What We Do
WestEd knows from research and decades of experience that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Thatís why WestEd School Turnaround teams begin each partnership with a comprehensive and efficient needs assessment. At the district level, the needs assessment helps identify the right intervention model for each low-performing school. At the school level, the needs assessment results in a customized turnaround or transformation action plan, based on the schoolís strengths and needs. While each schoolís action plan will differ due to unique characteristics and needs, all will focus on seven key areas that a school must address if it is to significantly improve its performance:
- Effective school leadership
- High-quality teaching
- Rigorous, standards-based curricula and formative assessments to guide instruction
- Targeted, ongoing professional development
- Safe school environment and a supportive climate
- Alignment of fiscal and human resources to support student achievement
- Engagement of families to support the education of their children and to work in partnership with education personnel
Once the action plan is developed — jointly by school and district staff and one of WestEd School Turnaround teams — we focus relentlessly on implementation. We provide intensive professional development and job-embedded coaching to ensure high-quality implementation, and regularly monitor progress toward achieving agreed-upon goals. An annual evaluation provides both summative data to assess and report the effectiveness of the turnaround effort, as well as formative data to guide future work.
Meeting the needs of English learners and students with disabilities is a key area of focus in all WestEd partnerships. Our work builds district and school capacity to improve achievement for all students, with a special focus on English learners and students with disabilities.