CDE - Colorado Department of Education

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Ed Direction

Contact Information


Hollie Pettersson
35 N Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Phone: 801.456.6700


Carrie Miller
35 N Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Phone: 801.456.6700

General Information

Screenshots / Demo:
Effectiveness Data: we can email case studies with our results
Type of Organization: For Profit Company
Organization is best described as: For-Profit
Age of Firm / Number of Years in Operation: 12
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
District Culture
Dropout Prevention and Intervention Services
Educator Effectiveness
Organizational Structure and Resources
Professional Development
Program Evaluation Services
School and District Improvement
Family and Community Support
Unified Improvement Planning
21st Century Skills
Specific Content Area :
Social Emotional Learning

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

Though this is our first year as school partners in Colorado, our team has a collective 18 years of teaching experience in Colorado, including extensive teaching experience teaching and leading in:
* Boulder Valley School District
* Denver County 1
* Jefferson County R-1
* Mesa County Valley 51
* St. Vrain RE1J

Recent References:

* Stefanie Two-Crow, State Director of Educational Equity & Support, ND
* Roxanne Filson - Manager of School Supports, IL
* Cydnee Carter - State School Improvement Specialist, UT

* Ron Nielson, Superintendent, San Juan School District, UT /
* Daron Kennett, District Staff Development Coordinator, Davis County School District, UT /
* Jayme Leyba, Curriculum Director and Associate Superintendent, Uintah School District, UT /
* Sheila Schlafmann, Superintendent, Turtle Lake-Mercer School District, ND /

* Jerry Waagen, Principal, Montpelier Elementary School, ND /
* Fernando Seminario, Director, Paradigm High School, UT /
* Mary Basso, Principal, Kennedy Junior High,

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

Here are a few contacts of leaders with whom we've had the pleasure of partnering with in past 12 months.

* Pinckneyville SD 50 (Pinckneyville Elementary) - Superintendent and Principal Scott Wagner
* Spring Garden CSD 178 (Spring Garden Elementary) - Superintendent Tammy Beckham Principal Tommi Ryan
* Tri City CUSD 1 - Superintendent Jill Larson Principal Christy Kindel

* Dunseith School District (Dunseith Elementary). Superintendent David Sjol Principal Becky Ward

* Fort Trotten School District (Four Winds High School). Superintendent Jeff Olson Principal Dave Mahon

* Granite School District (Bacchus Elementary). Principal Becki Monson

* Mana Academy (Mana Academy). Director Dr. Anapesi K'aili

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

Our team is uniquely positioned to generate successes when working with underperforming schools. Just in the past four years, we have successfully partnered with underperforming schools in Utah, Nevada, Illinois, Texas, New York, Indiana, California, and Arizona. Our experience does not stop there. Since 2007, we have successfully partnered with education organizations nationally including with hundreds of district and more than 1,000 schools in over half of U.S. states.

Qualifications of Instructors/ Staff that Provide Services:

Ed Direction’s team is comprised of mission driven professionals who have chosen to work exclusively with underperforming schools. We are former educators with extensive leadership experience at the school, district, state, and national level. We have all taught and share a passion for and a commitment to equity and access for all learners. We believe the most powerful way to impact student learning is to invest in the development of professional educators and create systems of support to ensure rapid improvement cycles become part of the way schools do business.

Please reach out for a full list of team bios. Here are a few from our leadership team:

Dr. Trent Kaufman
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
• Ed.D. Harvard University
• Author of Collaborative School Improvement and The Transparent Teacher
• National experience leveraging adult learning theory for Professional Learning
• Extensive experience as a K-12 school administrator

Dr. Hollie Pettersson
Partner + Practice Lead
• Ph.D. University of Utah
• Architect of Ed Direction’s Collaborative Demonstration-Practice-Coach model
• Statewide Professional Learning Director (2001-2009) in Utah
• Teaching and Learning Director for district of 45 schools (2009-2015)
• University Instructor
• Established statewide Professional Learning and coaching model for principals

Dr. Kerri Briggs
Principal + Dallas Lead
• Ph.D. University of Southern California
• Noted policy expert on accountability, principal leadership development, and school improvement
• As Ed Reform Director at the George W. Bush Institute, established a principal leadership initiative, and reform initiative for middle schools
• As State Superintendent for Washington D.C., helped lead the city’s Race to the Top initiative, and directed numerous innovative initiatives to improve performance of the SEA

Dr. Laura Scarpulla
Leadership Coach
• Ed.D. University of Utah
• Reading Specialist, Literacy and Curriculum, MA, University of Colorado
• Expertise applying adult learning theory to Professional Learning for university, district, and school leaders and teachers
• As Project Lead for Gates Foundation Small Schools Initiative worked with a variety of school models to implement personalized learning
• As District Leadership Development Director for an urban minority majority district developed school leader distributed leadership strategies to build strong teacher leaders

Carrie Miller
Leadership Coach
• EdD candidate, Johns Hopkins University
• MEd, Pacific University
• Professional Teaching Licenses, Utah and Colorado
• Significant experience providing Professional Learning to district and school partners, including guiding school appraisals, designing and charting school improvement plan progress
• As a Colorado Title I middle school leader, designed a data-driven, student-centered model to produce more than an average of one-year of student growth in reading and writing
• Implemented a districtwide model of standards-based credit recovery in a community with high mobility and significant economic needs
• Extensive experience coaching school leaders and building level leadership teams


$15,000-25,000 for a comprehensive Holistic Diagnostic depending on the size of the school and the number of teachers (and number of team members required to facilitate the needs assessment)

Additional services are structured based on the desired scope of services of the school or district. We offer several tiers of support for professional learning and coaching depending on individual team preferences.

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

Ed Direction’s team understands the complexities of school improvement from a micro and macro level, and we have carefully honed our capability to develop school leaders and leadership teams serving underperforming schools. We understand the pressures facing school leaders because we have worked in these roles and alongside many. Leaders serving underperforming schools must act as change agents, rapidly improving student achievement with a clear vision; allocating resources strategically; providing relevant instructional leadership; and inspiring tenacity, stamina, and motivation. We couple our collective leadership experience with an ability to tailor improvement plans to the individual leader. Though the plan priorities, project cadence, and leadership structures vary, we focus improvement around meaningful professional learning and job-embedded coaching, which enable successful leaders to generate lasting school improvement.

Ed Direction's team leverages a rapid improvement cycle, driven by data, to customize services for individual schools and districts. We begin with a holistic diagnostic that combines available secondary data with an analysis of current instructional practices, leadership practices, and collaborative practices. We observe classrooms, interview teachers and leaders, and conduct focus groups of stakeholders including families and students then present findings to school leaders. From this, we facilitate a root cause analysis alongside school leaders to identify several priority practices. Our transformation model calls for selecting fewer, higher-leverage initiatives, and implementing them well. These are aligned to available standards of performance, as they would be in Colorado. From here, we set objectives and key results for teachers and leaders so they can identify personal goals within schoolwide initiatives. We then engage in coaching, professional learning, and progress monitoring to ensure progress is occurring both with individuals and the implementation of systems. We are deliberate, through our partnership, to gradually release responsibility from our team of coaches to the school leaders to practices become durable.

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

In order to be effective, all school systems require some tinkering along the way. By doing this, implementation of effective practices and programs can be maintained. The truth is, faculties at student-centered schools understand that everything they do requires ongoing maintenance and a commitment to refinement. It’s simply part of the way they work.​​​

We utilize a combination of implementation and student performance data to measure effectiveness. Ultimately, improved student outcomes is a measure of our impact. In the shorter term, we reference stages of implementation connected to initial holistic diagnostic work with partners. We collect informal and formal data around how priority practices are being implemented through observation, coaching sessions, and dialogue. Examples may include student engagement observations, lesson plans, meeting agendas, and meeting practices connected to an effective meeting continuum. Regularly, we solicit feedback from school and district partners to fine tune the effectiveness of our partnerships, as well.

Sample of services offered for a school or district:

Under 500 Students:

At a suburban charter school, we identified through a holistic diagnostic that teachers lacked clarity regarding how to use data to make instructional decisions. They had inconsistent knowledge of and adherence to instructional standards. They also had high teacher turnover. Our solution, which we developed with school leadership, was to improve instruction by aligning curriculum with instructional standards; increase culture and collaboration efforts by establishing a School Transformation team and implementing effective data-driven PLCs; and implement Explicit Instruction to increase student engagement and align academic expectations across the school. As a result, the school achieved the highest growth rates among comparison schools statewide and overall proficiency rates increased five times from 3% to 22%, exceeding rates of neighboring district and charter schools.

500-1000 Students:

At a rural middle school, we identified through a holistic diagnostic that departments relied too much on individual teachers to plan rather than creating true collaboration. Off-task student rates were relatively high at 18%. Teachers reported unclear teaching expectations. There was inconsistent communication from leadership. Together with school leadership through professional learning, coaching teachers, and coaching leaders, we focused on improving collaboration and instruction by increasing teacher leadership interactions in order to improve student outcomes; focused on improving student engagement by implementing questioning and feedback techniques; and implemented distributed leadership by building capacity of SLT members to empower each. As a result, student engagement increased to 92% of instructional time. The school moved up two letter grades from a D in 2015 to a B in 2018. Overall proficiency increased to 44%, exceeding district rates.

1000+ Students:

In 2018, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI), began implementation of their approved ESSA plan NDDPI identified 13 schools performing in the bottom 5% of the state which includes failure rates of 70-100% of all students and graduation rates of under 55% annually. Ed Direction’s objective is to build cascading levels of support in North Dakota to improve student proficiency by at least 33% and increase graduation rates to 95% by May 2024 in identified schools.

Average preliminary findings across one year of partnership include 5% proficiency gains in English Language Arts and 8% proficiency gains in math.

Our partnership includes professional learning, coaching, and performance management for teachers, teams of teachers, building and district leaders, and SEA personnel. For example, principals and superintendents engage in monthly, twice monthly, or weekly coaching depending on the school’s selected tier of support. Improvement efforts are customized to the needs of the school and leader, we understand that context matters when working with schools, strategies cannot be reduced to plug and play. As we enter year two of the partnership in ND, we are thrilled to continue to employ a model that builds local capacity and gradually transfers ownership and responsibility to the local leaders.

Preliminary overall proficiency gains after year one show an increase from 10% to 17% in math, from 14% to 17% in ELA, and high implementing schools show an increase on average from 15% to 26% across the cohort.

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