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Keeping education quality high in California

The meta-analysis highlighted patterns and trends across all the schools, allowing the district to make improvements in a strategic and cost-effective way.

Opportunity

When a new Superintendent took over the Mountain View–Whisman School District, he needed a clear pictures of the strengths and weaknesses of the district and its performance.

A comprehensive quality review was needed to support the assumptions of the Superintendent’s 100-day plan for improvements.

Solution

Cambridge Education developed a Quality Review program that provided the Superintendent with a detailed account of strengths and weaknesses at each school, in addition to the district office. The program included the following:

  • School Quality Review (SQR) for principals
  • SQR training for school and district personnel
  • Two-day SQR for each school in the district (8 elementary and 2 middle schools)
  • Meta-analysis report of findings
  • Focused improvement planning for all schools
  • District Quality Review

About a dozen principals and central office staff were trained in the SQR process, building the district’s capacity to review itself. Leaders from every school took part in post-review action planning sessions.

Outcome

The meta-analysis highlighted patterns and trends across all the schools, allowing the district to make improvements in a strategic and cost-effective way.

Action planning sessions helped ensure that the highest-leverage recommendations were effectively addressed at once, using Cambridge Education’s focused improvement planning protocol.

Because the district has no high schools, the project included a site visit at Mountain View Los Altos High School District, where many students go on to attend. This yielded recommendations on how to prepare 8th graders for their transition to high school.

The District Quality Review and meta-analysis identified significant deficiencies, and laid out strategies on how to improve the twice-monthly Board Meetings between the District Office and the District’s Board of Trustees.

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