The state DOE had identified over 30 Title I high schools in the state that had not achieved the minimal graduation rate standard. LeadershipEnergies (LE) was selected to conduct in five of those schools a needs assessment and root cause analysis to establish priorities that would become the basis for a new performance improvement plan covering school years 2019-2020 through 2021-2022.
Location: Five Public High Schools in and around a major city
Project Type: Assess current performance levels through the use of LE’s diagnostic inventory (VitalInsight™) and state’s protocols to determine strengths and vulnerabilities and establish priorities for future improvement.
The DOE wanted outside consultants, through a combination of campus visits, staff interviews, collection of hard and soft data, meetings with school stakeholder groups, discussions with school leaders and faculty members, and a search of related literature to prioritize performance needs that focused on the improvement of student outcomes. There were several challenges: 1) meet the expectations of the DOE to complete the assessment on time while completing all requirements of the project; 2) establish trust among school leaders and faculty members in a short amount of time; 3) collect sufficient data and information translatable into accurate findings; 4) organize and present data and findings which made sense to leaders and faculty members; 5) and use diagnostic tools that would corroborate and supplement survey and on-site gathered data and information.
Prior to immersing themselves for two days at each of the five schools, representatives of LeadershipEnergies (LE) arranged with schools’ leaders to administer VitalInsight™ (VI), an online technology that produces indispensable data to diagnose root causes of school underperformance. The process included collecting from five to ten stakeholder groups, their assessments of the existence and quality of best practices that drive higher organization, employee, and student learning. The reports were analyzed by LE personnel and distributed to school leaders before consultants arrived on campus. The reports guided interviews, reviews of local and state documents and reports, and the determination of priorities for improvement plans.
With data and information about each school provided by the state, local district, and school and with the data and information collected at each school site and by VI, consultants were confident that findings and recommended priorities were accurate and that an effective performance improvement plan would be established. After representatives from LE made their oral exit report to administrators and faculty members, many employees told LE representatives that the diagnoses presented were accurate, and if addressed, would produce significant improvements. After filing reports, LE was invited back to participate in the development of improvement plans and monitoring of their implementation.
“Thank you for providing great feedback to the schools.”
—State Department Personnel
*The case study is real and positions of personnel are accurate. Names of districts, schools, and personnel have been changed.