If you think of transforming a school into the premier school in the same way you think of making a football team a state or national champion, you quickly come to realize that excellent schools do a few things really well. To be more specific, becoming a champion boils down to running a few plays extremely well, and those plays are executed with precision in order to reach the mountaintop.
5 Plays of a Championship School
1. Consistency- Championship schools understand that consistency is the key to their success. From the front door of the school to the classroom and everywhere in between, the adults in the building strive to be consistent with one another because they know that consistency sets the foundation for every student to become a champion.
2. Set the Bar - Championship schools identify the bar that every student must reach to become a champion. Within each subject educators identify the skills that every student must master in order to master the subject, and they challenge every student to believe in their ability to reach them.
3. Measure the Bar - Once the bar has been set, educators define how they will assess all students in order to determine which kids are making progress or even becoming proficient in reaching the bar. More importantly they inspire kids to own their data and believe in the hard work it takes to reach the bar.
4. Plan to Reach the Bar - Building assessments is great but championship schools and the educators within them make specific plans to help every student master the assessments. Those plans result in fun instruction, powerful lessons, targeted interventions, and specific strategies that all students will specifically designed to prepare all kids to master the assessment.
5. Professional Learning - Champions never stop learning, and they never stop reflecting. They know that championships only come when they invest in their own growth and development in their craft. The best educators are no different. They know that their success and their students’ success is greatly impacted by the depth of their own learning.
What Plays Would You Add?
So what other plays would you add? What else does it take to become a championship school? What other actions do schools take to reach the pinnacle of excellence? Always remember. Your school’s championship is within your reach. The question is will you have the courage to inspire your school to run the plays to reach it?