District Capacity Project Profiles 2013

Berkshire

Berkshire Hills Regional Public School District successfully applied to the DCP with an interest in developing district-wide supports for collaborative team building to increase effectiveness in promoting student growth. Their DCP Team plans to review the functioning of current district teams, identify effective practices for aiding collaboration, and develop the supports needed to increase team effectiveness throughout the district. Priorities for specific teamwork include: the thoughtful and timely completion of K-12 curriculum alignment with Common Core State Standards; and developing, using, and analyzing a range of indicators of student achievement.


Boylston

Boylston Elementary successfully applied to the DCP with an expressed interest in developing a comprehensive and sustainable professional development plan aimed at increasing student achievement. Prior to joining the DCP, Boylston underwent significant leadership changes that included the induction of a new superintendent and MTA representative. Aside from changes in leadership, spring 2012 MCAS results highlighted areas of the curriculum that the District could improve upon. In order to improve these areas, the District decided to develop a cohesive and robust professional development (PD) plan that would not only provide necessary teacher training in the key areas of curriculum development, pedagogy, and instructional technology, but that would also provide an opportunity to create an environment for improved communication and labor-management relations.


Brockton

The Brockton Education Association and the Brockton Public School District successfully applied to the DCP with an expressed interest in establishing an international dual-language school. A significant body of research documents the high academic achievement of students in dual-language immersion programs. Brockton, a district where one-quarter of the students are English Language Learners, decided to invest in a plan for maintaining linguistic diversity, while improving student outcomes. The Brockton Team envisions establishing a school that incorporates up to three distinct dual-language immersion strands: Spanish-English, Portuguese-English, and French-English.


Fall River

The Administration, Fall River Education Association, and the School Committee, successfully applied to the DCP with an expressed interest in enhancing Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) in all district schools to encourage shared decision-making and risk-taking among staff. In 2009, a comprehensive review of the Fall River Public School District was conducted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. As a result of the review’s findings, school committee members, administrators, and the former union president developed a district recovery plan with the goal of improving student outcomes and closing the achievement gap. Significant progress has been made to establish district governance systems that ensure high quality teaching and learning. Through the district’s partnership with the DCP, Fall River plans to continue to improve district governance by strengthening and expanding the use of PLC’s.


Leominster

The Leominster Education Association and the Leominster Public School District successfully applied to the DCP with an expressed interest in exploring alternative compensation models. Prior to joining the DCP, the Leominster Public School District underwent systemic restructuring, realigning their instructional core to focus on student achievement. In addition, the district spent considerable effort adopting interest-based bargaining for contractual negotiations. The Leominster Team identified alternative compensation models as a way to expand their use of interest-based processes, while simultaneously improving student achievement. Through an alternative compensation model, the district plans to extend teachers’ learning time to promote professional development, mentoring, and innovative curriculum development.


Malden

The Malden Education Association and the Malden Public School District successfully applied to the DCP with an expressed interest in fostering intra-district dialogue with the goal of expanding flexibility, creating innovative district policies, and promoting district cohesion. In 2012 the District established its first Innovation School. Upon launching the Linden S.T.E.A.M.1 Academy, central office leadership, union leadership, and school committee members recognized the need to expand current district policies to accommodate the innovation model. With the support of a new superintendent, a new mayor, an active union president, and four new members on the school committee, the Malden School District is positioned to experience significant growth through their work as a DCP Team.


Springfield

The Springfield Education Association and the Springfield Public Schools successfully applied to the DCP with an interest in developing the capacity of leaders to transform difficult conversations into learning experiences that foster better decision-making. With a long history of labor-management collaboration, these leaders identified the need to increase their skills in managing conflict, challenging existing norms, and creating the psychological safety necessary for effective innovation. To get the most out of a new evaluation system and the Common Core State Standards, these seasoned collaborators wanted to sharpen their skills.

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