The Cleveland Heights-University Heights District is using the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) to improve student achievement. The OIP was developed by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) with the support of the U.S. Department of Education. The process is a unified state system – districts in Ohio use the same process.
Identifying Needs, Prioritizing Goals
Classroom teachers, principals and district leaders take part in a four-stage process. The stages include:
1. Using data to identify areas of greatest need
2. Developing a focused plan with a limited number of goals and strategies aimed at instructional practice and student performance.
3. Implementing and monitoring the plan.
4. Evaluating the effectiveness of the improvement process in changing instructional practice and student performance.
The process is cyclical. Teachers use student achievement data to evaluate classroom instruction and with the input from others, teachers improve what they do and how they do it.
The CH-UH Goals Are:
- Goal 1: Increase reading achievement, measured by performance index, by 1.76 points each year to achieve a B on performance index by 2019.
- Goal 2: Increase math achievement, measured by performance index, by 1.76 points each year to achieve a B on performance index by 2019.
- Goal 3a: Provide a safe and respectful learning environment for students. A minimum of 75% stakeholders - students, parents, staff and community - will indicate satisfaction with district safety and security.
- Goal 3b: Achieve a 10% reduction in the number of students receiving an office discipline referral.
A Team Approach
The improvement process is used by teachers in their Teacher Based Teams, (TBTs) to make sure that students learn the concepts outlined in the curriculum, also known as the Common Core Standards. These teams include classroom teachers in the same grade level or subject area, as well as other support personnel and building administrators. The teacher teams use a protocol tool that focuses teachers’ effort in these areas:
Step 1: Collect and display formative assessment data aligned to the standards (where is the student now?)
Step 2: Analyze student work specific to the data.
- What did students do well and why?
- Where did students not do well on and why?
Step 3: Establish shared expectations
Step 4: Implementation
- Who will implement? How often will we implement? How long will we implement?
- What will you see in the classroom when the selected strategies are implemented?
- How will we know if we implemented with fidelity?
- Were there common errors, misconceptions, urgent needs? Are there patterns or trends?
Step 5: Collect, chart and analyze post data (data collected after unit is taught)
Building Leadership Teams (BLT’s) include teachers and the building principal. The District Level Team, DLT, includes district administrator and teacher leaders. These teams give the building principals and teachers another perspective on the work and they suggest ways for teachers to reach every student.
The feedback is brief, supportive and objective, based on evidence. The periodic feedback system gives classroom teachers and principals the input of experienced educators who are trained in the OIP protocols. The goal is to use the perspective of many educators to improve classroom instruction for all students.