District Leadership Team expanding to add community members, students (Apply today!)

Brookings-Harbor School District is looking for five (5) community members for the DLT Team. They can email Dede Corpening or contact the district office to express interest.  Must be available for search process meetings on the following dates:
  • 4 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10, 2019 
  • 4 to 6:30 p.m. March 4, 2019
  • 4 to 6:30 p.m. May 6, 2019


What is a districtwide leadership team?

The districtwide leadership team is a group of individuals who agree to assume leadership responsibility for guiding and protecting the work focused on improving student learning in the focus area.

What is the role of the districtwide leadership team?

  • Identify specific learning needs to be addressed
  • Engage all staff in the identification of needs and determining actions
  • Provide guidance, direction, and support for districtwide efforts to improve teaching and learning and building-level implementation of the districtwide efforts 
    • Provide input into the focus and design of the districtwide improvement effort
    • Lead the implementation of districtwide change initiatives – a change in results for students by 
      • A change in the culture of the district and schools
      • A change in instructional practices
  • Monitor the implementation of districtwide change initiatives
  • Plan/support the inquiry/professional development
    • Engage the entire staff in action research around the improvement of instruction to impact the identified student learning need
  • Shepherd the initiative
    • Set goals and measurable targets related to changes in the environment and student learning
    • Determine the specific strategies (facilitate the decision making process. . .make recommendation and garner support. . . etc.)
    • monitor progress
    • Adjust efforts and support based on progress data (mid-course corrections)

Who serves on the district leadership team?

  • Central office staff with responsibilities related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Building principals
  • Teacher leaders from each building that work directly with the principal to provide leadership for improving teaching and learning in the focus area
  • People who have the capacity, commitment, and skill set that can actually lead the work of creating mastery of the instructional initiative throughout the system
  • People who believe the circumstances in which they find themselves are conducive to accomplishing the goals they hold to be personally important.

Key areas of work:

  1. Identify need
  2. Determine actions
  3. Organize/lead training
  4. Provide support for expert training in instructional strategies when appropriate
  5. Organize and monitor collaborative teams
  6. Collect/organize/and use data on implementation to determine learning/development needs for high level implementation
  7. Collect/organize/and use data on student learning in the focus area to monitor progress and 
  8. Collaborate with external technical assistants
  9. Lead the learning of the staff – facilitate collective inquiry
  10. Watch closely, listen carefully

Examples (not intended to be comprehensive):




(discussion areas at the board table)

  1. Identify need
  • Studying data together to determine the area of greatest learning need
  • Facilitating the data study with staff at the building level
  • Districtwide team works with the board and superintendent to establish improvement goals and measurable targets on at least an annual basis
  • Studying data and clarifying current status
  • Agreeing upon the most important area to improve this year – the content area of greatest student learning need
  • Collaborating with the DLT to identify the specific area within the content for collective focus – broad enough for collective effort and narrow enough to be able to monitor
  • Ensure the specific targets are ambitious but attainable
  • Communicate confidence and commitment to the improvement goals and targets
  1. Determine actions
  • Studying research
  • Identifying best practices in the focus area for improvement
  • Selecting practices with a track record of success that are most likely to succeed in their district
  • Engage others in the study and selection process as appropriate
  • Discussing recommendations from staff regarding actions to improve in the focus area

Asking questions such as:

  • Does the strategy improve instruction in the focus area?
  • What evidence do we have that indicates we can expect it to impact student learning in our focus area? To what degree?  All students? Etc.
  • What resources are necessary for successful implementation?
  • How are we going to monitor implementation and impact?
  • What barriers might impede successful implementation?  What are we planning to do to overcome the barriers?
  • Establishing a schedule for reporting progress to the board.
  1. Organize/lead training
  2. Provide support for expert training in instructional strategies when appropriate
  • Identify resources needed for training and secure funding
  • Identify experts who can provide training in the selected strategy
  • Schedule training sessions, follow-up sessions and building level support for implementation
  • Leadership team may need to learn the strategies ahead in order to support training of the entire staff – if so, scheduling and accommodating this training, practice, coaching, and monitoring will be necessary
  • Plan the training sessions, follow-up sessions, etc. for staff straining.
  • Discussing the resources needed and determining how to allocate resources to provide the necessary support.
  • Identifying key talking points for describing the initiatives in the community as well as the expected results and how progress will be monitored and reported.
  • Communicating an understanding of the need for external technical assistance/expertise and valuing input from these sources
  1. Organize and monitor collaborative teams
  • Districtwide leadership team schedules time to meet regularly to study data, monitor progress, plan professional development, plan support for building level staff, etc.
  • Organize building staff members into collaborative teams for the purpose of studying data, supporting implementation of the instructional strategy being learned, study impact on student learning, plan lessons using the strategy, observe each other teaching and provide support for practice, studying content, etc.
  • Develop protocols to guide collaborative teams in planning their work together
  • Study feedback from the teams to determine needs in relation to collaboration
  • Ensure time exists for the study teams.  This may mean studying options for creating time for both the DLT to meet as well as time for professional development activities which includes time for the collaborative teams to meet.
  1. Collect/organize/and use data on implementation to determine learning/development needs for high level implementation
  • Create logs/protocols for teams to gather data in relation to implementation
  • Develop protocols for walkthrough observations of the instructional strategies
  • Collect and organize data regarding instruction
  • Study data to identify needs related to implementation and provide support for improvement within the training sessions
  • Provide feedback to all staff
  • Review data from the collaborative teams about their work, implementation of strategies, and their observations of student performance
  • Interact with the DLT regarding the needs and progress of the overall professional development activities and the work of the collaborative teams
  • Review implementation data
  • Ask questions about what is being done to improve implementation and use of collaborative time
  • Clarify expectations
  • Continuously clarify the current status of implementation in order to know when it is reasonable to expect change in achievement
  1. Collect/organize/and use data on student learning in the focus area to monitor progress and 
  • Identify both formative and summative assessment tools related to the focus area for improvement
  • Provide any needed support for assessing student learning using these tools
  • Collect and organize data for study
  • Share data and facilitate the review at the building levels
  • Monitor everything in relation to impact on student learning
  • Continuously communicate and clarify the expectations for change in relation to the goal(s) and target(s)
  • Celebrate progress but don’t claim victory too soon
  • Communicate the focus and the belief that “less is more”
  1. Collaborate with external technical assistants
  • Identify experts available to train staff in the selected strategies
  • Work with the experts to ensure appropriate follow-up and support will be included in the training
  • Build schedule for training and follow-up sessions
  • Co-lead training sessions with the external experts as appropriate
  • Participate fully in the training or train ahead in order to be able to share experiences as the training rolls out
  • Building a shared understanding of the need for external support and expertise 
  • Communicating a belief about the importance of technical assistance
  1. Lead the learning of the staff – facilitate collective inquiry
  • Leading professional development activities at the district and building level
  • Meeting with (chairing) collaborative teams in the building as a means of follow-up to the professional development activity
  • Collect data and information for collective study
  • Provide protocols for reflection on data and information
  • Ensure learning gets translated into actions and next steps
  • Keeping abreast of the work of the DLT and the progress of the staff

Land Mines to Avoid – Tips for Success:

  • Organizing a districtwide leadership team without carefully considering criteria for being able to contribute as a member of that team
    • Principals must be fully involved (see Leadership Concept Paper)
    • Criteria for teachers on the team might include
      • Expertise in the content area of focus
      • Strong instructional background
      • Perceived by others as having strong instructional/content background
      • Respected by other staff
      • Committed to improving teaching and learning for all students
  • Assuming that collaborative teams know how to “collaborate” just because they have been organized and meet regularly.
  • Thinking that a book study constitutes inquiry and collaboration.
  • Always assuming you have the expertise internally to identify needs and lead the training and support.

Issues That Often Surface:

  • If “getting the right people on the leadership team” upsets the typical power-base in the building, there can be pushback and resentment.  Open and honest communications with everyone with clear explanations about the criteria and expectations for these positions will be necessary.
  • Once teachers assume leadership positions, they are often viewed by their peers as having crossed over to “administration” and are sometimes ostracized by their peers.  This becomes very hard for them to handle and they will disengage from the leadership role without adequate support and nurturing.
  • Collaborative teams need to be taught how to collaborate around improving teaching and learning.  This will be a key role of the districtwide leadership team.
  • Learning how to organize and report data to enhance the study and use of the data.
  • Additional time may need to be allocated for the DLT to meet together to study research around potential strategies, plan development activities for staff, coordinate training, study and organize data, prepare support for the collaborative teams, plan for the follow-up support, etc.  Board and community members do not always understand that important work for students must sometimes be done away from students. This will take a lot of communication when leadership teams are away from the classroom more often than others.
  • Allocating time for professional development activities – especially time for collaborative teams to meet -- often means scheduling late-starts and/or early dismissals.  Again, this will take a lot of communication about the activities and results in order to build a shared belief that this time is important for the adults.
Information from the Lighthouse project Tip Sheet