It’s one thing to have a clear vision for your learning community, but without structures in place, that vision cannot come to true fruition.

If more and more leaders become system thinkers, they will gravitate towards strategies that alter people’s system-related experiences; that is they will alter people’s mental awareness of the system as a whole, thereby contributing to altering the system itself.

-Michael Fullan

inflexion approach: structure

Many organizations are reactionary, rather than strategic, plugging in programs to fill gaps, but become frustrated when the culture of their school changes and the programs become irrelevant. Schools and districts that work for all students have coherent structures, systems, and processes that are aligned with their identity and each other (coherence) to support learning.

We support strategic planning processes that build on a school or district’s identity and engage key stakeholders in the process to ensure that resulting plans represent the voices of the community. We think of the process of developing a strategic plan as more than just document development, but a mechanism for engaging stakeholder perspectives, build relationships, and build capacity and ownership for ongoing improvement.

To develop student centered systems that prepare each student for life after high school, students need to be regularly asked about their thoughts, feelings, interests, and aspirations. Not only do they need to be asked, but schools and districts need structures and systems that embed their feedback into leadership level decision-making processes. Our partnership consultants work with school and district leaders to set up systems with their students and identify ways to ensure that student voice is integrated into the existing structures and decision-making processes of the school and/or district.

Our research and partnership consultants work with schools to identify innovations (e.g., programs, policies, and practices) that when implemented schoolwide prepare all students to be ready for life after high school. Once identified, we support leaders to incorporate the innovation into their existing infrastructure based on the unique context and the needs of their community.

Our alignment work is informed by more than 10 years of managing the Advanced Placement Course Audit (APCA) for the College Board. We design our work to empower and engage teachers to incorporate standards into their curriculum using a quality syllabus format and collaborate to map and gap standards coverage across courses. As part of this work, our alignment team engages with a premier network of postsecondary experts and industry professionals when schools want to ensure academic coherence with college courses or jobs training programs. We also use the expertise of our in-house team of programmers and online technology tools to manage and report on the process. These alignment services can be customized to meet the needs of schools, districts, state agencies, and nonprofits and will support all students in a smooth transition out of high school.

Our team has extensive experience in designing and conducting formal program evaluations in partnership with schools, districts, and other organizations. We tailor our evaluations to meet our partner’s information needs related to program design, implementation, outcomes, and impact. Inflexion supports many types of evaluation efforts, from conducting an independent, third-party evaluation of a program to building evaluation capacity to measure progress toward benchmarks and indicators of program success.

Our team is committed to engaging in research that informs key decisions and translates to practice. Whether we’re gathering or analyzing data for developing a strategic plan, scrutinizing school infrastructure for alignment and implementation readiness, reviewing the research literature for best practices, or conducting an environmental scan to determine how other schools or districts face a particular issue, our research skills are put to use in service of addressing our clients’ information needs.

Structure in Action