A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that high-dosage tutoring reaches only about one in 10 students—despite the national push for it. But if schools build innovative staffing models such as Opportunity Culture models, small-group tutoring can happen routinely, during the school day.
The science of reading has “come alive” at Lucama Elementary, in North Carolina’s Wilson County Schools, after the principal and her team of Multi-Classroom Leaders led the use of multiple curricula and data-driven small-group instruction and interventions—resulting in strong student learning growth.
Staffing shortages have plagued some schools for decades. How can innovative staffing designs help—and boost learning? Innovative staffing means thinking differently about instructional roles and available funding to improve academics, creating new career options for teachers and addressing persistent teaching vacancies. The Opportunity Culture initiative offers schools new tools to address staffing shortages, including high-paying advanced roles, improved support for new teachers, and staffing models that do not require filling every teacher vacancy to ensure that students have access to excellent instruction.
As a temporary solution to a shortage of paraprofessional reach associates who can provide release time, Multi-Classroom Leader Sunil Dutt combines one of his math blocks with that of a new teacher into one large group meeting in the library, so that Dutt can co-teach and model instruction.
Lucama Elementary, a rural, Title I school in Wilson County, North Carolina, implemented several Opportunity Culture roles in 2021–22. Through a focus on data-driven small-group tutoring, instruction based on the science of reading, and greater educator collaboration through Multi-Classroom Leader teams, the school dramatically increased student learning growth.
From The 74, October 11, 2022, by Phyllis W. Jordan & Bella DiMarco
The pandemic has left many teachers stressed out and stretched thin. In response, some districts are using federal aid to improve working conditions, particularly allowing more time for planning and collaboration.
Houston is spending federal funds to move teachers in 18 schools toward a new approach to school management known as Opportunity Culture. Educators will receive $15,000 stipends annually to serve as classroom leaders across a grade level or subject. They’ll teach part time while managing teams of teachers, paraprofessionals and instructors in teacher residency programs to analyze student data, adjust instruction and develop their skills. The stipends are part of Houston’s regular budget, but federal funding is being used to expedite training and implementation.
Ector County and Midland school districts are two of the 11 Texas sites using Opportunity Culture paid, yearlong teacher residencies as of 2022-23. Teacher residents are an integral part of small teaching teams led by multi-classroom leaders. Educators from these Texas districts describe how their residencies benefit students, schools, and aspiring teachers.
From WFAE, October 4, 2022, by Ann Doss Helms
According to North Carolina’s school performance grades, Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Coulwood STEM Academy is average. The middle school in northwest Charlotte was graded C for the past school year, based mostly on an overall pass rate of 52% on state reading, math and science exams.
But that grade doesn’t tell the full story.
“I don’t think there’s anything average about us,” says Principal Janet Moss.
You’d expect a principal to say that. But Moss has the proof — specifically, a calculation that shows how much academic growth students made over the course of a school year.
From OA Online, October 2, 2022
Campus culture, social-emotional learning, Blended Learning and keeping an eagle eye on student progress combined to lift Noel and Pease elementary schools from an F to a B in state accountability ratings.
Pease and Noel are sister campuses. Pease has prekindergarten through second-grade students, and Noel has third through fifth. Pease students don’t take the STAAR exam as it starts in third grade, so their success is tied together.
Noel Principal Jennie Chavez said they have three multi-classroom leaders this year. They had two last year. Each MCL has a Reach Associate.
Multi-classroom leaders are teachers with a record of high-growth student learning and leadership competencies. They teach part of the time and lead small, collaborative teams of two to eight teachers, paraprofessionals and teacher residents in the same grade or subject, the Opportunity Culture website said.
From WestEd, September 27, 2022
Recruiting and retaining teachers is fundamental to supporting learning recovery. In this Q&A, Gretchen Weber, Senior Managing Director at WestEd, responds to questions many communities are asking about how to address the teacher shortage crisis. …
Opportunity Culture model is another example of differentiated staffing, where the roles of teachers are restructured to extend the reach of excellent, highly effective educators and provide a distributed model of multi-classroom leadership.