Who We Are
Empowering schools and districts to create systems, structures and strategies for effective and high achieving schools.
Schools Cubed is an educational consulting group that takes under- or low-performing schools and works with district and school leaders to create self-sustaining, high-achieving school systems.
Schools Cubed relies on a proven track record as well as effective schools research to empower districts to transform their schools. Schools Cubed believes that it is the Systems, Structures and instructional Strategies that make a difference for schools. Stand-alone programs that merely target a particular instructional area certainly have their place, but have limited impact. Schools must transform what they are doing by creating systems that empower all members of the learning community. Schools Cubed knows the research regarding effective schools, and guides districts/schools to implement the research in order to build school leadership capacity.
Schools Cubed believes that powerful educational systems can be created through collaboration within buildings and with local districts. Recently, policies intended to generate increased school performance have led to school systems that are fragmented and lack a cohesive structure for implementation of these policies. Often principals and/or school leaders are left bewildered and confused. “Reform” becomes a mountain of paperwork that does not translate to increased student performance. Currently 75% of principals find that the job has become too complex, and thereby unsatisfying. (Metropolitan Life).
Schools Cubed works with districts and school leaders to create focused systems of learning by empowering school leaders to organize around 5 areas of highly effective schools: collaboration, instructional focus, data analysis, time, and a safe and orderly environment. When principals have the capacity to develop each of these areas in their schools, structures are created that support instruction and learning. It is these school leaders who will have the highest impact on student outcomes.
A Call to Action
Based on 4th grade NAEP, nationally only 36% of our students read at grade level. With the advent of the Common Core, there is a new cry for increased text complexity for our students. Yet many of our students are behind when they enter school in Kindergarten. Additionally, nationally since 2008 school resources and budgets have not increased. That means each school must work smarter and more efficiently.
Instead of repeating the same mistakes that have created our current situation we must do school differently. Fortunately, a great deal of research has been conducted on what effective schools and effective leaders do to increase the outcomes for our students. Regrettably, many of our nation’s principal preparation programs do not teach principals these practices or research; yet they are expected to intuitively know what to do to increase student achievement.
Schools Cubed believes there are no magic bullets in school reform. Rather, our approach is one of transformation of current school structures and systems that in turn creates synergistic school communities in which all members value an increased focus on student achievement.
What We Do
Schools Cubed combines a proven track record of increasing achievement at the school, district and state level with research on effective schools. Schools and districts learn to work smarter, focus on necessary goals and, in turn, increase student outcomes.
Collaboration with Districts and Schools: Schools Cubed believes that increased school achievement begins with school and/or district leadership. Schools Cubed starts with an audit of the current “state-of-affairs,” including: analyzing district and school achievement data; the levels of collaboration within the school systems; the instructional focus of each school; how effectively time is being used and, when necessary, the structures that create a safe and orderly environment. All schools do not need total transformations. Instead, this audit identifies the specific area of the school/district need and collaborates with school leaders to understand the research behind the suggested changes. We help establish the systems and structures that need to be in place to accomplish those changes.
Professional Development: Schools Cubed offers professional development to school leaders and teachers in several areas that support effective schools research. Areas for school leaders include: establishing cultures of collaboration; knowing and understanding the data in order to establish and monitor school goals; tools for maximizing instructional time; knowing the focus of instructional priorities; and systems for a safe and orderly environment. Areas of professional development for teachers include: instructional strategies with highly effective outcomes; literacy; numeracy and data analysis.
Principal Coaching and Mentoring: The world of educational leadership has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. Unfortunately, many principal preparation programs are not adequately robust in each of the areas of effective schools research. Further, if a principal entered the field of instructional leadership prior to the last 10 years, their principal program may not have provided them with the skills that reflect current educational expectations. Mentoring/coaching allows school leaders to increase their capacity that is personally relevant to their own situation. Through increased knowledge and effective skills, school leaders have the audacity to put teaching and learning first and therefore become a leader of change.