needs and Challenges:

The Fall River Public Schools is an urban district that enrolls just under 10,000 students in 16
schools and programs. The students we serve are disproportionately in subgroups that, while
bringing many positive assets to school, have significantly greater needs and often learning gaps.
While the percent of students by race is similar to that of the state, the percent of Fall River’s
students whose first language is not English is 60% greater than that of the state, and the percent
of low-income students is greater than twice the rate of the state. Twenty-three percent of our
students annually move from school to school or in and out of the district, creating greater
challenges in addressing curriculum consistency from school to school and learning gaps with
our students.

Given our student demographics, our students bring to school multiple challenges which require
significantly more resources and higher qualified teachers. While having greater needs than the
state as a whole, Fall River’s per pupil budget is slightly less than the state average ($12,914 vs.
$13,006 in 2009). This has ripple effects on our ability to provide adequate resources to our
students who need more rather than less. For example, we are less able to procure computers for
our students, resulting in a student-to-computer ratio that is 44% higher than the state average.
When looking at our teaching force, the percent of Fall River teachers who are highly qualified is
less than that of the state (94.7% to 97.1%), as is the percent of core academic classes taught by
highly qualified teachers (93.8% to 97.3%). Translated, while our students have a greater need
for high quality teaching than the average state school, they have a lesser chance of receiving this
instruction. Closing this gap in highly qualified teachers is made more difficult by average
salaries, due to budget constraints, that are significantly less than the state and neighboring
districts (in 2009, $62,287 vs. $67,577), making teacher recruitment more challenging.

While 5.2% of our students are Limited English Proficient, only 2.6% of our teachers are
providing LEP instruction. (as reported on the ESE website). Adding further challenges, while
30% of our student body is Latino or African American, only 2.4% of our teachers are, leaving
our students with strikingly few teacher role models that can be beneficial to their success.
Finally, Fall River could very well be facing significant staff turnover in the coming years, with
45% of our faculty aged 49 or over, and 17% of our faculty aged 57 or over.

As a result of these challenges in providing a high quality education to a student population with
significant needs, our student outcomes are not nearly as robust as we would hope them to be.
On average, Fall River students are absent almost three full weeks per school year, an
unacceptable amount of time out of school when most of the students with high rates of absence
are those with the most significant learning gaps. Clearly, we need to do a better job of
motivating our students to come to school, and once there, engaging them in meaningful and
relevant learning. Our schools are also not doing a good enough job with our students when in
school, as evidenced by out-of-school suspension rates that are almost three times the rate of the
state average, and with three of our schools being Level 4 designation, even more having Level 3
status, and the district with unacceptably low MCAS scores overall.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

Our challenge as a district, then, is to dramatically increase the resources and support we provide
our Level 3 & 4 schools so that we can dramatically improve student outcomes at these schools.
Within the district section, we outline our plans to use an ambitious theory of action to drive the
district’s and each school’s work in transforming our underperforming schools. This theory of
action will be coupled with significant district support to our schools through aggressive teacher
recruitment, leadership and curriculum support, special attention to support our English
Language Learner and special education students, a focus on data, and a new initiative around
social and emotional wellness through positive child and youth development.

2. Key Strategies and Theory of Action:

District Theory of Action for School Transformation
The district leadership understands that the central focus for transformation of our Level 4
schools must be comprehensive instructional improvement that uses student achievement data to
significantly improve student learning. A key vehicle to drive instructional improvement is
distributed leadership development and collaborative professional learning.

Thus, our theory of action for underperforming schools is that improved student engagement and
achievement occurs when the following school factors are in place:
o Professional learning communities focused on improving instructional practice and student
o Use of data to identify learning gaps and determine instructional focus, which leads to
   improved instructional practice in the classroom and targeted intervention for individual
o Use of high quality and varied instruction, based on the effective elements of Sheltered
   English Instruction, that challenges students’ academically while also providing scaffolds to
   ensure that every student increases learning
o Attention to students’ social and emotional well-being through coordinated wrap-around
   services, promotion of positive peer identity and self-efficacy, embracing of students’
   cultural backgrounds, and strong parent engagement

Our expectation is that every Level 4 school in the district uses this theory of action as the
framework for their federal school redesign plan. In order to assist our Level 4 schools to
implement this district theory of action for school transformation, the district will seek to
establish an Innovation Zone. Within this zone, the schools and district will collaborate to ensure
that each Level 4 school has maximum flexibility over resources and decision making in order to
adopt innovative practices that lead to sustained gains in student engagement and achievement.
The district is committed to allow Level 4 schools flexibility over district policies, such as
human resources, staffing patterns and job descriptions, budget, curriculum, assessment, and
facility use. The district will also negotiate with the local teachers union additional flexibilities
from approved Level 4 work conditions should the need arise. The expectations for each school
are that, given additional district support and flexibility, student outcomes will improve. Should
this Innovation Zone prove to be a successful strategy, the district will consider expanding it to
include other district schools in future years.

3. District redesign and planning process:

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a. Describe the district-level and/or school-level redesign teams to develop the redesign plans.
The overarching value of leadership as a central element of effective schools cannot be
overemphasized. (Schmoker, 2006; Marzano, 2003, among many others) The leadership that
makes a difference for student learning comes from several sources. First in many ways is
teacher leadership. Simply put, teachers make the greatest single difference. However, scaling
up to create and sustain effective schools and districts with high levels of student learning
requires principal leadership and district leadership that make it possible to go from pockets of
excellence to cultures of excellence. The Fall River Public Schools has recognized that some of
its greatest challenges and opportunities come through leadership, not as a person, but as the
collective community of leaders that can be present and active throughout our schools. To
support our three Level 4 schools and one Level 3 school in Fall River, the district has
understood that its initiatives and support for its school leaders and teachers in their schools are
essential (all subsequent mentions of Level 4 schools are inclusive of Morton Middle School as
the one participating Level 3 school).

A Strong District Leadership Team
At the district level, a District Redesign Team has been established that includes the following
 Superintendent
 Chief Academic Officer
 Executive Director of Human Resources and Educator Quality
 Executive Director of Special Education and Student Services
 Director of Instructional Services
 Director of Professional Development
 Special Populations Instructional Specialist
 Director of Student Assessment
 Principals of the three Level 4 schools
 School Redesign Coaches of the three Level 4 schools

This group has identified their responsibilities as the following:
 To oversee the redesign planning process for each school
 To vet and approve the State Turnaround Plans and School Redesign Plans for each Level 4
   school, to then be submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary
 To oversee the implementation of each school’s plans, upon state approval
 To ensure maximum and integrated district resources are provided to each school
 To track the progress of each school, and make mid-course corrections

The District Redesign Team meets once per month to oversee both the redesign plan and
implementation phases of the each school.

b. Overview of the overall structure of the district's redesign planning process.
The District Redesign Team appointed Local Stakeholders Groups (LSG) to each of the three
Level 4 schools. Each LSG set its own meeting schedule, meeting on average three times, with
the district providing facilitation and clerical support. Each group was provided with multiple
sources of data for their respective school and asked to analyze it and develop a set of

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          Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

recommendations for transforming the school in the areas of the Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education’s (ESE) Effective Conditions for School Effectiveness.
These recommendations, typed up, were then given to the Redesign Teams of each school to use
and integrate into the eventual State Turnaround Plans and federal School Redesign Plans.

Federal Intervention Model
The District Redesign Team and superintendent discussed the options for federal intervention
model for each school. The Transformation model was chosen for the Doran Elementary School
because (1) the principal had been in the school for only one year, (2) significant faculty turnover
had already occurred, and the need was more focused on professional development and support
for a large new cohort of faculty, and (3) the new principal had made progress in building a
faculty culture focused on raised student expectations and the need for high quality instruction.
Because of their prior status as underperforming schools that were “grandfathered” into the
state’s new Level 4 underperforming school process, the Kuss Middle School and Henry Lord
Middle School were not required to select one of the four federal intervention models, nor were
they required to replace their principals. However, both schools selected to pursue the
Transformation model. As well, ultimately, the superintendent elected to replace the Henry Lord
Middle School principal, as she felt that new leadership was needed to accelerate academic
achievement. Morton Middle School, with a new principal this year, selected the Transformation
model as significant faculty turnover has already occurred; a key in this school is working with
all faculty to more consistently implement effective instruction and standards-based curriculum.

School-based Redesign Teams
Each Level 4 school has a redesign team of 8-12 members. Membership on each team includes
the principal, school redesign coach, math and literacy coaches, core academic teachers across
grade levels and disciplines, special education and English Language Learner teachers, parents,
and business/community member. The principal serves as the chair of each Redesign Team.
Teachers volunteered to participate on the teams.

All teams meet weekly, with written agendas and meeting minutes. Their charge has been to
develop the State Turnaround Plan and School Redesign Plan. As the school year has started up,
the redesign teams are also responsible for plan implementation and oversight.

District Assistance in the Redesign Planning Process
The superintendent identified the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE), a nonprofit
organization dedicated to assisting urban public school districts to create high performing
schools, to contract with in order to assist the District Redesign Team and the four school
Redesign Teams in the redesign process. A CCE staff member was assigned to each redesign
team to help facilitate the team’s proceedings and discussions, and to help write their State
Turnaround Plan and Redesign Plan. CCE assisted the District Redesign Team to map out a
timeline of activities for each of the schools. The District Redesign Team met in the late summer
and throughout fall and early winter 2010-2011 to discuss and agree upon the district sections
that would be common across schools. Timelines were set to enable the District Redesign Team
to review and provide feedback on draft plans from each school.

4. School redesign leadership pipeline:

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

a. Recruitment and selection of effective principals and teacher leaders.
In partnership with Rhode Island Consortium for Educators (RICE), the district hosted a
recruitment fair in May 2010 specifically for the purpose of recruiting highly qualified teachers
for Level 4 schools. The District distributed non-renewal letters to teaching staff on waivers in
Level 4 schools in early June 2010. The Human Resource Department then assisted school
leadership with pre-screening applicants for highly qualified and experienced individuals with a
track record of success in communities with a similar demographic as Fall River. Interviews for
positions included stakeholders on the interview team and a thorough reference check process.
Finalists continued to a district level interview team, and recommended candidates were
interviewed by the Superintendent.

An Executive Director of Human Resources and Educator Quality was hired on July 5, 2010.
The district’s Human Resources Director has committed to working closely with each Level 4
principal to recruit and identify a pool of highly qualified applicant teachers who are expressly
interested in working in an underperforming school that is undergoing transformative work. The
district is strengthening alliances with local colleges such as Bridgewater State College, Stonehill
College, and Providence College by requesting invitations to participate in recruitment fairs for
spring 2011. Additionally, the district joined the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education statewide recruitment campaign as part of

The district has also provided Level 4 principals with the staffing and hiring authority necessary
to hire effective educators. The director has enable each Level 4 school to identify and fill open
positions with highly qualified candidates earlier in the hiring cycle so that schools can hire the
best candidates available, rather than lose them to other school districts due to a late hiring cycle.

Level 4 principals may hire for open positions at any time without waiting for transfer periods to
pass, may select from candidates inside or outside the district without regard to seniority (as long
as the hire does not result in a layoff of a permanent teacher). As well, valued current teachers in
Level 4 schools are protected in times of layoff; they cannot be bumped by more senior teachers
in other district schools as long as there is a position in another district school.

The Human Resources office will also conduct monthly critical friends groups with all first-year
teachers as well as all teachers who are new to the Fall River Public Schools. The goal of these
meetings is to provide these two groups of teachers with a network of support during their first

5. External partners pipeline:
a. Process to recruit, screen and select external providers to ensure their quality.
The district has engaged a number of external providers to assist in the redesign process.
External providers have been selected based upon district need and the provider’s qualifications
and track record of success.

   Dr. Larry Myatt of Northeastern University is serving as the conduit between the District
    Redesign Team and each of the school-based teams and the turnaround partners. He is also
    conducting leadership development sessions with all of the Level 4 principals (see
    description on page 8). Dr. Myatt was the founding principal of a successful Pilot school,

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

    Fenway High School, in the Boston Public Schools, and has provided consultation on school
    redesign nationally.
   Cambridge Education has assisted each Level 4 school in data surveys to help identify areas
    of challenge to focus upon in redesign plans. All students and every faculty member in each
    Level 4 school completed a Tripod Survey, which provides feedback on school culture,
    expectations, and academic challenge. Cambridge Education provided a set of raw data to
    each school to use in a data inquiry cycle to identify strengths, gaps, causes of the gaps, and
    develop action plans. As well, Cambridge Education conducted a school quality review with
    each school, providing key feedback on instruction, adult-student interactions, and school
    culture. Both sets of data were used by each Level 4 school in its analysis to develop their
    school redesign plans.
   TERC has assisted each Level 4 school to create Data Teams, and provided team members
    with training in data-based inquiry cycles. The goal is to build capacity within each school to
    have data-based inquiry embedded within the professional culture. The data inquiry process
    will be critical to each school’s transformation.
    The Center for Collaborative Education is assisting the district to work with each school
    redesign team in the development and writing of their State Turnaround Plan and federal
    School Redesign Plan.
   WestED/Learning Innovations will provide technical assistance to teachers in each Level 4
    school regarding effective Sheltered English Immersion strategies.
   Rachel Poliner, an independent consultant, will assist each school to adopt student advisory

One of Dr. Myatt’s charges is to ensure communication and coherence among all the external
providers, so that their work is value added to the schools and district.

6. Effective district systems for school support and intervention:
a. District policies and procedures that will be modified for Level 4 schools (e.g., staff
   assignment, student assignment, capital plans, transportation).
The Fall River central office is committed to ensuring the successful turnaround of its Level 4
schools. The district’s central office departments have harnessed significant resources to support
each school over the next three years.

The Fall River Public Schools’ Recovery Plan details four key areas in which the district is
building its capacity to better serve all district schools, and the Level 4 and 3 schools in
particular: Leadership and Governance, Teaching and Learning, Financial Management, and
Human Resource Management. The goal of the plan is to build district capacity to better
anticipate and address school staffing, instructional, and operational needs in timely, efficient
and effective ways. Based upon a survey of principal needs, the district developed the following
goals to assist all schools:

Leadership and Governance
 The district will support principals to use their resources flexibly in order to promote
 The district will provide principals with forums to share effective practices in leadership.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

Teaching and learning
 The district will provide principals time and support to develop a common understanding and
   common language of effective instructional practice.
 The district will provide principals with professional development that reviews district
   curriculum and clearly sets the learning objectives teachers will have to target when they
   teach the curriculum. There will be horizontal and vertical alignment across the schools.

Human resources
 The district will provide up to date evaluation tools for all staff who work in their schools.
  These tools will be a catalyst to improve the delivery of services by all parties and can be
  used as determination for future employment. There will be intensive professional
  development on these tools for all parties involved in the process.

Financial management
 The district will provide the resources necessary to maintain and update school buildings to
   ensure the safe operation of the building that is essential and conducive to student learning of
   the building.
 The district will provide a consistent budgetary and financial monitoring process that
   principals may access at any time.
 The district will provide principals with the necessary financial tools that allow for site based
   management dealing with all aspects of fiscal management as indicated by Education Reform

A subcommittee of the district redesign team is currently evaluating all policies and procedures
related to Level 4 schools. Currently, the following policies are being examined for potential
change in order to meet the needs of Level 4 schools:

   Examination of space within each Level 4 school to ensure that there is ample opportunity to
    bring community-based wrap-around support services into the school (e.g., tutorial, health,
    mentor programs).
   Transportation schedules to enable Level 4 schools to adjust their schedules to a longer
    school day to accommodate increased instructional time (Kuss Middle School already is an
    Extended Learning Time school with an adjusted transportation schedule).

b. District technical assistance plan for Level 4 schools.
Leadership Network Support. Level 4 principals will join all district principals for monthly
leadership development sessions, led by Dr. Larry Myatt from Northeastern University. These
sessions will focus on skills critical to building strong leadership capacity in our Level 4 schools
– instructional leadership that leads to improved student learning, data-based analysis and
problem-solving, asset mapping, creating a culture of idea-making and innovation, and building
a “talent pipeline” through recognition, development, retention, and succession planning. Data-
based decision making, effective supervision and evaluation, distributed leadership, and
examining leadership case studies that resulted in improved instruction and student learning will
be focus areas. By virtue of being in a regular forum of leaders, Level 4 principals will have
opportunities to improve communication, sharing, problem solving, learning, and collaboration
among colleagues.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

In addition, all Level 4 principals, assistant principals, department chairs, and instructional
coaches have been or will be provided with National Institute of School Leadership (NISL)
training, as well as a Research for Better Teaching (RBT) course, Observing and Analyzing
Teachers, in order to adopt a common framework for observing teachers and classroom practice.
As well, all principals and district managers have been trained by Richard Elmore of Harvard
University in Instructional Rounds, or how to engage in learning walks to observe classrooms
and assess the quality of instruction. Monthly rounds will be conducted by principals and central
office managers across the Level 4 schools on a rotating basis. These rounds will be used to
assess progress in improving instructional practice through providing the host principal and
leadership team with on-time feedback on classroom observations. Host principals will be
expected to discuss feedback with their respective leadership team and decide on action steps
that could address problem trends that are identified.

As well, the Human Resources Office will conduct a Critical Friends Group for Level 4 schools
that will consist of assistant principals, department heads, administrative interns, and re-design
coaches, whose focus will be to learn and share strategies and techniques for supporting
instruction in their leadership role. The design will balance sharing work, protocols, case studies,
professional texts/articles, dilemmas, video clips, and keynote speakers. This CFG seeks to instill
a culture of shared responsibility for all student and adult learning in the school, including the
learning of techniques to build a collaborative learning community.

Curriculum Support. Over the past year, the district has conducted curriculum alignment and
mapping for both English language arts and mathematics, to ensure that the district curriculum
guides are aligned to the Common Core Standards and are aligned vertically across grades.
District pacing guides have been developed in writing, reading, and word study, aligned to the
Common Core. As well, the district is in the process of conducting curriculum alignment and
mapping for the English as a Second Language curriculum.

The district has set a goal of assisting teachers in Level 4 schools to deliver standards-based
instruction, scaffolded to differing student needs. The district’s Office of Instruction will provide
support to each Level 4 school’s instructional coaches to assist them in implementing standards-
based curriculum with fidelity.

English Language Learners. Given Fall River’s growing population of English Language
Learners (ELL), the district will provide faculties at each Level 4 school with multiple
opportunities to enroll in and complete Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) Category training.
This capacity building to effectively teach ELL students will benefit all students, as high quality
SEI instructional strategies are equally effective with the entire student population. The goal is to
have 100% of faculty trained in SEI Categories 1, 2, and 4 by June 2012.

Research has found that classroom-based follow-up coaching is critical to the successful
implementation of new instructional practices learned through out-of-class professional
development. Thus, it will be critical to provide follow-up in-classroom coaching support to
teachers who complete Category training. Instructional coaches at each Level 4 school who have
received Category training will provide this in-classroom coaching and support to teachers.

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District staff will work with instructional coaches in each Level 4 school to collaborate with
teachers in implementing effective SEI instructional strategies in their classrooms through
conferencing, modeling, observation and feedback, and coaching.

Special Education. The district’s Special Education office will provide training to faculty at each
Level 4 school on effective inclusion models and instructional practices to Level 4 special
education and regular education teachers, with the goal of increasing the number of effective
inclusion classrooms in each school that show measured academic growth of both special
education and regular education students. The training will be provided by a consultant, Deborah

Data Teams. The district has partnered with TERC to establish and provide training to Data
Teams in each Level 4 school. A focus of this training is to build the capacity of the individual
schools to examine a range of data sources and engage in regular data inquiry cycles that lead to
identification of challenge areas and causes for these challenges, leading to the development and
implementation of action plans that address them. As well, Cambridge Education provides
support through the Tripod Project to assist the Data Teams in the examination and analysis of
achievement gaps. Each school will be expected to have a standing Data Team and engage in
regular data analysis of multiple indicators (e.g., student work, suspensions, office referrals,
attendance, course failures, grade promotions, MCAS).

Social and Emotional Wellness – Positive Youth Development. The district, under the
leadership of the Chief Academic Officer, is crafting a common approach to enhancing and
ensuring students’ social and emotional wellness to be implemented in each Level 4 school. We
recognize that students’ readiness to learn and excel academically is dependent in part upon
attending to the myriad of factors that affect students’ social and emotional well-being. We seek
to build upon recent brain development research which has found that frequent engagement in
play, the arts, and sports can promote critical thinking through the connecting of imagination and
creativity with logic and analysis. In addition, we intend to use research from cognitive and
social psychology which has found that positive dispositions are critical for students to persevere
through academic challenges, and that students benefit socially and academically through
positive peer membership.

In addition, we have learned from the research on positive youth development, which offers a
comprehensive model of framing the positive development of children and adolescents through
promoting factors that promote resilience and growth and eliminating or minimizing factors that
impede individual growth. Within this lens, there is a strong focus on building upon students’
strengths and assets, rather than a sole focus upon deficits and problems (which often occurs in
urban schools). A focus on building on students’ strengths and assets has a higher probability of
occurring if there is a school focus upon developing positive relationship between students and
caring adults, and when there are opportunities for students to develop and acquire positive
assets in multiple settings (school, community, workplace, after-school programs, home).

Our district goal is to assist all of our Level 4 students to be self-confident and engaged learners.
For this to occur, we will be assisting each Level 4 school to adopt the following components of
a plan to strengthen students’ social and emotional well-being:

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

   Coordinated wrap-around services for students and their families through linking with
    community social service agencies (e.g., counseling and support groups, access to quality
    health care). A Scenario Development and Future Planning Work Group that represents a
    broad-based coalition of city-wide service providers has called for a community-wide
    network of mental and physical health providers, work-force development organizations,
    social and family service agencies, and juvenile justice groups to provide comprehensive,
    integrated services to students. We will seek to have each of our Level 4 schools work
    closely with this newly forming network as our strategy for coordinated wrap-around

    Transitioning to a coordinated wrap-around services approach will require our schools to
    review and re-cast existing student support positions (e.g., guidance counselor, adjustment
    counselor) to more effectively address students’ social and emotional wellness. New roles,
    job titles, and job descriptions may emerge that better serve the case management model such
    as student support coordinator (with more of a social work background focused on home
    visits, group counseling for target students, case management, developing a network of
    external social service providers).

   Positive Child and Youth Development. Development of positive peer identity and critical
    thinking skills through team and group activities (e.g., extracurricular activities, community
    service, structured play, chess club, band, theater, sports)

   Positive School and Classroom Culture. Development of self-efficacy, or the belief that hard
    work will result in academic gains (e.g., Responsive Classroom, goal setting, quality teacher
    feedback, valuing students’ cultural backgrounds)

   Home-School Connections. Parent engagement (e.g., parent involvement in their
    child(ren)’s learning through supervising homework, participation in parent-teacher-student
    conferences, strengthening communication between home and school; parent participation in
    advancing their own skills through attending English as a Second Language, computer
    literacy, and/or GED classes)

Each Level 4 school will be supported by the district to implement a comprehensive social and
emotional wellness plan across these five domains--coordinated services with community
agencies, recasting staff positions to better support students’ social and emotional needs, in-
school and after-school peer programs and activities, self-efficacy strategies embedded into daily
classroom practices, and parent engagement activities. Best practices of social and emotional
learning indicate that all four domains will require direct modeling, practice, and a feedback loop
for improvement.

Financial Support. The district recognizes that for each Level 4 school to make transformative
academic gains, the district needs to increase resources allocated to each school. Therefore, the
district has provided each Level 4 school with a new position, Redesign Coach, to work side-by-
side with the principal to oversee redesign plan development and implementation for the duration
of the school’s tenure in Level 4 status. This is a key position in ensuring school-wide staff
engagement in the redesign process.

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          Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

As well, the district has committed to provide the funds in their general operating budget to
support the financial incentives and compensation for additional hours for both the Doran
Elementary School and Henry Lord Middle School. Doing so enables each school to use their
Title I School Improvement Grant funds for vital staffing, professional development, consultants,
and instructional resources that are critical to the success of each school’s transformation plan.

c. District monitoring plan.
In order to monitor the fidelity of implementation, the District Redesign Team will conduct
monthly data driven meetings. These meetings will, on a rotating basis, review the progress of
each Level 4 school’s redesign plan as measured by accomplishment of benchmarks, progress in
annual measurable goals, and evidence to support progress. Mid-course corrections will be
decided upon, based on assessment of progress.

Additionally, the district redesign team will conduct a mid-year School Review Visit to each
school to provide the principal and redesign team with formative feedback, using the ESE
benchmarks for the Essential Conditions for School Effectiveness. The purpose of these visits
will be to ensure that each school is on track and on time in its implementation plan and in
meeting Measurable Annual Goals and other data indicators. During these school visits,
committee members will meet with the Redesign Team to hear their analysis of the school’s
progress, visit classrooms, talk to students and faculty, and sit in on teacher meetings. The day
will end with a meeting with the principal and Redesign Team to debrief observations and
findings, and discuss any needed mid-course corrections. Data and feedback from these visits
will be used by each school’s redesign team to assess progress and make mid-course corrections.

If, either through a data review or the school visit, a Level 4 school is determined to be
significantly off-track, a meeting will be conducted with the school’s principal and the district
redesign team. The purpose of this meeting will be to review the data, analyze why the school
may be off-track in either implementation activities or measurable annual goals, and develop a
plan for mid-course correction. The superintendent will determine, along with the principal, any
additional district or external resources that are needed in order to get the school back on a path
of meeting approved benchmarks and measurable annual goals.

d. District-union agreements to support school redesign
The district has engaged in different negotiations with each of our three Level 4 schools:
 Because Kuss Middle School is an Extended Learning Time school and has already made
   significant changes to budget, staffing, and schedule, it was determined that there was not a
   need to engage in additional teacher union negotiations around these factors.
 The district and the local teachers union engaged in negotiations on conditions for the Doran
   Elementary School, and agreed to the conditions listed below. Subsequent negotiations on the
   Henry Lord Middle School arrived at the same set of agreements.

Fall River Educators’ Association (FREA)
The Fall River Public Schools (FRPS) engaged with the Fall River Educators’ Association
(FREA) in good faith bargaining over a set of proposed contract amendments that would
significantly improve the conditions for Doran Elementary School and Henry Lord Middle

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          Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

School to undertake transformative work and increase student achievement. A comprehensive
proposal for changed conditions for Level 4 schools was presented to FREA in early August, and
the two parties engaged in four collective bargaining sessions – August 3, 5, 9, and 17, 2010. The
two parties came to agreement on a set of Level 4 conditions for Doran Elementary School,
which were then approved by the School Committee on September 20, 2010 and ratified by the
union membership. Negotiations for Henry Lord Middle School and Morton Middle School are
ongoing and are based upon the agreements below.

The main points of the contract amendment include the following, beginning in the 2010-2011
school year and effective for the duration of the school’s designation as a Level 4 school and the
receipt of Level 4 funding:

   The principal has authority to establish the master schedule, including the work day and work
    year for faculty.
   The work day is extended 65 minutes per day except for the last day of the work week and
    the day before a holiday when the day is extended 60 minutes.
   One early dismissal day is established per week, creating a one hour block of time that will
    be used for school-based professional development or team-based common planning time.
    Two of these days per month may be extended by one hour, creating two-hour blocks of time
    for professional development or common planning time.
   All faculty must schedule individual parent-teacher conferences in the fall, winter, and
   Staggered start times for faculty may be used; they should be voluntary to the extent possible.
   Faculty may be required to attend up to five consecutive week days beyond the regular work
    year for professional development.
   Faculty may be expected to model up to three lessons annually for colleagues.
   Faculty can use up to three days per year to visit other colleagues’ classrooms.
   All faculty are required to be licensed in ELL or have completed SEI Category training by
    August 31, 2011. The district will provide multiple opportunities to take this training.
   Faculty will collaboratively create formative intervention plans for students who are below
   Once a drop-down menu of core standards is available on computer and teachers have
    received training, all faculty are responsible for designing standards-based units and lesson
    plans based on the Professional Standards for Teachers. Similarly, once the software is
    available, teachers are expected to use standards-based report cards.
   Principals have the right to involuntarily transfer permanent faculty who are rated as
    “inadequate progress”
   The parties agreed to engage in further negotiations on a new teacher evaluation system that
    would include value-added student growth as on evaluation measure.
   For the additional required hours, faculty will receive a $5,000 annual stipend.
   A financial incentive system shall be put in place, with an aggregate amount distributed
    equally to faculty for reaching them:
    o An increase of at least 12 points in ELA MCAS scores - $28,000
    o An increase of at least 12 points in math MCAS scores - $28,000
    o An increase of at least 14 points in ELA MCAS scores - $42,000
    o An increase of at least 14 points in math MCAS scores - $42,000

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

   A Teacher Career Ladder Program is established to promote leadership opportunities for
    faculty. Eligible faculty (licensure, positive evaluation, SEI or ESL training) can develop a
    Career Development Plan, to be approved by the principal, in which the teacher assumes
    leadership responsibilities from an established list of Instructional Leadership Roles.
    Depending on years of teaching experience, approved teachers may receive annual stipends
    of $1,500-4,000.

Negotiations have taken place and agreements have been reached with two other Fall River
Public Schools’ unions:

Fall River Administrators Association (FRAA)
The main points of the contract amendment include the following, beginning in the 2010-2011
school year and effective for the duration of the school’s designation as a Level 4 school and the
receipt of Level 4 funding:
 The work day is extended to 4:00 p.m., and the work year is established at 215 days
 Administrators will engage in 50 hours of professional development, to be decided upon in
    consultation with the principal
 Administrators must attend SEI Category training; they will be compensated for attendance
    during hours beyond 3 p.m. or on the weekend
 FRAA members do not have a right to bump into a Level 4 school
 FRAA members are entitled to an equal share of the financial incentives attained by a Level
    4 school

Fall River Federation of Paraprofessionals (FRFP)
The main points of the contract amendment include the following, beginning in the 2010-2011
school year and effective for the duration of the school’s designation as a Level 4 school and the
receipt of Level 4 funding:
 The length of the work day shall be between 6-8 hours for Doran Elementary School,
    between 6 hours and 8 hours 25 minutes for Kuss Middle School, and between 6 hours and 7
    hours 30 minutes for Henry Lord Middle School
 Paraprofessionals must participate in additional hours of professional development, as
    established by the principal
 Staff shall use student intervention plans based upon classroom assessment
 Staff do not have attachment rights to their positions
 The parties will develop an evaluation tool to evaluation all paraprofessionals

With these agreements in place, and with Kuss Middle School’s Extended Learning Time status,
the district’s three Level 4 schools and one participating Level 3 school are well positioned to
engage in transformative redesign that will substantially increase student achievement.

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            Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

III. School-Level Redesign
A. School-Level Redesign Overview
1. John J. Doran School Redesign Team

The Doran School’s Redesign Team constitutes the primary body responsible for coordinating the
redesign process, including the planning process that led to this redesign plan. Members are:
  Name and Role/title
   Member                         Role
   Maria Pontes                   Principal
   Natalie Silva Patterson        Vice Principal
   Elizabeth Harris               Redesign Coach
   Karen Lima                     School Adjustment Counselor
   Brian Raposo                   Mathematics Coach
   Diane Bienvenue                Literacy Coach
   Carolyn Soares                 Literacy Coach
   Kimberly Tracy                 Kindergarten Teacher
   Lee Limoli                     First Grade Teacher
   Eileen Pacheco                 Second Grade Teacher
   Natalie Williams               Third/Fourth Grade ELL Teacher
   Alexis Norton-Williams         Fourth Grade Teacher
   Alicia Lisi                    5th Grade Special Education Teacher
   Jason Silva                    Representative from UMASS Dartmouth’s Urban Initiative
   Judith Fredrick                Professional Development Consultant

The membership of the team was designed to include district representation, the principal, the key
instructional leader specialists, and a cross-section of the core academic disciplines and grade levels, as
well as parent and community members. Each selected teacher has assumed key leadership roles in the
school, and is a well respected faculty member.

The Redesign Team planning process was facilitated by the Fall River District Leadership from the spring
of 2010 through September, 2010. In October, 2010, the Center for Collaborative Education, a nonprofit
organization that works with urban school districts on creating high performing schools began facilitating
the process. The process included the following steps:
 The Redesign Team met twice weekly during the 2009-2010 school year. The Redesign team has met
    7 times in the 2010 including 1 half-day retreat. Initial planning time was spent analyzing multiple
    sources of data, leading to identification and verification of causes, and action planning in each of the
    Essential Conditions. All decisions are made using a consensus approach and decisions are recorded
    in meeting minutes. Although decision-making is collaborative, the principal has the final authority
    to accept of reject the motions of the team.
 In addition, small groups from the leadership team have conducted school visits to observe high
    performing schools elementary and middle schools, and those with quality dual language programs.

2. Baseline Data and Needs Analysis
The Doran School Data Team spent 4 full days and six 2 hour meetings in analyzing multiple sources of
data to identify the key challenges facing the school and has continued to share data analysis with
Redesign Team. The data sources examined included student demographics; student attendance,
suspensions, and mobility; MCAS data, including AYP and CPI; district benchmark formative

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

assessments in English language arts and mathematics; MEPA and MELA-O tests and student placement
patterns; teacher attendance and data on licensing and highly qualified; and perception data from student
and teacher surveys from the Tripod Project Surveys.

Student data in each category was examined, disaggregated by grade, gender, race, income, and special
education status. Data was further disaggregated to provide different lens; for example, attendance was
examined by overall attendance rate, average numbers of days absent, percent of chronic absentees, and
percent of high attendees. For each data set, the redesign team used the following data inquiry process:
1. Examine and analyze aggregate and disaggregated data
2. Identify strengths and priority challenges areas
3. Develop a problem statement for each priority challenge area
4. Hypothesize the causes of each priority challenge
5. Collect additional data to confirm or disconfirm potential causes
6. Develop an action plan based on the causes of each priority challenge

The data revealed a school that is in critical need of wide scale change. Data showed low student
attendance, high rates of suspension, extremely low MCAS scores, a large number of ELL students with
English Language needs contributing to low achievement, teachers who were not fully certified, and high
turnover of teachers The Redesign Team’s analysis of many kinds of data has guided the establishment
of clear priorities for the next 3 years. The priorities and action strategies listed under the Redesign
Priorities of each data set below are summarized in the Key Priorities at the end of this section and
described in greater detail within the section on Conditions for School Effectiveness.

                                       Student Population Served

 92% of Doran students are from low income backgrounds
 29% of students are LEP and 42% are FLNE.
 16% of students reported on the Tripod Survey that their family always speaks English at home.
 25% of all LEPs in the district are educated at the Doran School
 64% of LEP students are Spanish-speaking and 24% of LEP students are Portuguese-speaking

Critical Issues and Challenges
 Lack of effective teaching strategies, especially those that address needs of second language learners.

Priorities for Redesign
 Develop a cadre of highly skilled and effective teachers
 Implement aligned and rigorous curriculum, instruction and assessment with high expectations for all
    students to learn at much higher levels
 Create the conditions in which students are ready to learn – effective support for academic learning,
    emotional, social, and health support systems, engagement of families in their children’s learning

                               MCAS and Other Achievement Data
 Doran School failed to make AYP in ELA in 7 of 8 years and in Math in 6 of 8 years.
 2010 MCAS scores for ELA show the percentage of students who score Warning or Needs
   Improvement to range from 70% to 89% depending on grade and averaged 79%
 2010 MCAS scores for Math show the average percentage of students who score Warning or Needs
   Improvement was 74%
 2010 MCAS Student Growth Percentile was 36 in ELA and 47 in Math.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

   CPI decreased from 59.2 to 54.5 between 2009 and 2010.
   71% of students are designated as LEP and FLNE. LEP and Students with Special Needs fared worse
    on MCAS, with 90% or more of those students scoring at Needs Improvement and Warning levels.
   Data on early childhood literacy from 08-09 on DIBELS and GRADE show Kindergarten scores that
    place only 5% of children at risk in Letter Naming fluency in both years. On the same measure, in
    grade 1 the percentage of children at risk doubles to 10% and in grade 2 there were between 30 and
    40% of students at risk. On the comprehension test of GRADE, 42% of students in grade 1 scored at
    risk in 2008 and 20% scored at risk in 1009. By grade 2, the percentages of at risk students again
    climbed; 45% in 2008 and 32% in 2009.

Perceptual Data on Achievement (from Tripod Survey)
 Fewer than half of students reporting said they are always busy in class and do not waste time
 Only 65% of students say “I try as hard as I can to learn in school.”
 57% of students say their teacher doesn’t let people give up when the work get hard.
 About 50% of students say they don’t ask their teacher for help, “even when I need it.”
 25% of students report that some classmates “tease kids for being smart in school.”

Critical Issues and Challenges
 From kindergarten through grade 2, the number of students at risk grows. The longer children stay in
    the primary grades, the lower the reading scores.
 Doran School’s student performance in both ELA and Math and all subgroups is unacceptably low.

Probable Causes
 Inadequate time allocated for high quality instruction and learning
 Lack of implemented and aligned standards-based curriculum and assessments
 Lack of daily systematic, consistent and rigorous core instruction, and ongoing monitoring of
   instructional practice and student learning; Focus on surface level skills vs. higher order thinking
 Lack of explicit focus on the needs of Special Education students and English Language Learners and
   collaboration between special education, ELL teachers and regular education teachers for both core
   instruction and interventions
 Teachers don’t use data to drive instruction; collected it and it sat in a notebook.
 Lack of consistent and systematic supplemental support and interventions for students who need them
 Inexperienced teachers and lack of professional development to improve teacher knowledge of
   content and pedagogy
 Engagement Factors: Poor student attendance and low teacher attendance hinder learning

Priorities for Redesign
 Recruit, hire and provide support for new teachers and current teachers with ongoing professional
    development to meet the needs for effective general and subject-specific pedagogy.
 Develop teacher expertise in understanding needs of LEP and FLEP learners and appropriate teaching
    strategies to build English language skills in oral communication, reading , and writing.
 Extend the school day and increase instructional time in ELA and Math
 Improve preK-3 curriculum as foundation for a strong pre-K to Grade 8 strand that is
    developmentally appropriate and with literacy and math curriculum vertically aligned to district, MA,
    and Common Core Standards, benchmarked and mapped for each grade
 Make development of effective reading comprehension and writing strategies a priority expectation
    for every teacher’s instructional practice
 Create a school-based assessment system to collect and analyze data on learning from universal
    screening, ongoing progress monitoring, district periodic assessments, and MCAS

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

   Closely monitor the quality of instruction through walk-throughs, increased leadership and coaching
    time in the classroom, and follow-up support and supervision provided to teachers who need it


 Doran’s student attendance rate was 92.7 % in 2010, compared to the state rate (94.6%) Annually
   approximately 50 – 52% of students have been chronically absent.
 In 2010 53% of students were absent more than 10 days.

Critical Issues and Challenges
 The overall attendance rate at Doran School is well below where it should be
 Excessive absences fuel the achievement gap for these students

Probable Causes
 System for data collection on attendance was inadequate and did not flag multiple absences
 No system in place to educate families of the importance of attending school; Lack of outreach and
   welcoming strategies for students and their families;
 High expectations for daily attendance have not been clearly and regularly communicated to students
   or followed up quickly when absences are noted
 The high number of suspensions keeps students out of school during the key elementary years
 Students and families don’t feel they are safe at school
 There is a cultural disconnect between home and school
 Failure to create a culture where kids want to come to school.
 Students are not confident and engaged in learning
 ESL/ELL programs are not meeting student needs
 Faculty attendance was 94.3 % but some teachers had high absence rates; role models of good
   attendance were lacking

Priorities for Redesign
 Create an effective tracking system for data on student and teacher attendance, review monthly
 Create a safe and respectful student and family friendly learning environment
 Engage students in learning through high quality instruction
 Raise and communicate the expectations for student attendance
 Engage parents/guardians in positive ways to understand the importance of attending school and
    participating in their children’s learning


 There has been a pattern of high rates of out of school suspensions over the years, In 2009, out of
   school suspensions increased from 36 in 2008 to 49 in 2009 (source?)
 The DESE data shows that 20.5% of students were suspended out of school in 2010 compared to state
   data of 6.0% suspensions.
 Trend data shows 9.8% suspensions in 2009 and 9.2% students suspended in 2007. The number of
   student safety and discipline incidents, was 36, 10 and 21 in 2007-2009.
 There were 185 office referrals for disruptive and or violent behaviors, such as verbal and physical
   threats in 2009-2010.
 Perceptual Data: Students reported threats related to bullying.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

Critical Issues and Challenges
 The number of suspensions and office referrals for student safety and discipline is alarmingly high
 The school climate at the Doran is in dire need of school-wide change.
 Suspensions decrease learning time and contribute to lower engagement and less positive attitudes
    toward school.

Probable Causes
 Lack of an articulated, positive core set of values and expectations and positive behavioral support
   system that are articulated and understood by families, students and all teachers.
 Students who are not engaged in school, do not have high expectations for quality work and often get
   suspended due to misbehavior.
 Lack of consistency among teachers in creating and following consistent standards for engagement
   and behavior; students may be disproportionately referred for disciplinary action by certain teachers.
 Teachers are not responsive to the needs of Doran’s largely Hispanic, Portuguese and low-income
   student population.
 Unaddressed wellness issues of social, emotional wellbeing, health and nutrition among students and
   their families may contribute to unsafe behavior.

Priorities for Redesign
 Strengthen the professional community’s expertise and commitment with supportive strategies to
    promote a culture of positive community participation of all students
 Track the teachers who send discipline referrals, and provide supportive intervention to those teachers
    with high referral rates
 Increase student engagement and voice within the school, starting with effective, relevant curriculum
    and instruction

 The number of students mobile at the school was 70 in 2008, 136 in 2009, and 105 in 2010, averaging
    about 25% of the population as mobile compared with 10% state mobility rates.
 80% of LEP students are not from the school neighborhood and are transported to school
 Only 1/3 of students graduating 5th grade began school at the Doran in grade 1.
Critical Issues and Challenges
 Mobility decreases students’ stability and continuity of learning and increases the burden the student
    must bear for discontinuous learning experiences
 District policy requires students to return to neighborhood schools when they transition to L4 status.
Probable Causes
 High rates of teacher turnover (50%) and resulting teaching challenge of new teachers not known to
 Lack of teacher understanding of teaching children of poverty with linguistic/cultural differences;
    lack of supports and strategies to help teachers create trust and early momentum for students when
    they first come to school
 Lack of supportive communication, bilingual outreach as appropriate, and services to families to
    connect them to the school and to learn about their past experiences and needs
 Lack of policies for keeping students who transition to L4 FLEP status for educational consistency
    and momentum and for siblings to stay together
Priorities for Redesign
 Develop a system for welcoming and supporting new students and their families, especially those
    whose first language is not English

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

   Conduct diagnostic assessments immediately after new students enter the school, gather history and
    information to make placement decisions, transition to school community and to instructional routines
    and expectations
   Create ongoing systems for family support and student “mentors” to ease transitions, with supports in
    the language of the student/family as needed.
   Create a data collection system to more closely monitor who, when and why students transfer in and
    out of Doran School to determine causation and develop responsive supports to prevent this high level
    of mobility.
   Work with district to establish policies that support L4 students remaining at the school

                                               Teacher Data
 Teacher attendance in 2010 was 94.3%, although there were examples of very high teacher absence.
 The rate of teacher turnover was 54% in 2009 and 24% in 2010.
 89.9% of Doran teachers of core academic classes were highly certified, 4% lower than the district
   and 7.4% lower than the state.
Perceptual data from Tripod Teacher Survey from 2009-10
   Responses about students and families
 100% of teachers reported that they are culturally aware and sensitive.
 Over 36% of teachers disagreed that teachers have effective discussion about racial/ethnic issues
 Over 45% of teachers said they never or usually do not believe that students in their class arrived this
   school year well prepared for the curriculum
 18% of respondents said that actively seek out parental involvement
 No teachers mostly agreed or strongly agreed that most of what teachers in the school say about
   parents is positive.
 About 1/3 of teachers reported that students don’t care enough about how well they do academically
 Only 45.5% reported that their students are young people you’d want your own children to know
   Responses about Instruction and Learning
 Over 80% of teachers say they bore some students when “I go slowly so as not to leave others
 9% of teachers said that they are always effective at teaching students to recognize and produce high
   quality work, while 27% said they are sometimes effective.
 Almost 73% of teachers disagree with the statement, “Teachers at this school are encouraged to
   experiment with their teaching.”
 Only 9% of teachers say they are always effective at teaching students to produce high quality work.
 Only 9% of teachers thought that the curriculum is well conceived and coherent.
 All teachers agreed that they take effort into account when assigning grades.
 No teachers agreed that the school has adequate books and resources.
   Responses about Professional Collaboration
 55% of teachers respond that they collaborate with other teachers while almost 90% say they share
   and discuss student work with other teachers.
 80% of teachers say that looking at student work is only done once or twice a year, even though 83%
   agree that instruction has improved by looking at student work.
 Almost 64% of teachers disagreed with a statement that administrators in the school handle student
   discipline effectively.

Critical Issues and Challenges
 Tripod Teacher Survey data reveals a faculty that is highly inconsistent in its ability to believe in their
    students’ potential for learning at high levels, to see their students arrive in class each year well

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

    prepared for the curriculum, and to teach the students effectively. About half of the respondents do
    not see themselves as members of a professional learning community that shares regularly with each
    other and collaboratively look at student work to improve teaching and student learning.
   CPT and afterschool/summer professional development has not had sustained focus and has not
    included regular Looking at Student Work or data-based inquiry
   Supervision and expectations for teacher improvement and accountability for student learning have
    not been clear

Probable Causes
 Lack of recruitment and hiring of experienced and highly effective teachers participating in a
   professional community
 A lack of adult accountability
 Lack of planning, structures and supports for professional learning to build leadership

Priorities for Redesign
 Establish a school culture highly focused on student and teacher learning; build this learning
    community with a relentless focus on higher standards for students, teachers, and leadership
 Recruit and hire high quality teachers and once hired, provide new teachers with a strong program of
    induction support and all teachers with high quality professional learning opportunities
 Set an expected attendance goal for all faculty members of 95%
 Establish a set of non-negotiable expectations and routines for teachers
 Expect high levels of outreach to and communication with parents. Raise the expectation for
    attendance at parent conferences at least twice a year to 100%.
 Establish a purposeful, focused annual schedule for professional development that is responsive to
    student and teacher needs and provides structured professional development opportunities Expect full
    teacher participation and initiative to achieve goals/outcomes, and transfer professional learning into
    visible professional practice in the classroom.
 Maintain and implement with fidelity structures for observing teachers by administrators and coaches,
    as well as peer observations
 Make a priority to have classrooms well provisioned with high quality children’s literature,
    instructional resources and materials.

                                          Family Engagement
 20% of parents attended parent conferences in 2009-10.
 80% of LEP students resided outside of the neighborhood. School is not near to home.
 18% of teachers actively seek out parental involvement.

Critical Issues and Challenges
 Low family involvement in parent conferences and engagement with the school about their children’s
    learning means that a family/school partnership cannot work together to improve learning and lower
    achievement gaps
 Unengaged families do not understand the importance of regular school attendance for school
    success. (Chronic student attendance problems are noted elsewhere.)
 Poverty and lack of language proficiency in English keeps many families from fully participating in
    their own learning and workforce development. The school may be the central place for beginning to
    reverse that trend by opening its doors to family learning with English and jobs skills courses, or
    connected parents strategically to resources that can help them support their needs and their children’s
    needs for health, social-emotional wellness and educational opportunities.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

Probable Causes
 Parents have not been encouraged to participate in school
 We didn’t help parents understand the importance of consistency in one school
 Mobility forced by sending L4 students back to their neighborhood school interferes significantly
   with the opportunity to engage families over a longer period of time.
 Lack of data collection and review to better understand family needs, mobility patterns, and possible
   ways to engage families by asking them directly.
 Only one parent conference night twice a year fails to encourage full participation, makes for long
   waits for those who come.

Priorities for Redesign
 Rethink family engagement in the life of the school. Design and implement intentional ways to
    welcome families into the school community, first to support their children’s education, and second,
    to build partnerships that also provide opportunities for parent learning and workforce development.
 Set a benchmark for parent involvement in parent-teacher conferences of 100% at least twice each
    year and establish a plan to make that possible. Establish with teachers the goals and planning needed
    to implement high quality parent-teacher conferences, and in the development of the middle school,
    by including students in the parent-teacher conference.

3. Redesign model

The Fall River Public Schools has selected the Transformation Model for the John J. Doran Elementary
School because of the model’s strong focus on improving the instructional core through increasing
teacher and school leader effectiveness, developing comprehensive instructional strategies informed by
data, extending learning time and creating community-oriented schools, and providing operational
flexibility and intensive support. The Doran Community School is led by principal Maria Pontes, whose
broad based experience of 27 years includes roles as elementary grades teacher, English Language Arts
teacher in grade 8, Humanities Department Head, Vice-Principal and Principal. Ms. Pontes began her 3rd
year as principal at the school in September 2010. Ms. Pontes was appointed principal of the Doran to
lead the school in September 2008. The superintendent determined that she would remain at the school
due to her administrative experience, strong focus on improving instruction, and ability to utilize a range
of strategies to support rigorous professional development in instructional practice, including learning
walks, Instructional Rounds, goal-setting and teacher evaluation. She has taken intentional steps toward
creating structures for collaboration that focus on developing teacher knowledge; curriculum that is
systematic and meaningful, based on state and the MA and Common Core standards; rigorous instruction
that engages students in 21st century skills; and ongoing assessment that is the basis for re-teaching,
adjustment of instruction and interventions, as necessary, so that all students at the Doran School learn
well. The principal is also fluent in Portuguese and moderately fluent in Spanish, the primary languages
spoken in the community. The Vice-Principal has been replaced by a tri-lingual vice principal with
extensive experience in counseling. Natalie Patterson is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, has served as a
School Adjustment Counselor for the district and worked for community-based social services agencies
prior to her employment in the Fall River Public Schools. In addition, a Redesign Coach position was
added to the Doran leadership team to support the change process. Elizabeth Harris brings expertise in
English Language Learning to this position.

4. Stakeholder support:

Interactions with stakeholders in the development of Doran redesign plan.
Stakeholder meetings for the Doran School Redesign Plan development took place at the school on May
13, 2010, May 24, 2010, and June 2, 2010 at the school.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

Summary of recommendations of local stakeholder group
The principal framed the ideas that were important from the school and district leadership perspective at
each of the meetings (Building Teacher Capacity, WrapAround Services for children and families, dual
language program, pre-K classes, a transition to a pre-K to 8th grade school). The discussions led to the
following consensus recommendations:
1. “Every strategy will note how the desire is to move everyone, not just one group.” All stakeholders
    reached consensus on the need to focus improvement efforts on all sub-groups, LEP, Special
    Education students, and Low Income groups
2. Social service and health needs need to be conceptualized in new ways and not just think about a
    series of agencies coming in. There is a need for a plan that works with outside agencies to acquire
    seamless wrap-around services
3. There needs to be an academic focus school-wide “…a very intense focus on curriculum… to be able
    to have a common understanding/language around some of the standards and what they really look
    like in the classroom.”
4. The school improvement “has to do with building a community beyond the school and bringing
    together a whole area around the school who identifies and participates” [from the neighborhood].
5. The success of the improvement is dependent on the faculty. The group agreed that they support the
    Superintendent’s responsibility to make decisions to assure the quality and support of faculty.

Critical Issues, Key Priorities and Key Strategies
The critical issues that arise from the extensive data analysis that has been conducted center on 1) lack of
leadership structures, actions, and development of leadership across the school; 2) lack of highly skilled
teachers, stability of the teaching community at the Doran School, and lack of strong professional
teamwork, collaboration and learning; and 3) lack of a coherent, rigorous, aligned curriculum, instruction
and assessment and social, emotional and health challenges of students and families. The chart below
identifies the four Key Priorities that weave through the Conditions for School Effectiveness and assure
focus and coherence to the Redesign Plan.


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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

Key Priority 1: Build School Leadership and Community Partnerships
Leadership provides the central enabling support systems that make possible a dynamic synergy with the
other key priorities to substantially increase student achievement. Leading a low-performing school to a
transformed, much higher performing school takes an effective school leader who has a deep
understanding of and ability to draw on the knowledge base of effective teaching and learning. Such a
leader has the ability to maintain focus and unite all the elements of a quality school into a coherent
learning community. She has the necessary professional and facilitative expertise to support the
development of leadership across the school community. Strong leadership works with others to develop
a culture of learning that is sustainable beyond the presence of one leader. A principal needs support of
the district and the larger community. School leadership becomes a collective enterprise where principal,
teacher leaders, support personnel, district, families and the wider community create an enabling
surrounding support system that makes a highly skilled effective teaching and learning culture possible to
begin with and sustainable for the future.

Key Priority 2: Establish a Teaching Community of Highly Skilled and Effective Teachers
The professional development plan includes three main elements, all connected directly to data analysis
for improvement: Structures and cultural conditions will be created for developing a community of
teacher-learners, Core Professional Development for all staff, and Individual Professional Development
based on each teacher’s needs and the priorities of the Plan. The Plan will increasingly harness collective
expertise to create a community of teacher- learners. This plan weaves shared leadership throughout,
with strong structures for school-based leadership that is broadly distributed and assistance from the
district in providing valuable leadership supports for technical, curriculum, professional development.

Key Priority 3: Create and Sustain Rigorous Aligned Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment that
results in significantly higher student achievement
We realize that we need to drastically alter our curriculum, instruction and assessment to enable our
students to learn to their fullest potential. Key elements of our plan are increased time for students and
teachers, a new Pre-K program to front load early literacy and thinking skills, giving our youngest
learners more opportunities for success, and development of an effective middle school program to
provide continuity and support academic success. Documented, implemented curriculum that comes alive
through effective instruction and assessment closely linked to instruction will assure alignment, rigor,
differentiation, and significantly improved student learning

Key Priority 4: Ensure That Students Ready to Learn:
Our Wellness Team will coordinate with our teachers, professional support staff and community partners
to provide social, emotional and wellness supports for our students and families, in school and in
community partnerships. The school will create new opportunities for family-school relationships to
connect parents to their children’s learning, increase participation in the school community, and
participate in courses or workshops for adult learning, The professional development plan creates required
additional afterschool time and increased Common Planning Time (CPT) and is designed to support
improvements in curriculum, instruction and assessment that will assure that each teacher and teaching
team meet the students where they are and provides the necessary instructional expectations and
scaffolding to assure they are not only ready to learn but much more engaged in learning. .

The Theory of Action that guides the Doran School Redesign process is as follows: If we
 Build effective school, district and community leadership and partnerships that surround and enable
   the success of teachers, effective curriculum and instruction, and students who are ready to learn,
 Establish a teaching community of highly skilled and effective teachers,
 Create and sustain rigorous aligned Curriculum, instruction and assessment,

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            Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

   Ensure that students are ready to learn with necessary support systems for their social, emotional and
    physical health and active engaged families who value and reinforce the importance of a high quality
    education, then
We will have an effective school-wide learning community with systems and accountability structures to
ensure accelerated learning for all students at the Doran School who will enter high school as critical
thinkers, engaged learners, strong communicators who will work hard and embrace new challenges.

Early evidence of change that will signal we are on the right track
 We will know we are making strong progress when student attendance is 95% and suspensions/behavior
referrals are at 5% or less because being in school matters, especially for our population. (Benchmark 1)
We will know we are making strong progress in student achievement progress when MCAS results show
over 60% of our students scoring at the proficient and advanced levels. (Benchmark 2) We will know we
are making strong progress when 80% of families participate in 2 parent-teacher conferences a year
(Benchmark 3) and participate more frequently in school, community and education services. We will
know we are on a path toward sustainability when we observe high quality instruction (Benchmark 4)
and teachers fully participating and taking leadership roles in a professional community that stretches its
professional knowledge to deeper levels by study, shared practice, frequent feedback to each other and
from school administration as evidenced by professional learning community meetings, classroom
learning walks and teacher evaluations. (Benchmark 5) The sustainability of our work will depend most
of all on the quality of our teachers and the level of leadership that will support them. Just as the
leadership must ensure that teachers who do not improve with necessary support must leave, the
leadership must do everything possible to make certain that incentives and working conditions ensure that
teachers improve and good teachers will stay. (Benchmark 6) Nothing matters more.

B. Essential Conditions for School Effectiveness
1. Effective school leadership: (Key Priority #1)
School leadership provides the direct enabling and monitoring systems of support for the Doran School to
achieve the success demanded by this redesign plan to which we are wholly committed. Much hinges on
the strength the school leadership to guide teachers who will transform learning. If excellent teachers are
the most critical prerequisite for student learning, then the school leadership is the most critical element to
support all the teachers to create school-wide high quality learning environments.

Describe how the district will attract, develop, and retain an effective school leadership team that obtains
staff commitment to improving student learning and implements a clearly defined mission and set of
The Fall River Public School district has supported the development of effective school leadership at the
Doran School by providing district level support, engaging stakeholders and providing external
turnaround partners to assist the in the development of the redesign plans. A District Leadership Team
meets regularly with the Doran leadership to oversee redesign planning, approve the school’s plans,
oversee implementation of the school’s plan, track progress and ensure maximum, integrated district
resources in support of the Doran School plan. District supported Instructional Rounds will be conducted
in each school semi-annually.

District Policies that support school leadership for the rapid and successful redesign progress have been
negotiated between the Fall River Public Schools and the Fall River Educators’ Association
 Compensation for Increased Faculty Time and Financial Incentives for School Performance
    based on specific targeted English Language Arts and Math achievement gains will be implemented.
    In addition, a Teacher Career Ladder Program will provide differentiated compensation and
    leadership development opportunities.

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            Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

   English Language Learners: The district will provide funding for and require all faculty at the
    Doran School to complete SEI Category training. In addition, the District will provide coaching by
    ESL teachers to follow up on implementation of new instructional practices gained in trainings.

District Recruitment and Hiring Practices include strategic alliances with local colleges and a rigorous
campaign to support recruitment. In early June, 2010, the district distributed non-renewal letters to
teaching staff on waivers at the Doran School. There were also a number of vacancies at the Doran
School due to retirements, resignations and transfers. Support for the Doran School included pre-
screening applicants for successful qualified individuals in districts/field with a similar demographic as
Fall River; developing interview teams that include stakeholders and a thorough reference check process
led by Executive Director of Human Resources and Educator Quality; and finalist district level
interviews. Recommended administrative candidates interviewed with the Superintendent. Going
forward, the district’s Human Resource department will recruit a pool of qualified candidates with the
skill set and professional knowledge base necessary for the accelerating achievement of Doran students.
A key area for recruitment efforts will be the hiring of new 6th, 7th and 8th grade teachers.

District policies have ensured the principal’s increased leadership flexibilities for staffing and budget
authority, resource support, and financial incentives. To the greatest extent possible, the principal has
budget resource allocation authority. In addition, the district is providing additional resources for staffing
that will support the Doran School, including three clinical positions to address social and emotional
needs of students, a parent coordinator, three instructional coaches in literacy and math, and a redesign
coach to support and monitor redesign implementation.

The District provides support for school leadership development as well as school-wide opportunities for
ongoing, high-quality, job-embedded professional development and structures for collaboration. The
principal and key members of the Doran School redesign team have completed (or are in the process of
completing) the National Institute for School Leadership program. Through agreements described above,
the district will increase grade level common planning sessions and at least one extra hour of professional
development per week beyond current contractual hours to foster a collaborative professional culture.
Coaching services, instructional rounds, and learning walks will provide support for and data on
instructional practices. Doran summer professional development sessions are already developing
leadership and faculty engagement in planning curriculum and instructional practices each year and will
continue to be supported annually.

a. Describe how an effective school leadership team will be mobilized.
The Fall River Public Schools has selected the Transformation Model for the John J. Doran Elementary
School because of the model’s strong focus on improving the instructional core through increasing
teacher and school leader effectiveness, developing comprehensive instructional strategies informed by
data, extending learning time and creating community-oriented schools, and providing operational
flexibility and intensive support.

1A. Establish and support effective, distributed school leadership at the Doran Community School.
The Doran Community School is led by principal Maria Pontes, whose broad based experience of 27
years includes roles as elementary grades teacher, English Language Arts teacher in grade 8, Humanities
Department Head, Vice-Principal and Principal. She has established a priority for leadership that is
accountable, collaborative and distributed throughout the school.
 The overarching leadership structure is the Leadership Team (LT). The LT brings together staff
    from across the school, including the principal, vice-principal, teacher representatives from all
    grades, ELL services, and Special Education, three instructional coaches, the Redesign Coach and
    school adjustment counselors. The purpose of the LT is to serve as the main decision-making team in

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            Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

    the school and to make decisions through a process that builds consensus while always recognizing
    the principal’s role and responsibility for final decision-making. The LT coordinates, assesses all
    aspects of the Turnaround Plan and develops protocols for monitoring data from multiple sources,
    school-wide instructional focus, communication, and implementation. Its monthly meetings are
    informed by learning walks, bi-annual district-coordinated Instructional Rounds and quarterly
    stocktaking reviews of the systems, communication, and data on student and teacher learning. These
    quarterly LT reviews will serve the purpose of making sure that the plan is being implemented
    faithfully and, when problems occur, make mid-course corrections.
   A leadership support structure for the LT is the Principal Advisory Team (PAT). The PAT is a
    vehicle of support and two-way communication for all leadership structures in the school. The PAT
    is comprised of the principal and vice-principal, instructional coaches, re-design coach, school
    adjustment counselors, and a Wellness Team representative. The PAT meets weekly to surface needs
    and identify supports for the work of the LT and to respond quickly to LT discussions and decisions.
    Through the leadership of the Redesign Coach, the PAT gathers data, conducts planning and tracks
    ongoing progress to identify problems or mid-course adjustments to address.
   In addition, the PAT refers specific questions, data-based inquiry, and other on-the-ground issues to
    the school’s Content Teams (Curriculum, Data meet monthly and Wellness meets weekly) that and
    are assisted by an instructional coach to focus solely on curriculum, instruction, assessment and
    wellness priorities that impact student progress. The Content Teams use data, look at student work,
    create protocols for monitoring, and review screening and curriculum-based assessments, as well as
    placement and student response to interventions in Tiers 2 and 3 of instructional services.

1B. Create effective coaching roles that support curriculum, instruction and assessment
The Instructional Coaches and Redesign Coach have roles that weave through the leadership structures.
The instructional coaches (Reading, Writing, Math) observe teachers, provide feedback, model lessons,
and provide leadership for CPT sessions weekly, including data analysis. In addition, they provide
leadership in cognitive coaching cycles (described in Section 3) and guide the work of the Curriculum and
Data content teams and collaborate to design and lead PD such as progress monitoring and data-based
inquiry cycles. They also serve on the PAT to provide school-wide leadership coherence. The Redesign
Coach provides leadership in linking the Redesign Team work to the establishment of the Redesign Plan
and is responsible for supporting and monitoring the implementation of the plan in collaboration with the
oversight of the principal, PAT and district leaders. Together with the Principal and Vice-Principal, these
coaches provide multi-faceted communication and supports to teachers. All the teams and coaches have
support from district leadership offices. Even with an array of roles and supports, it is the principal’s role
to be the link and underpinning to all of the school-based leaders. She is actively demonstrating through
presence, accessibility and collaborations that she can be a leader who will take the Doran School to a
place of high achievement and highly effective teaching.

1C. Monitor Key Teacher Indicators
In addition to tracking student growth, it is essential to establish a system for tracking other indicators
such as teacher initiatives and collaborations in the school, district and beyond; teacher leadership growth;
curriculum development; lesson planning; teacher attendance; grades; discipline referrals; academic
support referrals; and outreach to families. Data will be used to pinpoint areas of strength as well as areas
for improvement and subsequent support. Regular discussion of this data will be carried out in
conferences with teachers regarding their professional development plan, notes/communications
regarding engagement in professional development, and in teacher evaluation conferences.

1D. Establish a rigorous, transparent and equitable evaluation process for teachers that takes into
account data on student growth and other factors. A new Teacher Evaluation System with inclusion
of a value-added student growth measure is being negotiated with the teachers union and will be
implemented in 2001-2012. The system will enable the principal to assess effectiveness of teachers,

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

provide support and professional development as necessary, and identify teachers who should be released
due to continued ineffectiveness. Multiple observations of instructional practice, professional
collaborations on school-wide and grade levels teams, and teacher outreach and communications to
engage families will be factored into the new teacher evaluation process. The principal, in collaboration
with the district and ILT, will identify other indicators of professional quality such as ongoing collections
of professional practices and reflections on professional development to include in the teacher evaluation
process. For those who are identified as unable to fulfill criteria of effective professional practices and
student growth, the principal will provide support and opportunities to improve their professional
practice. Failure to improve as a teacher will result in non-renewal or removal.

2. Principal’s staffing authority (Key Priority # 1)
a. Describe the operating flexibilities the school and principal will have around staffing to implement
fully a comprehensive approach to substantially improve student achievement outcomes.
Data shows that the Doran School is in dire need of highly competent and experienced teachers who have
demonstrated expertise in teaching children of low income and bilingual backgrounds. This authority and
the school-wide commitment to dramatically improve instruction connects also to Key Priority #2
(professional community), and Key Priority #3, (aligned curriculum, instruction and assessment ).

2A. Establish a school-based process for implementing the principal’s staffing authority
Using the district’s established staffing authorities, the Doran principal will establish a school-based
system for modifying job descriptions to best match the instructional priorities of the school. Candidates
who have skills in culturally responsive teaching, have demonstrated that they are effective literacy
teachers and welcome a challenge to work collaboratively with colleagues will be recruited through many
sources, from local and regional colleges to web-based recruiting such as the
website where Fall River Public Schools is currently seeking dedicated individuals who are energetic and
committed to working with a diverse community of learners. Once hired, new teachers at the Doran
School will become part of the new teacher induction program with a coach assigned to provide intensive
support during the first weeks of preparation and classes.

2B. Develop a letter of expectations for all faculty and secure signatures of receipt each year
Clear expectations explained in writing and discussed annually provide a means by which all teachers
understand the nature of the commitments necessary to meet the needs of the students. At the heart of this
commitment is a shared accountability for student learning and teacher success. The Doran Redesign
Team will develop a list of non-negotiable expectations and routines for any staff person who chooses to
work at the school. Currently under consideration are the following:
1. Believe that every student is capable of high achievement and deserves a challenging engaging
    curriculum and academic support to be successful
2. Teach the planned curriculum with fidelity, utilizing all the instructional time available.
3. Support students’ strengths and needs by developing an understanding of the whole child; value the
    intellectual, social, and emotional development of each student
4. Be a whole school community builder: Take responsibility for every student in the school.
5. Contribute to creating a culture of respect for all students and colleagues. Model the behavior that we
   expect of our students
6. Collaborate with colleagues: Attend and participate in all team and staff meetings, professional
   development. Follow norms developed for all school meetings.
7. Make parent communication and partnership-building an ongoing part of professional responsibility.
   This means making contact with families periodically or as necessary to share information about their
   student’s learning. This also means conducting at least one parent conference each year (two
   conferences annually by 2011-12)

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

8. Create and maintain a well organized, inviting learning environment that has a variety of resources
   available visible and accessible - books (fiction and non-fiction), math materials, technology tools,
   supplies for writing and creative expression, and walls that teach – with a daily schedule for learning,
   examples of student work, and anchor charts that are teacher-made or co-constructed by students.

3. Professional development and structures for collaboration ( Key Priority # 2)
a. Describe the school’s structures to provide increased, regular, and frequent meeting times for faculty
to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development within and across grades and subjects in
order to improve implementation of the curriculum and instructional practice.
Doran data on learning suggests a consistent downward trend of academic failure across grade levels. In
addition, data on the qualifications of teachers in 2009-10 reveals that teacher expertise is not yet at
expected levels. The perceptual data from teachers on the Tripod Survey reveals low expectations,
challenges in teaching Doran students, and lack of confidence in and understanding of the curriculum that
was being used. We will provide a strategic focused and targeted professional development plan to
address these key issues. Professional development for Doran School aligns directly to Key Priority #2
and Key Priority #3 that address the development of highly skilled effective teachers and
development/implementation of rigorous aligned curriculum, instruction and assessment. The Doran
school structures for professional collaboration will include both job-embedded, individually pursued
learning and structures for collaboration that enable teachers to have regular, frequent department and
grade-level common planning and meeting time that is used to improve implementation of the curriculum
and instructional practice.

As the principal made strategic decisions to recruit new faculty for 2010-11, the Doran School
experienced a significant staff turnover and a hiring process that has brought energetic, committed new
teachers to the school. These changes and the recognition by the leadership and the entire faculty that
urgent, significant changes are needed to improve the academic learning and social emotional well-being
of students create a moment of great opportunity for the school. We know that we need to support our
teachers in several ways – to increase their content knowledge, provide opportunities to learn effective
lesson planning and effective instructional strategies, and assist them in creating a classroom community
of learners. We cannot do this work without the development of effective coaching strategies,
opportunities for teachers to grow leadership in a professional community, and a sharp, unrelenting focus
on improving instruction day by day. Research points to the need to create sustained job-embedded
learning opportunities for teachers to develop expertise and sharing across the whole school, in grade
teams and across grades. Sustained improvements in student learning will depend on active, reflective
professional learning.

In order to build alignment and consistency of excellent teaching practices, the Doran School has
established four broad and flexible structures that will provide increased time for professional
development in grade teams, vertical teams, content teams and whole faculty learning teams. The flexible
structure creates a framework that also can address particular needs such as those of new teachers, new
assessment and intervention strategies, etc. Through this framework of professional development we will
build a community of teacher-learners who share expertise and continually deepen their learning.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

       John J. Doran School Framework for Professional Development and Collaboration

 Structure # 1: Doran School Common Core Annual Professional Development Plan
 Why            Opportunities for learning include the whole faculty, create a structure for
                inquiry into practice, vertical dialogue and alignment between grades

 What/When       Up to 5 days before school starts
                 During school year: 1 hour twice a month, 2 hours twice a month = 6 hours per
                 month; After-school meetings

 Structure # 2: Common Planning Time (CPT)
 Why            Grade team collaborative planning provides a necessary venue for sharing
                expertise and ideas while maintaining a grade level coherence

 What/When       2 times a week, 45 minutes each for each grade team
                 One CPT will focus on math curriculum and instruction
                 One CPT will focus on English Language Arts
                 There is a 4-week monthly cycle of CPT in ELA and Math.

 Structure # 3: Individualized Professional Development (based on each teacher’s Professional
                Goals in alignment with the Redesign)
 Why            Individualized professional development recognizes the diversity of strengths,
                needs and interests.

 What/When       One-to-One Cognitive Coaching cycles providing in-depth development of
                 instructional practice for all teachers (All teachers participate in one 1-month
                 cycle annually.)
                 External individual professional development opportunities may be selected, such
                 as those offered by universities, district courses/workshops, conferences, visits to
                 other schools, etc.

 Structure # 4: Observations of Instructional Practice
 Why            Observations of instructional practice are the forums for application of
                professional learning in the place where it matters most – the classroom.

 What/When       The following kinds of observations are scheduled regularly:
                  Learning Walks (monthly) with a team of administrators, coaches and teachers
                  Peer observations: more in depth observation of a lesson or instructional block,
                     with 1-2 colleagues and often with a coach (2 or more times each year)
                  Observations of other schools (at least once each year for every teacher)
                  Instructional Rounds: With district leaders two times a year
                 To the extent possible there is a pre-brief, an observation, debrief, and a
                 summary letter shared with the grade team or faculty.

The change strategies that follow describe the school’s plan to implement this professional development
framework to improve subject-specific pedagogy, culturally responsive and differentiated instruction, and
the intellectual and civic engagement of Doran students.

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           Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

3A. Establish a Framework with clearly identified and organized structures for professional
development that provides increased time for professional learning by
 Providing 5 days beyond the work year,
 Extending the school day and providing 1 hour twice a month and 2 hours twice a month for a total of
    6 hours monthly,
 Implementing two 45-minute periods of common planning time for each teacher, to be used for grade
    team planning, including lesson development and looking at student work
The newly developed framework will be fully in place by Sept. 2011 with the annual schedule developed
annually by the Leadership Team by June 15th and with possible topic revisions based on additional data
or need in late summer or early fall of each year.

3B. Develop and implement the Doran Common Core Annual Professional Development Plan.
The Common Core Annual Professional Development Plan includes both the summer PD before school
starts, school year after-school meetings, and focused Common Planning Time grade team meetings.
The schedule will be informed by the annual teacher survey in August on areas of teacher expertise and
professional development needs. An expertise log will be developed annually to provide a listing of areas
of expertise and colleagues who can provide ideas and support. The Afterschool meeting time will be
implemented in three flexibly designed cycles during the school year of 5-7 weeks to provide structured
opportunities for professional discourse. Each cycle has 2 main foci selected from 3 areas: Data-Based
Inquiry-Action Cycles using Looking at Student work and other data to establish a question, implement
an action plan and analyze new data to guide changes that will strengthen instruction and help us
differentiate more effectively based on needs of our students; Curriculum and Lesson Development
with 2-3 vertical teams per cycle (with an additional compensated hour added to create 3 hour sessions);
and a workshop or course of whole faculty study. As we examine the priority to improve instruction
for second languge learning , we are currently considering a course offered by Brown University on
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, part of a 4 course sequence.

Starting in January, 2011, there will be curriculum development Unit designs, 2 Inquiry-Action Cycles
and Design of the 6th grade program and curriculum. Under consideration for Year One of the redesign
Plan are Whole school positive behavior PD (Responsive Classroom training) to establish Core
Expectations and Practices, a course on culturally responsive teaching, and design of the 21st century 5th
grade project to be implemented in 2012-13. Twice a year in December and June, the faculty will
conduct a Gallery Walk with discussion and celebration of teachers’ best practices at work at Doran.

3C. Implement 45-minute two common planning times (CPT) weekly for each grade
The focus of common planning time will be ELA and math. CPT will address lesson and curriculum
planning, instructional practices, and assessment. We have developed a CPT cycle of 4 meetings a month
in both ELA and math during which the Literacy or Math coach facilitates the discussion and learning:

             Week 1      Develop assessments and study content for next month’s unit.
             Week 2      Study formative data from current unit and modify planning accordingly.
             Week 3      Collaboratively Plan lessons for next month’s unit.
             Week 4      Study formative data from current unit and plan for re-teaching.

Teachers will develop CPT facilitation skills by co-leading and leading meetings.

3D. Establish opportunities and expectations for individualized professional development
There are 3 broad kinds of learning opportunities for individualized professional development.

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   Each teacher will establish an individual professional learning plan focused on his/her needs and
    the school’s priorities with input from the administration and assistance of an instructional coach.
    Coaches will conference with teachers quarterly to discuss their progress and give feedback.
   Each teacher will participate in Cognitive Coaching cycles that provide in-depth development of
    instructional practice with an instructional coach. The cognitive coaching model engages six teachers
    one-on-one each month in lesson planning, modeling, co-teaching, observation, and feedback aligned
    with their professional goals. English Language Development and Special Education teachers will
    participate in cognitive coaching tailored to their needs. We will set up embedded professional
    development for special education teachers through a co-teaching model in which the Inclusion
    teachers will co-teach one content area with at least two teachers each day. During their planning and
    co-teaching time the Inclusion teachers will model and coach for strategies of accommodating
    learners with special needs. In this way, we will build the capacity of our classroom teachers and
    establish our inclusion teachers as instructional leaders in the school. Deborah Harris, a national
    consultant, will work with the Inclusion staff monthly.
   External professional development opportunities in key areas will be a resource for teacher
    learning. For example, a teacher’s plan might include taking the required SEI Category trainings or
    other professional workshops or courses aligned to implementing tiered interventions, content and
    courses in ELA and math, culturally responsive teaching, or development of formative assessments.

3E. Create multiple regular opportunities for structured observations of instructional practice.
Observations of instructional practice are the forums for application of professional learning in the place
where it matters most – the classroom. Observations of instructional practice take several forms but share
key foci: the classroom environment for learning, the teacher’s role in instruction, the student’s role in
learning and the interaction of the teacher and the student in the presence of the learning targets and
content. The following kinds of observations are scheduled regularly:
 Learning Walks (monthly) with a team of administrators, coaches and teachers
 Peer observations: more in-depth observation of a lesson or instructional block, with 1-2 colleagues
    and often with a coach (2 or more times each year)
 Observations of other schools (at least once each year for every teacher)
 Instructional Rounds: With school and district leaders two times a year

3F. Build accountability systems for application of professional learning into instructional practice
and collaborations
We believe that an effective collaborative professional learning community is intentional in the ways it
links learning and performance for teachers as well as for students. We will create opportunities and
expectations for teachers to reflect upon and discuss their application of new learning, including
successes, challenges, and student work in response to changes in instruction. We will create peer
observation protocols, and use them as guides for teacher self-assessment and for the peer observation
cycles. Each teacher has been given a Reflection Journal and will be encouraged to follow their questions
and learning through entries in this journal that will be shared periodically throughout the year at team
meetings. Every teacher will have at least one opportunity to self assess and receive feedback from a
colleague annually, modeling the importance of student reflection on learning as well. Recognition of
individual teachers and teams at professional development sessions twice a year will acknowledge the
growing expertise of the faculty. As we begin to systematically look at student work as evidence of
learning, we will develop processes for collecting student work, displaying it publicly, and creating
exemplars to more clearly describe and define the qualities of excellent standards-based work.

3G. Recruit, hire and develop a cadre of high-expertise teachers
The collaborative professional development, organizational structure, and school culture of high
expectations will create the foundations for a school that will attract outstanding prospective teachers.

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The process of bringing high quality staff to the Doran School will also require an assiduous hiring
process and a period of induction support for all teachers new to the profession and to the school.

The Doran Induction Program for new and inexperienced teachers in their first 3 years provides support
for new teachers in addition to individualized professional learning. All new teachers are paired with one
of the instructional coaches as a mentor before school starts. During the first month of school, coaches
assist in establishing expectations, basic knowledge of pedagogy, setting up routines, and introducing the
curriculum. New teachers will have extensive coaching during the first four weeks of school. Bi-weekly
breakfast meetings for all new teachers are held in the first year. In the next two years, quarterly
meetings of new teachers will be held. New teachers will receive both individual and group supports as
needed to build content, curriculum, and pedagogical knowledge.

        (90 Tiered instruction models and adequate learning time (Key Priority # 3)

Our Key Priority #3 (Rigorous aligned curriculum, instruction and assessment) is directly aligned to the
goal of increasing learning time and improving the core curriculum and tiered instruction. With 90% of
the student population in need of Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction, the place to begin is to substantially
improve classroom instruction and develop and use assessments to better monitor progress. Our goal to
develop a strong school-based assessment system that is curriculum- and standards-based in the context of
everyday instruction and coupled with close monitoring, is essential to school-wide accountability for
improved student learning. The proposed changes that follow demonstrate our commitment to focus on
the core instructional program that has the potential to be the most significant factor in the improvement
of instruction and student achievement. Using a 3-tiered instructional model, we will expand time in the
Tier 1 curriculum as our first priority. However, we also plan to develop assessments and interventions
that will be directed to the curriculum, thus creating continuous increased learning that meets our
curriculum and learning goals aligned to the State and Common Core standards.

4A. Expand the school day by one hour, enabling development of stronger Tier 1 learning blocks in
ELA and Math, maximized Tier 2 interventions and enrichments, and Tier 3 interventions in
individual and small group settings focusing on specific student needs.
The district and school Tiered Instruction Model provides a Tier 1 common core of instruction for all
students, Tier 2 additional supplementary instruction in small groups within the classroom, and Tier 3
interventions outside the classroom for students who are significantly at risk and in the MCAS Warning
category. The K-2 use DIBELS and GRADE to determine at risk students. Grade 3-5 use MCAS.
Interventions are targeted based on student need. There are also exit criteria for students to exit out of the
intervention and return to either tier 1 or tier 2 but are still monitored for 4 weeks to be sure they do not
slip back. Intervention groups are flexible, meaning once student meet exit criteria they exit and others
may then go into an intervention.

The extra hour will allow us to restructure our day for five periods of Junior Great Books instruction that
engages students who are succeeding in Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction with accountable talk around rich
literature with the classroom teacher and each other with expanded opportunities for student-student
discourse; time for specific, targeted interventions for our most struggling students from highly trained
literacy and math teachers; and three hours a week for hands-on, engaging science and social studies
lessons. The extra hour also allows expansion of our social skills curriculum on one day. In addition, one
day a week the students will go home an hour early to allow increased professional development time.

4B. Increase the K-5 structure of the Doran School to a Pre-K-8 school
We added a pre-K class in 2010 and will add sixth grade classes in 2011, 7th grade classes in 2012 and 8th
grade classes in 2013. The rationale for our changes is based on our belief that a pre-K to grade 8

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structure will provide greater learning continuity for our students and reduce mobility and transitions for
students and their families. There are many benefits of a pre-K to Grade 8 school:
  We will develop stronger relationships with our students and families over time and be able to target
     more precisely their learning strengths and needs to guide their development.
  The pre-kindergarten program will offer an early start to school with enhanced opportunities for
     play-based learning, cooperative learning, language and vocabulary development and a
     developmentally based early advantage in literacy learning with high quality texts, arts experiences
     that enhance language development.
  The expansion to a middle grades program will make the transition to middle school seamless as 5th
     grade students move to 6th grade in a school that already knows their strengths and challenges well. .
  Family engagement in a student’s first school learning environment will also increase family
     participation throughout the middle school years.

We understand that the middle grades program must be strategically developed to respond to the
developmental and intellectual needs of early adolescents and to incorporate more experiential, 21st
century learning opportunities. To develop our middle grades program, we will study and examine
effective early adolescent learning environments and visit some outstanding K-8 schools with a
demographic similar to ours. The LT and PAT will work together to establish a process for developing
the principles and elements of our middle grades program and a curriculum for grade 6 by June, 2011.
We will also conduct outreach to our students and their families to encourage them to understand and take
full advantage of the new pre-K-8 structure. In addition, we will work with the district to recruit and hire
highly qualified experienced middle grade teachers.

4C. Improve Tier 1 Instruction
With more than 75% of our students failing in ELA and Math, in all sub-groups, in grades 3-5 we know
our first and most comprehensive adjustment to instruction must happen in Tier 1. The staff has already
begun the hard work to transform instruction. First and foremost we will set school-wide high academic
expectations for every student by establishing rigorous curriculum embedded common assessments. We
will create consistent expectations for instruction in every classroom where every child grapples with
challenging material alongside a caring adult who provides the scaffolding needed for success. Our
students will know what exemplary work looks like and will be expected to revise their work until they
reach the benchmark. Our instruction will be closely aligned to state and common core standards.

Math instruction will be aligned to the District’s Math Curriculum Map that is aligned to State Common
Core standards. Math instruction in Tier 1 will be 90 minutes daily. Every unit has a district benchmark
assessment that the staff will use to ensure students are meeting the benchmarks. When students do not
reach a benchmark, staff will plan instructional steps for re-teaching in Tier 1, or provide additional
support in Tier 2 and/or Tier 3 until the student reaches the goal.

ELA instruction changes will be similar to math. ELA Tier 1 instruction will include 90 minutes of
reading instruction and 50 minutes of writing instruction daily. Teachers will use the district’s ELA
benchmarking guide to align their instruction to the state and common core standards.

4D. Utilize vertically and horizontally aligned assessments to guide instruction in Tier 1 and drive
Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions
In order to ensure high and rigorous standards for mastery, the Doran staff will develop vertically and
horizontally aligned formative assessments to be used in instruction. Teachers will use these assessments
to periodically measure students’ progress toward the standards. Teachers will conduct universal
screening three times a year. Teachers will use the data to adjust instruction and re-teach in tier one
instruction, using small flexible groups for re-teaching and enrichment. Likewise, the staff will study the

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data in their grade level teams to determine who requires specific and targeted Tier 2 and Tier 3
interventions. Tier 3 interventions will be provided by our most highly skilled literacy and math staff
who will address the specific gap identified in the assessment.
Doran has historically used a variety of commercial and teacher created interventions. What will be
different in this model is the specificity of the Tier 3 instruction. Interventionists will work with flexible
groups of students on targeted and focused skills based on the data. The highly trained staff will select
from the resources available or create instruction that is uniquely tailored to each learner’s needs. In
Years 2 and 3 of this plan, a team will develop and pilot with all teachers Doran’s curriculum-based
assessment tools that are designed to align with the school-wide curriculum

                                Doran School Tiered Model of Instruction.

The tiered model of instruction will utilize technology tools to expand instruction and interventions at
each grade level (such as Read 180, Dream Box, electronic individualized intervention programs).
Assessment and data analysis systems will monitor progress electronically and provide an effective data
management system that informs decisions to increasingly individualize instruction in a timely manner.
       Provider          Which Students                      When                   What            Progress Monitor
Tier   Classroom         Everyone                            During Math,           Core:           Universal
1      Teacher           Universal screenings: (DIBELS,      Reading, and           Evidenced       screening results
                         GRADE, level of text, MCAS,         writing                and             are analyzed in
                         teacher formative assessments       instructional block.   Standards-      Oct., Jan., April
                         for ELA, District benchmark         (90 minutes            Based
                         assessments 3-5, ADD+vantage        Reading)               Instruction     Monthly
                         assessment K-2, MCAS, and           (50 min. Writing)                      Progress
                         teacher formative assessments       (90 minutes Math)                      monitoring –all
                         for Math)                                                                  students
Tier   Classroom         Small group supplemental            During the Math,       Designed to     Bi-weekly
2      Teacher, ESL,     instruction s for all students at   Reading and            enhance and
       Resource          risk or in warning.                 writing blocks. At     support Tier
       Teacher , Spec.                                       least 20 minutes 3     1 standards-
       Ed. Teacher                                           x/week.                based
Tier   Intervention      Students with the highest need.     Additional 30          Small group     Bi-weekly
3      Staff – Special   All students with IEPs that         minutes separate       or individual
       Education, ELA    stipulate Tier 3 Interventions      from content           instruction.    Bi-weekly IEP
       and Math          receive them from the Special       instruction time.      May be          student progress
       Teachers.         Education Staff.                                           outside         monitored by
                                                                                    classroom       interventionist

4E. Restructure resources and services to our two key sub-groups (ELL and Special Needs
students) and reduce achievement gaps
To address the needs of our ELL Students, the Doran is restructuring our ELL classrooms and adding a
language curriculum. The ESL classrooms are grouped by language proficiency, enabling staff to focus
on oral language for our L1 and L2 students. Our L3 students receive the regular curriculum plus
language instruction in ESL classrooms with ESL certified teachers. Every ESL classroom will utilize
Avenues from Hampton Brown (a thematic language basal program that integrates literacy with the
content areas and has many resources for developing students’ language skills) to inform their language
curriculum. All classroom teachers will have completed SEI Category training by the end of three years
so that they can more skillfully address instruction for our many second language learners.

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To better meet the needs of our students in special education we are moving to a co-teaching model. The
goal of this model is to provide side-by-side learning for our classroom teachers in how to accommodate
the needs of students with special needs. Through co-planning and co-teaching, inclusion teachers will
model strategies that will support special needs learners throughout the school day and receive necessary
supports for success, not just when the inclusion teacher is with them. This basic and needed
restructuring, along with making significant improvements in effective, engaging tiered instruction, will
be the first steps toward development of a more comprehensive approach to meeting the academic needs
of our highest need students in years 2 and 3.

5. Students’ social, emotional, and health needs (Key Priority #4)

Ninety-three percent of Doran School students are low-income and many of our families struggle to
provide the supports and services their children require to be socially, emotionally, and physically well.
Often, children who are not getting their physical, emotional, and social needs met struggle to meet their
academic goals. Behavior issues also interfere with student learning at the Doran. Ten percent of
students were suspended in 2009-10. But even more concerning was the large number of students
referred to the office in 2009-10; 185 office referrals were made for disruptive and/or violent behaviors,
such as verbal and physical threats. Students reported threats related to bullying. An additional problem
we are watching is that of student mobility and transiency which are at high rates.

The Tripod Survey also reveals troubling data on students’ perceptions of learning, themselves, and of
school. One student commented that, “it wasn’t cool to be smart.” In fact, 25% of students reported on
the survey that they had been teased for being smart. Student responses were lower than national and
peer school averages on “teachers pushing me to work hard,” and their perceptions suggest a disconnect
between how students think they are doing and how they are actually doing. The data also shows that
students think they are asked to explain ideas but, as pointed out by a teacher, they are not pushed to
develop them further. On the Tripod Survey only 13% of students reported that they were NOT hungry at
school, while 61% reported that they are sometimes hungry.

We know that in order to succeed academically in school children must have their physical, emotional
and social needs met. Many of the children at the Doran School demonstrate needs in this area. We have
recommitted ourselves to helping each student feel valued and supported. Our goal is to ensure a school-
wide sense of physical and emotional safety, enact high standards for learning, help students become
determined, self-monitoring learners, and respond to wellness issues in timely and thoughtful ways.

5A. Establish a safe and nurturing school climate
The Doran School leaders and teachers will create a safe and nurturing school climate that supports
student learning. A school-wide Positive Behavior System will be strengthened with clear and consistent
expectations, and monitored to reduce the number of disruptive and violent behaviors. We will use the
Second Steps Social Competency Curriculum for social skills development. Teachers will support
students through positive incentive behavior programs and clear, consistent consequences for undesirable
behaviors. We are hiring School Adjustment counselors to provide out of classroom supports and
preventative services, such as small social groups and one-on-one counseling. They will also respond to
identified needs such as peer mediation and school-based consequences such as detentions. A no-
bullying curriculum will be enacted throughout the school as a proactive approach to bullying.

5B. Improve student engagement and learning by increasing student attendance to 96%.
Student engagement begins with being present and on time at school. We are planning a full scale
attendance campaign that builds family support for regular school attendance, makes daily calls home
when students are absent and provides short and long term student rewards. The important message is
that learning matters and being in school matters for kids and the future of their dreams.

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   Improve student attendance by developing and communicating the school’s attendance policy.
    Communicate with families and students with daily phone calls made by the Connect ED automated
    system for both absences and tardies, personal calls home after 2 absences from the attendance clerk
    and scheduled meetings with families to develop a plan for improved attendance.
   Track student attendance by individual, grade and room. For students who were chronically absent
    or tardy (15 days or more), invite parents and students to a meeting at the beginning of each year to
    stress the importance of school attendance and develop a plan for improved attendance, as needed.
   Implement incentive programs such as Perfect Attendance Fridays, an incentive raffle program,, and
    class awards posted on attendance charts

5C. Implement a Wellness Team
To support our students’ success we will strengthen our new Wellness Team which is dedicated to
providing leadership, care coordination and wrap-around services to address the social, emotional, and
physical needs of our students. The Wellness Team will meet weekly. The Wellness team will also meet
twice a month with teachers who refer a student for help with care coordination. This meeting will help
teachers understand services in place or to be put in place along with input from all team members to help
with classroom management, and strategies to help students to be ready to learn. Its members are the
Vice Principal, the Student Support Coordinator (SSC), two School Adjustment Counselors, the Parent
Coordinator, and the School Nurse. The team will use a referral process to identify students in need of
support, identify specific services that can address the need, and match the students with those services
both within the school and through outside agencies. We will develop a case management system to
follow students closely from pre-referral to referral, services, progress monitoring, and follow-through for
the duration of the services. The SSC will provide leadership for case management. However, the goal is
to develop a strong team approach that utilizes the expertise of each member of the Team. For example,
when health and nutrition are of primary concern, the nurse will play a leadership role. The team will use
a review protocol to analyze the student’s progress toward his/her goals and will maintain ongoing
documentation of all case consultations. The team will follow up with staff and families for each referred
student. In addition to individual student needs, the Wellness Team will hold two Wellness Days
annually and will work with the Leadership Team to coordinate the School-wide Positive Behavior
System, Second Step Program in Social Skill Development, and No Bullying programs for students and
families as well as to plan to meet professional development needs for teachers in the area of social,
emotional health, and well-being. In 2011-12 and 2012-2013 programs and wellness services for students
in the newly developing grades 6-8 will be created and implemented.

5D. Develop and sustain effective school-community partnerships
To maximize each student’s readiness to learn, the SSC will develop and sustain effective partnerships
with local agencies that support students and families through a continuum of services. Once student
needs are identified through parent and staff referrals to the Wellness Team, the SSC will connect parents
and children to services within the school, through the School Adjustment Counselors and School Nurse
program, and outside the school, through local institutions and agencies that support Fall River youth.
The SSC will convene, coordinate, and monitor services with the Fall River Family Service Association,
the Healthy City Initiative, and the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative. Other community agency
resources will include Stepping Stone, Department of Children and Family, Citizens for Citizens, and
Health First. The SSC will document the success of all partnerships.

6. Family-school relationships (Key Priority #4)

Recognizing that research shows increased family engagement to link positively with student engagement
and achievement, the leadership and faculty at the Doran School intend to create meaningful connections

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between parents and their children’s learning. If we create these opportunities for parents to participate,
we believe a higher percentage of parents will participate more frequently and fully.

6A. Build a home-school partnership in a culture of mutual trust and respect by implementing
structures for regular and consistent communication between teachers and families.
The Doran School will create an improved, meaningful partnership with our students’ families, treating
them with the respect and cultural sensitivity. We will implement structures for regular and consistent
communication between teachers and families that create opportunities for positive interactions and for
parents to be proud to select, be a part of the school, and in engage in their children’s learning. Because
a large number of Doran students and their families are Hispanic and of Portuguese backgrounds, we will
ensure that all communication with families begins with the respect that comes from communicating in
Spanish or Portuguese. We intend to strengthen our communication with parents through cultural
sensitivity and use of their home language.
 We will host ongoing opportunities for families to have positive interactions and to engage in their
     children’s learning starting with the principal’s welcoming letter on opening day, the early fall Open
     House and monthly coffee hours during the school day hosted by the Family and Parent Coordinator.
 We will increase and improve regular and consistent structures for communication between teachers
     and parents/guardians to talk about their children’s learning progress that includes two parent-teacher
     conferences annually Contacts on other occasions will be designed to provide positive feedback on
     student progress as well as to check in on questions or concerns that the teacher or parent may have.
     A monthly newsletter will be sent home in Spanish, Portuguese, and English to inform families of the
     happenings at each grade level. The purpose of the letter is to inform parents of the academic
     objectives and topics their child’s grade will be studying in the coming month.
 At least two school-wide after-school/evening activities will be held annually, including events such
     as a literacy night or math night and others that include student performances, such as a poetry café,
     science projects, celebrations, cultural activities, etc.) In addition, topic-based forums on topics such
     as bullying, nutrition, technology use by children, etc) will also be offered for learning and sharing of
     family experiences. Classroom based demonstrations, exhibitions, projects and other celebrations of
     learning will also become more regular. We will hold an annual school-wide classroom based event
     called “Sharing Our Learning” to which parents are invited to look at several selections of student
     work and talk to students about what they have learned.

6B. Engage families in the development of the new middle grades program in grades 6, 7, and 8
Beginning in February, 2011, we will communicate with our 5th grade families about the new middle
school expansion with 6th grade program beginning in Sept. 2011. A series of parent meetings will keep
families informed of the program development and seek their ideas and input as well.

a. Steps to improve or expand child welfare services and law enforcement services
6C. Work with community service agencies, including child welfare and law enforcement services
to support the well being of Doran students
As described in CSE # 5, the Doran School is working with Family Services to establish new partnerships
that provide mental health and social services both in the school and in partner agencies for both students
and families. In addition, the new Student Support Coordinator met in December, 2010 with the Truancy
Officer to address concerns and discuss collaboration on home visits to gather information on students of
greatest concerns and to brainstorm ideas for improving attendance. She also has coordinated the Fall
River Police Department to schedule a series of workshop for students and parents on topics such as
gangs, substance abuse, street safety, and internet safety/bullying.

a. Workforce development services provided to students and their families.

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6D. Offer educational programs for students and parents that support personal and workforce
We plan to work with partner organizations and our own school personnel to offer or find available
classes in English, GED classes, job search and interview skills, and technology. Through our
partnerships and neighborhood alliances, we will also raise student awareness of varied workplace
opportunities through visits of employees from partner agencies, businesses and educational institutions
in the community and visits to these workplaces. The Student Support Coordinator has been making
many contacts with community agencies since being hired in Nov. 2010 and is building alliances with
them for partnerships that will develop resources and programs such as crisis intervention planning,
training for staff, monthly parent education programs dealing with housing and employment education,
daycare, budget-friendly children’s activities, monthly nutrition programs with each grade, etc.

7. Strategic use of resources and adequate budget authority (Key Priority #1)
District and school plans must be coordinated to provide integrated use of internal and external
resources (human, financial, community, and other) to achieve each school’s mission.

7A. Use Budget Flexibility to Support the Redesign Plan.
The Fall River Public Schools seek to provide the principal of the Doran Community School with
maximum budget authority so as to ensure that funds are spent to best serve the needs of the school’s
students and parents. While the Doran School will still receive the bulk of its budget through staffing
allocations, the principal will have the authority to reallocate the staffing to other positions or to services.
The Doran School Leadership Team will examine current staffing patterns, roles and responsibilities to
ensure that they match the school’s instructional priorities and recommend staffing pattern changes that
could better serve the school in implementing this Turnaround Plan with resources that best maximize
quality instruction and high student performance.

Using a combination of general funds, Title 1 and II funds, and other state sources, the district will
provide additional funds to support all the funding of the school’s redesign plan. For example, the district
has allocated a School Redesign Coach to the Doran School. She works closely with the principal and
Instructional Leadership Team to oversee the development, implementation, and monitoring of the
school’s approved redesign plan. This full-time position will ensure that the comprehensiveness and the
details of the plan are managed and monitored. She will develop tools, protocols and strategies to support
capacity building. In addition to working with the principal and leadership team, the coach will work
with interdisciplinary grade-level teams, Content Teams, and individual staff in the implementation of
key plan components.

The principal will be granted authority to flexibly use the school budget, including Title I and other state
and federal funds, while being mindful of state and federal requirements (e.g., special education).
Reallocation to meet Doran’s new instructional priorities, while using federal School Improvement
funding to build capacity will sustain the transformation work into the future.

7B. Establish a financial plan to identify funds to support the 3-year redesign plan. Each year, the
Doran Leadership Team will work with the principal in designing an integrated budget that uses all
revenue sources, including Title I and other federal and state funds, to support the school’s Redesign Plan
and the central focus of that plan on instructional improvement for student success. For year one, the
following staffing resources are being implemented.
 The district provision of a School Redesign Coach will provide strategic and collaborative services
    for developing, implementing and monitoring the school’s turnaround plan.
 A data coach to assist development of data systems and guide staff in data analysis will be phased out
    after three years

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   A Student Support Coordinator and two additional adjustment counselor positions will be created to
    address the social-emotional challenges to students and families that impact wellbeing and learning.
   A Parent Coordinator will be hired to ensure strong systems and coordination of communication and
    family participation in the school community to support their children’s learning as well as
    opportunities to support workforce development.
   Financial incentives that include faculty stipends for increased professional development time and
    stipends for meeting annual measurable goals will be put into place by November 2010.
   Funds for instructional resources and technology tools to enhance instruction and interventions,
    support the development of 21st century learning opportunities and tools for data collection and
    management to ensure comprehensive monitoring of indicators of learning and teaching that are
    directly connected to the school’s four key priorities
   The school will begin to implement its staffing and structural authority to establish a pre-K - 8 school
    by adding a pre-K class in 2010-2011, adding 6 grade classes in year one, 7th grade classes in year
    two and 8th grade classes in year three of the Redesign Plan

7C. Use the expertise developed during the period of the grant to sustain the changed school culture
of shared professional leadership, learning and accountability; students’ academic achievement and
self-worth; and family engagement
The Doran School will have built internal capacity over three years, so that when the increased federal
funding ends, the school is optimally situated to sustain the work without those grant funds.
 The Leadership Team, coaches and the district provided external coach for leadership and curriculum
     will develop and implement protocols for collaboration and strategies for instructional improvement
     to create a new kind of professional community. Capacity will be developed for improved standards-
     based curriculum with focus on 21st century skills; and effective lesson planning; data-based inquiry;
     effective instructional practices in the core and tiered interventions; ongoing assessment and
     monitoring of student learning;. School-based leadership will be able to realign and incorporate the
     work of positions that are phased out at the end of three years with existing resources and support
     from the district. Incentive resources will have been phased out.
 Instructional resources, including the enhanced technology developed and implemented during the
     redesign period will be in place and fully utilized.
 The Redesign Plan will ensure that the focus on the special populations which comprise almost the
     entire population of the Doran School (LEP, Special Education students and students from low
     income backgrounds) will result in significant learning progress for these students.
 Initiatives and systems funded in this plan will build and connect resources for social-emotional well
     being and family -school partnerships that will be sustained after the 3-year period.
 The district will continue to support initiatives such as coaching, data management and increased
     professional development. Both the school and the district will be positioned to maintain the staffing
     flexibilities and create new partnerships for long term goals.

8. Aligned curriculum (Key Priority #3)
The Doran School’s taught curricula will be aligned across multiple dimensions that represent the key
content and ideas of a subject, ways of thinking and communicating in the discipline, and skills that are
aligned with Massachusetts and Common Core standards. The curriculum will be vertically aligned
between grades (from one grade to the next), and horizontally aligned (across classrooms at the same
grade level and across sections of the same course). Alignment, however, does not mean that individual
teacher strengths and interests, nor those of the students are ignored.

8A. Implement a Standards-Based Curriculum with a strong focus on higher order
thinking skills

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ELA: Harcourt’s Trophies will continue to serve as a resource. In addition, the school will create
instructional units that align with the benchmarks. In the first year we will create a fictional narrative unit
and an informational text unit. With a curriculum consultant, staff will use backwards design to unpack
the standards for skills and concepts, develop assessments, and then plan instruction for each unit. Using
the PD model described, staff will implement the unit and then plan re-teaching opportunities based on
the assessment data. Over the next two years, other units will be developed and revised in reading and
writing until all standards are taught to mastery in tier one instruction. Junior Great Books will be
implemented to develop higher order thinking skills and discourse required for success. (Professional
development support for the use of the discourse in the Junior Great Books program will be provided)
We will strengthen our writing program and build exemplars of student writing through rubric-based
analysis with Using Rubrics to Improve Student Writing by Sally Hampton, et al. Students will be
expected to revise their work until it reaches the benchmark. Hampton Brown’s Avenues will be used as a
core curriculum for our LEP students (levels 1-3). The district ESL team is drafting an ESL curriculum
for each grade level and proficiency level.

Math: The Contexts for Learning (and in addition Investigations curriculum and Navigating through
Geometry) math curriculum will be utilized in each classroom. The curriculum focuses on real world
applications of challenging math concepts. It encourages students to develop their own strategies and then
revise them using self-monitoring, peer and teacher interactions. Contexts for Learning will increase the
rigor of math instruction and require mastery of challenging math concepts and higher order thinking
skills necessary for successful 21st century learning.

8B. Strengthen the ELA curriculum in all grades with an emphasis on extensive reading
The trend toward greater risk from kindergarten through grade 2 and the pattern of extremely low MCAS
scores in grades 3-5 must drive a re-evaluation of the elements and emphasis of the ELA curriculum. As
well, the high percentage of students who are LEP or speak Portuguese or Spanish as their native
language at home invites re-thinking how the language arts curriculum is structured and implemented.
The first imperative is that the curriculum be implemented with fidelity. The second imperative is to re-
examine the amount of reading that students do, including read-aloud texts. Richard Allington
summarizes the research in his book, What Really Matters for Struggling Readers (2006) in the chapter
entitled, “What Really Matters: Kids Need to Read a Lot.” He reports that research on the volume of
reading suggests that volume is linked to attaining the higher-order literacy proficiencies (from 1980’s to
2000, pp.35-43) Further, he cites the 2004 study by John Guthrie that increasing practice is associated
with increased expertise across a variety of human proficiencies. Guthrie suggests that to accelerate
struggling readers’ development, a critical first step is to at least equalize the volume of reading practice
of effective readers. Scaffolding reading with intentional structures for building vocabulary is also key
for English Language Development for second language learners.
 The Doran School will collect data on the amount of reading to, reading with, and reading by students
    that takes place daily in each class.
 Armed with that data, the school will adjust the school’s ELA curriculum standards for the amount of
    and emphasis on reading in the ELA curriculum and implement the changes.
 Hampton Brown’s Avenues: Success in Language, Literacy and Content will support language
    instruction for our Limited English Proficient students.

8C. Integrate 21st Century Skills in the curriculum. Students will engage in 21st century skills
throughout the school day, including accountable talk, thinking routines, comprehension strategies,
problem solving strategies, research, and inquiry-based learning in science. For example, the Junior Great
Books program offers enrichments in reading, thinking and writing. Doran students will be increasingly
expected to write, revise and “publish” work, explain and reflect on their thinking and learning, make oral
presentations about their work and work collaboratively in teams. Increasingly they will use technology

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as a tool for learning. Digital resources will be utilized in every classroom. All classrooms will be
equipped with a document camera and an ENO board. Teachers will have professional development on
how to incorporate this technology within their instruction. During the 5th grade and again in the 8th
grade, students will be expected to use these 21st century skills in a project that connects to a concept,
problem, or issue that is similar to one that they have encountered or are likely to encounter beyond the
classroom. Students will research, provide a written report on their work, and present it orally.

8D. Establish the program of studies and the curriculum for the new middle grades program
A team within the faculty with support from the district will be convened by January 15, 2011 to begin to
frame the program and curriculum for the new 6th grade classes that will be started in Sept. 2011. First
the team will visit selected high performing middle schools with similar student populations. They will
also gather examples of 6th grade curriculum and instructional maps. From Feb. 15 to April 1, 2011, the
team will work with district leaders, teachers, and coaches from other Fall River Schools to develop the
standards-based curriculum scope and sequence for grade 6 in all subjects. The team will revisit and
refine the curriculum documents by June 1, so that newly hired teachers will have time to review and
develop curriculum units. This process will be followed for expansion of the program to grades 7 and 8.

8E. Conduct research on effective dual language programs and develop a model for a Doran Dual
Language (Spanish/English) Model to open in Sept. 2014 after the Redesign Grant concludes
The school, district and community have long held deep beliefs that a dual language program honors the
importance of bilingualism in the global world we live in and respects the history and cultural contexts of
Fall River as a community with a diverse linguistic heritage. Thus, the Superintendent and school
community have chosen to focus first on developing a culture of substantially improved achievement for
all Doran students and second, to develop a model dual language program growing intentionally out of
the transformation of the school during the redesign period.
 To achieve this longer range goal, the final year of the redesign period will serve as a planning year to
     research and develop a structural and instructional model for a Spanish Dual Language Program that
     will be presented to the Doran School community and the district for implementation planning.
 The Dual Language Planning Team will select or develop an ELA curriculum to be used in the
     program when it begins in 2014.
 Outreach to parents will be conducted in 2013-2014 to inform them of the Dual Language Program
     and registration process.
 The principal, in consultation with the LT, will create job descriptions for the program and work with
     the district to recruit and hire teachers for the program.

9. Effective instruction (Key Priority # 3)

The key to effective instruction and effective learning is intellectual engagement. Learning is a
consequence of thinking. From the early years of school, instruction will become much more strategically
grounded in thinking. Children will develop key skills of oral communication, reading, writing and
thinking. High quality standards-based instruction will focus on communication skills across the grades –
oral language development that grows in the literature rich environment that is cultivated by the Doran
literacy strategies and many opportunities to share thinking and learning. We will use simple thinking
routines across all grades such as those developed by Project Zero Visible Thinking work. (e.g., What
makes you say that? What do you see? What do you think? What do you wonder?) .

9A. Set school-wide high academic expectations for every student
All faculty will communicate and model high standards for student thinking and learning. They will:
 Communicate a consistent message that each student is capable of quality thinking and work

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   Communicate, cultivate and expect student responsibility for learning. Guide students to be
    independent self-directed learners who also work well with each other in pairs or groups
   Value and require revision, starting in early writing and continuing with multiple drafts, whether
    drawing, writing or giving an oral presentation
   Keep and post exemplars of high quality work so that students can see what makes a piece of work
    good and why. Use rubrics to describe quality. Encourage students to create and score rubrics.
   Create opportunities for students to present their work. An audience helps to instill both presentation
    skills and a desire for quality work. Presentation also invites reflection and feedback.

9B. Adopt a set of school-wide standards and routines for instruction
The ILT will co-construct with faculty an agreed upon set of school-wide routines that are used
throughout the school. When common routines weave throughout a school, a common message about
instruction is given to faculty and students. A list of potential instructional standards follows:
 Each class has a clear objective or key question that focuses the learning
 Each class has a consistent, similar set of instructional routines for behavior, discourse, thinking, etc.
 Instruction is developmentally appropriate with guided pacing and opportunities for students to
     explore content and construct knowledge.
 Instruction includes teacher modeling, direct instruction, guided practice, individual or group
     learning, and closure.
 Evidence of student thinking is integrated into all lessons
 Learning is as experienced-based as possible and relies minimally on worksheets
 Learning is differentiated to accommodate different learning profiles and pacing
 Students interact regularly with texts
 Instruction incorporates vocabulary development and guides students to use academic language and
     engage in purposeful talk with their peers as well as with the teacher
 Students have varied, regular opportunities to communicate orally using different forms of
     communication, including role-playing, drama, music, and writing
 Pre- and ongoing assessments give students a chance to show what they know and can do.

9C. Conduct Learning Walks and peer observations at regular intervals to provide feedback and
to monitor the fidelity of the common instructional standards the school has established.
Learning walks provide a glimpse of students, teachers, the curriculum and instruction interacting
together. Like curriculum, instruction must be observed in order to provide direct sources of feedback and
be monitored for fidelity to school-wide standards. Learning Walks and peer observations are non-
evaluative and take several forms. (See 3E) They share key foci: the classroom environment for
learning, the teacher’s role in instruction, the student’s role in learning and the interaction of the teacher
and the student in the presence of the learning targets and content. Peer observation protocols have been
developed by the Doran Professional Development Consultant in collaboration with the PAT. The
organization and implementation of Learning Walks is also informed by the MA DESE “Learning
Walkthroughs Implementation Guide.” Observations include:
 Learning Walks (monthly) with a team of administrators, coaches and teachers
 Peer observations: more in-depth observation of a lesson or instructional block (2+ times each year)
 Observations of other schools (at least once each year for every teacher)
 Instructional Rounds: With school and district leaders two times a year

10. Student Assessment (Key Priority #3)

Instruction and assessment belong together most of the time. Assessment is at its core the act of “sitting
beside the learner.” To sit beside the learner is to observe closely what the students knows, thinks and

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            Fall River Public Schools: John J. Doran Community School

can do, and to use that knowledge to convey to the student possible next steps in his/her learning and to
use that knowledge to teach the next lesson(s).

10A. Establish and use multiple assessments in every classroom.
The Doran School will use a balanced system of formative and benchmark assessments. Classroom-based
pre- and ongoing formative assessments take learning to the next stage. We will used varied assessments
such as writing samples (on-demand, or revised with accompanying drafts), quizzes, peer feedback,
essays, performances, self-assessments, teacher conferences, etc. and culminating unit assessments. In
Math, the Contexts for Learning Mathematics curriculum uses a variety of assessment strategies. The
Math Congress is a paired instruction/assessment strategy that engages students in an investigation
followed by “writing up their strategies and solutions”…it is a forum in which students communicate
their ideas, solutions, problems, proofs, and conjectures to each other.

Summative assessments such as benchmark tests and standardized tests are also used to paint a picture of
learning. Looking at/Learning from Student Work is a descriptive assessment process that we will use in
common planning time and after-school professional development meetings to get inside the thinking and
skill of our students to inform our instruction and their learning. Looking at student work from different
grades also provides an assessment of skill development across different ages. Giving a 5th grade teacher a
chance to see early writers’ work and stage of development informs the writing teaching/learning process
across grades. Two culminating assessments described earlier are the “Sharing our Learning” whole
school celebration for families and the 5th and 8th grade project assessment.

10B. Use Universal Screening and Periodic Assessments at key intervals to assess students for
tiered interventions, provide interim checks on progress and identify learning gaps.
The Doran School uses DIBELS as a universal screening instrument (with subtests on letter naming,
sounds, and fluency) three times a year to place students in interventions beyond core instruction.
GRADE assessments are used to assess reading comprehension in grades 1-5. End of unit assessments
will be designed to accompany each unit in ELA, math and in years 2 and 3, science and social studies.

10C. Track assessments for learning and for data-based inquiry and decision-making
Assessments are only as good as their use. The data team manages the school’s multiple sources of
school-wide data and shares their analysis with the LT, PAT, grade team and whole faculty. A data
“room” is maintained electronically and on charts that are adjusted 3 times a year to show progress,
including annual MCAS or other periodic benchmark data. In addition, exemplars of quality work will be
gathered and maintained by each team for each unit of study. We will use data in the following ways:
 The District’s Data Analysis system will provide a means for tracking all kinds of learning
    assessments and other data that impacts learning, such as student and teacher attendance, behavior,
    health issues, etc. Our curriculum team will meet regularly to analyze student data, identify and
    discuss best practices, share these practices with grade teams to ensure the rigor and consistency of
    instructional practice across the school. As patterns of data emerge, grade team common planning
    time or afterschool PD time will be used to conduct data-based inquiry-action cycles.
 Assessment data informs teaching, re-teaching and differentiated instruction. The CPT monthly cycle
    will be one important ongoing forum for looking at assessments/student work in a current unit of
    study and making professional decisions about next steps in teaching or in re-teaching.

10.D Engage students as active participants in assessing their learning.
An important use of student assessment data is to share data with the student so that s/he becomes aware
of progress and creates goals and a plan to target next steps in learning. Student work in digital
collections, especially in writing and in the 5th and 8th grade projects, will provide data that is assessed by
teachers and students using rubrics. Debriefing with students about report cards will be another way to
make assessment transparent and enlist the student to take responsibility for new steps in learning.

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