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During the 2014-15 school year, Pahokee Middle School principal Michael Aronson was asked by his superintendent to visit another school in his Florida district, Acreage Pines Elementary, which was an LSI School for Rigor. Aronson observed implementation sessions and side-by-side coaching. 

Brent Fruhwirth has taught social studies at Little Miami High School in Morrow, Ohio, for two decades. He was surprised last year when he was asked to pilot McGraw-Hill Education’s LearnSmart, an online study tool, in his American history classes.

“At first, I thought they had chosen the wrong person to pilot a technology tool,” says Fruhwirth. “I know nothing about technology, but I was willing to try it.”

Rockford Public Schools is the third-largest school district in Illinois, educating more than 28,500 students. 

Last year, Cory Nilsen and David Allen, the respective deans of social studies and science curricula for Rockford PS, learned that a local organization that had provided dictionaries to every third-grade student was disbanding, and it wanted to give Rockford PS the remaining money. 

Why is contracting a beneficial option for school districts and communities?

When Deer Creek School District in Edmond, Oklahoma, was asked to participate in a pilot program for Marzano High Reliability Schools, there was an immediate buy-in from Grove Valley Elementary School principal Kelly McCoy.

“We were very excited to see what it could do and if it could make an impact at our school,” McCoy says.

Deer Creek assistant superintendent Diana Jones saw the Marzano HRS model as a way to support student achievement and teacher growth.

Indicative of a rich curriculum, deeper learning occurs when a district successfully empowers students to synthesize and creatively apply knowledge through critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. While essential to preparing today’s students for colleges and careers, building a culture of deeper learning can be challenging to accomplish at a district level.

Joseph V. Erardi Jr. served as superintendent of Newtown Public Schools in Connecticut from 2014 until his retirement in August. During his tenure, the district implemented NaviGate Prepared as a component of a broad safety and security initiative undertaken in the aftermath of the 2012 tragedy there.

Talk about preparation versus prevention when it comes to a school district’s safety plan. 

When Nita Cochran was district math coordinator for Norman Public Schools in Oklahoma, she was looking to help the district’s elementary school students improve their mathematical foundation. There are nearly 16,000 students in NPS, which is located in Oklahoma’s third-largest city and is also home to the University of Oklahoma. 

Cochran, who is currently math curriculum coordinator for Mustang Public Schools in Oklahoma, launched a pilot program in 2003 with Everyday Mathematics from McGraw-Hill at two of the district’s elementary schools. 

Improving student behavior and reducing discipline referrals is important to Andrew Place, the principal of Riverview Elementary School in Wausau, Wisconsin. Place estimates that for every student behavioral incident and discipline referral he investigates, 15 minutes of instructional time is lost.

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rior to Aileen Parsons becoming director of human resources for Pleasanton USD in northern California, she was a school principal in the district. The memory of hiring paperwork was fresh in Parsons’ mind when she switched jobs in November 2015. 

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