Elements of Improvement: Designing and implementing improvement strategies in schools

Devens Common Center | 31 Andrews Parkway, Devens, MA

There’s no shortage of innovative ideas to reform education. But why do some new ideas stick and others don’t? Too often, well-intended policies unravel as they hit the ground. We want to help. We know making large-scale, effective improvement is hard. So we developed a step-by-step process to help educators make sustainable changes. On October 25 we held a one-day conference on designing and implementing improvement strategies in schools. Participants heard from educators who have used this process and took part in hands-on workshops that delve into each step of the process.


Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Michelle Crowell, Principal, Albert N. Parlin School, Everett Public Schools

Dianne Kelly, Superintendent, Revere Public Schools

Colleen O'Connor, Principal, Chestnut Middle School, Springfield Public Schools

Elements of Improvement Presentation

Breakout Sessions:

Identifying the Problem  
Learn how to identify and prioritize a shared challenge, investigate underlying causes, and establish a common understanding of the need for change. 
Identifying the Problem Presentation

Setting Goals
Understand how to define measurable outcomes toward addressing your problem and set benchmarks to track progress along the way.  
Setting Goals Presentation
Choosing a Strategy
Explore how to use a ‘driver diagram,’ a powerful tool to create a clear, shared picture of your team’s improvement goal, the ‘drivers’ you believe will contribute to achieving the goal, and the possible interventions or ‘change ideas’ your team will choose to implement, test, and improve over time.
Choosing a Strategy Presentation

Building a Team
Delve into how to build a trusting and committed team with diverse perspectives to lead and implement improvements.
Building a Team Presentation

Improving Organizational Effectiveness
Learn how to establish an infrastructure for building and sharing knowledge at multiple levels of the system and think through what resources you'll need to establish and maintain improvements.
Organizational Effectiveness Presentation

Continuous Improvement and Adult Learning
Discuss how to use the systematic method of 'Plan, Do, Study, Act' (PDSA) cycles to continuously develop, test, refine, and scale-up the interventions that will drive your team’s progress toward achieving your improvement goal.
Continuous Improvement Presentation