Leadership and Implementation Team
The primary role of the leadership and implementation team at the Installation and Initial Implementation stages is to design and roll-out training to staff with responsibilities for implementing the English Language Arts (ELA) Standards; creating functional changes in schedules, resource allocation, and meeting structures; and collecting and analyzing data in order to determine staff’s readiness, competency, and authority to function in their designated roles.
An essential success factor at this point is to ensure that educators develop a clear vision and articulation of the critical features needed to implement the ELA Standards. These features include the process of deeply understanding the standards. This means, what students have to know and do, the learning targets for the end of each grade level, the critical learning and thinking skills involved, and the content and concepts to be included in each grade level. Also essential at this stage is the need for teaching and support staff to have a full understanding of how skills, concepts, and mastery develop in depth and complexity across the grades, also called vertical alignment.
At the Installation stage, leadership and implementation teams will understand the importance of establishing a quality standard of adult learning targets with respect to what it means to assess and teach the standards. This is important so that horizontal alignment and fidelity can be attained.
During installation, creating staff capacity, and defining the role and function of coaching, is critical. Implementation teams will need to carefully safeguard the role and function of all those with coaching responsibilities as well as hold staff accountable for using the coaches effectively.
The role of coaching is critical in ensuring fidelity of implementation of ELA Standards, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). The same process of clearly defining the critical features needed to implement the ELA Standards and training adults for uniform and shared understanding of each feature is applicable to UDL and MTSS.
Also essential to a successful implementation effort is a fully functional data support system. The system must provide data in a timely manner so that leadership teams can make decisions to support adults in gathering, using, and adjusting assessment and instruction. Effective leadership and implementation teams use data to track student progress and performance at the classroom level and through the school system, and to establish high-performance expectations for adults.
Leadership teams will need to provide a high level of protection, problem-solving, and support between the Installation and Initial Implementation stages. Leaders will have to protect implementation to move forward as intended and prevent innovations or dropping of critical features in the early stages. This requires the capacity to complete rapid-cycle problem-solving, as well as more long-term problem-solving cycles to:
- Use data to revise an action plan according to priorities. Chart a clear course that all staff understand in order to establish high expectations. Use meaningful data to track progress and performance.
- Data allows leaders to make real-time adjustments to training, coaching, and organizational supports to improve the next iteration of instruction and interventions.
- Develop capacity and consistency of knowledge across staff, and provide the necessary support and training to teachers and others in the system to successfully refine assessment, UDL, and MTSS.
- Optimize the functioning of the organization by securing time within schedules to ensure that data-based decision-making and new solutions are fully installed. Protocols for collaboration must also be articulated and training must be provided. Finally, coordination with the master schedule will maximize core instruction while also maintaining critical time for selected interventions.
Leadership and implementation teams need to safeguard against over-estimating implementation. Creation of a manual or strategic plan is necessary but insufficient for installation. Pressing forward with expectations of implementation without securing resources or providing sufficient training and ongoing coaching can jeopardize achieving the full and intended benefits. Additional threats to fully realizing and sustaining the benefits of ELA Standards, UDL, or MTSS implementation include:
- Altering and innovating critical features prior to implementing them as intended,
- Presuming and not measuring performance results of staff and students,
- Expecting improved student outcomes before seeing evidence that staff have moved from being trained to fully implementing the critical features.
We strongly recommend coordinating clear understanding within and across teams responsible for leading implementation efforts in UDL and MTSS alongside the standards. Creation of a unified team actively managing all three (Standards, UDL and MTSS) may be more manageable in the long-term.
Aligning Systems Preschool through Grade 3
(http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/ReadWell/LiteracyPlanWebinars/index.html) is a six-part series of webinars on developing a local literacy plan. Topics include assessing your current situation; using data to plan; providing professional development for educators; implementing your literacy plan; and engaging families and communities for broad-based support of literacy development.
Stages of Implementation Analysis: Where are We?
(http://implementation.fpg.unc.edu/sites/implementation.fpg.unc.edu/files/resources/AIHub-SISEP-StagesOfImplementationAnalysisWhereAreWe.pdf). This planning tool from the State Implementation & Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices Center (SISEP) provides practical tools and scoring forms to assess, plan, and track stage-based activities and improve the success of implementation efforts.Improvement Cycles
(http://sisep.fpg.unc.edu/news/sisep-enotes-july-2012) is a one-page resource from the State Implementation & Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices Center (SISEP), which provides an online description of three related models for continuous improvement. One is the Plan-Do-Study-Act model, and the others, which apply to this model, are usability testing and the policy-practice feedback loop.Usable Interventions
(https://unc-fpg-cdi.adobeconnect.com/_a992899727/ai-lesson2/). This 10-minute video research helps team members determine if an intervention is evidence-based and useful for targeted students. This resource helps educators identify four criteria that distinguish a usable intervention, identify the implementation stage at which the fit of intervention is assessed, and select and employ appropriate tools and processes for assessing the fit of an intervention.Strategic Analysis of the Implementation Drivers
(http://region11s4.lacoe.edu/attachments/article/104/2.%20Strategic%20Analysis%20of%20the%20Implementation%20Drivers%20Worksheet.pdf). This worksheet created by the State Implementation and Scale-Up of Evidence-based Practices (SISEP) helps leaders assess key components of organizational competency and structure to implement Response to Intervention (RtI).ImpleMap: Exploring the Implementation Landscape
(http://implementation.fpg.unc.edu/resources/implemap) is a seven-part video series from Scale-Up of Evidence-based Practices (SISEP) that explains the process of gathering information for an RtI implementation.
UDL SupportUDL Systemic Change Planner
(http://www.udlcenter.org/implementation/planningtemplates/districtresources). Administrators and leadership teams may use this set of three resources to build an understanding of and plan for the installation of the key components needed to implement Universal Design for Learning (UDL) throughout a system. Eight key factors provide a framework for planning and monitoring progress: technology infrastructure; obtaining and managing digital content resources; administrative support; teacher training and support; redefined roles for special and regular education teachers; a new curriculum planning model; parent and community involvement; and creative funding.
MTSS/RTI SupportsResponse to Intervention Blueprints: District-Level Edition
(http://www.nasdse.org/Portals/0/DISTRICT.pdf) and Response to Intervention: School-Level Edition
(http://www.nasdse.org/Portals/0/SCHOOL.pdf) are two documents authored by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). They provide a framework to implement Response to Intervention (RtI) at the district and school levels. They include detailed plans for implementation and assessment. Each describes specific steps for action and includes resources and lessons from the field.
The Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports: Building Leadership Team System Implementation Guide
(http://www.kansasmtss.org/all/Implementation/BLT%20System%20Implementation%20Guide.pdf). This guide helps leadership teams implement the Multi-tier System of Supports, which encourages children’s academic and behavioral success while providing leaders with processes and tools to collect data and evaluate progress. It includes an overall model for implementation as well as checklists for action and review.Building RtI Capacity
(http://buildingrti.utexas.org/tools-and-resources) is a website maintained by the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk that provides a compendium of resources for districts and schools interested in implementing Response to Intervention (RtI) and concerned with building the capacity of educators to reduce the education risk factors that negatively influence student achievement. These resources include background information on RtI; RtI in elementary education; RtI in secondary education; assessment, and others.