We begin with the belief that transformative and sustainable change in schools and districts is grounded in an effective Instructional Infrastructure (curriculum, assessments, data systems, collaboration structures, observation & feedback, and coaching) and the ability to fully leverage it by building capacity in areas such as high-impact leadership; effective use of data to drive quality instruction; effective action planning (e.g., 90-day plans, instructional action plans); resource allocation; and, talent management (developing and retaining high-quality individuals and teams).
To this end, we offer the following services and supports to schools, districts, and state education agencies separately or in combination customized to meet each partner’s specific needs.
Long-term partnerships typically begin each partnership with a needs assessment that provides an accurate understanding of our partner’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. Through this process, we help our partners assess the effectiveness of their current leadership and instructional strategies, practices, initiatives, and instructional infrastructure. Afterward, we use this information to identify focus areas for improvement. The information and data gathered during this assessment allow us to customize our support, training, resources, and tools to meet our partners’ specific needs.
Based on the needs assessment, we:
High-quality instruction ultimately relies on each instructor’s ability to comprehend and actively deliver the district and state curriculum in a manner that engages and challenges all students. An effective and comprehensive curriculum helps to ensure that every instructor has access to the resources necessary to plan, deliver and assess high-quality instruction and that every student has equitable access to quality education.
To fully maximize a comprehensive curriculum, it must be assessed and monitored with an aligned and balanced assessment strategy. A balanced assessment strategy provides teachers and leaders with the real-time and longitudinal data required to determine student progress, effective instructional practices, and the alignment between classroom instruction and the district curriculum.
Because K&A believes that a comprehensive curriculum combined with a balanced assessment strategy is foundational to our partners’ success and ongoing improvement, we provide the following:
Curriculum Review – Our team of curriculum specialists will analyze and assess your current curriculum to determine the depth and alignment to state and national standards and assessments.
Curriculum Development – K&A provides teachers and principals with a comprehensive curriculum that includes a clearly stated, thoroughly unpacked scope and sequence of K-12 learning objectives aligned to state and national standards.
Curriculum Implementation – We provide the requisite support and training to ensure leaders and teachers can effectively utilize a comprehensive curriculum and understand how it is supported by other vital components of an instructional infrastructure such as assessments, data, collaboration structures, coaching, and professional development.
Assessment Strategy Review – We analyze the current assessment strategy and provide suggestions for improvement to ensure that it is balanced and offers teachers and leaders the data necessary to inform instructional effectiveness and student achievement.
Assessment Strategy Development – K&A will co-develop a balanced assessment strategy to ensure teachers and leaders have the necessary data to identify student needs, monitor progress, develop effective instructional practices, assess the alignment between instruction and curriculum, and determine targeted professional development.
Assessment Strategy Implementation – Our data and assessment specialists work with both district and school staff to ensure the current assessment strategy is balanced and provides the information required to monitor the delivery of instruction and the alignment of the district curriculum to state and national standards and assessments.
Effective, data-informed instruction and decision-making require easy access to real-time, cross-sectional, and longitudinal school, teacher, and student data and the technical support and data-literacy training necessary to analyze and use data effectively. This includes providing teacher teams with common structured meeting time to reflect on practice, develop expertise, share promising practices, plan instruction, analyze and discuss data, increase instructional efficiency, and ensure instructional equity. These meetings are most effective when structured well and informed by student data and work samples.
K&A’s experience and expertise in this area is grounded in our work with teachers and leaders in over 500 schools, 200 districts, and 18 states. These collaborations with urban and rural districts in elementary, middle, and high schools have resulted in, on average, double-digit gains in student proficiency over 18-24 months. Before founding K&A, Michael Kight served as Director and Chief of Data for the University of Virginia’s Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education. Previously, he served as a middle school principal in Richmond, VA, where he implemented an aligned and effective system for delivering quality instruction resulting in student proficiency rates increasing from 45-50% to 97-100%% across all grades, student groups, and subject areas.
Based on our successes and lessons learned from across the country, K&A provides the following services to help ensure our partners’ data and collaboration structures are designed to provide teachers and principals with the information required to create significant and sustainable increases in student achievement:
Data System Analysis – We review and analyze the current data systems to ensure they can provide leaders and teachers with the real-time, cross-sectional, and longitudinal data required to make data-informed decisions. This review includes assessment, demographic, program, and perception data.
Data Training and Coaching – Our team provides our partners with the coaching and training necessary to establish the systems and protocols for identifying and analyzing data. These systems support partners with determining student and teacher needs, delivering data-informed & differentiated instruction, implementing targeted interventions for students, determining PD for teachers, monitoring progress towards achieving identified goals, and strategically allocating resources.
Establishing Collaboration Structures – We help leaders develop and implement processes and structures that provide teacher teams with time to reflect on practice, build their expertise, plan instruction, analyze and discuss data, improve instructional quality and efficiency, and ensure instructional equity.
Implementing Collaboration Systems – We train teachers to effectively use collaborative time and structures to share, analyze and discuss data, identify student needs, plan instruction, identify and design interventions, monitor student progress, and develop action plans to ensure the delivery of high-quality instruction.
Unlike typical professional development and executive education providers that offer a one-size-fits-all program on pre-determined topics, K&A collaborates with partners to co-identify individualized needs and long-term goals. We then respond to each of our partners' unique needs by designing and delivering programs customized to help teachers and leaders develop the competencies, skills, knowledge, and tools to address their most significant challenges. We also provide follow-up support to help our partners implement new learning and build long-term success and sustainability capacity.
K&A accomplishes this through our network of world-class faculty from some of the most prestigious business and education schools in the country and practitioners with proven records of success. More specifically, K&A emphasizes the following:
Collaborating with leaders to identify, develop, and deliver executive education sessions designed to improve leadership competencies, organizational effectiveness, and the practices and processes required to develop the internal leadership capacity necessary to initiate change and sustain success. This support includes:
Teacher and School Leader Development
Collaborating with teachers and leaders to develop and deliver programs and ongoing support customized to meet their specific needs and help them establish effective practices as needed to more effectively plan, deliver, and assess high-quality instruction in every classroom. This includes:
In any profession, employees who receive support from effective coaches and mentors to help them develop a strong foundation are more likely to succeed and remain invested in their career choice. This is especially true in the field of education, where teachers and leaders are required to have unique expertise in a wide variety of areas, such as strategic planning, implementation of curriculum, assessment development, data analysis, root cause analysis, resource allocation, community engagement, talent management, and implementing transformational change.
The pandemic, a low teacher and administrator attrition rate, and a lack of trained and certified candidates across the country have intensified this challenge.
For these reasons, K&A offers the following coaching and mentoring services to provide our partners with the differentiation, support, and accountability measures to help teachers and leaders build their capacity to lead transformational change that results in dramatic increases in student and teacher success. These services are provided by in-person and virtual coaches and mentors nationwide with well-documented and exceptional success as teachers or leaders.
Executive and instructional coaching - Utilizing research-based best practices in organizational and change leadership, K&A provides executive and performance-based coaching for principals, superintendents, and other district leaders.
Development of coaching and mentoring programs – We collaborate with partners to implement high-quality school and district-level coaching and mentoring programs. This support includes providing coaching and training to principal supervisors, principals, teacher supervisors, coaches, and mentors. We help coaches develop the tools and protocols for providing high-quality support and accountability measures no matter what level. Our team is currently responsible for training all performance coaches participating in the New Mexico Public Education Department’s Priority Schools Bureau leadership and teacher development programs.