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Educational Service Providers - Provider Detail

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McREL International

Contact Information


Hilary Cooper
4601 DTC Blvd, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237

Phone: 303-632-5541


Beth Watson
4601 DTC Blvd, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237

Phone: 303-632-5541

General Information

Screenshots / Demo:
Effectiveness Data: and [‎10/‎14/‎2020 11:23 am] beth watson: ok i'm off. you could link here: and then here:
Type of Organization: Other
Education Non-Profit
Organization is best described as: Non-Profit
Age of Firm / Number of Years in Operation: 50+
Level(s) services may be provided: - Elementary
- Middle
- High School
- District
Provides performance guarantees in contract: NO
Educational Services Provided Assessment
Comprehensive & Effective Planning
Comprehensive Turnaround Provider
Curriculum Alignment
Diagnostic Review
Educator Effectiveness
Professional Development
Program Evaluation Services
School and District Improvement
Staff Evaluation
Unified Improvement Planning

Name of Schools/ Districts that this organization has served in Colorado:

Aurora Public Schools - Curt Humphrey (303) 326-1988 x28233
Castro Elementary (DPS) - Dr. Robert Villarreal (720) 424-8993
Union Colony Schools - Mandy Bailey (970) 673-4997
Colorado Springs District 11 - Karol Gates (719) 520-2000
Summit School District - Mary Kay Dore (970) 368-1019
Boulder Valley School District - Angel Stobaugh (720) 323-7380

Recent References:

Colorado Springs District 11 - Karol Gates (719) 520-2000
Summit School District - Mary Kay Dore (970) 368-1019

Name of Schools/ Districts that this organization has served in other states:

Liberty Union High School District (CA) - Erik Faulker (925) 634-2166
Eden Prairie Schools (MN) - Stacie Stanley (952)975-7156
Nevada Virtual Academy (NV) – Janine Calhoun (702) 407-1825, x7121
Sioux City Community Schools (IA) – Kim Buryanek (712) 279-6083
Albuquerque Public Schools (NM) – Sharon Olguin (505) 889-4894
* McREL has worked with a number of schools and districts throughout the U.S. and would be happy to provide additional references if requested.

Qualifications of this Organization (licensure, trademark, etc.):

Originally established in 1966 as the Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (REL), McREL has been working towards its mission for 54 years, helping “educators flourish by turning research into solutions that transform teaching, learning, and leading.” McREL’s primary goal in accomplishing its mission is to make a difference in the quality of education for all learners through excellence in conducting research and evaluations, developing resources and tools, providing technical assistance and professional development, consulting with education agencies regarding system improvement, developing standards-based programs, evaluating policy studies, providing strategic planning, and providing leadership development. Staff at McREL achieve this goal by drawing upon their collective experience to focus on what matters most to change the odds of success for students and staff, and by collaborating with educators to create better ways to help learners of all ages become college and career ready. We work to turn research into solutions that transform teaching, leading, and learning.

In recent years, McREL’s portfolio of work has expanded to nearly every state in the nation and, increasingly, to countries around the world. Educational institutions at all levels (i.e., elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and community-based learning centers) make up a significant share of McREL’s client/partnership base, along with state education agencies, school systems, intermediate service agencies, federal agencies (e.g., the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Department of Labor), private foundations, for-profit organizations, and international entities. In fact, during the last three years, nearly 50% of our client base was comprised of school districts, with 8% of those having more than 50,000 students. Based upon this history, McREL has developed extensive expertise and experience in the implementation of services being made available to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and its districts and schools, and have the capacity to deliver high quality, timely results that meet CDE’s needs and expectations.

Our professional development, consulting, and coaching services provide schools and districts with research-based, tailored guidance, and innovative solutions to help focus on what matters most in raising student achievement. Within this umbrella, experienced education consultants can provide customized services based on McREL’s Balanced Leadership® program, which meets the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA’s) Evidence Level 1; Classroom Instruction that Works®; Curiosity Works®; Power Walkthrough®; Learning that Sticks; and many other topic areas (e.g., curriculum and standards, formative assessment, learning supports, personnel evaluation, and school and system improvement). Additionally, we also offer research, analysis, and psychometric expertise to states, districts, and other agencies. Our researchers and evaluators can evaluate and analyze programs, grant projects, standards, assessments, and performance evaluation systems, or help you design your own instruments.

Qualifications of Instructors/ Staff that Provide Services:

At present, 61 staff members are employed within McREL’s leadership team; Business Services Group; Learning Services and Innovation (LSI) Group; and Research, Evaluation, and Technical Assistance (RETA) Group. Of those, 93% are classified as professional staff with 74% holding advanced degrees.


The cost of services is tailored to client needs. After a full discussion of the services McREL can perform, a proposal/quote can be provided.

Explanation of how we are able to provide differentiated services to meet the individual needs of schools and districts.

We believe the most effective strategies for providing services that support our clients are designed collaboratively and are customized to reflect specific goals and contexts. Therefore, rather than providing a one-size-fits-all model, we work in partnership with those who have an in-depth understanding of their unique populations and established structures to develop a tailored approach to the professional services we offer that are customized to local context. Our approach begins with seeking to understand our clients’ needs, vision, and desired outcomes, and throughout our work, we solicit input from all project stakeholders. As a nonprofit organization, we seek to guide innovation efforts from the inside-out, directly connecting improvement efforts to the work of classroom teachers and their students’ needs to help districts and their schools engage in the right work to improve student outcomes.

How will we evaluate our services and support to schools and districts and its effectiveness in school/ district/ student achievement?

Determining effectiveness of a solution is also tailored to the specific needs and project. Many of McREL's programs already meet ESSA Tiers of Evidence. In addition, McREL operates a research arm that is fully equipped to evaluate educational programs.

Sample of services offered for a school or district:

Under 500 Students:

School/district size does not impact services offered. Format for delivery (virtual, onsite, hybrid) may change based on location/needs.
During the 2019-2020 school year, a McREL consultant worked directly with La Paloma High School (~160 students). As a progression of work focused on school improvement, the consultant engaged directly with the staff during an onsite visit to focus on educator engagement and lesson planning to improve student outcomes. This session will be followed up on in the 2020-2021 school year with additional visits each with a specific focus to continue the ongoing work on school improvement.

500-1000 Students:

During the 2019-2020 school year, McREL staff provided instructional supports for Detroit Community Schools (DCS; ~780 students). Specifically, a McREL consultant made monthly site visits (three days during each visit) to DCS for seven months, working face-to-face with teachers and leaders using a job-embedded support model. This model included the consultant visiting classrooms and meeting with teachers during their preparation periods to provide just-in-time feedback and targeted support. During these visits, McREL’s consultant was also able to attend and/or support the development of professional learning community (PLC) meetings, and even provided opportunities for brief after-school and lunchtime professional learning sessions on topics of need and interest to DCS staff members. In addition, McREL’s consultant was available to provide whole staff professional learning sessions during faculty meetings and/or other professional learning times that coincided with the site visits. Following each site visit, McREL’s consultant submitted a site visit report outlining the activities from the visit, observations about growth in the areas of focus, and next steps for sustaining progress. These reports chronicled the school’s progress in implementing school improvement activities, with an emphasis on leading indicators of change.

1000+ Students:

McREL is currently working with Colorado Springs District 11 for the 2020-2021 school year (D11; ~27k students). Specifically, McREL is collaborating with District 11 virtually to support staff and build their knowledge and capacities to implement and contextualize the curriculum template (prepared during a curriculum mapping project in the 2019-2020 school year). Virtual work sessions include the following tasks:

- Work with curriculum staff to develop a teacher-friendly “storyboard” guidance document on how to use the new curriculum planning template.
- Work with the Curriculum and Instruction Directors to develop processes, procedures and a lesson planning guide that supports the implementation of planned learning sequences.
- Work with D11 staff to identify and define a set of high-leverage instructional practices that can be used K-12 and map examples of how and when to use them using the new curriculum planning and lesson planning documents.
- Work with the curriculum director to create a teacher-facing user-friendly process and tool to map and track the standards addressed throughout the course of a school year.
- Provide ongoing support for D11 staff in the form of virtual team check-ins, individual 1-1 support, or virtual attendance at district level meetings to share and discuss progress and next steps.

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