In partnership with the Orange County Department of Education, Inflexion is currently consulting with school leadership teams throughout California as they implement and scale up California’s Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework. This framework “aligns academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning in a fully integrated system of support for the benefit of all students. MTSS offers the potential to create needed systemic change through intentional design and redesign of services and supports to quickly identify and match to the needs of all students.”
During the last two years, we have had the opportunity to work and learn alongside many passionate leaders who are committed to preparing all students to be ready for their futures. During the process, leadership teams inventory what they are currently doing to support student learning on their campus and to assess the systems they currently have (or do not yet have in place) in order to support every student’s learning needs. Teams are often amazed at how much they are already doing, but what they find is often missing is a clear vision or set of outcomes for how their are preparing students to be ready for life once they leave high school.
Because of this, many leadership teams are developing plans to operationalize clear student outcomes that reflect what their community (students, staff, families, and community partners) values most for their students. While many schools are just beginning to implement their plans, the leadership teams have come up with several innovative strategies to reach their goals
Here are a few examples:
- Surveying or getting in-person feedback from students, staff, and families to make sure their outcomes are relevant and that the school community is informed and invested.
- Further defining for students and staff what it looks like for classrooms to promote and students to display particular outcomes. For example, a classroom that promotes critical thinking values and rewards curiosity by praising how students’ explorations are contribution to their own learning and a student who demonstrates critical thinking develops and utilizes multiple techniques in problem solving and can articulate their reason for choosing those techniques.
- Surveying students to find out how often, when, and where they have the opportunity to learn the identified student outcomes.
As a result of this process, students are learning to identify and articulate what skills they are gaining from their experiences such as a classroom project, participating in a club or extra-curricular activity, or volunteering for a community service project. School staff are identifying the best ways to utilize the supports they have so every student has the opportunity to reach their school’s student outcomes. Staff can also better articulate what additional supports and resources their campus needs in order to best serve their students. We will continue to support school leadership teams as they implement their strategies through this coming school year as well as the 2018-2019 school year, including working with them to document their successes and challenges along the way.