In the News: Opportunity Culture in Indianapolis, NC districts

by | February 17, 2017

Indianapolis is experimenting with a new kind of teacher — and it’s transforming this school: At School 107 in Indianapolis, Principal Jeremy Baugh said, “We needed to find a way to support new teachers to be highly effective right away.” Chalkbeat covers how Baugh and his staff began using Multi-Classroom Leadership this year to help their students. Historically a low-performing school, with high student and teacher turnover and a high number of English language learners, School 107 has already been able to keep one strong teacher in the classroom as an MCL instead of moving into administration, and with its team of MCLs could face an unexpected influx of 181 students who joined the school over the past few months. Read the full story here.

‘Opportunity Culture’ initiative coming to Vance County schools: Vance County Schools has become the fourth North Carolina district to participate in the national Opportunity Culture Initiative, reported The Daily Dispatch, with three elementary schools being the district’s first to implement their new teaching roles and school plans in the 2017-18 school year. Vance will be using multi-classroom leaders and expanded-impact teachers. Read the full story here.

Teacher leadership roles come to Edgecombe County: At Edgecombe County Public Schools, the first three of the district’s schools to embark on Opportunity Culture roles form a feeder pattern from elementary through high school, where, says Public Impact’s Shonaka Ellison,”we’re losing some really excellent teaching in schools.” As Liz Bell reports in EducationNC, Ellison is working closely with Edgecombe County administrators and teachers at the three schools to to plan new teaching roles and career paths aimed at recruiting and retaining great teachers. She led some of them on visits to Opportunity Culture schools in Charlotte, which also has challenges retaining teachers in high-needs schools–but Edgecombe, she notes, has the added challenge of being a rural district. “For a place like Edgecombe County, that’s really rural, having this type of career opportunity for teachers will help draw more teachers to the district,” she said. Read the full story here.

For more recent stories on Edgecombe, see December and January articles in The Rocky Mount Telegram: Edgecombe schools seek opportunities and Edgecombe school district pursues new teacher recruitment plan.*

Scheduled for Success: Frank Zaremba of Barnette Elementary in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools writes: “When I became a multi-classroom leader for the exceptional children’s (EC’s) team, I expected to be able to use my 15 years of experience as an EC teacher and dean of students to coach teachers, especially special education teachers, and help them grow. But I quickly discovered that the people who needed support the most were the general classroom teachers who needed to know how to work with students with disabilities when an EC teacher couldn’t be in the room at the same time. What was the key to getting everyone on the same page and making terrific progress? Scheduling.” Read his inspiring column on what they did, and the impact on students, here in Real Clear Education.

*Articles no longer available online.

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