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School Improvement Services

McREL partners with schools, districts, education service agencies, and state departments of education to support quick wins and long-term school improvement and innovation. Using evidence-based consulting and professional learning, we collaborate with schools and districts focused on school improvement—including CSI and TSI designated schools—working together with educators to identify and address areas of focus for improving instructional practices, leadership practices, student engagement and achievement, and systemic effectiveness.

Along the way, we’ll also support your team’s growth as they accomplish goals, deepen their professional skills, and build capacity to sustain school improvement over the long term.

Co-Created Customizable School Improvement Services

Every school has unique conditions and needs. McREL prioritizes context and collaboration when working with our school and district clients. We don’t deliver one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf, prescribed programs. Before proposing any solutions or services, we first learn about your school community—your strengths and traditions, values and goals, culture, and areas of concern.

We then tailor our services to fit your specific needs, building contextualized solutions on a solid foundation of evidence-based best practices, forward-thinking concepts, an equity lens, and a systems approach to continuous improvement, including:

  • Strengthening school and district staff expertise and capacity for leading school improvement

  • Continuous improvement planning, implementation, monitoring, and sustainment

  • Curriculum analysis and alignment with standards, instruction, and assessments

  • Diagnostic school reviews, needs assessments, program evaluation, and recommendations

  • Professional learning and coaching for teacher and leader development

  • CSI/TSI turnaround and priority school improvement planning and implementation

Contact us today to learn more about our school improvement services and
see how we can help your school or district achieve its goals!

What Matters Most

The five components of the What Matters Most framework for school improvement

What to Improve: What Matters Most®

Where should you focus your school improvement efforts? McREL’s analysis of research on effective schools and districts identified five high-leverage, high-payoff areas for school systems to invest in that are most likely to have positive effects on student success:

  • Challenging, engaging, and intentional instruction

  • Curricular pathways to success

  • Whole-child supports

  • High-performance school cultures

  • High-reliability district systems

Our team works with educators to help them gain deeper knowledge, skills, and processes needed to create and sustain these important conditions in their schools.  We support our client schools’ improvement journeys with evidence-based professional learning, coaching, analysis, and technical assistance.

How to Improve: Curiosity Works® Improvement Phases

How do you begin a successful school improvement process that unites and empowers your teachers, staff, and community? McREL’s six-phase process for school improvement is based on key principles from improvement science, high-reliability organizations, and effective schools.

This approach, called Curiosity Works, works for schools of all performance levels and helps guide school leadership teams to understand and move through each phase at their school, using evidence-based, proven methods to support collaborative growth and collective efficacy.

  • Phase 1: Get Ready—Establish Shared Values, Moral Purpose, and Compelling Vision

  • Phase 2: Create Hopeful Urgency and Chart a Course

  • Phase 3: Focus on Teaching and Learning

  • Phase 4: Support Professional Learning and Collaboration

  • Phase 5: Embed Consistent, Deep Practices

  • Phase 6: Build a Purposeful Community

What our clients are saying . . .

“McREL has helped our staff to grow professionally and have a bigger impact on student learning.”

—Darrel Kohlman, superintendent, Kansas

“Our partnership with McREL has been extremely beneficial and is a
contributing factor toward the increase in our student achievement scores.”

—Rik Devney, principal, Nebraska

School Improvement Resources

Enrich Student Achievement and School Improvement

Let’s work together to achieve your goals!
Start a conversation on how we can support your school or organization.
800.858.6830 |