James Congdon Elementary School Principal, Darcie Aungst, and her team lead their staff in identifying and implementing a narrow set of evidence-based instructional practices (you hear her refer to them in the interview as, “SWEBIP” for Schoolwide Evidence-Based Instructional Practices). Their goal was to use student learning to come to collective agreements on what parts of the instructional day will be the same across all classrooms, content areas, and grade-levels. In an effort to provide clarity regarding their expectations for how these would be implemented, they created one-page definition documents for each of these practices that summarized their research and subsequent meetings with the staff (one of these documents is included below).
What process did you and your team use to decide what parts of daily instruction would be the same across all classrooms?
Just like I mentioned before about collaboration, that started with the data, so we looked at the literacy standards. As a SILT team, we then started the process of working with all the teachers. I was the facilitator for this. This all came from teachers. I would give a little bit of homework around, “Look at this data. Come back with what you notice, what you wonder, and what you want to do about it”. Then we would have the meeting and say, “Okay, what are we going to do about it?” The next homework assignment was for everybody to research evidence-based practices that dealt with the identified standard.
Artifact: One-page Best Practice Definition Documents from James B. Congdon Elementary School, New Bedford Public Schools (MA)
At the next meeting, the teachers would come back with potential practices and start great discussions. We then boiled it down to one or two schoolwide evidence-based practices (SWEBIPs). But I wanted to make sure, number one, the commitment was that these SWEBIPs would be schoolwide. We didn’t commit to anything that could not be done in every class, including specialists, special education, ESL, math, and ELA.