Guides & Articles
Templates & Question Banks
This is the second post in a series on a framework for creating a school district culture that increases educator growth and retention. In this post, we’ll share specific strategies to help you create a roadmap to increased educator growth and career satisfaction in your district.
This is the first post in a series exploring a framework for creating school district staff cultures that increase educator growth and retention. In this post, we’ll share an overview of the framework and provide some practical tips for how you can move your district toward a path of both high performance and high support.
The Teacher Incentive Allotment within HB-3 is one of Texas’s best levers for recruiting, retaining, and rewarding exceptional educators. But as district leaders know, building a local designation system requires careful planning, data design, and calibration to be successful. Hear Lubbock Independent School District share the challenges, insights and lessons learned from their TIA journey.
Walk through how to analyze data, spot skew, and make sure that your measurements are accurately reflecting — and improving — classroom practice.
Learn how two school districts (Rock Hill Schools and Corona-Norco Unified School District) are leveraging technology to maintain coherence between district and campus priorities while ensuring professional learning stays nimble.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 is set to provide significant boosts to available K-12 federal funds. Find out what the new funding means for K-12 districts and professional learning teams.
Guide + Template
A free guide to using dynamic coaching logs that capture support as it’s happening, plus a free template.
Recent changes to federal education funding structures like Title II, the CARES Act, and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund — among others — mean that these dollars are now available to invest in long-term PD solutions for continuous improvement.
Panel with Jim Knight, Jen Abrams, Dr. Luvelle Brown Kris Rouleau, and Jeremy Rogoff on the critical future path of professional growth.
KickUp presents on how to build a strong, effective evaluation system that leads to educator growth.
Guide + Template
Research and tips on building a growth-based professional evaluation program, plus a free PGP template for educators.
Quality Matters, Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Virtual Virginia present their research on effective online instruction systems.
"Using a KickUp-driven process, we've built a culture of trust in evaluation — not finger-wagging but formative." With a blend of trust-building, intentional processes, and actionable data, one Missouri school district is moving from a culture of simple compliance to continuous growth.
TeachFX and Anaheim Union High School District talk through translating continuous improvement principles into practical learnings for deploying support and changing teacher practice.
Coach and mentor time is precious—and expensive. Though we know coaching can change teacher practice, quality of time matters. It’s an administrator’s job to tailor instructional support for maximum impact and demonstrate the program’s outcomes. The solution? Coaching logs.
With an uncertain school year ahead and funds stretched tight by COVID-19, many education leaders are scrambling to find the budget for professional learning support. Learn about the federal funding streams available for PD activities and infrastructure:
Professional learning expert Joellen Killion and Hanna Schramm of Comal ISD talk through how districts can use lightweight PD feedback data to optimize professional learning programs and ensure instructional adoption.
Guide + Template
Virtual walkthroughs can provide clear, actionable feedback about how professional learning efforts are translating into practice. Check out our top 7 tips for creating a walkthrough program in your district’s online classrooms — or download the free guide of practical look-fors adapted from the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching.
A free ebook on the six most common obstacles to practical data use in PD administration — featuring examples, documents and case studies from real-life school district offices.
Guide to building an online walkthrough program, plus a bank of practical look-fors adapted from the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching.
Learn how one district is using data to hone their summer PD’s focus around meeting individual needs and driving towards change in practice, backed by research from McREL International.
"When we began this transition we focused on getting teachers comfortable so they could get students comfortable. Now that we’ve laid that foundation, we’re honing in on instructional practice." Using KickUp’s educator check-in tool, Fontana uncovered needs assessment data from the district’s 1600+ educators — and now they're putting it to work.
Education research luminary Jim Knight and St. Vrain Valley Schools Assistant Superintendent Diane Lauer talk instructional coaching, emotional supports, data collection for professional learning, and much more.
Highlights from Jim Knight on adapting instructional coaching in a virtual context, coach-teacher relationships, core virtual learning skills, district data strategies and much more.
"KickUp lets us connect our feedback straight to our PD and focus our coaches’ time on the highest-impact supports." Read how a strong culture of support logs helped this busy Texas district coordinate instructional coaching with content focus strands to close the knowing-doing gap.
Camdenton R-III School District shares how they moved beyond a compliance-driven culture of teacher evaluation to one that is a natural extension of professional learning.
Choosing a research-backed framework is the easy part. Translating it into practice — also known as “implementing with fidelity” — is a taller order. Part 2 of a conversation with two real-life practitioners on how to optimize fidelity drivers in a school district setting, track implementation success in real time, and understand what works and why.
Inertia is a fact of life. No matter how detailed or well-designed your data plan may be, it won’t flourish without consistent attention. But it’s not always feasible to add dedicated data meetings to your team’s already-cramped schedule. Instead, consider what opportunities for small but frequent reviews already exist in your system. Today: creating consistent data checks that hone your skills and build your team’s momentum.
Choosing a research-backed framework is the easy part. Translating it into practice — also known as “implementing with fidelity” — is a taller order. Part 1 of a conversation with two real-life practitioners on how to optimize fidelity drivers in a school district setting, track implementation success in real time, and understand what works and why.
Join Central Rivers Area Education Agency and Youngstown City School District to go over how two real-life practitioners planned and implemented their PD programs — and the evidence they're using to chart the next steps.
Janet Crews, Coordinator of Professional Development at Clayton School District, talks with KickUp about PD alignment, the power of data, and making a difference for teachers.
Dr. Joya Holmes, Executive Director of Professional Learning at Rock Hill Schools, talks about how RHD transformed their PD programming and connected teacher practice to student achievement through data.
Without clear intention for what a plan will actually do, the people it's serving won’t be able to make sense of the “why do we have this?,” let alone the “how do we use this?” Today: simplifying data presentations for accessibility, understanding and buy-in.
If you're trying to build a habit in a group of people — consistent and thorough feedback, for example — the trick is to simplify and streamline wherever possible. Today: running large-scale data projects while respecting your teachers' time — and your own.
Timelines are tricky. Change doesn’t happen along predictable, linear paths: it comes in fits and starts. That’s not even to mention the fact that short, intermediate and long-term change can look very different in both pace and behavior. Today: how to build robust yet flexible calendars for data accountability.
Two district leaders discuss the six common problems that show up in their work, and specific strategies they've used to solve them.
Achieving success in anything, from learning the piano to project management, rests on defining exactly what “success” means. Today: tying numbers to actions to goals.
A conversation between two busy, high-volume Texas districts on gathering and effectively using PD feedback for continuous improvement and impact assessment.
Most data issues can be traced back to either design or implementation. And that starts with collecting the right kind of data, and having a plan for what it will do. Today, let's start at the very beginning: how you design the process for gathering your data.
Join KickUp as we examine six of the most common roadblocks to thriving data cultures. With practical tips, guiding questions, and real-life examples of districts excelling through data, you can push your professional learning program to new levels of effectiveness.
“KickUp saves us so, so much time. I don’t have to wait for data to come in from six different sources anymore: the plan, goals and progress for a single teacher or an entire school are at my fingertips.” Check out the strategies and tools that one Texas district used to coordinate summer PD for over 1,300 teachers — and grow the program even bigger in following years.
"Where KickUp has been really helpful is highlighting small but mighty shifts in practice — the smaller results that are the direct evidence of success in the short term." Struggling with academic outcomes in an economically-disadvantaged region, Youngstown City School District needed to shift instructional practice with a focus on equity. With KickUp, YCSD built a data framework that invested teachers in their own feedback and coordinated real-time interventions to what students needed most. The results? A strategic alignment that's closing the achievement gap across demographics.
Guide and Template
A guide and template on creating a "blast walkthrough" strategy for school observations — multiple quick looks into classrooms instead of long-term shadowing.
Guide and Question Bank
Sample question bank for PD feedback, plus a guide to good strategies for getting the most out of your participants' comments.
Youngstown City School District was in Academic Emergency based on failure to meet state minimum targets for academic performance. But while the district struggled with academic outcomes, 96% of its teachers were rated as “Skilled” or “Accomplished” on the most recent Ohio Teacher Evaluation System cycle — among the highest in the state. Read how YCSD began to get its adults on the same page with walkthroughs, feedback, and bite-sized action steps.
"When you start by creating clear targets and ways to figure out if you’re on the right track, you start making swift and strategic movements." At the onset of an ambitious $2m 1:1 technology initiative, St. Vrain Valley Schools needed to both provide evidence of impact and maximize teachers' ability with the new tools. See how they tracked progress during the year, made real-time changes, and accelerated professional learning by identifying and replicating success across the system.
"KickUp has changed the way we make decisions. Our PD Committees rely on the data instead of assuming what we think our teachers need." After implementing a new strategic plan, this Missouri district needed to establish a formal mechanism for incorporating teacher feedback and assessing PD impact on diversity and social-emotional needs. Read how they dug into the data to understand the strengths, needs, and struggles of its teachers as a whole.
“KickUp gives me a 360˚ view of district-wide progress. Now I can be laser-focused on the areas in which our district needs to improve.” Read how one district translated their overall vision into improvement data, and saw a 20% boost in core instructional practices.
Tasked with making a PL plan for your district's educator workforce? Check out the Learning Forward research and five key tips from practitioners.