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					                                 Springfield Public Schools
                      Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


                                     Table of Contents




I.     Executive Summary                                             1

II.    District-Level Redesign                                       3

III.   School-Level Redesign

       A. School-Level Redesign Overview                             18

       B. Essential Conditions for School Effectiveness              24

IV.    Appendix

       A. Homer Street School Local Stakeholders’ Recommendations    45

       B. Partner Organizations with Our Level 4 Schools             47
                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


   I. Executive Summary

The Springfield Public Schools has marshaled its resources to respond to the challenge of having
10 Level 4 underperforming schools. Under Superintendent Ingram’s leadership, the district has
created key district leadership bodies to provide oversight and management to the Level 4
initiative, including developing the capacity to provide internal lead partner coordination and
technical assistance. The district and the local teachers union, through the Level 4 conciliation
process, arrived at a contract agreement to provide each Level 4 school with additional
instructional time and professional collaboration hours, financial incentives for accelerating
achievement, and a commitment to build a new teacher evaluation system with student growth as
one factor in evaluating teacher performance.

The district has recruited key external partners to provide technical expertise and services to the
ten schools in critical areas –Achievement Network to provide periodic formative MCAS-like
assessments with on-time data analysis to assist in instructional improvement; Focus On Results
to assist in developing Instructional Leadership Teams and singular school-wide focus on
improving instruction; and City Connects to help build strong wrap-around services to students
and their families. And a strong monitoring plan is being designed to ensure ongoing assessment
of each school’s progress, enabling needed mid-course corrections that will keep each school on
an accelerated path of improvement.

The Springfield Public Schools has chosen the Transformation model for Homer Street
Elementary School. The model was selected because the school was in a chaotic state with high
suspension rates and extremely low MCAS scores. The school was in need of a change of
leadership to help ensure that it experienced rapid transformation and improved student
performance. In May 2010, Ms. Kathleen G. Sullivan was appointed the new principal of Homer
Street School. Ms. Sullivan was transferred from Washington Elementary School, a school that
she led from underperformance to one that was high performing. Ms. Sullivan brought with her
from the Washington School experienced members of her Instructional Leadership Team to
assist in Homer’s transformation process.

The Homer Street Elementary School administration and faculty recognize that the school’s
performance is not doing justice to the students we serve, and we need to dramatically accelerate
student engagement and achievement. Homer Street School has had a steady decline in the
MCAS scores in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics since 2007. The school has not
made consistent Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) since 1999. Currently Homer Street School
has the highest rate of suspension (internal and external) in the district for elementary schools.
This high suspension rate along with other behavioral disruptions in the classroom has decreased
the amount of instructional time students receive, and has had a negative impact on student
attendance, which decreased from 92.6% in 2009 to 91.5% in 2010.

Under new school leadership, with a new Instructional Leadership Team, and 80% new faculty,
we at the Homer Street School are committed to reverse these trends in student outcomes. From
our data analysis, Homer Street School has identified three priority focus areas:




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


        Focus Area #1                      Focus Area #2                         Focus Area # 3
Provide effective, standards       Create a positive, healthy            Establish a support system for
based instruction, assessment,     school climate with consistent        students and families in need.
and interventions for all          routines and procedures.
students.

Provide effective standards-based instruction, assessment, and interventions: Homer Street
School will strive to implement a consistent curriculum in every classroom that is aligned with
the Common Core standards, with a strong focus on reading comprehension across the
curriculum. A school-wide culture of high academic expectations for every student will be
cultivated, and every classroom teacher will be supported and monitored for delivering high
quality, effective, and differentiated instruction. The school will use a consistent set of
benchmark assessments to monitor the progress of our students, with data becoming
commonplace conversation through the use of Data Walls and a data-based inquiry process. A
system of tiered instruction, with specific attention paid to the needs of English Language
Learners and special education students, will be in place to ensure that academic needs are
identified quickly and matched with appropriate interventions. A two-teacher model, pairing a
regular classroom teacher with an ESL teacher, will be implemented in every grade. This overall
system of curriculum, instruction, and assessment will be supported through a robust model of
professional collaboration, professional development, and in-class coaching in which faculty will
have ample time to learn best practices, develop model lesson units, and look at student work.

Create a positive, healthy school climate with consistent routines: We will build a faculty
culture in which all faculty believe that every child is capable of attaining high academic
achievement and respectful behavior. Faculty will be expected to model this behavior through
high attendance, effective instructional practice, and positive interactions with students.
Significant professional development will be conducted on classroom behavior management,
differentiated instruction, and standards-based instruction. Grade level teams will be expected to
consistently use common planning time for looking at student work, identifying students in need
of intervention, and developing curriculum. A Transitions Team will be established to assist in
the integration of incoming students and ensure their successful transition into the school.

Establish a support system for students and families: Leadership will expand the guidance
staff to two guidance counselors, and expand their responsibilities to include home-school
engagement and development of connections to community service agencies. A Student Teacher
Assistance Team (STAT) will work with the administration and counselors to set up a case
management system to match referred students and families in need of social and emotional
support with in-school and community services. And a robust parent engagement program will
be launched, including parent education programs and parent engagement in children’s learning.

This transformative work will be led by Ms. Sullivan, Homer’s principal, and the school’s
Instructional Leadership Team. We are committed to implementing the plan with fidelity, and
ensuring that the plan’s strategies result in significant gains in student engagement and
achievement immediately and over three years.




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


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

The Springfield Public Schools enroll over 25,000 students who represent a rich diversity of
students. Eighty-five percent of our students are African American, Latino, Asian, or Multi-
Race, with 79% Black or Latino. Our percent of students whose first language is not English is
over 50% greater than that of the state average, and our percent of Limited English Proficient
students is over twice the state average. Our percent of low-income students is 2.5 times the state
average, and our percent of students with special needs is 40% greater. Twenty-three percent of
our students move from one school to another or in and out of the district annually, creating
challenges for us to provide curriculum consistency and to address the resulting learning gaps.

Our students bring to school a rich diversity in culture and language, as well as diversity in
learning strengths. At the same time, the disproportionately high percent of low-income students,
Black and Latino students, students with special needs, and English Language Learners means
that a high percentage of our students also have learning gaps that must be addressed.

In our Level 4 schools, too often we have not successfully met the challenge of addressing the
unique learning needs of our diverse student population. Average student attendance is a full 4%
lower than the state average, translating to our students on average missing over three full weeks
of school per year, with students having the greatest learning needs often missing more. Our
truancy rate is almost 12 times that of the state, meaning that even many of those students who
attend school are missing valuable learning time at the beginning of the school day. Once in
school, too many of our students are not engaged in learning, as evidenced by an out-of-school
suspension rate that is almost three times the state average.

The inability of our schools to fully engage schools has resulted in student performance that
demands improvement. Ten of our schools have been designated as Level 4, with about twice
that number identified as Level 3 schools. Only slightly more than half of our ninth grade
students (54.5%) graduate within four years, and the percent of high school graduates who
indicate plans to attend a four-year college is 50% of the state average.

A key challenge in reversing these outcome trends is ensuring that we have a high quality
teaching force who are providing high quality and engaging instruction to our students.
However, currently the percent of highly qualified teachers in Springfield (92.2%) is
considerably lower than the state average (97.1%), while the percent of core academic classes
taught by highly qualified teachers in Springfield (91.2%) has an even wider gap when compared
to the state average (97.3%). This means that our students, who need a higher caliber of teaching
than their more affluent peers, are not receiving the quality of instruction that they deserve. One
significant reason for this challenge is teacher salaries – because of budget constraints,
Springfield’s average salary ($55,505 in 2008) is significantly below that of the state average and
of neighboring districts ($64,166). This makes our job of recruiting high quality teachers more
difficult. As well, while 79% of our students are Black and Latino, only 22% of our faculty are,
meaning that our Black and Latino students often do not have enough teacher role models that
reflect their race and culture. Finally, our teaching force may face considerable turnover in the
coming years, as 42% of our faculty are aged 49 or over, and 18% are aged 57 or over.


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan




Springfield also faces the challenge of being responsive to the rapidly growing number of
English Language Learners (ELL) in our district, with almost one-quarter of our students
speaking a first language that is not English. Recently, we had an external study conducted on
our district and school practices and policies with ELL students, and have adopted a district-wide
improvement plan to substantially improve our education of this group of students.

The Springfield Public Schools has a clear charge to dramatically improve student engagement
and performance in our Level 4 schools. We are committed to doing so. In the district section of
this plan, we outline a district-wide theory of action that we hope provides the framework for the
transformation initiatives in each of our underperforming schools. This will be coupled by a new
Office of School Redesign to ensure our Level 4 schools are given high priority status and
maximum district and external support. We have aligned considerable external resources to
provide key value-added resources to our schools. And a new district-teacher union agreement
will provide our schools with considerable flexibility and added instructional and professional
development time to ensure high quality services and education are provided to all of our
students.

2. Key Strategies and Theory of Action

The Springfield Public Schools has worked to ensure that all of our Level 4 schools are working
under a consistent theory of action to guide each of their unique, individual transformation and
turnaround initiatives. The district has recently developed the ―Springfield Improvement
Framework‖ which articulates the essential practices expected of each school in order to improve
core instruction; create a culture that is goal focused, adaptive, and cohesive; and accelerate
student achievement:
 Identify and implement a school-wide instructional focus
 Develop professional collaboration teams to improve teaching and learning for all students
 Identify, learn, and use effective evidence-based teaching practices to meet the needs of each
    student
 Create a targeted professional development plan that builds expertise in selected best
    practices
 Re-align resources (people, time, energy, and money) to support the instructional focus
 Engage families and the community in supporting the instructional focus
 Create an internal accountability system growing out of student learning goals that promote
    measurable gains in learning for every students and eliminates achievement gaps

The district believes that if all Level 4 schools use this improvement framework as the
cornerstone for their redesign plans, and implement their plans with fidelity, student engagement
and achievement will significantly increase. Thus, the Internal Lead Group made it clear to all
redesign teams that all Level 4 turnaround plans are expected to use this improvement
framework and theory of action as the foundation upon which their specific school
transformation plans are built.

Further, the district believes that our schools should not be expected to improve in isolation,
while bearing sole responsibility for significantly raising student achievement. The district also


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


has responsibility for transforming itself to be more of a full service provider, responsive and
timely to our schools’ needs. We have committed to examining and changing any central policy
that is perceived by our Level 4 schools to be hindering their progress.

3. District redesign and planning process:

Overview
The Springfield Public Schools has marshaled its resources to respond to the challenge of having
10 Level 4 underperforming schools. Under Superintendent Ingram’s leadership, the district has
created key district leadership bodies to provide oversight and management to the Level 4
initiative, including developing the capacity to provide internal lead partner coordination and
technical assistance. The district and the local teachers union, through the Level 4 conciliation
process, arrived at a contract agreement to provide each Level 4 school with additional
instructional time and professional collaboration hours, financial incentives for accelerating
achievement, and a commitment to build a new teacher evaluation system with student growth as
one factor in evaluating teacher performance. A new district plan for serving English Language
Learners will provide increased support to Level 4 schools with this student group through
improved assessment and placement, SEI Category training for all faculty, and increased tiered
interventions.

The district has recruited key external partners to provide technical expertise and services to the
ten schools in critical areas – Mass Insight to help build internal lead partner capacity and assist
in identifying and securing key flexibilities that will be essential to each school’s turnaround;
Center for Collaborative Education to assist each Level 4 school in the planning and
development period; Achievement Network to provide periodic formative MCAS-like
assessments with on-time data analysis to assist in instructional improvement; Focus On Results
to assist in developing Instructional Leadership Teams and singular school-wide focus on
improving instruction; and City Connects to help build strong wrap-around services to students
and their families, to name some of them. Last, a strong monitoring plan is being designed to
ensure ongoing assessment of each school’s progress, enabling needed mid-course corrections
that will keep each school on an accelerated path of improvement.
a. Describe the district-level teams and their composition to develop the redesign plans.
The district has formed a comprehensive design and planning structure to ensure that there is
strong oversight and management of the district’s Level 4 schools. The structures guarantee
two-way communication, support, and accountability between the schools and the central office.
This up and down line of authority and communication has been carefully crafted to ensure that
all stakeholders are considered, heard, and held accountable for results:

   The district has re-organized Central Administration to create an Office of Redesign, and
    appointed a new Chief School Redesign Officer. This office has been given dedicated
    personnel and resources for the purposes of supporting, monitoring, and assessing the Level
    4 School’s progress toward full implementation. The Chief School Redesign Officer will be
    the project manager for the Level 4 redesign initiative, and is charged with coordinating the
    initiative’s many components and processes. Among others, her duties will include:
    o Convene and facilitate the Level 4 Steering Committee and Internal Lead Group, the two
         key bodies that will provide oversight and management of the initiative


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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


    o Convene and facilitate the ten Local Stakeholders Groups, ensuring broad representation
      on each group and that key input is gathered to help frame and drive each school’s
      turnaround plan
    o Coordinate the provision of central office resources in support of the 10 Level 4 schools,
      including the assignment of central office liaisons to each school, access to all school and
      district data, and responsiveness of key central office departments to individual school
      needs (e.g., human resources, budget, curriculum)
    o Recruit and coordinate all external partner organizations that will provide key services to
      all 10 Level 4 schools, and review and approve external partner organizations which are
      identified by individual Level 4 schools to provide school-based services
    o Provide assistance to each school in implementing their approved redesign and
      turnaround plans, and in meeting the approved implementation timeline and benchmarks
    o Coordinate the central office monitoring and accountability process to regularly assess
      progress of each school, and make needed mid-course corrections
    o Provide periodic reports to the superintendent and school committee on the progress of
      Level 4 schools

   A Level 4 Steering Committee was established to provide broad advisory oversight of the
    initiative, and will meet monthly. The Level 4 Steering Committee is comprised of the
    following members: Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Chief of
    Academics, Chief School Redesign Officer, three Chief School Officers, Content Directors,
    Chief of Special Education, Human Resources Director, Financial Director, Chief of Grants
    Management, Director of English Language Learners (ELL), Springfield Education
    Association president and officers, and parent and community representatives. The Level 4
    Steering Committee is charged with reviewing progress of the Level 4 initiative, providing
    input on all stages of the initiative, and assessing the progress of each school.

   An Internal Lead Group was created provide day-to-day oversight and management of the
    redesign initiative, including selection and full implementation of the redesign models for all
    ten schools. The members of the steering committee are: Superintendent, Chief Financial
    Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Schools (chairman), the three Chief Schools Officers,
    the Chief of Information Technology and Assessment, and the Chief School Redesign
    Officer. This team meets weekly and outlines the district’s responsibilities and tasks for each
    stage of the redesign process. Agendas and minutes are maintained for each meeting. The
    Internal Lead Group has already engaged in the following activities, in consultation with and
    under direction from Superintendent Alan Ingram:
    o Set up and convene local stakeholder groups for each Level 4 school
    o Identify nonprofit technical assistance organizations that could assist the district in the
        Level 4 planning process (Mass Insight and Center for Collaborative Education) and in
        delivering services upon plan implementation (Focus On Results, Achievement Network,
        City Connects)
    o Assess the capacity of current principals in Level 4 schools to lead the schools through
        rapid and measurable turnaround in student performance
    o Identify new principals to replace exiting principals
    o Decide upon the federal turnaround model for each of the ten Level 4 schools
    o Attend all ESE sessions on Level 4 schools


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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan




   A central office liaison member has been assigned to each redesign school, and serves as the
    direct link between the schools, principal, and central administration. The duties of the
    liaison are to keep the lines of communication, support, and accountability viable, therefore
    allowing the selection and implementation process to be transparent, inclusive, and on track.
    The district liaison member serves on the school redesign team and attends team meetings to
    provide the on-site support necessary from the central administration.

   Three Chief School Officers (CSO) provide direct supervision to the district’s 44 schools.
    The district’s ten Level 4 schools are divided among the three CSOs. Each CSO provides
    supervision and support to their assigned Level 4 principals, assisting them to develop and
    implement the approved redesign plans, troubleshoot unplanned dilemmas, address personnel
    issues, and assess progress.

   The Communications Office has designed a plan to continually keep teachers, community,
    parents, and business leaders informed of the Level 4 redesign project. The Internal Lead
    Group meets with the Chief of Communications monthly to provide updates to increase the
    capacity for timely news coverage of the Level 4 process. Regular updates on the progress of
    the district’s Level 4 schools will be posted by on the district’s website to keep everyone
    abreast of the initiative’s progress. The website will also connect to each of the ten schools’
    homepages.

b. Overview of the overall structure of the district's redesign planning process.
The Internal Lead Group appointed Local Stakeholder Groups for each of the ten Level 4
schools, and convened all of them on May 20, 2010. Each group was provided with multiple
sources of data for their respective school and asked to analyze it and develop a set of
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. As
well, each Local Stakeholder Group was polled on which of the four federal turnaround models
they preferred for their respective school (Transformation, Turnaround, Closure, Restart). This
latter information was used by the Internal Lead Group and Superintendent to make the eventual
decision on matching a turnaround model with each Level 4 school, with the Superintendent
making the final decision.

The Internal Lead Group and Superintendent considered the assignment of federal intervention
models to each of the 10 Level 4 schools based on a number of factors:
 The size of the school (e.g., given that 23% of the district’s schools were identified as Level
   4, because of the implications for involuntary transfers of permanent teachers it made more
   sense for the smaller schools to be named as Turnaround schools so fewer staff would be
   turned over)
 The recent history of faculty turnover
 The length of tenure of the principal and need for removal
 The recent progress made by the school
 The number of unsatisfactory teachers


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


   Local Stakeholder Group feedback on preference

In the end, five schools were designated as Transformation schools and the other five were
selected for Turnaround schools:

Transformation Schools
Gerena Elementary School, Homer Elementary School, Zanetti Elementary School , Chestnut
Middle School, Kiley Middle School

Turnaround
Brightwood Elementary School, Brookings Elementary School, White Street Elementary School,
Kennedy Middle School, Commerce High School

School-based Redesign Teams
Each of the ten Level 4 schools has a redesign team. The smaller schools have approximately
eight members and the larger schools about 12. Membership on each team includes the
following representation: principal, assistant principal, Instructional Leadership Specialists, core
academic teachers across grade levels and disciplines, special education and English Language
Learner teachers, parents, business/community member, district liaison, and district data coach.

The principal serves as the chair of each Redesign Team. The two district members do not count
as part of the 8-12 membership, and serve as key resources to the school in linking up with
central services that can assist the redesign team in the development of the redesign plan. The
redesign teams were formed and selected by the principal, except for one of the teachers on each
team who was elected by faculty using a defined Springfield Education Association (SEA)
process.

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. The school teams
report to the Chief School Officer in their zone; the Chief School Officers report to the Assistant
Superintendent of Schools.

District Assistance in the Redesign Planning Process
The Internal Lead Group 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 Level 4 Internal Lead Group and the 10 school
Redesign Teams in the redesign process. CCE assisted the Internal Lead Group to map out a
timeline of activities for each of the 10 schools. This timeline has included the following:

   On June 10, 2010, an orientation meeting was conducted for all 10 Level 4 school principals.
    During this meeting the turnaround law, State Turnaround Plan, and Redesign Plan were all
    reviewed, along with the requirements for data-based decision making and professional
    learning cultures.




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


   On June 18, 2010, a similar orientation meeting was held for all 10 Level 4 school Redesign
    Teams.

   On June 22-24, 2010 and June 29-July 1, 2010, CCE conducted two three-day institutes on
    launching the process to develop State Turnaround Plans or Redesign Plans. Each Level 4
    school attended the one of their choice. Each institute included a review of the State
    Turnaround Plan and Redesign Plan requirements, including the Implementation Timeline &
    Benchmarks and Measurable Annual Goals; extended time for redesign teams to begin the
    process of developing their respective plans; and time for questions, answers, and critique.

   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. Through each school’s ESE Early Implementation grant, the faculty members of each
    Redesign Team were budgeted to receive stipends for up to 80 hours to serve on the team,
    reflecting the intent to have the Redesign Team engaged in a time-intensive, inclusive
    process to develop the plans. Subsequent to the late June institutes, each school set up an
    aggressive schedule to meet independently to develop their respective plans.

   The Internal Lead Group has continued to meet weekly and oversee the plan development
    process. Members of the ILG have reviewed and given feedback on draft school plans,
    assessed the progress of each school, and intervened in particular schools in key times when
    redesign teams needed to think more innovatively about their proposed strategies. The Chief
    School Redesign Officer has met regularly with all Level 4 principals to maintain
    communication, trouble shoot dilemmas, advocate with central office managers on behalf of
    Level 4 principals, and oversee the entire process.

4. School redesign leadership pipeline:
a. Recruitment and selection of effective principals and teacher leaders.
A total of five of the ten district Level 4 schools had principals who had been assigned to the
school two years or less. Each of these more recently appointed principals was selected because
of success in prior administrative positions. In each case, the district determined that these five
more recently assigned principals had contributed to the early stages of turnaround and should
remain in the position to lead the school in this next stage of redesign (Brookings, White, and
Brightwood Elementary Schools; Chestnut Middle School; and Commerce High School). Factors
that were considered in these decisions included recent improvement on key indicators (e.g.,
MCAS, suspension, attendance, promotion, graduation) and other important factors (e.g.,
increase in parent involvement; increase in student, parent, and faculty satisfaction as measured
by satisfaction surveys; ability to evaluate out unsatisfactory teachers; ability to build
professional learning communities). As well, the district hired an independent consultant to
conduct an in-depth analysis of the sitting principals of two of these schools, Brightwood and
Commerce, to ensure that they had the leadership capacity to transform the schools in this next
period. The study recommended that both principals be retained.

In four other schools, the principal had been in place longer than two years and thus, according
to federal school improvement requirements, was removed from leadership of the school
(Gerena, Zanetti, and Homer Elementary Schools; Kennedy Middle School). The tenth Level 4


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


school adopted a Co-Principal leadership model, with the former principal and assistant principal
assuming these roles.

Recruitment and selection was rigorous for the new principals of the four Level 4 schools whose
former principal was removed. The Internal Lead Group and Superintendent identified new
principals through a comprehensive process. The Human Resources Department (HR) posted the
positions and contracted with a consulting firm to conduct a search for a strong pool of
candidates. Two of the principal vacancies in these four Level 4 Schools were at Montessori
Magnet Schools. In these two cases, the district collaborated with ESE and the consulting firm to
pursue leads for candidates with Montessori expertise along with the knowledge and skills
necessary to turn around an underperforming school.

Once principal applications were received, a senior administrator from HR pre-screened all
applications using a rating sheet. Based on this screening, senior leadership decided which
applicants would be interviewed. The interview team included an administrator from Human
Resources, a Chief Schools Officer, an academic director, school representation, parent
representation, and community or business partner representation. The interviewing committee
then made recommendations to the superintendent who decided who would move forward to the
next round in the selection process. The second interview round consisted of performance tasks
and had two parts:
 Each candidate’s instructional leadership skills were observed using the ESE’s Learning
    Walk protocol and teacher evaluation analysis at a selected school.
 At the conclusion of the Learning Walk, each candidate was asked to review a simulated
    teacher evaluation and to present strategies he/she would use to improve the teacher’s
    practice.

The superintendent interviewed the top scoring candidates, and in consultation with the Assistant
Superintendent of Schools, determined the most appropriate school assignment for the successful
candidate.

5. External partners pipeline:
a. Process to recruit, screen and select external providers to ensure their quality.
With a new Chief School Redesign Officer housed in a newly established Office of School
Redesign, the district has essentially set up an ―internal lead partner‖ model to oversee the
management of all 10 Level 4 schools. All external partners that work with Level 4 schools will
be vetted through this new office to ensure continuity and coherence.

The Office of School Redesign has already taken steps to contract with external providers to
provide technical expertise and services across the 10 Level 4 schools. All of the organizations
selected have proven track records of assisting public school districts to improve:

   MassInsight is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public education in
    Massachusetts and beyond. In particular, the organization conducted an extensive study of
    successful turnaround strategies that has been widely read and used as a key resource by
    many state departments of education to shape their state school turnaround initiatives.
    MassInsight has assisted the district to shape the overall district approach to its redesign


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


    initiative, and to identify the flexibilities from district policies and local teacher union work
    rules that Level 4 schools will need in order to accelerate student achievement.

   Focus On Results (FOR) is a nonprofit organization that works with schools to set up the
    leadership structures and process to identify a singular focus on improving instruction. FOR
    has assisted each school to set up Instructional Leadership Teams to oversee instructional
    improvement within each school, and to use a data inquiry process, including Data Walls, to
    analyze student progress and identify an instructional focus to drive the school’s professional
    development.

   Achievement Network (A-Net) is a nonprofit organization that conducts periodic
    assessments that are standards-based and MCAS-aligned to provide schools with on-time
    data on student progress, which can then be used to identify learning gaps and refocus
    instruction upon those gaps. A-Net will conduct six periodic assessments per school year in
    grades 3-8 in each Level 4 school (except Commerce High School), and provide technical
    assistance in analyzing and using the data for instructional improvement.

   City Connects is a nonprofit organization that works with urban public school districts to
    link community services with schools in order to provide wrap-around services through
    strong community partnerships. This school-based model identifies the academic,
    social/emotional, health, and family-related strengths and needs of every student and links
    each child to a tailored set of intervention, prevention, and enrichment services in the
    community. The program’s goal is to assist student to come to school ready to engage and
    learn, thereby improving student learning and narrowing the achievement gap. City Connects
    started its work with the Level 4 elementary schools in fall 2010.

   Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) is a nonprofit organization that works with
    urban public school districts to create high performing, innovative schools. CCE is assisting
    the Springfield Public Schools to facilitate the planning and development process in each of
    the 10 district Level 4 schools in writing their State Turnaround Plan and federal School
    Redesign Plan. CCE is also assisting at the district level in their management, oversight, and
    support of the entire Level 4 process.

b. Process to determine which external partners to utilize.
The Office of School Redesign will continue to identify external partners to provide technical
assistance across all Level 4 schools in areas in which there are perceived gaps in service across
schools, which if filled would benefit student learning. While Level 4 schools will be able to
select their own professional development providers that match the professional development
needs within their State Turnaround and School Redesign Plans, their selections will be vetted
and confirmed by the Office of School Redesign to ensure their quality and track record. The
office will work with the district’s Budget Office to set up and monitor all contracts with external
partner organizations that are providing assistance to Level 4 schools. Each contract with an
external partner will have benchmarks and measurable outcomes established to ensure that the
services rendered are effective in assisting Level 4 schools in raising student achievement.

6. Effective district systems for school support and intervention:


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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


a. Summarize the agreements made with the local teachers union and other local unions.
The Springfield Public Schools (SPS) engaged with the Springfield Educators Association (SEA)
in good faith bargaining over a set of proposed contract amendments that would significantly
improve the conditions of the district’s ten Level 4 schools to undertake transformative work and
increase student achievement. A comprehensive proposal for changed conditions for Level 4
schools was presented to SEA in early August, and the two parties engaged in six collective
bargaining sessions – August 27, September 1, September 3, September 8, and September 14.
The two parties could not come to agreement, and therefore, proposals from the two parties were
presented in joint resolution beginning on October 12, 2010. The Joint Resolution Committee
issued its decision on October 25, 2010.

The main points of the Joint Resolution Committee’s decision include the following, beginning
in second semester of the 2010-2011 school year (with compensation and added time pro-rated)
and effective for the duration of the school’s designation as a Level 4 school and the receipt of
Level 4 funding:

   Instructional Leadership Specialists will work 195 days per year, and receive a $2,100 annual
    stipend.
   A Level 4 principal may shorten a teacher’s two-year appointment to an Instructional
    Leadership Specialist, Teacher Leader, Department Chair, AV Coordinator, or Head Teacher
    position by one year by notifying the individual by April 15th of the first year of the
    appointment.
   Level 4 principals shall have the authority to excess a teacher from the school; this is a non-
    disciplinary action and is not an indicator of performance. The decision may be appealed to
    the superintendent.
   In collaboration with the Redesign Team, the principal may establish the master schedule as
    well as work day and work year schedule for faculty. These schedules must be presented to
    faculty prior to April 15th of the preceding year.
   The current work year will be extended by 165 additional hours, 135 of which will be used
    for instructional time, and 30 of which will be used for professional
    development/collaboration time. In collaboration with the Redesign Team, the principal will
    determine how these hours will be used. The four professional development days prior to the
    beginning of the school year shall each be seven hours in length with two 15-minute breaks
    and one hour for lunch.
   In collaboration with the Redesign Team, the principal may change the start and end time of
    the school day by up to one hour. This schedule change must be presented to faculty prior to
    April 15th of the preceding year.
   Every teacher must annually submit a Professional Development Plan that is consistent with
    the school district’s priorities, to be approved by the principal.
   Every teacher must be licensed in ESL or ELL or complete SEI category training within two
    years of employment at a Level 4 school. The school committee will provide the required
    SEI category training at no cost to teachers, and teachers will be compensated at the
    workshop rate if the training occurs outside the workday/work year.
   Each teacher will have 200 minutes per week of preparation time, of which no more than two
    40-minute periods per week may be assigned as collaborative planning time with other
    teachers.


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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


   Teachers may use sick leave in one-hour increments for scheduled medical appointments.
   Faculty shall develop, monitor, and implement student intervention plans based on the results
    and analysis of formative and summative assessment data.
   Faculty will participate as members of teams when assigned to do so.
   In collaboration with the Redesign Team, faculty may be required to communicate regularly
    with parents/guardians through conferences, informal meetings, emails, letters, and phone
    calls.
   A new teacher evaluation system that includes teacher attendance, student achievement, and
    student growth data will be negotiated and implemented as soon as it is completed.
   The Level 4 schools’ School Centered Decision Making Team’s role with the Turnaround
    Plans will be advisory only
   The Redesign, Implementation, and Monitoring Team (―Redesign Team‖) is responsible for
    monitoring the school’s progress in implementing its turnaround plan. The team is
    responsible for communicating with and providing opportunities for input to all faculty. The
    team membership should reflect the make-up of the school’s staff; one member will be a
    faculty member elected by faculty. Minutes of every meeting should be disseminated to
    faculty. Team members will be compensated for meeting hours beyond the workday/work
    year.
   SEA employees at Level 4 schools shall receive an annual stipend (not added to base salary)
    on a range according to the Step schedule ($3,105-4,353 in Year One, $3,260-4,408 in Year
    Two, $3,423=4,629 in Year 3).
   Faculty may receive up to a 5% bonus of their base pay for meeting one or more annual
    benchmarks (1% each for CPI math, CPI ELA, MSG math, MSG ELA, student attendance).
    If funding is available, this bonus may be up to 10% ( 2% each for CPI math, CPI ELA,
    students attendance; 1% each for MSG math, MSG ELA, teacher attendance, external
    suspensions).

With these agreements in place, the district’s ten Level 4 schools are well positioned to engage in
transformative redesign that will substantially increase student achievement.

In addition to an agreement with the Springfield Educators Association, the school district also
reached agreement with the Clerk, Custodial, and Paraprofessionals unions. In all three
agreements, the extended hours within the SEA-SPS decision were agreed to, paid by the
contracted hourly rate within each union’s approved contract.

b. District policies and procedures that will be modified for Level 4 schools (e.g., staff
    assignment, student assignment, capital plans, transportation).
The Springfield Public Schools will provide each Level 4 school with optimal decision making
and control over its resources to create learning cultures which best meet student and family
needs. To accomplish this, we will recast central office personnel to be agents of service to
schools, while holding schools accountable for achieving measurably improved student
outcomes. Springfield’s central office will provide schools with the tools and support to use their
resources in innovative ways.

Budget Support. The Human Resources Department has re-organized to serve the Level 4
schools more efficiently. The Level 4 schools now have a financial analyst assigned to them to


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


support the work the schools need to do to secure resources, use their budget flexibly, provide
professional development, and develop contracts.

Data Management. The district will improve the district data management system in order to
provide maximum service to schools. By developing one comprehensive data management
system for each school, district and school staff will be able to ask questions about identification
of students, program placement, student outcomes, services provided to students, and teacher
quality for students and subgroups of students in a more timely, efficient, and accessible way.
Each Level 4 school will have an online file containing all existing data pertaining to the school
– including student demographics, MCAS, suspensions, retentions, attendance, tardiness,
truancy, graduation, dropout, MCAS, District-Based Assessments, school culture surveys
(parent, student, faculty), teacher demographics, and technology capacity. The student data is
disaggregated by race, income, gender, language, and special education status.

The district will provide school administrators with professional development on how to access
and use available and relevant data for purposes of school level reporting, data-based inquiry to
identify learning gaps, and management decisions regarding resource and staffing allocation.
Teachers will be provided with training by Achievement Network on how to use relevant data
for purposes of improving instructional and curricular practices, including disaggregating the
data by student subgroups in order to identify trends in performance.

Pupil Progression Plan. The district will provide each Level 4 school with latitude to modify the
current Pupil Progression Plan which outlines the course sequence for each grade span that
district schools are expected to follow. Schools will have accessible to them the district’s online
Learning Center, which provides access to instructional pacing guides and unit lesson plans to
selectively use.

Hiring Highly Qualified Teachers. The Human Resources (HR) Department has re-organized to
serve the Level 4 schools more efficiently. The HR Department has assigned staff to specifically
serve the Level 4 schools to ensure that these schools have highly qualified staff at all levels. The
district’s manager of recruitment will focus district recruitment on recruiting outstanding, highly
qualified teachers who are passionate about teaching in turnaround schools. In addition to
widespread advertising, attending teacher recruitment fairs, and conducting district teacher
recruitment events, the district will also access and recruit from the state’s Amazing Teacher
website. We anticipate that at least in the first few years of each school’s turnaround initiative,
there will most likely be some turnover of faculty who are not a good fit for the school’s chosen
turnaround strategy, or who choose to work in another school. Thus, the district’s goal is to
identify a steady stream of committed and high performing teachers who voluntarily sign on to
the challenge of leading the turnaround of an underperforming school.

In order to ensure that only quality teacher candidates are selected for open Level 4 faculty
positions, Level 4 principals are able to interview all prospective candidates, and accept or reject
them based on their assessment of the person’s qualification, experience, and skills. The district
also accelerated the process by which Level 4 open faculty positions could be filled. In a
departure from existing district practice, Level 4 schools only have to participate in one of two
designated transfer periods each year. Once the first of two transfer periods is completed, Level 4



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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


school leaders are able to hire inside or outside the district, without regard to seniority, as long as
new hires do not result in layoffs to permanent teachers in good standing within the district.

Level 4 schools will have the freedom to modify job descriptions so that they best match the
needs of students, as well as set staffing patterns which emphasize the instructional priorities of
the school.

The district will also provide Level 4 principals with the latitude to annually remove
unsatisfactory or underperforming permanent teachers, or permanent teachers who are not a good
match for the school. In return, principals are expected to have (1) undertaken the district’s
teacher evaluation process, (2) placed the teacher on an improvement plan, and (3) documented
that there has been little to no progress prior to removing the teacher from the school.

Faculty who have been voluntarily or involuntarily displaced from a Springfield Level 4 school
first enter the voluntary transfer pool. In this pool, prospective candidates are required to
interview with the prospective principal, and the principal can accept or reject the candidate. If a
transfer candidate is not selected, he or she could be involuntarily assigned to a non-Level 4
school with an opening that met the candidate’s teaching certifications.

Provide District Support for English Language Learners. In September 2010, the School
Committee and Superintendent adopted a new district action plan for strengthening services to
the district’s English Language Learners (ELL), based on a comprehensive external study on the
status of ELL students and services they receive. The plan includes strengthening early
identification of ELL students, ensuring that all ELL students are annually tested with MEPA
and appropriately placed, creating a stronger reclassification system and transition support for
FLEP students, revising the Pupil Progression Plan for ELL students to provide core curriculum
instructional guidance for each MEPA level and grade, strengthening the literacy curriculum,
ensuring rapid English acquisition for students at MEPA Levels 1 and 2, and ensuring that
faculties of schools with high percentages of ELL students all participate in SEI Category
training. A new district Director of English Language Learners will oversee the provision of
technical assistance to each Level 4 school to implement the core elements of this district plan.

Enrollment, Facilities, and Transportation. No Level 4 school had their student enrollment
limited to a certain size due to their Level 4 status. However, some schools may experience a
natural decline in enrollment due to overall declining enrollment within the district.

There are currently no Level 4 schools whose facilities are designated to be reconfigured or
refurbished to support the implementation of Redesign plans. However, if this did occur, the
schools’ requests would be prioritized within the district, according to overall need as well as
availability of state construction funds to assist in facility redesign.

It is anticipated that there will be some requests by Level 4 schools for school bus transportation
changes due to added instructional time. While containing bus transportation costs, it is the
district’s assumption that there are enough schools and bus routes to enable adjustment of start
and end times of some Level 4 schools within the district. With this in mind, Level 4 schools are
provided with the flexibility to alter their current bus schedule by one (earlier or later in the day).



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan




Requests for Policy Changes. All requested changes to district policies will be reviewed and
vetted by the Level 4 Internal Lead Group. If the policy change request is deemed as reasonable
and having the potential to benefit the school, the policy change request will then be forwarded
to the Superintendent. Upon approval, the Chief School Redesign Officer will work with the
appropriate central office department to plan for and initiate the district policy change.

c. District technical assistance plan for Level 4 schools.
With a newly established Office of School Redesign, the Chief of School Redesign is responsible
for ensuring that each school receives the technical assistance and support identified within their
Redesign Plans, in collaboration with the Chief School Officers. The Chief School Redesign
Officer is responsible for identifying additional resources within and external to the district that
could benefit the Level 4 schools. The Chief School Redesign Officer is also responsible for
shepherding district policy change requests on behalf of Level 4 schools through the Internal
Lead Group.

The district will bring the Level 4 schools together twice a month for leadership development,
technical assistance, and networking activities, with the goal of ensuring ample opportunities for
the Level 4 schools to learn from one another’s progress, successes, and strategies for
surmounting obstacles. The Redesign Office will also regularly convene all of the schools’
Redesign Teams for similar purposes – sharing successes, learning strategies from one another,
engaging in consultancies around urgent dilemmas, and receiving additional professional
development.

The Chief School Officer for Homer Street Elementary School will provide significant guidance
and technical assistance to the school, including the following:
 Schedule weekly check-in meetings with the principal to discuss plan implementation
   progress and trouble-shoot dilemmas
 Instructional monitoring to improve instructional practice in all classes through scheduled
   Learning Walks, with feedback stating areas of strength/needing improvement and
   recommendations for next steps
 Review progress on implementing Turnaround & Redesign Plans and provide feedback
   where necessary
 Collaborate with other Central Office departments to provide timely assistance to Homer on
   emerging issues
 Resolve parental concerns in a timely fashion, in collaboration with the principal
 Conduct daily attendance reviews and monthly data reviews

d. District monitoring plan.
The Chief School Redesign Officer will be responsible for overseeing all district monitoring
plans and activities for the Level 4 schools. The Level 4 Internal Lead Group will conduct a
quarterly review (4 times per year) of the progress of each Level 4 school. This review will
include a review of progress on:
 All Measurable Annual Goals within the school’s approved Redesign Plan
 All implementation activities within the school’s approved Implementation Timeline and
    Benchmarks


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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


   Other identified data sources, including Achievement Network periodic assessments,
    District-Based Assessments, course grades, school culture and climate surveys, and parent
    engagement
   Steering Committee member visits and observations
   Anecdotal information (that may need additional data collected to confirm)

The purpose of the quarterly review 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.

Once per year, the Internal Lead Group, organized by the Chief School Redesign Officer, will
conduct a walk-through of each Level 4 school to gain a first-hand look at the school’s progress.
The visit will focus upon assessing the school’s implementation of its redesign plan and
subsequent student progress. 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. In this way, the Internal Lead Group will be able to maintain a close-up pulse of
each school’s progress. Written feedback from these visits will be provided to the school’s
principal and Redesign Team, with the principal expected to provide a formal response of action
steps that will be taken in response to the ILG’s findings and recommendations.

If, either through the quarterly review or the annual walk-through, a school is determined to be
significantly off-track, a meeting will be conducted with the school’s principal and the Assistant
Superintendent, respective Chief School Officer, Chief of Academics, and Chief School
Redesign Officer. 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 Chief School Redesign Officer will determine, along with
the principal and Chief School Officer, 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.




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


                                       II. School-Level Redesign

A. School-Level Overview

                                           School Vision
Homer Street School is a community of lifelong learners that works collectively to maximize the
intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of all students and prepares them to be
active participants in a global society.

                                           School Mission
Homer Street School is a place that works in partnership with the community to provide a quality
education which embraces cultural and intellectual diversity and maximizes the performance of
all learners. Through these efforts, all students will be proficient.

In order to meet its mission and vision, Homer Street School will have:
 A strong, effective leadership team that will lead the best practices and provide
    accountability at all levels-students, faculty, parents, administration, and community
    members.
 Strong, targeted professional development focused on improving instruction and meeting the
    needs of all learners.
 Increased instructional time and time on learning.
 Use of data-based decision making and periodic formative assessments to identify students’
    learning gaps and effective instructional strategies that will address them.
 A school-wide focus on effective literacy and mathematical practices.
 Productive classroom cultures by providing professional development in behavioral and
    classroom management.
 Student support services for emotional as well as academic needs.
 Appropriate and effective academic interventions that are tailored to students’ learning gaps.
 Parent engagement strategies focused upon their children’s learning and strong community
    partnerships that leverage additional resources into the school.

These elements of our action plan will expedite the academic performance and engagement of all
students across all subgroups.

1. School-Level Redesign Team
Homer Street Elementary School’s Redesign Team is the primary body responsible for
coordinating the redesign process, including the planning process that led to this redesign plan.
The Redesign Team is comprised of the following members:
     Kathleen G. Sullivan, Principal
     Kate Fenton, Chief Schools Redesign Officer, District
     Veta Daley, Chief Schools Officer Zone 1, District
     Rosemary Kalloch, Director of Social Studies and Central Office Liaison, District
     Nancy Laino, Instructional Leadership Specialist English Language Arts
     Mary Outhuse, Instructional Leadership Specialist Mathematics
     Susan Gilbert, Collaborative Professional Development Teacher English Language Arts



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                   Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


        Catherine Roberts, title one teacher and head teacher
        Ronald Claybourne, parent facilitator

The membership of the team includes district representation, members of an already functioning
experienced School Leadership Team who transferred from Washington Elementary School, and
representatives from the Homer Street School community. Each member represents a cross-
section of core academic disciplines and grade levels in elementary education. The Principal and
School leadership team from Washington Elementary School were transferred as a team to
Homer Street School in July 2010 due to their success in overseeing academic improvement in
that school. Washington School was an underperforming school in 2004 when Ms. Kathleen
Sullivan became principal. In less than two years, she established it as a high performing school
that has sustained its success through her departure to Homer Street School in July 2010. She is
an experienced leader that was able to guide Homer Street’s Redesign Team through the
planning process for this redesign plan along with the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE).

The Homer redesign planning process included the following steps:
 Principal Sullivan shared her knowledge/philosophy of school redesign with all team
   members so all members would gain a picture of how a school can improve from
   underperforming to performing.
 The Redesign Team then met multiple times, including 6 full days and 7 half days. Time
   was spent analyzing data, identifying root causes, and creating an action plan utilizing the
   Essential Conditions. Norms were set for all meetings so that all voices were heard and
   decisions were made by consensus.

2. Baseline Data and Needs Analysis
Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Team spent numerous days analyzing multiple
sources of data to identify the key challenges facing the school. The data sources that were
examined included student demographics; student attendance, suspensions, behavioral data, and
mobility; MCAS data, including AYP and CPI; district benchmark formative assessments in
English Language Arts and mathematics; Fountas and Pennel scores; MEPA and MELA-O tests;
teacher attendance and data on licensing and highly qualified; and perception data on school
climate, parental involvement, and organizational health. Student data in each category was
examined, disaggregated by grade, race, income, special education status, and ELL status. Data
was further examined to determine possible causes; for example, suspensions were examined by
grade, classroom teacher, time of day the offense occurred, type of offense, and percent of repeat
offenders. The following steps were used for data inquiry:

1.   Examine and analyze aggregate and disaggregated data
2.   Identify key challenges
3.   Develop potential root causes for each challenge
4.   Collect additional data to confirm root causes
5.   Develop an action plan based on confirmed root causes

Based on the analysis of the data, the School Redesign Team concluded that there was evidence
of weak leadership which was unable to provide effective guidance to build a cohesive learning
community. Homer Street School has had a steady decline in the MCAS scores in English


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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics since 2007. The school has not made consistent
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) since 1999. Currently Homer Street School has the highest rate
of suspension (internal and external) in the district for elementary schools. In-school
suspensions increased from 5.7% in 2008 to 6.2% in 2009. External suspensions increased from
4.0% in 2008 to 8.4% in 2009. As of April 2010, 13.4% of students were suspended (either
internally or externally) at least once, 9.8% of students were suspended out of school at least
once, and 5.9% of students were suspended more than once. This high suspension rate along with
other behavioral disruptions in the classroom has decreased the amount of instructional time
students receive, and has had a negative impact on student attendance, which decreased from
92.6% in 2009 to 91.5% in 2010. What follows is our analysis of the key data points which have
contributed to the foundation of our redesign plan.

                                              MCAS Data

Challenges
    Homer Street’s Composite Performance Index (CPI) has had a steady decline in ELA and
       Mathematics since 2007.

                      2007             2008               2009             2010
       ELA         62.9            58.2               56.3              51.9
       Math        52.7            51.9               50.6              43.6

      40% of all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders were Warning/Failing in both ELA and Mathematics
       on the 2010 MCAS
      Limited English Proficient (LEP) and Special Education (SPED) subgroups are the
       lowest CPI subgroups.

                   English Language Arts CPI
                        2008       2009        2010
       SPED         51.9         36.5        30.0
       LEP          48.1         34.8        38.9

                 Mathematics CPI
                       2008        2009               2010
       SPED        46.3          33.3               32.2
       LEP         41.3          37.5               38.0

Probable Causes
 Lack of an acceptable Sheltered English Instruction model in classrooms with LEP students.
 Lack of time on learning in classrooms due to inconsistent schedules.
 No consistent curriculum.
 Teachers lack the strategies for LEP and special education students.

Action Plan
 Principal and Leadership Team will conduct regular learning walks.



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


   The Instructional Leadership Team will manage instructional improvement in the school.
   Teachers will be expected to display effective instructional practices.
   Instructional core focus on comprehension and writing strategies will be expected for every
    teacher’s instructional practice, across all content areas.
   Consistent English language arts and mathematics curriculum will be strengthened and
    interventions will be utilized.
   Data walls will be maintained of students’ progress with a special focus on reading (Fountas
    and Pinnell scores).
   The schedule will be revamped to increase instructional time. An additional 45 minutes will
    be added to the school day that will focus on reading across the content areas.
   Achievement Network will conduct multiple formative assessments each school year in ELA
    and math, and this data will be used by teacher teams to improve instruction.
   All faculty will receive SEI Category training 1-4.
   A two-teacher Sheltered English Instruction model will be utilized in classrooms with LEP
    students.

                                             Suspensions

Challenges
 Homer Street School has the highest external suspension rate of all the elementary schools in
   the Springfield Public Schools.
 Homer’s suspensions increased from 29 students in 2008 to 85 students in 2009 and to 121
   students in 2010.
 Students were missing a significant amount of learning time because of internal and external
   suspension.

Probable Causes
 Teacher of deportment was over-utilized and students were over-referred.
 Lack of alternative plan if deportment room was not successful.
 Lack of strong support and intervention services provided by the counselor.
 Teachers lack behavioral and classroom management strategies to best support students’
   social-emotional needs.
 School lacked strong leadership that provided stable and consistent school-wide practices for
   behavior practices.
 A second counselor is needed to provide social emotional support to all students.

Action Plan
 Faculty will be trained in Classroom Management/Behavior Strategies for all students.
 Lessen transition time to reduce misconduct.
 Hire an additional counselor to provide social-emotional services.
 Leadership Team will work collaboratively with all teachers to provide clear, consistent
    expectations for all students.
 All staff will be trained in high expectations for behavior in all areas of the building.
 Teachers will be a role model for behavior.



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


                                           Perception Data
Challenges
 On the 2009-2010 Harris survey:
   o 100% of teachers/staff felt disorderly student behaviors were a problem.
   o Only 20% of students and 14% of teachers felt safe while in school.
   o 67% of students did not think the bathrooms are clean.
   o Only 27% of parents felt school buildings and grounds are clean and in good condition.
   o Only 13% of parents felt communication was adequate.

Probable Causes
 No accountability for a clean building.
 Environment was unorganized.
 Lack of communication in home languages.
 Lack of communication between administration and staff.
 Low behavioral expectations.

Action Plan
 Clean and maintain school building facilities. Principal will hold those responsible
    accountable for building maintenance.
 Utilize a translator to contact parents in home language through both written and oral
    communication.
 Build communication between staff and administration.
 Consistent expectations will be posted in every room and will be followed by all staff.

                                             Teacher Data

Challenges
 The amount of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers decreased from
   96.7% in 2009 to 89.8% in 2010.
 Teacher attendance decreased from 94.8% in 2009 to 92.8% in 2010.

Probable Causes
 A lack of adult accountability.
 A need to recruit and sustain highly qualified, high quality teachers.

Action Plan
 Set an expected attendance goal for all faculty members of 94.5%.
 Assist teachers in becoming highly qualified.
 Provide mentoring for all teachers
 Provide team time with teachers to share best practices and to incorporate additional
    professional development into the school day.

From this data, Homer Street School has identified three priority focus areas:




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


       Focus Area #1                       Focus Area #2                        Focus Area # 3
Provide effective, standards       Create a positive, healthy            Establish a support system
based instruction,                 school climate with                   for students and families in
assessment, and                    consistent routines and               need.
interventions for all              procedures.
students.

3. Redesign Model

The Springfield Public Schools has chosen the Transformation model for Homer Street
Elementary School. The model was selected because the school was in a chaotic state with high
suspension rates and extremely low MCAS scores. The school was in need of a change to help
ensure that it experienced rapid transformation and improved student performance. The district
has identified principal leadership as a critical area of focus and adopted a rigorous new process
to place experienced and talented principals in the highest needs schools. In May 2010, Ms.
Kathleen G. Sullivan was appointed the new principal of Homer Street School. Ms. Sullivan was
transferred from Washington Elementary School, a school that was high performing. She had
previously turned around Washington Elementary, which was underperforming in 2004 when
she was transferred there. She is an experienced leader who can bring about educational change
in her school. Because of her leadership abilities, the Springfield Superintendent, Dr. Alan
Ingram, determined that the school would be best served selecting the Transformation model.
Ms. Sullivan could best utilize the resources provided to Level 4 schools to bring change and
accelerate students’ achievement.

Homer Street Elementary School will utilize the following strategies of the Transformation
model:

Developing and increasing teacher and school leader effectiveness.
Homer Street Elementary School’s new principal will provide visible, effective instructional
leadership and establish a cohesive leadership team with a singular agenda focused on improving
the achievement of all students through adoption and implementation of the ―Springfield
Improvement Framework.‖ All members of the Homer faculty will be held accountable for high
standards of effective instructional practices. The school leadership team will engage all
teachers in professional development with a clear focus on improving instructional practices.
Teacher evaluations will be directly tied to demonstrating high quality instruction.

Comprehensive instructional reform strategies
Multiple sources of data will be used in decision making to identify areas of need. Analysis of
patterns in student achievement data and the gap in achievement between various student
populations will be used in order to determine an appropriate course of action for improvement
of teaching and learning. Formative, summative, and interim assessments (such as Achievement
Network assessments) will be used to track student progress and to determine interventions when
necessary through the district’s Tiered Intervention system. Reading instruction with a focus on
reading comprehension will be evident across the curriculum.




                                                                                                    23
                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


Increased learning time and creating community oriented schools.
Increased time on learning will be established by an expanded school day that will increase the
total school hours for all students. The school day will be expanded 45 minutes a day that will
add an additional 135 instructional hours. Teachers’ time to collaborate, plan, and engage in
professional development will also be expanded by hiring an additional academic planning time
teacher. This time will be used to create professional learning communities and allow for grade
level team time. The school will also communicate with parents and facilitate active
partnerships on behalf of students with associations’ and employee groups’ leadership to ensure
all decisions are made in the best interest of students and the improvement of the conditions for
teaching and learning. A positive and productive relationship will be established with
community organizations to build partners in education.

Provide operational flexibility and sustained support
Homer Street School will be given the flexibility in staff patterns and hiring in order to provide
high quality core academics as well as interventions. Additional staff members will be hired to
allow for a two-teacher SEI model as well as an additional academic planning time teacher to
create additional collaboration time for teachers. The school will receive substantial support
from a variety of external support services including Focus on Results, to maintain a strong focus
on improving instruction, and Achievement Network, to conduct interim assessments and train
faculty in data analysis for improving instruction.

4. Stakeholder Support

Homer Street School’s Level 4 Stakeholder Group was formed to make recommendations and
guide Homer’s redesign efforts. This stakeholder group was convened by the Springfield Public
Schools on May 20, 2010 to receive their input on the recommendations for each school. The
key recommendations were:
    Effective instruction and accountability for all.
    High quality professional development.
    Increased parent and community engagement.
    Social and emotional support for all students.

These recommendations were used by the Redesign Team in the planning process and are
reflected in the action plan.

As well, as noted in the District section of this plan, the district was able to successfully
undertake conciliation with the Springfield Education Association, which resulted in agreements
on compensation for additional instructional and professional collaboration time, school-wide
financial incentives for meeting Measurable Annual Goals, and a commitment to build a new
teacher evaluation system that includes student growth as one factor in assessing teacher
effectiveness.

B. Essential Conditions for School Effectiveness
This section addresses the redesign strategies and activities for Homer Street Elementary School.




                                                                                                24
                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


        Focus Area #1                      Focus Area #2                        Focus Area # 3
Provide effective, standards       Create a positive, healthy            Establish a support system
based instruction,                 school climate with                   for students and families in
assessment, and                    consistent routines and               need.
interventions for all              procedures.
students.
      Essential Conditions            Essential Conditions           Essential Conditions
2. Principal Staffing Authority 1. Effective School Leadership 5. Students’ Social and
     Sheltered English              School Leadership         Emotional Health Needs
        Immersion Model                 Team will set common         Strengthen the role of
     Academic Planning                 focus and goals.               the counselor
        Times                        Hire and support               Student-Teacher
     Team Time                         highly qualified               Assistance Team
                                        staffing                     Community
3. Professional Development          Student growth as part           partnerships
and Structures for                      of teacher evaluation
Collaboration                                                   6. Family-School
     Professional              2. Principal Staffing Authority Relationships
        Development on               Team Time will create          Family Engagement
        effective instructional         collaboration time for         Team and increase
        practices                       staff.                         parent communication
     Classroom and team                                             Parent education
        support to strengthen   5. Students’ Social and              Partnerships with
        instruction             Emotional Health Needs                 community agencies
                                     Professional                   Professional
4. Tiered Instruction Models            Development in                 Development for staff
and Adequate Learning Time              classroom                      on parent engagement
     Tiered intervention               management and
        system                          consistent behavioral
     Support English                   expectations.
        Language Learners            Faculty model for
     Increased learning time           behavior
                                     Transition Team
7. Strategic Use of Resources
and Adequate Budget
     Scheduling and budget
        use to maximize
        student learning
     Use of resources to
        sustain reforms

8. Aligned Curriculum
     Rigorous curriculum
     Focus on reading
       comprehension
     Consistent curriculum


                                                                                                    25
                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan




9. Effective Instruction
     Professional
        Development on
        effective instruction
     Differentiation of
        instruction
     Monitoring of
        instruction
     Mentoring Program for
        teachers

10. Student Assessment
     Balanced classroom
       assessments
     Consistency in Fountas
       & Pinnell and
       Benchmark
       assessments
     Data Walls

1. Effective School Leadership (Focus area 2)
The characteristics of the principal and the leadership team determine the dynamics of a school
community and the academic outcomes of school policies and procedures. When a school lacks
effective leadership, minimal learning takes places. School leadership, beginning with the
principal, must provide strong direction that sets a tone for the daily operations of the school
community. In the absence of such leadership, discipline breaks down, academics falter, and a
sense of organized chaos reigns. School leadership is not just about walking the halls and telling
students to ―pull up their pants.‖ Rather, it is about dynamic modeling that encourages
collegiality and promotes excellence in every aspect of the school community. Effective
principals hire teachers who are impassioned, organized, and who know their subject area well.
The leader is as much a manager as educational administrator. Good managers hire people that
will rise to every challenge and commit to success and excellence. A good principal is respected
by the entire educational community. Working in an environment of transparent openness, her
door is always open and she takes all telephone calls, she is willing to address even the most
difficult situations or, in some cases, the most difficult parents. She supports her teachers when
the situation warrants it, but she is not afraid to personally discuss problems with affected
teachers or staff. An effective principal puts the good of the community first, fosters policies that
promote the highest academic standards, and provides the staff training necessary to meet those
goals. She is not afraid to say ―no‖ to potential hindrances that might affect the attainment of
community based objectives and outcomes. A strong leader may not always be loved, but they
are respected by every member of the school community. Respect breeds an atmosphere of
professionalism. Professionalism does not tolerate mediocrity, but seeks to turn it into successful
alternatives leading toward excellence and acceleration.




                                                                                                   26
                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


a. Strengthen the School Leadership Team
In May, Ms. Kathleen G. Sullivan was appointed the new principal of Homer Street School. Ms.
Sullivan was transferred from Washington Elementary School, a school that was high
performing. Ms. Sullivan was chosen to lead Homer Street School for her work at Washington
Elementary School. When she was moved there six years ago, it was a labeled a‖ chronically
underperforming school‖. The school was at the bottom of the state in MCAS scores. In just five
years, Washington School moved to the top, with third grade being first in the state in 2009.
Under Ms. Sullivan’s leadership, Washington Elementary School was the first school in
Massachusetts to come out of restructuring in two years. Washington School is a Level 1 school
at this point in time.

Ms. Sullivan was allowed to bring some veteran staff with her from Washington:
 Mary Outhuse, Mathematics Instructional Leadership Specialist.
 Nancy Laino, English Language Arts Instructional Leadership Specialist
 Susan Gilbert, ELA Collaborative Professional Development Teacher /Writing Specialist.
 Catherine Roberts, Head Teacher, 3-5 expert.
 Allison McLeod, Title I Teacher and K-2 expert.

These staff members had worked collaboratively at Washington School and will continue to
share a common focus and goals as the Instructional Leadership Team at Homer Street School.
The team meets every Monday and Friday and will work to implement this Redesign Plan in all
areas of the school by designing professional development and in class coaching and modeling
that aligns with the focus and goals of the redesign plan. Four out of the 5 ILT members are also
members of the Redesign, Implementation, and Monitoring team. The ILT members share and
agree with Ms. Sullivan’s philosophy and are valuable resources that carry out the vision and
mission of Homer.

The two Instructional Leadership Specialists, as part of the collective bargaining agreement, will
work an additional ten days each school year. This time will allow for collaboration with the
principal on scheduling, student placement, review of data, orientating new teachers, and
ordering materials.

b. Hire highly qualified staffing
Under the ―Transformation Model,‖ Homer Street staff will not have to reapply for their
positions. Since 23% of Springfield Public Schools were declared ―Level 4,‖ the district is
limited as to its ability to transfer staff involuntarily without seriously affecting performing
schools. The principal has authority over hiring staff and will be allowed to hire from outside the
district.

As an introduction, Ms. Sullivan met with the Homer Street staff on several occasions. During
these meetings, she presented them with the troubling data for their school for the past nine
years. Ms. Sullivan then explained in great detail about her plan to revamp the school, to build
accountability into every aspect of the learning environment, and to create a high performing
school. After careful consideration, many of the staff sought positions elsewhere in the system,
some in other districts, and one in another state. By August 28, 2010 more than 80% of the staff
had resigned their positions at Homer Street School. Due to this circumstance, Ms. Sullivan was


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


able to hire the vast majority of the current Homer staff, both from within and outside the
district.

As noted in the District Redesign section of this proposal, the district’s manager of recruitment
assisted Homer’s principal by focusing district recruitment efforts particularly toward recruiting
outstanding and promising teachers who are passionate about teaching in turnaround schools. In
addition to widespread advertising, attending teacher recruitment fairs, and conducting district
teacher recruitment events, the district also recruited new teachers to the school from the state’s
Amazing Teacher website, a good source of high performing teachers who have an expressed
commitment to teach in underperforming schools.

c. Provide compensation for increased time for faculty
The Springfield Public Schools will significantly increase the amount of instructional time and
professional collaboration time at each Level 4 school. The current work year will be extended
by 165 additional hours, 135 of which will be used for instructional time, and 30 of which will be
used for professional development/collaboration time. In collaboration with the Redesign Team,
the principal will determine how these hours will be used. The professional development time
includes four days prior to the beginning of the school year. In recognition for the increased
hours, faculty will receive an annual stipend (not added to base salaries) on a range according to
the Step schedule ($3,105-4,353 in Year One, $3,260-4,408 in Year Two, $3,423=4,629 in Year
3).

d. Establish school-wide financial incentives for student progress
The district will provide financial incentives for all faculty within a Level 4 school. The financial
incentives will be tied to meeting the school’s measurable annual goals. Faculty may receive up
to a 5% bonus of their base pay for meeting one or more annual benchmarks (1% each for CPI
math, CPI ELA, MSG math, MSG ELA, student attendance). If funding is available, this bonus
may be up to 10% (2% each for CPI math, CPI ELA, student attendance; 1% each for MSG
math, MSG ELA, teacher attendance, external suspensions).

e. Integrate a student growth model into teacher evaluation
The Springfield Public Schools is committed to integrating a student growth model into its
teacher evaluation system. Once the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education (ESE) adopts a new teacher evaluation system, scheduled for March 2011, a new
teacher evaluation system that includes teacher attendance, student achievement, and student
growth data will be negotiated with the Springfield Education Association and implemented by
September 2011.

2. Principal’s Staffing Authority (Focus Areas 1 & 2)
Level 4 schools in Springfield will be extended the authority to select the staff that best meets the
needs of their students - this includes having the freedom to hire inside or outside the district
without regard to seniority, to set job descriptions and staffing patterns that best meet student
needs, to excess those staff that do not meet the school’s needs (as long as there is another
district placement for permanent teachers), and to include additional teacher evaluation
measures. A key goal for Level 4 schools is to build faculty who are unified around one
common vision.



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan




a. Strengthen staffing patterns to support quality instruction
Homer Street School’s leadership team will use their staffing flexibility in the following ways:

   Sheltered English Immersion Model: Homer will create and utilize a two-teacher Sheltered
    English Immersion Model in one classroom at every grade level. This two-teacher Sheltered
    English Immersion model is a method of instruction with research proven results. Each
    classroom will have one general elementary education teacher and a certified SEI teacher
    who assists the Limited English proficient students in the English language acquisition
    process. Nearly all classroom instruction is in English (the student’s native language is only
    used when necessary for clarification) but with curriculum and presentation designed for
    children who are learning the language. Books and instructional materials are in English and
    all reading, writing, and subject matter are taught in English.

   Academic Planning Times: In order to increase time on learning in the core academic
    areas, two of teachers’ regular planning times will be spent in core academic areas of
    mathematics and writing. The additional time spent will be used to enrich/extend the
    mathematics and writing across the curriculum.

   Team Time: Staffing flexibilities will also be utilized to create and maintain team time for
    all teachers. An additional planning time teacher will also be hired for a total of four; these
    are specialty teachers who free up teacher teams when students are in their classes The
    additional teacher will be utilized to allow team time for all grades. This will give teachers
    time to plan collaboratively and develop instruction that meets all students’ needs. Team time
    will also be utilized for meeting with ILS coaches or mentors, analyzing data such as through
    data meetings with A-Net, and for sharing best practices that exhibit student progress.

3. Professional Development And Structures For Collaboration (Focus Area 1)

Homer Street Elementary School will establish a collaborative environment through embedded
professional development and opportunities to engage in professional conversation that is
focused on instructional improvement and increased student achievement. Having the
opportunity to participate in professional development through extended days, grade level
meetings, and individual coaching from Instructional Leadership Specialists and department
chairs will enhance a clear vision for teachers’ instructional practice. Teachers also need follow-
up in the classroom with in-class modeling and support so they can connect professional
development to classroom practice.

a. Increase professional development on effective instructional practices
Through the recent Level 4 conciliation agreement, Homer School will now have a total of 100
professional development hours per school year. Professional Development on extended days
will be increased from the district’s requirement of 15 hours to 30 plus hours. Department Chairs
and the Instructional Leadership Team will differentiate content of professional development
dependent on the needs of the teachers (in addition to any district initiative). The planning
process for Professional Development will be in consideration of the various needs of staff,




                                                                                                   29
                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


especially new teachers. All professional development dates and topics will be approved through
Homer’s School Centered Decision Making Team.

Grade level team times will also be used to present professional development tailored to the
needs of each grade level. Two planning times each week will be devoted to professional
collaboration for a total of over 50 hours of professional development during the school day.
Team times will be used for topics such as utilizing curriculum materials, implementing best
practices, looking at student work, and making data based decisions. A leadership team member,
district resource person, or outside consultant will lead all sessions. All grade level team time
minutes will be logged and reviewed weekly by the Instructional Leadership Team.

All faculty will be trained in the practice of looking at student work and student assignments to
improve instructional practice, using standards and writing rubrics. A focus on reading
comprehension across the curriculum will be evident in professional development and include
connections to Focus on Results. All staff members will be required to attend SEI 4 category
trainings in the instruction of English Language Learners in addition to extended day
professional development on instructing English Language Learners. As well, professional
development will include strategies for behavior management, differentiation of instruction,
teaching Limited English Proficient and special education students, and parental engagement as
well as instructional strategies for all content areas. Other extended days will be utilized for
department chair meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and once a month faculty meetings.
These times will be utilized to ensure open lines of communication from administration to staff
and from staff to parents.

District postings for district-wide professional development will be available to all staff
members. Information from colleges for courses, including Homer Street’s educational partner,
American International College, will be made available to all staff members. Teachers will be
encouraged to attend courses and workshops for their own individually pursued learning.

b. Provide classroom and team support to strengthen instruction
Embedded professional development will be provided on site by the ELA and Mathematics
Instructional Leadership Specialists and the Writing/ELA Collaborative Professional
Development Teacher as well as the Teacher Leader and Department Chairs. The School
Leadership Team and department chairs will model best practices, especially in fully
implementing the ELA and mathematics blocks.

Teachers will be paired up with a Mentor based on strengths and content expertise. Special
consideration will be taken to support new teachers through the Mentoring program as well as
through support from Instructional Leadership Specialists, teacher leaders, department chairs,
and the head teacher. Teachers will be released to observe best practices within the building. An
―open door‖ culture will be established in all classrooms so that it will be a common occurrence
to have adult visitors in the classroom to observe, ask questions, and learn.

Collaboration will also take place during extended days and at department chair meetings to
establish consistency in practices across grade and school levels. Team time (by grade level) will
be established by hiring an additional planning time teacher. This time will be used to offer more



                                                                                                30
                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


opportunities to collaborate, discuss ideas, share practices, and plan curriculum. Instructional
Leadership Specialists, teacher leaders, and Department Chairs will also participate in team time
to facilitate sessions and provide guidance in discussions. Expectations, norms, and agendas will
be set for all meetings to keep meetings focused squarely upon improving instructional practices.
Grade level team time will also be utilized for regular data-based analysis and inquiry, using the
data inquiry cycle, focused on student learning progress. Teams will publicly display their
findings. A partnership with Achievement Network will provide the protocol for data analysis.

4. Tiered instruction models and adequate learning time (Focus area 1)

a. Strengthen the Tiered Instruction system
The school will adopt the district’s early warning/early indicator system and database. Under this
system, points are awarded on a scale for the following indicators, with a greater number of
points awarded for low scores, grades, attendance, etc.: Math, ELA, and Science scaled scores;
ELA and math grades; attendance; suspension; mobility; retention; and ELL, SPED, and
homeless status. Student scores are ranked from Accelerated to On Track, At Risk, High Risk,
and Very High Risk. A-Net interim assessments and other student benchmark data (from the
Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System) will also be used to guide student
placement in interventions and monitor student progress.
The school will organize its tiered intervention in the following manner:

   Core – Provide a strong standards-based instructional core program for all students. This core
    is delivered in a 150-minute literacy block for elementary schools. Math core instruction is
    delivered in a 90-minute instructional block, with Math Investigations used as the core
    program in elementary schools.
   Tier 1 – Provide in-class interventions
   Tier 2 – Provide "pull out" or separate class interventions for specific groups of students
    beyond the core instruction
   Tier 3 – Provide intensive intervention for very small groups or 1 to 1 interventions

Using the early warning indicator system, all students placed in one of the three risk categories
will be identified for tiered academic or social service intervention. The ILT and Student
Teacher Assistance Team (STAT) will monitor the placement of students in each tier based on
the data. Students will then be matched and scheduled with the appropriate intervention based
on analysis of the data and teacher input. Title I teachers will be utilized to provide Tiered
Interventions in reading using Harcourt and Fountas & Pinnell interventions. The Title I
teachers are trained and experienced individuals who have exemplary knowledge of the core
curriculum and instructional strategies that support struggling students. The counselors will
provide social service interventions or the outside resources for the services. Student assignment
to intervention groups will be revisited through examination of student progress quarterly, and
adjusted if needed.

The Instructional Leadership Team will share data with teachers during team time and
individually so that all instructors can modify instruction to meet the needs of all students. All
students will receive targeted services based on need by differentiating instruction. All teachers
will actively participate in professional development in differentiated instruction. The ILT and


                                                                                                 31
                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


Department Chairs will ensure that best practices from professional development are initiated in
classrooms through frequent informal learning walks.

The STAT will be utilized by teachers as a screening process for students who are at risk and are
not making progress in the Tiered Instruction model. STAT is a team of teachers and counselors
who work together with parents and the classroom teacher to develop strategies to meet the
academic, social-emotional, or educational needs of the student. The function of STAT is to
assess and provide alternative instructional, physical, or psychological support to students.
When deemed necessary, the STAT chairperson will provide information about outside resources
for parents. Student Success Plans (the district’s record keeping of recommendations for and
progress of students at risk) will be utilized to track progress of students identified for Tier 2 and
3.

                                  Tier 2 and Tier 3 Interventions
                     ELA                                                  Mathematics
Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy                   ALEKS
Interventions
Harcourt Interventions                                 Success Maker
Targeted standards based teacher developed             Targeted standards based teacher developed
lessons                                                lessons

b. Accelerate the learning of English Language Learners
The Springfield Public Schools has drafted a new district-wide comprehensive plan for
accelerating the achievement of English Language Learners in the district which was approved
by the school committee in September 2010. The district will assist each Level 4 school to
implement all phases of the plan, including intake, annual assessment, instructional
programming, staffing, professional development, diversity of language programs, monitoring
progress and transitions as students become more proficient, and evaluation of programs. There
will be a strong focus upon accurate assessment of students’ language proficiency and matching
each student with appropriate services (i.e., amount of instructional time, teacher qualifications,
curriculum, and the intervention) based upon proficiency levels.

All teachers at Homer Street School will take part in Professional Development on instructing
LEP students through the district’s Professional Development as well as school-based
professional development. LEP students will also take part in additional instruction in the
English language during ESOL classes. The curriculum will be adjusted to meet the needs of all
learners and to provide adequate time to allow for mastery. Teachers will attend Professional
Development on meeting the needs of all learners, but especially LEP and SPED students.
Additionally, the number of Sheltered English Instruction teachers at Homer Street School will
be increased in order to provide the optimum services to all LEP students at each grade level by
providing a two-teacher SEI model for all grades. This model is proven to be most successful of
all SEI models.

c. Increase learning time
The impact of quality, rigorous educational experiences is far more effective than increasing the
hours of ineffective instruction. Therefore, Homer Street School will first focus on increasing


                                                                                                    32
                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


effective academic learning time during the regular school day. Instructional time allotments will
be adhered to as per the District’s Instructional Time Allotment Plan by maintaining an
uninterrupted 2.5 hour ELA Block as well as a 90 minute mathematics block. Evaluation and
reorganization of the building schedule, self-contained classrooms, and Academic Planning
Times will maximize the amount of time spent being academically engaged. Classroom
management has also been a hindrance to time on learning in the classrooms at Homer Street
School. Professional Development in behavioral and classroom management as well as clear,
consistent expectations will decrease disruptions to time on learning. This change will decrease
classroom disruptions and increase time on learning. The administration will fully support staff
in their endeavors to maintain quality learning environments.

Mathematics and writing planning time will be added to supplement mathematics and writing
instruction in all grade levels. The mathematics and writing planning time teacher will reinforce
and enrich the mathematics and writing curriculum by working collaboratively with the
classroom teachers to create lessons that meet the needs all of the learners in each classroom,
especially to address learning gaps. These teachers free up grade level teachers to have common
planning time that will be utilized for grade level collaboration and professional development.

The school day will be expanded 45 minutes a day that will add an additional 135 hours of
instructional time to the school year. The increase in instructional minutes will allow for
scheduling changes that will increase reading, writing, and mathematics instructional time.
Planning time will also be increased through the use of specialists which will allow additional
time for team planning, looking at student work, embedded professional development, and
assessment feedback all of which will have a direct impact on instruction. Since two of the
specialist times are mathematics and writing, this will also expand mathematics and writing
instructional minutes. The additional 45 minutes will be focused on a Content Area Reading
Expansion (C.A.R.E.). Under this initiative, all areas of the curriculum will receive additional
instructional time focused on reading in the content areas through a floating/flexible 45 minute
block that allows staff to be reassigned to areas of need based on the data. More staff will be
utilized during this time to provide students with interventions and extensions as needed.
Reading strategies will be utilized across the curriculum in conjunction with the school’s
instructional focus on comprehension. Although reading and mathematics are our main focus,
all content areas will be impacted during this period including social studies and science.
Professional development for teachers will be provided so they are prepared to implement the
C.A.R.E initiative. The purpose of this CARE program is to provide teachers with research-
based and classroom tested information about content area reading instruction, along with
specific teaching suggestions that can be used with students. Specifically, teachers can provide
students with instruction that: familiarizes them with the structure of expository text; promotes
content area vocabulary development; promotes word identification skills; builds reading
fluency; and emphasizes and directly teaches how, why, when, and where to use a repertoire of
comprehension strategies.

5. Students’ Social, Emotional, And Health Needs (Focus Areas 2 & 3)
Children in today's society face many stresses from a variety of sources that have a major impact
on their psychosocial adjustment and academic performance in school. These stressful events
and their consequences on the quality of life and academic success are particularly significant.



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


Many schools have adopted strategies to help students who are impacted by stressful life events
to deal effectively with their problems in an attempt to reduce school failure and school dropout
rates among these students. The evidence supports the claim that school-based services have a
positive impact on students' social and emotional well-being as well as on their academic
achievements. At Homer Street School, during the 2009-2010 academic year 45% of the STAT
referrals were for behavior which is a prime indicator to the Leadership Team that students’
social and emotional needs were not met. Please be mindful that a Vice Principal, a counselor
and a deportment teacher were all employed during this time. On the 2008-2009 Harris Poll,
59% of students responded that the environment of Homer Street School was not clean and in
good condition. It is evident that the environment needs updating to create a welcoming, safe
environment for all stakeholders. According to an end of the year survey completed by the
parent facilitator (72% of parents) and from phone complaints from parents, communication
between home and school was problematic. The School Leadership Team has determined that a
lack of follow through to homes and a lack of communication have been detrimental to the
home-school connection and to student achievement. A possible cause for this lack of
communication was that teachers were not able to communicate with parents in their home
language.

a. Strengthen the role of the counselor
The counselor must take a proactive approach to solving student issues. The counselor will log
sessions with students who require social and emotional support as stated in their IEPs. Tracking
of counselors’ sessions with students will provide evidence of identification of significant
concerns on each student and be used to provide information for referral to Student Teacher
Assistance Team (STAT) or to outside services. Outside services will be contacted when needed
based on counselors’ records. The counselor will enhance her knowledge of services and
organizations available to parents and students. The counselor will coordinate outside services
when necessary with collaboration with parents to address students’ social and emotional needs.

An important aspect of the counselor’s role will be to address the high incidence of student
absenteeism. The counselor will make contact with parents/guardians on a daily basis to
investigate absences and to provide support for the students to attend school regularly.

As well, another counselor is required to address the social and emotional needs of all students
due to a high rate of students with required counseling written into their IEPs. The counselor is
instrumental in monitoring and supporting students’ social and emotional needs in order to build
a culture of student support and success. Currently one counselor’s time is consumed by the
demands of students’ IEPs, as the majority of Special Education students have counseling as part
of the IEPs. A second counselor would allow for all students to be supported in their social and
emotional needs so they may concentrate on their academics. A second counselor will lead to
fewer office and STAT referrals due to behavior.

b. Eliminate the Deportment Teacher and provide professional development in classroom
   management
The evidence of the high suspension rate (121students in 2009-2010) indicates that the
deportment teacher position was not meeting the social and emotional needs of the students.
Removing this position and providing teachers with professional development in classroom



                                                                                                34
                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


management will decrease the suspension rate. The entire faculty will be trained in ―Assertive
Discipline‖ by Lee Canter. We will supplement this training with ―The First Days of School‖ by
Harry Wong and ―Classroom Management‖ by ASCD (Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development).

c. Implement the Student Teacher Assistance Team
Students concerns will be addressed through the STAT (Student Teacher Assistance Team)
process. The STAT will be comprised of the Head Teacher, the Instructional Leadership
Specialist (ILS) for Mathematics, the ILS for English Language Arts, the writing specialist, a
special education teacher, the counselor, teachers working with the student, and the nurse if the
child is on medication or there is a physical concern. The STAT team will be available for
teachers who have concerns about students who have not been making adequate progress.
Intervention strategies will be arranged to increase the students’ rate of progress and to monitor
the students’ progress.

d. Implement the Transition Team
The transition team will include members of the School Leadership Team and content area or
program specific teachers who will assess incoming students. All new students will be screened
to provide for an efficient and smooth transition to Homer Street School. Assessments for the
new students will include Fountas & Pennell to determine reading level and placement. All other
assessments will be grade specific. This team will be asked to address the high mobility of
students at Homer Street School.

e. Provide a faculty model for student behavior
The adults at Homer Street School must commit themselves to the students and families of our
school. We want to create a school culture in which every member feels valued. We want to
create a network in which all parties feel supported. We will hold students, staff, and community
members to high levels of conduct and achievement.

Students need role models, they need someone to look up to, someone to connect with, and that
someone can be a teacher. The success of a person’s journey can be influenced by the people
with whom they make connections. In order to change the school culture at Homer Street School
and to provide positive role models for student behavior, the principal and leadership team will
ask that the Homer Street staff accept a total commitment to model the expectations, the culture,
and the conduct that we want to inspire in our students. Staff will model through their
interactions with colleagues and students the behaviors which they expect of students. Staff will
be expected to have a 94.5% attendance rate. When all staff use significant words and actions,
they increase the likelihood of eliciting positive behaviors from other people.

6. Family-School Relationships (Focus areas 2 & 3)
Just as certain instructional strategies can help a school to reach its learning goals, family and
community engagement can be a strategy for getting students reading at grade level, closing
achievement gaps, and motivating students for long-term educational success. Researchers
found that there is a positive relationship between having strong home-school partnerships and
desirable student outcomes. Family engagement interventions have been associated with
placement in advanced courses and other enrichment programs. With information about



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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


opportunities for students, parents could be better advocates for their children. Parent
engagement is also linked to higher rates of school attendance, graduation, and pursuit of higher
education. Beyond student outcomes, parents in schools with partnerships in place also seem to
benefit, becoming more likely to pursue additional involvement in school leadership and
decision-making. According to research in several communities, parents are involved and have
the capacity to be involved in their children's education, regardless of their own education level,
ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Parents from varied backgrounds can encourage their
children about school, offer advice, talk to them about higher education, and keep them focused
on learning and homework. They have the desire to be involved, though the level and quality of
their involvement may differ. We must build on parents' commitment by making meaningful
family involvement a strategy for achieving whole-school goals at Homer Street Elementary
School.

a. Establish a Family Engagement Team and increased school-home communication
According to the Harris Poll a large number of parents felt that there was a problem with
communication between the families and the school. A Parent Engagement Team consisting of
the counselor, parent facilitator, and teacher translators will work together to provide
communication to parents through home visits, phone calls, and Connect-Ed messages in the
parents’ home languages. Communication in native languages has been a deficit for Homer
Street School. Doing so will allow for all stakeholders to be informed members of the school
community. The Parent Facilitator will maintain logs of communication with parents. A Parent
Information bulletin board and resource area will be established for parents to utilize.

b. Promote parent education
The Parent Engagement Team will promote parent education through the Springfield Parent
Academy, including computer courses, GED programs, and courses on how to assist their
child(ren)’s learning. The Springfield Parent Academy is a collaborative community-based
effort. Its network of family learning opportunities is comprised of offerings from the Springfield
Public Schools, community and faith-based organizations, local businesses and other educational
institutions. The team will assist limited English proficient parents in accessing adult basic
education programs to help improve their English language skills. The Adult Basic Education
programs are vital in assisting limited English proficient parents in becoming literate in the
English language so they can better support their children in their education and assist in
building a culture of academic success.

c. Connect parents with community agencies
The STAT and guidance counselors will connect with a base of agencies that families can be
referred to for social service and health needs. We will forge connections with families from
culturally diverse backgrounds, connect families with schools in homework help; connect
school, family, and community for effective school reform; connect school, family, and
community through developmental approaches and integrated services; connect school, family,
and community to support student transitions throughout the education system; and prepare
educators and other school personnel to make connections between schools, families, and
communities. Parents will be referred to agencies including the Big-Y Homework Help Line,
Gandara Center, BHN Crisis Services, Child Guidance Clinic, and Bay state Health Services.




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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


d. Professional development for staff on parent engagement
All staff members will have professional development in methods to increase parental
involvement. Working effectively with parents includes learning how to communicate with
them, conduct parent-teacher conferences, include parents as resources, and use community
resources to provide support services for families. Staff will be provided with strategies and
techniques to help them develop a deeper understanding of the communities they serve and
strategies for improving interpersonal skills and communication skills, such as Tips for Great
Parent Conferences:

    Tips for Great Parent Conferences
     Be prepared. Pull the child's file and any relevant documents ahead of time and
       familiarize yourself with the information.
     Sit next to the parent at a table instead of sitting behind your desk.
     Begin the conference by saying something positive about the student.
     Avoid any educational jargon that might intimidate the parent.
     Share evidence of student academic progress
     Ask the parent for his/her opinion, suggestions, and concerns and listen carefully.
     Send a thank you note home with the student the following week.

e. Increase teacher communication with parents
There are many reasons why students' parents are not involved in their children's education.
Some of them don't have cars and have trouble getting from home to classroom after hours.
Some have employers who won't allow them to take time off without losing a day's pay. In
addition to transportation, employment, and childcare issues, many parents are faced with
language barriers and negative feelings about school that make meeting with their child’s teacher
an uncomfortable experience. These parents can and will become involved in their children's
education when teachers take the time to reach out to them. This can be difficult and time-
consuming, but well worth the effort.

   Research shows that children do better in school when parents talk often with teachers and
    become involved in the school. There are number of ways that parents and teachers can
    communicate with each other, in addition to scheduled parent-teacher conferences. Close
    communications between parents and teachers can help the student. Parents who participate
    in school activities and events will have added opportunities to communicate with teachers.
   Becoming involved with parent-teacher organizations (PTO) gives the teacher and parent the
    possibility to interact outside the classroom. In addition, the parent also will have input into
    decisions that may affect their child's education.
    Teachers usually welcome meeting their students' parents early in the school year. Meet the
    Teacher Night will be held in September, with the goal of helping the teacher better
    understand the parent, the child, and how the parent will support the education of their
    student. Teachers appreciate knowing that parents are concerned and interested in their
    child's progress. Such an event helps open the lines of communication. Letters of
    expectations from the teachers will also be shared with parents so that they are
    knowledgeable about the years expectations.
   Phone calls and home visits are also good ways to meet families and keep them informed
    about their student’s progress. Teachers will make a positive phone call to each house at


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


    some point during the first nine weeks. They will tell parents about a good grade or some
    other success that their child experienced at school. This will help the parents feel more
    comfortable because they don't have to cringe every time they get a call from their child's
    teacher. As well, this communication lets the children know that you are communicating with
    their parents on a regular basis. A positive relationship with a parent can make a huge
    difference if problems arise later in the year.
   Flexible scheduling for conferences will allow parent-teacher conferences scheduled before
    the first report card for the school year. For parents and teachers, this is a chance to talk one-
    on-one about the student. The parent-teacher conference is a good opportunity to launch a
    partnership between parent and teacher that will function during the school year. Teachers
    will make themselves available for conferences after five o’clock a couple of days a month
    and encourage parents to bring their younger children along if they have trouble getting a
    sitter. Alternatively, if it is difficult for parents to get into school, teachers will be asked to
    schedule a phone conference.
   Weekly folders will be sent home weekly and used to communicate with parents each week.
    The folders will include graded work and comments on classwork, behavior, and any other
    concerns, with a form that reserves space for parents to write back. Folders will be signed by
    parents and returned on Mondays. Teachers will keep the comment sheets as documentation
    of parent/teacher communication.
   The school will reach out to the parents of students by sending home parent surveys during
    the first week of school. These surveys ask about their child and their goals for this year. The
    survey will note to parents the fact that they know their child best and help the parents see
    that we value their input, while providing teachers with information we wouldn’t have known
    otherwise. When the parents come in for their first conference, faculty will use the completed
    survey to "break the ice" and to stimulate discussion. Parent surveys will be sent home again
    three weeks into the year asking parents to comment on how their child is adjusting to class
    and inviting them to relate any concerns they might have.

f. Integrate workforce development into the curriculum
Homer Street Elementary School students will have career education integrated into the core
curriculum. This will allow our elementary students to remain open to new career ideas and
possibilities. Through this instruction, our students will build awareness of self, personal
interactions, school, and the workforce. Career awareness programs will be integrated into our
curricula and will use age appropriate materials that match the developmental levels of the
students. Age appropriate activities will expose students to a variety of different jobs, career
information sources, and the reasons why people work.

7. Strategic Use Of Resources And Adequate Budget (Focus Area 1)
When it comes to helping students learn, how well schools use people, time, and money can be
even more important than how many resources they receive. To improve performance and
address the achievement gap, schools and districts must fundamentally restructure the way they
use their resources to focus less on the quantity of staff and more on the quality of leadership and
instruction.




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


a. Use budget flexibility to support the redesign plan
 Homer Street Elementary School will continue to receive staffing according to the District
   Allocation Formula. The principal will have flexibility over the building staffing pattern, as
   well as all discretionary funds. We will strategically organize resources to ensure teaching
   quality, individual attention and academic time. The principal will use this budget flexibility
   to design a resource allocation to provide concentration and support in the core academic
   areas. To insure improvement in Mathematics and Reading we will provide additional
   academic time by hiring planning time teachers who are Mathematics and Writing
   specialists.
 Schedules will be rewritten to ensure optimum time is dedicated to learning and to schedule
   staff to provide support for core academic areas. For example Title I staff, English Language
   Learners (ELL) teachers and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers will be
   utilized during reading and mathematics to lower class size and to provide quality instruction.
 Funds will be used to provide team times that will be utilized for additional professional
   development and collaboration to improve instruction.
 Funds will be allocated to provide additional professional development for all staff.

b. District support of financial plan
The Homer Street School Redesign Plan is developed with the intent to build capacity over three
years and to sustain the improvement work in the following years. The financial plan is
constructed using the District’s general schools funds in a discretionary manner, by forming a
reallocation formula based on the priority of students’ needs, amount of personnel, time, and
available space. The District will provide the school with a sum based on a per pupil budget
model, using integrated fund sources while remaining conscious of the specific requirements of
each funding source. Every year the Instructional Team will meet with the principal to redesign
an integrated budget that utilizes all revenue sources to support the vision and mission of Homer
Street School.

Employing a combination of funds, the Springfield Public Schools will support the funding of
the    various initiatives at Homer Street Elementary School:
 SEI Category training
 ALEKs
 Stipends for additional professional development
 Stipends for additional team time to be used for collaboration
 Additional technology pieces (smart boards) and training, additional software and hardware
 An additional counselor
 Additional SEI teachers to provide the two teacher model at all grade levels
 An additional ESOL teacher
 Wireless Network for the building
 Bulletin boards for rooms and hallways for display of work
 Stipend for additional hours for a longer day or year
 Intervention programs in ELA and Math
 Enrichment programs
 Formative assessment
 Consultants


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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


   Financial incentives for reaching goals
   Field trip monies to build schema for students
   General Education teaching staff, including three planning time teachers which will include
    one Physical Education teacher, one Mathematics Enrichment teacher, and one Writing
    teacher.
   Title I funds will be expended for three teaching positions, one academic resource K-2, one
    academic resource3-5 and one Intervention specialist.

c. Develop a plan to sustain the reforms
With this Design Plan, Homer Street Elementary School will build internal facility to sustain
progress by building a solid foundation so that when the Title I SIG grants have ended, Homer
Street Elementary School will be able to continue its mission.

   At the completion of the three years Homer Street Elementary School will have built an
    internal support system based on collaboration, professional development, a mentoring
    system, shared values, and a commitment to uphold high expectations. Accountability and
    mutual support will be the driving force in sustaining the academic progress experienced at
    Homer Street Elementary School. Data-based instruction and data based decisions will be
    embedded throughout the school, and will help maintain the focus on instructional
    improvement.
   The positions funded through the temporary funds will be triage positions that will be
    eventually eased out with the elimination of certain issues currently existing at the building.
    Training will be sustained by the Instructional Leadership Specicalists (ILS), the Head
    teacher, and the department heads.

The following steps will be taken to sustain our change:
   1. Develop a Reform-Support Infrastructure
    Reorganize district policies, practices, norms, communication mechanisms, support
       structures, and incentives to support change.
    Identify and eliminate dysfunctional structures and practices.
    Develop a creative communication networking system for a high level of information
       sharing.
    Focus on the ability to adapt innovations to fit needs, both student and staff.
    Create an atmosphere of consistent and pervasive use of formative assessment, reflection,
       and action research that captures the lessons of implementation and change.
    Continue to provide abundant professional development by facilitating an on-going,
       interactive, flexible, learning environment for developing new knowledge and skills

    2. Use Instructional Coaches / Facilitators to Build Capacity
     Because of the complexity of implementing and sustaining large-scale change initiatives,
       in addition to the principal and teacher leadership, a combination of external and internal
       instructional facilitators or coaches will play a crucial role - and are necessary for
       supporting teachers in the change process.
     Designated instructional coaches will provide support, technical assistance, and clarity
       about new change projects. The presence of an instructional coach will contribute to



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


       internal capacity building and to a greater sense of personal mastery, confidence, and
       ownership in school staff.
      Key to coaches' effectiveness will be their ability to provide abundant, school-based
       professional development that will feature formal training, coaching, modeling and
       demonstrations, collaborative reflection, and formative evaluation. These allow for adult
       learning and a most active, sustainable change process.
      Coaches working together with the principal and Leadership team will balance pressure
       with support. Research has shown that educational innovations live or die by the amount
       and quality of assistance and coaching that teachers receive. Pressure without support can
       lead to resistance and alienation, and support without pressure can result only in
       maintaining the status quo.
      Facilitators will provide the vehicles and structure for the provision of adult learning
       time. As we attempt to maintain innovations, we will provide teachers with adult learning
       time that is structured time for planning, reflection, application with coaching, and peer
       discussions.

   3. Increase Clarity and Reduce Fragmentation and Overload
   As solutions get piled on top of other solutions and frequent changes occur, it creates
   overload and clutter. Justifiably, educators respond to this clutter with, "This too shall pass."
   When teachers do not readily see the connections or do not know the priorities, they respond
   with inertia and fall back to what they know best. Goals should be clear, with well-stated
   priorities and policy coherence and coordination. We will define school expectations and
   reform ownership in terms of school-wide data and hold everyone accountable for the data
   benchmarks.

   4. Continued District Support
   The Springfield Public Schools will continue to provide support to Homer Street School
   beyond the life of the federal grant by ensuring that the flexibilities over staffing, budget,
   curriculum, and scheduling continue to be under the control of the Principal and the
   Leadership Team. The District will support the school with the excessing of staff who do not
   maintain the vision and mission of Homer Street Elementary School .The District will
   support the school the school with its choice of best practices and will attempt to eliminate
   any condition that will interfere with the academic progress of the students. The District will
   also support the school with a valid and reliable data assessment tools as well as an organized
   and timely manner to report the data to the school.

8. Aligned Curriculum (Focus Area 1)

a. Provide all students with a consistent, academically rigorous curriculum
Homer Street School will provide all students with an academically rigorous curriculum that
prepares them to be lifelong learners with 21st century skills. The curriculum will be aligned to
state standards, across grade levels, and grounded in students’ developmental and academic
needs. In order to ensure alignment with the state standards across grade levels and subject
areas, the Springfield Public Schools has created pacing and instructional guides for all core
academic disciplines including the district’s Reading Instructional Guide, Mathematics
Instructional Guide, Science Instructional Guide, and Social Studies Instructional Guide. The



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                  Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


instructional guides provide standards-aligned themes, key questions, and learning outcomes and
divide the state standards by grade level into the months of the school year. All Springfield
Public Schools are expected to use the pacing and instructional guides as a basis for their
curriculum.

The use of the district’s pacing and instructional guides will provide consistency in content
across the school. All classrooms will utilize the Investigations curriculum for mathematics and
the Harcourt reading materials for ELA. Teachers will be trained in these curriculum models as
well as receive coaching on the best practices in the utilization of these materials. A consistent
writing program will also be established by utilizing a writing specialist who will model a
consistent writing process for all teachers and provide embedded professional development. A
strong focus will be on comparing open response to composition writing across the curriculum.
District specialists and department chairs will be utilized in science and social studies to ensure
all classrooms are following the curriculum and using materials appropriately.

Common rubrics and exemplars will be utilized to build consistency in expectations.
Professional development will be provided for teachers to develop these rubrics and exemplars.
Rubrics and exemplars will be used daily in classroom instruction. Students will understand the
significance of the rubrics and how to improve their scores.

b. Integrate reading comprehension across the curriculum
Homer Street School will incorporate their core instructional focus of reading comprehension
into all areas of the curriculum. The leadership team will work with teachers to integrate
comprehension strategies across all subject areas in all grades. This focus will be established
through Professional Development on extended days and during grade level team times. All
classrooms will utilize the acronym DREAM (Determine author’s purpose, Re-read to clarify,
Engage your mind, Attack unknown words, and Make connections) to develop students’
comprehension as well as other strategies such as activating prior knowledge, questioning,
summarizing, and using graphic organizers. Comprehension strategies across the curriculum
will be demonstrated during in-class modeling by the Instructional Leadership Team. The
additional instructional time added each day will also focus on reading across the content areas.

9. Effective Instruction (Focus Area 1)

a. Adopt consistent academic expectations
Teachers, counselors, parents, and community stakeholders alike must believe that all students
are capable of achieving at high levels and that all must be prepared to succeed. It is critical that
all school staff embrace students’ cultural differences and diverse learning styles as assets to the
learning process, not impediments to rigorous preparation. To help narrow achievement gaps,
Homer Street Elementary School will demonstrate high expectations, tangibly embedded in
policy and practice, that will motivate students to achieve academically and help create a culture
of success within the school. Staff will be provided with professional development opportunities
that address value and belief systems that perpetuate high positive expectations. At Homer Street
Elementary School, all staff will expect that all students are capable of being prepared to enroll
and succeed in college. All students will be provided with rigorous coursework along with the
academic and social support they need to succeed.



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan




In order to sustain high academic expectations, we will systematically use student performance
data, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and disability status—in
order to identify achievement gaps and continuously improve student outcomes.

b. Provide professional development on effective instruction
The School Leadership Team will model, monitor, and present professional development that
will increase teacher implementation of best practices including; utilizing standards based
curriculum, creating an environment conducive to learning with consistent routines and
procedures being followed daily, and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learners
(especially Limited English Proficient and Special Education students). The new Leadership
Team will make substantial changes to the routines and practices at Homer Street School. The
school is in need of best practices that are proven to be successful. Through Professional
Development, all staff members will learn instructional strategies for increasing student
achievement and meeting the needs of individual learners. The Leadership Team will actively
monitor daily instruction through daily classroom visits and provide feedback and support so
there is a connection between professional development and classroom practice. Best practices
will be modeled by the School Leadership Team and monitored with a gradual release of
responsibilities. Weekly team meetings and classroom observations will inform the Leadership
Team of individual needs

c. Differentiate instruction
Differentiation of instruction will be used in all areas of the curriculum to ensure the curriculum
is academically challenging to all students. Areas of the curriculum will be enriched with
additional curriculum resources to create a more rigorous curriculum. The district pacing and
instructional guides are helpful, but are not as rigorous and engaging as needed by some
students. The Harcourt reading materials need to be supplemented by additional leveled literacy
books for guided reading, fluency reinforcement materials, and Words their Way for spelling
patterns and phonics. In mathematics, additional materials are needed for MCAS review
questions

d. Monitor Instruction
Instruction will monitored through learning walks and observations by principal or designee
where all staff will be observed exhibiting strategies and techniques acquired in professional
development. Assessment data from A-Net assessments, Fountas & Pinnell assessments, district
unit/quarterly assessments in all content areas, district writing samples, and building writing
samples will also be used to monitor instruction. Data from assessments will be discussed during
grade level team times and feedback will be given to the teachers from the Leadership Team. All
grade levels will develop plans on how to modify instruction to meet the needs of all learners
based on assessment data. 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers will utilize the item analysis process
from A-Net and will create action plans to modify their instruction when necessary.

e Mentoring Program
A teacher mentoring program will assist in increasing effective instruction by allowing teachers
to observe best practices and to assist them in transferring these practices to their classrooms.
This program will pair teachers based on their instructional strengthens and weaknesses. The



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


mentors will work in collaboration with the School Leadership Team and Department Chairs to
develop best practices in all classrooms.

10. Student Assessment (Focus Area 1)

a. Use balanced classroom assessments
All classrooms will utilize both formative assessments - journal reflections, quizzes, teacher
observation, performance assessments - as well as summative assessments - standardized tests,
essays, unit tests, district unit and quarterly assessments - to create a balanced approach to
assessing all students. Teachers will use a protocol for looking at student work to guide their
daily instruction and curriculum revisions. The ILT and department chairs will model this
protocol through professional development on extended day and at grade level team times.

b. Consistent Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Scoring
Fountas and Pinnell assessments (a developmentally appropriate student assessment from
kindergarten through grade five) will be completed by a designee in order to have consistency in
scoring. In the past a team of literacy teachers completed the assessments, however the scores
were not consistent or able to be completed in a timely fashion. This designee will also be
responsible for tracking student progress and informing classroom teachers of individual student
needs. This data will be measurable and analyzed three times a year so it can be used to plan
instruction. Individual, classroom, grade level, and school wide goals will be established to
improve proficiency on Fountas and Pinnell assessments.

c. Benchmark Assessments
Achievement Network will provide rigorous assessments with a 48 hour turnaround time on
reports for immediate ways to identify gaps in student learning and predict year end
performance. There will be Math and ELA assessments administered in grades 3-5 every 6-7
weeks. These assessments are aligned to the state standards and degree of difficulty. In addition
Achievement Network has structured face to face coaching with precise interventions tied to
increasing achievement. Data analysis will be conducted by the Instructional Leadership Team
and staff every 6 weeks to identify students and standards in need of intervention. Tiered
Instruction will be utilized to fulfill student needs.

d. Data Walls and monitoring student progress
Data walls will be utilized in every classroom to show student progress and set individual goals
with students. Every classroom will have a student friendly data wall based on the Fountas and
Pinnell assessment. All 3rd, 4th, and 5th classrooms will also post A-Net assessment data in a
manner that will track student progress and help set goals for improvement. Additional data
walls will also be established in the professional development room. These data walls will
display multiple sources of data such as MCAS scores, school-wide Fountas and Pinnell
assessments, and mathematics assessments. This data wall will be regularly analyzed by faculty
and administrators to assess student progress. Goals will be set forth for individuals and grade
level progress. Achievements will be celebrated and recognized to inspire students.




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                   Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


                                        Appendix
                                  Homer Street School
                        Level 4 Local Stakeholder Group Meeting

Facilitator----Rosemary Kalloch


Family-School Relationships
 Home visits-develop rapport, address issues (i.e.-suspensions)
 Parents need to feel a part of child’s education
 Parents need to feel a part of ―the process‖
 Weekly positive feedback, one concern-with return signature & phone # from parent; avoid only
   negative feedback
 Utilize other outside strategies, as well (avoid over-reliance on parents)
 (AIC) College partnerships
 Family & community members
 Parent workshops-teach parent skills
 Family & community invited to student performances/presentations of their learning
 Inclusive, inviting environment(diverse, multi-lingual, etc.); comprehensive understanding of the
   students & families we serve
 Communication in a variety of languages
 Be considerate of parent/guardian work schedules, etc; provide options & food
 Culture of ―service‖ to our parents in order to help them help their child-parents rule!
 Address building quality issues
 Involve parents in ―success plan‖ for their child

Transitional Leadership
 New team (distributive leadership)
 Build capacity
 Empowering leadership

Effective Teachers & Instruction
 Develop partners (AIC, businesses, Spfld. College) interns
 PD on researched-based reading, differentiated instruction
 Follow-up on PD
 ILS coaching
 Team time & collaboration (planning, instruction)
 Monitoring through data

Culture of High Expectations
 Pinpoint deficiencies in after school programs
 Underachievers in after school programs
 IEP’S fully implemented for individual students
 ELL remedial reading
 Qualified multi-lingual, bilingual teachers; diverse teaching staff
 Multi-lingual, multi-cultural approach
 Use native language in conjunction with English practices



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


Professional Development
 ELL & SPED Specific-Category Training-for all teachers
 Cross-curriculum training & planning
 Training & time to collaborate across all levels
 Reading & implementing IEP’S

Social-Emotional Supports
 Safe learning environment
 Surrounding environment
 Sufficient supervision at arrival & dismissal
 Social-emotional health
 Additional counselor
 Attendance efforts
 Physical space health hazards
 After school program to address emotional needs

Other:
 Embed community services within the school building
 One counselor per 200 students (for all Level 4)
 Baby-sitting services (AIC student volunteers)
 Recognize student helpers & parent helpers
 Give children a way to recognize positive strides




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


                                             Appendix B

                                 Springfield Public Schools
                       Partner Organizations with Our Level 4 Schools

The following organizations are the Springfield Public Schools major organizational partners in
our effort to raise student achievement in our ten Level 4 schools:

Focus On Results

For over a decade, Focus On Results has been working across the United States and Canada with
Pre‐K to 12 administrators and teachers to strengthen instruction and learning, leading to
improved results for every student. We begin with the knowledge that better teaching is the key
to better learning. Our customized tools and processes help schools and their leaders create the
right conditions for the success of their students. This work helps give students the strong
educational foundation they need to compete in the 21st century economy.

What we do:
 We find results-oriented solutions to the challenge of educating all students at high levels.
 We bring best practices, a proven track record of achieving results, and a sense of
 urgency to our clients.
 We design specific solutions for each district with which we work.
 We build capacity so that districts can turn around their schools
 We give educators concrete tools and processes they can use to achieve results.
 Our work helps every student, every teacher, and every school.
 Our focus is on helping key personnel work collaboratively.
 We provide hands‐on and follow‐up support to teachers and administrators.
 We bring the focus back on the practical work of improving what happens every day in the
  classroom and increasing the effectiveness of all teachers.

The Focus On Results team consists of seasoned education professionals with decades
of experience as teachers and administrators at both the school and district levels. We understand
that teachers and schools cannot change alone; we help the district see the big picture.

In Springfield, FOR is assisting each Level 4 school to create an Instructional Leadership Team,
and then select and implement an instructional focus, tracking data to assess progress and
outcomes.

Achievement Network

The Achievement Network (ANet) is an education nonprofit founded in 2005 to provide schools
that serve high-need students with effective data-driven strategies to identify and close gaps in
student learning and embed these strategies into schools’ everyday routines. ANet enables
schools to use data to increase student achievement by combining high-quality standards-aligned
assessments; educator coaching in how to analyze assessment results, identify gaps in student



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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


learning, and create action plans to address these gaps; and peer Networks of schools that
collaborate to improve their use of data.

ANet's Approach Has Three Key Components:
1. Assessments & Tools: Schools administer ANet’s standards-aligned interim assessments to
   consistently identify and close gaps in student learning
2. Professional Services: ANet coaches with with Network schools to teach them how to
   analyze assessment results, identify gaps in student learning, and create and assess the
   effectiveness of action plans to address gaps
3. Network Collaboration: Schools meet and collaborate throughout the year to exchange
   problem solving strategies and best practices, and benchmark their own performance

Plan-Do-Check-Act for Performance and Practice
Working together, ANet and Network schools combine ANet’s three core components (Practices
& Assessments, Performance Tracking & Benchmarking, and Coaching & Networks) to set,
track and meet achievement and practice objectives. Depending on the schools starting point,
ANet works with schools over a 3-5 year period to:
1. Set achievement and practice objectives & milestones for school
2. Deliver training and implement practices
3. Assess improvement through achievement on year-end state tests and ANet interim
    assessments
4. Adjust training and practices to meet yearly objectives & in-year milestones

In Springfield, A-Net is working with our Level 4 schools to conduct regular ELA and math
assessments 4-5 times annually, analyze the data results, and set instructional goals to address
identified learning gaps.

City Connects

City Connects is an innovative school-based intervention that revitalizes student support in
elementary schools (K-5). City Connects, formerly Boston Connects, collaborates with teachers
to identify the strengths and needs of every child. We then create a uniquely tailored set of
intervention, prevention, and enrichment services located in the community designed to help
each student learn and thrive. We efficiently and cost-effectively address students’ academic,
social-emotional, family, and physical well-being. Our data show that this systematic and
scalable approach to meeting the needs of urban students helps children thrive in school,
improves academic performance, and significantly narrows the achievement gap.

Each student’s ability to thrive in the classroom depends on a unique set of academic,
social/emotional, health, and family-related factors. We address each child’s strengths and needs
across these four dimensions: social-emotional, health, family, and academic.
Master’s-level school counselors or school social workers serve as a hub for student support
activities and collaborate with families, school faculty and staff, and a Boston College leadership
and research team. The School Site Coordinator works with the classroom teacher and other
school staff to assess each child’s strengths and needs in the four domains.




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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


Based on this information, each student is connected to a tailored set of school- and community-
based services. The School Site Coordinator facilitates and enhances partnerships with
community agencies to meet the identified needs of students, families, and schools. He or she
assists families to take the necessary steps to access the services and enrichment activities
recommended for their children The School Site Coordinator also collaborates with classroom
teachers and community agencies to develop effective classroom interventions around
behavioral, social-emotional, and health concerns.
In Springfield, City Connects will be assisting each Level 4 elementary school to select School
Site Coordinators and then link to a web of community-based resources and organizations in
order to provide matched services to identified target students and their families.

Center for Collaborative Education
The Center for Collaborative Education works with urban school districts to create high
performing schools. CCE seeks to create networks of schools that are deeply engaged in the
work of continuous improvement. Equity and excellence are fundamental to CCE’s
mission. CCE coaches work closely with schools to create and implement practices that lead to
high expectations and an intellectually challenging education for every student. High performing
schools serve each student fairly and justly and focus on educating the whole child. The measure
of success is achieving high and equitable learning outcomes

CCE’s design principles offer a comprehensive framework for school transformation and
ongoing improvement. In any school change process but especially in schools experiencing
multiple years of disappointing results, it is critical to build momentum to dramatically improve
student achievement. During the first weeks and months of a ―turn-around‖ effort, CCE coaches
work intensively with school leaders to focus on equity and excellence as they take the following
actions. Equity-centered coaching and professional development provide school staff members
with more tools to create high performing learning communities. These actions are not linear but
rather are inter-related and set in motion together.
 Establish a tone and practice of strong and collaborative leadership.
 Initiate a process of developing a shared vision.
 Launch a data-based inquiry and benchmarking process.
 Create a short-term focus on important, visible, immediate improvements.
 Focus immediately on instruction with a particular emphasis on literacy and math.
 Build a professional learning community and link professional development to school goals.
 Create structures which build capacity for shared leadership and accountability.
 Engage in work with families, community, and district partners to create support for the
    school’s goals.

CCE is working with Springfield to assist the district and all 10 Level 4 schools to plan and write
each school’s State Turnaround Plan and federal School Redesign Plan, while assisting the
district to restructure services to be responsive to our schools.

Mass Insight Education
Mass Insight Education, a non-profit organization based in Boston, MA, was founded in 1997.
Its launch reflected the high priority that business, government, and education leaders placed at
that time on the success of Massachusetts' nascent standards-based reform drive, set in motion by


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                 Springfield Public Schools: Homer Street Elementary School Redesign Plan


the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993. Mass Insight Education has become a
statewide leader in the Commonwealth's education reform drive and, more recently, a provider of
research and strategic consulting services nationally. The organization seeks to identify strategies
to transform public schools into high performance organizations and close the achievement gaps.
Mass Insight’s School Turnaround Group seeks to assist school districts to undertake turnaround
processes in underperforming schools in order to produce significant achievement gains within
two years and prepare the school for long-term transformation into a high-performance
organization. The School Turnaround Group (STG) believes that the problem of chronically
failing schools is massive, and therefore cannot be addressed by either incremental change within
districts, or by completely abandoning the existing school system. Instead, we advocate a hybrid
approach, creating carve-out "Partnership Zones" of low-performing schools that remain within
the district but offer more flexible operating conditions.
Mass Insight Education has been assisting the Springfield Public Schools to identify the
conditions that need to be in place in order for our ten turnaround schools to be successful. They
have assisted the district in the contract negotiation process with the Springfield Education
Association to agree upon contract language that would enable our Level 4 schools to have
increased instructional and professional collaboration time in order to accelerate student
achievement.




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