Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
1 and Instruction

​ANet is a nonprofitorganization that works alongside school leadership teams to strengthen their school-wide practice andculture of using learning standards and achievement data to get breakthrough results for students inunderserved communities. We do so by providing schools with Common Core-aligned digital resources forliteracy/English language arts and math for grades 2-8, coupled with customized support for educators touse these tools effectively. We have an eleven year track record of working with schools across the country to help all of their students catch up and get ahead academically. ANet’s products help our nearly 700            partner schools build a culture of continuous improvement, where every educator in the building deeplyunderstands the Common Core standards and is regularly using data and student work to adapt and targetinstruction to meet the unique learning needs of each student.

​ANet’s Theory of Change is centered around building schools’ capacity to improve instruction and increase student learning: 

  • If ANet provides school partners with high quality coaching, professional learning sessions, instructional resources, and assessments...   
  • Then school leaders will implement an effective cycle of inquiry, called the Teaching and Learning Cycle, that empowers teachers to plan, deliver, evaluate, and adjust their instruction so that it authentically reflects and aligns with the Common Core and other rigorous standards... 
  • Which will, in turn, drive increases in student proficiency rates. Ensuring that ANet’s Theory of Change evolves from vision to reality at each school is what drives our daily work and the core components of our partnerships. ANet works alongside school and district leadership teams to develop a yearlong trajectory of coaching support and professional learning. We design our partnerships to build sustainable capacity year after year because we know that laying the foundation for an extended partnership allows us to have the most impact. We provide comprehensive school partnerships that include: 
  1. Job-embedded coaching and professional learningto build leadership capacity, skill, and strong practices in managing data driven, standards-aligned instructional practices and help educators effectively use ANet’s data and resources to improve learning in their classrooms; 
  2. Access to our network and group learning eventsto collaborate and learn best practices from across ANet’s network and learn from in-person professional development events and online resources;   
  3. Interim assessments for grades 2-8 in math and literacy, designed in-house, and aligned to the Common Core standards; and   
  4. Instructional tools and resources that supplement ANet’s assessments by providing teachers with tools to address student needs surfaced by assessment data.  

Over the course of the partnership, ANet coaches engage in a gradual release of support to build a school’s     independence with data-driven instruction first by modeling meeting facilitation and then by observing and providing coaching and feedback to leaders on school-based meetings. Similarly to how we build schools’ capacity over time to own the work, ANet also works with LEAs to build their capacity over time so we can scale back our direct support. In order to execute on ANet’s Theory of Change and ensure that the support we provide our school partners is effective and high quality, ANet uses three key metrics to measure our progress toward the goals and objectives we set alongside schools: school practice; school staff engagement; and student achievement. We monitor progress using sophisticated survey, practice tracking and student achievement data tracking tools and analysis. ANet supports various approaches to school improvement, working with schools to create and implement the conditions for teacher, leader, and student success. Numerous school districts have leveraged ANet’s instructional coaching expertise and comprehensive service model to meet the goals of school transformation initiatives through developing effective school leadership teams and building educators’ capacity for improving classroom instruction. These LEAs include AUSL in Chicago Public Schools, Springfield (MA) Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, Boston Public Schools, Syracuse City School District and others. Several states have also tapped ANet to serve as a school improvement or school and LEA turnaround partner, including the Louisiana Department of Education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Nevada Department of Education (NDE). In Nevada, for example, ANet is approved as an evidence-based Supports for School Improvement partner on the NDE’s School Transformation Leadership Program List as related to the requirements set forth in ESSA as well as SIG and Title I funding requirements.

Elizabeth DillAchievement NetworkPresentation
2 and Climate, Governance and Management
Becky DensmoreAdvanceEDPresentation

​Founded in 1946, AIR is one of the largest not-for-profit behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations in the world. AIR’s mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research to improve lives, especially the disadvantaged. AIR is unique among other organizations working in the education arena in its ability to bring the best evidence-based practices to education systems to improve all governance and management, curriculum and instruction, and climate. For the past several years, AIR has operated the Illinois Center for School Improvement, serving more than 80 districts and the schools within them and directly contributing to improved performance. With close to 200 staff in Illinois, AIR has worked with government agencies as well as public and private organizations including state and local government agencies, state and local education agencies, foundations, corporations, courts, and schools, both in the United States and abroad. As a result of placing a high value on content and education system expertise, responsiveness, flexibility, product quality, and timeliness, AIR has earned a national and international reputation for efficiently and effectively conducting work that is dedicated to serving clients’ goals.

​The theory of action that will guide the work under IL-EMPOWER is based on six research-based elements for school improvement: leadership that drives change, comprehensive data use and progress monitoring, educator effectiveness, coherent instructional guidance, school climate, and family and community engagement. First and foremost, leadership is the driving force for setting a clear vision and goals and expectations that all students can achieve. Leaders are also responsible for establishing data-based diagnostic systems for implementation, monitoring, and feedback. In addition, a student-centered climate and engaged family and community members play an important role in successfully educating the whole child. Finally, we know that what happens in the classroom and school has a great impact on student achievement. Hence, a focus on educator effectiveness and coherent instructional guidance is paramount for success. The following figure shows the relationship of the IL-EMPOWER drivers of change to AIR’s research-based elements. We use evidence-based approaches in each of these elements to build stronger governance and management systems that are able support a viable and rigorous curriculum and instruction for students in a climate of high expectations with a culture of meeting the needs of all of the adults and children within a school system. We work with leaders, teachers, and the broader school community to support and facilitate change.​

Dawn DolbyAmerican Institutes for ResearchPresentation

​Atlantic Research Partners (Atlantic) recognizes that transforming educator quality is imperative to improving teaching and learning in low performing schools and have designed a data-driven approach to the improvement of schools that focuses on increasing student achievement through developing educator effectiveness to transform schools from within.   Atlantic builds the capacity of schools by leveraging a team of highly skilled and experienced practitioners to partner with school districts and schools to improve education by offering tactical, researched-based, data driven strategies tailored to the specific needs of each school (customized approach). At the foundation is an understanding that schools must play a pivotal role in creating the right focus, a focus that ensures the success of every child through the creation of purposeful communities.

Atlantic’s approach to creating partnerships with district and school leaders and their respective leadership teams enables us to provide meaningful supports that become embedded in educators’ methodologies, remaining long after the Atlantic team completes its on-site responsibilities. States, districts, and schools confidently rely on Atlantic to provide consistent, high-quality leadership training and support services that enable district and school leaders to improve schools and deliver increased student achievement. In today's climate of economic challenge and extraordinary competition, reliable results and data driven methods are crucial to achieving and sustaining organizational effectiveness. Our approach to supporting school change is focused on:
  • Building a distributive system of school leadership;  
  • Applying our school improvement model to conduct comprehensive needs assessment, providing technical assistance in analyzing needs assessment data and designing a school improvement plans, engaging staff in the continuous use of data to monitor the fidelity of improvement initiatives and activities, and evaluating outcomes; 
  • Redesigning teaching and learning by using data to identify and implement an instructional program that is evidence-based, vertically aligned from one grade to the next, and horizontally aligned to emphasize connections among content areas; 
  • Aligned curriculum, assessment and instruction to state academic standards, and ensuring students are prepared for college-career readiness;  Supporting the social, emotional needs of students by ensuring a safe learning environment; 
  • Promoting activities that support ongoing family and community engagement ;and     
  • Providing high quality professional development aligned to national standards.
Keith PalzAtlantice Research PartnersPresentation

​AUSL’S mission is to create schools of excellence by developing highly effective teachers and transforming educational outcomes for students in what were some of Chicago’s lowest performing schools. AUSL has been dedicated to school improvement since 2001, when it launched the country’s first urban-focused teacher residency program. Over the past sixteen years, AUSL has grown from a single teacher training academy to a network of 31 schools serving nearly 17,000 students in Chicago’s highest-need neighborhoods. In addition, AUSL serves a number of other schools and districts across the country as a strategic advisor and partner through our Advisory Services program. 

AUSL utilizes the following two primary strategies: 
  1. The Chicago Teacher Residency (CTR): Our original program, created in 2001, The CTR is an innovative model for transforming schools, predicated on developing and supporting a world-class pipeline of human capital talent specially trained to teach in challenging urban environments. The CTR is a yearlong program in which residents train under the guidance of mentor teachers in AUSL classrooms and through coursework at National Louis University or DePaul University to obtain a Master's Degree. Residents receive a Master’s Degree after the one year program and leave accredited to teach in the state of Illinois. Following residency, graduates are placed into AUSL schools. Since the founding of AUSL, the CTR has trained and placed over 1,000 motivated teachers serving as catalysts for dramatic improvements in student achievement at AUSL schools. 
  2. School Transformation & Management: Since 2006, AUSL has managed neighborhood public schools on behalf of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As part of our management process, AUSL introduces higher standards for students and educators, new curriculum, additional after school programs, and renovated facilites to improve the outcomes of our schools for students. The AUSL network has grown to a network of 26 elementary schools (PK - 8) and 5 high schools serving 17,000 students.        

In addition to School Transformation and Management and the Chicago Teacher Residency program, AUSL also serves school districts and states across the country through our Advisory Services program. Since 2010, AUSL Advisory Services has partnered with low-performing districts across the country to offer tools, training, and support to improve their schools. Since the launch of Advisory Services, AUSL has served over 40 districts in 15 states, who combined serve over 250,000 students. We provide comprehensive services to schools of all types (PK-12, charter, private).  AUSL Advisory Services works with the state, district, or school to create and implement an improvement plan. The improvement plan consists of a series of intervention strategies, which are based on the needs of the partner. States and school districts (both large and small) have contracted with AUSL to provide these services to one or a number of their schools.
Donald FeinsteinAUSLPresentation

​Our work is defined by a unique set of academic supports, high expectations and rigor, rewarding relationships with the teachers and leaders we support, and a commitment to capacity building and sustainability. All our work is based on creating sustainable improvements in schools. Schools in Illinois who choose to partner with Cambridge Education can expect clear strategic direction, coherent goals, targeted strategies and interventions, and the capacity to implement and monitor progress toward improved equitable student outcomes for years to come.  Cambridge Education has the breadth of experience and skills to provide all of the components in a holistic way, or as individual interventions. There is often overlap between the three components, and indeed, our approach to school improvement is to collaboratively develop an integrated program of services that best meets the needs of the individual school, its staff, and its students. However, we understand that individual schools’ needs differ, and so we have proposed solutions for each component independently, but can also deliver an entire program using the individual interventions proposed to create a whole school improvement model.

Cambridge Education’s Framework for School Improvement (Figure 2) provides a structured, strategic approach for work in support of schools and LEAs to enable them to achieve excellence by putting a culture of learning at the center of the continuous improvement process. This culture of learning is developed when schools assess their current state, engage in strategic planning and study of evidence-based solutions for improved curriculum, instruction, assessment practices, embed effective management systems, ensure high quality learning for all students and support their health and well-being, and engage families and the community in the learning enterprise all while building leadership at all levels for sustainability and continuous improvement. The framework enables a dynamic relationship between strategic planning and evidence-based practices that will assist schools to undertake self-assessment that is context-specific, evidence informed, and outcomes-focused. One of the key issues that we find in many of the schools where we work, is that there is a lack of alignment between the district’s written curriculum, the school’s planned curriculum, the assessed curriculum, and the curriculum enacted in the classroom. We provide coaching and support to the school administration, instructional coaches, and teachers to enable effective implementation of a comprehensive instructional model. Our approach is customized to meet the specific needs of the individual schools but typically it includes: 
  • Developing a priorities-driven curriculum to ensure that the enacted curriculum is aligned with CCSS and State Standards, including implementing ELA and math instructional shifts with fidelity 
  • Embedding formative assessment and data-driven instruction, incorporating student feedback and peer assessment practices 
  • Promoting professional learning to ensure best practices are shared among teachers 
  • Providing training and professional development for school administrators and teacher leaders to undertake effective classroom observation 
  • Developing student support, intervention, and enrichment systems like MTSS/RtI, to ensure that all students have access to rigorous and relevant curriculum.
Our expert coaches work with teachers, school administrators and district leaders to enhance their understanding of the CCSS and the corresponding instructional shifts in ELA and math, within the context of curriculum mapping, lesson planning, effective pedagogical strategies, evidence of quality learning from classroom observations, and analysis of student work samples and current data. We begin this process by unpacking the implications for student learning of each instructional shift and reinforcing the fact that the skills embedded in each shift are applicable and important across subjects from K-Grade 12. Once educators are clear on what the common core requires of students, our coaches facilitate a process where participants collaboratively determine the implications for teachers, principals and district educators aligned with the agreed-upon expectations for students.
Douglas HeinekeCambridge EducationPresentation
7 and Instruction

Consortium for Educational Research and Advancement, LLC (CERA) is an educational research and consulting firm that specializes in offering customized solutions to schools and education departments to support school transformation efforts. We partner with schools, districts and educational organizations for comprehensive work in curriculum development aligned to standards, curriculum mapping, teacher and leadership effectiveness, school quality reviews and instructional coaching and support.

​Teacher and leadership Effectiveness Schools seeking to increase student achievement and develop a sustained culture for learning can partner with CERA for a set of cohesive services. We assess the needs of the school and work alongside school leadership to provide a set of comprehensive services for school improvement. As the lead partner, we collaborate with our clients to provide necessary support to engage in a variety of work to create and monitor change. Teacher and leadership Effectiveness CERA believes that developing teacher quality is essential to improving teaching and learning. We collaborate with building leadership to design an effective teacher development program for new and experienced teachers through a cycle of continuous improvement. CERA partners with clients to create and support a results-driven teacher .ffectiveness program that increases teacher capacity at all levels. Our consultants have partnered with national organizations to develop new to seasoned teachers in order to develop their practice. Data Analysis and Strategic Support Integrating data into the school improvement process is integral to increasing student achievement. Our data team engages our partner schools in data analysis to guide decision making about instruction, curriculum and programming. Curriculum Development We engage our clients with developing a balanced and relevant school curriculum aligned to standards and assessments. School Quality Reviews CERA engages with our clients to conduct a School Quality Review (SQR), which is a thorough assessment of its progress. Using CERA benchmarks, we assess the work of the school and develop a portfolio of evidence in each practice area. Our team conducts a School Quality Review visit and prepares a record that includes concerns and recommendations.​

Crystal JamesCERAPresentation
8 and Climate
A core part of our work is the provision of professional development to community school practitioners. We provide opportunities for practitioners to learn from each other and content experts so as to strengthen their community schools, create and maintain a repository of tools and toolkits to support community school development, connect practitioners to one another to create a learning and development network, and educate new partners about the community school strategy. Our professional development efforts include:
  • Community school nuts-and-bolts – these sessions provide practitioners with training on the basics of community school implementation, ranging from Community Schools 101 to sessions on advisory board development, family engagement, and afterschool program development. We aim to have these sessions provide practical and actionable skills and strategies that participants can apply to their own work. We’ve also developed a guide to community school development. 
  • Symposia – These longer sessions take a deeper look at a complex challenge that community schools can mobilize around by using the strategy in an integrated way. Topics include trauma informed practice, chronic absenteeism, adult workforce development, and the Consortium for Chicago School Research’s new Foundations for Young Adult Success framework (coming up on August 25th). Symposia include a context-setting presentation from a content expert, a panel of practitioners discussing how the topic relates to their work, and time for small group work and breakout sessions. 
  • Resource Coordinator Luncheons – held roughly once a month during the school year, RC Luncheons bring together Resource Coordinators to learn from each other’s work, to support each other’s efforts, and to engage in shared problem solving around challenges they face in their work. The luncheons are split into two groups – one for high school practitioners, and one for elementary school practitioners – to reflect the differences between the two settings, and attendance is restricted to RCs only. Each luncheon is hosted at a community schools and is loosely organized around a topic relevant to practitioners, but with plenty of time for networking, dialog, and (sometimes) commiserating. 
  • Practitioner networks – We are working with stakeholders to convene regional community school networks to bring practitioners together to learn from and support each other’s work. Each network will have a professional development focus, but will also include opportunities to develop regional advocacy priorities, as well. 
  • Annual Community Schools Forum – We hold an annual Community Schools Forum in the fall. This year’s, the 11th, will take place on November 20th. The Forum brings together more than 300 community school practitioners and supporters from across Illinois and the Midwest to learn from each other and access tools and strategies that strengthen their work. Each Forum also includes advocacy workshops and a portion of the plenary session is spent sharing our policy agenda and taking action. 
  • Toolkits – working with our members we’ve developed a series of toolkits to support different areas of community school work, including community engagement, advisory board development, data-informed decision making (i.e., needs assessments and asset maps), program evaluation and coordination, and creating a shared vision. In addition to being used by members across the state to support their work, many of these tools are also being used by the New York City Department of Education as part of their community school expansion plan and the University of Kansas Center on Assets, Education and Inclusion. 

Liz StartzChildren's Home & AidPresentation
CEC, a nonprofit organization, has a more than 30-year history of providing schools, unions, and districts with a systemic, collaborative approach to their unique challenges by building their internal capacity for continual improvement. The organizational mission states: Through labor-management collaboration, CEC transforms educational systems by building collaborative structures, processes, and cultures with and among key educational stakeholders to continuously improve organizational and student success. The vision of the organization is to be a best practice exemplar for providing systems of support that build capacities in districts and schools across the country in order to move them to higher levels of performance.​
CEC’s work follows a unique six-step pathway that includes establishing collaborative commitments, diagnosing needs, setting direction, utilizing collaborative structures and processes, and targeting support. That pathway is guided by CEC's six core values of capacity building, labor-management collaboration, partnerships, accountability, continuous improvement, and research-based effectiveness. CEC’s Theory of Action centers the knowledge that all students have the potential to grow and learn. CEC supports student success by training and empowering teachers and administrators and by creating and supporting collaborative structures for shared decision-making and accountability.​
David OstaCECPresentation
10 and Management

​ECRA Group has a long history and established track record assisting boards of education and educational leaders improve student outcomes by adopting more evidence-based and student centered practices. By focusing on leadership, planning, and analytics, ECRA provides a best practices approach to improving student outcomes via our steadfast focus on accountability for student outcomes measured against a whole-child definition of student success and college readiness. ECRA’s systemic philosophy and analytic sophistication helps LEAs ensure energy and resources are directed toward what truly matters for students.  ECRA has a 30-year history supporting school improvement efforts in Illinois. We work collaboratively with Illinois state associations, regional offices of education, and school improvement organizations such as the Center for School Improvement (CSI). Over the past three years, ECRA has supported over 1,000 schools in Illinois on school improvement related activities, impacting 750,000 Illinois students. We value our school partnerships and we look forward to continuing our mission as part of the IL-EMPOWER partner network.

​ECRA’s theory of action is rooted in the belief that IF schools have better visibility into the whole-child for every child, THEN schools can more effectively scaffold differentiated and tiered systems of support tailored to the unique needs of students. ECRA uses this theory of action to create a systemic governance and performance management structure that aligns board goals to individual students and is thereby able to help schools develop policies that lead to more effective and equitable programming, and provide a framework for governance and management to implement said polices. ECRA anchors its support services to our theory of action by first helping schools be more deliberate about the outcomes they are trying to impact. We help the district operationalize their vision for students at the individual student level for every child. We then work at various levels of the school system to promote governance and management toward accelerating student growth on the outcomes articulated. ECRA provides facilitation and training to establish the District’s strategic dashboard that the board of education and central office can rely on to govern implementation of objectives as well as progress toward strategic goals. ECRA then cascades the district’s strategic goals and objectives to individual schools, and provides the administration with the professional development and technical assistance to enact implementation plans at the building level. Our focus on greater visibility into the effectiveness and return on investment of programs, policies, and personnel on student outcomes allows schools systems to create governance and management structures that promote evidence-based practices and a system of governance that is more equitable and focused on the whole child.  We are excited to continue our mission of ensuring every Illinois student has access to a high quality education and excellent opportunities.​

Max McGeeECRAPresentation
11 and Climate
H.E.L.P. is a consulting company that provides culturally responsive counseling, psychological, case management and assessment services to children, youth, families and adults at schools and social service agencies. We propose to partner with ISBPE as a professional learning partner to change the culture and climate of undeforming schools in service area one through the provision of assessment, coaching, consultation, and training to achieve ISBE’s shared vision for transforming schools and impacting student outcomes. H.E.L.P. became a board approved Social, Emotional Learning (SEL) provider and vendor with Chicago Public Schools in 2012. 
H.E.L.P. clinicians have provided evidence-based group counseling (Tier II) and individual behavioral interventions (Tier III) to students at nearly 50 elementary schools and high schools. In 2017 H.E.L.P. was again recommended as an approved SEL provider approved for direct service and professional learning services. H.E.L.P. also provided Restorative Justice Practices (RP) to change the culture and climate of the school and improve student behavior by coaching educators, conducting professional staff development trainings and holding student peace circles in more than 40 schools. The overall data reported for Chicago Public Schools, beginning School Year 2013-2014 (SY13-14) and ending School Year 2015-2016 (SY15-16), indicates a downward trend of punitive responses to behavior and an increase of restorative responses.  Across the district, punitive responses to behavior fell 20 percent over the two years assessed.  H.E.L.P. represents a community partner that has consistently remained active within the district regarding restorative practice delivery since 2013. Entrusted to deliver restorative practice training and support to 31out of 80, or nearly 40%ofschoolsfundedby Office of Social and Emotional Learning (OSEL),H.E.L.P. can be credited for contributing to the aforementioned trends.

​HELP provides culturally responsive counseling, psychological, case management and assessment services to children, youth and adults at schools and social service agencies.  HELP bodes a diverse team of clinicians, representing underrepresented groups and cultures.  There is one Spanish speaking coach. However, the diversity of HELP extends beyond ethnicity inclusive of age, professional background, and various cultural exposures.  HELP clinicians have a wealth of experience training and coaching groups towards the tenants of cultural sensitivity and tolerance.  HELP provides strategic support in youth, family, and community outreach and engagement.  Clinicians have a plethora of experience in building partnerships among family and within community.  Utilizing ISBE’s Family Engagement Framework, HELP provides a working model to support the clarification of a shared vision in the school/family partnership, utilizes the positive behavioral strategies and the tenants of restorative practices to enhance communication and create climates that are inviting and inclusive of all relevant stakeholders.  HELP supports a multi-tiered structure to support total learning. This differentiated approach serves to enhance protective factors and target areas of growth. Therefore, models that serve to build and sustain social emotional learning needs (i.e. self-esteem, relationship building, etc.), will be offered as well as those that develop coping skills to process aversive experiences (i.e. trauma, loss, etc.).Examples of Tier I support offered to all include working with cultural and climate team to address systems and structure that support positive behaviors and intervention, and training all staff in restorative philosophy and restorative langue to promote and inclusive culture.  Examples of Tier II supports include targeted interventions to those school with high student behavior infractions, poor attendance and disengagement. Evidence-based groups in anger management, life skills and character development or trauma informed interventions, as well as peace circle and restorative conferencing was offered at this level. Tier III support include individualize counseling and assessment for children exhibiting serious emotional disturbances that interfered with learning, as well restorative meetings with administrators, parents and students referred for suspension or expulsion. ​

Karen McCurtis WitherspoonH.E.L.P.Presentation
ROEs/lSCs have historical roots back to 1845 with the creation of the Superintendent of Common Schools in his County and have continued to grow and change through a period of time in which the offices provided their districts with most of the fiscal and regulatory duties of the state to this time in which the offices are providing research-based, best-practice educational services to all counties in  Illinois. The local ROE/ISC with a Regional Superintendent or Executive Director and Assistant Regional Superintendent or Assistant Executive Director will act as the base of support for LEAs and schools with connections and local knowledge to pull together wrap-around services. The strength of the statewide system and incredible knowledge base can be accessed to support the local ROE/ISC. The most successful programs have actually been delivered with a strong Area concentration. One local ROE/ISC usually cannot support a whole state program, but an Area of ROEs/lSCs have the diversity to provide a wide range of programs/services/skills/knowledge, and are close enough geographically to resolve local issues. 

​The Regional Offices of Education (ROEs) and Intermediate Service Centers (ISCs) provide a statewide delivery system that focuses on high quality, maximum consistency and full geographical coverage of Illinois. Offices are statutorily created and funded through a combination of local, state and federal funds. For the more than 850 school districts in  Illinois (except Chicago Public Schools}, the ROEs and ISCs are the backbone to their connection with each other and to the Illinois State Board of Education. Throughout the years, ISBE has used the statewide ROE/ISC system to deliver services in school improvement, technology, reading, math, assessment, standards alignment, homeless education, truancy, regional safe schools, compliance and regulatory functions and much more. Whether the program is for teacher or administrator professional development, direct student services or even partnerships to the court system or local businesses, ROEs/lSCs provide the only statewide delivery system with decades of experience and success in planning, implementing and evaluating programs; regardless the content or the funding source. There are three tiers of services (student support services, leadership and decision-making services, curriculum and instruction services, and human capital services) currently provided by the ROEs and ISCs in Illinois. • Tier I- all ROEs/lSCs can provide through their own office or in Professional Development Cooperatives (School Improvement work) • Tier II-all AREAs can work in collaboration with other offices throughout a geographical area (RESPRO) . • Tier Ill as a  STATEWIDE organization with all offices having access to lend expertise due to the highly-developed network (IARSS Lead Partner services).​

Jeff VoseIARSSPresentation
13 and Climate

​Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice (IBARJ) has a mission to provide leadership, education and support that promotes the principles, practices, implementation and sustainability of Balanced and Restorative Justice. IBARJ has been a leader in providing Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices training across Illinois for over a decade.  The philosophy of Restorative Justice is rooted in holistic healing for all community members, especially those affected by a harm. The needs and obligations of all are equally valued when restoring relationships and repairing harm. IBARJ began working with schools in 2010 as Restorative Practices in schools were becoming of interest to districts across the state as both prevention and intervention practices.  From the very beginning we worked with districts to implement with fidelity by embedding RP into their multi-tiered systems of support framework (PBIS in most cases), if they existed, while also aligning the practices with other initiatives like SEL, mental health services, trauma informed care and more. Additionally, IBARJ has been providing supports for schools needing to adjust their policies and practices to move toward becoming a restorative school.  We developed an implementation model (Appendix A) based on best practices for restorative practices and schools as well as implementation science. This model has been adapted and updated over the years and can adjusted to meet the specific and unique needs of the schools and districts we work with. The implementation model and approach was developed and continues to be modified to fit the needs of Illinois schools with the help of experts in the field and published work like: -The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools -Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools: A practical guide to Transforming School Communities -Minnesota Department of Education’s Restorative Measures toolkit -Advancement Project -Guides and models from Oakland, San Francisco and other places across the US Since 2010, IBARJ has increased our capacity to meet the demands of the increased interest in RP due in part to SB100 by training others as trainers and aligning ourselves with partners and organizations focused on similar work.  IBARJ has developed a dozen new trainers across the state both independent consultants and school staff as well as created a full time position dedicated to training and implementation (Kathryn Rayford, Director of Training and Implementation).  This is part of our model that leads toward fidelity and sustainability for RP in schools.  Partners like Midwest PBIS, Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents, Prevent School Violence Illinois, Transform School Discipline Collaborative, Universities across the state and many more have helped and supported RP implementation by working directly with districts and IBARJ in a variety of ways including conferences and awareness activities, training and partnering to develop materials.  

​IBARJ will provide Restorative Practices training, coaching, technical assistance and implementation guidance to schools and districts who are ready and interested in shifting their climate and culture to include RP. Restorative Practices in schools are multi-tiered and multi-faceted practices that are proactive, preventative and intervention approaches that focus on relationship and community.  If there is a harm caused, the focus is on the harm, who was affected, how it can be repaired and how can relationships, community and safety be restored.  Restorative Practices in schools are for all ages, grades, schools and communities.  Restorative Practices work with other initiatives to improve climate and culture in schools and are most affective when implemented with a whole school approach and mindset shift for staff and students. Restorative Practices can address many of the issues schools, students and families are facing like bullying, effects of trauma, discipline disparities for minority students and more.   In this proposal we will demonstrate how IBARJ can support many LEAs/schools in implementation of Restorative Practices to improve their climate and culture which also leads to improved educational outcomes including improved instructional time, reduced discipline issues, improved staff and student satisfaction and much more.​

Sara BalgoyenIBARJPresentation
14 and Management
The Illinois Association of School Boards is a voluntary organization of local boards of education dedicated to strengthening the public schools through local citizen control. IASB was established in 1913 and was organized by member school boards as a private not-for-profit corporation under authority granted by Article 23 of The Illinois School Code. The vision of the Illinois Association of School Boards is excellence in local school governance supporting quality public education. IASB strives to achieve that vision through developing member competence and confidence through a robust toolkit designed to build excellence in local school board governance, including: 
  • Premier training experiences; 
  • Networking opportunities for mutual support; 
  • Valuable benefits, pooled services, information, and expertise; 
  • Advocacy on behalf of public education; and 
  • A platform for a strong collective voice on common interests and concerns. 
All training sessions provided by the Illinois Association of School Boards align with the Foundational Principles of Effective Governance. These Principles act as the board’s job description through guidance and an articulation of best practice. By learning and continually improving upon these Principles, the board will be in the best position to support effective instruction, oversee a fair and consistent disciplinary culture, and promote the best use of instructional time and other resources. Ultimately, effective boards attract and retain talented staff, build relationships of trust and support with the community and families, and lead their systems toward improvement.

​IASB’s objective is to provide in-district workshops to boards of education related to their role in clarifying district purpose, connecting with their community, working with their superintendent, delegating authority to staff, monitoring performance of the organization, and taking responsibility as a governing body.  The intended participants of these sessions are members of the full board of education along with their superintendent. Other central office staff may be invited based on the content and intended discussion.​

Dean LangdonIASB
15 and Climate

​The  IPA was  established  in  1971  when  the  elementary,  middle  level  and  high  school  principal associations were combined to make one umbrella organization for all building level leaders in the state.    The  IPA makes  up  the  largest professional  learning  network of  school  leaders  in Illinois currently serving  over 5300 principals, assistant  principals, deans,  assistant  superintendents, special education directors, principal preparation faculty, and aspiring leaders.  The Association’s mission is to develop, support, and advocate for innovative educational leaders. Providing high-quality professional development, community building, and advocacy make up the core services IPA provides to its members. The Association employs 27 staff members who include 19 executive staff and 8 support staff.  Of the 27staff members, 8 are former building level principals representing all grade levels, 1 full-time  attorney,  1  full-time  lobbyist,1 deputy  director in  charge  of  professional  development,  1 director  in  charge  of  online  professional  development, 1  online  content  specialist,  1  media production  specialist,  and  2  data  support  specialists.   Six  of  the  eight  former  building  level principals  are  field  staff  located  throughout  the  state  and are able  to effectively  and  efficiently serve new principals and other school leaders with mentoring, coaching, and on-site support.  

​The IPA, being one of the largest providers of professional development for educators in Illinois, offers an extensive and comprehensive program of over 125 online (synchronous) and face-to-face Administrator   Academies, 2 professional conferences and an array of additional online (synchronous  and  asynchronous) learning  opportunities including  the  Ed  Leaders  Network ( During the last year, the IPA trained over 50,000 educators as a part of its professional development program. Specifically,   professional development opportunities comprised of a fall professional conference and exhibition, an  education  leaders summer  conference, workshops  focusing on new administrators including relevant  topics  of instructional  leadership  and  management,  and  mentoring. Coaching  and  a wide scope of professional  development were also provided for experienced administrators including those in Priority and Focus schools.  Online support consisted of a website with a vast array of resources, webinars, podcasts, and blogs. Evaluations and assessments were conducted regularly to identify needs  as  well  as  to gather  evidence  to monitor  impact  of  leadership  development  on  school improvement,  teaching  and  learning,  and educational practice. Recognizing  the  cost  and  time implications for educators to leave school, the IPA was the first organization in Illinois to provide Administrator  Academies  online.   During  the  2015-2016school  year  alone,  the  IPA  offered  77 online  Academies  training  over 2700  individuals. This  technology  assisted  practice  has  been continually enhanced to include higher levels of live interaction with and among educators at all levels throughout Illinois as well as collaborative interactions of Illinois educators with educators in other states and with organizations across the country.​

Jason LeahyIPAPresentation

​In the past three years, the IL MTSS-N has provided professional learning, TA, and/or coaching to over 500 LEAs and organizations, including more than 451 Illinois LEAs across all six ROE service areas(see appendix .  The IL MTSS-N has had the longevity and experience to really understand Illinois schools, and how to engage with Illinois LEAs/school in professional learning, TA, and coaching services that are highly effective, efficient and reverent. The IL MTSS-N staff has exceptional experience serving Illinois LEAs/schools though professional learning, TA, and coaching to achieve sustainable improved outcomes for the whole child.   The highly dedicated staff is highly effective in providing high quality professional learning, TA, and coaching, resulting in improved and sustained school implementation of evidence based practices and whole child outcomes. The staff is highly skilled in providing professional learning as demonstrated on national measures of high quality professional development indicators, with all staff delivering high professional learning at 97%fidelity in the past year (criterion of 80% of sessions with 80% fidelity). IL MTSS-N demonstrate equally impressive performance on high quality coaching measures, with a statewide average of 98%fidelity (criterion of 80% of sessions with 80% fidelity).  The high quality professional learning and coaching has resulted in sustained improvement in LEA’s implementation of evidence-based innovations and practices.  On average, across all 83 supported LEAs, fidelity of LEA leaders’ and staff members’ implementation of evidence-based indicators increased from 47% to 81% across five years. Whole child, content area outcomes also improved and sustained across the five years with reading improving 46% percent, math improving  44 percent, and behavior improving 39 percent.

The IL MTSS-N definition of “MTSS” is“ a framework for continuous improvement that is systemic, prevention-focused, and data-informed, providing a coherent continuum of supports responsive to the needs of all learners.” The very core of the IL MTSS-N is about a continuum of evidence based system change efforts to continually improve holistic supports to achieve equitable outcomes for the whole child. The center of our work is equitable outcomes for children and youth with complex subgroup needs.  This is accomplished though the interconnected drivers of governance and management, curriculum and culture, and climate and culture.  Within the integrated drivers, IL MTSS-N supports LEA/schools in data competency, resource management, continuous improvement, evidence-based/informed practices, communication strategies, and partnerships. The integrated driver supports will result in effective instruction, fair and effective discipline, attract and retain talented staff, and build relationships of trust and support with the community and families.  The target of the support is sustained outcomes for the whole child, with an emphasis on equitable outcomes for students with complex needs. The IL MTSS-N has an exceptional record in supporting Illinois LEAs/schools with structural and programmatic changes through guiding needs assessments, equity audits, improvement plans, and implementation of the plans.  The IL MTSS-N is organized to produce the following deliverables: 
  • Conducting needs assessment and equity audit of the LEA/schools to assess the overall governance and management; curriculum, instruction, and assessments; and climate and culture structural components. 
  • Supporting LEA/schools in conducting data analysis of the needs assessment and equity audit to identify areas of need and develop a LEA/school improvement plan for systemic change. 
  • Supporting LEA/school leaders and staff in addressing their needs through the effective and efficient implementing their improvement plans within their local context. 
  • Providing an approach for LEA/schools to aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessments to be consistent with the Illinois Learning Standards with a continuum of instruction and assessment intensity, aligned with the ILS, to supporting the intensity of the diverse needs of the whole child.
  • Establishing strategies for LEA/schools to improve student transitions throughout the prekindergarten through 12thgrade continuum and supporting LEA/schools to implement in their context.
  • Providing evidence-based/informed practices/programs for LEA/schools to implement, within their context, that cultivate a safe and supportive learning environment for all students, including students with complex needs. 
  • Providing LEA/school staff with ongoing, high quality, job-embedded professional learning, TA, and coaching that has been personalized to align with the LEA/school improvement plan. 
  • Working with LEA/schools to support professional capital, program, time, and fiscal resource management and realignment. 
  • Working with LEA/schools to engage family and community partnerships with attention to cultural and linguistic diversity
Julie WestMTSSPresentation
http://www.tdschools.orgCulture and Climate, Curriculum and Instruction

​TDS offers a menu of evidence‐based practices in professional development and student support services across grades 6‐12 to address academic and/or socio‐emotional learning needs of “the whole child,” and enhance the overall school climate., both academic and socio‐emotional, to help the State of Illinois attain its goals under the Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act, particularly  as they pertain to the Tier 4: Lowest Performing Comprehensive Schools (the lowest‐performing 5% of schools) and the Tier 3: Underperforming Schools. Specifically, TDS seeks to provide these services to Tier 4 and Tier 3 schools in Service Area 1, comprised of Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, and Will Counties. TDS was created in 1994 at the JHU Center for Social Organization of Schools as a partnership between educational researchers and school and district administrators. Its mission is to provide evidence‐based models, tools and services to the most challenged secondary schools serving the most vulnerable students in the country. TDS envisions a nation where all students have access to an education that develops their strengths and talents, builds their academic and socio‐emotional competencies, engages them in relevant learning opportunities, supports them so they can succeed, and prepares them for post‐secondary education and the 21st century world of work. TDS’ goal is fundamentally to create more equitable, holistic educational opportunities that offer young people meaningful pathways to success in school, and thereby to full participation in college, career, and civic life.

​TDS specializes in assisting schools and districts in high poverty communities and those serving linguistic minorities and special needs populations, bringing organizational, curricular and instructional innovations to grades 6‐12 and providing extensive professional development and coaching. TDS’ primary strengths are its strong research base, its experience with low‐performing schools over the last 22 years, and its ability to influence the culture of a school through intensive support, and capacity‐building professional training.  TDS helps struggling schools plan and provide academic and socio‐emotional supports to students in grades 6‐12 through intensive, site‐based technical assistance and professional learning for school leaders and teachers, needs analysis and resource mapping, and facilitation of school improvement teams and focus groups, as well as robust, customizable organizational and instructional supports and services. TDS provides this support and training in the school context through TDS technical assistance to administrators and teacher leaders in needs assessment, transformation planning, teacher teaming, supportive scheduling, and use of data to drive decision making, as well as instructional coaching and capacity building. TDS offers a customizable continuum of services to schools, ranging from technical support and professional development to address discrete identified needs (e.g., for Tier 3 schools), to deeply embedded comprehensive school transformation support based on four pillars of change: Pillar I: Teacher Teams and Small Learning Communities: TDS helps schools create small learning communities where teacher teams share three or four classes of students. This organizational model fosters strong relationships between students and staff that promote mutual support and accountability—resulting, in turn, in better student attendance, behavior, and progress toward graduation. TDS teacher teams also improve student progress by establishing common planning time, used both to engage in peer‐driven professional development that improves classroom management and climate, and to design individual, small‐group, and whole‐group interventions for students who need additional support. Pillar II, Teaching and Learning with Professional Development, directly addresses the need for improvement in Curriculum and Instruction. TDS instructional staff provide intensive teacher training in the core competencies of lesson design and focus; rigor and inclusiveness of all students, regardless of background; a culture of achievement (this is also addressed through Pillar IV); student progress and mastery; and commitment to personal and collective excellence, with the added support and encouragement of peer support in teacher teams and SLCs.TDS has developed a comprehensive Blueprint for curriculum, instruction, and assessment anchored in evidence‐based, high‐ impact instructional strategies, used to construct and implement a customized instructional and professional development plan in each school. TDS also improves student achievement by providing acceleration curriculum to close learning gaps. Pillar III: Tiered student supports. As previously indicated, TDS helps schools build Early Warning data Systems (EWS) that allow staff to quickly identify students in need of attendance, academic, or behavioral interventions. TDS also helps schools establish relationships with district and community‐based resources that extend their capacity to provide appropriate interventions, and provides ongoing professional development and support for the integration of support service providers and teaching staff. This tiered support model helps struggling students get back on track to graduation, and provides teachers and students to overcome emotional, behavioral, and personal challenges.  Pillar IV. Can‐Do Culture and Climate: TDS helps schools create safe, secure school climates that promote effort, resiliency, and collaboration as keys to both staff and student success at school. In addition to creating structures and processes that deliberately build this positive climate, TDS also provides professional development and resources around post‐secondary exploration and preparation and social‐emotional learning. The “can do” school climate that results from this deliberate culture‐building creates an environment where both staff and students know that growth and persistence are valued, and that every member of the school community receives the social and emotional supports necessary to succeed. ​

Laura Weeldreyer
18 and Climate

The Midwest PBIS Network is committed to building capacity of schools to promote positive school climate and culture, prevent problem behaviors, and to evaluate the impact on both social and academic success of all youth, including those with the highest level of need. Key focus areas of the Midwest PBIS Network include: 
  • Prevention-based school-wide systems of positive behavior support 
  • Data-based decision-making for instruction of behavior and academics 
  • Wraparound planning for students with complex emotional and behavioral needs and their families  
  • Community-based supports for families, youth and schools
The Midwest PBIS Network has a long history of supporting districts in implementing PBIS. For over 15 years, we operated as an Illinois funded statewide network for training, technical assistance, and evaluation of multi-tiered systems of behavior support(ISBE EBD/PBIS Network, 1998-2006; Illinois PBIS Network, 2006-2014). In 2014, after Illinois shifted state funding for climate and culture to its consolidated center, the Midwest PBIS Network was formed to continue the mission of the US Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Technical Assistance Center on PBIS: to define, develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-tiered approach to Technical Assistance that improves the capacity of states, districts and schools to establish, scale-up and sustain the PBIS framework.  Operating on grant and local funds, we are charged with supporting nine US states, and also continue to address the demand for dedicated technical assistance in Illinois for more than 1,000 schools identified as implementing PBIS. Our collaboration with the OSEP National Center has allowed us to develop and maintain partnerships with a host of national and local partners to further develop and advance the effectiveness of multi-tiered systems of behavior support. The Midwest PBIS Network is federally funded through grants as well as locally funded through training institutes and district contracts. This gives the network some flexibility to redirect and expand staffing to provide supports to LEAs/schools. 
The Midwest PBIS Network is a program administered and fiscally managed by the School Association for Special Education in DuPage (SASED). SASED is a special education cooperative organized under the school code in the State of Illinois serving its eighteen member school districts in DuPage County.  SASED is organized as a separate legal entity and is one of the oldest and largest joint agreements in the state being in existence for more than 50 years.
The Midwest PBIS Network is an experienced provider of training and TA in multi-tiered systems to deliver behavioral, social-emotional, and mental health strategies that support the whole child. The multi-tiered approach of PBIS allows districts to:(a) establish a foundation of social emotional learning for all students at Tier I, (b)systematically identify and provide supports for students who are not responsive to the universal learning experiences, (c) progress monitor and be responsive to equitable student outcomes, and (d) engage families and community partners to enhance supports available to all children. Figures 1 represents the general scope of training and technical assistance content, and expertise, supported by the Midwest PBIS Network 
Objective 1:Conductaneeds assessment of climate and culture, and equity audit of the LEA/school(s) to identify strengths and needs.

Activities to Support Objective 1: 
  1. Assess District policies, practices, and professional capital, through the District Capacity Assessment; 
  2. Assess school fidelity of systems, data, and practices using the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (or reviewing existing TFI data), student, staff, and family perception surveys; and 
  3. Assess current student outcomes through: a. Aggregate indicators of academic, social-emotional, behavioral, transition, and engagement indicators. b. Disaggregate indicators by ethnicity, and IEP status. 
Objective 2:Use the needs assessment data to develop and implement a comprehensive district plan to (a) build positive climate and culture for all students, (b) support student fluency in Illinois Social Emotional Learning Standards, and (c)and address the needs of the whole child. 

Activities to Support Objective 2:
  1. Align district and school climate goals; 
  2. Identify evidence-based practices that cultivate a safe, supportive, equitable climate for all students 
  3. Consider the realignment of professional capital; 
  4. Build, and/or refine job-embedded professional learning activities that address topics identified by the needs assessment 
  5. Incorporate expertise, resources and collaboration from community providers; and 6.Reflects the local strengths, culture, language, and needs of the students and families. 
Objective 3:Develop a well-established protocol of continuous improvement that includes fidelity of implementation, and outcome data representative of (a) the whole child, and (b) all student populations represented in the district.
Activities to Support Objective 3:
  1. Develop data competency amongst district and school personnel; 
  2. Identify the most efficient, relevant fidelity and outcomes measures for district goals and needs; 
  3. Establish a feedback loop to link professional learning activities, school implementation progress, students outcomes, and family/community input; 
  4. Establish a data use protocol for addressing equity, consistent with research-based recommendations. 
  5. Authentically engage family and community partnerships with attention to local needs, culture, language, and diversity; and 
  6. Incorporate multiple forms of data, including fidelity and outcome assessments for continuous improvement

NISL is the leading provider of school leadership development services in the country. NISL’s flagship Executive Development Program for School Leaders (EDP) is one of the few rigorous programs for school leaders with multiple third-party evaluations that show its direct link to statistically significant student achievement gains across whole schools quickly and dramatically. No other organization matches NISL’s deep research base or evidence of effectiveness in strengthening the leadership skills and efficacy of principals and other school leaders, including teachers.NISL’s innovative leadership development approach has been proven effective with aspiring, novice and experienced school leaders; in elementary, middle and high schools; and in urban, suburban and rural districts, including many with high-need schools and with substantial numbers of high-need students. Nor does any other organization match the breadth or scale of NISL’s impact. More than 12,000 school and district leaders in 25 states, including Illinois, have successfully completed the program—far more than any other program in the country. On the strength of our research foundations and evidence of effectiveness, the U.S. Department of Education awarded NISL two competitive, multimillion-dollar grants for projects that will impact almost 1 million students and their teachers by invigorating school leadership in thousands of schools, hundreds of districts and multiple states.

Two recent independent evaluations offer further validation of NISL’s work:

  • A RAND Corporationreport (Herman et al., January 2017) singles out the NISL EDP for its positive impact on student achievement, based on studies that meet criteria for evidence under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • A report by the George W. Bush Institute(October 2016) finds that the NISL EDP is the only leadership development program that meets What Works Clearinghouse standards of evidence, with independent studies showing improved student achievement in both English language arts and mathematics.​

The NISL EDP is a comprehensive, cohesive and coherenttalent development system. The program launched over a decade ago, after a four-year, $11 million R&D initiative with strong philanthropic support from the Carnegie Foundation, Broad Foundation, New Schools Venture Fund, Stupski Foundation, Wallace Foundation and National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). NISL, a division of NCEE, was established in 2004 to scale up the EDP nationwide after a successful pilot. Since then, NISL has invested an additional $8million in the EDP to apply the most important research of the past decade on leadership and adult learning. The latestedition of the EDP refreshes its core tenets with recent research that reflects shifts in university, corporate and military executive education programs. Organizations in every industry sector, including pre-K–12 education, must meet new leadership and instructional demands to drive their missions forward in a complex, ever-changing world. Thus, the EDP now intensifies the focus on creating agile leaders, increasing shared leadership in schools, and strengthening the pedagogy with more robust applied, real-world learning and with digital technologies and instructional leadership tools. This body of seminal and cutting-edge research animates the EDP. In this program, school and district leaders learn why and how to create an agile leadership culturearound six themes: strategic thinker, visionary thinker, systems thinker, change agent, ethical leader and instructional leader. EDP participants apply this learning in collaboration with their leadership teamsand teachersto establish collective and distributed leadership,which is better suited than top-down hierarchies to organizations that need to be highly adaptive. The agile leadership culture involves inquiry and exploration, adaptation, innovation, and strategic and critical thinking to address volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The EDP is a very different breed of leadership training. It is designed to be truly executivedevelopment, not at all like traditional professional development for educators. As such, the program models precisely the organizational learning structures and methods that build a professional, accountable culturethat extends to teachers. This is the program that will help IL-EMPOWER instill a sense of urgency and moral imperative in school leaders—and equip them to take meaningful actions to improve curriculum and instruction and truly make student learning and whole-child needs the central focus of their work.Moreover, there is no more affordable way to improve curriculum and instruction and raise student achievement across all subjects, across all schools and across entire districts than the EDP. For LEAs, districts and schools that are truly committed to transforming the systemic enterprise of governance and management, curriculum and instruction, and climate and culture, the EDP has no proven competitors.​

Chrissy DenmarkNISLPresentation
20 and Instruction

​The mission of New Teacher Center is to improve student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. Our theory of change focuses on developing teachers’ expertise and the implementation of high-quality curriculum and instruction in a positive, social emotional setting to meet the needs and well-being of the whole child and ensure equitable access to high quality instruction for all students. New Teacher Center (NTC) is pleased to respond to the State of Illinois’ RFA 22040308—specifically, Curriculum and Instruction. With nearly two decades of experience and third party-evaluated program design, we are eager to join ISBE and local LEAs as an IL-EMPOWER partner. NTC proposes a sequenced and recursive curriculum of professional development that can support mentors/coaches throughout Illinois through the development of comprehensive mentoring/coaching knowledge and skills. NTC will work to provide the state, its stakeholders, and community members with the comprehensive resources and quality instructional support needed to enable equitable learning opportunities and environments throughout an Illinois student’s educational journey.​

Kelly GregorioNTCPresentation
21 and Instruction

​Professional Development Plus! Inc.(PDP) provides innovative and high-quality educational programs and services to Pre-K to Community College schools and school districts across the country. PDP is an eleven year company dedicated to providing systemic, on-going professional development to all stakeholders in a school district. We are an Illinois WBE / MBE company certified through the BEP certification program. The experiences and successful accomplishments of the PDP cadre have been primarily in schools and districts similar to the demographics of large and midsized urban districts in Illinois as well as in New Jersey, Tennessee, Indiana, and Michigan. These are districts with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students, diverse learner populations, linguistic minorities and/or special education populations. One key benefit to partnering with PDP is the fact that our 30 plus cadre is extremely diverse and we mirror the population of the teachers and students of Illinois. We are diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, age and areas of expertise. Most of our collective experiences have been in large to midsize public, charter or private urban districts and schools. Since 2006, Professional Development Plus!, Inc. has partnered with urban school districts including but not limited to Chicago Public Schools, Detroit Public Schools, Gary, Indiana Community School District, Posen Robbins, IL School District 143.5, Newark Public Schools, Racine, Wisconsin and Jackson, MS. We are proud of our partnerships with educational organizations that include but are not limited to Pearson Education, McGraw-Hill, Knowledge Delivery Systems, Learning A-Z, I Opening Enterprises and E-Instruction. We are proud of our outcomes when partnering with schools and school districts that are serious about systemic change and provide the time and resources to make a difference. Our partnerships with schools and school districts have resulted in double-digit increases in literacy on high stakes assessments by probationary schools, significant increases in math growth and attainment, and movement from level three schools to level 1 and 2+ ratings! Partnering with schools and school districts require familiarity with National Initiatives such as CCSS and ESSA. All of our partnerships begin with analyzing the school or districts’ data that informs our professional development focus. Our whole-school model provides coaching and monitoring of all school stakeholders including Administrators, Teachers, In-school Coaches and Parents. The PDP consultants are experts in the areas math, literacy and assessment. Several members helped to design the Common Core Training in Illinois and are certified Common Core trainers for the state. The foundation of PDP is leadership development, on-going instructional coaching and school based capacity building. Many of our Leadership Coaches are nationally certified staff developer and leadership coaches through Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council) and have worked with Superintendents and Administrators in districts including but not limited to Fort Wayne, Indiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago, IL; Jacksonville, FL and Administrators in the New York Archdiocese. Many of our Instructional Coaches are certified instructional coaches through the California-based New Teacher Center. Our goal is always to develop or enhance school-based teacher leaders/and or school-based coaches. We offer a "Coaching Up" plan to our partners to insure that gains made in the one year contract will definitely be sustained or exceeded in upcoming years.​

​All of our partnerships begin with analyzing the school or districts’ data that informs our professional development focus. Our whole-school model provides coaching and monitoring of all school stakeholders including Administrators, Teachers, In-school Coaches and Parents. The PDP consultants are experts in the areas math, literacy and assessment. Several members helped to design the Common Core Training in Illinois and are certified Common Core trainers for the state. The foundation of PDP is leadership development, on-going instructional coaching and school based capacity building. Many of our Leadership Coaches are nationally certified staff developer and leadership coaches through Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council) and have worked with Superintendents and Administrators in districts including but not limited to Fort Wayne, Indiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago, IL; Jacksonville, FL and Administrators in the New York Archdiocese. Many of our Instructional Coaches are certified instructional coaches through the California-based New Teacher Center. Our goal is always to develop or enhance school-based teacher leaders/and or school-based coaches. We offer a "Coaching Up" plan to our partners to insure that gains made in the one year contract will definitely be sustained or exceeded in upcoming years.​

Stephanie PratherPDPPresentation
22 and Management

​ For more than twenty years, Public Impact has engaged schools, districts, and education organizations across the United States in pursuing dramatic improvements in students’ outcomes, both in their academic pursuits and in their quest to thrive holistically as adults in our changing world. We have a track record of bringing evidence-based practices to bear in the most challenging environments, with strong results. In the most recent year of data (2015-16), nearly half of the schools we partnered with in school redesign achieved “high growth” in their state accountability systems, almost double the typical rate. 

Our approach. Public Impact’s approach to boosting student outcomes centers on extending great teaching to all students. Decades of rigorous evidence show unequivocally that the single-most important school-based factor in student learning is the quality of their teachers. As a result, all of the assistance Public Impact provides on “Governance and Management” is in the service of one goal: placing an excellent teacher in charge of every student’s learning, in every classroom, every year. It is that consistent access to excellent teaching that enables students to catch up and leap ahead to reach rising standards. To help schools achieve that goal, we offer a set of services that we can adapt to meet the specific needs of any school, based on an analysis of the school’s data and engagement with teachers and other stakeholders to discern their most important needs and priorities. We call this set of services “Opportunity Culture.” While these services vary based on that process, here are the core elements:
  • School design team facilitation. We work with school leadership to convene a design team made up of the school principal, other key administrators, several teachers, and other staff as needed. We then guide that design team through a process of goal setting and decision-making that leads to a clear plan and implementation path for the needed changes. We help the team engage other staff and stakeholders and communicate actively through the design process to build awareness and buy-in.
  • Redesign of roles. The typical school design, often called “one-teacher-one-classroom” places substantial constraints on schools’ ability to reach all students with excellent teaching. Since the number of highly effective teachers is inevitably limited, only a fraction of classrooms – and too often a small fraction – will have excellent teachers. We help schools break the one-teacher-one-classroom model by creating new roles for highly effective teachers in which they “extend their reach” to more students, either directly or by leading a team of other teachers and staff. After a redesigned set of roles is phased in, literally every classroom in a school can have a great teacher in charge of learning.
  • Redesign of schedules. Concurrent with changing roles, we help school design teams reimagine the use of time, freeing hours per week for teacher collaboration, data-analysis,  planning, and job embedded professional learning. Instead of asking teacher-leaders to play new roles within their pre-existing time constraints, we help schools free their time to lead their peers, while continuing to teach students; all within existing budgets.
  • Redesign of compensation and career pathways. With LEA and teacher association leadership actively engaged, we work to make the new roles described above well-paid, within existing budgets. We help districts and their teachers devise career paths along which teachers can move during their careers, taking on more responsibility and earning more, without needing to become administrators.
  • Principal support. Principals are a critical ingredient in fostering great teaching. We work with principals on a number of fronts, including developing a clear, evidence based turnaround plan; leading the “team of leaders” made possible when teacher-leaders take responsibility for teacher teams; and using our assessments to understand their own competencies and leadership challenges and, with coaching, to develop the capabilities they need to succeed as leaders of dramatic improvement.
  • Performance management. We help schools seeking big improvements set up performance management routines and “dashboards” to help leaders keep changes on track by monitoring leading indicators of their ultimate goals, and adjusting their approaches over time based on data.
  • Customized services. Beyond those core services, we are able to tailor offerings to meet schools’ needs. Examples including designing and implementing teacher hiring and selection processes; training teacher-leaders and other staff; designing roles at schools for aspiring teachers to serve as full-time residents; and more.
Bryan HasselPublic ImpactPresentation
23 and Instruction

​Roosevelt University’s College of Education is submitting this proposal to be considered as a vendor in the area of Curriculum and Instruction for the State of Illinois in Area 1. The College of Education has a nationally recognized Masters of Reading program that produces Illinois licensed Reading Specialists. This program has been accredited by the Illinois Board of Education for the past 30 years. As part of the Reading Program, faculty from the university have worked for many years with schools in the Chicago area to improve literacy as part of our Social Justice mission and for the past 7 years, with the Illinois Board of Higher Education(IBHE)through a federal No Child Left Behind(NCLB)grant. In the last 7 years we have developed and implemented a model/plan for systemic and continuous improvement in balanced literacy and formative assessment practices within the highest need Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and several schools from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

​Our design for the development of LEA/school-level resources for comprehensive support of effective literacy curriculum, instruction and assessment practices flows out of the theory of action and 5 systems of change(accessibility & organization, curriculum & instruction, standards, assessment, and parent & community).Our coaching for building capacity design is focused on a collaborative change model in three phases that leads to effective literacy practices and approaches school-wide. Our coaching and professional development design model is grounded in balanced literacy pedagogy that at its core is a differentiated instruction model. Balanced literacy pedagogy is a philosophical orientation that assumes reading and writing achievement are developed through instruction and support in multiple environments in which teachers use various approaches and resources that differ by level of teacher support and child control(Frey, Lee, Tollefson & Massengill, 2005; Fountas & Pinnell, 1996).This project focuses on data competency in assisting teachers in using formative and interim assessments, particularly informal, daily assessment with immediate feedback, to insure that their students are understanding the curriculum and are each, individually and collectively, making the progress that the school and district have determined are appropriate. Our program centers on using formative data in literacy and grade level teams in order to train teachers on how to improve deliberate decision-making regarding student learning and progress. Schools that strive to have a strong focus on formative assessment need to begin with a plan for implementation. The project’s management of professional capital has five major roles, apart from administrative support. These roles are project administrator, literacy coaches, balanced literacy teacher leaders (BLTL), teachers, and school administrators. There is also a transition team which functions with a member from each grade level and the literacy team. The transition team primarily convenes from April through October to ensure a successful transition for students from grade to grade. Our program utilizes professional learning communities (PLC) to develop capacity building among teams. Huffman and Hipp (2003) assert that a professional learning community (PLC) is “the most powerful professional development and change strategy available.” Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment. Within professional learning communities, the team is the anchor or foundation for the collaborative work. Additionally, our project has a system for quality control and task completion based upon the organizational structures that we will be introducing or improving in the school. This structure and organization requires weekly and monthly meetings by the grade level and literacy teams. Our program places special attention on the cycles of continuous improvement throughout the curriculum, instruction and assessment processes. As Mintrop (2016) states, “At the heart of design development is a notion of continuous quality improvement through iterative, evidence-based cycles of inquiry. ”Built into our design is assurance that school administrators and teachers provide evidence for their decision-making processes regarding student learning. Finally, strong and open communication strategies within and across all schools are both critical and essential to the success of the project. It is important for collaboration among administrators, teachers and parents that communication be on-going, systematic and timely. Our plan to engage families and community partners is another part of the school-wide system of continuous improvement cycle.​

John MacDougallRoosevelt UniversityPresentation
24 and Instruction

​Teach Plus believes in the power of excellent teachers to lead the transformation of our schools and education policy in order to improve the outcomes and future opportunities for all students. Working with over 2,700 teacher leaders and broader network of 23,000 educators across the nation, Teach Plus has led local, state, and national efforts to place teachers at the center of improving the performance of our schools, including embedded teacher leader partnerships with schools in Transformation or Priority status. Drawing upon this experience, we submit this package as our response to the State of Illinois’ Request for Application on IL-EMPOWER Professional Learning Partners (#22040308) to be considered for the list of qualified partners in providing professional learning support for schools in the area of curriculum and instruction.

Teach Plus’ mission is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Founded in 2009 by the Rennie Center in Cambridge, Mass., and the Mind Trust in Indianapolis, Ind., Teach Plus believes that excellent, experienced teachers have instrumental leadership roles to play in transforming our education system so that all students can succeed. Since our founding, Teach Plus has recruited, selected, and trained more than 2,700 teacher leaders. Our theory of action is that top-performing teachers must be leaders in both transforming the system and transforming schools to improve outcomes for students, as defined below: 
  • Transforming the System: Our highly selective Teaching Policy Fellowship spans 10-16 months and offers excellent teachers the opportunity to expand their influence without leaving the classroom. The teachers who take part in the Fellowship develop the knowledge and skills to advocate for policy changes that improve student outcomes. 
  • Transforming Schools: Our Teacher-Led Professional Development Network empowers excellent teachers to transform schools from within. We partner with schools, districts, and across regions to structure professional development that allows great teachers to spread their expertise and drive improved student learning beyond their own classrooms. Our programs vary in intensity, duration, and Teach Plus IL-EMPOWER Professional Learning Partners #220403082 content area, but share a common denominator: teachers with a track record of success supporting other teachers in changing their instruction. Program Design In response to the IL-EMPOWER Professional Learning Partners RFA, we propose bringing our deepest engagement of school-based teacher leadership, Transformative Teacher-Led Teams Initiative (T3), to the state of Illinois. Originally designed by Boston teachers to address the problem of inequitable access to effective teachers in the highest need schools, T3 was among the first efforts nationally to place effective, experienced teachers alongside principals at the center of school improvement and transformation efforts. One of the hallmarks of a high-functioning school is leadership that is distributed throughout the building. In these schools, outstanding administrators work with Teacher Leaders to implement a strong instructional vision and establish the systems to sustain it. T3 helps schools build and strengthen a distributed leadership model in order to accelerate and sustain high-impact teacher-led teams around a shared vision of instructional excellence. Teach Plus, along with partner principals, runs a rigorous selection process to identify a school-based cohort of T3 Teacher Leaders, who must demonstrate effectiveness with high-need students and an aptitude for leading change among their peers. Through the support of embedded Teach Plus Coaches, T3 Teacher Leaders lead teams of their peers, usually grouped by grade-level or content area, to achieve an annual goal that is tied to the school’s overall academic priorities.  Over the course of the school year, T3 teams engage in a collaborative inquiry cycle, allowing them to monitor their progress towards annual goals and adjust course in order to increase student achievement outcomes. In the collaborative inquiry cycle, T3 teams are supported by Teach Plus Coaches to engage in the following steps: 
  1. Analyze: T3 teams use multiple data sources to predict, observe, and infer.
  2. Target & Action Plan: T3 teams set high-leverage learning targets and decide on an interim and/or post assessment to measure progress towards the target.
  3. Study & Strategize: T3 teams share best practices, explore professional resources in order to determine strategies and design instruction. 
  4. Teach & Assess: T3 teams teach the learning target, observe lessons and provide feedback, re-assess to collect data and resume the cycle, and connect students to additional tiers of support. ​

Jason CarppTeach PlusPresentation
25 and Climate, Governance and Management
​APEX is comprised of experienced education professionals focused on providing schools, districts, and governmental entities with analysis and research-based supports to improve student success and assist school/district leaders and teachers with holistic supports and effective strategies to engage students and increase achievement. They focus on school needs to develop customized plans, techincal assistance, ongoing coachin/mentoring to meet the local needs and priorities. They use their comprehensice needs assessment and equity audit to determine school needs. 
Todd A. Zoellickapex
26 and Instruction

​The Peoria-Tazewell Professional Learning Consortium is a newly formed professional development collaborative created between the Peoria Regional Office of Education and the Tazewell-Mason-Woodford Regional Office of Education.  Our offices determined that by joining forces we would be able to share our expertise to better serve educators in both regions.  We believe that through our collaborative partnerships across ROE Area 3, we can provide effective professional learning that results in positive outcomes for students. ​

Cindy DollmanPROE Center
27 and Climate

​Founded in 1997, Umoja Student Development Corporation (Umoja) is one of the few not-for-profit organizations to have established long-term residency in Chicago public high schools. With an assets-based approach to youth development and an unwavering commitment to collaboration, Umoja works with its partner schools to create positive, student-centered environments that engage young people in rigorous and meaningful education experiences, support their retention, prepare them to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and develop the skills and knowledge needed to become citizens who make positive contributions to their communities and the world around them. By building a web of dynamic relationships where schools, families, businesses and communities partner to bridge the gap between the talents and ambitions of students and the resources they need to thrive, Umoja equips young people to succeed in college and confidently claim their future. Acknowledging the importance of helping schools create safe and positive school climates that lead to improved long-term outcomes for students, Umoja is proud to partner with schools to develop a climate and culture reflecting the needs and well-being of the whole child and ensuring equity. Umoja’s Executive Management Team has more than 45 years of collective experience supporting the holistic development of at-risk youth.  With 31 professional staff, Umoja is uniquely qualified to partner with under-resourced high schools to provide direct services in the areas of student social & emotional  skills development and restorative practices; curriculum & materials; and professional development services. Umoja Student Development Corporation is pleased to submit our qualifications to the Illinois State Board of Education to a professional learning partner with Illinois Local Education Agencies (LEA) and schools/districts through IL-EMPOWER. We specifically submit our application to provide support in one the IL-EMPOWER-defined drivers of system change: Climate and Culture. We look forward to helping high need schools create safe and positive school cultures that engage young people in their educational path and provide the supports and programs they will need to successfully graduate from high school, enroll in college and assume their roles as positive citizens of our communities, our cities, and our state.

​Umoja’s theory of change is grounded in the understanding that in schools in communities hardest hit by poverty, disinvestment and violence, organizing around academics alone is not sufficient to drive transformation. To complement the academic program, schools need a set of comprehensive and integrated supports to help students navigate the journey through high school to graduation and beyond. Umoja’s infusion of human capital and professional development builds the capacity of the school to: 1) eliminate the disconnects that far too many students feel between their current education and future aspirations, 2) build trust between students and adults to help meet the social-emotional needs of students, and 3) reduce conflicts and restore relationships by keeping all of our students in the school and classrooms –with us, where we want them –rather than pushing them out onto the street.   Over the past nineteen years, Umoja Student Development Corporation has built up a wealth of experience and expertise working in partnership with schools and districts to create and implement plans for systemic and continuous improvement practices and processes. Methods and processes include historical data analysis, audits of existing data systems to ensure efficient and effective capture of data aligned with school goals, review of policies to ensure alignment with stated goals, analysis of communication and accountability structures, and team and department level meetings designed to analyze data in real-time and make data-informed decisions. Clearly communicating expectations and roles across all stakeholders is also essential. In direct partnership with the Principal and/or administration, from initial engagement with the LEA/school through to planning and implementation, Umoja’s process includes coaching school leaders on public messaging and accountability structures. Professional development ttopics span the three pillars of Umoja's work: Restorative Justice, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) principles, and postsecondary readiness. We work with schools to customize a series of workshops to meet specific needs and to cultivate participants’ abilities to build purposeful relationships with young people and adults. Aligned with Common Core, ASCA Standards, and especially Illinois’ Social and Emotional Learning Standards, professional development content supports all aspects of student success -academic, social, and post-secondary aspirations.  In addition to providing high-quality professional development training to school partners, Umoja offers a suite of other supports and resources to build a culture and climate in the school that improves student outcomes. These include curricula, onsite coaching and support, data tracking/evaluation systems, professional learning communities, and in-school restorative justice services​.

Ted ChristiansUMOJAPresentation

​The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is the only public research institution of higher education in Chicago. Located in the heart of the city, the College of Education at UIC is committed to preparing teachers, school leaders, researchers, and policymakers who can transform public education in ways that benefit children for whom education can and should make the most difference. Unique among the top-50 graduate schools of education in its urban mission and student body, we prepare educators as critical thinkers and advocates who continue to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare children to be productive citizens in the world. For nearly thirteen years, UIC has been showing that producing transformational leaders at scale requires a rigorous, practice-based approach. We believe all children can learn no matter how challenging conditions are. The key to their success is a combination of committed, competent teachers working together with a skilled visionary leader. We believe that transformative principals are not born, but can be developed at scale. Finally, we believe that the primary client for our work is not the graduate student who seeks a principal credential, but the public school student who needs a competent and committed principal. The UIC Center for Urban Education Leadership (CUEL), established in 2011, researches the best ways to prepare and develop visionary leaders for high-need urban schools, advocates for financially sustainable models of transformative principal preparation at the local, state and national policy levels, and disseminates information to other researchers and to the public on the latest advancements in school leader training. The Center works closely with UIC’s Ed.D. in Urban Education Leadership doctoral program, begun in 2003 by our Administration and Supervision faculty, who are ranked #14 in the nation by U.S. New and World Report, the only non-elite private or flagship public institution to be listed in the top 20. The Ed.D. in Urban Education Leadership was designed in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to develop principals and administrative educational leaders able to transform low-performing urban schools, systems, and entire districts. The UIC Ed.D. Program’s theory of action requires collaborative, sustained inquiry into how to develop school principals who inspire school cultures with high expectations, who engage key staff in leadership roles, and who build professional communities that improve adult and student learning through collaborative, sustained inquiry at the building level. Our continuous improvement commitment has strengthened the program’s ability to produce such principals routinely, not as an exception. UIC’s theory of leadership development focuses on leadership actions and dispositions that actively construct new organizational capacities in schools (Elmore, 2004). Expertise is described as a process of strategic problem-solving at growing levels of complexity. What distinguishes the “process of expertise” from ordinary learning and problem-solving is that it works at the edge of personal and institutional competence. The absence of clear answers and prescribed solutions makes the edge of competence, while uncomfortable, the place where deep learning and development can occur (Bereiter and Scardamalia, 1993).

​Leadership for transformative school improvement Because our approach to leadership development is first and foremost aimed at improving student learning outcomes in schools, and because the Chicago school system with which we partner is 85% low income and nearly 90% students of color, our program is committed to working with principals to transform the organizational and instructional capacity of each school they lead. This requires that our program work with principals after they earn their credentials even longer than in the preservice stage. This therefore requires that UIC hire and develop, as we have for the past 14 years, full-time field supervisors/consultants for principals--experienced leadership coaches who themselves were principals who succeeded in improving their schools’ capacities and student learning outcomes. We find that by working with the principal to improve the organizational capacity of the school teaching staff, a school leadership team can re-culture instruction within a school and significantly improve student learning outcomes of all kinds—from social-emotional learning to standardized test measures, richer arts programs, and increased graduation rates. The relationship between leadership development and improved student learning outcomes can be represented over-simply as: Distributed School Leadership Organizational CapacityInstructionStudent Learning While this logic model guided our work with pre-service and in-service principals in CPS, it has also informed our work in system-level partnerships to improve CPS for well over a decade (Cosner, 2015). Currently, we use this logic model in developing CPS’s cadre of principal supervisors, the Network Chiefs to whom nearly all principals report. LEA System Level Work UIC and CPS have partnered in system-level changes in school leadership policy since the 1996 Illinois legislation granting CPS the right to impose principal eligibility requirements over and above state endorsement requirements. By 2003, UIC and CPS had a formal principal preparation partnership, and a decade later UIC had co-designed the CPS Chicago Leadership Collaborative (CLC) as one of four inaugural principal preparation partners. Additionally, CUEL leadership was integral to drafting the new Illinois state principal licensure procedures which then became law in 2012, and the CUEL director served on the city-wide Principal Quality Working Group that in 2016 created the current Chicago Principal Partnership, aimed at filling every CPS principal vacancy with a highly qualified principal ( In Summer 2015, the UIC Center for Urban Education was approached by the CPS Board of Education to help CPS address the longstanding need for strong professional development opportunities for Network Chiefs. Network Chiefs today play a critical role in supporting, developing, and evaluating 30-40 principals each. CPS and UIC jointly developed an implementation plan to provide professional development for Network Chiefs. The Director of the CUEL has taken primary responsibility for providing the professional learning Network Chiefs need to support school leaders in improving student achievement and school climate/ culture. Because feedback from Network Chiefs and the Director of Chiefs has been uniformly positive, the Chief Education Officer has requested to continue this collaborative approach to Network Chief Development. ​

Dr. Steven TozerUICPresentation
29 and Management
​The core of this work is to apply a performance management approach, developed by UPD specifically for Turnaround Schools, called SchoolStat to train school and district leadership on how best to use data to inform and improve achievement in schools. SchoolStat goes beyond sharing data, discussing it, and reflecting on it. It’s a laboratory for testing and refining innovation. It helps managers develop the skills they need to turn data into actionable information which they can use to identify —and replicate —strategies and tactics that work. In a SchoolStat for Turnaround engagement, UPD/Afton works with the district and school leadership to identify the right metrics and to ensure reliable and accurate data can be routinely collected and tracked. The UPD/Afton team’s approach to resource planning is led by academic planning. We take the time to understand what schools and districts are seeking to accomplish (done through SchoolStat in this partnership), and build a customized sustainability plan in collaboration with Academic, Operational and Finance personnel. Through this, we aim to bridge the divide between Academics and Finance and Operations that so often exists, to co-develop comprehensive resource allocation plans that will ensure sustainable success for the areas of academic focus and improvement. This process will begin with intensive needs assessments at the chosen sites and end with the capacity-building implementation of the SchoolStat process over the course of one year. We are clear that the deliverables articulated in the Governance and Management component of the IL-EMPOWER RFA must touch the following areas of focus for recommendations and improvement:
  • Data Competency
  • Resource Management 
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Communication Strategies, and Partnerships
There are also three assumptions we are making about what ISBE ultimately wants from this project, and along with the information stated above, we have structured our proposal to include deliverables against those assumptions. They are as follows:
  • All services (e.g., training, SchoolStat facilitation sessions) will be performed in the state of Illinois by an on-the-ground team with the exception of some data preparation and visualization work and/or other meeting preparation that may be required to facilitate the meetings outlined in the proposal.
  • TheUPD/Afton team recognizes that this initiative requires significant customization to meet each district/school’s unique needs but assumes the benefits of scale in supporting multiple districts/schools at once to provide additional opportunities for learning and collaboration. 
  • To not exceed the threshold requirements for number of hours of services delivered, UPD/Afton is proposing to initially serve 14 school sites, chosen via the discretion of ISBE, for one school year. The terms of these services are outlined in the Budget Narrative and consideration may be made regarding the increase or decrease of the proposed scope and budget.
Douglass AustinUPDPresentation
30 and Climate, Curriculum and Instruction

​ULLC has been active in the school improvement movement all over the nation from2003 to the present. During this time, we have witnessed significant growth in overall school and student performance due to the accountability movement. Unfortunately, we have also encountered schools that have flat-lined in their efforts to create positive changes in achievement. The good news is that even in schools designated as “failing,” we have found leaders at the local education agency (LEA) and state education agency (SEA)levels who possess the will and passion for making these schools successful. Lacking is a well-defined change strategy for a holistic, data-driven, and research-based plan of action which is collaboratively developed, implemented, and monitored by the school and district leadership. In short, the will is there, but there is currently no pathway to the promise. The mission of ULLC is to build the capacity of local schools to increase student achievement by:(1) training district and school leaders in research-based best practices of distributed leadership, and (2) providing on-site coaching to ensure the implementation of these practices in the school and district culture. Several bodies of research inform the ULLC theory of action: (a) The ULLC SAME(Social, Academic, and Moral Education) Framework for School Design; (b) the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL);and (c) The ULLC Six Step School Improvement Planning Process.

​At the heart of all interventions developed by ULLC is the SAME Framework for School Design. This framework views schools as an integrated set of domains –Social, Academic, and Moral –which define the culture of the school community. The Social Domain defines how members of the school community behave; the Academic Domain defines how members of the school community engage in teaching and learning; the Moral Domain defines what members of the school community believe. When they enter a school environment, ULLC coaches invest significant energy in collecting data on these critical domain sat each school site before engaging the staff in dialogue around school improvement planning. All these domains can only thrive in a culture of distributed leadership, as it is conceptualized by James Spillane (2006) and colleagues. ULLC coaches are called upon to guide and model distributed leadership concepts and practices with school leadership teams and staffs. How does the ULLC SAME framework connect with Illinois’ ESSA challenge for persistently struggling schools? ULLC is uniquely qualified to partner with Illinois’ schools in need of comprehensive support. Since our inception in 2003, our company has worked almost exclusively with such schools in urban, suburban, and rural districts in 26 states. Our holistic model, SAME, was born out of a vision that with the proper support structures, public schools can overcome the negative impacts of poverty, ethnicity, second language or learning disabilities and create learning communities where all students excel at a high level. Extensive evidence supporting the effectiveness of the SAME Framework comes from An Achievable Dream (K-8) Academy in Newport News, Virginia ( This public school served as a “lab school” in which the SAME approach was initiated, refined, demonstrated, and documented. Independent research conducted by the School of Education at the College of William and Mary —both longitudinal studies and a series of special projects addressing specific research questions —provided the hard data to validate the model. Today, the school has expanded to two campuses serving students K-12.The most compelling evidence supporting the efficacy of the SAME Framework at An Achievable Dream Academy is the fact that poor and minority students perform at levels that are typical of white and non-disadvantaged students. Essentially, by using SAME, the staff at An Achievable Dream closed the achievement gap. Students of An Achievable Dream–called Dreamers –are drawn from the population subgroups that, in schools across the nation, trail on measures of academic success: disadvantaged (today 100%are eligible for the federal lunch program) and minority (98% are African-American). Yet they perform at levels that exceed those of black and disadvantaged students citywide and approach or even exceed those of white and non-disadvantaged students. Key evidence of the effectiveness of the SAME Framework can be observed via data from eighth-grade Virginia State Standards of Learning tests. Performance at this point indicates whether students are ready for high-school work —particularly at the college-preparatory level. The table below shows pass rates on Standards of Learning tests for Dreamers compared to black, disadvantaged and white students city wide. The data are typical of a long-established pattern, confirmed in test scores, retention, and graduation rates.​

Dr. Harvey PerkinsULLCPresentation
1 - 30Next