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Educational Service Providers - Provider Detail

The information provided regarding Educational Service Providers is provided for information only. The Colorado Department of Education does not endorse, represent or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content, services or other materials provided by these educational service providers. Any reliance upon any information, content, materials, products, services or vendors included on or found through this listing shall be at the user's sole risk.

Provider

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)

Contact Information

Primary

Jennifer Norford
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237

Phone: (303) 632-5546
Email: jnorford@mcrel.org

Secondary

Christian Martinez
4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80237

Phone: (303) 632-5556
Email: cmartinez@mcrel.org

General Information

Website: www.mcrel.org
Screenshots / Demo: vimeo.com/20537459
Type of Organization: Other
501 (c) (3)
Organization is best described as: Non-Profit
Age of Firm / Number of Years in Operation: 45
Level(s) services may be provided: - Elementary
- Middle
- High School
- District
Provides performance guarantees in contract: NO
Educational Services Provided Comprehensive & Effective Planning
Comprehensive Turnaround Provider
Curriculum Alignment
Educator Effectiveness
Instruction
Leadership
Program Evaluation Services
Technology
School and District Improvement

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

Adams County School District #14, Sophia Masewicz, (303) 853-3333, smmasewi@adams14.org
Aurora Public Schools, Brenda Gehrke, (303) 344-8060, bagehrke @aps.k12.co.us
Aurora Public Schools, Susan Olezene, (303) 344-8060, scolezene@aps.k12.co.us
Colorado Springs School District #11, Jenny Paradis, (719) 520-2559, paradjl@d11.org
Englewood School District, Brian Ewert, (303) 806-2010, brian_ewart@englewood.k12.co.us
Garfield County School District 16, Brian Berg, (970) 285-5703, bberg@garcoschools.org
Harrison School District, Carol Pollard, (791) 579-2067, cpollard@hds2.org
Huerfano School District, Dawn Olson, (719) 738-1520, dolson@huerfeno.gaggle.net
Jefferson County Public Schools, Heather Beck, (303) 982-6621, hrbeck@jeffco.k12.co.us
Littleton Public Schools, Connie Bouwman, (303) 347-3395, cbpowman@lps.k12.co.us
Mapleton Public Schools, Karla Allenbach, (303) 853-1047, allenbachk@mapleton.us
Park School District, Linda Chapman, (970) 586-2361, linda_chapman@psdr3.k12.co.us
Platte Valley District, Nancy Sangar, (970) 336-8504, nsangar@staff.pvs.k12.co.us
Poudre School District, Jan DeLay, (970) 490-3219, jdelay@psdschools.org
Roaring Fork School District, Judy Haptonstall, (970) 384-6000, jhaptonstall@rfsd.k12.co.us
Sedalia Elementary School, George Boser, (303) 387-5500, george.boser@dcsdk12.co.us
Summit School District, Bethany Massey, (970) 668-1000, bmassey@summit.k12.co.us
Weld County School District RE-1, Jo Barbie, (970) 737-2403, barbiej@weld-re1.k12.co.us
Weld County School District RE-3J, Susie Townsend, (303) 536-2000, susietownsend@RE3J.com

Recent References:

Linda Chapman, Superintendent of Schools
Park School District RE-3
1605 Brodie Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517
P: (970) 586-2361 Ext. 3003
Fax: (970) 586-1108
linda_chapman@psdr3.k12.co.us

Brian Ewert, Superintendent of Schools
Englewood Schools
4101 S. Bannock St.
Englewood, CO 80110
P: (303) 806-2010
Brian_Ewert@englewood.k12.co.us

Heather Beck
Jefferson County Public Schools
1829 Denver West Drive
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 982-6500
hrbeck@jeffco.k12.co.us

George Boser, Principal
Sedalia Elementary School
5449 N. Huxtable Street
Sedalia, CO 80135
(303) 387-5500
george.boser@dcsdk12.co.us

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

Comprehensive & Effective Planning

Jefferson County Schools, Kentucky
Robert Rodosky, (502) 485-3036, robert.rodosky@jefferson.kyschools.us

Comprehensive Turnaround Provider

Alcester-Hudson Schools, South Dakota
Katherine Ann Johannsen, (605) 934-1890, Kathy.johannsen@k12.sd.us

Northeast High School, Guilford County Schools, North Carolina
Anitra D. Walker, walkera7@gcsnc.com

Noel Elementary, McDonald County R-1 Schools, Missouri
Nick Nichols, (417) 475-3201

Jefferson Elementary School, Joplin, Missouri
Randy Randolph, (417) 625-5355
Curriculum Alignment

Goshen County School District #1
Roger Humphrey, 307-532-2171, rhumphrey@goshen.k12.wy.us

Educator Effectiveness

Middlebury Community Schools
Jane Allen, (574) 825-9425, allenj@mcsin-k12.org

Englewood Schools
Brian Ewert, (303) 806-2010, Brian_Ewert@englewood.k12.co.us

Instruction

Roswell Independent School, New Mexico
Harry L. Tackett, (575) 627-2684, htackett@risd.k12.nm.us

Deer Valley Unified School District, Arizona
Virginia McElyea, (623) 445-5002, virginia.mcelyea@dvusd.org

Des Moines Independent Community School District
Amy Larick, amy.larick@dmps.k12.ia.us

Irving Independent School District, Texas
Dr. Alice E. Owen, (972) 600-5250, AOwen@irvingisd.net (972) 600-5250

Leadership

Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Ohio
Pamela E. Smith, (216) 574-8350, Pamela.e.smith@cmsdnet.net

Central Valley School District, Washington
Terri VanderWegen, tvanderwegen@cvsd.org

Program Evaluation Services

Saint Paul Public Schools
Shirley Heitzman, (512) 414-4851, shirley.heitzman@austinisd.org

Jefferson County Schools, Kentucky
Robert Rodosky, (502) 485-3036, robert.rodosky@jefferson.kyschools.us

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

McREL is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve education through applied research and development. McREL holds several major competitive contracts from federal, state, local, and private-sector funding sources, and most of our work-directly or indirectly-is focused on helping states, districts, and schools achieve the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 by bringing practices based on scientifically valid research into school improvement efforts. McREL has established a presence in the nation as a premier education research and service organization. Our field services team, which provides training and technical assistance to state departments of education, intermediate service agencies, local education agencies, and individual schools, is highly regarded for its ability to translate research on teaching and learning into practical, accessible strategies for classroom teachers and administrators.

Qualifications of Instructors/ Staff that Provide Services:

McREL currently employs a staff of 118 people, 84 percent of whom are classified as professional staff. Of those professional staff, over 70 percent hold advanced degrees. Many McREL staff members are widely published and recognized nationally and internationally for their expertise. Staff work closely with educators and policymakers at local, state, regional, and national levels and have served as consultants to government agencies, private organizations, and foundations in this country and abroad.

McREL staff offer breadth and depth in both field services and research and evaluation capacities. Research and evaluation staff conducts a range of studies from large-scale randomized controlled trials to smaller program evaluations. This breadth of expertise across the organization allows McREL to provide not only a range of services, but also technical assistance, professional development, and consulting services in a range of areas, including research and evaluation, to federal, state, and local agencies. These complementary staff capacities allow McREL to link research to policy and to the field.

Led by Dr. Ceri Dean, Vice President of Field Services, the McREL Field Services team is comprised of 32 program staff members, all of whom have at least a Master's Degree in Education and/or Education Leadership, Research and Evaluation Methodology, or a specific content area (e.g., science). One-third of the staff holds a doctorate degree. Current staff have worked in education from eight to up to thirty-six years with an average of approximately twenty years in the field. These staff members have either taught in K-12 schools and higher education and/or served as superintendents, principals, or other school administrators. A group of Senior Directors oversees the work of Field Services, which includes work in curriculum and instruction, system improvement, school and district leadership, instructional program development, out-of-school time, and assessment.

Louis F. Cicchinelli, Ph.D., is the Executive Vice President and oversees a staff of more than 20 research and evaluation specialists with a diverse and rich depth of experience in educational evaluation and program expertise. All of the research and evaluation staff at the researcher level and above hold doctorate degrees in areas such as educational psychology, experimental psychology, cognitive psychology, and inquiry methodology. A group of Research Associates provides assistance primarily with coordination of activities, recruitment, database management and maintenance, data collection activities, and report writing. As a research organization, McREL conducts large studies to develop evidence of effectiveness for various curricula and programs as well as smaller projects including fast response studies that address regional needs. As an evaluator, McREL conducts evaluations for numerous state agencies, including agencies in Colorado, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Missouri, Kansas, Nevada, and the Pacific region, as well as numerous smaller entities including professional development programs, curricular effectiveness studies for publishers, and workforce analyses for states.

More information about the qualifications of staff and resumes for all McREL staff are available upon request.

Cost:

McREL is committed to matching our services with a particular district's or school's strengths, needs, and resources. With this in mind, we understand that professional development projects may vary from short-term engagements, such as a two-day consultation with a leadership team, to a two-day workshop for a group of teachers, to longer-term projects that may combine elements of consulting with a variety of professional development and technical assistance services. These projects and the associated scopes of work and budget are defined in collaboration with the client. All prices include costs for travel and materials and are provided as an example and may vary, depending on the number of participating schools and/or teachers. We have provided typical pricing here; however, McREL will create a budget for each service based on the Client needs.

Comprehensive and Effective Planning

Power of Data

McREL's The Power of Data workshops focus on a process for making data-based decisions about actions needed or actions that have been taken to improve student learning. This process can be applied at all levels ―district, school, and classroom-and it is increasingly being used for Response to Intervention practices in schools.

The Power of Data encourages district and school administrators and teachers to use four types of data-outcome/achievement, demographic, program, and perception data-to reveal patterns in student needs. McREL helps districts and schools use all four types of data to inform district goals, school-wide goals, grade level goals and individual classroom/student areas for improvement. There are two workshops in this professional development series:

- Level 1 Services: Using Data for District and School Improvement Planning; and,
- Level 2 Services: Using Data to Monitor and Adjust Improvement Efforts.

Power of Data services vary depending on the type of data, number of participants involved, and other contextual factors. Costs start at around $11,000 for a two-day, customized session, including travel and materials. McREL will create a budget based on the Client needs.

Comprehensive Turnaround Provider

Success in Sight

McREL's continuous improvement approach called Success in Sight draws upon research in the areas of systemic change, leadership, organization change, professional development, professional learning communities, researched-based instructional strategies, assessment, and school improvement. This transformation model is designed to help low-performing schools not only meet the short-term challenges of the No Child Left Behind Act and provide rapid improvements in student learning, but also develop the capacity to sustain needed changes and respond to future challenges. Success in Sight is a systemic approach based on a coherent, articulated theory of change that helps schools understand and manage the complexity of change. Success in Sight is built upon a set of research-based school, teacher, and leadership practices and student characteristics that are correlated with improved student achievement. This service is delivered as a series of professional development sessions and technical assistance site visits.

Price varies depending on the number of schools involved and the intensity of services. Cost for one year for one school starts at around $60,000. McREL will create a budget based on the Client needs.

Curriculum Alignment

Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum Technical Assistance

Guaranteed and viable curriculum is a combination of two of the influences on student achievement identified through the research: opportunity to learn and time. Opportunity to learn means that all students have equal access to the same essential content at a matching level of rigor. Time refers to teachers having adequate instructional time during the day and over the course of the academic year to engage students in learning experiences that build a foundation and deepen their understanding of the essential content. In other words, teachers must have enough instructional time to effectively teach the content, and students must have enough time to learn it. Therefore, it is important that those individuals responsible for developing the curriculum carefully consider the actual instructional time that is available for teachers and students. Conducting a time audit provides valuable data related to the allocation of instructional and non-instructional time.

A guaranteed curriculum aligns with state and national standards and describes the essential content that all students should know, understand, and be able to do. The essential content is determined through unpacking the standards and expressing the unpacked concepts and skills as measurable learning targets using clear, specific language. When the essential content is identified, curriculum decision-making is no longer arbitrary because clear guidance is given to teachers regarding the content to be addressed in specific courses and at specific grade levels. Additionally, individual teachers do not have the option to replace or omit components of a guaranteed curriculum because it is essential content for all students.

In order for the curriculum to be viable, not only must time for instruction be considered, but horizontal and vertical articulation of the essential content must also be addressed. Through horizontal articulation grade-level or content-area teachers ensure alignment with state standards and benchmarks and analyze the essential content for required level of rigor. Sequencing of content for the academic year is also addressed during horizontal articulation. During vertical articulation, teachers analyze the PK-12 essential content to establish a logical progression of learning that eliminates gaps, omissions, and repetition of concepts and skills.

McREL's Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum professional development leads a district through the steps it should address when developing a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

Typically, participants in the Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum Sessions are curriculum leaders from the district and school levels. Groups range in size from 20 to 40 participants. The district selects one or two content areas as a focus for the work as they begin developing a guaranteed and viable curriculum. After completing the workshop sessions, curriculum leaders have the capacity to teach others how to write a guaranteed and viable curriculum. By building this capacity, the district is able to sustain its curriculum work over time.

Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum is typically conducted over the course of a year as five (5), two-day professional development and technical assistance sessions. Costs for this service are approximately $50,000 including travel and materials. McREL will create a budget based on the Client needs.

Technical Assistance for Review, Revision, and Alignment of Standards to Curriculum Materials

McREL has helped schools, districts, states, and other education agencies to review and analyze their standards. Our team of experienced analysts can analyze your standards in variety of ways, including benchmarking your standards against the best in the nation and world, identifying opportunities for improving their rigor; ensuring your standards reflect a research-based scope and sequence so that you can organize curriculum around them; and determining the extent to which your standards align with your assessments.

Prices vary for this service. McREL will create a budget based on the Client needs.

Common Core Initiative Support Services for States and Districts

McREL can help your district get ready for the transition to Common Core Standards. With McREL as your partner, you can quickly take stock of your current standards, benchmarks, or curriculum guides in order to identify gaps in knowledge and skills students must master at each step of the way to succeed with the Common Core standards, and take immediate steps to supplement your standards this year so that your students will have adequate time to prepare for the new expectations of the Common Core.

Prices vary for this service. McREL will create a budget based on the Client needs.

Educator Effectiveness

Teacher Evaluation System

McREL's Teacher Evaluation System, which is aligned with InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, measures teacher performance on behaviors that research has shown improve student learning. The tool serves as a "road map" for professional development and instructional coaching, helping districts identify effective teaching and areas of improvement.

Principal Evaluation System

McREL's Principal Evaluation System is based on our Balanced Leadership® research on effective school leaders, and measures principal performance on those behaviors that matter most. Our tool provides principals with feedback they can use to grow as professionals and to improve their school's performance. The system provides everyone-principals and those who evaluate them-with clear, concrete measures of critical competencies. We teach evaluators how to consistently apply these measures.

Pricing for the software package:
1-99 teachers: $23/teacher/year (Minimum subscription of $1,150)
* If you are in this category, please contact me to discuss possible options.
100-499 teachers: $22/teacher/year
500-1,999 teachers: $20/teacher/year
2,000 or more teachers: $19/teacher/year
The annual licensing fees include help desk support for technical issues pertaining to the online system.

Pricing for the software package:
1-25 principals: $300/principal/year (Minimum subscription of $1,500 per year)
* If you are in this category, please contact me to discuss possible options.
26-49 principals: $275/principal/year
50 or more principals: $250/principal/year
The annual licensing fees include help desk support for technical issues pertaining to the online system.

Professional Development Costs:

Teacher Evaluation: Two-day session at $4,000.00 per day for up to 50 participants
Principal Evaluation: Two-day session at $4,000.00 per day for up to 50 participants

We have negotiated with districts on the number of days for training to help minimize the costs. For example; if a district purchases both the teacher rand principal systems we will do three days at $4,000.00 per day. We prefer to use a train the trainer model when applicable.

Instruction

Professional Development in Classroom Instruction that Works

Classroom Instruction that Works represents McREL's meta-analysis of more than 100 research studies on classroom instruction (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001) and identifies nine categories of instructional strategies that are correlated with higher student achievement. These nine categories have since been organized into three areas to help teachers use the strategies intentionally when planning a unit or lesson. An example of an activity that may be included in the training is listed with each category of strategies.

Creating an Environment for Learning

- Setting objectives & providing feedback (e.g. rewriting objectives so that they are written at a useful grain-size and in language understandable to students)
- Reinforcing effort & providing recognition (e.g. designing a lesson that focuses on a true story of effort)
- Cooperative learning (e.g. designing a cooperative learning activity that provides roles and rubrics for each individual as well as the final group product)

Helping students develop understanding

- Cues, questions, & advance organizers (e.g. creating an advance organizer for an upcoming unit)
- Nonlinguistic representation (e.g. designing a kinesthetic activity to help students remember a certain concept)
- Summarizing & notetaking (e.g. creating a model of combination notes to use with students)
- Homework & practice (e.g. designing a game to help students practice a skill)

Helping students extend and apply knowledge

- Identifying similarities & differences (e.g. creating a comparison matrix for students to complete for an upcoming unit)
- Generating & testing hypotheses (e.g. modifying an existing historical investigation to include primary sources for students to analyze)

McREL provides a variety of workshops that offer different levels of engagement for schools and districts. A basic session is approximately 16 hours of professional development and costs $7,200, plus travel and materials expenses. An intermediate session is approximately 48 hours of professional development and costs $21,600, plus travel and materials expenses. An advanced session provides approximately 96 hours of professional development and costs 43,200, plus travel and materials expenses.

Professional Development in Classroom Instruction that Works for English Language Learners

Classroom Instruction that Works with English Language Learners is designed to help classroom teachers learn ways to help English Language Learners (ELLs) be active participants along with those who are English-dominant. This workshop is based on Classroom Instruction that Works with English Language Learners (Hill & Flynn, 2006), which views the nine categories of research-based instructional strategies first identified in Classroom Instruction that Works (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001) through a filter of five stages of language acquisition. Participants learn the nine categories of research-based strategies (see Service 5 above) and techniques for modifying the strategies to accommodate ELLs in mainstream classrooms. As a result of participating, mainstream K-12 teachers gain a set of tools that allows them to engage ELLs successfully. In this workshop, participants will:

- Gain understanding of theories of language acquisition.
- Become familiar with how students move through stages when acquiring English.
- Learn how teachers can match their questions or prompts to the student's stage of language acquisition and "push" the student into the next stage.
- Understand why learning a language is a complex process.
- Understand how language objectives can be integrated with content objectives.
- Learn ELL applications that accompany nine categories of research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.

McREL provides a variety of workshops that offer different levels of engagement for schools and districts. A basic session is approximately 16 hours of professional development and costs $7,200, plus travel and materials expenses. An intermediate session is approximately 48 hours of professional development and costs $21,600, plus travel and materials expenses. An advanced session provides approximately 96 hours of professional development and costs 43,200, plus travel and materials expenses.

Power Walkthrough

Principals know that to serve as instructional leaders, they should conduct regular classroom observations. But what should they look for when observing teachers? How should they record and report their observations back to teachers? How should they track progress and improvement? How can they determine if the professional development in which they have invested is making its way to the classroom?

The Power Walkthrough software and observation process allow administrators to use a hand-held PDA to gather information (e.g., use of instructional strategies, cognitive level of the lesson, use of educational technology) about the real time implementation of the curriculum. The software allows them to collect and analyze longitudinal data on teaching strategies, technology use, student engagement, learning context, and the types of knowledge being taught.

McREL provides a professional development session to help leaders:

1. gain a practical understanding of the nine categories of instructional strategies presented in Classroom Instruction that Works (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001) and why they are so powerful for improving student learning
2. recognize these teaching strategies as the basis for observing teachers
3. observe how technology is being used in the classroom and the level of student engagement
4. analyze the performance of individual or groups of teachers in order to guide staff development and school improvement planning

McREL provides several levels of engagement for Power Walkthrough training from basic (~$11,000) to intermediate (~$33,000) to advanced (~$66,000).

Basic: One - 2 day professional development session (~16 hours)

Intermediate: Three - 2 day professional development sessions (~48 hours)
This includes the initial professional development session plus two additional PD sessions to work with individual or small groups of administrators. A McREL consultant will also meet with district leadership to review the PWT implementation and offer suggestions and advice on moving forward. A summary report will be sent to the district superintendent or designee within a week of each follow-up visit.

Advanced: Three - 2 day professional development sessions + three site visits (~72 hours on site)

This level of service includes three professional development sessions plus three site visits to monitor inter-rater reliability and work with the district on overall implementation as well as a presentation to teachers (up to 40) on the Classroom Instruction that Works content (See Service 6). Also includes monthly inter-rater reliability checks online and a website hosting of classroom videos.

Materials and software licenses:
Power Walkthrough Participant's Manuals: $45each

Per person pricing for software varies according to quantity, as follows: 1-19 licenses = $250 each; 20-49 licenses = $225 each; 50-99 licenses = $200 each; 100-199 =$190 each; and 200+ = $180 each

Leadership

Professional Development in Balanced Leadership for School Leaders

The Balanced Leadership program is presented in a one- to three-year consortium approach. A Balanced Leadership Consortium brings together school leaders from a state, region, or district and provides them with intensive, ongoing professional development aimed at raising student achievement in their schools. This consortium approach creates not only collegial learning environments, but also a mechanism for pooling local resources. A Balanced Leadership Consortium begins with a two-day Overview session (described below). This Overview may be provided as a stand-alone introduction to the research findings on school level leadership and the implications to practice. During the remainder of the first year of a consortium, Sessions 2, 3, and 4 are conducted, each lasting two days.

Session 1: Balanced Leadership: An Overview

This first session focuses on six major research findings from McREL's meta- and factor-analyses on principal leadership. It also includes an introduction to the concepts of shared leadership, balanced leadership, and the Balanced Leadership Framework(TM).

Outcomes:
- increased understanding of McREL's research on principal leadership, correlating leadership responsibilities with student achievement
- increased knowledge and skills for improving leadership practices
- awareness of the degree to which individual participants fulfill research-based leadership responsibilities

Session 2: Developing a Purposeful Community

In this highly interactive session, participants engage in a variety of hands-on learning experiences that promote a deep understanding of the importance of creating a purposeful community, which McREL defines as a community with the collective efficacy and capability to develop and use assets to accomplish purposes and produce outcomes that matter to all community members through agreed-upon processes.

Outcomes:
- increased understanding of the relationship between a purposeful community and student achievement.
- increased understanding of the four characteristics of a purposeful community and how they relate.
- deeper understanding about how to establish and develop a purposeful community.
- increased knowledge about research-based leadership responsibilities associated with a purposeful community

Session 3: Managing Change

This session increases participants' knowledge about change and effective change leadership. Managing Change is based on McREL's findings that identified specific leadership responsibilities associated with first- and second-order change. Participants learn how to initiate, monitor, and lead change effectively by applying McREL's four phases of change: Create Demand, Implement Change, Monitor and Evaluate Change, and Manage Personal Transitions.

Outcomes:
- increased understanding of McREL's research identifying leadership responsibilities correlated with student achievement.
- increased awareness of change theory and McREL's view of change.
- increased knowledge and use of tools and activities for effectively leading change.
- increased knowledge about research-based leadership responsibilities and leading change.

Session 4: Choosing the Right Focus

This session is based on McREL's meta-analytic research identifying research-based classroom practices, school practices, and leadership responsibilities positively associated with high levels of student achievement.

Outcomes:
- Increased understanding of the relationship between choosing the right focus and student achievement.
- Increased understanding of research-based school and classroom practices and student-level characteristics and how they relate.
- Increased knowledge about research-based leadership responsibilities associated with choosing the right focus.
- Increased understanding of the importance of alignment.

Sessions are two days each. Session methodologies include: Workshop, print materials, community building, graphic organizers, knowledge taxonomy, guided reflection, group discussions, structured dialogues, strategic questioning, conversation protocol, case methodology, case analysis tools, situational scan protocol, leadership action plan

Year One: Four (4) visits of two days each
- Session 1: Overview
- Session 2: Developing a Purposeful Community
- Session 3: Managing Change
- Session 4: Choosing the Right Focus

Price of Service:

Small Consortium: First year pricing for four sessions: $46,725
Up to 40 participants - One Consultant

Large Consortium: First year pricing for four sessions: $80,850
Up to 80 participants - Two Consultants

These prices include costs for travel and materials.

Professional Development in Balanced Leadership for District Leaders

The Foundations Series provides participants with an overview of McREL's research on District-level Leadership and connects those research findings and conclusions with our earlier School-level Leadership research. The third module of the series provides a systems perspective to the research, by tying concepts from living systems theory and social systems to McREL's conclusions about High Reliability Organizations.

Module 1: School District Leadership that Works: An Overview

In this one-day module, district leadership teams are introduced to McREL's meta-analysis of the strength of the relationship between leadership at the district-level and student achievement. This research identified six leadership responsibilities, which, when fulfilled effectively, have been shown to have an impact on student achievement in the district.

Module 2: Connecting District and School Leadership to Student Achievement

This one-day module connects McREL's school- and district-level research on leadership and student achievement. The findings from each of the studies are presented and the leadership responsibilities associated with improved student achievement at both levels are compared, with an emphasis on how each set of findings is incorporated into The Balanced Leadership Framework.

Module 3: District-level Leadership: A Systems Perspective

Effective school districts operate as a system in order to support high-quality instruction and consistently high achievement in all of the schools and classrooms of the district. In this one-day module, district leadership teams will study examples of living and social systems as they relate to the leadership responsibilities and practices. Session participants will also study the characteristics of high reliability organizations (HROs) and assess the operation of their district as a high performing school system.

The Framework Series takes participants much deeper into the components of McREL's Balanced Leadership Framework: Purposeful Community, Focus of Leadership, and Managing Change. This Series of two-day modules incorporates other leading theories and ground-breaking research with McREL's Balanced Leadership research. Participants will be provided with a wide variety of tools and strategies to translate the research into action in their districts.

(Note that the Foundations Series is prerequisite to the Framework Series. Framework Series modules may also be provided individually.)

Module 4: Purposeful Community and District-level Leadership

This two-day module integrates the four characteristics of a Purposeful Community with a systems perspective in this component of the Balanced Leadership Framework. McREL defines purposeful community as a community with the collective efficacy and capability to develop and use assets to accomplish purposes and produce outcomes that matter to all community members through agreed-upon processes. The following district-level responsibilities are explored in depth: collaborative goal-setting process; non-negotiable goals for achievement and instruction; board alignment and support; and, defined autonomy.

Module 5: Choosing the Right Focus for District-level Leadership

This two-day module takes the need for choosing the right focus to the district-level, by emphasizing the responsibilities of non-negotiable goals, use of resources, and defined autonomy. Participants will analyze how goals for achievement and instruction established at the district level guide the efforts of the schools to focus on the research-based school- and classroom-level practices and student characteristics associated with increased levels of student achievement.

Module 6: District-level Leadership and Change

This two-day module takes district-level leaders deeper into the differences between first- and second-order change and the phases of the change process. Participants will understand the links between the school-level leadership responsibilities for effectively managing change and the district responsibilities of monitoring goals for achievement and instruction and defined autonomy. The importance of identifying opinion leaders and targeting/framing a district initiative to increase the rate of implementation will be explored.

The Future Series provides the capstone to McREL's District-level Leadership professional development by helping participants look into the future of their own educational systems. They will consider how to utilize all the knowledge, tools and strategies they have learned to optimize their current systems and to lead the transformation into new systems where "failure is not an option."

(The Foundations and Framework Series are prerequisites to the Future Series)

Module 7: Anticipating the Future

In this one-day module district leadership teams will explore the impact of how changes in demographic, technological, political, and economic forces may impact and change the future of schooling. Team members will learn about McREL's Scenario Planning Process and how it may be used by a school district to anticipate and prepare for alternative futures. By using scenarios, or stories of possible futures, school district leaders will be better prepared to develop strategic plans for their organizations.

Module 8: Leading Into the Future

This culminating one-day module provides direct application of the concepts of high reliability organizations and defined autonomy to consider how to optimize current educational systems and/or transform systems, depending upon the alternative futures developed in Module 7. District leaders will synthesize their knowledge and apply all tools and strategies learned from the previous modules to consider how to lead their systems into the future.

Prices for district-level leadership start at $4,500 per day. Clients who require more than one day of service will receive a price break for contracting for multiple days.

Program Evaluation Services

Research and Evaluation Services

McREL emphasizes a collaborative approach that requires the active participation of key stakeholders in the design and implementation of the evaluation work. McREL works with project staff to refine objectives, document processes, measure outcomes, and interpret and communicate findings. Often this stage of refining the program is facilitated by the use of logic models; McREL evaluators are accustomed to working with clients to determine the linkages between program activities and intended outcomes. Project planning documents and statements of work are standard for all of our evaluation endeavors. McREL evaluators have years of experience working within timelines and are known for providing reports that are both on time and cogent.

Research and evaluation services include a wide variety of services, including literature reviews; Design and review of survey/interview instruments and other data collection tools; administration of survey/interview questionnaires and other data collection tools; observation of programs through site visit and/or interviews and focus groups with district and school administrators, teachers and parents; analysis of data (including survey, interview and focus-group data) and/or quantitative data as appropriate; Interim written and/or verbal reports as agreed upon; and final reports, including Government Performance and Results Act requirements, commonly known as GPRA, as required.

Because evaluation and research projects are unique to the context and conditions of a particular project, each specific project budget will vary. McREL will create a budget based on the Client needs.

Technology

Professional Development in Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works

Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007) builds on McREL's meta-analysis of more than 100 research studies on classroom instruction which identifies nine categories of instructional strategies that are correlated with higher student achievement (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works links each of the nine categories of effective instructional strategies (see Service 6) with educational technology applications and resources.

Participants learn the nine powerful instructional strategies that are generally effective with any student, at any grade level, in any subject area and take part in guided practice in using five categories of technology with the strategies: word processing, Web resources, organizing and brainstorming software, data collection, and multimedia. Outcomes for the workshop include

- Learn nine research-based instructional strategies for enhancing student achievement
- Learn ways to use technology with the strategies
- Learn how to use a wiki and social bookmarking
- Acquire information, resources, and exercises to use during and after the workshop

The target audience includes K-12 educators in all subject areas, curriculum specialists, and staff developers who are looking for ways to integrate technology with effective instructional strategies.
McREL provides a variety of workshops that offer different levels of engagement for schools and districts. A basic session is approximately 16 hours of professional development and costs $7,200, plus travel and materials expenses. An intermediate session is approximately 48 hours of professional development and costs $21,600, plus travel and materials expenses. An advanced session provides approximately 96 hours of professional development and costs 43,200, plus travel and materials expenses.

Technology Integration Workshops

Technology Integration Workshops are a series of nine, two-day workshops designed to provide concrete ways for teachers to bring technology into their classrooms in a way that supports student learning. These hands-on workshops take participants through a variety of activities and web resources and provide new ideas for all, from the novice computer user to the most experienced. Each workshop is designed to stand alone, but a series of workshops can be designed to provide a school or district with a specific and clear path toward true technology integration.

1. Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works: The focus of this workshop is on the nine categories of instructional strategies identified in McREL's meta-analysis of instruction. Participants learn to weave these strategies into instruction using their own lesson plans and take part in guided practice in using five categories of technology with the strategies.
2. Using Technology with Teaching Writing in the Content Areas: In this workshop, teachers learn how technology, the writing process, effective instructional practices, and student writing come together to improve learning. They also learn how to implement an action plan for integrating technology into writing instruction.
3. Technology and the Problem-solving Process: This workshop introduces a structured approach to problem solving and ways to integrate technology with problem solving. Participants learn how to locate and organize resources for use in problem-solving lessons and create a multimedia presentation to introduce a problem-solving lesson to their students.
4. Technology and Learning Styles: This workshop introduces participants to a variety of learning style theories and provides them with hands-on experience to explore ways they can use technology to support and develop each learning style. They develop activities for immediate use in their classrooms.
5. Multimedia and Student Learning: This workshop helps teachers understand what multimedia is and how integrating multimedia into the learning process can enhance student learning. They also learn ways to evaluate multimedia's quality and impact on student learning and apply their understanding to the lesson planning process.
6. Technology in the Content Areas - Elementary Mathematics: Participants in this workshop engage in a variety of hands-on activities within each of the NCTM process standards to learn how to use web resources and available software to support technology integration in those standards. They develop a plan for using technology to support their mathematics curriculum.
7. Technology in the Content Areas - Secondary Mathematics: Participants in this workshop engage in a variety of hands-on activities within each of the NCTM process standards to learn how to use web resources and available software to support technology integration in those standards. They develop a plan for using technology to support their mathematics curriculum.
8. Technology in the Content Areas - Elementary Science: This workshop uses the scientific inquiry process endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association as a framework to integrate technology into the elementary science classroom. Participants engage in a variety of hands-on activities within each of the five steps of the inquiry process, using technologies such as web resources, software, digital microscopes, and a variety of scientific probes.
9. Technology in the Content Areas - Secondary Science: This workshop uses the scientific inquiry process endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association as a framework to integrate technology into the secondary science classroom. Participants engage in a variety of hands-on activities within each of the five steps of the inquiry process and learn how to employ educational technology for student-centered concept building and knowledge reinforcement. They also gain experience using multimedia and presentation software in science inquiry as well as hands-on data collection tools and the Web to guide a science inquiry investigation.

Technology Integration Workshops are two-day professional development sessions priced at $7,200 plus travel and materials.

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

Our work is predicated upon flexibility and responsiveness and helps schools maximize all structures available to support students such as afterschool programs; tutoring and mentoring programs; counseling; transition programs for students entering the school (especially for homeless and/or migrant students); and parent and community engagement. McREL works with school and district staff to identify needs and gaps and align current day program elements with out -of-school time and other programs to increase coherence and efficiency. Typical on-site technical assistance includes individualized assistance to principals and school leadership teams and targeted professional development for school staff based on needs.

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

McREL regularly conducts evaluations from simple session feedback forms to full-blown program evaluations, depending on the services we provide and the needs of the client. For all workshops, McREL requires that evaluations be completed by participants at the conclusion of each training session. The feedback forms are relatively straightforward and seek to determine basic outcomes of the sessions relative to quality and utility. Questions focus on the quality of the overall presentation and session activities and the extent to which the sessions enhance understanding, contribute to the participant's current and future work, and provide information worth sharing with colleagues. This data informs consultants, design teams, and work group directors. Quality assurance is important to our work to ensure the best research and training possible.

Sample of services offered for a school or district:

Under 500 Students:

The example provided is from a scope of work conducted with an elementary school in Colorado that has under 500 students. McREL facilitated Success in Sight, a school improvement process, with this school through the following activities. Work on this project is ongoing.

Two-Day Professional Development Sessions with Success in Sight Modules
A McREL consultant facilitated three professional development sessions during the contract period. Each session consisted of two full days of training to build the knowledge and skills of the school leadership team in the critical concept areas of Success in Sight. The content of the sessions is organized into three learning modules.

1. Introduction to School Improvement
2. Data Use and Identification of Improvement Strategies
3. Implementation and Management of Change
On-Site Visits at Success in Sight Schools
A McREL consultant visits the school in-between the professional development sessions. The on-site visits are designed to reinforce and apply the concepts taught at the two-day professional development sessions as well as to build on the structures, processes and attitudes necessary for sustainable, continuous school improvement. School-level services include specialized monthly coaching to the school leadership that will include onsite guidance in school improvement.

Work during on-site visits focuses on moving the school to higher levels of achievement and ensuring alignment of school initiatives with district goals. Specifically, the work will help the school to:

- increase student achievement and performance,
- increase its capacity to use data to identify needs, set goals for improvement, consult research to develop effective solutions, monitor improvement efforts, and establish structures and processes that will sustain improvement efforts,
- implement research-based, effective instructional strategies and move toward standards driven classroom practice, and
- create a sense of urgency in the school to meet the requirements of NCLB.

McREL believes that effective school improvement initiatives are led by school leadership teams. Leadership teams are comprised of several key representatives (i.e., building principal and assistant principals, mentors, teacher leaders, and other building leaders) from the participating school. The school will need to arrange a half day of release time per month for these meetings.

One half day of each visit is spent working with the principal and the school leadership teams, with the specific goal of attaining school-wide implementation of improved teaching strategies. The second half day of each visit is spent working directly with teachers, engaging in structured discussions concerning the progress of individual students. These discussions will assist the school in meeting the needs of individual students and focusing and coordinating the work of all teachers on the success of these students. The McREL consultant will assist teachers in using classroom data to facilitate meaningful and practical discussions about teaching and learning.

500-1000 Students:

The example provided is from a scope of work conducted with an small district school in Colorado that has between 500 and 1000 students. McREL facilitated an English Language Learners Leadership Academy through the following activities.

Goal:
Each of these options provides opportunities for the school staff to plan for and implement instructional strategies for ELLs identified in ELLA action plans and school improvement plans.

Option A Full day with McREL consultants
Morning:
Staff works together on a late start morning to:
o Review the instructional strategy identified in ELLA action plan
o Share artifacts demonstrating use of the strategy
o Identify success and challenges with strategy implementation
o Plan for future implementation of strategy in up-coming units

Remainder of the day:
During teachers' planning times, groups of teachers meet with McREL consultant to provide feedback to colleagues on plans developed at the morning session using a structured protocol.

Option B Full day of Professional Development with McREL consultant

The focus of this day would be in-depth implementation work on the instructional strategy identified in the ELLA action plan and could be tailored to individual schools' needs.

Option C
Two half days with McREL consultant

Day 1: half day
Staff works together on a late start morning to:
o Review the instructional strategy identified in ELLA action plan
o Share artifacts demonstrating use of the strategy
o Identify success and challenges with strategy implementation
o Plan for future implementation of strategy in up-coming units

Day 2: half day - occurs at least one week later

During planning times, self-selected staff accompany McREL consultant on observation/coaching "rounds" to note implementation of strategy in colleagues' classrooms.

Option D Two half day sessions with McREL consultant to plan and co-teach a lesson using identified strategies
Day 1: half day to meet with teachers to plan lessons to be co-taught
Day 2: half day to co-teach and debrief lessons with other teacher observers

Option E Four 2 hour sessions spaced throughout the school year with McREL consultant to:

o Establish and facilitate a book group using a source that would deepen participants' understanding of academic language development and its relationship to the instructional strategies.

OR to:

o Develop and participate in a "thought partner" relationship with McREL consultant and school leadership to refine and plan for implementation of the ELLA action plan or SIP plan with focus on ELLs.

OR to:
o Participate in SST walk-throughs and debrief

1000+ Students:

The example provided is from a scope of work conducted Youngstown City Schools in Youngstown, Ohio. The enrollment is between 7,500-9,000 students.

To support the ongoing Classroom Instruction that Works focus, McREL provided 3 days of on-site training, consulting, and coaching for support and implementation of selected strategies during the 2011-12 School Year. These services were distributed in one, 2-day on-site visit and one, 1-day visit during the school year. During these visits, McREL provided direct training on the selected strategies, work with small grade or subject level groups, and plan for implementation of the strategies - using exemplars. A focus area should be application and sustained capacity for using the strategies at higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, so we will want to make sure teachers have a comfort level with the strategies and the tools and processes needed to sustain implementation.

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