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A case study of the relational component of professional learning teams

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A case study of the relational component of professional learning teams
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Willis, Matthew R. ( author )
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English
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1 electronic file (199 pages) : ;

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Professional learning communities ( lcsh )
Restorative justice ( lcsh )
School discipline ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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This dissertation is focused on intentional intervention strategies adopted in a prior five-year period by Denver Area High School for the purpose of reducing suspensions, expulsions, referrals, other minor disciplinary infractions, and reduced failure rates. Those strategies included implementing a Culture of Care, which included (a) Restorative Practices, (b) Restorative Justice, (c) Relationships, and (d) Professional Learning Communities or Teams. Those interventions, which started in the Dean’s office, have been pushed into the classroom. However, some teachers are still over referring students for disciplinary actions and failure rates are too high. Professional learning teams, which are meant to support teachers in the adoption of restorative and instructional practices that lead to higher expectations and improved outcomes for all students, may not be succeeding because teams are avoiding the hard questions about the Culture of Care that would improve academic achievement. As a result, this case study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the Denver Area High School training to further develop professional learning team (PLT) leaders. During the case study, PLT leaders were presented with referral and failure rates and received training to improve analysis and outcomes through restorative practices and PLT practices. With support, the PLT leaders engaged and collaborated with teachers to completely adopt professional learning team and restorative practices by expanding their leadership skills, increasing personal buy-in, and improving their understanding and empathy for urban students. Six PLT leadership training sessions and two PLT observations focused on grades 9 and 10 core content areas. PLT leadership training sessions were observed and exit tickets were analyzed for training outcomes. The exit ticket analysis indicated that the intended learning targets and outcomes were achieved. The PLT observations were conducted and determined that cultural shifts were evident in the observations which represented the level of implementation of the PLT leadership training. At the conclusion of the study, evidence collected through exit tickets and observations indicated an improvement in teacher and PLT practices. Additional evidence collected from failure rates and referral rates showed a significant decline in referral rates that were at least partially attributed to the leadership training and an alignment of students pass rates with attendance rates.
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Thesis (D.Ed.)--University of Colorado Denver.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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System requirements: Adobe Reader.
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by Matthew R. Willis.

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University of Florida
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994683423 ( OCLC )
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A CASE STUDY ON THE RELATIONAL COMPONENT OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING TEAMS by
MATTHEW R. WILLIS B.S., University of Phoenix, 2003 M.A., University of Phoenix, 2004 Ed.S., University of Colorado, 2009
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education
Leadership for Educational Equity Program
2017


2017
MATTHEW R. WILLIS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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This thesis for the Doctor of Education degree by Matthew R. Willis has been approved for the Leadership for Educational Equity Program by
Connie L. Fulmer, Chair Rodney Blunck James Christensen
m
Date: May 13, 2017


Willis, Matthew R. (Ed.D., Leadership for Educational Equity Program)
A Case Study on the Relational Component of Professional Learning Teams Thesis directed by Professor Connie L. Fulmer
ABSTRACT
This dissertation is focused on intentional intervention strategies adopted in a prior five-year period by Denver Area High School for the purpose of reducing suspensions, expulsions, referrals, other minor disciplinary infractions, and reduced failure rates. Those strategies included implementing a Culture of Care, which included (a) Restorative Practices, (b) Restorative Justice, (c) Relationships, and (d) Professional Learning Communities or Teams. Those interventions, which started in the Deans office, have been pushed into the classroom. However, some teachers are still over referring students for disciplinary actions and failure rates are too high. Professional learning teams, which are meant to support teachers in the adoption of restorative and instructional practices that lead to higher expectations and improved outcomes for all students, may not be succeeding because teams are avoiding the hard questions about the Culture of Care that would improve academic achievement. As a result, this case study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the Denver Area High School training to further develop professional learning team (PLT) leaders. During the case study, PLT leaders were presented with referral and failure rates and received training to improve analysis and outcomes through restorative practices and PLT practices. With support, the PLT leaders engaged and collaborated with teachers
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to completely adopt professional learning team and restorative practices by expanding their leadership skills, increasing personal buy-in, and improving their understanding and empathy for urban students. Six PLT leadership training sessions and two PLT observations focused on grades 9 and 10 core content areas. PLT leadership training sessions were observed and exit tickets were analyzed for training outcomes. The exit ticket analysis indicated that the intended learning targets and outcomes were achieved. The PLT observations were conducted and determined that cultural shifts were evident in the observations which represented the level of implementation of the PLT leadership training. At the conclusion of the study, evidence collected through exit tickets and observations indicated an improvement in teacher and PLT practices. Additional evidence collected from failure rates and referral rates showed a significant decline in referral rates that were at least partially attributed to the leadership training and an alignment of students pass rates with attendance rates.
This form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Connie L. Fulmer
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DEDICATION
I dedicate this work to the students, families, and community of the Denver Area High School. United, we will create the equitable environment that every child deserves.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I sincerely appreciated all the help, support, and dedication of the staff at the Denver Area High School. Truly they are working to make a difference in the lives of their students and community. Their dedication and implementation of the training made a difference. The instructional leader and facilitator, Suzanne Acheson, was amazing to work with and provided quality lesson plans for the staff. She dedicated herself to improving her instruction after each lesson and supported the professional learning team leaders. Her leadership has been recognized by the Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals as the 2017 Colorado Assistant Principal of the Year. Finally, I am deeply appreciative of my dissertation chair, mentor, and supporter Dr. Connie Fulmer. She was always available for help and she provided quality feedback and continual support. Thank you!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION................................................................1
The Knowing Doing Gap....................................................2
Professional Learning Teams.......................................3
Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and a Culture of Care.6
Case Study Purpose.......................................................8
Research Questions.......................................................9
Significance of Study...................................................10
Assumptions and Limitations.............................................11
Operational Definitions.................................................12
II. LITERATURE REVIEW..........................................................14
Conceptual Framework....................................................16
Changing the Narrative of Zero-Tolerance................................19
Restorative Justice..............................................20
Restorative Practices............................................22
Culture of Care..................................................26
Professional Learning Communities.......................................27
Professional Learning Teams......................................28
Four Questions for PLCs..........................................31
Relationships and Urban Education.......................................32
Summary.................................................................35
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III. METHODOLOGY..................................................................38
Research Questions.......................................................39
Description of Study Site................................................39
Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Culture of Care..........41
Professional Learning Community Implementation....................43
Case Study Method........................................................44
Professional Learning Team Participants..................................49
Training.................................................................49
Data Collections.........................................................51
Training Exit Tickets.............................................51
Professional Learning Team Observations...........................51
Disciplinary Referrals............................................52
Failure Rates.....................................................52
Summary...........................................................53
Data Analysis............................................................53
Training Exit Tickets.............................................53
Professional Learning Team Observations...........................54
Disciplinary Referrals............................................55
Failure Rates.....................................................56
Summary...........................................................56
Trustworthiness and Ethical Considerations........................57
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IV. FINDINGS
59
Impact of Professional Learning Team Leader Training...................60
Training Session #1.............................................61
Training Session #2.............................................67
Training Session #3.............................................72
Training Session #4.............................................76
Training Session #5.............................................82
Training Session #6.............................................86
Summary.........................................................92
Evidence from Professional Learning Team Observations..................94
Professional Learning Team Observations Round 1.................95
Professional Learning Team Observations Round 2................106
Summary........................................................119
Impact on Referral Rates..............................................122
Impact on Failure Rates...............................................125
Summary...............................................................129
V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS...................................132
Summary...............................................................132
Professional Learning Team Training............................135
PLT Observations...............................................138
Referral and Failure Rates.....................................142
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Summary......................................................143
Conclusions........................................................145
Professional Learning Teams..................................145
Restorative Practices........................................147
Culture of Care..............................................149
Summary......................................................150
Recommendations....................................................151
Recommendations for Practice.................................151
Recommendations for School Leaders...........................152
Recommendations for Failing or Turnaround Schools............153
Recommendations for Future Research..........................155
Final Thoughts.....................................................156
REFERENCES............................................................157
APPENDIX
A. Professional Learning Team Leader Training Exit Ticket...166
B. Observation Protocol for Professional Learning Team Meeting.167
C. PLT Leader PD Session 1................................168
D. PLT Leader PD Session 2................................170
E. PLT Leader PD Session 3................................173
F. PLT Leader PD Session 4................................176
G. PLT Leader PD Session 5................................179
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H. PLT Leader PD Session 6.........................................181
I. PLT Process Rubric..............................................184
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LIST OF TABLES
TABLES
1. Analytical Framework for Case Study...............................................46
2. Disciplinary Referral Rates.......................................................48
3. Failure Rates.....................................................................48
4. Session 1 Exit Tickets............................................................66
5. Session 2 Exit Tickets............................................................69
6. Session 3 Exit Tickets............................................................77
7. Session 4 Exit Tickets............................................................81
8. Session 5 Exit Tickets............................................................85
9. Session 6 Exit Tickets............................................................91
10. Impact on Disciplinary Referrals.................................................122
11. Impact on Failure Rates..........................................................125
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LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE
1. Conceptual Framework Relational Influence on Learning................18
2. Conceptual Framework Relational Influence on Learning................135
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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Nationwide, high minority and high poverty schools are failing, continuing the cycle of poverty, and exacerbating the school-to-prison pipeline. Boykin and Noguera (2011) write, In the United States, there are striking, persistent achievement gaps between Black and Latino students (both boys and girls) and their White counterparts (p. 3). These achievement gaps are evident when students enter the educational system, they are not addressed, and continue to widen over a students schooling experience. Mallett (2015) emphasizes, punitive disciplinary policies are most evident in urban school settings with high minority student populations, and in schools with high enrollments of free or reduced lunch these two school characteristics are often inter-related (p. 3). Most of these students do not pose a safety risk to the school and community yet the systems of discipline exclude students from educational opportunities. Cuellar and Markowitz (2015) point out that school suspensions and the school-to-prison pipeline are connected and punitive systems in school disciplinary systems and out-of-school suspension rates increase the probability of criminal activity and arrest. Coggshall, Osher, and Colombi (2013) claim, Teachers and school administrators can affect childrens trajectory into and through the pipeline to prison in at least four ways (p. 435) relationship, attitudes, conditions of learning, and non-restorative responses to student behavior. Improving educators preparedness for urban education requires a multifaceted approach that
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addresses students emotional needs, relationships, and academic gaps (Boykin and Noguera, 2011). These can be achieved through implementation of relation based restorative practices and professional learning teams, yet we must work to develop the quality professional learning opportunities and structures for educators that address their roles and responsibilities (Muhammad & Hollie, 2012). Denver Area High School has implemented restorative justice, restorative practices, and professional learning teams, yet there are inconsistencies in the outcomes of students academically. Some teachers are still over referring students for disciplinary action. We suspect that professional learning teams are avoiding the hard questions about relationships, behaviors, close academic gaps, and referrals that if addressed would improve academic achievement.
The Knowing Doing Gap
Over the last 5 years, Denver Area High School has been implementing a Culture of Care (Cavanagh, 2008a) centered on the concepts of restorative justice and restorative practices to address alternatives to traditional discipline, support teachers, and provide relation based structures for urban schooling. Additionally, the study high school has developed a comprehensive model for professional learning teams (DuFour & Eaker, 1998) to address academic deficiencies associated with high poverty, academic failure, mobility, and cultural incongruity. The practices, Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Professional Learning Teams are aligned with research and best practices for urban communities similar to Denver
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Area High School, which is a 92 percent minority majority school with over 70 percent free or reduced lunch. The schools work with restorative practices has led to significant reductions in school discipline, expulsions, suspensions, and been documented in A Story Legitimating the Voices of Latino/Hispanic Students and Parents (Cavanagh, Vigil, & Garcia, 2014) and featured on PBS Newshour (American Graduate, February 20, 2014) and Nickelodeon News (School Crime and Too Much Punishment, August 4, 2015).
Professional Learning Teams
Boykin and Noguera (2011) argue, If racial categories are indeed social and not primarily biological in nature, then it should be possible to fundamentally alter the predictability of racial patterns (p. 26) in schools and change the structure of schools to match new beliefs about race and education. If we fundamentally believe that all students can learn at the highest level, then we must change the culture of the school and the processes that are entrenched in the school that support deficit thinking. Muhammad and Hollie (2012) write, A toxic school culture is one in which educators believe that student success is based on students level of concern, attentiveness, prior knowledge, and willingness to comply (p. 10). This type of deficit thinking leads to the current inadequacies of the educational system as it pertains to Black and Latino students across the United States of America. Furthermore, DuFour and Marzano (2011) argue, The best strategy for improving schools and districts is developing the collective capacity of educators to function as
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members of a professional learning community (p. 31) and small units of professional learning teams. The possibility exists for schools to change the outcomes of Black and Latino students by changing the process and developing structures that support student learning. Smith (2015) writes, Educational institutions, districts, schools, and teaching and administrative positions exist to ensure that all students learn (p. 7). He goes on to emphasize that the establishment of professional learning communities and teams creates the structures needed to focus on high levels of learning, a collaborative and collective approach to support student learning, and a results orientation to improve student achievement and improve practices. Changing our approach is critical, and teachers must work collaboratively to understand the challenges associated with learning in an urban environment. Most importantly, teachers and administrators must collectively take responsibility for all children and ensure their success.
DuFour and Fullan (2013) stress that professional learning teams and communities are focused on people, practices, and processes. Professional learning teams are collective units that determine curriculum, pacing, effective instructional strategies, team developed formative assessments, analyze student learning, improve their practice, enrich the learning of students whom have met the high expectations, and intervene on the behalf of students who need more support to meet the high expectations. They collectively develop responses to student outcomes and never allow student outcomes to be based on the teacher a student was assigned. The teams
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take collective responsibility for all students as a fundamental belief of the team.
This concept is contrary to the tradition school concept, and as a result, (DuFour & Eaker, 1998) many educators seem unable to embrace a concept of continuous improvement that has a significantly different credo of get it right and then make it better and better and better (p. 22). Schmoker (2006) emphasizes, teams must focus in concrete, precise terms about instruction with a concentration on thoughtful, explicit examination of practices and their consequencesthe results achieved with specific lessons and units. Based on collaborative analysis of the results of our efforts, what can we do to improve student learning (p. 107)? Teams of teachers must be engaged in the difficult conversations of improving student achievement and collectively discussing strategies that were both ineffective and effective. Most importantly, they must re-teach and then re-assess when students miss the learning targets. This open dialog is difficult for many collaborative teams, who must address social, academic, and instructional strategy deficiencies and successes as well as how they are addressed.
Schmoker (2011) stresses, Our failure to be clear and focused prevails even as we continue, year after year, to attend conferences, workshops, and book studies ... all while denying students a coherent curriculum, sound lessons, and meaningful opportunities to read and write (p. 13). We must be clear and collaborative to achieve at the level needed for the equitable outcome of all urban students. Urban education is difficult and made more difficult when teachers work in isolation instead
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of collaboratively and collectively. At Denver Area High School, they have developed the structures needed for achievement by designing common assessments, instructional strategies, common assessment dates, analysis meetings, and some teams openly discuss student achievement and design re-teaching opportunities for students. Eaker, DuFour, and DuFour (2002) emphasize that true achievement is centered on building a deep, meaningful collaborative culture in your school (p. 111). They go on to stress that a schools professional learning teams need to work interdependently and that teams must collectively take responsibility for the learning of all students.
All professional learning teams must be able to have meaningful conversations about the root causes of student failure and collectively establish meaningful interventions that address urban environments.
Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and a Culture of Care
A Culture of Care (restorative practices) is an essential strategy in urban educational environments. The strategy provides comprehensive turnaround frameworks for a school and community (Cavanagh, 2008a, 2009). The school administration and teacher leaders at Denver Area High School utilized a collaborative methodology of reviewing research through book studies, experts in the field of equity and restorative practices, determining best practices and strategies, and defining the expectations around these practices. The research suggested that when restorative practices are taught to teachers and applied in schools, it leads to reductions in school discipline (Anfara, Evans, & Lester, 2013). Research in New
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Zealand (Cavanagh, 2009) demonstrates that schools implementing these practices and creating a Culture of Care increase academic opportunities, reduce disciplinary occurrences, and bridge cultural gaps. Cavanagh (2009) stresses, The purpose of organizations such as schools is to create a social climate where individuals can flourish, that is, be happy and develop their potential fully (p. 63). Restorative practices are based on developing relationships among people and in the case of schools, developing relationships between students and teachers. Further studies in Scotland (Kane et al., 2007; Kane et al., 2008) demonstrate that developing relationships and addressing breeches in these relationships reduced disciplinary issues in 18 low performing schools during a four-year study.
The collaborative efforts of staff, administration, and experts at Denver Area High School have resulted in the implementation of a Culture of Care centered on restorative practices. Alphen (2014) emphasizes that, developing social responsibility creates an effective protective factor for social health. The ideal is that members of any community naturally practice socially appropriate behavior. The reality is that whenever many people interact with one another, incidents will occur (p. 190). As these relational breeches occur, schools must have a system in place that addresses these relational breeches. These practices become even more important when the cultural experiences of the community and educational staff are disconnected like in many urban environments. In conjunction with establishing restorative practices to repair relational and behavioral breeches, the study high
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school continues to push the practices out of the deans office and into the classroom through professional development centered on the Restorative Practices Handbook (Costello & Wachtel, 2009). Although restorative practices have become the culture of Denver Area High School, many teachers still struggle and over refer students for disciplinary action when the incident does not pose a threat to the learning environment and the breech should be solved at a relational level.
Case Study Purpose
Even with the implementation of restorative justice, restorative practices, and professional learning teams at Denver Area High School, there continues to be inconsistency with some teachers who have higher referral rates, failure rates, and inconsistencies in student outcomes. Through a review of data and initial interviews with a few teachers, we suspect that some professional learning teams are avoiding the difficult conversations about why students are not learning, which includes instructional practices, relational concerns addressed through the Culture of Care, improving the outcomes of student achievement through the professional learning team process, and improving relational outcomes. During the case study (a) training, (b) community circles, and (c) professional learning team structures will be cultivated through the professional learning team leaders. These leaders will guide their professional learning teams to improved dialog and analysis including relational gaps, leading to an anticipated reduction in disciplinary referrals and an anticipated increased in student pass rates.
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Research Questions
The study high school has been implementing restorative justice, restorative practices, and a professional learning team model to maximize the potential of this urban school, yet the school has not been achieving at the level expected considering the research associate with relationships, restorative practices, and professional learning teams. Most of the teaching staff commutes to the school and their life experiences do not match the life experiences of the students at the school or within the community creating barriers to maximizing relationships. Additionally, many staff members resist conversations associated with student failures that might be addressed by intentionally developing positive student-teacher relationships and more effectively implementing the professional learning team model and restorative practices in their classroom. Relational incongruence should be addressed in the professional learning team during the analysis portion of each unit as teachers reflect on what prevented student success and how to address this gap through interventions and re-teaching strategies. With additional Professional Learning Team Leader Training, I believe that the impact of PLT leaders can better address the relational gap that inhibits urban student success so that every child begins to achieve to their potential.
Therefore, the following research question guides this case study. How does Professional Learning Team Leader Training (PLTLT) impact improvement in
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teacher and professional learning team practices as evidenced by changes in (a) referral rates, and (b) failure rates?
1. How does PLTLT impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evidenced by leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTLT training sessions?
2. How does PLTLT impact the interactions of PLT leaders with Professional Learning Team meetings as evidenced by observation data from those meetings?
3. How do rates of student referrals change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels?
4. How do rates of student failure change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels?
Significance of the Study
Researchers and educators from around the United States are working to find solutions to improve the educational outcomes of minority and impoverished students. Cavanagh (2003) points out that zero-tolerance policies criminalize schools and have the opposite effect of improving the educational outcomes of minority students. To truly regain control of our schools, we need restorative systems that support our neediest students and move away from the school-to-prison pipeline. Braithwaite (2000) also supports the dignified restoration of relationships as a central component of a dignified society. Supporting teachers, through PLTL training, will provide them with needed structures to support a team effort in addressing
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misbehavior, educational gaps, and other components that lead to student failure and referrals.
Professional learning team and communities are a key component of the Culture of Care being fostered at the Denver Area High School. Through the PLT structures, teachers in an urbanized environment will learn leadership skills needed to support their teams and address the difficulties associated with teaching in high-minority, high-poverty schools. Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) state, so the problem of low-performing schools is not getting people to work, it is getting people to do the right work (p. 76). Schools must be working with their teachers to develop leadership focused on the right work. In urbanized environments like the Denver Area High School, a Culture of Care centered on restorative justice, restorative practices, relationships, and professional learning teams is critical to addressing failing schools. The PLTL training will address developing school leadership and creating an environment that fosters student growth and achievement.
Assumptions and Limitations
The case study is designed specifically for the Denver Area High School which has been working on developing restorative justice, restorative practices, relationships, and professional learning communities as part of a Culture of Care at varying stages for the last 5 years. The results of this case study will be specific to the school and as a participant observer, will represent the effort of the school and its leadership to find solutions to our nations problems associated with urbanized failing
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schools. The training and development of the staff is the next step in the schools development as a leader in high school turnaround. The training and design of the Culture of Care at the Denver Area High School can improve the outcomes of other schools but is specifically designed for this school.
Operational Definitions
Culture of Care The combined practices of restorative justice, restorative practices, relationship development with students and staff, and professional learning communities or teams. The combination of these principles are combined to create a Culture of Care
Professional Learning Teams (PLT) A group of grade level teachers, usually between 3 and 6, who teach the same subject and work collaboratively at least twice per week on common assessments, data analysis, re-teaching missed concepts, guaranteed curriculum, lessons, and strategies.
Relationships The majority of the staff at the Denver Area High School are commuters and there is a cultural disconnect between the realities of the students and the teachers. Relationship development is important in all schools, and must be intentionally addressed in urbanized school with this or other cultural disconnects in the adult staff and student base.
Restorative Justice At the Denver Area High School they use a unique brand of restorative justice which is based in the belief that the participants can find solutions for themselves. As such, staff are trained to facilitate and participate in restorative
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justice sessions. The school has been working on their model for 5 years and has fewer referral rates than many elementary schools and virtually no violent crimes. Restorative justice is an emerging practice that is an alternative to zero-tolerance and punitive discipline strategies in schools.
Restorative Practices Moving the a more proactive system, teachers are being trained to address their classrooms in a restorative manner through the development of relationships and classroom practices that lead to an improved learning environment. These practices include classroom norms, addressing behaviors in a relational manner, hall conferences, and various levels of circles and conferences all designed at the classroom level.
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CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW
High minority and high poverty schools across the United States and Colorado are failing academically. Schwebel (2012) documented that African-American and Latino students, particularly economically disadvantaged students, perform poorly on international tests of reading, writing, and mathematics and that these results pinpoint a clear equity problem when these students results are compared to the other industrialized nations. Students who live in economically disadvantaged communities are subject to higher rates of violence, higher mobility rates, stricter school policies, and increased academic failures. Gonsoulin, Zablocki, and Leone (2012) emphasize that often, in the name of keeping schools safe, practices such as zero-tolerance and referring students to police for school code violations have led to school exclusions and prematurely introducing youth to the juvenile justice system (p. 309). These zero-tolerance practices, along with other factors associated with poverty, lead to exclusionary outcomes that expel, suspend, and produce academic gaps leading to school and community failure. Moreover, Toldson et al. (2010) contend that research evidence suggests that the juvenile justice system and current educational policies failed to meet the basic educational and remedial needs of socially disadvantaged African-American children (p. 552). Nationally and in Colorado, when African-American and Latino children are overrepresented in school disciplinary systems, these same children cannot be expected to improve their
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educational outcomes. Utheim (2014) emphasizes, restorative efforts to reintegrate youth and re-establish their sense of social belonging and responsibility depend on developing a common dialog that accounts for the institutionalized inequities impinging upon their life experiences (p. 369).
The structures that produce failing schools for minority and economically disadvantaged communities are unfortunate examples of institutionalized racism that exists in our educational system. According to Rosenbloom and Way (2004), there are additional structural inadequacies of minority and economically disadvantaged schools that reinforce institutionalized racism through a practice of low teacher expectations for African-American and Latino students. During their study, when African-American and Latino students were asked about their experiences with discrimination, they described hostile relationships with adults in positions of authority such as police officers, shopkeepers, and teachers at school (p. 434). They go on to state that students reported these hostilities as ongoing and not isolated events. Latino and African-American students felt their teachers were uncaring and lacked a personal understanding and relationship with them.
Payne and Welch (2015) stated that schools are not safer because of harsh policies and practices, and conversely, these practices have a profound negative affect on students leading to increased risk of future delinquency in the school and community. They found that students with higher ratios of African-Americans intensified punitive measures and were less likely to adopt restorative justice discipline. Research by
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Coggshall, Osher, and Colombi (2013) concluded that teachers lack skills and knowledge to effectively meet the needs of African-American and Latino students and preferred zero-tolerance policies and exclusionary practices. Furthermore, teachers felt that African-American and Latino students with behavioral reoccurrences should be sent to alternative educational environments. Many factors led to these attitudes including a lack of understanding of the students environmental needs, culture, trauma, health, educational gaps, and rigid behavioral expectations. Finally, Cuellar and Markowitz (2015) contend that out of school suspensions increased criminal activity in communities more than doubling the probability of arrest of African-American and Latino students. A lack of teacher-student relationships, harsh punishments, and exclusionary practices in minority-majority schools and economically disadvantaged communities continued the cycle of poverty, create poor performing schools, and contribute to the high school to prison pipeline. These dismal outcomes cannot continue and there must be a better way to improve academic achievement and maintain safety in schools for African-American and Latino students and communities.
Conceptual Framework
Urban schools are failing throughout the United States of American and other parts of the world as we grapple with the causes of these failures. Practices such as teachers working in isolation, zero-tolerance disciplinary policies, and authoritarian classroom practices contribute to school failure. Countries like New Zealand,
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Australian, Scotland, and the United States are beginning to review these policies and develop comprehensive strategies that begin to change the outcomes of these schools and communities. Failing schools are symptoms of teachers working in isolation, a lack of relationships, no cultural connection with urban children, authoritarian and zero-tolerance discipline policies, and institutionalized racism. The case study focuses specifically on the spot where restorative practices, professional learning teams, and relationships intersect (see Figure 1).
Munoz, Scoskie, and French emphasize, urban schools are unique and the following items in the classroom strongly predict gains in student learning: (a) students in the classroom treat the teacher with respect, (b) my classmates behave the way my teacher wants them to, and (c) our class stays busy and doesnt waste time (p. 227). These cannot be achieved without a Culture of Care where teachers have developed restorative practices in their classroom with a culture of mutual respect and centered on relationships. Zehr (2002) stresses that we must develop a community of care and involve all parties in the process. School systems must be reorganized and eliminate zero-tolerance polices so that students are included in the learning and not excluded from their schools creating greater losses of educational opportunities. Finally, teachers must work collaboratively in professional learning communities and teams to accelerate learning for urban populations, foster relational based education, and develop strategies that close the learning gap and achievement for all students.
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Figure 1. Relational influence on learning.
The case study at Denver Area High School will focus on developing professional
learning team leaders training and support to help develop teachers classroom
restorative practices, teacher-student relationships, and professional learning teams
reflections on why their minority students might still be over referred for discipline
and failing academically. DuFour and Marzano (2011) emphasize that school
18


improvement means people improvement and we suspect that professional learning teams are avoiding the hard questions about why their students are failing including relationships, behaviors, and academic gaps that if addressed would improve academic achievement.
Changing the Narrative of Zero-Tolerance Developing a Culture of Care at any school is important, but developing a Culture of Care in an urban school is essential to student and community success. Macready (2009) stress, schools have an important role to play in providing a community culture where children and young people may learn the value of relationships and of social cooperation (p. 218). Payne and Welch (2015) contend that students in communally organized schools demonstrate less delinquency, misbehavior, fear, victimization, and dropping out, and have greater empathy, school bonding, and academic interest, motivation, and achievement (p. 555). Developing a Culture of Care using restorative justice and restorative practices is not an option for urban education and is a requirement that launches schools toward equitable outcomes of African-American and Latino students. Moreover, Latimer, Dowden, and Muise (2005) stress restorative approaches provide results that show satisfaction of all parties and that participants are less likely to reoffend, ultimately reducing referrals and incidents.
Restorative Justice
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Vaandering (2010) asserts that there are many examples throughout the world over the last several decades that have replaced punitive, zero-tolerance school policies with restorative justice while successfully building safe schools.
Additionally, Brazemore (2001) stresses that restorative justice is a distinctive policy framework for understanding and responding to crime and a variety of harmful behaviors by young people (p. 201). The current system of punishment in schools has been ineffective with African-American and Latino students and contributes to the school to prison pipeline. Cavanagh (2009) argues that a shift in American culture created greater and greater inequities among racial groups. The impact of these inequities has affected social relationships, leading to rising violence in schools, homes, and communities (p. 54). African-American and Latino students throughout America have been affected the most by zero-tolerance policies that were intended to respond to misbehaviors in the educational environment. Cavanagh (2009) insists that minority and economically disadvantaged students in both the United States and New Zealand lack equitable outcomes and that restorative justice offers an alternative way of thinking, believing, and behaving for educators to respond to misconduct in schools and classrooms. Additionally, Daly (2002) asserts, victims and offenders view the process and the outcomes as fair (p. 69). The current system of zero-tolerance and punishment in schools never addresses the breech in relationships or heals the harm created by the parties involved. This is contrary to best practices for economically disadvantaged African-American and Latino communities where
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relationships are critical to community outcomes. Cavanagh (2009) reports, based on the analysis, the central theme expressed by students was relationships with both their peers and teachers (p. 56). Without strong relationships, African-American and Latino students lack the necessary personal connections with their teachers that would produce the greatest opportunity for current and future success.
At the center of restorative justice is a belief that relationships must be restored and that misbehavior in schools and communities is a violation of people and relationships. In zero-tolerance policies, the relationship between the offender and victim are never restored and the offender, although punished, suffers from being ostracized and loses academic opportunities but is never truly accountable to the victim. Furthermore, the offenders academic gaps, lack of accountability, and victimization lead to further academic declines and punishment. Amstutz and Mullet (2005) argue that restorative discipline helps misbehaving students deal with the harm they have caused to individuals and to the school community (p. 10).
Moreover, they write, a restorative approach, however, recognizes the needs and purposes behind the misbehavior, as well as the needs of those who were harmed by the misbehavior (p. 22). Restorative justice acknowledges the needs of the victim and offender, is focused on repairing the harm, restores relationships, and works to retain the community within schools to improve educational outcomes for all.
Leonard and Kerry (2011) report that the process restores a sense of security and
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empowerment to victim participants and that the ultimate benefit to society is that restorative justice will reduce future rates of crime.
Vaandering (2010) rejects the idea that behaviors and learning should be approached separately. Vaandering recognizes that though educators realize that environments where youth are engaged in inappropriate, destructive behavior are not conducive for learning, there is little recognition that the learning environment itself may be contributing to the responses of the students (p. 148). African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students require an opportunity to restore relationships while developing community that improves the educational outcome of all students. Segregating students by removing them from the educational environment through suspensions and expulsions do little to repair the harm, improve educational outcomes, and ultimately contribute to the institutionalized racism evident in schools today. Vaandering (2010) emphasizes that restorative justice in schools is needed for building and affirming relationships as the response to inappropriate behavior. Most importantly, the use of restorative justice provides an opportunity for African-American and Latino students to develop the self-concept needed to be part of the school community and improve educational outcomes for all students.
Restorative Practices
McCluskey et al. (2008) wrote a definition of restorative practices that included genuine actions of support between staff and students, developing and acting upon
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how our actions affect each other, a fair process in the classroom that allows everyone to learn, and responses to difficult behaviors that have positive outcomes for everyone. Restorative practices begin to take the concepts of restorative justice and expand them to the classroom, creating schools of peace and strengthening the relationships between teachers and students as well as the students community. Drewery (2014) reports that schools that embrace a whole school approach have been found to do better on all measures, including suspensions and expulsions, as well as achievement statistics than schools that use the practices for disciplinary and behavioral management purposes only (p. 2). Therefore, although restorative justice has shown significant improvements in disciplinary outcomes of minority students around the world, implementing restorative practices at every level not only reduces suspensions and expulsions but also improves educational outcomes for all students.
A key to restorative practices is the idea of sharing power with students. Drewery (2014) argues that the notion of respect which is the basis of restorative practice can be described as an equitable, and inclusive, power relationship (p. 4). This is both important and difficult for school leaders and teachers to implement the idea of sharing power with students and developing educational outcomes with students. The ideals of restorative practices required teachers to not only have high levels of control but also have high levels of support that develop a collaborative atmosphere in every classroom.
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Responding to students in a loving, relational way is critical to the theory of restorative practices in the classroom. Costello, Wachtel, and Watchtel (2009) underscored the point that restorative strategies dont work if your tone is purely punitive (p. 20). Whether the encounter with students is purely incidental in a hallway or intentional in a classroom, the teacher must always present himself or herself in a restorative manner. Small breeches, when not addressed, build up over time and create dissonance in relationships that develop into larger incidents that if addressed on an individual basis when they initially occurred would have maintained the strong relationship between students and teachers. Students must know that their teachers care for them, support them, and have very high expectations. For many of our African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students who arrive with educational gaps and other environmental difficulties this supportive environment is critical to their future aspirations and current academic achievement. During their study Mccluskey et al. (2008) found that many teachers felt that restorative practices were stealing their strength and that teachers had to reconcile their behavior management policies and discipline policies with restorative practices. It is difficult for teachers, anyone, to change from a systemic process of punishment to restorative practices, yet the outcome of their study showed significant improvement in schools that embrace the new philosophy. Furthermore, even though teachers understood that these punitive systems supported institutionalized racism in
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schools, it was difficult for teachers to change and accept a more supportive system for disadvantaged students.
A major problem for this transformation lies in the contrast between the current habits of discipline for control in schools and a new way of shared responsibility between teachers and students. Vaandering (2013) argues that productive pedagogies provide a framework that highlights how effective teaching comes from incorporating four key elements: intellectual quality, connectedness, supportive classroom environment, and valuing and working with difference (p. 67). Even though relationships are highly valued in African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged communities there has been a lack of intentional development of these relationships to create the supportive environment required for urban education. Because of the dichotomy between traditional methodology and restorative practices, educators struggle with the transformational change from a rule-based to a relationship-based institution. This struggle also causes incongruence between teachers, students, and the community as they struggle to adapt to the new methodology. Cavanagh (2009) asserted that change, particularly profound change, involves setting aside our assumptions and mindsets and becoming open to new realities both individually and collectively, so that together we can create a new future (p. 63). A new mindset of shared responsibility between educators, the community, parents, and African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged
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students in urban education is essential to developing equitable outcomes and eliminating institutionalized racism.
Culture of Care
Developing schools of peace with restorative justice and restorative practice are essential to creating a Culture of Care in urban schools. Cavanagh (2008b) and Cavanagh, Macfarlane, Glynn, and Macfarlane (2012) found evidence in New Zealand and the United States of racism and privilege in the form of deficit thinking about minority students and culturally insensitive conversations in the classroom. At the core of these racist ideals are a deficit mindset about minority students, poverty, parents, and communities. The Culture of Care, Cavanagh (2009), empowers students to solve problems nonviolently and provides a safe haven for African-American and Latino students to express themselves and their emotions. As a result of having structures that repair relationships, students attend school more and improve their educational outcomes. McCluskey et al., (2008) emphasize that schools must shed the theoretical frame of shame and punishment and develop schools based on restorative justice and restorative practices that emphasize relationships confronting the internal and external tensions of schools to develop equitable outcomes for all. Cavanagh, Vigil, and Garcia (2014) maintain, students and their parents wanted better relationships between the students and their teachers, high expectations, and greater appreciation for their bilingual and bicultural capabilities (p. 573). Students want to perform at the highest levels and African-
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American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students require strong relationships that leverage an authoritative environment to maximize the outcome of all students, developing equity in schools. Finally, Braithwaite (2004) support that the best place to start this new system is in schools. Restorative practices, restorative justice, relationships, and a Culture of Care will lead to a more active populous that can rely less on the state to solve its problems.
Professional Learning Communities
DuFour and Marzano (2011) state that the best strategy for improving schools and districts is developing the collective capacity of educators to function as members of a professional learning community (p. 31). DuFour and Marzano go on to stress that for students to achieve at the highest level, the best professional development originates from the job embedded conversations and collective efficacy of the teachers. Failing schools will never reach their potential unless collaborative teams, organized into professional learning communities, are established in schools. Moreover, Gonsoulin, Zablocki, and Leone (2012) emphasized that school staff development must involve training staff to implement policies reflecting a philosophy of intense intervention designed to foster positive behavior expectations for youth.
The most effective form of staff development is achieved through the creation of professional learning communities (pp. 310-311). Developing positive relationships with students through a Culture of Care requires educators to work collaboratively in professional learning communities and develop the necessary
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interventions to attain the required academic and behavioral outcomes. African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students need teachers to provide interventions and academic skills that are not customarily taught in traditional high schools. DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, and Many (2006) emphasize that our actions cannot be based on intentions, they must be centered on results. To accelerate student learning and achievement in an urban environment, teachers must address their own professional knowledge gaps in developing a shared educational responsibility with students.
Professional Learning Community Teams
DuFour and Eaker (1998) stress that changing any organization is difficult, but changing something as complex as the American system of education is an absolutely daunting task (p. 13). The authors go on to identify that deficits in the American educational system are systemically embedded based on the way people are trained, hierarchy, political decisions, and a natural desire to maintain the status quo. To break the systemic failure of schools, specifically in high-minority and high-poverty schools, schools must break with tradition and develop collaborative environments centered on professional learning communities and teams. The complexities of the educational system require teams to share strategies, challenges, interventions, relational issues, educational gaps, and other obstacles that stand in the way of equitable outcomes for African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students. To reverse the effects of institutionalized racism embedded in schools,
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professional learning teams must be open to collaborative reflection, shared meaning, joint planning, and coordinated action. DuFour and Eaker (1998) stress that where there is a strong professional community, teachers focus on the areas that can result in significant school improvement curriculum, instruction, assessment, and culture (p. 152). The transformation of schools requires constant collaboration and reflection. DuFour and Fullan (2013) insist that professional learning communities are not a program but require a transformation within the school community so that systemic change takes root and the organization becomes focused on the needs of the African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students. DuFour and Fullan (2013) identify specific nonnegotiable for professional learning communities that include collaboration, establishing and implementing a guaranteed curriculum, monitoring student learning, using evidence of learning, meeting the needs of individual students, providing additional support and time for students, and collaborating with students so that they are part of the solution and not identified as the problem. Ferguson (2008) identifies these school environments as ones that provide students with high levels of support with high learning expectations. Ultimately, teachers must be open to sharing the responsibilities with their colleagues as well as with their students to develop an open, honest, and trusting environment that pushes urban students to maximize their potential.
Zimmerman, Carter, Kanold, and Tonchef (2012) focused on professional learning teams and report that the purpose of team collective commitments is to
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create a respectful, open environment that encourages diversity of ideas and invites criticism combined with close inspection of practices and procedures (p. 14). Aligning the process of professional learning teams and the teacher participants by establishing norms and commitments are essential components of the process. Collaborative teams must set agendas, roles, meeting minutes, norms, collaborative protocols, and expectations for all members to achieve at the level required for urban education. DuFour and Marzano (2011) insist that professional learning communities are based on three big ideas (a) ensure all students learn at high levels, (b) help all students learn, it will require us to work collaboratively to meet the needs of individual students, and (c) educators must create a data focused collegialism to meet the needs of individual students. Professional learning teams must take collective responsibility for all students and work to meet their individual needs. Most importantly, Schmoker (2006) emphasized that the use of professional learning communities and teams honors the educators for their knowledge and expertise and eliminates a dependency on external forces for school improvement. The collective capacity of teachers must be unleashed to the higher purpose of solving the complex problems of urban education through professional learning communities. Schmoker (2006) also asserted that educators should obsessively celebrate, study, and showcase every team success, and honor successful teams by creating as many opportunities as possible for internal experts to provide internal staff development, always and only on the basis of measurable assessment results (p. 120).
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Four Questions for PLCs
Professional learning community schools have six characteristics (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010): (a) a shared mission and vision, (b) a collaborative culture, (c) collective inquiry into best practices, (d) action orientation, (e) a commitment to continuous improvement, and (f) a results orientation. These characteristics are essential for the success of professional learning communities in any school and especially urban schools. DuFour and Marzano (2013) stress that professional learning teams must focus on four critical questions centered on what students should learn, how the team will know students learned, how the team will respond when students do not learn, and how they will enrich and extend the learning of those who have learned the desired curriculum. Professional learning teams and communities must establish curricular expectations in advance along with the common assessment prior to instruction. Smith (2015) wrote that professional learning teams and communities must develop common understandings around what students should know so that all students can be successful in meeting these expectations. Common assessments must be developed prior to instruction so that teacher teams have a clear vision of the lessons and expectations for every student. Within these lessons and expectations, teachers must develop supports and interventions so that students can meet these high expectations. Moreover, teams must take collective responsibility for all students so that when students do not meet the learning objectives, collectively, teacher teams work to respond to the needs of
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their students and learn from their colleagues. Finally, Schmoker (2011) insisted that as teachers continue to work in teams to practice and refine their implementation, even better results will ensue. We can count on this (p. 10). Schmoker insists that when teachers work in teams, true professional learning teams, with an emphasis on results and student achievement, we can expect all students to achieve at the highest level and ultimately break the cycle of poverty in urban schools.
Relationships and Urban Education
Researchers have highlighted that relationships are key for student success in schools. Boykin and Noguera (2011) wrote that findings from several recent investigations lead to reasonable confidence that the quality of teacher-student relationships is critical for the engagement and academic outcomes of Black and Latino students (p. 75). Additionally, researchers discovered that African-American students contributed their success in school to their relationships with teachers.
Boykin and Noguera (2011) also wrote that on the other hand, student inattention leads to teacher reprimands, which lead to noncompliant behaviors by students, which lead to avoidance, punishment, or coercion by teachers, which ultimately leads to student failure an escalating cycle of negativity (p. 74). Relationships in urban educational environments are more than a necessity they are a requirement for the successful achievement of African-American and Latino students. Strong relationships led students in urban environments to feel supported, cared for, and thus more likely to achieve when high expectations were also present. Boykin and
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Noguera (2011) report that in race heterogeneous classrooms, teachers expectations for Black and Latino students are substantially more negative than they are for White and Asian students, even though all student groups have compatible histories of avoidance goals..(p. 81-82). In urban education environments, educators must provide a relation-based collaborative environment that exudes high expectations with high support. These combinations lead to increased student achievement in urban educational environments and met the needs of African-American and Latino students.
These findings are supported by Coggshall, Osher, and Colombi (2013) who emphasize that teachers and school administrators can affect childrens trajectory into and through the pipeline to prison in at least four ways: (a) through their relationships, (b) through their attitudes and social emotional competence, (c) by contributing to the conditions for learning, and (d) through their responses to student behavior. Providing urban students with high expectations, high support, and strong relationships provides a pathway to academic achievement, breaks the cycle of poverty, and eradicates the school to prison pipeline. Muhammad and Hollie (2012) also support this theory in their work writing that urban students respond more positively to the Democratic approach where there is an established respect for the teacher, and understood rapport between the student and the teacher, and a developing, bonding relationship (p. 98). Successful urban schools and teachers
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focus on relationships with every child and high academic expectations with high levels of support, an authoritative approach.
Wilkins (2014) reported that unlike studies, which found that high school teachers avoid close relationships with students to maintain discipline and to encourage students to become more responsible and mature, his research found that teachers saw relationships with students as central to their jobs (p. 66). In his study, relationships with high school students were foundational to achieving high academic success, diminished student behaviors, and providing supportive classroom environments. Urban ecologies require skills grounded in relationships to break the institutionalized racism embedded in the American educational system. Also supporting this theory, Baker (1999) reports that children at risk for school failure may not be exposed to mainstream cultural assumptions regarding schooling and may not make meaningful connections to the school culture without the personal and academic support of teachers (p. 58). Baker goes on to highlight that relationships with significant adults at school are critical to helping children access the culture and the high support needed for academic success. Bakers research focused on students in urban at-risk classrooms and found that relationships were critical to student success. Urban schools must establish a true Culture of Care focused on relationships that are enhanced in a professional learning community.
Cavanagh, Macfarlane, Glynn, and Macfarlane (2012) wrote that a responsive approach to managing both learning and behavioral disparities for minority and
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economically disadvantaged students lies in establishing a Culture of Care and implementing culturally responsive pedagogies. Furthermore, DuFour and Eaker (1998), provide evidence that professional learning communities have developed structures needed for teachers to meet the expectations of urban education. Learning, relationships, and behaviors are intertwined with the educational outcome of urban students and can be positively impacted when schools and teachers are responsive to both the educational and sociocultural aspects of the school. Cavanagh, Macfarlane, Glynn, and Macfarlane (2012) emphasize that culturally responsive pedagogy is based on building enduring, respectful relationships and maintaining a Culture of Care in classrooms and schools. Similarly, Boykin and Noguera (2011) share that findings from several recent investigations lead to reasonable confidence that the quality of teacher-student relationships is critical for the engagement and academic outcomes of Black and Latino students (p. 75). Maximizing the outcome of minority and economically disadvantaged students in an urban setting can only be accomplished and maintained through strong relational bonds developed through a Culture of Care and professional learning communities that address the whole child.
Summary
High-minority and high-poverty schools across our nation are failing; yet by developing a Culture of Care through the use of restorative justice, restorative practices, relationships, and professional learning communities or teams, we can begin to transform our institutions. Restorative justice moves schools away from the
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ineffective practices of zero-tolerance and addresses the harm. Restorative justice principles are centered on the importance of maintaining relationships between teachers and students. Vaandering (2010) connects the ideas that learning and behaviors are interconnected and learning cannot occur without addressing behaviors and relationships.
Through further development of the Culture of Care, restorative practices address the reactions of misbehavior and takes a proactive approach that supports teachers through pedagogical expertise to address their students relational and structural needs within the classroom. Costello, Wachtel, and Wachtel (2009) write, the restorative practices movement seeks to develop good relationships and restore a sense of community in an increasingly disconnected world (p. 7). Practitioners learn the importance of respect that is both earned and given to their students. School leaders and teachers must be supported by this transformation since many rely on older punitive systems for their power and restorative practices are based on power sharing. This shift led many teachers to feel a loss of power that can be addressed through training. Teachers must shift their actions and words to developing loving and relational environments for themselves and their students.
Professional learning communities, as part of a Culture of Care, provide structures for educators to collaborate and develop pedagogies that are shared and document movement in the educational outcomes of students. DuFour and Marzano (2011) emphasize that creating the conditions of continuous school improvement and best
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practices are a professional learning community or team environment. In strong professional learning communities, teachers move away from blaming students and their families for educational deficits and begin to focus on a shared collective response to student needs. This shared response is critical to developing a Culture of Care. Professional learning communities and teams are part of a comprehensive distributive leadership model that values educators as professionals. Marzano, Waters, and McNulty summarize the Culture of Care when they wrote, it seems reasonable that a team of committed people can address this responsibility more effectively that any one individual (p. 106). We need more than another just another program, we need a shift in culture.
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CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY
This chapter addresses the case study methodology used to answer research questions and is organized into the following sections: (a) research questions, (b) description of study site, (c) case study method, (d) professional learning team leader participants, (e) training, (f) data collection, and (g) data analysis. The case study focuses on the professional learning community model implemented at Denver Area High School and how grade and content level professional learning teams discuss the obstacles to student achievement including relationships and restorative practices. Cavanagh, Vigil, and Garcia (2014) and Baker (1999) describe systems of deficit thinking associated with urban minority-majority schools and how these settings lead to underachievement and systems of failure that do not represent the abilities of minority students. Baker (1999) emphasizes that relationship quality and intentionality are essential to urban environments. DuFour and Marzano (2011) demand that schools need to focus the professional learning community process on developing the collective capacity of its educators to meet the challenges they face in urban educator.
Research Question
The following research question guides this case study. How does Professional Learning Team Leader Training (PLTLT) impact improvement in
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teacher and professional learning team practices as evidenced by changes in (a) referral rates, and (b) failure rates?
5. How does PLTLT impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evidenced by leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTLT training sessions?
6. How does PLTLT impact the interactions of PLT leaders with Professional Learning Team meetings as evidenced by observation data from those meetings?
7. How do rates of student referrals change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels?
8. How do rates of student failure change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels?
Description of Study Site
Denver Area High School is a neighborhood school serving 2,154 students according to 2016 enrollment data. Most students are from the nearby area, though some are open enrolled students that primarily reside in a nearby feeder pattern. Denver Areas mission is that students demonstrate positive character and will be academically and socially prepared to successfully participate in our community and the ever-changing world. According to recent demographic statistics, 29.7 percent of Denver Area students require English Language support, with 64.4 percent of students families speaking languages other than English at home. The school serves language minority students from over fifty different countries, with Spanish speakers
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representing the majority of the fifty languages spoken at our school. Denver Area is a 91.9 percent minority-majority school with 69.9 percent Latino/Hispanic, 14.4 percent African American, 3.3 percent Asian, 2.9 percent two or more races, 8.1 percent White, and the remaining 1.5 percent are Native American and Hawaiian.
The study high school has the highest free or reduced lunch rate of all comprehensive high schools in the city it resides at 76.1 percent although the school is most likely higher based on the representation of the middle school feeder system.
As the principal of Denver Area High School, I have been working with staff, students, families, and various researches to develop Denver Area High School into a large comprehensive urban performance school that achieves its mission by meeting all students at their personal level of academic knowledge and accelerating them toward grade level proficiency and graduation. Over the last five years, the school has been transforming itself through the implementation of restorative justice, restorative practices, professional learning communities, and developing a Culture of Care within the school. Most of the strategies implemented throughout the entire school have focused on relationships and how these relationships are leveraged to produce equitable outcomes for all students. DuFour and Marzano (2011) write that high functioning professional learning communities and teams guide the learning process in schools to support all developmental aspects of students and teachers professional growth within these communities of practice to transform students lives. Urban education has many complexities; however, the formation of strong, binding
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relationships between students and teachers is essential to the success of urban schools and relationship impediments must be addressed as part of the professional learning process to maximize student achievement. Supporting this rationale Muhammad and Hollie (2012) describe key characteristics of urban high performing schools: high academic expectations, relational based, leveraging relationships to achieve academic success, skilled classroom management, reflective process focused on effectiveness of strategies, and a core belief that all students will achieve. Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Culture of Care
In 2008, a small group of teachers received permission to become trained in restorative justice through an existing program in Denver Public Schools. At the time, there were significant incidents of violence, gang activity, and classroom dysfunction that were pervasive at Denver Area High School. In 2010, the Denver Foundation with the support of local Latino parents submitted for and obtained a grant for the study high school to develop a restorative justice program and the school began to work closely with Dr. Cavanagh from Colorado State University who had recently returned from New Zealand where he had conducted research on developing a Culture of Care with Mauri Native majority schools and their predominantly White teaching staffs. Cavanagh (2009) stresses, Zero-tolerance policies, rather than changing student behavior, create a rise in students dropping out and leaving school early, exclusions, and suspensions, ultimately denying them the right to education
(p. 66). The same policies that were negatively impacting New Zealands minority
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schools were also affecting Denver Area High School. Cavanagh (2009) also wrote, Rather than promoting passivity schools need to encourage self-advocacy, self-control, and individual dignity based on beliefs and worldviews (p. 71).
Denver Area High School trained a small group of teachers and began working with one of the freshman teams. After one semester, the schools referral rates, suspensions, expulsions, and improvements in teacher-student relationships and grades led to an immediate school wide implementation of restorative justice. Unlike zero-tolerance policies, restorative justice helps students learn howto solve problems nonviolently by healing the harm of wrongdoing and conflict, rather than punishment and retribution (Cavanagh, 2009, p. 74). During the following summer, Dr. Cavanagh trained volunteer teachers to use and trained others in the practices of restorative justice. These practices were implemented and during the first full year, the study high school experienced a 48 percent reduction in school discipline referrals and suspensions.
Continuous declines in these areas led Denver Area High School, in 2014, to begin pushing the practices out of the deans office and into the classroom to develop a Culture of Care and a restorative school. The entire school staff was trained on the use of community circles, co-creating classroom norms, restorative conferences, and other collaborative tools to support teachers in this transformation. All teachers received the book Restorative Practices Handbook by Costello, Wachtel, and Wachtel (2009) and the school read the book together to create common
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understandings. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, all newly hired staff were given the book to read before they began their first day of work at the study high school. Although the school has experienced significant reductions in discipline inside and outside of the classroom, there are still some teachers that struggle developing the strong relationships and authoritative classroom experiences needed for urban education. During the 2016-2017 school year, a bi-monthly training for the entire staff on restorative practices was implemented to support staff and students to realize further implementation of the Culture of Care.
Professional Learning Community Implementation
In 2010, Denver Areas instructional leadership team began a book study on Professional Learning Communities at Work by DuFour and Eaker (1998) to develop an understanding on how professional learning communities could benefit the study high school. After reading the book, the instructional leadership team decided to begin transforming the school into a professional learning community by developing a master schedule that provided time and opportunity for the staff to meet collaboratively. In addition, the school decided to make teaching assignments grade level and content level specific so that they could develop their expertise with a specific set of students and reduce teacher preparation creating a focus on achievement. As a result of this new collaborative environment, math achievement increased from a low of 7 percent to 21 percent proficient. The results were less dynamic in reading and writing because there was not the same level of enthusiasm
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and implementation obstacles to supporting significant numbers of English language learners. As described by DuFour and Marzano (2011), professional learning teams began to align their curriculum, developed common assessments, and reviewed student outcomes. In 2014, the study high schools department chairs reviewed the expectations for all professional learning teams and developed a protocol refining the process to include a significant reflective process on the outcomes of students and a focus on re-teaching and reassessing as needed. Many professional learning teams still struggle with the reflective process and we suspect that many teams are avoiding the hard questions around their students lack of proficiency and how relationships and the ideals of a Culture of Care connect with the underachievement of their students.
Case Study Method
The case study method selected for this research (Kolb, 2012; Merriam, 2009; Shenton, 2004) is appropriate for searching for the meaning and understanding of the work being investigated and the impact of Professional Learning Team Leader Training (PLTLT) in Denver-Metro Area High School. Case study methodology is conducted through an in-depth description and analysis of a bounded system (Merriam, 2009, p. 40). Shenton (2004) and Kolb (2012) argue that qualitative case-study methodology is substantive because it establishes credibility, dependability and confirmability. Kolb (2012) stresses that a constant comparative method comparing training, exit tickets, and observations on a continual basis throughout the case study
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will provide an optimal reinforcement of theoretical sampling for themes and analysis.
The 16-core content professional learning team leaders, consisting of 1 per grade level for language arts, math, science, and social studies, along with the 5-elective professional learning team leaders (see Table 1) will be required to participate in six training sessions held on Thursdays between August 4 and October 26, 2016. Additionally, site administrators and instructional teachers on special assignment will participate in the training. Since a students ability to navigate systems and early success in high school improve graduation and dropout rates (Christie, Jolivette, & Nelson, 2007), this study will focus specifically on the outcomes of the grades 9 and 10 professional learning team leaders and leadership learning teams.
As principal of Denver Area High School I have been participating in all previous training session, community circles, and have observed professional learning team meetings. In effect, in my role as principal, I am a participant observer professional learning teams teachers will independently follow school policies and rules for disciplinary referrals and grades which will ultimately demonstrate (Spradley, 2016). While this study is not an ethnography, I will continue to participate in training, community circles, and observe PLT meetings as before, but all implementation of the training and ensure the credibility of information without any perceived coercion.
As principal, I will continue to directly and indirectly participant in these activities, for the duration of this case study, as an observer participant outlined by
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Table 1
Analytic Framework for Case Study Design
FA 2016 PLTL Training Consented Participants in Study Exit Tickets Observations of PLT Team Meetings Referral Rate Data Failure Rates Data
6 training sessions between 8/4 and 10/28, 2016 for 21 PLT Leaders (4- 9*, 10*, 11*, 12th Grade, and 5 elective PLTs) Part of normal business for PD training sessions Up to 21 exit tickets for each of 6 training sessions. There are 24 PLT meetings between 8/4 and 10/28 Pre and Post Referral Rate data following the FA 2016 PTL Training Pre and Post Failure Rate data following the FA 2016 PLTL Training
9* Grade PLTs Leaders Up to 4- 9th grade PLT Leaders Up to 8- 9* Grade Team Leadership Team Meeting observations (Up to 4 participants x 2 observations) (First observation between SEP 19-30 and the second between OCT 31-NOV 11) The first 2 quarters of 2016 referral rates to be collected and compared to the first two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data The first 2 quarters of 2016 failure rates to be collected and compared to the first two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data
10* Grade PLTs Leaders Up to 4 PLT Leader Participants Up to 8 10th Grade observations (Up to 4 participants x 2 observations) (First observation between SEP 19-30 and the second between OCT 31-NOV 11) The first 2 quarters of 2016 referral rates to be collected and compared to the first two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data The first 2 quarters of 2016 failure rates to be collected and compared to the first two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data
Data Source for Research Question Up to 8 participant PLT Leaders from 9* and 10* Grades RQ-1 Up to 168 Exit Tickets (normal business practices) RQ-2 Up to 16 Observations of 9th and 10* Grade PLT meetings RQ-3 Pre and Post Data for Referral Rates RQ-4 Pre and Post Data for Failure Rates
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Spradley (2016). In participant observation, the observer participates in the ongoing activities of training, community circles, and observations and becomes a part of the action or activity. These activities are within the scope of my normal job and would be customary for me to participate or observe.
I have been at Denver Area High School for 8 years, four years as an assistant principal, and four years as the principal. Although I may have positional authority, I have always voiced that this is a safe environment, difficult work, and that we must work collaboratively to share the load. I believe that there are not any perfect people, including myself, and I work to create an environment that honors growth and struggle without an expectation of perfection. Additionally, I will only allow professional learning team leaders who have been in the school long enough to have developed a relationship that provides a safe space for honest conversation during observations, community circles, and training. My goal is to develop solutions and the capacity of teacher leaders not to make participants feel inadequate or unworthy.
Additionally, at the study high school, instructional leaders and assistant principals normally participate in professional learning team meetings, conducting observations, and developing next steps. Thus, all 21 professional learning teams will participate in the training, be observed in and outside of the case study as an ongoing school practice, receive feedback, and develop next steps to ensure that the school holistically moves toward comprehensive understanding and builds the capacity of all leaders.
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Previously collected referral and failure rates (see Table 2 and Table 3) from the first two quarters of 2014 and 2015 are shown below and will be compared to referral and failure rates for the first two quarters of 2016. A comparison of these rates will be used evaluate previous year outcomes with current quarterly outcomes for confirmability of the case study research. The case study methodology will provide a powerful means of communicating the process; perceptions, results, and training that provide outsiders with a depth of understanding for transferability and dependability.
Table 2
Discipline Referral Rates
2014 Quarter 1 2015 Quarter 1 2014 Quarter 2 2015 Quarter 2
Referral Rate Referral Rate Referral Rate Referral Rate
Grade 9 and 37 42 52 84
10 Combined
Table 3
Failure Rates
Grade 9 and 10 2014 Quarter 1 Failure Rate 2015 Quarter 1 Failure Rate 2014 Quarter 2 Failure Rate 2015 Quarter 2 Failure Rate
Language Arts 12% 6% 18% 17%
Mathematics 12% 10% 12% 12%
Science 8% 5% 11% 13%
Social Studies 12% 13% 15% 15%
Professional Learning Team Participants
At the end of the academic school year (2015-2016), department chairs and
liaison assistant principals, with teacher input, will assign teachers to their grade and content level teams for the next academic year (2016-2017). Before the end of the
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2015-2016 academic year, all professional learning teams at the study high school will select their professional learning team leaders and all 21 leaders will be expected to participate in 10 hours of training from August 4 to October 26, 2016. From the list of 21 professional learning team leaders, the eight (8) grade 9 and 10 core content PLT leaders will be approached by their administrative liaison for participation and inclusion of their observations in the case study. All 21 professional learning team leaders will receive a $250 stipend for their 10 hours of required training which is contractually required. The funds were budgeted from the schools professional development fund and specifically allocated by the school for professional learning team leaders training.
Training
On August 4, 2016, every teacher at Denver Area High School will attend professional development on the professional learning team process, restorative practices, and student-teacher relationships before the start of the academic year (2016-2017). This school wide training session will reinforce common collaborative expectations outlined by Friend and Cook (2012) to develop parity, mutual goals, shared responsibility, shared accountability, shared resources, and develop the emergent skill of collaboration. Professional learning team leaders will also receive their first of six one-hour training session with 30-minute community circle on August 4, 2016 to help them understand their role and lead their professional learning teams. From August 17 until October 26, 2016, professional learning team leaders
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will participate in the remaining 5 one-hour leadership training sessions aligned with the professional learning team process, analysis of student data, restorative practices, and teacher student relationships and how they can support their teams to improve the educational outcome of all students on their learning team. After each training session, the participants will conduct a 30-minute community circle to share their current learning and implementation strategies. After each training session, the participants will complete an exit ticket (see Appendix A) explaining their acquisition of knowledge and understanding. Professional learning team leaders will also be provided with the observation protocol (see Appendix B) so that they can work with their teams to implement the intended training and self-evaluate their progress.
The first day of school is on August 8, 2016 and professional learning teams are required to meet at least twice per week during their common planning period throughout the school year. The contract between the teachers association and school district limits the school to 100 minutes of professional learning team meetings or the equivalent of two 50 minute meetings per week during their common planning period; however, professional learning teams and teachers may choose to meet more often and many do meet more frequently.
Data Collection
Effectiveness of the leader training and its impact on Denver Area High Schools failure rate and disciplinary referral is critical to understanding and developing a comprehensive model for school transformation. Throughout the case
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study, data will be collected from training sessions, observational data from each of the 8 potential professional learning teams, quarterly referral data, and quarterly failure rates.
Training Exit Tickets
All 21 professional learning team leaders at Denver Area High School will participate in PLT leadership training. There will be six PLT leader training sessions conducted between August 4, 2016 and October 26, 2016. After each training session, all 21 PLT leaders will be asked to complete an exit ticket (see Appendix A), which provides feedback on learning from the training session (leading their PLT, implementing restorative practices, and teacher-student relationship development). Over the course of the training 126 exit tickets will be collected after the one-hour training and 30-minute community circle.
Professional Learning Team Observations
To assess the implementation of the training and observe changes in PLT practices, I will conduct 2 observations of professional learning team meetings of up to 8 participating PLT leaders for a total of up to 16 observations. During each of the 50 minute observations, I will use an observation protocol (see Appendix B) designed to identify prior habits and the anticipated new habits associated with the training. As principal (participant observer) I will be collecting descriptive notes of observable behaviors and conversations that support the anticipated changes or support prior
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habits. Additionally, I will be coding the observation focusing on data, students, and culture.
Disciplinary Referrals
Disciplinary referrals are submitted and collected by the deans office at Denver Area High School. After each incident, the event and action are input into the districts data base and reviewed each quarter for accuracy by the schools clerical staff. These events, responses, and actions will be provided by the school after each quarter and used for analysis.
Failure Rates
At the conclusion of each quarter, teachers finalize their grades and provide the schools record keeper with the final grade of each student. This information is generally finalized by the records keeper within 3 days of the end of the quarter, grades are posted to transcripts, and report cards sent home to parents. After grades have been posted to transcripts, a report indicating pass and failure rates will be provided from the schools data base for analysis.
Summary
The exit ticket and observation ethnographic information will increase the validity of the case study as recommended by Shenton (2004) for triangulation of qualitative methods to ensure accurate interpretation and validate or refute the disciplinary referral and failure rate data collected prior to and at the conclusion of the case study. Additionally, Kolb (2012) recommends a continual analysis and interpretation of the
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materials for themes and validity which will be conducted by immediately coding exit tickets so that a substantive theory evolves.
Data Analysis
All qualitative information from training exit tickets and observations will be coded and analyzed for themes and qualitative analysis. The constant comparative method of qualitative data (Kolb, 2004) and the schools discipline referral and failure rate information will help tell a story depicting the full range and depth of information collected throughout the case study portraying a clear picture of urban student outcomes and the growth of professional learning team leaders to provide guidance in the professional learning team process, restorative practices, and student-teacher relationships.
Training Exit Tickets
To determine the effectiveness of training sessions, it is critical to collect formative data in the form of exit tickets from each session with a focus on the leaders learning, PLT leadership practice, perceived improvements in student outcomes, restorative practices, and student-teacher relationships. To analyze the exit tickets during the first cycle, I will code each of the 21 exit tickets from each of the six training sessions based on descriptive coding using the categories of restorative practices, professional learning teams, and relationships. Within each of the descriptive coding categories, I will begin to use pattern coding to look for specific patterns within each of the descriptive categories. In each of the initial categories, I
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am anticipating patterns will emerge and will remain open other unanticipated patterns within the descriptive codes. Restorative practices may include patterns about classroom norms, circles, conferencing, perceptions, behaviors. Professional learning team patterns may include assessments, data, instructional strategies, reteaching, adult interactions, and resistance to change. Relationship patterns may include challenges, culture, intentionality, behaviors, race, and poverty. The codes and pattern analysis will be used to analyze PLT leader responses. The analysis of each training session will be conducted within days of each session to ensure that the intended training was learned and develop an action plan for the next training session. This analysis will also be used as a reflective tool to adjust, eliminate, or modify future similar PLT leader training.
Professional Learning Team Observations
The observation protocol (see Appendix B) outlines a variety of outmoded and anticipated habits as well as observational notes for observable behaviors that support the habit claims. As principal (participant observer) I will be analyzing the observational data to determine if the training is having the anticipated effect on professional learning team meetings and leadership. The three descriptive themes I am anticipating to observe using the observation protocol are data, students, and culture of the team. The emphasis is on the changing the culture of the group and team leadership for change. The observational notes will be categorized and coded within the three descriptive codes and each descriptive category will re-coded for
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pattern coding. I am anticipating coding patterns to emerge for data, students, and culture. Anticipated patterns for data include excuses, results, re-teaching, strategies, learning, lessons. Anticipated patterns for students include deficits, assets, gaps, behaviors, success, and anticipate patterns for culture include preparation, collaboration, students, commitment, interdependence. The observation notes and coding will determine effectiveness of the changes in PLT behaviors and will be used to adjust the final two training sessions, reflect on training needed in the future, and determine the effectiveness of training.
Disciplinary Referrals
At the end of each quarter, disciplinary referrals be will collected and analyzed. The prior two years of data is already available so that future data can be collected and immediately analyzed for effectiveness. The disciplinary referrals are expected to improve based on the culture change anticipated within the professional learning teams. During the second quarter of each school year, there is an increase in teacher referrals for students and the greatest impact that the training should have is one the second quarter.
Failure Rates
At the end of each quarter, failure rate data will be available for analysis. We are expecting to find a significant reduction in the failure rates based on the training.
Each professional learning teams failure rates should have a correlation to their observations and implementation of PLT leadership training. During the analysis of
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the first quarter grades and observations, if there are incongruences with the observations and outcomes a deeper analysis of specifics variables will be conducted to support the final training session and observation. These findings and any adjustments will be documented and reflected for future changes in training. Summary
Accurate analysis of the data collected from exit tickets and observations will determine the impact that the improvement of professional learning team practices have on failure rates and disciplinary referrals for the first two quarters of the school year. Reflection and adjustments to the training will be essential to developing an effective model for improving urban schools and implementing effective training to support the transformation through continuous analysis (Kolb, 2012). The descriptive coding and pattern coding of information will determine frequency patterns and support reflections and adjustments to the process. Most importantly, the validity of the ethnographic information collected with exit tickets and observations and coded for descriptive and pattern analysis will be triangulated (Shenton, 2004) with the disciplinary referrals and failure rate data to accurately interpret the effectiveness of the training and cultural changes.
Trustworthiness and Ethical Considerations
Spradley (2016) acknowledges the validity of research conducted as a participant observer. In this case study, as the principal of the Denver Area High School, I will be a participant observer in the training and observations, yet the failure rate and
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disciplinary referral data will authenticate the credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability of the qualitative findings collected to solidify the trustworthiness and conclusions. Additionally, as outlined by Shenton (2004), this qualitative case study establishes credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability to establish trustworthiness and as outlined by Kolb (2012) through immediate transcription, descriptive coding, pattern coding, and analysis of exit tickets from training and observations for themes increasing the validity of the information collected over the case study. As the principal and participant observer, I have an established role in the school that is within the scope of the study and helps to validate the information through participation in activities and observations as well as my expertise in school turnaround, professional learning team development, and my documented successes in restorative practices in schools. Furthermore, school and district policies on grading and disciplinary referrals will still be enforced and will set a standard that validates or refutes the effectiveness of the training for confirmability of the case study. The case study methodology will provide a powerful means of communicating the process, perceptions, results, and training that provide outsiders with a depth of understanding for transferability and dependability.
As the principal of Denver Area High School, it is essential to consider ethics and bias as part of the case study design. A participatory qualitative research method that will be confirmed through failure rate and disciplinary referral rates supports the use of a participatory observation method outlined by Spradley (2016). Having served as
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an assistant principal and principal at the case study school for 8-years, it will be impossible to completely eliminate all biases and I am an ally of cultural and equality. In fact, my strong bias is that there is nothing more important than developing a true exemplar that can be validated. As outlined in the conceptual framework, urban education is moving toward a Culture of Care and in doing so quality training must be developed that builds the collective capacity of teacher leaders to reach the appropriate level of outcomes for students. Without this genuine component, we will not be able to reach the potential of urban and school transformation. Furthermore, some subjectivity as a researcher and principal at the school will give greater insight into the study since I will not be interpreting data from a lack of understanding about the school, its goals, processes, and internal dialog, which could taint the inquiry of a completely unfamiliar school researcher. Without a doubt, the methodology of participant observer places me in a role to facilitate, document, and analyze outcomes with a clear objective of ultimately developing a comprehensive exemplar for urban transformation. Success is not based on an individual case study, but on years of transformational work that still needs more research to develop all the needed components for urban transformation.
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CHAPTER IV
FINDINGS
The case study was designed to investigate the impact of training of Professional Learning Team (PLT) Leaders in learning how to lead their teams toward successful implementation of the professional learning team model, overcome gaps in student achievement, extinguish deficit thinking, and implement a Culture of Care within the school. Therefore, the following research question guided this case study. How does Professional Learning Team Leader training (PLTL) impact improvement in teacher and professional learning team practices as evidenced by changes in (a) referral rates, and (b) failure rates?
1. How does PLTL training impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evidenced by leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTL training sessions?
2. How does PLTL training impact the interactions of PLT leaders with Professional Learning Team meetings as evidenced by observation data from those meetings?
3. How do rates of student referrals change after the Fall 2016 PLTL training sessions when compared to prior levels?
4. How do rates of student failure change after the Fall 2016 PLTL training sessions when compared to prior levels?
The Chapter is divided into sections outlining the findings of each of the research questions above: Impact of Professional Learning Team Leadership Training,
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Evidence from PLT Observations, Impact on Referral Rates, and Impact on Failure Rates.
Impact of Professional Learning Team Leader Training
All teachers arrived at the school on August 3, 2016 and began preparing for the new school year. During the first day, teachers heard from the principal about the successes of the previous year and plans for the upcoming year. Some of the foci for the upcoming year included professional learning team (PLT) training, PLT leadership training, a writing initiative continuation, restorative practices, and International Baccalaureate training. There is a positive, anticipatory feeling amongst the staff as they begin to focus on the new school year. Many teachers expressed a positive feeling about the new year as they headed off to work in their classrooms and with their colleagues preparing for the upcoming year.
On Day 2 of the new school year; August 4, 2016, teachers gathered in a common area for whole school PLT training, restorative practices training, writing initiative training, and PLT Leadership training. Each training session throughout the day was developed with teacher processing time, discourse, and a narrow focus. Teachers received 30 minute breaks in between each of the three whole school sessions and each session was limited to 75 minutes of training. Teachers and facilitators worked together to make strong connections with the work of the upcoming year, school initiatives, and teacher evaluation rubrics. Although teacher discourse throughout the day was not always focused on the questions that the facilitators asked, I observed all
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teachers speaking about how their learning would fit into their classroom environments and their collaborative teacher team efforts. Many of the off-task conversations observed were between veteran and the new teachers who were trying to gain an understanding of the culture of the school and expectations. A key indication of the levels of engagement by the staff was evident in the exit tickets collected after each session throughout the day. Nearly the entire staff were engaged in actively writing and synthesizing their learning and the exit tickets demonstrated that the faculty was engaged and the facilitators had met their learning objectives.
At the conclusion of the day, the PLT leaders all gathered in preparation for the beginning of the first of six training sessions. The initial feeling throughout the school was positive and the PLT Instructional Leadership Team was ready for their first training session with lesson plans and outcomes prepared and leading to the first research question, how does PLTL training impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evident by the leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTL training sessions?
Training Session #1
PLT Leadership training commenced at 3:00 PM in one of the science labs. The science lab was an inside classroom without any windows and elevated tables and chairs along the outside of the classroom perimeter with all the leaders facing toward the center. There were also two sets of desks in the center of the classroom with chairs all the way around the middle tables. The configuration of the classroom
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provided easy access to every learner by the facilitator. The temperature of the room was a comfortable 68 degrees and the door to the hallway was closed during the training session. All but two of the teachers had arrived at 3:05 PM and received their training binder before the facilitator began the session. Some of the teachers expressed their appreciation for the training, some were a little concerned about the level of expectations as a teacher leader, and some just wanted to learn more. Most importantly, there was a universal sense that they were going to learn what they needed to move their PLT forward with some mild reservations (see Appendix C).
The facilitator began the training by reviewing the schools philosophy statement, the training statement of inquiry, and expected outcomes for the session. The sessions lesson continued with the PLT Leader matrix. The purpose of the matrix was for the leaders to develop their capacity by understanding the various personalities that may exist on their team and the goal of moving them into a restorative mindset and to accomplish their goals with their colleagues and students and not to them or for them. There was laughter in the room as teams of teachers developed fictitious names to represent people in each quadrant of the matrix. The facilitator pulled the group together, and the teacher leaders came up with funny names to represent teachers in each quadrant. The group decided on Punishing Pam for an authoritarian, Neglectful Nellie for a neglectful teacher, Sympathetic Sally for a permissive teacher, and Hinkley Henry for a restorative teacher. The was real joy and laughter in the group as they developed the names so that they would not need to
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use real teacher names to represent each group. The mood of the group shifted when the facilitator asked the teacher leaders to take out the blank matrix and gave them envelops. She asked the leaders to place their team members real names in each of the quadrants and place it in the envelopes and seal them. The facilitator stated that the leaders job is to move the entire team to Restorative.
The facilitator gave the teachers 5 minutes to place their team members names on the matrix. Some teachers place their learning material binders around their paper for confidentiality and it appeared that all were taking the task seriously by writing names on their papers, folding them up, and placing them in the envelopes. The teacher leaders kept the envelopes so they could open them at the end of the year.
The facilitator brought the group back together and led a group conversation about the strengths of teachers in each quadrant. A teacher stated, I think Punishing Pam is very concerned about her responsibility and has high expectation. Another teacher stated, Pam has a moral compass about her expectations. Teachers began chiming in with, Maybe Pam and Sally could collaborate more. What could we do with Neglectful Nellie? I think all types could learn from each other. How can we get every educator to achieve? Mental mindset will move people forward.
The group conversation went on for a few minutes and then the facilitator brought the group together stating, we need to use the PLT process. When we placed our colleagues in the quadrants, we did this to help us lead our teams You have to address the violation of trust in the team when others are not acknowledged for their abilities.
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You must have well established norms that, as a leader, get the team to adhere to their norms collectively. Teachers throughout the room also offered suggestions about allowing experimentation with strategies while establishing common expected outcomes is helpful with these teachers. Another suggests staying focused on the results. During the discussion, ten teachers were fully engaged in the conversation, 5 others occasionally offered their thoughts, and all were attentively listening and taking notes. I observed high levels of cognitive and affective engagement throughout the entire lesson segment.
The facilitator handed out information on creating group norms and their importance. Some teachers expressed that because they were friends with their colleagues that it was absolutely imperative to establish norms and expectations. The facilitator went through a meeting protocol, some non-negotiables, and leadership expectations. The teachers were collectively in agreement about the need for norms and expectations. Because of timing, there was not much time to dive deeply into this section, although, the point and need was acknowledged by all involved.
At 4:15 PM the teachers all got into a circle and the facilitator posed three questions that were displayed on her power point. She gave the teachers a few minutes to choose the question for response, their answer, and reasoning for choosing the question. The facilitator used a talking stick and started the stick counter clockwise from her location. As the talking stick went around the room, all but two teachers provided ways that they could become responsible and lead their team to
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success. The two other teachers wanted to look to their administrator to be responsible because they had trepidations about holding their colleagues or possibly themselves responsible. The circle was very positive and people felt collectively supported. After sharing their thoughts, they returned to their seats, completed an exit ticket, and left. Two departments stayed and talked after the meeting about how they could support each other.
After reviewing and coding the exit tickets (see Table 4) from the August 4, 2016 PLT training, all but two PLT leaders had an understanding of their roles and expectations and there was clear evidence that the learning objectives were met and participants wrote about developing their team and their personal leadership. They achieved the learning target by identifying the needs of their groups and the importance of establishing norms and protocols to the success of their team, leadership, and students. There was a strong level of understanding that establishing norms and protocols for their teams could be the difference in success or failure of the team and they achieved the intended outcome of connecting their leadership with the days training. There was not a strong indication from the evidence in the comments of the learning on how teachers would extend their learning of restorative practices demonstrated during the training or how the leaders would implement them in their classroom with their students and their teams. When reviewing the exit tickets the facilitator concluded that she needed to be more explicit about these connections in
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Table 4
Session 1 Exit Tickets
Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training
Ql. Explain your learning from Todays training. Team (14), strengths, personalities, capacity, restorative Developing a Team Identify who is in your PLT
Leadership (4), leadership (3), protocols (2), norms (4), supportive (2), roles, inclusion Leading the PLT Meeting Protocols
accountability, improve student learning, improve teacher learning, reflective, results, expectations, goals, learning Outcome Critical Questions of a PLT
Q2. How will you apply todays learning to your PLT Leadership? norms (9), facilitation, communications Norms Creating Norms
Protocols (3), planning, reflection, assessment, collaboration (3), learning (2), sharing, progress, Establishing Expectations Planning Calendar
Team (2), support, strengths, capacity (2) Outcomes of Leadership PLT Matrix, Protocols, Planning Calendar
administrative support (2) Need Support No Connection
Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student-teacher relationships? norms, support, strategies, voice to all members, team (3), trust, roles, guiding, influencing, change process, inclusion, modeling, best practices T eacher-to-T eacher PLT Leader Matrix, Norms, Protocols
norms with students, focus on students, academic circles, questioning, student strengths, varied approaches, relationships (3), student success, student growth Teacher-to-Student Synthesizing Learning and Extending to the Classroom
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her next training session. The exit tickets demonstrated that the learning objectives had been met, teacher leaders understood their roles, they had the information they needed to start leading their PLT, and there was a sense of confidence that they could complete the task with the exception of two teacher leaders who want administrative support.
Training Session #2
On Wednesday, August 17, 2016, all professional learning team leaders arrived at the designated science room by 3:35 PM at the end of the school day. Wednesday has a unique schedule at the school and each of the leaders started their day with restorative practices training, taught 5 classes that ended at 3:21 PM, and are now joined together to collaborate on leadership training. You can feel that each of the leaders has worked a full day, yet there is a positive anticipatory sense that the training will help them develop as leaders, support their students, and support the school mission. The facilitator begins the session by refocusing the participants on the exit ticket summary from the previous training and reviewing the prior outcomes (see Appendix D).
The facilitator then begins the days training by reviewing the statement of inquiry, and a teacher stops her and asks, Tve seen you modeling this now twice, can you better explain your statement of inquiry? The facilitator explains that the statement is modeled after the International Baccalaureate requirements for the Middle Years Programme and that the school is providing training on this process on Wednesday,
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August 24. The facilitator then goes back to explain the learning objective and success criteria for the day. All the leaders are cognitively engaged which is evident by their physical actions, note taking, and verbal responses.
The facilitator instructs the group to take out their training binders and pull out the assessment calendar. The facilitator asks the leaders, How many of you have already scheduled your first common assessment? Every leader raises their hands and there is a brief acknowledgement that the team is headed in the correct direction. The facilitator emphasizes the need for planning and its importance to the success of the team and has the leaders pair-share their calendars. One leader states, Im a calendar person and my team is very organized and planned. We want this level of organization for our team. Reviewing the exit tickets (See Table 5), only two people mentioned the calendar. I believe this happened because every person had acknowledged their commitment to the calendar and it was more of a review from the previous training sessions. All leaders appeared to have already recognized the value of the PLT calendar.
To begin the data analysis segment of the training, the facilitator begins with a video clip and all but one of the leaders are engaged in watching the video clip. The facilitator asks the leaders to look at these two provided questions, what are the key moments and what made the analysis effective? Leaders responded with, You need to know what to work on. He made her own her results. They have trust. He was
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Table 5
Session 2 Exit Tickets
Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training
Ql. Explain your learning from Todays training. data analysis (19), student learning, standards, standards, skills, problem solving, strategies, assessment Data Analysis Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Data Analysis Level 1 and 2
attitudes, personalities, relationships, vulnerable, personal growth, communications Group Attributes Teacher Role Play 1 and 2
calendar, planning time PLT Structures PLT Planning Calendar
straggling with my role Leadership Concern Not Connected
Q2. How will you apply todays learning to your PLT Leadership? data cycle (5), evidence, findings, data questioning (4), needs of students, specifics Data Cycle and Analysis Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Data Analysis Level 1 and 2
standards (8), skills (4), alignment, assessments Standards Data Analysis Level 1 and 2
relationship, communications (2), transparent, reframe attitudes, vulnerable, strategies, consensus Team Dynamics Critical Pedagogies, Teacher Role Play 1 and 2
Not sure yet Leadership Concern Not Connected
Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student-teacher relationships? student needs, restorative conversations, intentional, data ownership, team ownership, belief, equity Teacher-to- Teacher Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Teacher Role Play 1 and 2
support and expectations (3), connect to student goals, share with students (2), goal settings, develop self-concept, confidence, empowerment, ownership, lead students, support, growth (2), understand weakness, academic circles Teacher-to- Student Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Video Man on Fire, Critical Pedagogies
affective statements, students feel success, rapport, trust (2), empathy (2), effort, feedback (3), communicate with students (2), confidence, relationships (4), approach in a cooperative manner Teacher-to- Student Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Video Man on Fire, Critical Pedagogies
wait and see Teacher-to Student Not Connected
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choosing not to battle her self-concept. Dont let people say they cannot write. Her strength is in the water and her opportunity is off the block. The facilitator emphasizes, Identify strengths of students to build. Acknowledge what they do right. Establish a relationship. He did not blame her for her weakness. Dont blame students for their gaps. Most of the leaders made visible connections to the video clip and it was evident in their conversations and engagement. Additionally, the exit tickets showed a strong relationship to restorative practices and supporting their teams and students. Under the exit ticket question about restorative practices and relationships; teachers made strong connections about trust, feedback, relationships, and growth.
The facilitator handed out math assessment data to analyze and began by modeling. The facilitator stated that leaders should think about the previous discussion, review the data looking for student strengths and weaknesses. During the facilitators modeling, she points out a single concept where there is evidence that a student understood the standard but missed some of the questions. Was it the standard or something else that effects the standard? It becomes clear through the analysis that the student understands the standard taught, yet because the student has a problem with fractions, he is missing questions that contain fractions which is a separate standard. Easily, without diving deeply into the questions and student responses, we could have misdiagnosed the students learning opportunity. She then has the leaders work in pairs or triads to review more data. All groups are affectively
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engaged and it is evident that groups are working collaboratively to understand and analyze the data. The leaders are working toward common understanding and the exit tickets represented a strong connection by the number of times leaders wrote about data analysis, usage, questioning, and standards.
The facilitator pulls the leaders together and elicits volunteers for two role playing exercises. In each role play, the professional learning team is analyzing data and she refers to the characters they created the previous week. After the first role play one of the teachers stated, That was Negative Nellie, but he wanted his kids to do well. In the scenario, the fictitious leader kept coming back to the analysis questions which helped keep the blaming to a minimum and kept the conversation moving forward.
The second role play utilized another character and again the group leader remained focused on the analysis questions. The facilitator asks the group, How can we lead this teacher? Many people chime in with potential solutions and the general theme of their responses were that the professional learning team needs to remain grounded in student learning and standards. The leaders need to help and support their colleagues make these connections. Again, the leaders exit ticket comments demonstrated a solid response to the intended learning.
The facilitator then placed three questions on the board to prepare for the Academic Circle. She has the teachers write their response to one of the three questions and all teachers are cognitively engaged, writing their response to one of the questions. The teachers then get into their circle and they each share their
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response with the group. It is a very powerful circle that demonstrates the groups commitment to their leadership and PLT success. It is also clear from their responses that there is a misconception between teaching to the standards and assessing what is taught. All the leaders are thoughtful and the facilitator points out how helpful this process could be for their students. They agree and the facilitator has them return to their chairs and complete their exit tickets. When I reviewed the exit tickets with her, the facilitator was very encouraged by the adjustments she had made in her training and the results that were evident in the responses of teachers. She felt successful. We also discussed the need to teaching leaders how to develop assessments that are aligned to standards and not a curriculum.
Training Session #3
The professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science room, as before, at the conclusion of their instructional day. Additionally, the whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings was on restorative practices and many of the professional learning team leaders are beginning to make connections between the restorative practices sessions with the entire staff and the PLT leadership training sessions. The facilitator has an illness and originally wanted to change the training date, but was unable to change the date and provided the professional development as scheduled. The facilitator begins by informing the leaders of her illness and that she was not at 100 percent capacity. She does a good job adapting to the illness and pressing through, but throughout the session, the facilitator is clearly
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pushing to complete the training and ultimately concludes the session early (see Appendix E).
The facilitator started the training at 3:32 PM when most of the leaders had arrived. All leaders arrived by 3:35 PM. The facilitator begins by reviewing the statement of inquiry, learning objective, and success criteria with the leaders; however, the facilitator does not review the previous learning session outcomes or exit tickets. We discussed the missing elements during the debrief because the review was part of the lesson plan and the facilitator indicated that because of the illness, the facilitator was pressing to complete the training and even though the lesson plan was in the facilitators hands, she was not using it at the time. At 3:35 PM, just after all the leaders had arrived, the facilitator jumped into the first video about 10 minutes ahead of the lesson plan format.
The leaders watch the video clip from Man on Fire and the facilitator asks the leaders to turn to a neighbor and discuss what made the analysis effective and after a solid analysis, what made Caseys action plan effective? Looking around the room and listening to conversations, the leaders are cognitively and affectively engaged in their conversation answering the two questions. Many conversations are making connections between classroom instruction and the video. The facilitator pulls the leaders together and asks them to share their conversations. The leaders say, He identified the issue of the gun and turned it around, He talked about habits of mind, Specific steps to analyze the data, Repetition and consistency, Short term
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wins, and Empowerment. The facilitator summarizes their learning and reminds the leaders that we cannot just admire the data, we need concrete actions so that our students can meet our expectations.
The facilitator transitions to the next video segment from Mr. Hollands Opus. During this video segment, two teachers in the movie are speaking about a student and the one teacher wants to give up on teaching the student because he does not possess the skills needed to perform. The other teacher confronts the belief system of the first teacher and emphasizes that if the teacher cannot take a student who wants to learn and teach them, then they are not a good teacher. The pause after the statement is very powerful in the movie and to the class. You can see many of the leaders are impacted by this statement and pause in the movie clip. The video clip then goes on to show how Mr. Holland finally teaches his student to play. The facilitator turns to the leaders and asks them to turn to their neighbor again and discuss; what made the difference, how did the student finally learn to play, and what changed Mr. Hollands attitude and action? During the conversations, the leaders were cognitively engaged and at the conclusion of their discussion the facilitator asked for responses. Teachers said, Mr. Hollands gradual release method, He was with him, beside him, and always supported him, Total physical response, The fact that a peer was very transparent about supporting his student, Ownership, and The student tried and tried to get better. The facilitator reminds the leaders that the most important feedback comes from trusted colleagues.
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The facilitator asked the leaders to think about why they initially got into the field of education? The facilitator becomes emotional about this subject as she pulls the leaders back together. She asks, what are your thoughts? Many leaders give examples of the importance of confronting similar issues for the students. Other teachers remind the leaders that we all have a stake in every child and one stated, I signed up to be in this school because of the challenge. Connecting back to Mr. Hollands Opus, the facilitator reminds the leaders that silence and being uncomfortable can be a place where we grow.
At 4:10 PM, the facilitator transitioned to action plans and planning. All the leaders are intently listening and engaged. The facilitator asks for private reasoning time for all the leaders to contemplate assessing our audiences. Are students listening, engaged, learning, ... ? The facilitator pulls the group together and reviews the principles of effective assessment. She asks the leaders, Are you willing to support your colleagues and invest in the teacher learning cycle? The facilitator went on for a few minutes in what seemed like scolding, but the group remained engaged and contemplative. The facilitator then had the group watch the final scene and the conclusion of their efforts in Man on Fire.
The facilitator pulls the leaders together and asks them to consider three questions, choose one, and prepare for our academic circle. She gives them 5 minutes and then has all the leaders get into the academic circle and begins to pass the talking stick around the group. The language of the leaders is beginning to shift and they are using
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many more positive word choices about their roles. Teacher leaders reflect and share about how they are encouraged, anchoring their conversations, preparing common assessments prior to instruction, learning about themselves, and how they are learning so much about themselves as well as leadership. The facilitator summarizes what was said and speaks briefly about the value of building relationships with their colleagues and students. She has the teacher leaders conclude by completing their exit tickets. Even though the facilitator was ill and rushed, the exit tickets still revealed a strong connection to the intended learning targets (See Table 6). The quantity of writing was less than in the previous two sessions, but the connections to the lesson plan were evident. The segment on Mr. Hollands Opus was very impactful to the leaders and demonstrated the importance of leveraging relationships to support difficult conversations. Ultimately, the session concluded 15 minutes early and the intended learning target was achieved. During the debrief, we discussed some of the ways that the lesson and the facilitators teaching style were different as a result of the illness. We agreed on a couple of the missed pieces from the lesson plan, and we concluded that the learning met the intended targets.
Training Session #4
The professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science room at the conclusion of their instructional day (see Appendix F). Additionally, the whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings continued on restorative practices and the professional learning team leaders are continuing to make stronger
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Table 6
Session 3 Exit Tickets
Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training
Ql. Explain your learning from Todays training. support (3), relationships (3), encourage, vulnerable, tmst, openness, growth mindset Group Attributes Video Clip: Mr. Hollands Opus
planning (5), connection, focus, leadership, TL cycle, consistency, assessment, mastery, focus, targets, skills (2), chunk problems, all students (2) PLT Outcomes Planning, Action Steps
Q2. How will you apply todays learning to your PLT Leadership? focus (3), skills (2), reteach (2), reflection, all students, meaningful, analysis, agendas, sharing, strength based, openness, pacing, rigor, strategies (2), targeted PLT Data Cycle Planning, Action Steps, Video Clip: Mr. Hollands Opus
encourage, listen, relationships, team, empathy, ownership, togetherness Team Dynamics Video Clip: Mr. Hollands Opus
Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student-teacher relationships? Relationships (3), tmst (2), respect, openness (2), communication, depend on each other Teacher-to- Teacher: Relationships Video Clip: Mr. Hollands Opus
targeted instruction for success, RJ designed conversations, RP to lead students, focused Teacher-to- Teacher: Strategies Video Clip: Mr. Hollands Opus
relationships (5), tmst (3), care (2), feelings of success lead to relationships Teacher-to- Student: Relationships Video Clips: Man on Fire, Mr. Hollands Opus, Planning, Action Steps
student centered, re-teaching, reassessing, active listening, Restorative Practices, circles, goals, interventions, affective questioning, improving relationship with student Teacher-to- Student: Strategies Video Clips: Man on Fire, Mr. Hollands Opus, Planning, Action Steps
connections between the restorative practices sessions for the entire staff and the PLT leadership training sessions. At 3:32 PM, the majority of the PLT leaders have arrived and the facilitator begins. I texted a few of the leaders about their whereabouts and all but 4 have arrived and are seated by 3:35 PM. Two teacher
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leaders, 1 for senior level math and 1 for Spanish, were out sick for the day; and two teacher leaders, 1 for senior level social studies and 1 for art, did not attend for personal reasons. None of the teacher leaders absent are in grades 9 and 10 or part of the case study observations. Additionally, many of the leaders will have attended after school meetings every night this week with a department chair meeting on Monday, a 2-hour whole school interim assessment data meeting on Tuesday, PLTL training on Wednesday, and parent-teacher conferences on Thursday. There is a feeling that many leaders feel taxed at the beginning of the session, but as the session continues the engagement level increases and the session ends with the most powerful academic circle since the training began.
The facilitator begins the session by reviewing the learning outcomes from the previous sessions. Because some leaders are arriving late, there is some commotion as she is reviewing the previous learning. By the time the facilitator ends the review, all the leaders have arrived and are seated. PLT observations will begin September 19, and the facilitator reviews the observation protocol with the group. There are a few questions from the group about defining some of the anticipated habits versus the outmoded habits. The facilitator answers the questions emphasizing that the ideal PLT would primarily operate in the anticipated habits. She emphasizes that this type of cultural shift requires the support of your colleagues and commitment from yourself. She then reviews the statement of inquiry and learning objective for the day.
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Supporting the professional learning team process, leaders must be able to move their teams forward without all members agreeing on an outcome. The facilitator begins by defining the difference between consensus and unanimity. One of the leaders asks, What about my PLT and if I cannot get 100 percent but we have consensus? The facilitator explains how to move the team forward and explains that the dissenter cannot undermine or holdback the majority of the group, but has the right to say I told you so in the end. The facilitator breaks the leaders into two groups, one for a cell phone policy and one against. Each team assigns a note taker and they must develop 3 key points to their position. Each team is behaviorally engaged in the process with a few cognitively engaged which is evident by the quantity of leaders engaged in developing the list. The note takers are assigned to come to the board and write their key points. Each team is then assigned the task of adding a key point to the opposing sides list. The facilitator then pulls the groups together, reviews the team positions and explains a fist to five protocol. Using the consensus protocol, she polls the group and explains that all members have had a voice and the strength of their position was polled. The facilitator emphasizes that at this point, the leader must move the group forward in a direction with consensus not unanimity. She emphasizes that disagreeing can be difficult, but the leader must create consensus and keep the team moving forward in a professional manner.
The facilitator moves on to the next section of her lesson, results meeting protocol. At this point in the lesson, the engagement level of the group is beginning
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to pick up and there is a shift in the atmosphere. She explains the protocol and assigns members to role play a data meeting example she created. The role play is very authentic and well scripted, pulling the entire leadership team attention into the lesson segment. The teachers who volunteered for assigned roles do an exceptional job and there is laughter in the room when one leader makes a mistake in his lines and adlibs. At this point, each of the teachers assigned roles lighten up and they project positive feelings. The actors, leaders, make the role play very engaging and elevate the positive feelings in the room. This emotional shift heightened the learning experience of the leaders. The facilitator pulls out the 4 PLT characters that the team developed in the first leadership training session. The group talks about and makes connections with the role play and the characters. The facilitator emphasizes that none of our teaching staff wants to fail but some are doing poorly. We need to recognize the support our colleagues need so that they can overcome their protective mechanisms associated with their performance and the team can help all students and teachers be successful. The facilitator asked all leaders to write a reflection and the engagement level is at a cognitive to affective level as all leaders are vigorously writing reflections and speaking to their colleagues specifically about the experience.
She pulled the leaders together with 3 sentence stems for the closing academic circle. She gives everyone a couple of minutes to complete their sentence stem for the circle and begins counter clockwise, different that any session before. It is a very supportive environment as leaders take turns emphasizing positive words like trust,
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honesty, listening, focus in learning not blaming, understand our strengths, I wont know if it works unless I try, reactive nature is unproductive, presume positive intent, we are unique, empathy, courage, commitment, and willingness. The session ends on a very positive note and the strength of the connections was evident in the exit tickets (See Table 7) as well as a sense of positive intensity as the leaders completed their exit tickets. The facilitator was so excited about the lesson plan and the way it ended,
Table 7
Session 4 Exit Tickets
Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training
Ql. Explain your learning from Todays training. protocol (16), consensus, redirection, visualize, purpose (3), reflection, focus (2) PLT Structures Consensus, Results Meeting Protocol, Role Play
Q2. How will you apply todays learning to your PLT Leadership? protocol (10), agenda, reflection, guided questions (3), focus (2), reteach (2), strategies (2), voice, consensus, anticipated habits PLT Structures Consensus, Results Meeting Protocol, Role Play
positive intentions, willingness, intentions PLT Members Role Play, Circle
Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student-teacher relationships? protocol (3), no deficitizing, questioning, unity, focus (3), professional relationship, redirection, communications, best practices, honor students, voice, never give up, restorative T eacher-to -Teacher: Structural Consensus, Results Meeting Protocol, Role Play, Circle
empathy (3), growth mindset, transparent, affirmation T eacher-to -Teacher: Emotional Role Play, Circle
questioning, protocol, reteach, reteach, listening, focus Teacher-to-Student: Structural Synthesize
relationship, trust (2), love, respect, caring, supportive Teacher-to-Student: Emotional Synthesize
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she emailed me that evening to explain her delight and observations. Furthermore, the language used by the leaders demonstrates their level of commitment and growth to changing the culture to support student learning.
Training Session #5
For the fifth training session and last before the end of the first quarter of school, the professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science room at the conclusion of their instructional day. The whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings continued on restorative practices. Additionally, it is homecoming week for the school and many of the PLT leaders are dressed in the homecoming theme of the day. At 3:32 PM, all but two of the PLT leaders have arrived and the facilitator begins (see Appendix G). The two teachers, one sophomore level science teacher and one junior level math teacher, were both out sick.
After a brief housekeeping activity for timecards, the facilitator begins by challenging the group and stating that she was going to make people feel uncomfortable today and reminds the leaders that change can bring on strong emotions. She reminds the team, We are only as good as the teacher who needs the most support. She reviews the statement of inquiry, learning objective, and success criteria. The facilitator emphasizes that in developing a Culture of Care for our staff and students, we must be able to have difficult data conversations that support one another and advance ownership of all students by every professional learning team.
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The facilitator reviews the first 4 sessions and then has everyone find a partner that the leaders can be completely honest with and watch another clip of Man on Fire. All the leaders find a partner to share the movie clip and discuss Ceesays analysis and action plan. The facilitator then poses the question, Are you trained to handle data? These are the (starting gun) shots. Are you trained or untrained? Is your team free of the blocks or are you still standing there in fear? She has the pairs share their answers honestly with their partners. There is cognitive engagement throughout the room as teachers are sharing ideas and answering the questions to each other. It appears that all pairs of teacher leaders are being honest and sharing their challenges with their trusted colleague.
She pulls the leaders back together and states, Teacher preparation programs spoke about reviewing the data, but the real world application was never taught. She reads a section about effective schools by Odden and Archibald (2009) and asks the group to turn to their partner and discuss why they are or are not free to analyze and discuss data openly. Teacher leaders are cognitively engaged in their discussions.
The facilitator pulls the group together and asks some teams to share. We must look at the formative data. Taking small chunks of instruction to ensure students are learning. It is difficult to look at the data when you are failing. The facilitator asks the group, What do you think about failure? A leader responds, It is a learning opportunity. A few other teachers respond and there is laughter in the room.
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The facilitator stresses that the old system of teacher evaluation was only 20 percent effective in improving student outcomes. The focus was on the dynamics of a lesson, classroom management, and a focus on teaching, not learning. She has the leaders read a quote by Chenoweth (2009) about the effectiveness of using data and sharing effective practices to improve high-poverty schools like the Denver Metro Area High School. She puts up a slide emphasizing 80% effectiveness of data driven cultures. The teacher leaders are behaviorally engaged and looking at the board, reading the words, or reading from their handouts. The slide and words of the facilitator express a need for active leadership, introductory professional development on common assessments and data analysis and action plans, calendar alignment, ongoing professional development to adapt to student needs, and build by borrowing best practices from high achieving teachers and schools. She then moves immediately into her BAM! slide. The facilitator emphatically examines a higher purpose for the work. As leaders, you need teams that have a growth mindset, kids first focus, willingness, Culture of Care, a data focus... The facilitator then reviews the success criteria for the days training with the group to make sure that the learning objective was obtained before the academic circle (See Table 8).
The facilitator provides three sentence frames and a few minutes for the teacher leaders to complete one of the sentence frames about their leadership moving forward and get into the academic circle to share with their fellow leaders. As the talking stick goes around the circle, leaders share their ability to collect data with their
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Table 8
Session 5 Exit Tickets
Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training
Ql. Explain your learning from Todays training. analyze data (6), discuss data, data (9), reflect, purpose of data, planning (2), strategies, effectiveness (2), improve strategies, reflect PLT Data Cycle -Analyzing Data Being Free to Analyze the Data, Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction
vulnerability (4), support teachers, open (3), collaborative (2), safe, sharing, supportive, mindset PLT Team Attributes Being Free to Analyze Data, How to Evaluate Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction
Q2. How will you apply todays learning to your PLT Leadership? analyze data (7), true data talks, discuss (1), data reflection (3), reflective (2), data reliability (2), strategies (3), sharing, build capacity, effectiveness, reteach (2) Data Analysis and Strategies Being Free to Analyze the Data, Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction
vulnerable, consensus, convince team, open, open, honest, sharing, safe, success, progress, focus, circle PLT Team Characteristics Being Free to Analyze Data, How to Evaluate Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction, Bam! Slide
Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student-teacher relationships? vulnerable, open discussion, stronger relationships (2), listen, open Teacher-to- Teacher: Relationships Summarizing the Learning, Academic Circle
use data, discuss data (2), look at data, solution based, reteach (5), engaging students, student needs, circle talks, consensus, improve student instruction, reflection, strategies Teacher-to- Teacher: Strategies Being Free to Analyze the Data, Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction
confidence, tmst (5), relationships (3), care, support, empathy, open Teacher-to- Student: Relationships Video Clip -Man on Fire, Summary of Learning, Academic ircle
colleagues, but most feel untrained in analyzing the data and developing a common action plan with their colleagues. The leaders emphasize that they need to take time with their colleagues to talk about the data and decide what the data is telling them
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about student learning. One teacher blames students for group failures and most of the leaders look surprised at his words. All the other leaders emphasize that this will be a difficult change for their team and many publicly commit to the uncomfortableness of the task. One teacher emphasized to me after the meeting, I did not know how to lead my group and this training has been one of the most effective professional development I have received in 20 years. We need to have a continuation of these sessions next semester.
Training Session #6
For the last training session, the professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science after their instructional day. All the leaders were on-time and present at the final training and there was a positive feeling expressed by all in attendance. Many leaders expressed their gratitude about the needed leadership skills, yet; they express the need for more. The whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings continued on restorative practice circles and the professional learning team leaders were developing their restorative capacity in their PLT as well as their classrooms. Even before the meeting begins, many are wondering how they will continue to develop their leadership skills without the support of their PLTL colleagues and a structured time and date for future meetings.
The facilitator begins the training with a question to the whole group (see Appendix H). What will be our next steps for the future as we complete our last training? There are many positive responses from the leaders as they express their
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DISS_title A CASE STUDY ON THE RELATIONAL COMPONENT OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING TEAMS
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DISS_para This dissertation is focused on intentional intervention strategies adopted in a prior five-year period by Denver Area High School for the purpose of reducing suspensions, expulsions, referrals, other minor disciplinary infractions, and reduced failure rates. Those strategies included implementing a Culture of Care, which included (a) Restorative Practices, (b) Restorative Justice, (c) Relationships, and (d) Professional Learning Communities or Teams. Those interventions, which started in the Dean’s office, have been pushed into the classroom. However, some teachers are still over referring students for disciplinary actions and failure rates are too high. Professional learning teams, which are meant to support teachers in the adoption of restorative and instructional practices that lead to higher expectations and improved outcomes for all students, may not be succeeding because teams are avoiding the hard questions about the Culture of Care that would improve academic achievement. As a result, this case study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the Denver Area High School training to further develop professional learning team (PLT) leaders. During the case study, PLT leaders were presented with referral and failure rates and received training to improve analysis and outcomes through restorative practices and PLT practices. With support, the PLT leaders engaged and collaborated with teachers to completely adopt professional learning team and restorative practices by expanding their leadership skills, increasing personal buy-in, and improving their understanding and empathy for urban students. Six PLT leadership training sessions and two PLT observations focused on grades 9 and 10 core content areas. PLT leadership training sessions were observed and exit tickets were analyzed for training outcomes. The exit ticket analysis indicated that the intended learning targets and outcomes were achieved. The PLT observations were conducted and determined that cultural shifts were evident in the observations which represented the level of implementation of the PLT leadership training. At the conclusion of the study, evidence collected through exit tickets and observations indicated an improvement in teacher and PLT practices. Additional evidence collected from failure rates and referral rates showed a significant decline in referral rates that were at least partially attributed to the leadership training and an alignment of students pass rates with attendance rates.
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A C ASE S TUDY ON THE RELATIONAL COMPONENT OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING T EAMS by MATTHEW R WILLIS B.S., University of Phoenix, 2003 M.A., University of Phoenix, 2004 Ed.S., University of Colorado, 2009 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado i n partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education Leadership for Educational Equity Program 2017

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ii 2017 MATTHEW R. WILLIS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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iii This thesis for the Doctor of Education degree by M atthew R. Willis h as been approved for the Leadership for Educational Equity Program by Connie L. Fulmer, Chair Rodney Blu n ck James Christensen Date: May 13, 2017

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iv Willis, Matthew R. (Ed.D., Leadership for Educational Equity Program) A C ase S tudy on the R elational Component of Professional Learning Teams T hesis directed by Professor Conn ie L. Fulmer ABSTRACT This dissertation is focused on intentional intervention strategies adopted in a prior five year period by Denver Area High School for the purpose of reducing suspensions, expulsions, referrals, other minor disciplinary infractio ns, and reduced failure rates. Those strategies included implementing a Culture of Care, which included (a) Restorative Practices, (b) Restorative Justice, (c) Relationships, and (d) Professional Learning Communities or Teams Those interventions, which started in into the classroom However, some teachers are still over referring students for disciplinary actions and failure rates are too high Professional learning teams which are meant to support teachers in the ad option of restorative and instructional practices that lead to higher expectations and improved outcomes for all students, may not be succeeding because teams are avoiding the hard questions about the Culture of Care that would improve academic achieveme nt. As a result, this case study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the Denver Area High School training to further develop professional learning team (PLT) leaders. During the case study, PLT leaders were presented with referral and failure rates and received training to improve analysis and outcomes through restorati ve practices and PLT practices With support, the PLT leaders engage d and collaborated with teachers

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v to completely adopt professional learning team and restorative practices by expanding their leadership skills, increasing personal buy in, and improving their understanding and empathy for urban students. Six PLT leadership training sessions and two PLT observations focused on grades 9 and 10 core content areas. PLT leadership t raining sessions were observed and exit tickets were analyzed for training outcomes. The exit ticket analysis indicated that the intended learning targets and outcomes were achieved. The PLT observations were conducted and determined that cultural shifts were evident in the observations which represented the level of implementation of the PLT leadership training. At the conclusion of the study, evidence collected through exit tickets and observations indicated an improvement in teacher and PLT practices. Additional evidence collected from failure rates and referral rates showed a significant de cline in referral rates that were at least partially attributed to the leadership training and an alignment of students pass rates with attendance rat es. This for m and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Connie L. Fulmer

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vi DEDICATION I dedicate this work to the students, families, and community of the Denver Area High School. United, we will create the equitable environment that every child deserves.

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vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I sincerely apprecia ted all the help, support, and dedication of the staff at the Denver Area High School. Truly they are working to make a difference i n the lives of their students and community. Their dedication and implementation of the training made a difference. The instructional leader and facilitator Suzanne Acheson, was amazing to work with and provided quality lesson plans for the staff. She dedicated herself to improving her instruction after each lesson and support ed the professional learning team leaders. Her leadership has been recognized by the Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals as the 2017 Colorado Assistant Principal of the Year. Finally, I am dee ply appreciative of my dissertation chair, mentor, and supporter Dr. Connie Fulmer. She was always available for help and she provided quality feedback and continual support. Thank you!

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viii TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 1 The Knowing Doing Gap ................................ ................................ ......................... 2 Professional Learning Teams ................................ ................................ ....... 3 Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and a Culture of Care ............... 6 Case Study Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 8 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 9 Significance of Study ................................ ................................ ............................. 10 Assumptions and Limitations ................................ ................................ ................ 11 Operational Definitions ................................ ................................ .......................... 12 II. LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ............................ 14 Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ .......................... 16 Changing the Narrative of Zero Tolerance ................................ ............................ 19 Restorative Justice ................................ ................................ ..................... 20 Restorative Practices ................................ ................................ .................. 22 Culture of Care ................................ ................................ ........................... 26 Professional Learning Communities ................................ ................................ ...... 27 Professional Learning Teams ................................ ................................ ..... 28 Four Questions for PLCs ................................ ................................ ........... 31 Relationships and Urban Education ................................ ................................ ....... 32 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 35

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ix III. METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 38 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ 39 Description of Study Site ................................ ................................ ....................... 39 Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Culture of Care ............................ 41 Professional Learning Community Implementation ................................ .. 43 Case Study Method ................................ ................................ ................................ 44 Professional Learning Team Participants ................................ .............................. 49 Training ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 49 Data Collections ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 51 Training Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................. 51 Professional Learning Team Observations ................................ ................ 51 Disciplinary Referrals ................................ ................................ ................ 52 Failure Rates ................................ ................................ .............................. 52 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 53 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 53 Training Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................. 53 Professional Learning Team Observations ................................ ................ 54 Disciplinary Referrals ................................ ................................ ................ 55 Failure Rates ................................ ................................ .............................. 56 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 56 Trustworthiness and Ethical Considerations ................................ .............. 57

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x IV. FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 59 Impact of Professional Learning Team Leader Training ................................ ....... 60 Training Session #1 ................................ ................................ .................... 61 Training Session #2 ................................ ................................ .................... 67 Training Session #3 ................................ ................................ .................... 72 Training Session #4 ................................ ................................ .................... 76 Training Session #5 ................................ ................................ .................... 82 Training Session #6 ................................ ................................ .................... 86 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 92 Evidence from Professional Learning Team Observations ................................ ... 94 Professional Learning Team Observations Round 1 ................................ 95 Professional Learning Team Observations Round 2 ............................... 106 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 119 Impact on Referral Rates ................................ ................................ ..................... 122 Impact on Failure Rates ................................ ................................ ....................... 125 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 129 V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION S ............................. 132 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 132 Professional Learning Team Training ................................ ..................... 135 PLT Observations ................................ ................................ .................... 138 Referral and Failure Rates ................................ ................................ ....... 142

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xi Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 143 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 145 Professional Learning Teams ................................ ................................ ... 145 Restorative Practices ................................ ................................ ................ 147 Culture of Care ................................ ................................ ......................... 149 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 150 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ 151 Recommendations for Practice ................................ ................................ 151 Recommendations for School Leaders ................................ .................... 152 Recommendations for Failing or Turnaround Schools ............................ 153 Recommendations for Future Research ................................ ................... 155 Final Thoughts ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 156 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 1 57 APPENDIX A. Professional Learning Team Leader Training Exit Ticket ................ 166 B. Observation Protocol for Professional Learning Team Meeting ....... 167 C. PLT Leader PD Session 1 ................................ ................................ .. 16 8 D. PLT Leader PD Session 2 ................................ ................................ .. 170 E. PLT Leader PD Session 3 ................................ ................................ .. 173 F. PLT Leader PD Session 4 ................................ ................................ .. 176 G. PLT Leader PD Session 5 ................................ ................................ .. 179

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xii H. PLT Leader PD Session 6 ................................ ................................ .. 181 I. PLT Process Rubric ................................ ................................ ........... 184

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xiii LIST OF TABLES TABLES 1. Analytical Framework for Case Study ................................ ................................ ............... 46 2. Disciplinary Referral Rates ................................ ................................ ................................ 48 3. Failure Rates ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 48 4. Session 1 Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 66 5. Session 2 Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 69 6. Session 3 Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 77 7. Session 4 Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 81 8. Session 5 Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 85 9. Session 6 Exit Tickets ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 91 10. Impact on Disciplinary Referrals ................................ ................................ ..................... 122 11. Impact on Failure Rates ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 125

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xiv LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1. Conceptual Framework Relational Influence on Learning ................................ ............. 18 2. Conceptual Framework Relational Influence on Learning ................................ ........... 135

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Nationwide, high minority and high poverty schools are failing, continuing the cycle of poverty and exacerbating the school to prison pipeline. Boykin and gaps between Black and Latino students (both boys and girls) and their White chievement gaps are evident when students enter the educational system they are not addressed, and continue to widen over a schooling experience. Mallett (2015) emphasizes punitive disciplinary policies are most evident in urban school setting schools with high enrollments of free or reduced lunch these two school char acteristics are often inter rela safety risk to t he school and community yet t he systems of discipline exclude students from educational opportunities. Cue llar and Markowitz (2015) point out that school suspensions and the school to prison pipeline are connected and punitive systems in school disciplinary systems and out of school suspension rates increase the probability of criminal activity and arrest. Coggshall, Osher, and Colombi (2013) claim through the pipeline to prison in 435) relationship, attitudes cond itions of learning, and non restorative response s to student behavior Improving

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2 relationships, and academic gaps (Boykin and Noguera, 2011) These can be achieved through implementation of relation based restorative practices and professional learning teams, yet we must work to develop the quality professional learning opportunities and structures for educators that address their roles and responsibilities (Muhammad & Hollie, 2012) Denver Area High School has implemented restorative justice, restorative practices and professional learning teams yet there are inconsistencies in the outcomes of s tudents academically S ome teachers are still over referring students for disciplinary action. We suspect that professional learning teams are avoiding the hard questions about relationships, behaviors, close academic gaps, and referrals that if addresse d would improve academic achievement. The Knowing Doing Gap Over the last 5 years, Denver Area H igh S chool has been implementing a Culture of Care (Cavanagh, 2008 a ) centered on the concepts of restorative justice and restorative practices to address alternative s to traditional discipline, support teachers and provide relation based structures for urban schooling. Additionally, the study high school has developed a comprehensive model for professiona l learning teams (DuFour & Eaker, 1998) to address academic deficiencies associated with high poverty, academic failure, mobility, and cultural i ncongruity. The practices, Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Professional Learning Teams are aligned with research and best practices f o r urban com munities similar to Denver

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3 Area High School which is a 92 percent minorit y majority school with over 70 percent free or reduced lunch. significant reductions in school discipline, expulsions, susp ensions, and been documented in A Story Legitimating the Voices of Latino/Hispanic Students and Parents (Cavanagh, Vigil, & Garcia, 2014) and featured on PBS Newshour (American Graduate, February 20, 2014) and Nickelodeon News (School Crime and Too Much Pu nishment, August 4, 2015) Professional Learning Teams Boykin and Noguera (2011) argue primarily biological in nature, then it should be possible to fundamentally alter the predictability of racial patterns in schools and change the structure of schools to match new beliefs about race and education If we fundamentally believe that all students can learn at the highest level, then we must change the culture of the school and the processes t hat are entrenched in the school that support deficit thinking. Muhammad and Hollie (2012) write attentiveness, prior knowledge, and wi llin (p. 10). This type of deficit thinking leads to the current inadequacies of the educational sys tem as it pertains to Black and Latino students across the United States of America. Furthermore, DuFour and Marzano (2011) argue st strategy for improving schools and districts is developing the collective capacity of educators to function as

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4 professional learning teams. The possibility exists for schools to c hange the outcomes of Black and Latino students by changing the process and developi ng structures that support student learning. institutions, districts, schools, and teaching and administrative positions exist to ensure of professional learning communities and teams create s the structure s needed to focus on high levels of learning a collaborative and collective approach to support student le arning, and a results orientation to improve student achievement and improve practices. Changing our approach is critical and teachers must work collaboratively to understand the challenges associated with learning in an urban env ironment. Most importan tly, teachers and administrators must collectively take responsibility for all children and ensure their success. DuF ou r and Fullan (2013) stress that professional learning teams and communities are focused on people, practices, and processes. Professional learning teams are collective units that determine curriculum, pacing, effective instructional strategies, team devel oped formative assessments, analyze student learn ing, improve their practice, enrich the learning of students whom have met the high expectations and intervene on the behalf of students who need more support to meet the high expectations. They collective ly develop responses to student outcomes and never allow student outcomes to be based on the teach er a student was assigned. The teams

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5 take collective responsibility for all students as a fundamental belief of the team. This concept is contrary to the tr adition school concept, and as a result, (DuFour & improvement that has a significantly different credo of get it right and then make it (p. 22). Sch moker (2006) emphasizes teams must focus explicit examination of practices and their consequences the results achieved with specific lessons and units. Based on collaborati ve analysis of the results of our 7) ? Teams of teachers must be engaged in the difficult conversations of improving student achievement and collectively discussing strategies that were both ineffe ctive and effective. Most importantly, they must re teach and then re assess when students miss the learning targets. This o pen dialog is difficult for many c ollaborative teams who must address social, academic, and inst ructional strategy deficiencies a nd succes ses as well as how they are addressed Schmoker (2011) stresses as we continue, year after year, to attend conferences, workshops, and book studies curriculum, sound lessons, and meaningful opportunities to read and write achieve at the level needed for the equitable outcome of all urban students. U rban education is difficult and made more difficult wh en teachers work in isolation instead

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6 of collaborative ly and collectively. At Denver Area High School they have developed the structures needed for achievement by designing common assessments, instructional strategies, common assessment dates, analysis m eetings, and some teams openly discuss student achievement and design re teaching opportunities for students. Eaker, DuFour, and DuFour (2002) emphasize that true achievement is centered on (p. 111). They go on to stress that a and that teams must collectively take responsibility for the learning of all students. All professional learning teams must be able to have meanin gful conversations about the root causes of student failure and collectively establish meaningful interventions that address urban environments. Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and a Culture of Care A Culture of Care (restorative practices) is an essential strategy in urban education al environments T he strategy provides comprehensi ve turnaround frameworks for a school and community (Cavanagh, 2008 a 2009) The school administration and teacher leaders at Denver Area High School utilized a collaborative method ology of reviewing research th rough book studies, experts in the field of e quity and restorative practices determining best practices and strategies, and defining the expectations around these practices. The research suggested that when restorative practices are taught to teachers and applied in schools, it leads to reductions in school discipline ( Anfara, Evans, & Lester, 2013) Research in New

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7 Zealand (Cavanagh, 2009) demonstrates that schools implementing these practices and cre ating a Culture of Care increase academic opportunities, reduce disciplinary occurrences, and bridge cultural gaps. Cavanagh (2009) stresses organizations such as schools is to create a social climate where individuals can flourish, that practices are based on developing relationships among people and in the case of schools, developing relationships between students and teachers. Further studies in Scotland (Kane et al. 2007 ; Kane et al. 200 8 ) demonstrate that developing relationships and address ing breeches in these relationships reduc ed disciplinary issues in 18 low performing schools during a four year study. The collaborative efforts of staff, administration, and experts at Denver Area High School have resulted in the implementation of a Culture of Care centered o n restorative practices Alphen (2014) emphasizes that d eveloping s ocial responsibility creates an effective protective f actor for social health. The ideal is that members of any community naturally practice socially appropriate behavior. The (p. 190). As these relational br eeches occur, schools must have a system in place that addresses these relational breeches T h ese practices become even more important when the cultural experiences of the community and educational sta ff are disconnected like in many urban environments. In conjunctio n with establishing restorative practices to repair relational and behavioral breeches, the study high

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8 school through professional development centered on the Restorative Pract ices Handbook (Costello & Wachtel, 2009). Although restorative practices have become the culture of Denver Area High School many teachers still struggle and over refer students for disciplinary action when the incident does not pose a threat to the learning environment and the breech should be s olved at a relational level. Case Study Purpose Even with the implementation of restorative justice, restorative practices, and professional learning teams at Denver Area High School there continues to be inconsistency with some teachers who have higher referral rates, failure rates and inconsistencies in student outcomes Through a review of data and initial interviews with a few teachers, we suspect that some prof essional learning teams are avoiding the difficult conversations about why students are not learning wh ich includes instructional practices relational concerns addres sed through the Culture of Care improving the outcomes of student achievement through the professional learning team process and improving relational outcomes During the case study (a) training, (b) community circles, and (c) professional learning team structures will be cultivated through the professional learning team leaders. These l eaders will guide their professional learning teams to improved dialog and analysis including relational gaps, leading to an anticipated reduction in disciplinary referrals and an anticipated increased in student pass rate s.

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9 Research Questions The study h igh school has been implementing restorative justice, restorative practices, and a professional learning team model to maximize the potential of this urban school, yet the school has not been achieving at the level expected considering the research associa te with relationships, restorative practices, and professional learning teams. Most of the teaching staff commutes to the school and their life experiences do not match the life experiences of the students at the school or within the community creating ba rriers to maximizing relationships. Additionally, many staff members resist conversations associated with student failures that might be addressed by intentionally developing positive student teacher relationships and more effectively implementing the pro fessional learning team model and restorative practices in their classroom. Relational incongruence should be addressed in the professional learning team during the analysis portion of each unit as teachers reflect on what prevented student success and ho w to address this gap through interventions and re teaching strategies. With additional Professional Learning Team Leader Training, I believe that the impact of PLT leaders can better address the relational gap that inhibits urban student success so that every child begins to achieve to their potential. Therefore, the following research question guides this case study. How does Professional Learning Team Leader Training (PLTLT) impact improvement in

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10 teacher and professional learning team practices as evi denced by changes in (a) referral rates, and (b) failure rates? 1. How does PLTLT impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evidenced by leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTLT training sessions? 2. How does PLTLT impact the interactions of PLT leader s with Professional Learning Team meetings as evidenced by observation data from those meetings? 3. How do rates of student referrals change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels? 4. How do rates of student failure change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels? Significance of the Study Researchers and educators from around the United States are working to find solutions to improve the educational outcomes of minority and impoverished students. Cavanagh (2003) points out that zero tolerance policies criminalize schools and have the opposite effect of improving the educational outcomes of minority students. To truly regain control of our schools, we need restorative sy stems that support our neediest students and move away from the school to prison pipeline. Braithwaite (2000) also supports the dignified restoration of relationships as a central component of a dignified society. Supporting teachers, through PLTL training, will provide them with needed structures to support a team effort in addressing

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11 misbehavior, educational gaps, and other components that lead to student failure and referrals. Professional learning team and communities are a key component of the Culture of Care being fostered at the Denver Area High School. Through the PLT structures, teachers in an urbanized environment will learn leadership skills needed to support their teams and address the difficulties associated with teaching in high minority, high poverty schools. Marzano, Waters, and M cNulty (2005) of low performing schools is not getting people to work, it is getting people to do the leadership focused on the right work. In urbanized en vironments like the Denver Area High School, a Culture of Care centered on restorative justice, restorative practices, relationships, and professional learning teams is critical to addressing failing schools. The PLTL training will address developing scho ol leadership and creating an environment that fosters student growth and achievement. Assumptions and Limitations The case study is designed specifically for the Denver Area High School which has been working on developing restorative justice, restorati ve practices, relationships, and professional learning communities as part of a Culture of Care at varying stages for the last 5 years. The results of this case study will be specific to the school and as a participant observer, will represent the effort of the school and its

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12 development as a leader in high school turnaround. The train ing and design of the Culture of Care at the Denver Area High School can improve the outcomes of other schools but is specifically designed for this school. Operational Definition s Culture of Care The combined practices of restorative justice, restorativ e practices, relationship development with students and staff, and professional learning communities or teams. The combination of these principles are combined to create a Culture of Care Professional Learning Teams (PLT) A group of grade level teachers usually between 3 and 6, who teach the same subject and work collaboratively at least twice per week on common assessments, data analysis, re teaching missed concepts, guaranteed curriculum, lessons, and strategies. Relationships The majority of the st aff at the Denver Area High School are commuters and there is a cultural disconnect between the realities of the students and the teachers. Relationship development is important in all schools, and must be intentionally addressed in urbanized school with this or other cultural disconnects in the adult staff and student base. Restorative Justice At the Denver Area High School they use a unique brand of restorative justice which is based in the belief that the participants can find solutions for themselv es. As such, staff are trained to facilitate and participate in restorative

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13 justice sessions. The school has been working on their model for 5 years and has fewer referral rates than many elementary schools and virtually no violent crimes. Restorative j ustice is an emerging practice that is an alternative to zero tolerance and punitive discipline strategies in schools. Restorative Practices Moving the a more proactive system, teachers are being trained to address their classrooms in a restorative manne r through the development of relationships and classroom practices that lead to an improved learning environment. These practices include classroom norms addressing behaviors in a relational manner, hall conferences, and various levels of circles and conferences all designed at the classroom level.

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14 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW High minority and high poverty schools across the United States and Colora do are failing academically Schwebel (2012) document ed that African American and Latino students, particularly economically disadvantaged students, perform poorly on international tests of reading, writing, and mathematics and that these results pinpoint industrialized nations. Students who live in economically disadvantaged communities are subject to higher rates of violence, higher mobility rates, stricter school policies, and increased academic failures Gonsoulin, Zablocki, and Leone (2012) emphasize that o ften, in the name of keeping school s safe, practices such as zero tolerance school exclusions and prematurely introducing youth to the juvenile justice (p. 309). The se zero tolerance practices, along with other factors associated with poverty, lead to exclusionary outcomes that expel, suspend, and produce academic gaps leading to school and community fai lure. Moreover, Toldson et al. ( 2010 ) contend that r esearch evi dence suggests that the juvenile justice system and current educational policies failed to meet the basic educational and remedial needs of socially disadvantaged African American and in Colorado, when African American and L atino children are overrepresented in school disciplinary systems, the se same children cannot be expected to improve their

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15 educational outcomes. youth and re establish their sense of social bel onging and responsibility depend on developing a common dialog that accounts for the institutionalized inequities The structures that produce failing schools for minority and economically disadvantaged communities are unfortunate examples of institutionalized racism that exists in our educational system. According to Rosenbloom and Way (2004), there are additional st ructural inadequacies of minority and economically disadvantaged schools that reinforce institutionalized racism through a practice of low teacher expectations for African American w hen African American and Latino students were asked about their experiences with discrimination, they described hostile relationships with adults in positions of go on to state that students reported these hostilities as ongoing and not isolated events. Latino and African American students felt their teachers were uncaring and lacked a personal understanding and relationship with them. Payne and Welch (2015) state d that schools are not safer because of harsh policies and practices, and conversely these practices have a profound negative affect on students leading to increased risk of future delinquency in the school and community. They found that students with higher ratios of African American s int ensified punitive measures and were less likely to adopt restorative justice discipline. Research by

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16 Coggshall, Osher, and Colombi (2013) concluded that teachers lack skills and knowledge to effectively meet the needs of African American and Latino studen ts and preferred zero tolerance policies and exclusionary practices. Furthermore, teachers felt that African American and Latino students with behavioral reoccurrences should be sent to alternative educational environments. Many factors led to these atti needs, culture, trauma, health, educational gaps, and rigid behavioral expectations. Finally, Cu ellar and Markowitz (2015) contend that out of school suspensions increased criminal act ivity in communities more than doubling the probability of arrest of African American and Lati no students. A lack of teacher student relationships, harsh punishments, and exclusionary practices in minority m ajority schools and economically disadvantaged c ommunities continue d the cycle of poverty, create poor performing schools, and contribute to the high school to prison pipeline. These dismal outcomes cannot continue and there must be a better way to improve academic achievement and maintain safety in sc hools for African American and Latino students and communities. Conceptual Framework Urban schools are failing throughout the United States of American and other parts of the world as we grapple with the causes of these failures. Practices such a s teacher s working in isolation zero tolerance disciplinary policies, and authoritarian classroom practices contribute to school failure. Countries like New Zealand,

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17 Australian, Scotland, and the United States are beginning to review these policies and develop co mprehensive strategies that begin to change the outcomes of these schools and communities. Failing schools are symptoms of teachers working in isolati on, a lack of relationships, no cultural connection with urban children, authoritarian and zero tolerance discipline policies, and institutionalized racism. The case study focuses specifically on the spot where restorative practices, professional learning teams, and relationships intersect (see Figure 1) Munoz, Scoskie, and French emphasize, u r ban schools are unique and the tems in the classroom strongly predict gains in student learning: (a) students in the classroom treat the teacher with respect, (b) my classmates behave the way my teacher wants them to, and (c) our class stays busy and doesn (p. 227). These cannot be achieved without a Culture of Care where teachers have developed restorative practices in their classroom with a culture of mutual respect and centered on relationships. Zehr (2002) stresses that we must develop a community of care and involve all parties in the process. School systems must be reorganized and eliminate zero tolerance polices so that students are included in the learning and not excluded from their sc hools creating greater losses of educational opp ortunities. Finally, teachers must work collaboratively in professional learning communities and teams to accelerate learning for urban populations, foster relational based education, and develop strategies that close the learning gap an d achievement for all students.

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18 CULTURE OF CARE Figure 1 Relational i nfluence on l earning The case study at Denver Area High School will focus on developing professional learning team r estorative practices, teacher student relationships, and professiona reflections on why t heir minority students might still be over referred for discipline and failing acad emically DuFour and Marzano (2011) emphasize that school FAILING URBAN SCHOOLS ZERO TOLERANCE DESCIPLINE POLICIES IN URBAN SCHOOLS URBAN TEACHERS WORKING IN ISOLATION RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AUTHORITARIAN CLASSROOM PRACTICES IN URBAN SCHOOLS PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES AND TEAMS RESTORATIVE PRACTICES IN CLASSROOMS RELATIONSHIPS

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19 improvement means people improvement and w e suspect that professional learning teams are avoiding the hard questions about why their students are failing including relatio nships, behaviors, and aca demic gaps that if addressed would improve academic achievement. C hanging the Narrative of Zero Tolerance Developing a Culture of Care at any school is important, but developing a Culture of Care in an urban school is essential to student and community su ccess. Macready culture where children and young people may learn the value of relationships and of Payne and Welch (2015) contend that s tudent s in communally organized schools demonstrate less delinquency, misbehavior, fear, victimization, and dropping out, and have greater empathy, school bonding, and Culture of Care using restorative justice and restorative practices is not an option for urban education and is a requirement that launches schools toward equitable outcomes of African American and Latino students. Moreover, Latimer, Dowden, and Muise ( 2005) stress restorative approaches provide results that show satisfaction of all parties and that participants are less likely to reoffend, ultimately reducing referrals and incidents. Restorative Justice

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20 Vaandering (2010) assert s that there are many examples throughout the wor ld over the last several decades that have replaced punitive, zero tolerance school policies with restorative justice while successfully building safe schools. Additionally, Brazemore frame work for understanding and responding to crime and a variety of harmful The current system of punishment in schools has been ineffective with African American and Latino students and contributes to the school to prison pipeline. Cavanagh (2009) argues that culture created greater and greater inequities among racial groups The impact of these inequities has affected social relationships, leading to rising violence in schools, homes, and communitie African American and Latino students throughout America have been affected the most by zero tolerance policies that were intended to respond to misbehaviors in the educational en vironment Cavanagh (2009) insists that minority and economicall y disadvantaged students in both the United States and New Zealand lack equitable outcomes and that restorative justice offers an alternative way of thinking, believing, and behaving for educators to respond to misconduct in schools and classrooms. Additi ona lly, Daly (2002) asserts, The current system of zero tolerance and punishment in schools never addresses the bree ch in relationships or heals the harm created by the parties invol ved. This is contrary to best practices for economically disadvantaged African American and Latino communities where

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21 relationships are critical to community outcomes Cavanagh (2009) reports, on the analysis, the central theme expressed by st udents was relationships with both 56). Without strong relationships, African American and Latino students lack the necessary personal connections with their teachers that would produce the greatest opportunity for current and future success. At the center of restorative justice is a belief that relationships must be restored and that misbehavior in schools and communities is a violation of p eople and relationships In zero tolerance policies, the relationship between the offender and victim are never restored and the offender, although punished, suffers from being ostracized and loses academic opportunities but is never truly accountable to the victimization lead to further academic declines and punishment. Amstutz and Mullet (2005) argue that r estorative discipline helps misbehaving students deal with the Moreover, th ey write a restorative approach, however, recognizes the needs and purposes behind the misbehavior, as well as the needs of those who were harmed by and offender, is focu sed on repairing the harm, restores relationships, and works to retain the community within schools to improve educational outcomes for all. Leonard and Kerry (2011) report that the process restores a sense of security and

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22 empowerment to victim participan ts and that the ultimate benefit to society is that restorative justice will reduce future rates of crime. Vaandering (2010) rejects the idea that behaviors and learning should be approached separately Vaandering recognizes that t hough educators realiz e that environments where youth are engaged in inappropriate, destructive behavior are not conducive for learning, there is little recognition that the learning environment itself African Ame rican Latino and economically disadvantaged students require an opportunity to restore relationships while developing community that improves the educational outcome of all students. Segregating students by removing them from the educational environment through suspensions and expulsions do little to repair the harm, improve educational outcomes, and ultimately contribute to the institutionalized racism evident in schools today. Vaandering (2010) emphasizes that restorative justice in schools is needed for building and affirming relationships as the response to inappropriate behavior. Most importantly, the use of restorative justice provides an opportunity for African American and Latin o students to develop the self c oncept needed to be part of the school community and improve educ ational outcomes for all students. Restorative Practices McCluskey et al. (2008) wrote a definition of restorative practices that included genuine actions of support between staff and students, developing and acting upon

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2 3 h ow our actions affect each other, a fair process in the classroom that allows everyone to learn, and responses to difficult behaviors that have positive outcomes for everyone. Restorative practices begin to take the concepts of restorative justice and exp and them to the classroom, creating schools of peace and strengthening the relationships between teachers and students as well as the student community. Drewery (2014) reports that s chools that embrace a whole school approach have been found to do bett er on all measures, including suspensions and expulsions, as well as achievement statistics than schools that use the practices for disciplinary and Therefore, although restorative justice has shown significant improvements in disciplinary outcomes of minority students around the world, implementing restorative practices at every level not only reduces suspensions and expulsions but also improves educational outcomes for all students. A key to restorative pract ices is the idea of sharing power with students. Drewery (2014) a rgues that t he notion of respect which is the basis of restorative practice can important and difficul t for school leaders and teachers to implement the idea of sharing power with students and developing educational outcomes with students. The ideals of restorative practices required teachers to not only have high levels of control but also have high leve ls of support that develop a collaborative atmosphere in every classroom.

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24 Responding to students in a loving, relational way is critical to the theory of restorative practices in the classroom. Costello, Wachtel, and Watchtel (2009) underscore d the point that hallway or intentional in a classroom, the teacher must always present himself or herself in a restorative man ner. Small breeches, when not addressed, build up over time and create dissonance in relationships that develop into larger incidents that if addressed on an individual basis when they initially occurred would have maintained the strong relationship betwe en students and teachers. Students must know that their teachers care for them, support them, and have very high expectations. For many of our African American Latino, and economically disadvantaged students who arrive with educational gaps and other en vironmental difficulties this supportive environment is critical to their future aspirations and current academic achievement. During their study Mccluskey et al. (2008) found that many teachers felt that restorative practices were stealing their strength and that teachers had to reconcile their behavior management policies and discipline policies with restorative practices. It is difficult for teachers, anyone, to change from a systemic process of punishment to restorative practices, yet the outcome of t heir study showed significant improvement in schools that embrace the new philosophy. Furthermore, e ven though teachers understood that these punitive systems support ed institutionalized racism in

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25 schools, it was difficult for teachers to change and accep t a more supportive system for disadvantaged students. A major problem for this transformation lies in the contrast between the current habits of discipline for control in schools and a new way of shared responsibility between teachers and stu dents. Vaan dering (2013) argues that pedagogies provide a framework that highlights how effective teaching comes from incorporating four key elements: intellectual quality, connectedness, supportive classroom environment, and valuing and working with diff though relationships are highly valued in African American Latino and economically disadvantaged communities there has been a lack of intentional development of these relationships to create the supportive environment required for urban education. Because of the dichotomy between traditional methodology and restorative practice s educators struggle with the trans f ormational change from a rule based to a relationship b ased institution This struggle also causes incongruence between teachers, students, and the community as they struggle to adapt to the new meth odology. Cavanagh (2009) assert ed that c hange, particularly profound change, involves setting aside our assumptions and mindsets and becoming open to new realities both individually and collectively, so that together we can create a new indset of shared responsibility between educators, the community, parents, and African American Latino, and economically disadvantaged

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26 students in urban education is essential to developing equitable outcomes and eliminating institutionalized racism. Cult ure of Care Developing schools of peace with restorative justice and restorative practice are essential to creating a Culture of Care in urban schools. Cavanagh (2008 b ) and Cavanagh, Macfarlane, Glynn, and Macfarlane ( 2012) found evidence in New Zealand and the United States of racism and privilege in the form of deficit thinking about minority students and culturally insensitive conversations in the classroom. At the core of these racist ideals are a deficit mindset about minority students, poverty, par ents, and communities The Culture of Care Cavanagh (2009), empowers students to solve problems nonviolently and provides a safe haven for African American and Latino students to express themselves and their emotions. As a result of having structures th at repair relationships, students attend school more and improve their educational outcomes. McCluskey et al., (2008) emphasize that schools must shed the theoretical frame of shame and punishment and develop schools based on restorative justice and re sto rative practices that emphasize relationships confronting the internal and external tensions of schools to develop equitable outcomes for all Cavanagh, Vigil, and Garcia (2014) maintain s tudents and their parents wanted better relationships between the students and their teachers, high expectations, and greater appreciation for their bilingual and bicultural Africa n

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27 American Latino, and economically disadvantaged students require strong relationships that leverage an authoritative environment to maximize the outcome of all students, developing equity in schools. Finally, Braithwaite (2004) support that the best pl ace to start this new system is in schools. Restorative practices, restorative justice, relationships, and a Culture of Care will lead to a more active populous that can rely less on the state to solve its problems. Professional Learning Communities DuFo ur and Marzano (2011) state that t he best strategy for improving schools and districts is developing the collective capacity of educators to function as members that for st udents to ac hieve at the highest level, the best professional development originates from the job embedded conversations and collective efficacy of the teachers. Failing schools will never reach their potential unless collaborative teams organized into p rofessional learning communities are established in schools Moreover, Gonsoulin, Zablocki, and Leone (2012) emphasize d that s chool staff development must involve training staff to implement policies reflecting a philosophy of intense intervention desig ned to foster positive behavior expectations for youth. The most effective form of staff development is achieved through the creation of p 310 311). Developing positive relationships with students through a Culture of Care requires educators to work collaboratively in professional learning communities and develop the necessary

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28 interventions to attain the required academic and behavioral outcomes. African American Latino, and economically disadvantaged students nee d teachers to provide interventions and academic skills that are not customarily taught in traditional high schools. DuFour, DuFour, Ea ker, and Many (2006) emphasize that our actions cannot be based on intentions, they must be centered on results. To acc elerate student learning and achievement in an urban environment, teachers must address their own professional knowledge gaps in developing a shared educational responsibility with students. Professional Learning Community Teams DuFour and Eaker (1998) stress that changing something as complex as the American system of education is an absolutely authors go on to identify that deficits in the American educational system are systemically embedded based on the way people are trained, hierarchy, political decisions, and a natural desire to maintain the status quo. To break the systemic failure of schools, specifically in high minority and high poverty schools, schools must brea k with tradition and develop collaborative environments centered on professional learning communities and teams. The complexities of the educational system require teams to share strategies, challenges, interventions, relational issues, educational gaps, and other obstacles that stand in the way of equitable outcomes for African American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students. To reverse the effects of institutionalized racism embedded in schools,

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29 professional learning teams must be open to coll aborative reflection, shared meaning, joint planning, and coordinated action. DuFour and Eaker (1998) stress that where in significant school improvement curriculum, (p. 152). The transformation of schools requires constant collaboration and reflection. DuFour and Fullan (2013) insist that professional learning communities are not a program but require a transformation within the school community so that systemic change takes root and the organization becomes focused on the needs of the African American Latino, and economically disadvantaged students. DuFour and Fullan (2013) identify specific nonnegotiable for professional lear ning communities that include collaboration, establishing and implementing a guaranteed curriculum, monitoring student learning, using evidence of learning, meeting the needs of individual students, providing additional support and time for students, and c ollaborating with students so that they are part of the solution and not identified as the problem. Ferguson (2008) identifies these school environments as ones that provide students with high levels of support with high learning expectations. Ultimately teachers must be open to sharing the responsibilities with their colleagues as well as with their students to develop an open, honest, and trusting environment that pushes urban students to maximize their potential. Zimmerman, Carter, Kanold, and Tonche f (2012) focus ed on profe ssional learning teams and report that t he purpose of team collective commitments is to

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30 create a respectful, open environment that encourages diversity of ideas and invites criticism combined with close inspection of practices and Aligning the process of professional learning teams and the teacher participants by establishing norms and commitments are essential components of the process. Collaborative teams must set agendas, roles, meeting minutes, norms, col laborative protocols, and expectations for all members to achieve at the level required for urban education. DuF our and Marzano (2011) insist that professional learning communities are based on three big id eas (a) ensure all students learn at high levels, (b) help all students learn, it will require us to work collaboratively to meet the needs of individual students, and (c) educators must create a data focus ed collegialism to meet the needs of individual students. Professional learning teams must take co llective responsibility for all students and work to meet their individual needs. Most importantly, S chmoker (2006) emphasized that the use of professional learning communities and teams honors the educators for their knowledge and expertise and eliminate s a dependency on external forces for school improvement. The collective capacity of teachers must be unleashed to the higher purpose of solving the complex problems of urban education through professional learning communit ies Schmoker (2006) also asser ted that e ducators should obsessively celebrate, study, and showcase every team success, and honor successful teams by creating as many opportunities as possible for internal experts to provide internal staff development, always and only on the basis of m

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31 Four Questions for PLCs Professional learning community schools have six characteristics (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010): (a) a shared mission and vision, (b) a collaborative culture, (c) collective inquiry into best practices, (d) action orientation, (e) a commitment to continuous improvement, and (f) a results orientation. These characteristics are essential for the success of professional learning communities in any school and especially urban schools. D uFour and Marzano (2013) stress that professional learning teams must focus on four critical questions centered on what students sh ould learn, how the team will know students learned, how the team will respond when students do not learn, and how they will enrich and extend the learning of those who have learned the desired curriculum. Professional learning teams and communities must establish curricular expectations in advance along with the common assessment prior to i nstruction. Smith (2015) wrote that professional learning teams and communities must develop common understandings around what students should know so that all students can be successful in meeting these expectations. Common assessments must be developed prior to instruction so that teacher teams have a clear vision of the lessons and expectations for every student. Within these lessons and expectations, teachers must develop supports and interventions so that students can meet these high expectations. Moreover, teams must take collective responsibility for all students so that when students do not meet the learning objectives, collectively, teacher teams work to respond to the needs of

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32 their students and learn from their colleagues. Finally, Schmoker (2011) insisted that a s teachers con tinue to work in teams to practice and refine their implementation, even better results will ensue when teachers work in teams, true professional learning teams, with an emphasis on results and studen t achievement, we can expect all students to achieve at the highest level and ultimately break the cycle of poverty in urban schools. Relationships and Urban Education Researchers have highlighted that relationships are key for student success in schools. Boykin and Noguera (2011) wro te that findings from several recent investigations lead to reasonable confidenc e that the quality of teacher student relationships is critical for the engagement and academic outcomes of Black and Latino s researchers discovered that African American students contributed their success in school to their relationships with teachers. Boykin and Noguera (2011) also wrote that o n the other hand, student inattention leads to tea cher reprimands, which lead to noncompliant behaviors by students, which lead to avoidance, punishment, or coercion by teachers, which ultimately leads to student failure educational env ironments are more than a necessity they are a requirement for the successful achievement of African American and Latino students. Strong relationships led students in urban environments to feel supported, cared for, and thus more likely to achieve when h igh expectations were also present. Boykin and

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33 Noguera (2011) report that heterogeneous classrooms, teachers expectations for Black and Latino students are substantially more negative than they are for White and Asian students, even though all student groups have compatible (p. 81 82). In urban education environments, educators mu st provide a relation based collaborative environment that exudes high expectations with high support. These combinations lead to increased student achievement in urban educational environments and met the needs of African American and Latino students. T hese findings are supported by Coggshall, Osher, and Colombi (20 13) who emphasize that t and through the pipeline to prison in at least four ways: (a) through their relationships, (b) t hrough their attitudes and social emotional competence, (c) by contributing to the conditions for learning, and (d) through their responses to student behavior. Providing urban students with high expectations, high support, and strong relationships provid es a pathway to academic achievement, breaks the cycle of poverty, and eradicates the school to prison pipeline. Muhammad and Hollie (2012) also support this theory in their work writing tudents respond more positively to the Democratic appro ach where there is an established respect for the teacher, and understood rapport between the student and the teacher, and a

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34 focus on relationships with every child and high academic expectations with high levels of support an authoritative approach Wilkins (2014) reported that u nlike studies which found that high school teachers avoid close relationships with students to maintain discipline and to encourage students to b ecome more responsible and mature, his research found that teachers saw relationships with students as centr his study, relationships with high school students were foundational to achieving high academic success, diminished s tudent behaviors, and providing supportive classroom environments. Urban ecologies require skills grounded in relationships to break the institutionalized racism embedded in the American educational system. Also supporting this theory, Baker (1999) repor ts that c hildren at risk for school failure may not be exposed to mainstream cultural assumptions regarding schooling and may not make meaningful connections to the school culture without the personal and on to highlight that relationships with significant adults at school are critical to helping children a ccess the culture and focused on students in urban at risk classrooms and found that rel ationships were critical to student success. Urban schools must establish a true Culture of Care focused on relationships that are enhanced in a professional learning community. Cavanagh, Macfarlane, Glynn, and Macfarlane (2012) wrote that a responsive approach to managing both learning and behavioral dispariti es for minority and

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35 economically disadvantaged students lies in establishing a Culture of Care and implementing culturally responsive pedagogies. Furthermore DuFour and Eaker (1998), provide evidence that professional learning communities have develop ed structures needed for teachers to meet the expectations of urban education. Learning, relationships, and behaviors are intertwined with the educational outcome of urban studen ts and can be positively impacted when schools and teachers are responsive to both the educational and sociocultural aspects of the school. Cavanagh, Macfarlane, Glynn, and Macfarlane (2012) emphasize that culturally responsive pedagogy is based on buildi ng enduring, respectful relationships and maintaining a Culture of Care in classrooms and schools. Similarly, Boykin and Noguera (2011) share that indings from several recent investigations lead to reasonable confidence that the quality of teacher stude nt relationships is critical for the engagement and academic ome of minority and economically disadvantaged students in an urban setting can only be accomplished and maintained through str ong relational bonds developed through a Culture of Care and professional learning communities that address the whole child. Summary High minority and high poverty schools across our nation are failing; yet by developing a Culture of Care through the use of restorative justice, restorative practices, relationships, and professional learning communities or teams, we can begin to trans form our institutions Restorative justice moves schools away from the

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36 ineffective practices of zero tolerance and addresses the harm. Restorative justice principles are centered on the importance of maintaining relationships betw een teachers and students. Vaandering (2010) connects the ideas that learning and behaviors are interconnected and learning cannot occur without add ressing behaviors and relationships. Through further development of the Culture of Care, restorative practices address the reactions of misbehavior and takes a proactive approach that supports teachers through pedagogical expertise to address their studen ts relational and structural needs within the classroom. Costello, Wachtel, and Wachtel ( restorative practices movement seeks to develop good relationships and restore a Practitioners lear n the importance of respect that is both earned and given to their students. School leaders and t eachers must be supported by this transformation since many rely on older punitive systems for their power and restorative practices are ba sed on p ower sharing This shift led many teachers to feel a loss of power that can be addressed through training Teachers must shift their actions and words to developing loving and relational environments for themselves and their students. Professi onal learning communities as part of a Culture of Care, provide structures for educators to collaborate and develop pedagogies that are shared and document movement in the educational outcomes of students. DuFour and Marzano (2011) emphasize that creatin g the conditions of continuous school improvement and best

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37 practices are a professional learning community or team environment. In strong professional learning communities, teachers move away from blaming students and their families for educational defici ts and begin to focus on a shared collective response to student needs. This shared response is critical to developing a Culture of Care. Professional learning communities and teams are part of a comprehensive distributive leadership model that values ed ucators as professionals. Marzano, Waters, and McNulty reasonable that a team of committed people can address this responsibility more an another just another program, we need a shift in culture.

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38 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY This chapter addresses the case study methodology used to answer research questions and is organized into the following sections: (a) research question s (b) description of study site (c) case study method, (d) professional learning team leader participants, (e) training, (f) data collection, and (g) data analysis Th e case study fo cuses on the professional learning community model implemented at Denver Area High School and how grade and content level professional learning teams discuss the obstacles to student achievement including relationships and restorative practices. Cavanagh, Vigil, and Garcia (2014) and Baker (1999) describe systems of deficit thinkin g a ssociated with urban minority majority schools and how these settings lead to underachievement and systems of failure that do not represent the abilities of minority students. Baker (1999) emphasizes that relationship quality and intentionality are ess ential to urban environments. DuFour and Marzano (2011) demand that schools need to focus the professional learning community process on developing the collective capacity of its educators to meet the challenges they face in urban educator. Research Ques tio n The following research question guides this case study. How does Professional Learning Team Leader Training (PLTLT) impact improvement in

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39 teacher and professional learning team practices as evidenced by changes in (a) referral rates, and (b) failure rates? 5. How does PLTLT impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evidenced by leader respons es on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTLT training sessions? 6. How does PLTLT impact the interactions of PLT leaders with Professional Learning Team meetings as evidenced by observation data from those meetings? 7. How do rates of student referrals change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels ? 8. How do rates of student failure change after the FA 2016 PLTLT sessions when compared to prior levels ? Description of Study Site Denver Area High School is a neighborhood school serving 2,154 stude nts according to 2016 enrollment data Most students are from the nearby area, though some are open enrolled students that primarily reside i n a nearby feeder pattern. Denver Area academically and socially prepared to successfully participate in our community and the ever changing world. According to rec ent demographic statistics, 29.7 percent of Denver Area students require E nglish Language support, with 64 .4 percent of The school serves language minority students from over fifty different countries, with Spanish speakers

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40 representing the majority of the fifty languages spoken at our school Denver Area is a 91.9 percent minori ty majority school with 69.9 percent Latino/ Hispanic, 14.4 percent African American, 3.3 percent Asian, 2. 9 percent two or more races, 8.1 perc ent White, and the remaining 1.5 percent are Native American and Hawaiian. The study high school has the highest f ree or reduced lunch rate of all comprehen sive h igh s chools in the c ity it resides at 76.1 percent although the school is most likely higher based on the representation of the middle school feeder system. As the principal of Denver Area Hig h School I have been working with staff, students, famil ies, and various researches to develop Denver Area High School into a large comprehensive urban perfo rmance school that achieves its mission by meeting all students at their personal level of academic knowledge and accelerating them toward grade level prof iciency and graduation. Over the last five years, the school has been transforming itself through the implementation of restorative justice, restorative practices, professional learning communities, and developing a Culture of Care within the school. Mos t of the strategies implemented throughout the entire school have focused on relationships and how these relationships are leveraged to produce equitable outcomes for all students. DuF our and Marzano (2011) write that high functioning professional learnin g communities and teams guide the learning Urban education has many complexities; howe ver, the formation of strong, binding

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41 relationships between students and teachers is essential to the success of urban schools and relationship impediments must be addressed as part of the professional learning process to maximize student achievement. Sup porting this rationale Muhammad and Hollie (2012) describe key characteristics of urban high performing schools: high academic expectations, relational based, leveraging relationships to achieve academic success, skilled classroom management, reflective pr ocess focused on effectiveness of strategies, and a core belief that all students will achieve. Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Culture of Care In 2008, a small group of teachers received permission to become trained in restorative justic e through a n existing program in Denver Public Schools. At the time, there were significant incidents of violence, gang activity, and classroom dysfunction that were pervasive at Denver Area High School In 2010, the Denver Foundation with the support of local Latino parents submitted for and obtained a grant for the study high school to develop a restorative justice program and the school began to work closely with Dr. Cavanagh from Colorado State University who had recently returned from New Zealand where he had conducted research on developing a Culture of Care with Mauri Native majo rity schools and their predominantly White teaching staffs. Cavanagh (2009) stresses Zero tolerance policies, rather than changing student behavior, create a rise in students dropping out and leaving school early, exclusions, and suspensions, ultimately

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42 schools were also affecting Denver Area High School Cavanagh (2009) also wrote, encou rage self advocacy, self c Denver Area High School trained a small group of teachers and began working with one of the freshman teams. After one semester, the rate s, suspensions, expulsions and improvements in teacher student relationships and grades led to an immediate school wide implementation of restorative justice. Unlike zero tolerance problems nonviolently by healing the harm of wrongdoing and conflict, rather than Dr. Cavanagh trained volunteer teachers to use and train ed others in the practices of restorative j ustice. These practices were implemented and during the first full year, the study high school experienced a 48 percent reduction in school discipline referrals and suspensions. Continuous declines in these areas led Denver Area High School in 2014, to b egin pu shing the practices out of the d a Culture of Care and a restorative school. The entire school staff was trained on the use of community circles, co creating classroom norms, restorative conferences, an d other collaborative tools to support teachers in this transformation. All teachers received the book Restorative Practices Handbook by Costello, Wachtel, and Wachtel (2009) and the school read the book together to create common

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43 understandings. Beginnin g in the 2015 20 16 school year, all newly hired staff were given the book to read before they began their first day of work at the study high school Although the school has experienced significant reductions in discipline inside and outside of the classr oom, there are still some teachers that struggle developing the strong relationships and authoritative classroom experiences needed for urban education. During the 2016 2017 school year, a bi monthly training for the entire staff on restorative practices was implemented to support staff and students to realize further implementation of the Culture of Care. Professional Learning Community Implementation In 2010, Denver Area Professional Learning Communities at Work by DuFour and Eaker (1998) to develop an understanding on how professional learning communities could benefit the study high school After reading the book, the instructional leadership team decided to begin transforming the school int o a professional learning community by developing a master schedule that provided time and opportunity for the staff to meet collaboratively. In addition, the school decided to make teaching assignments grade level and content level specific so that they could develop their expertise with a specific set of students and reduce teacher preparation creating a focus on achievement. As a result of this new collaborative environment, math achievement increased fr om a low of 7 percent to 21 percent proficient. The results were less dynamic in reading and writing because there was not the same level of enthusiasm

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44 and implementation obstacles to supporting significant numbers of English language learners. As described by DuFour and Marzano (2011), professional le arning teams began to align their curriculum, developed common assessments, and reviewed student outcomes. In 2014, the study high school ed the expectations for all professional learning teams and developed a protocol refining t he process to include a significant reflective process on the outcomes of students and a focus on re teaching and reassessing as needed. Many professional learning teams still struggle with the reflective process and we suspect that many teams are avoidin g and the ideals of a Culture of Care connect with the underachievement of their students. Case Study Method The case study m ethod selected for this research ( Kolb, 2012; M erriam, 2009; Shenton 2004) is appropriate for searching for the m eaning and understanding of the work being investigated and the impact of Professional Learning Team Leader Training (PLTLT) in Denver Metro Area High School. Case study methodology is con (Merriam, 2009, p. 40). Shenton (2004) and Kolb (2012) argue tha t qualitative case study methodology is substantive because it establishes credibility, dependability and confirmabil ity Kolb (2012) stresses that a constant comparative method comparing training, exit tickets, and observations on a continual basis throughout the case study

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45 will provide an optimal reinforcement of theoretical sampling for themes and analysis. The 16 core content professional learning team leaders, consisting of 1 per grade level for language arts, math, science, and social studies, along with the 5 elective professional learning team leaders (see Table 1) will be required to participate in six training sessions held on Thursdays between August 4 and October 26, 2016. Additionally, site administrators and instructional teachers on special assignment will success in high school improve graduation and dropout rates (Christle, Jolivette, & Nelson, 2007), this study will focus specifically on the outcomes of the grades 9 and 10 professional learning team leaders and leadership learning teams. As principal of Denver Area High School I have been participating in all previous training session, community circles, and have observed professional learning team meetings. In effect, in my role as principal, I am a participant observer professional l independently follow school policies and rules for disciplinary referrals and grades which will ultimately demonstrate (Spradley, 2016). While this study is not an ethnography, I will continue to participate in training, community circles, and observe PL T meetings as before, but all implementation of the training and ensure the credibility of information without any perceived coercion. As principal, I will continue to directly and indirectly participant in these activities, for the duration of this case study, as an observer participant outlined by

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46 Table 1 Analytic Framework for Case Study Design FA 2016 P LTL Training Consented Participants in Study Exit Tickets Observations of PLT Team Meetings Referral R a te Data Failure Rates D ata 6 t raining s essions b et ween 8 /4 and 10/28 2016 f o r 21 PLT L eaders (4 9 th 1 0 th 11 th 1 2 th Grade a n d 5 elective PL Ts ) P art of normal b usiness for PD training s essions Up to 21 exit tickets for each of 6 training sessions. There are 24 PL T m eetings bet w een 8/4 and 10/ 28 Pre and Post R eferral Rate d a ta following t h e FA 2016 PTL Training P re and Post F ailure Rate d a ta following t h e FA 2016 P L TL T r aining 9 th Grade P LTs Leaders Up to 4 9 th grade PLT L eaders Up to 8 9 th Gr a de Team Le a dership Te a m Meeting obs e rvations (Up to 4 par t icipants x 2 obs e rvations ) (First observation bet ween S EP 19 30 and the second between OCT 31 NOV 11) The first 2 q uarters of 2016 referral rates t o be c o llected and compared to the fi r st two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data The first 2 q uarters of 2016 failure rates t o be collected and compared to the fi r st two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data 10 th Grade PLTs Leaders Up to 4 P LT Leader Participants Up to 8 10 t h Grade observations (U p to 4 participants x 2 observations ) (First observation between S EP 19 30 and the sec ond between OC T 31 NOV 11) The first 2 quarters of 2016 referral rates t o be collected and compared to the fi r st two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data The first 2 quarters of 2016 failure rates t o be collect ed and compared to the fi r st two quarters of 2014 and 2015 data Data Source for Research Question Up to 8 participant PLT Leaders from 9 th and 10 th Grades RQ 1 Up to 168 Exit Ti ckets (normal business practices) RQ 2 Up to 16 Observations of 9 th and 10 th Grade PLT meetings RQ 3 Pre and Post Data for Referral Rates RQ 4 Pre and Post Data for Failure Rates

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47 Spradley (2016). In participant observation, the observer participates in the ongoing activities of training, community circles, and observations and becomes a part of the action or activity. These activities are within the scope of my normal job and would be cu stomary for me to participate or observe. I have been at Den ver Area High School for 8 years, four years as a n assistant principal, and four years as the principal. Although I may have positional authority, I have always voiced that this is a safe enviro nment, difficult work, and that we must work collaboratively to share the load. I believe that there are not any perfect people, including myself, and I work to create an environment that honors growth and struggle without an expectation of perfection. A dditionally, I will only allow professional learning team leaders who have been in the school long enough to have developed a relationship that provides a safe space for honest conversation during observations, community circles, and training. My goal is to develop solutions and the capacity of teacher leaders not to make participants feel inadequate or unworthy. Additionally, at the study high school instructional leaders and assistant principals normally participate in professiona l learning team meetings, conducting observations, and developing next steps. Thus all 21 professional learning teams will participate in the training, be observed in and outside of the case study as an ongoing school practice receive feedback, and develop next steps t o ensure that the school holistically moves tow ard comprehensive understanding and builds the capacity of all leaders

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48 Previously collected referral and failure rates (see Table 2 and Table 3) fro m the first two quarters of 2014 and 2015 are shown below a nd will be compared to referral and failure rates for the first two quarters of 2016. A comparison of these rates will be used evaluate previous year outcomes with current quarterly outcomes for confirmability of the case study research. The case study m ethodology will provide a powerful means of communicating the process; perceptions, results, and training that provide outsiders with a depth of understanding for transferability and dependability. Table 2 Discipline Referral Rates 2014 Quarter 1 Referral Rate 2015 Quarter 1 Referral Rate 2014 Quarter 2 Referral Rate 2015 Quarter 2 Referral Rate Grade 9 and 10 Combined 37 42 52 8 4 Table 3 Failure Rates 2014 Quarter 1 2015 Quarter 1 2 014 Quarter 2 2015 Quarter 2 Grade 9 and 10 Failure Rate Failure Rate Failure Rate Failure Rate Language Arts 12 % 6% 18 % 17 % Mathematics 12 % 10% 12 % 12 % Science 8 % 5% 11 % 13% Social Studies 12 % 13% 15 % 15 % Professional Learning Team Participants At the end of the academic school year (2015 2016), department chairs and liaison assistant principals, with teacher input, will assign teachers to their grade and content level teams for the next academic year (2016 2017). Before the end of the

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49 2015 2016 academic year, a ll professional learning teams at the study high school will select their professional learning team leaders and all 21 leaders will be expected to participate in 10 hours of training from August 4 to October 26, 2016 From the list of 21 professional learning team leaders, the eight (8) grade 9 and 10 core content PLT leaders will be approached by their administrative liaison for participation and inclusion of their observations in the case study. All 21 professional learning team leader s will receive a $250 stipend for their 10 hours of required training which is contractually required. s professional development fund and specifically allocated by the school for professional learning team leaders training. Training On August 4, 2016, every teacher at Denver Area High School will attend professional development on the professional learning team process, restorative practices, and student teacher relationships before the start of the academic year (2 016 2017). This school wide t raining session will reinforce common collaborative expectations outlined by Friend and Cook (2012) to develop parity, mutual goals, shared responsibility, shared accountability, shared resources, and develop the emergent skill of collaboration. Professional learning team leaders will also receive their first of six on e hour training session with 30 minute community circle on August 4, 2016 to help them understand their role and lead their professional learning teams. From August 17 until October 26, 2016, professional learning team leaders

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50 will participate in the rema ining 5 one hour leadership training sessions aligned with the professional learning team process, analysis of student data, restorative practices, and teacher student relationships and how they can support their teams to improve the educational outcome of all students on their learning team. After each training session, the participants will conduct a 30 minute community circle to share their current learning and implementation strategies After each training session, the participants will complete an exit ticket (see Appendix A) explaining their acquisition of knowledge and understanding. Professional learning team leaders will also be provided with the observation protocol (see Appendix B) so that they can work with their teams to implement the inten ded training and self evaluate their progress. The first day of school is on August 8, 2016 and professional learning teams are required to meet at least twice per week during their common planning period throughout the school year. The contract between t school district limits the school to 100 minutes of professional learning team meetings or the equivalent of two 50 minute meetings per week during their common planning period; however, professional learning teams and teachers may choose to meet more often and many do meet more frequently. Data Collection Effectiveness of the leader training and its impact on Denver Area High developing a compreh ensive model for school transformation. Throughout the case

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51 study, data will be collected from training sessions, observational data from each of the 8 potential professional learning teams, quarterly referral data, and quarterly failure rates. Training Exit Tickets All 21 professional learning team leaders at Denver Area High School will participat e in PLT leadership training. There will be six PLT leader training sessions conducted between August 4, 2016 and October 26, 2016. After each training sess ion all 21 PLT leaders will be asked to complete an exit ticket (see Appendix A) which provides feedback on learning from the training session ( leading their PLT, implementing restorative practices, and teacher student relationship development ). Over th e course of the training 1 26 exit tickets will be collected after the one hour training and 30 minute community circle Professional Learning Team Observations To assess the implementation of the training and observe changes in PLT practices, I will condu ct 2 observations of professional learning team meetings of up to 8 participating PLT leaders for a total of up to 16 observations. During each of the 50 minute observations, I will use an observation protocol (see Appendix B) designed to identify prior habits and the anticipated new habits associated with the training. As principal (participant observer) I will be collecting descriptive notes of observable behav iors and conversations that support the anticipated changes or support prior

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52 habits. Additionally, I will be coding the observation focusing on data, students, and culture. Disciplinary Referrals Disciplinary referrals are submitted and collected by the Area High School. After each incident, the event and action are input into the staff. These events responses and actions will be provided by th e school after each quarter and used for analysis. Failure Rates At the conclusion of each quarter, teachers finalize their grades and provide the schools record keeper with the final grade of each student. This information is generally finalized by the records keeper within 3 days of the end of the quarter, grades are posted to transcripts, and report cards sent home to parents. After grades have been posted to transcripts, a report indicating pass and failure rates will be ta base for analysis. Summary The exit ticket and observation ethnographic information will increase the validity of the case study as recommended by Shenton (2004) for triangulation of qualitative methods to ensure accurate interpretation and validate or refute the disciplinary referral and failure rate data collected prior to and at the conclusion of the case study. Additionally, Kolb (2012) recommends a continual analysis and interpretation of the

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53 materials for themes and validity which will be conduct ed by immediately coding exit tickets so that a substantive theory evolves. Data Analysis All qualitative information from training exit tickets and observations will be coded and analyzed for themes and qualitative analysis. The constant comparative me thod of qualitative data (Kolb, 2004) and the schools discipline referral and failure rate information will help tell a story depicting the full range and depth of information collected throughout the case study portraying a clear picture of urban student outcomes and the growth of professional learning team leaders to provide guidance in the professional learning team process, restorative practices, and student teacher relationships. Training Exit Tickets To determine the effectiveness of training sessio ns, it is critical to collect formative data in the form of exit tickets from each session with a focus on the leaders learning, PLT leadership practice, perceived improvements in student outcomes, restorative practices, and student teacher relationships. To analyze the exit tickets during the first cycle, I will code each of the 21 exit tickets from each of the six training sessions based on descriptive coding using the categories of restorative practices, professional learning teams, and relationships. Within each of the descriptive coding categories, I will begin to use pattern coding to look for specific patterns within each of the descriptive categories. In each of the initial categories, I

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54 am anticipating patterns will emerge and will remain open ot her unanticipated patterns within the descriptive codes. Restorative practices may include patterns about classroom norms, circles, conferencing, perceptions, behaviors. Professional learning team patterns may include assessments, data, instructional str ategies, re teaching, adult interactions, and resistance to change. Relationship patterns may include challenges, culture, intentionality, behaviors, race, and poverty. The codes and pattern analysis will be used to analyze PLT leader responses. The ana lysis of each training session will be conducted within days of each session to ensure that the intended training was learned and develop an action plan for the next training session. This analysis will also be used as a reflective tool to adjust, elimina te, or modify future similar PLT leader training. Professional Learning Team Observations The observation protocol (see Appendix B) outlines a variety of outmoded and anticipated habits as well as observational notes for observable behaviors that support the habit claims. As principal (partic ipant observer) I will be analyzing the observational data to determine if the training is having the anticipated effect on professional learning team meetings and leadership. The three descriptive themes I am antici pating to observe using the observation protocol are data, students, and culture of the team. The emphasis is on the changing the culture of the group and team leadership for change. The observational notes will be categorized and coded within the three descriptive codes and each descriptive category will re coded for

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55 pattern coding. I am anticipating coding patterns to emerge for data, students, and culture. Anticipated patterns for data include excuses, results, re teaching, strategies, learning, lesso ns. Anticipated patterns for students include deficits, assets, gaps, behaviors, success, and anticipate patterns for culture include preparation, collaboration, students, commitment, interdependence. The observation notes and coding will determine effec tiveness of the changes in PLT behaviors and will be used to adjust the final two training sessions, reflect on training needed in the future, and determine the effectiveness of training. Disciplinary Referrals At the end of each quarter, disciplinary ref errals be will collected and analyzed. The prior two years of data is already available so that future data can be collected and immediately analyzed for effectiveness. The disciplinary referrals are expected to improve based on the culture change antici pated within the professional learning teams. During the second quarter of each school year, there is an increase in teacher referrals for students and the greatest impact that the training should have is one the second quarter. Failure Rates At the end of each quarter, failure rate data will be available for analysis. We are expecting to find a significant reduction in the failure rates based on the training. observation s and implementation of PLT leadership training. During the analysis of

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56 the first quarter grades and observations, if there are incongruences with the observations and outcomes a deeper analysis of specifics variables will be conducted to support the fina l training session and observation. These findings and any adjustments will be documented and reflected for future changes in training. Summary Accurate analysis of the data collected from exit tickets and observations will determine the impact that the improvement of professional learning team practices have on failure rates and disciplinary referrals for the first two quarters of the school year. Reflection and adjustments to the training will be essential to developing an effective model for improving urban schools and implementing effective training to support the transformation through continuous analysis (Kolb, 2012). The descriptive coding and pattern coding of information will determine frequency patterns and support reflections and adjustments t o the process. Most importantly, the validity of the ethnographic information collected with exit tickets and observations and coded for descriptive and pattern analysis will be triangulated (Shenton, 2004) with the disciplinary referrals and failure rate data to accurately interpret the effectiveness of the training and cultural changes. Trustworthiness and Ethical Considerations Spradley (2016) acknowledges the validity of research conducted as a participant observer. In this case study, as the principal of the Denver Area High School, I will be a participant observer in the training and observations, yet the failure rate and

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57 disciplinary referral data will authenticate the credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability of the qualitative findings collected to solidify the trustworthiness and conclusions. Additionally, a s outlined by Shenton (2004) this qua litative case s tudy establish es credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability to establish trustworthiness and as outlined by Kolb (2012) through immediate transcription, descriptive coding, pattern coding, and analysis of exit tickets from training and observations for themes increasing the validity of the information collected over the case study. As the principal and participant observer, I have an established role in the school that is within the scope of the study and helps to validate the informati on through participation in activities and observations as well as my expertise in school turnaround, professional learning team development, and my documented successes in restorative practices in schools. Furthermore, school and district policies on gra ding and disciplinary referrals will still be enforced and will set a standard that validates or refutes the effectiveness of the training for confirmability of the case study. The case study methodology will provide a powerful means of communicating the process, perceptions, results, and training that provide outsiders with a depth of understanding for transferability and dependability. As the principal of Denver Area High School, it is essential to consider ethics and bias as part of the case study desi gn. A participatory qualitative research method that will be confirmed through failure rate and disciplinary referral rates supports the use of a participatory observation method outlined by Spradley (2016). Having served as

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58 an assistant principal and pr incipa l at the case study school for 8 years, it will be impossible to completely eliminate all biases and I am an ally of cultural and equality. In fact, my strong bias is that there is nothing more important than developing a true exemplar that can be va lidated. As outlined in the conceptual framework, urban education is moving toward a Culture of Care and in doing so quality training must be developed that builds the collective capacity of teacher leaders to reach the appropriate level of outcomes for s tudents. Without this genuine component, we will not be able to reach the potential of urban and school transformation. Furthermore, some subjectivity as a researcher and principal at the school will give greater insight into the study since I will not b e interpreting data from a lack of understanding about the school, its goals, processes, and internal dialog, which could taint the inquiry of a completely unfamiliar school researcher. Without a doubt, the methodology of participant observer places me in a role to facilitate, document, and analyze outcomes with a clear objective of ultimately developing a comprehensive exemplar for urban transformation. Success is not based on an individual case study, but on years of transformational work that still nee ds more research to develop all the needed components for urban transformation.

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59 CHAPTER IV FINDINGS The case s tudy was designed to investigate the impact of training of Professional Learning Team (PLT) Leaders in learning how to lead their teams toward success ful implementation of the professional learning team model overcome gaps in student achievement, extinguish deficit thinking, and implement a Culture of Care within the school. Therefore, the fo llowing research question guided this case study. H ow does Professional Learning Team Leader training (PLTL) impact improvement in teacher and professional learning team practices as evidenced by changes in (a) referral rates, and (b) failure rates? 1. How does PLTL training impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evidenced by leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTL training sessions? 2. How does PLTL training impact the interactions of PLT leaders with Professional Learning Team meetings as evidenced by observation data from those meetings? 3. How do r ates of student referrals change after the Fall 2016 PLTL training sessions when compared to prior levels? 4. How do rates of student failure change after the Fall 2016 PLTL training sessions when compared to prior levels? The Chapter is divided into sections outlining the findings of each of the research questions above: Impact of Professional Learning Team Leadership Training,

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60 Evidence from PLT Observations, Impact on Referral Rates, and Impact on Failure Rates. Impact of Professional Learning Team Leader Training All teachers arrived at the school on August 3, 2016 and began preparing for the new school year. During the first day, teachers heard from the principal about the successes of the previous year and plans for the upcoming year. Some of the foci for the upcoming year included professional learning team (PLT) training, PLT leadership training, a writing initiative continuation, restorative practices, and International Baccalaureate training. There is a positive anticipatory feeling amongst the staff as they begin to focus on the new school year. Many teachers expressed a positive feeling about the new year as they headed off to work in their classrooms and with their colleagues preparing for the upcoming year. On Day 2 of the new school year; August 4, 2016, teachers gathered in a common area for whole school PLT training, restorative practices training, writing initiative training, and PLT Leadership training. Each training session throughout the day was dev eloped with teacher processing time, discourse, and a narrow focus. Teachers received 30 minute breaks in between each of the three whole school sessions and each session was limited to 75 minutes of training. Teachers and facilitators worked together to make strong connections with the work of the upcoming year, school initiatives, and teacher evaluation rubrics. Although teacher discourse throughout the day was not always focused on the questions that the facilitators asked, I observed all

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61 teachers spe aking about how their learning would fit into their classroom environments and their collaborative teacher team efforts. Many of the off task conversations observed were between veteran and the new teachers who were trying to gain an understanding of the culture of the school and expectations. A key indication of the levels of engagement by the staff was evident in the exit tickets collected after each session throughout the day. Nearly the entire staff were engaged in actively writing and synthesizing t heir learning and the exit tickets demonstrated that the faculty was engaged and the facilitators had met their learning objectives. At the conclusion of the day, the PLT leaders all gathered in preparation for the beginning of the first of six training sessions. The initial feeling throughout the school was positive and the PLT Instructional Leadership Team was ready for their first training session with lesson plans and outcomes prepared and leading to the first research question, how does PLTL trainin g impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evident by the leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTL training sessions? Training Session #1 PLT Leadership training commenced at 3:00 PM in one of the science labs. The science lab was an inside clas sroom without any windows and elevated tables and chairs along the outside of the classroom perimeter with all the leaders facing toward the center. There were also two sets of desks in the center of the classroom with chairs all the way around the middle tables. The configuration of the classroom

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62 provided easy access to every learner by the facilitator. The temperature of the room was a comfortable 68 degrees and the door to the hallway was closed during the training session. All but two of the teacher s had arrived at 3:05 PM and received their training binder before the facilitator began the session. Some of the teachers expressed their appreciation for the training, some were a little concerned about the level of expectations as a teacher leader, and some just wanted to learn more. Most importantly, there was a universal sense that they were going to learn what they needed to move their PLT forward with some mild reservations (see Appendix C) The facilitator began the training by reviewing the schoo statement, the training statement of inquiry, and expected outcomes for the session. matrix was for the leaders to develop their capacity by understanding the va rious personalities that may exist on their team and the goal of moving them into a restorative mindset and to accomplish their goals with their colleagues and students d eveloped fictitious names to represent people in each quadrant of the matrix. The facilitator pulled the group together, and the teacher leaders came up with funny names to represent teachers in each quadrant. The group decided on Punishing Pam for an au thoritarian, Neglectful Nellie for a neglectful teacher, Sympathetic Sally for a permissive teacher, and Hinkley Henry for a restorative teacher. The was real joy and laughter in the group as they developed the names so that they would not need to

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63 use rea l teacher names to represent each group. The mood of the group shifted when the facilitator asked the teacher leaders to take out the blank matrix and gave them the quadra nts and place it in the envelopes and seal them. The facilitator stated that the leaders job is to move the entire team to Restorative. the matrix. Some teachers place th eir learning material binders around their paper for confidentiality and it appeared that all were taking the task seriously by writing names on their papers, folding them up, and placing them in the envelopes. The teacher leaders kept the envelopes so th ey could open them at the end of the year. The facilitator brought the group back together and led a group conversation about is very concerned about her responsibility The group conversation went on for a few minutes and then the facilitator brought the group together stating, we need to use the PLT process. When we placed our colleagues in the quadrants, we did this to help us lead our teams You have to address the violation of trust in the team when others are not acknowledged for their abilities.

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64 You must have well established norms that, as a leader, get the team to adhere to their norms collectively. Teachers throughout the room als o offered suggestions about allowing experimentation with strategies while establishing common expected outcomes is helpful with these teachers. Another suggests staying focused on the results. During the discussion, ten teachers were fully engaged in the conversation, 5 others occasionally offered their thoughts, and all were attentively listening and taking notes. I observed high levels of cog nitive and affective engagement th roughout the entire lesson segment. The facilitator handed out information on creating group norms and their importance. Some teachers expressed that because they were friends with their colleagues that it was absolutely imperative to establish norms and expectations. The facilitator went through a meeting protocol, some non negotiables, and leadership expectations. The teachers were collectively in agreement about the need for norms and expectations. Because of timing, there was not much time to dive d eeply into this section, although, the point and need was acknowledged by all involved. At 4:15 PM the teachers all got into a circle and the facilitator posed three questions that were displayed on her power point. She gave the teachers a few minutes to choose the question for response, their answer, and reasoning for choosing the question. The facilitator used a talking stick and started the stick counter clockwise from her location. As the talking stick went around the room, all but two teachers provi ded ways that they could become responsible and lead their team to

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65 success. The two other teachers wanted to look to their administrator to be responsible because they had trepidations about holding their colleagues or possibly themselves responsible. Th e circle was very positive and people felt collectively supported. After sharing their thoughts, they returned to their seats, completed an exit ticket, and left. Two departments stayed and talked after the meeting about how they could support each other After reviewing and codi ng the exit tickets (see Table 4) from the August 4, 2016 PLT training all but two PLT leaders had an understanding of their roles and expectations and t here was clear evidence that the learni ng objectives were met and participan ts wrote about developing their team and their personal leadership. They achieved the learning target by identifying the needs of their groups and the importance of establishing norms and protocols to the success of their team, leadership, and students. There was a strong level of understanding that establishing norms and protocols for their teams could be the difference in success or failure of the team and they achieved the intended outcome of connecting their leadership with the was not a strong indication from the evidence in the comments of the learning on how teachers would extend their learning of restorative practices demonstrated during the training or how the leaders would implement them in their classroom with their studen ts and their teams. When r eviewing the exit tickets the facilitator concluded that she needed to be more explicit about these connections in

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66 Table 4 Session 1 Exit Tickets Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training Q1. Explain your learning training. Team (14) strengths, personalities capacity, restorative Developing a Team Identify who is in your PLT Leadership (4), leadership (3), protocols (2), norms (4) supportive (2) roles, inclusion Leading the PLT Meeting Protocols accountability, improve student learning, improve teacher learning, reflective, results, expectations, goals, learning Outcome Critical Questions of a PLT Q2. How will you learning to your PLT Leadership? n orms (9) facilitation, communications Norms Creating Norms Protocols (3) planning, reflection, assessment, collaboration (3) learning (2) sharing, p rogress, Establishing Expectations Planning Calendar Team (2), support, strengths, capacity (2) Outcomes of Leadership PLT Matrix, Protocols, Planning Calendar administrative support (2) Need Support No Connection Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student teacher relationships? norms, support, strategies, voice to all members, team (3) trus t, roles, guiding, influencing, change process, inclusion, m odeling, best practices Teacher to Teacher PLT Leader Ma trix, Norms, Protocols norms with students, focus on students, academic circles, questioning, student strengths, varied approaches, relationships (3) student success, student growth Teacher to Student Synthesizing Learning and Extending to the Classroom

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67 her next training session. The exit tickets demonstrated that the learning objectives had been met, teacher leaders understood their roles, they had the information they needed to start leading their PLT, and there was a sense of confidence that they could complete the task with the exception of two teacher leaders who w ant administrative support. Training Session #2 On Wednesday, August 17, 2016, all professional learning team leaders arrived at the designated science room by 3:35 PM at the end of the school day. Wednesday has a unique schedule at the school and each of the leaders started their day with restorative practices training, taught 5 classes that ended at 3:21 PM, and are now joined together to collaborate on leadership training. You can feel that each of the leaders has worked a full day, yet there is a po sitive anticipatory sense that the training will help them develop as leaders, support their students, and support the school mission. The facilitator begins the session by refocusing the participants on the exit ticket summary from the previous training and reviewing the prior outcomes (see Appendix D) The facilitator then begins the days training by reviewing the statement of inquiry, c an you better explain your statement of inqu is modeled after the International Baccalaureate requirements for the Middle Years Programme and that the school is providing training on this process on Wednesday,

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68 August 24. The facilitator then goes ba ck to explain the learning objective and success criteria for the day. All the leaders are cognitively engaged which is evident by their physical actions, not e taking, and verbal responses. The facilitator instructs the group to take out their training b inders and pull out the and there is a brief acknowledgement that the team is headed in the corr ect direction. The facilitator emphasizes the need for planning and its importance to the success of the team and has the leaders pair calendar person and my team is very organized and planned. We want th is level of ng the exit tickets (See Table 5 ), only two people mentioned the calendar. I believe this happened because every person had acknowledged their commitment to the calendar and it was more of a review from the previous training sessions. All leaders appeared to have already recognized the value of the PLT calendar. To begin the data analysis segment of the training, the facilitator begins with a video clip and all but one of the leaders are engaged in watching the video clip. The facilitator asks the leaders to look at these two provided questions, what are the key to know what to work on. He made her own her results. They have t rust. He was

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69 Table 5 Session 2 Exit Tickets Exit Question Pr imary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training Q1. Explain your learning training. data analysis (19) student learning, standards, standards, skill s, problem solving, strategies, assessment Data Analysis Data Analysis: Setting the Sta ge, Data Analysis Level 1 and 2 attitudes, personal ities, relationships, vulnerable, personal growth, communications Group Attributes Teacher Role Play 1 and 2 calendar, planning time PLT Structures PLT Planning Calendar struggling with my role Leadership Concern Not Connected Q2. How will you apply s learning to your PLT Leadershi p? data cycl e (5), evidence, findings, data questioning (4), needs of students, specifics Data Cycle and Analysis Data Analysis: Setting the S tage, Data Analysis Level 1 and 2 standa rds (8), skills (4), alignment, assessments Standards Data Analysis Level 1 and 2 relationship, communications (2) transparent, reframe attitudes, vuln erable, strategies, consensus Team Dynamics Critical Pedagogies, Teacher Role Play 1 and 2 Not sure yet Leadership Concern Not Connected Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student teacher relationships? student ne eds, restorative conversations, in tentional, data ownership, team ownership, belief, equity Teacher to Teacher Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Teacher Role Play 1 and 2 support and expec tations (3), connect to student goals, share with students (2 ), goal settings, develop self concept, confidence, empower ment ownership, lead students, support, growth (2), understand weakness, academic circles Teacher to Student Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Video Man on Fire, Critical Pedagogies affective statements, students feel success, rapport, trust (2), empathy (2), effort, feedback (3), communicate with students (2), confidence, relat ionships (4), approach in a cooperative manner Teacher to Student Data Analysis: Setting the Stage, Video Man on Fir e, Critical Pedagogies wait and see Teacher to Student Not Connected

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70 choosing not to battle her self right. clip and it was evident in their conversations and engagement. Additionally, the exit tick ets showed a strong relationship to restorative practices and supporting their teams and students. Under the exit ticket question about restorative practices and relationships; teachers made strong connections about trust, feedback, relationships, and gro wth. The facilitator handed out math assessment data to analyze and began by modeling. The facilitator stated that leaders should think about the previous discussion, review the data looking for student strengths and weaknesses. During the modeling, she points out a single concept where there is evidence that a student understood the standard but missed some of the questions. Was it the standard or something else that effects the standard? It becomes clear through the analysis that the st udent understands the standard taught, yet because the student has a problem with fractions, he is missing questions that contain fractions which is a separate standard. Easily, without diving deeply into the questions and student responses, we could have misdiagnosed the students learning opportunity. She then has the leaders work in pairs or triads to review more data. All groups are affectively

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71 engaged and it is evident that groups are working collaboratively to understand and analyze the data. The l eaders are working toward common understanding and the exit tickets represented a strong connection by the number of times leaders wrote about data analysis, usage, questioning, and standards. The facilitator pulls the leaders together and elicits volunte ers for two role playing exercises. In each role play, the professional learning team is analyzing data and she refers to the characters they created the previous week. After the first role play one of the scenario, the fictitious leader kept coming back to the analysis questions which helped keep the blaming to a minimum and kept the conversation moving forward. The second role play utilized another character and aga in the group leader remained of their responses were that the professional learning tea m needs to remain grounded in student learning and standards. The leaders need to help and support their colleagues make these connections. Again, the leaders exit ticket comments demonstrated a solid response to the intended learnin g. The facilitator then placed three questions on the board to prepare for the Academic Circle. She has the teachers write their response to one of the three questions and all teachers are cognitively engaged, writing their response to one of the questions. The teachers th en get into their circle and they each share their

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72 response with the group. It is a very powerful circle that demonstrates the groups commitment to their leadership and PLT success. It is also clear from their responses that there is a misconception betw een teaching to the standards and assessing what is taught. All the leaders are thoughtful and the facilitator points out how helpful this process could be for their students. They agree and the facilitator has them return to their chairs and complete th eir exit tickets. When I reviewed the exit tickets with her, the facilitator was very encouraged by the adjustments she had made in her training and the results that were evident in the responses of teachers. She felt successful. We also discussed the n eed to teaching leaders how to develop assessments that are aligned to standards and not a curriculum. Training Session #3 The professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science room, as before, at the conclusion of their instructional day. Additionally, the whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings was on restorative practices and many of the professional learning team leaders are beginning to make connections between the restorative practices sessions with the entire staff and the PLT leadership training sessions. The facilitator has an illness and originally wanted to change the training da te, but was unable to change the date and provided the professional development as scheduled. The facilitator begins by informing the leaders of her illness and that she was not at 100 percent capacity. She does a good job adapting to the illness and pre ssing through, but throughout the session, the facilitator is clearly

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73 pushing to complete the training and ultimately concludes the session early (see Appendix E) The facilitator started the t raining at 3:32 PM when most of the leaders had arrived. All l eaders arrived by 3:35 PM. The facilitator begins by reviewing the statement of inquiry, learning objective, and success criteria with the leaders; however, the facilitator does not review the previous learning session outcomes or exit tickets. We discus sed the missing elements during the debrief because the review was part of the lesson plan and the facilitator indicated that because of the illness, the facilitator was pressing to complete the training and even though the lesson plan was in the facilitat the leaders had arrived, the facilitator jumped into the first video about 10 minutes ahead of the lesson plan format. The leaders watch the video clip from and the fac ilitator asks the leaders to turn to a neighbor and discuss what made the analysis effective and room and listening to conversations, the leaders are cognitively and affec tively engaged in their conversation answering the two questions. Many conversations are making connections between classroom instruction and the video. The facilitator pulls the leaders together and asks them to share their conversations. The leaders s ay,

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74 the leaders that we cannot just admire the data, we need concrete actions so that our students can meet our expectations. The facilitator transitions to the next video segment from During this video segment, two teachers in the movie a re speaking about a student and the one teacher wants to give up on teaching the student because he does not possess the skills needed to perform. The other teacher confronts the belief system of the first teacher and emphasizes that if the teacher cannot take a student who wants to learn and teach them, then they are not a good teacher. The pause after the statement is very powerful in the movie and to the class. You can see many of the leaders are impacted by this statement and pause in the movie clip. The video clip then goes on to show how Mr. Holland finally teaches his student to play. The facilitator turns to the leaders and asks them to turn to their neighbor again and discuss; what made the difference, how did the student finally learn to play, attitude and action? During the conversations, the leaders were cognitively engaged and at the conclusion of their discussion the facilitator asked for responses. Teachers was with him, beside him, and t the most important feedback comes from trusted colleagues.

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75 The facilitator asked the leaders t o t hink about why they initially got into the field of education? The facilitator becomes emotional about this subject as she pulls the leaders back togethe r. She asks, what are your thoughts? Many leaders give examples of the importance of confronting similar issues for the students. Other teachers remind the leaders that we all have a stake in every child and one stated, I signed up to be in this school because of the challenge. Connecting back to Mr. the facilitator reminds the leaders that silence and being uncomfortable can be a place where we grow. At 4:10 PM, the facilitator transition ed to action plans and planning. All the leaders are intently listening and engaged. The facilitator asks for private reasoning time for all the leaders to contemplate assessing our audiences. Are students facilitator pulls the group together and reviews support your colleagues went on for a few minutes in what seemed like scoldi ng, but the group remained engaged and contemplative. The facilitator then had the group watch the final scene and the conclusion of their efforts in The facilitator pulls the leaders together and asks them to consider three questions, choose one, and prepare for our academic circle. She gives them 5 minutes and then has all the leaders get into the academic circle and begins to pass the talking stick around the group. The language of the leaders is beginning to shift and they are usin g

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76 many more positive word choices about their roles. Teacher leaders reflect and share about how they are encouraged, anchoring their conversations, preparing common assessments prior to instruction, learning about themselves, and how they are learning so much about themselves as well as leadership. The facilitator summarizes what was said and speaks briefly about the value of building relationships with their colleagues and students. She has the teacher leaders conclude by completing their exit tickets. Even though the facilitator was ill and rushed, the exit tickets still revealed a strong connection to the intended learning targ ets (See Table 6 ). The quantity of writing was less than in the previous two sessions, but the connections to the lesson plan were evident. The segment on was very impactful to the leaders and demonstrated the importance of leveraging relationships to support difficult conversations. Ultimately, the session concluded 15 minutes early and the intended learnin g target was achieved. During the debrief, we discussed some of the ways that the lesson and the facilitators teaching style were different as a result of the illness. We agreed on a couple of the missed pieces from the lesson plan, and we concluded that the learning met the intended targets. Training Session #4 The professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science room at the conclusion of their instructional day (see Appendix F) Additionally, the whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings continued on restorative practices and the professional learning team leaders are continuing to make stronger

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77 Table 6 Session 3 Exit Tickets Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training Q1. Explain your learning training. s upport (3) relationships (3) encourage, vulnerable, trust, openness, growth mindset Group Attributes Video Clip: Mr. Opus p lanning (5) connection, focus, leadership, TL cycle, consistency, a ssessment, mastery, focus, targets, skills (2) chunk p roblems, all students (2) PLT Outcomes Planning, Action Steps Q 2. How will you apply learning to your PLT Leadershi p? focus (3), skills (2), reteach (2), reflec tion, all students, meaningful, analysis, agendas, s haring, strength based, openness, pacing, rigor, strategies (2), targeted PLT Data Cycle Planning, Action Steps, Video Clip: Opus encourage, listen, relationships, team, empathy, ownership, togetherness Team Dynamics Video Clip: Mr. Opus Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student teacher relationships? Relationships (3), trust (2), respect, openness (2), communication, depend on each other Teac her to Teacher: Relationships Video Clip: Mr. Opus targe ted instruction for success, RJ designed conversations, RP to lead students, focused Teacher to Teacher: Strategies Video Clip: Mr. Opus relation ships (5), trust (3), care (2), feelings of success lead to relationships Teacher to Student: Relationships Video Clips: M an on Fire, Mr. Planning, Action Steps student cen tered, re teaching, reassessing, active listening, Restorative Practices, c ircles, goals, interventions, affective questioning, improving r elationship with student Teacher to Student: Strategies Video Clips: M an on Fire, Mr. Planning, Action Steps connections between the restorative practices sessions for the entire staff and the PLT leadership training sessions. At 3:32 PM, the majority of the PLT leaders have arrived and the facilitator begins. I texted a few of the leaders about their whereabou ts and all but 4 have arrived and are seated by 3:35 PM. Two teacher

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78 leaders, 1 for senior level math and 1 for Spanish, were out sick for the day; and two teacher leaders, 1 for senior level social studies and 1 for art, did not attend for personal reaso ns. None of the teacher leaders absent are in grades 9 and 10 or part of the case study observations. Additionally, many of the leaders will have attended after school meetings every night this week with a department chair meeting on Monday, a 2 hour who le school interim assessment data meeting on Tuesday, PLTL training on Wednesday, and parent teacher conferences on Thursday. There is a feeling that many leaders feel taxed at the beginning of the session, but as the session continues the engagement leve l increases and the session ends with the most powerful academic circle since the training began. The facilitator begins the session by reviewing the learning outcomes from the previous sessions. Because some leaders are arriving late, there is some commo tion as she is reviewing the previous learning. By the time the facilitator ends the review, all the leaders have arrived and are seated. PLT observations will begin September 19, and the facilitator reviews the observation protocol with the group. Ther e are a few questions from the group about defining some of the anticipated habits versus the outmoded habits. The facilitator answers the questions emphasizing that the ideal PLT would primarily operate in the anticipated habits. She emphasizes that thi s type of cultural shift requires the support of your colleagues and commitment from yourself. She then reviews the statement of inquiry and learning objective for the day.

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79 Supporting the professional learning team process, leaders must be able to move th eir teams forward without all members agreeing on an outcome. The facilitator begins by defining the difference between consensus and unanimity. One litator explains how to move the team forward and explains that the dissenter cannot undermine or holdback the majority of the group, but has the groups, one for a cell phone policy and one against. Each team assigns a note taker and they must develop 3 key points to their position. Each team is behaviorally engaged in the process with a few cognitively engaged which is evident by the quantity of leaders engaged in deve loping the list. The note takers are assigned to come to the board and write their key points. Each team is then assigned the task of adding a key point to the opposing sides list. The facilitator then pulls the groups together, reviews the team positio ns and explains a fist to five protocol. Using the consensus protocol, she polls the group and explains that all members have had a voice and the strength of their position was polled. The facilitator emphasizes that at this point, the leader must move t he group forward in a direction with consensus not unanimity. She emphasizes that disagreeing can be difficult, but the leader must create consensus and keep the team moving forward in a professional manner. The facilitator moves on to the next section o f her lesson, results meeting protocol. At this point in the lesson, the engagement level of the group is beginning

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80 to pick up and there is a shift in the atmosphere. She explains the protocol and assigns members to role play a data meeting example she c reated. The role play is very authentic and well scripted, pulling the entire leadership team attention into the lesson segment. The teachers who volunteered for assigned roles do an exceptional job and there is laughter in the room when one leader make s a mistake in his lines and adlibs. At this point, each of the teachers assigned roles lighten up and they project positive feelings. The actors, leaders, make the role play very engaging and elevate the positive feelings in the room. This emotional sh ift heightened the learning experience of the leaders. The facilitator pulls out the 4 PLT characters that the team developed in the first leadership training session. The group talks about and makes connections with the role play and the characters. Th e facilitator emphasizes that none of our teaching staff wants to fail but some are doing poorly. We need to recognize the support our colleagues need so that they can overcome their protective mechanisms associated with their performance and the team can help all students and teachers be s uccessful. The facilitator asked all leaders to write a reflection and the engagement level is at a cognitive to affective level as all leaders are vigorously writing reflections and speaking to their colleagues specifi cally about the experience. She pulled the leaders together with 3 sentence stems for the closing academic circle. She gives everyone a couple of minutes to complete their sentence stem for the circle and begins counter clockwise, different that any session before. It is a very supportive environment as leaders take turns emphasizing positive words like trust,

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81 know if it works unless I try, reactive nature is unproductive, presume positive intent, we are unique, empathy, courage, commitment, and willingness. The session ends on a very positive note and the strength of the connections was evident in the exit tickets (See Table 7 ) as well as a sense of positive intensity as the leaders completed their exit tickets. The fa cilitator was so excited about the lesson plan and the way it ended, Table 7 Session 4 Exit Tickets Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training Q1. Explain your learning training. p rotocol (16) consensus, redirection, visualize, purpose (3), reflection, focus (2) PLT Structures Consensus, Results Meeting Protocol, Role Play Q2. How will you apply to your PLT Leadership? protocol (10), agend a, reflection, guided questions (3), focus (2), reteach (2), s trategies (2), voice, consensus, anticipated habits PLT Structures Consensus, Results Meeting Protocol, Role Play positive intentions, willingness, intentions PLT Members Role Play, Circle Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student teacher relationships? protocol (3), no de ficitizing, questioning, unity, focus (3), professional relationship, redirection, communications, best practices, honor students, voice, never give up, restorative Teacher to Te acher: Structural Consensus, Results Meeting Protocol, Role Play, Circle empathy (3 ), growth mindset, transparent, affirmation Teacher to Teacher: Emotional Role Play, Circle questioning, protoco l, reteach, reteach, listening, focus Teacher to Student: Structural Synthesize relationship, trust (2), love, respect, caring, supportive Teacher to Student: Emotional Synthesize

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82 she emailed me that evening to explain her delight and observations. Furthermore, the language used by the leaders demonstrates their level of commitment and growth to changing the culture to support student learning. Training Session #5 For the fifth training session and last before the end of the first quarter of school, the professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science room at the conclusion of their instructional day. The whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings continued on restorative practices. Additionally, it is homecoming week for the school and many of the PLT leaders are dressed in the homecoming theme of the day. At 3:32 PM, all but two of the PLT leaders have arrived and the facilitator begins (see Appendix G) The two teachers, one sophomore level science teacher and one junior level math teacher, were both out sick. After a brief housekeeping activity for timecards, the facilitator begins by challenging the group and stating that she was going to make people feel uncomfortable today and reminds the leaders that change can bring on strong re only as good as the teacher who needs the criteria. The facilitator emphasizes that in developing a Culture of Care for our staff and students, we must be able to hav e difficult data conversations that support one another and advance ownership of all students by every professional learning team.

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83 The facilitator reviews the first 4 sessions and then has everyone find a partner that the leaders can be completely honest w ith and watch another clip of Man on Fire. their answers honestly with their partners. There is cognitive engagement throughout the room as teachers are sharin g ideas and answering the questions to each other. It appears that all pairs of teacher leaders are being honest and sharing their challenges with their trusted colleague. spo ke about reviewing the data, but the real world application was never taught. She reads a section about effective schools by Odden and Archibald (2009) and asks the group to turn to their partner and discuss why they are or are not free to analyze and dis cuss data openly. Teacher leaders are cognitively engaged in their discussions. lear room.

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84 The facilitator stresses that the old system of teacher evaluation was only 20 percent effective in improving student outcomes. The focus was on the dynamics of a lesson, classroom management, and a focus on teaching, not learning. She has the leaders read a quote by Chenoweth (2009) about the effectiveness of using data and sharing effective practices to improve high poverty schools like the Denver Metro Area High School. She puts up a slide emphasizing 80% effectiveness of data driven cultures. The teach er leaders are behaviorally engaged and looking at the board, reading the words, or reading from their handouts. The slide and words of the facilitator express a need for active leadership, introductory professional development on common assessments and d ata analysis and action plans, calendar alignment, ongoing professional development to adapt to student needs, and build by borrowing best practices from high achieving teachers and schools. She then moves immediately into her BAM! slide. The facilitator emphatically examines a higher purpose for the work. As leaders, you need teams that have a growth mindset, kids roup to make sure that the learning objective was obtained before the academic circle (See Table 8). The facilitator provides three sentence frames and a few minutes for the teacher leaders to complete one of the sentence frames about their leadership mov ing forward and get into the academic circle to share with their fellow leaders. As the talking stick goes around the circle, leaders share their ability to collect data with their

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85 Table 8 Session 5 Exit Tickets Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in Responses Pattern Connection to Training Q1. Explain your learning from analyze data (6) discuss data, data (9) reflect, purpose of data, planning (2) strategies, effectiven ess (2) improve strategies, reflect PLT Data Cycle Ana lyzing Data Being Free to Analyze the Data, Tea cher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction v ulnerability (4) sup port teachers, open (3), collaborative (2) safe, sharing, supportive, mindset PLT Team Attributes Bei ng Free to Analyze Data, How to Evaluate Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction Q2. How will you apply learning to your PLT Leadershi p? analyze data (7), true data talks, discuss (1), data reflection (3), reflective (2), data reliability (2), strategies (3), sharing, build capacity, effectiveness, reteach (2) Data Analysis and Strategies Being Fr ee to Analyze the Data, Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction vulnerable, consensus, convince team, open, open, honest, sharing, safe, success, progress, focus, circle PLT Team Cha racteristics Bei ng Free to Analyze Data, How to Evaluate Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction, Bam! Slide Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student teacher relationships? vulnerable, open discussio n, stronger relations hips (2), listen, open Teacher to Teacher: Rela tionships Sum marizing the Learning, Academic Circle use data, discuss d ata (2), look at data, solution based, reteach (5), engaging students, student needs, cir cle talks, consensus, improve student instr uctio n, reflection, strategies Teacher to Tea cher: Strategies Being Free to Analyze t he Data, Teacher Effectiveness, Data Driven Instruction confidence, trust (5), relationships (3), care, support, empathy, open Teacher to Stud ent: Rela t ionships Video Clip Man on Fire, Summary of Learning, Academic ircle colleagues, but most feel untrained in analyzing the data and developing a common action plan with their colleagues. The leaders emphasize that they need to take time with their colleagues to talk about the data and decide what the data is telling them

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86 about student learning. One teacher blam es students for group failures and most of the leaders look surprised at his words. All the other leaders emphasize that this will be a difficult change for their team and many publicly commit to the uncomfortableness of the task. One teacher emphasized did not know how to lead my group and this training has been one of the most effective professional development I have received in 20 years. We need to have a Training Session #6 For the last training session, the professional learning team leaders all congregated in the science after their instructional day. All the leaders were on time and present at the final training and there was a positive feeling expressed by all in attenda nce. Many leaders expressed their gratitude about the needed leadership skills, yet; they express the need for more. The whole school professional development on Wednesday mornings continued on restorative practice circles and the professional learning t eam leaders were developing their restorative capacity in their PLT as well as their classrooms. Even before the meeting begins, many are wondering how they will continue to develop their leadership skills without the support of their PLTL colleagues and a structured time and date for future meetings. The facilitator begins the training with a question to the whole group (see Appendix H) the leaders as they express their

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87 gratitude to the facilitator for providing many needed skills. The group also recognizes that the skills they possess are fragile and that there is a need for further support. There is great engagement from the very beg inning of the training as evident by all the leaders actively talking about their ideas, feelings, active listening, and writing expressly about the ideas discussed. After the completion of the activation exercise, the facilitator reviews the statement of inquiry, learning objective, and success criteria for the day. practicing the right things. Changing the way your teams review data can become very personal. Change is hard fo r most people, including leaders. There is evidence that all PLT leaders are cognitively engaged as they actively acknowledge the difficulty they and their teams have with change. The facilitator extends the idea of uires us to extend ourselves for students. We cannot continue the old philosophy of working independently and we must work interdependently to meet the needs of the culturally diverse environment of their school. The facilitator reminds the leaders of the many clips from that on the swimming platform in shock every time data beco mes available. We need to practice jumping in immediately and analyzing the data without hesitation. This will

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88 take practice and commitment. She asks all the leaders to take a couple of minutes of private reasoning time to reflect on effective practices Across the room, leaders are writing items on paper and cognitively engaged in the process. The facilitator asks for a couple of volunteers to come up to the front and role play for the group. A couple of leaders immediately volunteer and the group is laughing as the two volunteers come to the front. The facilitator provides a scenario and asks the role playing leader to ask yes and no questions about the data scenario. The questions become personal as the leaders asks the role playing team member que stions. The team member naturally becomes defense as the leader asks questions doing the same thing, the facilitator then asks the leaders to ask questions about the data instead of the person. You can hear recognition from the entire leadership group as they realize the importance of asking the right questions and how it changes the personalization of the material by asking questions about what the individual did or did n ot do as opposed to asking questions about the data itself. The facilitator stresses that the leaders must have and collect the data in advance of their PLT meetings so they can develop guided questions about the data and depersonalize the process. Some leaders express some concern that they will need to prepare for the meetings in advance and collect data from their colleagues before the meetings. All leaders understand the importance of the task, but there was some reluctance.

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89 The facilitator breaks th The facilitator will give a phrase for the teacher and the leader will redirect the conversation to the dat a. The first phrase for the role group goes back and forth a few rounds and then the observer provides feedback to their group. Each group switches roles and the rson gets a chance to play each role twice for a total of 6 role playing scenarios. The entire group is affecti vely engaged as teacher provide feedback to each other and they each try to get better and give each other support and effective feedback. The training was focused on empowering the leaders, developing their skills to redirect, and developing their confidence. The facilitator wanted the leaders to have some real experience and practice overcoming the traps of personalizing the data and empower t hem to depersonalize the material by The facilitator has the leaders return to their tables and asks them to answer 4 reflective questions independently. All teachers are cognitively engaged as they write information in their notebooks and reflect. The facilitator asks the leaders to share

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90 itate a collaborative conversation for your leaders are intently listening to each other and you can see that they are struggling with the reality of their task. One states, The facilitator pulls the group together for the final academic circle and places three sentence stems on the board. The group gets into a circle and they begin sharing. At the end of the circle, the facili tator summarizes the voices of the leaders. She reflects on the caring she heard from each of the leaders about the PLT members needed changes. You should applaud congratulates them and concludes the meeting. Most the leaders linger and talk with each other as they finalize their last training. Many are talking about developing supports for themselves and their growing leadership role in the school. Again, the learning targets were met (see Table 9). There are strong responses by the leaders about their learning to redirect conversations and depersonalizing the materials. Additionally, there was a strong commitment to working collectively with theit colleagues to develop quality relationships between teachers to address difficult conversations about data and not the person. Leaders want to lead their groups to address the needs of students through strategic conversa tions with their colleagues. Maintaining a positive relationship with the adults who support the PLT and students.

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91 Table 9 Session 6 Exit Tickets Exit Question Primary Coding Results Evident in R esponses Pattern Connection to Training Q1. Explain your learning training. r edirect (9) data (2) reflection, essentials, co llaboration guided questions (3) productive conversatio ns (3) professionalism, effective leadership, compromise, peer observation s, reflections, focus, culture PLT Leadership prepara tion, redirecting, guided questioning Effective Data Analysis, Ineffective Responses, Effective Leadershi p Responses, Effective Analysis Meetings relati onship, positivity, vulnerability, defuse, deescalate, needs PLT Relational Attributes Effective Data Analysis, Ineffective Responses, Effective Leadershi p Responses, Effective Analysis Meetings Q2. How will you apply to your PLT Leadership? data p reparation (4), data usage (4), data driven, reflectio n (5), guided questions (2), strategi c talk, redirect, facilitation, collaboration (2) PLT Pre Meeting Preparation Effective Data Analysis, Ineffective Responses, Effective Leadershi p Responses, Effective Analysis Meetings depersonaliz e (2), positivity (2), empathy, listening, calm, growth mindset, collectivity PLT Characteristics Effec tive Data Analysis, Ineffective Responses, Effective Leadership Responses, Effective Analysis Meetings Q3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student teacher relationships? depersonalize (4), purposeful conversations, affective statements, redirect, guided questions (3), student focus (2), producti vity, collective capacity, data focus, reteach Teacher to Teacher: Strategies Effec tiv e Data Analysis, Ineffective Responses, Effective Leadership Responses, Effective Analysis Meetings, Academic Circle trust, blameless, support (2) relationships (3), nonthreaten ing, empowered valued, circles, growth mindset, restorative culture Teacher to Teacher: Relationship s Effective Data Analysis, Inef fectiv e Responses, Effective Leadershi p Responses, Effective Analysis Meetings, Academic Circle Relationship (2), reteach Teacher to Student: Relationship s Academic Circle

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92 Summary Administrators, teacher leaders, teachers, and all staff began the year with a has remained engaged in the work of transforming the school and the PLT Leadership trainin g is an example of the positive culture developing at the Denver Area High School. During the first PLT Leader training session in August 2016, teacher leaders recognized that even though they wanted their school to be successful, they were missing leader ship training that could help them lead their professional learning team. At the beginning of the year, many teacher leaders were concerned with their position as a teacher and leading their colleagues. Some were outspoken with their concerns and looked to the administrative team to guide their work and give their teams directives. Regardless of the level of concern, all leaders were willing to commit to their personal development into PLT Leaders. The facilitator did a good job establishing norms and a positive atmosphere that allowed teachers to be honest about their feelings and issues. This level of honesty exhibited throughout the training sessions allowed the facilitator to address real issues for the leaders. The facilitator was able to guide th e teacher leaders with real examples of educators in the school and the different beliefs that these professions bring to their job. During the academic circles, at the end of each training, teachers were able to be authentic with their responses and you could hear the change in responses as their fellow leaders began to adjust their mindset. During each of the

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93 training sessions, the collective voice of the group began to take ownership of the training, their responses, and generated a positive, can do fe eling that grew after each session. An adjustment that the facilitator made between the first and second training session made a significant improvement in the way the leaders felt validated by their collective voice. Starting in sessions 2, the facilita tor summarized the thinking of the group and it felt supportive to the leaders that they were heard. This validation was realized when many of the leaders stayed behind after the last session and thanked the facilitator. Her work had helped them grow as leaders and provided them with the tools to lead. As one reads through the sessions, it becomes clear that the PLTL training is having a positive influence on the thinking and behaviors of the leaders. Reviewing the exit tickets at the beginning of the t raining, teachers are focused on structures in their teacher to teacher relationships to support their own leadership. They want norms, roles, best practices, and to address the change process. By the third training session, teacher leaders are beginning to focus on building relationships, trust, and depending on each other for help. By the end, they feel they have the tools needed to depersonalize the materials and develop the collective capacity of their group and themselves. There is a real shift in the thinking and behaviors of the leaders evident in their writing, speaking, and actions. The first research question was realized as is evident from the training observations, exit tickets, and the collective voice of the leaders at the Denver Area High School.

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94 Evidence from Professional Learning Team Observations Professional learning team observations were conducted at Denver Area High School twice: once after 4 training sessions were completed and once after all training sessions were completed. The focus of the observations was on the grade 9 and 10 core content professional learning teams and during each round of observations, 8 observations were conducted. The school also uses a PLT Process Rubric (See Appendix I) during their observations of PLTs alignment of expectations. The grade 9 and 10 Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science professional learning teams meet most weeks at least twice per week and in most cases, there is a collaborative nature tha t transcends the mandatory meeting requirements and some teams to meet more often if necessary. Each team consisted of 3 to 6 teachers who primarily taught one specific core content area and grade level. Each PLT meeting lasts about 50 minutes and all me mbers of the PLTs observed honored the time. Each professional learning team has a common planning period every single day of the school year built into the master schedule and they are required to meet at least twice per week during this common planning period. This explicit scheduling allowed the teachers and school to focus their professional development and job embedded discussions on precise culture development, content, and grade level so that the teachers can focus their energy on specific student s and not spread themselves too broadly. Many teams chose to meet informally more frequently and

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95 some only meet the required minimum. Each professional learning team keeps a log of their discussions, creates common assessments, collects data after each u nit of study, analyzes each common assessment, and most provide some level of re teaching based on the common assessment data. The observations are intended to answer the second question of the case study, h ow does PLTL training impact the interactions of PLT leaders with professional learning team meetings as evident by observation data from these meetings? Professional Learning Team Observations Round 1 Between September 20 and October 3, 2016, I conducted observations of the Denver Metro Area High teams (English, Social Studies, Science, and Math). During the observations, it was evident that the culture of the school was moving away from traditional habits based on individual teacher effor ts and moving toward the anticipated collaborative habits based on the collective capacity of the professional learning team. Some of the outmoded habits that were still evident in most PLT observations were (a) a focus on individual teacher results, (b) a focus on teaching, (c) emphasis on what was taught, and (d) data discussions centered on the content being taught. All the anticipated habits were evident in one or more PLT groups with most teams displaying (a) interdependent talk and thinking, (b) tea m based actions, (c) language of commitment, (d) planning for short term success, (e) team norms, and (f) collaboratio n.

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96 English 10. The English 10 PLT has a common planning period during period 5 each day and they meet at least twice per week. This team has struggled in the past and had higher than anticipated failure rates. The current team has two returning teachers and one new te acher to the school but the new teacher is experienced in the leader meets with the group during each scheduled PLT meeting. The PLT leader being trained leads the meetings. The team is at a learning to literal level of developing the professional learning team process with evidence of some movement from the outmoded habits to the anticipated habits. There are written and unwritten norms present and each member listens, talks in turn, is prepared with their results, there is a note taker, and no teacher side tracks the conversation. During the meeting, the team had recently completed a common assessment and they were discussing the data. One of the teachers had significantly higher rates of achievement than the other two members. Although the data is clear and in each eam goes around the table and shares their own personal strategies and teaching. After each person shares, the conversation moves to the future, yet no member asks about the higher achievement of the one member or asks what strategies this person used. T he conversation about the future is centered on The conversation then returns to the previous results and the leader suggests that they deploy their students during each class period based on achievement level and

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97 reteach missed concepts to targeted students. The leader suggests that they mix up all the students in honors, English 10, and English development classes based on their learning gap. The team struggles to agree and determine a dat e for the deployment of students. They move on to another subject without resolving the deployment date. Responding to my feedback, they eventually agreed upon a deployment date and they chievement. skills, the team never engaged in deficit behavior talk. The leader on a number of occasions redirected the group to asset conversations and usage of student fee dback. These new behaviors were a major shift for the leader who previously engaged in the same deficit talk as the other members. The team had clear agreement on curriculum, assessments, calendar, and sharing information. The movement of the team is ve ry fragile and needs continued support for the near future. English 9 The English 9 PLT had internalized the process and all observable behaviors were in the anticipated habits. There were 3 teachers and 2 student teachers in the PLT and each member had equal voice and one of the student teachers contributed as an equal me mber of the team. It was not until after the meeting that I realized she was not an employed teacher on the team. The teams common planning time is during third period each day and the team meets daily. Norms of the group that are evident include speaking freely, listening to the other person, working

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98 collaboratively, prepared, respect, professionalism, asking clarifying questions, and promptness. There is clear evidence of ownership and internalized of the process. The conversation was free flowing throughout the meeting and at the beginning of the meeting all members were simultaneously editing a rubric for the upcoming unit as they discussed it. The editing and discussion was all happening in real time. There was a partnership evident as people understood their roles in editing the document and listening to the other members. During the conversation, the team began by focusing on defining proficient for each strand of the rubric. As the team defined proficient, they discussed student supports with mentor text and student work as an exemplar. One of the teachers also volunteered to write a proficient example in conjunction with the student examples. They wanted their students to be able to achieve proficiency and fully understand a common expectation about the language of the rubric and their common high expectation of student achievement. About half way through the meeting, a member of the team expresses the need to move on to the norming of student work. They are working as a team to find proficient work in organization and they distribute 5 pieces of student work and each member reads each piece of student work and provides a proficiency level aligned with their rubric. Afte r reading, they begin a discussion on the pieces of student work and align their expectation. As an observer, I feel a sense of collaboration and opinion and begin to align thei r expectations. Once they had determined a few

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99 exemplars, they wanted to place arrows and colors to focus student attention on what made these pieces proficient. They wanted to make sure that students were clear about what it takes to meet proficiency. The team was focused on all students and team success. Social Studies 10. The PLT has common planning time set aside during the last period of each day and the team meets twice per week. There are 3 teachers on the team whom have all worked together previ ously and one assistant principal meets with the team on most dates. The team is in the learning to literate development stage and many of their habits are still outmoded with some development toward the anticipated habits. The team is reviewing the asse ssment results of a common writing assignment to which the teachers have only placed the quantities of students in each proficiency category based on an overall proficiency scale. No teacher on the team has brought student work. Norms that were evident d uring the meeting included respect, promptness, preparation, and timeliness. With the lack of specificity about student proficiency rates on 4 different rubric strands and no student work present, the conversations were unproductive. Each teacher used la explanations of their reasoning. Teachers shared strategy after strategy with no evidence of effectiveness. The conversation then moves to the content and what they will be teaching. They then spoke about teaching supports they may need, but the group could not agree on student gaps in learning so there was no agreement on

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100 strategies or supports. They concluded their meeting by agreeing on a common writing prompt, assessment date, and use of sentence frames to support some students including English language learners. They agreed they needed to bring student work and develop an exemplar but there were no concrete next steps. Social Studies 9 The team meets most days during the first peri od of the day. The leader is the only returning member of the team, one member transferred from another district school, and two members are new to teaching. One of the new teachers was a student teacher in the school the previous year. There was a lack of flow to the meeting and the members seemed to be still establishing their roles and responsibilities as a collaborative team. Even with the clumsiness of the meeting and lack of strong relationships, many of the observable habits were in the anticipat ed area and they appeared firmly in a literal stage of development. One teacher had been developing a rubric for their next unit of study and it was not complete. The team wanted to address some of the wording on the rubric, but there is an uneasiness about addressing the rubric. About 15 minutes into the meeting, one te acher states that maybe they should look at student work to begin to define success. The PLT leader is prepared with student work and they distribute one to each member. They begin by reading each piece of student work and each member determines an overa ll proficiency rate. The three areas of focus are claim, evidence, and reasoning. They are not using a rubric, but they are all looking for the same evidence in each paper. After each member has read all 5 pieces of student work,

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101 they go around the tabl e and align their proficiency rates and justification. They align their expectations and agree on proficiency as a whole. They also agree that there is a problem with students providing quality reasoning and meeting this specific expectation from the und efined rubric. The team agrees that there are strong foundational skills evident with claim and evidence and that students need more support with reasoning. They discuss strategies they might use to address the deficiency in reasoning. One teacher state discussed an upcoming primary and secondary sources document based question and how they would incorporate claim, evidence, and reasoning. Science 10 The Science 10 team meets twice per week and has a common planning period during the second period of each day. When the team feels they need more time together, they meet more frequently. The team consists of 4 teachers who have all been on the team more than one year and some have been on the team for many years. There is a sense of congeniality on the team. In many ways the team is working toward refinement of the process with many anticipated habits present, yet they never address the mo st difficult questions by focusing exclusively on honors level students which they all teach in common. There was evidence of team norms of positivity, listening, preparedness, sharing, team based common assessment, common lab experiments and instruction, and only reviewing like data.

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102 The team was reviewing and analyzing data from a common assessment and the team had achieved their SMART goal. There was a cheerful discussion as they discussed the success of the common assessment based on honors students and a lab The data on the board revealed that these student groups did not meet the objective. The team went around and expressed their reasoning for the lower achievement of these two sub groups. Their reasoning included the material was e, more scaffolding was needed, and two teachers indicated they moved their Black students apart in class. The team never formalized any intervention or re teaching opportunity for the students and instead felt that they would have an opportunity to prove their proficiency in upcoming final exams and a final project. The team felt that they were able to engage most students in the material and because it was their second year working together, the refinement of labs made the materials more engaging for st udents. They discussed how they would start the second quarter of school and spent the last 10 minutes with group talk about both related and unrelated matters. Science 9 This was one of the most productive PLT groups observed. The PLT meets during the fourth period of the day at least twice per week and as often as needed. Norms evident for the group included unified statements of inquiry, common

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103 unit planner, timeliness, common lessons, common assessments, collaborative timing, full engagement by all teachers, and preparedness. The team was already involved in conversation on student engagement even though I arrived just moments after the bell rang. The team internalized the process and valued each team member. The team began discussing their unifie d writing prompt, graphic organizer, and recognition by the team indicates the strong value of unit y. The team then addresses which two strands of the 4 strand rubric they would focus on for the upcoming writing prompt. They agree on focusing on style and fluency as well as content. The team agreed to focus their feedback to students exclusively on t hese two strands. They then discuss and wrote down words and phrases that they will expect to see on proficient work. After the discussion, one teacher volunteers to write an exemplar for the team to use with students. The team also agrees to place some key technical terms on the writing prompt for student support. They collectively wanted to ensure that students address each of these terms and they feel that by placing them on the prompt it would be supportive for students yet still require them to und erstand the ensure success for all students. They close their time by reminding the tea m members

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104 to bring one graded class of student work to the next meeting and be prepared to complete their reflection. Math 10. This PLT meets twice per week and has common planning during the sixth period of the day. The PLT demonstrated virtually no habi ts in the anticipated column and evident norms were a common assessment, basic level of collaboration, promptness, and professional conduct. During the meeting, the team repeatedly asked the attending assistant principal if they could do their own thing a nd not be on the same timing. During the meeting, a teacher asked what would be best for students and the group immediately changed the conversation to what would be best for the teachers. There was no leadership evident from the PLTL training and most o f the conversation was led by one of the other teachers. The conversation during the PLT was focused on an upcoming assessment that the teachers had already been teaching. They were reviewing the assessment to see if it matched what they taught and if it needed modifications or deletions. Two of the 3 teachers did not feel they could complete the lessons and assessment before their agreed upon date and the other insisted they could and wanted to stick with the date. The conversation continued to focus o n the content they were teaching and dates. Each teacher was designing their own expectations and material with a shared Flip Chart from the textbook for their Promethean board. At the conclusion of the content conversation a teacher asked if there was a nything that needed re teaching and there

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105 was no reply. Because of the observation, it appeared that they stayed in the classroom for 20 more minutes with a slow, fill time conversation. Math 9 This was the largest PLT with 6 members and included content and intervention teachers and those that taught both. Many of the observable behaviors were in the anticipated column and there was evidence that the team was moving away from the outmoded habits. Evident norms of the group included a collaborative cult ure, listening, supportive, non judgmental, prepared, timeliness, and in the moment. There appeared to be an expectation that members would do the math for any upcoming common lessons so they could discuss potential interventions and anticipate mathematic al gaps. The team was in the literal stage of development moving toward the refinement stage of the PLT process. The PLT meeting started off with a conversation on a common formative assessment they would be giving their students. There was a rich conve rsation that included how the intervention teachers were addressing the upcoming assessment to ensure student success. The conversation continued with some concerns about special needs students and English language learners. The team reviewed each of the questions collaboratively on their computer screens. They agree to judge the analysis question independently from the mathematical equation that it was based on so that they were judging student thinking not a right or wrong response. They also agree on some common supports for students.

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106 The team moved on to the next agenda item and one of the members had developed the next unit plan with supporting lessons. It was her turn and she explains her thinking and lesson plans. The questions she has preplann ed are all higher order thinking questions and the team praises the efforts of their teammate. They spend the remaining time reviewing the lesson and discussing the math. One teacher emphasizes that she needs to complete the math for the upcoming unit an d there appears to be a common expectation for completing the math prior to teaching. During the unit review, there was no conversation that was specific about potential complications or interventions although all teachers were actively engaged in the rev iew of the materials. The focus was on teaching the lessons and there was no evidence or discussion about student success at this meeting. Professional Learning Team Observations Round 2 After the final training on October 26, 2016, I conducted a second round of professional learning teams (English, Social Studies, Science, and Math) between November 1 and 17, 2016. During the observations, it was evident that the culture of the school had continued to move away from traditional habits of individual teacher efforts and moved toward the anticipated collaborative habits based on the collective capacity of the professional learning team. Some outmoded habits that were still evid ent in many PLT observations where (a) a focus on independently judging students work and (b) discussions that centered on what was taught or being taught.

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107 A continued shift to the anticipated habits was evident in all but one of the PLT observations and most teams exhibited a strong focus on (a) student learning, (b) short term planning with a focus on student success, and (c) multiple opportunities for student success with rich discussions on supporting exceptional students, English language learners, an d students with significant learning gaps (evident in immigrant and high poverty populations). English 10 The English 10 team has shown significant progress as they move consi stently with the group to support their transition. During the meeting, the teacher leader took notes for the group and only spoke intermittently, allowing the three core team members to develop their own voice and collaborative culture. As I walked into instructional teacher leader and a classroom teacher where already present and getting set up. The two teachers opened the shared google doc and began talking about the agenda that the PLT leader had sent. No time was wasted and as each member arrived, they graciously listened, opened the google doc and joined in as they felt comfortable. The teacher who had been trained as the PLT leader led much of the conversation, and she had pre p lanned much of the information. The other two teachers were disconnected from some of the material presented and adjustments that

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108 progress. The two other teachers would have p referred to be part of the thinking and adjustments, valuing their collaborative expertise. The focus of their current unit which was on marginalized people and groups. One of the team members was reviewing the essay question for the unit final and brings up that they are struggling to answer the question themselves and that they should reword the question. They discuss the cause and effect language they want from students and how they might structure a graphic organizer. The group discussion continues a bout getting their students to elaborate more and that the graphic organizer needs to support student progress in their writing. The team expresses their desire to have their advanced students use multiple causes and effects with quality elaboration while the team defines the level of proficiency they hope to achieve. The team is very positive in their language about the questions, expectations, and collaborative language about student success. There is hesitation by the team to conclude each discussion w ith a concrete next step leaving it to the individual teacher to fill in the gaps. The conversation transitions to the PLT calendar and how they will conclude the semester. The PLT leader reviews the agreed upon calendar and the team has some reservation s about the aggressive timeline. The group agrees to focus on their book about two marginalized families, presentations, a tic tac toe choice assignment, and research with annotated bibliography preparing for the research essay on marginalized populations at the beginning of January. They discussed student and

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109 group accountability for the research and the expected quantity of references. They agree on a teacher exemplar for the writing. The meeting concludes without an agreement on who will produce the teacher exemplar or sharing student work. The team is defining the essential learning targets, pacing, benchmarks, and establishing common goals, but there is still significant progress needed to align student work, expectations, and close some of the dis cussions for unity. English 9 The English 9 PLT is one of the strongest teams and work well together to achieve a common student outcome. During their discussion, they discussed student success and instructional strategies that could ensure success; howe ver, one of the most exciting aspects of their discussion was about advanced students. They genuinely discussed extension opportunities for their most advanced students and accelerating learning opportunities for students who were at every level in the sp ectrum. The flow of the conversation was uninhibited and no one appeared threatened when alternative opinions were expressed. The team collaborated on google docs seamlessly with all three members making changes and adding their thinking to their collabo rative documents. The PLT leader and team members were in sync and they had developed a masterful experience. The unit of study, discrimination, was aligned with the grade 9 social studies PLT. The meeting began with each teacher sharing a video that de monstrated a discriminatory viewpoint. The teacher discussed each video with an emphasis on ensuring that there would be equitable discussions about the counterpoint to the focus

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110 area. The group wanted to ensure that students were going to be able to sup port their claims during the writing process. They discussed that during the previous data cycle student supports were too vague. Students did not provide them with the level of supporting language and justifications that they desired and that the studen ts needed additional support to help them achieve at a higher level. All teachers wanted their students to be successful, meet their unified learning objectives, and the language of the group was supportive of students. The group referenced the state sta ndards and supporting all students. The teachers begin a conversation on the types of graphic organizers that might support students best. Each teacher went to the whiteboard, wrote their idea out, and described their thinking. The team discusses each t ype of graphic organizer, its value, and how it would support students justifying their responses. The language by the team is all about creating opportunities for student success. They continue the conversation by discussing their advanced learners. Th ey defined advanced learners as naturally gifted and those with high potential as those who will extend themselves if given the opportunity. The group wanted to make sure that the rubric and organizer support getting all students to proficient and extendi ng the learning opportunity for their advanced learners. They finalize their work and have everything documented in google docs. They transition their conversation to a staff gallery walk in a few weeks. They want to focus their story board on supportin g other staff members. The focus of their

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111 board will be on gradual release. They discuss videotaping their instructional strategies or displaying it on a story board with three columns: idea, when it goes wrong, justification. As they discuss the board, they each said back what other member had stated and add to the conversation or provide an alternative perspective. The team documents all the ideas and will continue planning and putting together their presentation for the gallery walk in December. Soci al Studies 10. The social studies 10 group is unique in their strength of two personalities and transition to the new habits. All three teachers have more than teachers pus h and pull at the group to gain consensus on their personal style and instructional strategies. The three teachers have not yet been accountable to correlate their instructional strategy with normed student work. There was evidence during the meeting tha t the team is making significant movement toward the anticipated habits and the team was in the process of aligning their grading by creating a teacher exemplar, a major step in aligning their practices, strategies, and outcomes. The two other members and their administrator were all arriving at the host teachers room as he was playing music, had a Promethean board prepared for their collaboration, and established a welcoming atmosphere. When the PLT leader arrived, he got the meeting started and explaine d that the team was preparing an exemplar to align student work. One of the teachers volunteered to go first and placed her example on the board. The example has a general thesis statement, three

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112 body paragraphs tied to the thesis, and a conclusion. The team has an active conversation about the exemplar and the team points out that the exemplar thesis statement needs to be tied together better and the conclusion does not restate the thesis statement. The three body paragraphs are structured well and tie d to the thesis statement with evidence. The next teacher places his example of the board. This example has a lot of information in the essay based on the unit of study, but the ught. The third teacher does not provide an example; yet, spends time explaining how he teaches his students to write. He has some student examples, but the student examples do not reflect his words. he board and pulls out their rubric. They speak about how the essay could be tweaked to meet a proficient outcome on the rubric. The group decides that they will report out and provide students with feedback on organization and content. The PLT leader r eads off the norming expectations to the group and the team agrees. The PLT leader redirects the group to teaching and ensuring student success. The teachers have a rich conversation on materials and strategies to help students be successful with the com pare and contrast essay. At the conclusion, the PLT leader reads off the materials that the team agreed to use; although, each teacher will use the materials in their own way. There is no evidence of co planning yet. The team has made some significant s trides with evidence of common outcomes, focus on student learning, directed

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113 supports during class, a language of commitment, and an exemplar for student outcomes that will be shared with students. Social Studies 9. The PLT was working on a unit of study o n prejudice which is aligned with the grade 9 language arts unit on marginalized populations. The team experiences. The team is very supportive of each other. The group is se ated in a engaged throughout the entire meeting. Virtually all the evidence from the PLT observation was contained in the anticipated habits and if the bulk of the team c an stay together for multiple years, they will develop into a very strong team. The team is discussing the book and the push pull factors of immigration to the United States. One of the members is very concerned about supporting students to make the conn ections of the book, immigration, and the final essay. The conversation quickly moves to instruction and the book, and the team continues to center the conversation on the assessment expectations and learning objectives. The team aligns their expectation s, ties together the book and how the book will support the overall unit, and their final essay. The team turns their attention to their instructional calendar. The team wants to backwards plan the essay, provide time for make up work, and ensure quality and listen to each member before finalizing the calendar. There is a commitment to

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114 student success, student outcomes, short term planning, collaborative planning, an d norming expectations. Science 10. The grade 10 science team has 4 teachers and there is a sense of collegially and independence with the group. The PLT leader is hesitant to push the group to align best instruction practices. As a team, they have some of the outmoded habits and some anti providing minutes for their meetings, a common assessment, and reflections, but the collaborative document. There are still many gaps in the instructional strategies of the team and the lack of alignment leads to deficit conversations about student abilities at times. During the meeting, I observed, all the team members were late and very similar to the first observati on, there was not a sense of urgency to get the meeting started. One of the teachers starts by explaining some of the difficulties he has been having with his English language learner classes. After the team provides a few suggestions, the teacher explai ns that the students who struggle the most with the language lack effort. The team accepts this type of deficit thinking about students and their efforts as normal and no member challenges the conversation with supportive strategies to improve student eff ort. The conversation transitions to what the team is teaching. Each member shares different ways they are connecting the learning for students. The team has a common

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115 lesson outline for their current unit, but they are approaching the unit from differin g techniques. During the conversation, there is no connections being made to the assessment or expectations of student success. Additionally, there is no discussion of how the differing approaches might align to a hypothesis on effective approaches. The focus throughout the meeting is on what each teacher is independently teaching The PLT cu lture was centered on individual teacher results, independent talk and thinking, individual planning and actions, and a focus on teacher satisfaction. Science 9. The grade 9 science team has one new member who is new to teaching and the school and three ex isting teachers who have been in the school and PLT for 2 or more years and are all experienced teachers. This is one of the highest performing teams with all the observable behaviors in the anticipated habits. The team is very supportive of the new teacher and frequently checks in with his progre ss and needs. The meeting began with all the teachers checking with the new teacher and stated that he was a few days behind the team. The new teacher is concerned that the current unit requires trigonometry and the team reassures him that the focus of the unit is on six algebraic formulas. They share the six formulas and they all agree that the formulas should be given to the students on their exam. The purpose of instruction around the math is for students to know the parts of the physics that are pl ugged into each formula and not the memorization of

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116 formulas. The team agrees this is the most supportive for their students and the intended outcomes of the unit on motion. The team continues their conversation on the common assessment and discusses how they will collectively align their instruction. The team pulls up their common assessment on the classroom whiteboard and reviews the questions. The team is confident that the students will be able to collect the data needed for the instruction, but the re is a collective concern about student success analyzing the data. There is a seamless flow of conversation between three members on instructional techniques that will produce the best outcome for students. The conversation continues and includes suppo rts for English language learners and struggling students. There is a clear and evident commitment to the successful outcome of students and that the team has the collective ability for students to meet their high expectations successfully. After the thr ee experienced teachers align their instruction and collective strategies, they collectively discuss the outcomes with the new teacher. The team has a collective focus on student learning, group results, interdependent planning and thinking, a language of commitment, and an emphasis on student assets. Math 10 There has been an observable shift in the team leadership of this group. The teacher who was trained as the PLT leader was not taking on a leadership role and another teacher had stepped into this r ole and was directing the PLT meeting. The team which consists of one new teacher and two experienced teachers accepted the role shift even though there was no official changed noted. The team still had

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117 most the observable behaviors in the outmoded habit s, but the change in leadership helped the team move forward and begin to align their thinking and processes to meet The entire meeting centered on what was being taught with a focus on changing the assessment to align to what t he teachers were teaching students. There were conversations around what certain levels of students need to be successful on the SAT or PSAT and the differences in the pacing guides. A member of the team brought up that they did not need to teach general education students some aspects of the materials. One of the members used deficit language frequently and offered very little supportive language about what students knew or could achieve. The new teacher was relatively silent throughout the meeting and the new leader offered the few glimpses of what might be possible. The team was focused on what they were teaching, a language of complaint, independent thinking and planning, with an emphasis on what was taught. The bright spot was the shift in leaders hip and conversation about meeting the standards of the SAT and PSAT. Math 9 The grade 9 math team consisted of six members who teach intervention math and grade level math. All teachers teach at least one course of either content. During the observatio n, there w ere very few outmoded habits yet the team continued to make progress toward the anticipated habits. Two of the members had attended the PLT leadership training and they collaborate on leadership and set an aggressive agenda for the team. The te am norms require teachers to be prepared

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118 with their information and members frequently have work to complete outside the group meetings which they are expected to have completed before the meetings. The meeting I observed was a data review meeting. One o f the teachers was excited about her results as they stood out above all the other members. The conversation began with the teachers sharing their results to the team. At first, the lead teacher did not share, but when she did, she wanted to share all th e strategies that produced the greatest results. Some of the other members were lukewarm to her explanations while others were excited to hear ways to accelerate learning for their students. There was positive language from the group on how well this yea students were making connections. The team documented their successes and reviewed the results of sub groups. The leaders changed the focus to re teaching concepts to students who did not make proficiency and extending the learning of those who had m et the standard. They decided to deploy or move the students around to different classrooms on Monday and Tuesday. One teacher would take all the proficient and advanced students for an extension activity and the other teachers would divide the remaining students by their gaps. They decided to have an intensive two day re teach of concepts and then re test all students. The team felt this was the most supportive of students who would hear the concepts from a new teacher and have an opportunity to improv e their grade. The missing part of the conversation was that teachers did not deliberately know what concepts students missed and instead generalized based on

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119 their beliefs and the overall assessment results. The team also discussed that period 3 needed the most support from the team and they wanted a more comprehensive plan specifically targeting this period of the day. The team also decided on roles for the special education teacher and how he would support the team and groups of students as an equal. The team valued team based actions and group results. There was clear interdependent thinking, actions, and planning. A next step for the team is to develop their assessment in a way that supports identifying the true gaps in learning and not guessing. Summary There was momentum evident in the observations that the school was transform ing from the outmoded habits of teacher collaboration to the anticipated methodology of the professional learning team model and the training was having a positive effect the grade 9 language arts and science teams. Each of these teams had consistency and thus, could challenge themselves to the meet the needs of their students and work as a collaborati ve team. These two teams had students at the center of all their discussions, and as an observer, I frequently heard the teachers on these teams pressing each other to maximize student success. I never heard deficit thinking or discussions about student behaviors or academic gaps that would hold back the team from their success and the success of their students.

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120 The grade 9 teams were all pressing toward improving student achievement and the collective responsibility and restorative training was evident. The math and social studies teams were developing well and by the final observation had made significant progress developing the anticipated habits. With a solid team for multiple years, these two teams could develop to meet the needs of every student a nd there was real desire to get their student achieving at higher levels. Again, there was no evidence of deficit thinking and the focus was e success of every student in a critical mathematical concept. The grade 10 language arts, social studies, and science teams were all making progress toward the anticipated habits, but their progress was much subtler. There was clear evidence of the trai ning present in these three PLTs, but there was some resistance to complete culture shift. For example, the science team strayed away from the most difficult questions, the language arts 10 team started difficult conversations but was reluctant to finaliz e their actions, and the social studies team never addressed actual student work. In each of the groups, the training was evident and there was movement toward the anticipated habits as teams began creating exemplars for students, aligning their instructi onal practices, developing instructional calendars, and agreeing on common assessments and outcomes. The math 10 group had the least amount of growth. The math 10 leaders were the only PLT leader that was still using deficit language about students after multiple

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121 training sessions. The PLTs lack of leadership toward the anticipated habits was evident in the observations and in the second observation, another member of the team had taken over the leadership role. The teacher who had taken over the leaders hip of the group had not been trained but wanted to move the team forward like the other groups in the school. This ownership demonstrates the culture shift happening throughout the school. The PLT leadership training impacted the professional learning t eam meetings and there was clear movement by all groups. The leaders were beginning to take collective ownership of their teams and their teams were responding. Teacher teams were beginning to have difficult conversations about student work without takin g the results personally. This change was reflected in their interactions and allowed the teams to support each other and strategize about helping all students become successful. Teams were using and committing to a common calendar and use of common asse ssments. Many teams were beginning to develop common lesson plans aligned to their common expectations. Team norms across the school were evident and people were accountable to their team to meet their agreed upon norms. The training positively impacted PLT leadership and teams of teachers were positively embracing the cultural changes evident in the school. The grade 9 teams had made the biggest progress and the shift in grade 10 was clear. Even the grade 10 math team shifted its leadership to support movement toward the anticipated habits and expectations.

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122 Impact on Referral Rates Referral rates are down across the school as well as for the study groups. At Denver Area High School, referral rates are declining at each grade level as students appear to be acclimated to the environment in grade 9 which have the highest referral rates and very few at grades 10 through 12. The unique training that is required to all teachers on the use of restorative justice, restorative practices, and a Culture of Care is influencing the culture of the school. All teachers read a book on restorative practices before they begin working at the school and then there is ongoing training at the school to support this cultural expectation. Referral rates (See Table 10) at g rade 9 were down from the previous year but relatively flat over the three years outlined on the table, yet at grade 10, there is a significant decrease in referral rates over the course of the year compared to both previous years. The cultural difference is evident at the school when you listen to teacher and student interactions in classrooms, walk through the halls observing teacher student interactions and student student interactions, and interact with the students oneself. Table 10 Impact on Discipli ne Referral Rates 2014 Quarter 1 Referrals 2015 Quarter 1 Referrals 2016 Quarter 1 Referrals 2014 Quarter 2 Referrals 2015 Quarter 2 Referrals 2016 Quarter 2 Referrals Grade 9 & 10 37 42 28 52 84 42

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123 During each of the PLT Leaders training sessions restorative practices were reinforced and taught to the teacher leaders through the use of academic circles, the development of restorative personality quadrants with characters like Punishing Pam, and guida nce toward a belief that all PLT members want to do what is best for students but may not have all the tools needed to meet the demands of this teacher teacher interactio ns. During the first session, the exit tickets showed teachers making restorative connections to norms and establishing trust. Observations confirmed the use of norms and the establishment of trust among teachers. There were more open conversations and it appeared that teachers were having more authentic conversations with a focus on students results in most PLT observations. A quality example of this was the Grade 9 science PLT which continually spoke about ensuring students success or the Grade 9 math PLT could deploy their students within the team to support student growth and learning without making other team members feel inadequate because their students did not perform as well as another. During the second session, the leaders had a very strong c onnection to developing supports for each other and raising expectations of each other. In every observation, the PLT members were honest with their colleagues about their results and I witnessed other members offering support for various types of student s as well as instructional strategies. Not every strategy offered was grounded in best practices, but there was an effort across the school to improve student learning and collegial expectations. In

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124 each of the sessions, the teacher exit tickets reflect a common understanding that relationships are critical to the work at the school. Most teachers were able to understand that relationship and trust building was critical to the development of their teacher teams as well as developing trust and relationshi ps with their students. In numerous exit tickets from different training sessions, the teacher leaders made strong connections to the need for relationships with their fellow teachers and students. By the last session, virtually all the restorative pract ices questions from the PLT Leader to teacher relationships. The leaders learned the importance of developing trust among colleagues and depersonalizing the data. Leaders ended the last session with a strong sense of fellowship with each other which is needed is needed in all schools and especially in schools similar to the Denver Area High School. In addition to the restorative practices being taught to PLT leaders, all teachers at the case study school were being taught to develop norms with their classes, use circles, confront their realities, develop positive relationships with their students, and shift their interactions toward supporting learning. Referencing Table 10, there is a decrease in referral ra tes which can be attributed, in part, to the PLTL training. The decrease in referral rates for disciplinary actions is inconclusive as to whether the results of this decrease were the PLT Leadership training, the ongoing whole staff restorative practices training, or a combination of the two. However, the greatest impact evident was in the teacher teacher interactions through both the

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125 observations and the exit tickets collected. Teacher leaders made the strongest connections to the interactions of the ad ults on their teams and their collective efforts. PLT Leaders learned to extinguish deficit thinking and language from their team meetings and depersonalize the data. These positive interactions among adults also may have positively influenced the intera ctions of teachers and students. With the teachers and students. Impact on Failur e Rates Overall failure rates decline d at grade 9 and grade 10 ( s ee Table 11). The change is not substantial yet it is significant. The most noticeable change in grades appear to be an alignment of expectations and a shift toward intentionally supporting students who attend school. A stark example of this is the grad e 10 grades for second quarter. Overall attendance for grade 10 second quarter was 84 percent and the failure rate for Table 11 Impact on Failure Rate Grade 9 and 10 2014 Quarter 1 Failure Rate 2015 Quarter 1 Failure Rate 2016 Quarter 1 Failure Rate 2014 Quarter 2 Failure Rate 2015 Quarter 2 Failure Rate 2016 Quarter 2 Failure Rate Language Arts 12% 13% 10% 18% 17% 15% Mathematics 12% 13% 7% 12% 12% 13% Science 8% 14% 10% 11% 13% 13% Social Studies 12% 10% 5% 15% 15% 7%

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126 3 of the 4 content areas was 16 percent matching the non attendance rate Additionally, the attendance rates for grade 9 mirrored overall pass rates i n two of the four content areas with t h e language arts failure rate coming in slightly higher than the a ttendance rate ; however, the grade 9 language arts team was working with their administrator to align grading expectations since the group was using varied pieces of information to determine final grades. Without a deeper understand ing about the specifics of the classes effected by the composition of grading expectations we cannot determine the specific differences between grade 9 and the other grade levels or core contents at the school. T hough grade 11 and 12 were not par t of the study, I confirmed the hypothesis that grades and attendance were beginning to align across all PLTs by referencing the grade 11 and 12 attendance rate of 88 percent and a pass rate of 88 percent in 3 of their 4 core content areas. Moreover, school data reflected a significant increase in the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 that received exclusively an A, B, or C on their transcript during the second quarter changing from 9.9 percent in 2015 to 21.8 percent for the second quarter of 2016 with students receiving 1 or more D declining by 10.6 percent and students receiving one or more F declining by 16.1 percent. Referencing the PLT Leadership training as the potential cause, PLT Leaders received training that aligned to supporting students and collaboratively interv ened to support students who had not reached proficiency yet. During the first training session, the facilitator began by aligning the work of leadership and planning for

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127 student success by establishing a common calendar which included time for re teachin g concepts. A use of calendars to align the PLT process was evident in every PLT observation. Even the PLTs that were struggling to change their practices had developed common calendars and were using them for common pacing and assessment dates. During the second session, leaders began the process of learning about data analysis and the importance of using the data and not just collecting the data. This shift was also evident in PLT observations. For example, the English 10 team developed a deployment plan to support students and work to achieve proficiency by distributing the students for re teaching opportunities. This was significant because this team was at the early stages of change, however, they recognized the importance of this process and were willing to try resulting in improved proficiency rates and higher grades. During the third session, the facilitator guided the leaders through difficult conversations with their teams to address students who are attending yet failing. The leaders learne d about a need for focus and ownership of their data. This too was evident in the observations as teams created space for re teaching opportunities, re testing, and obtaining evidence from their students. This change is reinforced in the fourth training session where there is an evident in observations. During the fifth session, there is an emphasis on their own vulnerability and the leaders reflected upon this shift in thinking on their exit tickets.

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128 with their teams and support those who might be struggling to achieve a common result. An example of this vulnerability was evident in t he Social Studies 10 team observation as teachers wrote exemplars to be used with their students and were critiqued by their colleagues about their own writing as an exemplar for students. The process helped to align expectation and required teachers to b e vulnerable about their own writing ability as viewed by a colleague. The last session, provided the leaders training to redirect conversations back to the data and a positive outcome for students. These concepts were trained and the leaders began to ta ke on the responsibility of aligning their work and results leading to a significant improvement in student results. The training was evident in many ways during PLT observations. Although were working to change and develop their understandings to meet the needs of a very diverse population. During the first round of observations, there was evidence of alignment in common assessments, logs, norms, a collaborative culture, and progress towar d aligning expectations. During the second session, there was greater progress made by all groups and a leadership change in one. There was a clear change in the culture as teachers began to take collective responsibility for all students. There was exc itement evident as teachers could share their results openly and offer ideas for re teaching needed skills and concepts to their students. There were multiple pieces of evidence where teams collectively provided intervention for an entire grade during a d ay by

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129 training was positively impacting grades and aligning the philosophy of the school to a Culture of Care that stops blaming students for their educational gaps and begins to align best practices to support all students. The training, exit tickets, and observations point to a change in practices that were positively affecting grades at Denver Area High School. Summary Professional Learning Team Leadership (PLTL) training has had an impact on the Denver Area High School. The training has impacted the thinking and behaviors of the PLT leaders as evident from exit tickets and observations. Reading through each of the ses sions, it is evident that the leaders are searching for the tools to lead their teams. As the leaders receive the training needed to lead their lead their teams, the behaviors and reflections begin to change as their confidence improves. By the end, the leaders are looking for additional training and their confidence is evident in their actions, words, and writing. The positive outcomes found in the training sessions are also evident in the PLT observations. During the first set of observations, PLT Leaders training has been implemented through the use of norms, protocols, calendars, use of students work, and alignment of the teachers work. Teacher teams were not deficitizing students during discussions and m ost teams were looking for solutions to educational gaps. By the second round of observations, the PLTL training was clearly moving the

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130 habits of all but one of the observed PLTs to the anticipated habits. This shift was evident in teams as they were beg inning to bring students work, create exemplars, provide re teaching opportunities, and there was a shift toward what students were learning. Most importantly, the teams were taking a restorative approach with each other as they moved away from shame and blame for student failures and worked in a collaborative approach to meet the challenges of an urban school. Referral rates were down at the school. Since the school was conducting restorative practices training for the entire staff twice per month, it w as unclear whether the reduction in referrals was due to the whole staff training or in part due to the restorative training imbedded in the PLTL training. Exit tickets represented that the PLT leaders were making connections to restorative practices and their students as well as restorative conversations with their colleagues. There was also observational evidence that the training was implemented in professional learning teams. What was very clear from exit tickets and observations was that the staff w as more restorative with each other and there was observational evidence of stronger relationships. Teams were taking collective ownership for their students and celebrating student learning successes instead of focusing on student risk factors. Professi onal l earning team dynamics and colle gialism was positively impacted by the PLTL training. Failure rates at the school were down. The decrease was not substantial; however, the decrease was significant. During PLTL training sessions and observed in prof essional learning teams, teachers were addressing the causes of student failure

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131 and re teaching missed concepts. Students were given multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning and given more opportunities to learn these concepts during the schoo l day. Essentially, students who attended school were given multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning. The evidence showed that in 3 of the 4 core content areas, there was an alignment between student attendance and pass rates. The one core c ontent area that did not match the attendance rate had a lower failure rate than the other content areas. This evidence is supported by the PLTL training which worked with leaders to assistance their teams and depersonalize the process and reteach missed concepts. It is apparent that the PLTL training has positively impacted the school, referral rates, and decreased failure rates. Training exit tickets and observational data aligned to show that the leaders were absorbing and implementing the training. The observational evidence showed that relationships with colleagues were improving and there was a reduction in referral rates for students. Additionally, the failure rates declined and the culture of the school was shifting. If students attended scho ol, they could expect to receive multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency and receive needed interventions to help them meet these standards. The PLTL training improved teacher and professional learning team practices and there was evidence of th e training in reduced referral rates and failure rates.

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132 CHAPTER V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS This chapter is organized into three sections: a summary section, a conclusion s section, and a recommendations section. The summ ary section reviews the following elements of the Professional Learning Team Leadership (PLTL) training : purpose of the case study, research questions, conceptual framework and the qualitative data collection and methods used to collect data. The conclusi ons section presents key findings from the study, relationship to relevant literature, and major implications of those findings for practice. The recommendation section focuses on recommendations for school leaders and urban school turnaround programs. Add itionally, recommendations are made for future research studi es on developing a Culture of Care Summary The purpose of the study was to determine if the reason Denver Area High School was not achieving the expected results in failure and referral rate reductions after implementing restorative practices, restorative justice, and professional learning teams was because it lacked PLT Leadership training and would the training result in the anticipated reductions. Since 2010, there has been a concerted effort to develop the professional learning team model and most of the PLTs complied and created the documents, produced common assessments, data reports, logs, structured analysis reports, a nd yet the change in school culture and resu lts were slow and incremental

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133 Many schools would have rejected the model after a couple year of slow growth but the Denver Area High School has a strong belief that professional learning teams were part of a C u lture of Care being developed and the sl ow pace of academic improved was not a matter of a poor choice of strategies. For the 2016 2017 school year, this case study was designed to teach PLT Leaders how to lead their teams toward success, collaboratively overcome gaps in achievement, extinguish deficit thinking, and implement a Culture of Care within the school. Therefore, the fo llowing research question guided this case study. How does Professional Learning Team Leader training (PLTL) impact improvemen t in teacher and professional learning team practices as evidenced by changes in (a) referral rates, and (b) failure rates? 1. How does PLTL training impact thinking and behaviors of PLT Leaders as evidenced by leader responses on Exit Tickets to 6 PLTL trai ning sessions? 2. How does PLTL training impact the interactions of PLT leaders with Professional Learning Team meetings as evidenced by observation data from those meetings? 3. How do rates of student referrals change after the Fall 2016 PLTL training sessions when compared to prior levels? 4. How do rates of student failure change after the Fall 2016 PLTL training sessions when compared to prior levels?

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1 34 Th e conceptual framework (Figure 2 ) identifies the focus of the training with leaders being developed in relationships, restorative practices, and professional learning team leadership. The theory at Denver Area High School is that t hese cannot be achieved without a Culture of Care where teachers have developed restorative practices in their classroom with a culture of mutual respect that is centered on relationships. Furthermore, the professional learning team model within the Culture of Care must provide teachers with the collaborative resources and identified pedagogies to meet the needs of a high minority high poverty urban high school. The qualitative method selected for th is research wa s a case study (Kolb, 2012; Merriam, 2009; Shenton, 2004) is appropriate for searching for the me aning and understanding of the context of the case being investigated and the impact of Professional Learning Team Leader Training (PLTLT) in Denver Metro Area High depth description and analysis o (2012) argue that qualitative case study methodology is substantive because it establishes credibility, dependability and confirmability. Kolb (2012) stresses that a constant comparative method comparing training, exit tickets, and observations on a continual basis throughout the case study will provide an optimal reinforcement of theoretical sampling for themes and analysis.

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135 CULTURE OF CARE Figure 2 Relational influence on learning. Professional Learning Team Leadership Training At Denver Area High School, p rofessional learning team training for the entire school was conducted on the second day of t he new school year, follow by six FAILING URBAN SCHOOLS ZERO TOLERANCE DESCIPLINE POLICIES IN URBAN SCHOOLS URBAN TEACHERS WORKING IN ISOLATION RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AUTHORITARIAN CLASSROOM PRACTICES IN URBAN SCHOOLS PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES AND TEAMS RESTORATIVE PRACTICES IN CLASSROOMS RELATIONSHIPS

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136 sessions of PLTL training During the first training session, l eaders learned the importance of norms and how to sup port their teams implement and establish norms thus improving authentic conversations to improve academic achievement Leaders divided their PLT members into quadrants of varying personalities and gave them fictitious names helping develop trust and confidence. Leaders felt they could be honest about obstacles to their achievement without placing blame on m embers of their team. This provided leaders with an opportunity to seek advice that supported their leadership and helped them address the needed level of professionalism to Drewery (2014) pointed out that schools that develop a whole school approach to restorative practices improve their disciplinary incidence and achievement statistics. During the second session, PLT Leaders began to learn how to analyze the ir data and not just collect the data. This was an important step and theme for many of the following sessions. DuFour and Marzano (2011) stress that developing the collective capacity of teachers to operate in a professional learning community is the best strategy for improving schools. Data analysis was one of the greatest obstacles presented by all leaders during surveys the previous year The re was an assumption that ever yone could analyze data, but this wa s a false assumption that was addressed in th e training Analyzing da ta was not a natural occurrence for most teacher leaders and this support helped them use the data to move their teams to improve student outcomes. Literature provided by both DuFour and Eaker (1998) and DuFour and

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137 Fullan (2013) r ecorded the importance of collaborative team efforts to systemically needs. Exit tickets indicated that teacher leaders grew in their ability to effectively analyze data wit h their colleagues. Additionally, PLT leader exit tickets indicated that leaders were developing their connection with establishing a restorative culture with students and colleagues and developing a Culture of Care. During the third, fourth, and fifth t raining sessions, the exit tickets reflected the continued leadership development of the PLT Leaders as they established protocols for analysis, planning structures, re teaching, and developed their own vulnerability. Vulnerability is a key tenant in deve loping relationships with colleagues and students. Coggshall, Osher, and Colombi (2013) document how relationships and social emotional competence are critical to improving the conditions of learning. Teacher leaders reflected upon the need for openness in their PLT meetings and open discussions required trust and vulnerability from all members. This learning and PLT structure is supported by DuFour and Eaker (1998) and Smith (2015) who stress the importance of open discussions about the data for the pur poses of moving student achievement. The achievement level the school is seeking can only be obtained through stronger relationships based on trust, teamwork, restorative practices, and the PLT model. During the final training session, the facilitator p ushed the leaders to depersonalize the data, be prepared with guided questioning, and press their teams to

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138 in their leadership and move away from threatening conversat ions that build walls. She pressed them to collectively move to a restorative mindset so that teachers could grow in their practice together and improve the academic outcomes of all students. Exit tickets collected in all PLTL training reflected that the leaders were meeting the learning objectives and the facilitator supported their growth by continually reminding the leaders of pervious learning at the beginning of each session. Additionally, question 3 on each exit ticket, demonstrated substantial gro wth in relational and restorative connections made by PLT leaders during the training, their PLT leadership, and their relationships with students. The strongest connections were teacher relationships and d eveloping a quality PLT structure. The evidence substantiated that the PLTL training impacted leaders thinking and behaviors apparent in the training observations and exit tickets. PLT Observations During the observations, there was evidence that the sch ool was moving toward the anticipated habits established by DuFour (2006) for schools with a professional learning team culture, although, observations indicate that each professional learning team was at a different stage in their development. During the first round of observations, some outmoded behaviors included (a) a focus on individual teacher results, (b) a focus on teaching, (c) emphasis on what was taught, and (d) data discussions that were centered on what was taught and not what students

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139 learned More importantly, during the first round of observations, there was evidence that the training was having an impact and moving the teams from outmoded habits to the anticipated habits with evidence of (a) interdependent talk and thinking, (b) team based actions, (c) language of commitment, (d) planning for short term success, and (e) team norms, and (f) collaboration. Every team except the Math 10 team had norms evident in their PLT. Establishing norms was a part of the training for all PLT leaders and implementation was evident. Some of the strongest language of commitment during the first round of observations came from the English 9 and Science 9 PLTs. In the English 9 team observation, there was a substantiated commitment from the teachers to fill There was a clear focus on the short term success of their students and conversations were centered on student learning. These actions are specifically supported by DuFour (2006) as examples of a shift in the culture to the anticipated habits of quality PLTs. The Science 9 PLT also had a strong presence of the anticipated habits with a consistent language of unity and commitment to student success. This group aligned their professional growth plans and student learning objectives for their teacher evaluations demonstrating a joint commitment to student success. This alignment and commitment is supported by Smith (2015) as teacher teams work to create predictable learning environments for all students. Although there was still evidence of some outmoded habits during the second round of observations, there were strong connections to the observable behaviors,

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140 anticipated habits, and the training. During the second round of observations, the English 10 PL T had made some significant movement toward the anticipated behaviors. There was an observable shift in their collaborative voice around giving students multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning including a deployment strategy that distributed the st udents based on their needed intervention with an opportunity for re testing. These actions were all anticipated steps of a professional learning community documented in the literature and stressed for developing relationships and appropriate behaviors (r estorative practices) with students by Vaandering (2010). Additionally, the Social Studies 10 PLT had moved from independent thought and actions and begin the process of aligning their work with a teacher exemplar. This was a significant move to align th eir practices and begin to reflect on actual student achievement. Additionally, I observed the continued growth of the English 9 and Science 9 PLTs whose observable habits were all in the anticipated column. I also observed substantial growth in the Mat h 9 PLT which was also deploying their students similarly to the English 10 PLT and they were having rich conversations about student results. In addition to their conversation about student results, there was evidence of an alignment in their instruction al expectations, planning, and intervention strategies. The one team with little or no movement toward the anticipated habits was the Grade 10 Math PLT. During the first round of observations, this PLT was reluctant

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141 to work together and continually asked one of the assistant principals if they could all work independently. Norms for this group were weak and very basic. The team lacked a commitment to each other and the process. During the second round of observations, the PLT Leadership had changed and another teacher had taken charge of team leadership. This new leader had not been trained but wanted to move her team toward the anticipated habits. The observation protocol (See Appendix B) with the anticipated habits had been shared with all teachers a t the study school and the new teacher leader was working toward her understanding of the anticipated habits. During the school year, a PLT Process Rubric (See Appendix I) had been developed by the instructional leadership team from a rubric provided by a uthor and former assistant superintendent W.R. Smith. The rubric was shared across the whole school for input on observable behaviors and used to help all teachers and potential leaders understand the direction of the school. The observations reflected an implementation of the PLT Leadership training. There was energy toward the anticipated habits from 7 of the 8 observed PLTs. Teams of teachers could analyze their data more effectively and had established restorative practices among themselves to addres s the data. There was evidence that teams had developed depersonalized approaches to data analysis and began to align their expectations of student work. In 7 of the 8 PLTs observed, there was a strong level of implementation of the training with the las t one changing its leadership. The PLT Leadership training has impacted the interactions of PLT Leaders with their

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142 professional learning team, evident in the observation data, affirming question two of the case study research. Referral and Failure Rates R eferral data across the school as well as the study groups was down. Of the case study groups, grade 10 showed the most significant decrease in referral rates. In every training session, many teachers made connections between the restorative practices tr aining that was imbedded in the PLT Leader training, but all teachers made strong connections to the PLT leadership training and delivering a restorative approach with their colleagues. In addition to the PLTL training at the school, there was bi monthly 30 minute restorative practices training for all teachers. The restorative practices training received by all teachers in conjunction with the PLT Leadership training impacted the school. It is difficult to ascertain to what degree each influenced the re ferral rate; however, it was evident that the PLT Leader training positively influence the interactions of teachers developing a Culture of Care for the staff. Shifting the school culture to a restorative mindset as outlined by the literature and emphasiz ed by Costello, Watchtel, and Watchtel (2009). Culture is not a switch that is turned on and off, but a manifestation of human interactions between all parties. The third research question was inconclusive because there was more restorative training occu rring than just the PLTL training; however, there is no doubt that the restorative practices training and the PLTL training were having a positive effect on all interpersonal interactions and relationships.

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143 Failure rates were positively impacted by the PLT L training. The most significant impact is an alignment across grades that reflects the student attendance rate. In grade 9, 88 percent of students attend daily and the pass rates reflect the attendance rates in 2 of the 4 core content areas observed wit h the English 9 PLT having a slightly higher failure rate. There was an identified difference in the gradebooks that could account for the difference in the English 9 rate. The alignment was also evident in grade 10 with an 84 percent attendance and 84 p ercent of students receiving a similar rate of passing marks for 3 of the 4 core content areas observed. Even though grades 11 and 12 were not part of the case study, these grade level had an 88 percent attendance rate and an 88 percent pass rate in 3 of their 4 core content areas. This type of alignment across an entire school is a result of a change which can be attributed to the PLT Leadership training. This change is supported by the literature and experts like Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) whe re school leaders are pressed to provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum to all students that is not predicated on whom a student has a teacher. Summary The Denver Area High School made significant gains from the PLTL training as was evident in the tr aining exit tickets, observations, referral rates, and failure rates. The school aligned their processes, expectations, and began to fill the teacher learning gap for analyzing data. There is evidence in the exit tickets that PLT leaders were achieving t he intended learning targets outlined in the lesson plans.

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144 Observations indicate that the PLT Leadership training was being implemented by 7 of the 8 teams observed. During the PLT observations, there was evidence of growth between observations and imple mentation of the anticipated habits. There was evidence of alignment of student expectations and re teaching opportunities that were aligned with achieving student proficiency. There was a decline in referral rates; however, it is inconclusive to what de restorative practices training or PLT Leadership training. The interactions of teacher across the school improved and there was a shift to a non threatening approach that focused on students results not o failure rates evident across the entire school which was aligned with the attendance rate. Professional Learning Team Leadership training has had a positive impact on the school. To summarize, the P LTL training positively impacted teacher and PLT practices. If students attended school, they could expect to receive multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency and receive needed interventions to help them meet these standards. The development of a Culture of Care using restorative justice, restorative practices, intentional relationships, and professional learning teams was present at the Denver Area High School and the PLTL training improved teacher and professional learning team practices and t here was evidence of the training in reduced referral rates and failure rates.

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145 Conclusions The staff, administrators, and teachers at Denver Area High School were working hard and the primary issue of school turnaround is not working harder but working collaboratively within teams to accomplish the right work. Urban transformation and school turnaround efforts should be grounded in a Culture of Ca re through the use of Professional Learning Teams / Communities, restorative practices, restorative justice, and relationship development. These ingredients of school transformation establish a distributive leadership model and practices necessary to tran sform education. Muhammad and Hollie (2013) emphasize that transforming schools requires a collaborative culture at every level of the school community. Professional Learning Teams DuFour and Marzano (2011) wrote that school improvement is people improve ment and the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. The teachers at Denver Area professional learning teams but they lack some of the skills need to lead their teams to suc cess and meet the needs of an urban environment. As anticipated, the PLT leadership training positively impacted teacher and professional learning team practices. Professional learning teams are a key ingredient to developing a Culture of Care in all sch ools and especially urban schools. The weight of school transformation is too burdensome for an individual or small group of people. School transformation requires a coalition of teachers who

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146 have the skills and will needed for school transformation. Sc hools must be comprised of varying levels of leadership that help guide and transform a school. Each of the professional learning teams must take their piece of the transformational process and achieve success for their teams and for all the students on t he teams. Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) stress that a key factor in school improvement is the collegiality and professionalism of the staff including norms, instructional strategies, a guaranteed and viable curriculum, governance structures, and me aningful professional development. At Denver Area High School, professional learning team leaders received meaningful training, took ownership of their teams, developed norms, and developed the structures needed to improve achievement for every student. Professional learning teams and quality leadership at every level is key to school transformation. Professional learning teams are a key part of the Culture of Care and their establishment supports school turnaround efforts. All schools should follow this structure; however, schools in turnaround situa tions need this structure to develop a distributive leadership model for school transformation. Results of the professional learning team, as part of the Culture of Care, indicate that when teachers work together to strategize and depersonalize the proces s, they can begin to fill the gaps of students with numerous risk factors associated with poverty, mobility, and failing schools. I stress that following the model outlined by the original works of DuFour and Eaker (1998) is critical. Many turnaround sch ools try to implement professional

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147 learning teams but water down the process and structures because they require educators to be transparent about their practices and results. The results indicate that holding firm to the Professional Learning Community s tructures and training teachers to become leaders, developing norms, teaching data analysis, and developing structures for authentic teacher teacher interactions is the right ingredient for school transformation. School transformation is possible and profe ssional learning teams are key to developing a Culture of Care. Restorative Practices In order for learning to occur, schools must be havens within the community so that children can feel and be safe. Moreover, students and teachers must develop the pers onal relationships needed and address harm to positively develop school environments. School turnaround requires that all people have the abilities and skills to develop interpersonal relationships within many difficult situations. Marzano, Waters, and M cNulty (2005) stress that school transformation requires leadership that produces safe and orderly environments and provides teachers with skills to address classroom management. Urban education and failing school turnaround requires a different type of t raining that addresses the interpersonal needs of the community. Ferguson (2008) provides evidence that turnaround schools need to provide students with high levels of help and perfectionist pedagogies for success. To provide this level of help, the Cult ure of Care addresses the relational needs of the student body, teachers, and community along with professional learning team structures.

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148 Teacher preparation programs have not developed a teaching staff prepared for the difficulties and pedagogical tran sparency needed for school turnaround and urban transformation. Schools must be intentional about developing their staffs to work in urban environments and collaborative teams. The key is intentional because Denver Area High School made the mistake of be lieving that teachers naturally had the skills needed for interpersonal relationship building that would lead to high quality professional learning teams and interpersonal relationships with their fellow teachers and urban students. This fallacious thinki ng led to years of incremental improvements in school discipline and failure rates. Intentionally addressing restorative practices, part of the Culture of Care, has significantly improved the interpersonal relationships of the teaching staff and their int eractions with students. The level of professionalism in the PLTs was documented in the case study and the structures help the staff depersonalize the data and develop strategies that address cant improvement in interpersonal relationships between the teaching staff which led to collaborative efforts to support their students. Developing restorative practices showed significant reductions in referrals at all grade levels with the most dramati c change at grade 10. As teachers develop their skills and addressed student educational gaps without blaming students, they develop a Culture of Care in their classroom and the school. These collaborative efforts are needed to transform turnaround schoo ls and communities. Teachers must close the

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149 cultural divide between themselves and their students while addressing educational gaps without deficitizing students. Duncan Andrade and Morrell (2008) documented practices for moving urban schools and stresse d the need for teachers to work in collaboration with their students to transform their environments. Urban educators must the skills to work with their students to develop commonality and eliminate the perceived ideas of difference. Culture of Care Deve loping a Culture of Care through the use of Professional Learning Teams / Communities, Restorative Practices, Relationships, and Restorative Justice is essential for all schools and essential for any school turnaround effort. The Culture of Care is like a quality pie crust that each school adds its own filling too create its uniqueness. Teachers working in well structured professional learning teams and communities has shown significant success at the Denver Area High School over time and with the needed distributive leadership training of the PLT leaders, produced further results. The structures for PLTs must be in place, and we must train our staffs to lead their teams to success. The learning outcomes of the training were aligned with producing qualit y outcomes for educators and the reflective approach with exit critieria and tickets resulted in success. Further development of restorative practices in the classroom and among teachers also showed significant improvements in interpersonal relationships among all peoples at the Denver Area High School. Not only were referrals down, but teacher teacher interactions had improved and teams

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150 were addressing needed pedagogical changes. DuFour and Fullan (2013) emphasize ed in a solid foundation of common purpose, shared vision, collective commitments, and goals that shape the culture of the urban and turnaround education. Summary The right pro fessional development is critical to any school and especially school turnaround. Developing a Culture of Care grounded in the Professional Learning Team / Community model, Restorative Practices, Restorative Justice, and Relationship development are the k ey ingredients of every school turnaround effort. Each school can then development their own set of unique ingredients that uplift their c ommunities and support the Culture of Care by raising expectations with purpose. Without a doubt, school leadership training has strengthened the Culture of Care at the Denver Area High School and is helping to develop a national model for school turnaround efforts. The results show that training efforts supported a Culture of Care and the school showed decreases in re ferral rates, improved teacher teacher interactions, improved PLT outcomes, and an alignment of pass rates and attendance. Any urban turnaround school would relish these accomplishments.

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151 Recommendations This section will present several recommendation s of practice from the findings of the case study. Recommendations will be made for school leaders, turnaround schools, and potential future research recommendations. Recommendations for Practice Developing high functioning urban schools through the use o f Professional Learning Team or Professional Learning Communities, Restorative J ustice intentional Relationship building, and Restorative P ractice s are essential to cre ating a Culture of Care in schools. Cavanagh (2008 b ) and Cavanagh, Macfarlane, Glynn, and Macfarlane ( 2012) found evidence in New Zealand and the United States of racism and privilege in the form of deficit thinking about minority students and culturally insensitiv e conversations At the core of these prejudiced ideals are a deficit mindset about minority students, poverty, parents, and communities. The ideals of a C ulture of Care, Cavanagh (2009), empowers students and provides a safe haven for African American and Latino students to express themselves and thei r emotions. Because of having structures that repair relationships, students attend school more and improve their educational outcomes. A key component outlined in the conceptual framework of the Culture of Care in this case study for urban schools is th e use of Professional Learning Teams, Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices, and Relationships to move the educational system completely away from a deficit

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152 mindset and develop teams of teachers that have the structures necessary to address the educat ional gaps found in any school setting and most urban settings. Recommendations for School Leaders There are more minority students attending United States public schools today than any time in history and unfortunately, there is a systemic issue of lower performance for minority students especially as the poverty rate increases. Moreover, minority students are disproportionately disciplined leading to a phenomenon known as the school to prison pipeline. The current systems of lower achievement and overr epresentation in discipline for minority students prevent our nation from realizing the true potential of every person protected by its laws and rights. It is time for us to develop a new system that meets the needs of our diverse nation and ensures the s uccess of every child. Children had no part in creating the system, but the outcomes of the system we develop will outline the success or failure of our republic. I recommend the following: 1. Restorative Justice should become the disciplinary system of every school. Students and teachers should be required to make amends for any breeches in their relationships and address any misbehavior in a restorative manner. Adults and children must be vulnerable and admit their role in each breech even if it was r eactionary. Allowing breeches to continue without resolution will manifest into more disciplinary issues especially in culturally diverse communities.

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153 2. Restorative Practices should be taught to every teacher and implemented in every school classroom. Coll aboratively developing classroom norms and expectations while changing the role of the teacher from the authority to the facilitator is critical to our modern world. The role of teachers is changing and changing the role of teachers is critical to student success. Most importantly, we need to transform our urban schools and support our most vulnerable people, our children in K 12 education, into critical thinkers and leaders in the twenty first century. 3. Intentionally develop quality relationships with stu dents. This change is critical in all schools and documented as necessary in urban settings especially when parents may have a limited or negative view of education. We must greet and authentically welcome our students to school every day, even the ones with educational gaps. Every child deserves to be in a loving environment regardless if they are 4 or 18, they should never feel ostracized because of their educational gaps or behaviors that they have developed to compensate for these educational gaps. R ecommendation for Failing or Turnaround Schools First, I want to commend you for the work you have chosen because it is not easy. Turnaround requires commitment, deep collaboration, and a Culture of Care as outlined in the conceptual framework. I recom mend that at the high school and middle school levels, teachers be assigned specific grade levels to focus and develop

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154 their expertise. These teams should commit to several years teaching specific grades so they can better understand the educational gaps for the students they serve and a develop quality guaranteed curriculum. All turnaround school should have a collaborative culture as their foundation. The load of urban and school transformation is too heavy for one person and requires teams to create s uccess. One of the most difficult prospects is to become a leader of a turnaround or failing school. Most times, the schools have entrenched deficit beliefs about students and out of desperation have hired many staff members unsuitable for the environment I make the following recommendations: 1. Begin working on creating a Culture of Care in your school. Start by training groups on restorative practices and restorative justice. All training should be on a regular basis with teachers receiving training wit h an expectation of implementation followed up by more training to support growth in the process. 2. Divide the staff into professional learning teams preferably at each grade level divided by content area. Teachers should not be focused on multiple curricul a if possible. The fewer curricula that a teacher focuses their attention on, the more time they should focus on filling gaps, restorative practices, and developing relationships with their students. I highly recommend following the structures outlined b y DuFour and Eaker (1998) and DuFour (2006) and make a commitment to stay with the process for 5 years. All educators need consistency but urban and turnaround educators need consistency even more.

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155 3. Understand that there will be resistance to change and th at deficit thinking about students, parents, and communities run very deep and may even potential. Stay the course and if your system is still failing, ask yourself, Recommendation for Future Research The foundations of change are being developed at Denver Area High School and at schools across our nation. The time for change is now! We have been struggling to develop equitable educational outcomes for every student, break the cycles of poverty that exist in our nation, and develop a better result. Our current system is predictable and provides economic d evelopers statistical information for building prisons based on educational attainment and disciplinary trajectories as early as third grade. I recommend research on: 1. Complete transformation of a turnaround school using the Culture of Care as the foundati on for a multiyear span that documents the changes at the school and within the community. 2. Research on how an economically viable community and a community with little or no viability affects turnaround school success and failure. 3. Research highly success Gallop Teacher Insight, so that schools can begin hiring quality personnel who

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156 have the personality, strengths, and characteristics to meet the demands of urban education. Final Thoughts Having served in the United States Marine Corps, worked in professional business management, and thrived as a classroom teacher and school administrator for 13 years, I believe we live in the greatest country in all of history. If any nation had the opportunity to solve the educational gaps predominating our minority and impoverished students, it would be the United States of America. Most importantly, our kids and future generations are counting on us to solve this complex puzzle so en can develop to its truest potential. We all deserve to live in a Culture of Care and together, we can develop an equitable educational system for all children.

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157 REFERENCES Amstutz, L., & Mullet, J. (2005). The little book of restorative discipline for schools: Teaching responsibility, creating caring climates Intercourse, PA: Good Books. Alphen, M. V. (2014). Restorative Practices: A Systemic Approach to Support Social Responsibility. Systems Research and Behavioral Science,32 (2), 190 196. doi:10.1002/sres.2259 Anfara, V., Evans, K., & Lester, J. (2013). Restorative justice in education: What we know so f ar. Mi ddle School Journal, 44 (5), 57 63. Bambrick Santoyo, P. (2010). Driven by data: A practical guide to improve \ instruction San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Baker, J. A. (1999). Teacher student interaction in urban at risk c lassrooms: Differential behavior, relationship quality, and student satisfaction with s chool. The Elementary School Journal, 100 (1), 57 70. Bazemore, G. (2001). Young people, t rouble, an d crime: Restorative justice as a n ormative theory of informal social control and social s upport. Youth & Society, 33 (2), 199 226. Retrieved July 30, 2015, fr om SAGE Social Science Collection. Boykin, A. W., & Noguera, P. (2011). Creating the opportunity to learn: moving from research to practice to close the achievement gap Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Braithwaite, J. (2000). Survey article: Repentance rituals and restorative justice. Journal of Political Philosophy, 8 (1), 115 131. Braithwaite, J. (2004 ). Restorative justice and de p rofessionalization. The Good

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158 Society, 13 (1), 28 31. doi:10.1353/ gso.2004.0023 Cavanagh, T. (2003). Schooling for peace: Caring for our children in school. Experiments in Education, 5 9. Cavanagh, T. (2008 a ). Schooling for happiness: Rethinking the aims of education. Kairaranga, 9 (1), 20 23. Cavanagh, T. (2008b). Creating schools of peace and nonviolence in a time of w ar and v iolence. Journal of School Violence, 8 (1), 64 80. doi:10.1080/15388220802067912 Cavanagh, T. (2009). Creating a new discourse of peace in schools: Restorative justice in education. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies, 18 (2), 62 84. Cavanagh, T., Macfarlane, A., Glynn, T., & Macfarlane, S. (2012). Creating peaceful and effective schools through a Culture of Care Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 33 (3), 443 455. doi:10.1080/01596306.2012.681902 Cavanagh, T., Vigil, P., & Garcia, E. (2014). A story legitimating the v oices of Latino/Hispanic students and their parents: Creating a restorative justice response to wrongdoing and c onfl ict in s chools. Equity & Excellence in Education, 47 (4), 565 579. doi:10.1080/10665684.2014.958966 Coggshall, J., Osher, D., & Colombi, G. (2013). Enhancing educators' capacity to s top the school to prison p ipeline. Family Court Review, 51 (3), 435 444 Cost ello, B., Wachtel, J. & Watchtel T. (2009). The restorative practices handbook:

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159 For teachers, disciplinarians and administrators Bethlehem, PA: International Institute for Restorative Practices. Costello, B., & Wachtel, J. & Wachtel T. (2010). The restorative circles in schools: Building community and enhancing learning Bethlehem, PA: International Institute for Restorative Practices. Chenoweth, K. (2009). It Can Be Done, It's Being Done, and Here's How. Phi Delta Kappan,91 (1), 38 43. doi:10.1177/003172170909100106 Christle, C., Jolivette, K., & Nelson, C. (2007). School Characteristics Related to High School Dropout Rates. Remedial and Special Education, 28 (6), 325 339. doi:10.1177/07419325070280060201 Cuellar, A., & Markowitz, S. (2015). School suspension and the school to prison pipeline. International Review of Law and Economics, 43 98 106. Daly, K. (2002). Restorative justice: The real story. Punishment and Society, 4 (1), 55 79. doi:10.1177/14 624740222228464 Drewery, W. (2014). Restorative practices in New Zealand schools: Social development through restorative justice. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 1 13. doi:10.1080/00131857.2014.989951 DuFour, R. (2006). Learning by doing: A handbook for professional learning communities at work Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree. DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. E. (1998). Professional learning communities at work: Best

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160 practices for enhancing student achievement Bloomington, IN: National Education Service. DuFour, R., & Fullan, M. (2013). Cultures built to last: Systemic PLCs at work Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree. Du F our, R., & Marzano, R. J. (2011). Leaders of learning: How district, school, and classroom leaders improve s tudent achievement Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Duncan Andrade, J. M., & Morrell, E. (2008). The art of critical pedagogy: possibilities for moving from theory to practice in urban schools New York: Peter Lang. Eaker R. E., DuFour, R., & DuFour, R. B. (2002). Getting started: Reculturing schools to become professional learning communities Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service. Ellerbee, L. (Writer). (2015, August 4). School Crime and Too Much Punishment [ Television broadcast]. In Nick News New York City, NY: Nickelodeon Ferguson, R. F. (2008). Helping Students of Color Meet High Standards. In Everyday Antiracism (pp. 78 81). New York, NY: The New Press. Friend, M., & Cook, L. (2012). Interactions: Collaboration skills for school professionals. New York: Pearson. Gonsoulin, S., Zablocki, M., & Leone, P. (2012). Safe schools, staff development,

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161 and the school to prison pipeline. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 35 (4), 309 319. doi:10.1177/0888406412453470 Kane, J., McCluskey, G., Riddell, S., Stead, J., Weedon, E., Maguire, R., & Hendry, R. (2007). Resto rative practices in three Scottish councils: Final report of the evaluation of the first two years of the pilot projects 2004 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2015, from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2007/08/24093135 Kane, J., Lloyd, G., Mccluskey, G., Riddell, S., Stead, J., & Weedon, E. (2008). Collaborative evaluation: Balancing rigour and relevance in a research study of restorative approaches in schools in Scotland. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 32 (2), 99 111. doi:10.1080/17437270802124343 Kolb, S. (2012). Grounded theory and the constant comparative method: Valid research strategies for educators. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 3 (1), 83 86. Retrieved March 29, 2016. Latimer, J. Dowden, C., & Muise, D. (2005). The effectiveness of restorative justice practices: A meta analysis. The Prison Journal, 85 (2), 127 144. doi:10.1177/00 Leonard, L., & Kenny, P. (2010). Measuring the effectiveness of restorati ve justice practices in the Republic of Ireland through a meta analysis of functionalist exchange. The Prison Journal, 91 (1), 57 80. doi:10.1177/0032885510389561 Macready, T. (2009). Learning social responsibility in schools: A restorative

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162 practice. Educational Psychology in Practice, 25 (3), 211 220. doi:10.1080/02667360903151767 Mallett, C. (2015). The school to prison pipeline: A critical review of the punitive paradigm shift. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal Child Adolescent Social Work Journal doi:10.1007/s10560 015 0397 1 Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Mccluskey, G., Lloyd, G., Kane, J., Riddell, S., Stead, J., & Weedon, E. (2008). Can restorative practices in schools make a difference? Educational Review, 60 (4), 405 417. doi:10.1080/00131910802393456 McClusky, G., Lloyd, G., Stead, J., Kane, J., Riddell, S., & Weedon, E. (2008). 'I was dead restorative today': From restorative justice to restorative approaches in schools. Cambridge Journal of Education, 38 (2), 19 216. doi:10.1080/03057640802063262 Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementati on San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Muhammad, A., & Hollie, S. (2012). Responsive classroom management. In The will to lead, the skill to teach: Transforming schools at every level Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Muoz, M. A., Scoskie, J. R., & F

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163 achievement in a large urban district. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 25 (3), 205 230. Odden, A., & Archibald, S. (2009). Doubling student performance: ... and finding the resources to do it Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Payne, A., & Welch, K. (2015). Restorative justice in schools: The influence of race on restorative discipline. Youth & Society, 539 564. doi:10.1177/0044118X12473125 Rosenbloom, S. R., & Way, N. (2004). Experiences of Discrimination among African American, Asian American, and Latino Adolescents in an Urban High School. Youth & Society,35 (4), 420 451. doi:10.1177/0044 118x03261479 Schmoker, M. J. (2006). Results now: How we can achieve unprecedented improvements in teaching and learning Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Schmoker, M. J. (2011). Focus: Elevating the essentials to r adically improve student learning Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Schwebel, M. (2012). Why America doesn't fix its failing schools. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology,18 (2), 193 198. doi:10.1037/a0028295 Shenton, A. K. (2004). Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22 63 75. Smith, W. R. (2015). How to launch PLCs in your district Bloomington, IN: Solution

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164 Tree. Spradley, J. (2016). Partici pant observation Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. Toldson, I., Woodson, K., Braithwaite, R., Holliday, R., & De La Rosa, M. (2010). Academic potential among African American adolescents in juvenile detention centers: Implications for reentry to school. Offender Rehabilitation, 49 (8), 551 570. doi:10.1080/10509674.2010.519666 Utheim, R. (2014). Restorative justice, reintegration, and race: Reclaiming collective identity in the postracial era. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 45 (4), 355 372. doi:1 0.1111/aeq.12075 Vaandering, D. (2010). The significance of critical theory for restorative justice in education. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 32 (2), 145 176. doi:10.1080/10714411003799165 Vaandering D. (2013). Implementing restorative justice practice in schools: What pedagogy reveals. Journal of Peace Education, 11 (1), 64 80. doi:10.1080/17400201.2013.794335 Wilkins, J. (2014). Good teacher student relationships: Perspectives of teachers in urban high schools. American Secondary Education, 43 (1), 52 68. Woodruff, J. (Writer). (2014, February 20). To curb conflict, a Colorado high school replaces conflict with conversation [Television broadcast]. In PBS Newshour Denver, Colorado: PBS Zimmermann, G., Carter, J. A., Kanold, T. D. & Tonchegg, M. (2012). Common

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165 core mathematics in a PLC at work Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Zehr, H. (2002). The little book of restorative justice Intercourse, PA: Good Books.

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166 APPENDIX A PROFESSIONAL LEARNING TEAM LEADER TRAINING EXIT TICKET Date / Time: Professional Learning Team Leader Name: 1. 2. 3. How will this learning apply to restorative practices or student teacher relationships?

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167 APPENDIX B OBSERVATION PROTOCOL FOR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING TEAM MEETING Date / Time: Observer: Matthew R Willis Observed PLT Group: Notes to observed PLT group I am simply here as an observer of your professional learning team so that I can gain a better strongly believes in a growth mindset for staff and students so please conduct your meeting as if I were not here. To help with this, I will try not to disturb your process. Focus of Observation: Circle the observable behaviors and provide comments, quotes, and behavioral indicators that confirm the observation and implementation of the PLT leader training Outmoded Habits Culture: Individual teacher results Focus on teaching Intervention outside of school One opportunity to demonstrate proficient External focus Independent talk and thinking Individua l planning and actions Language of complaint Planning long range Focus on teacher satisfaction Unscripted meeting Student: Focus on student behaviors Punishing poor academics/behaviors Student deficits Data: Independently judge student work Emphasis on what is taught Centered on content being taught Focus on who failed assessment Anticipated Habits Focus on student learning Group results and actions Directed support during class Multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency Internal focus on steps to take Interdependent talk and thinking Team based actions Language of commitment Planning for short term success Focus on improved student learning Team norms and collaboration Focus on supporting student success Use of restorative practices to addres s student behaviors / academic gaps Student assets and leveraging Agreements / norming student work Emphasis on what students learned Students demonstrating proficiency Discuss re teaching, interventions, students who need additional support

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168 APPENDIX C PLT Leader PD Session 1 Lesson Plan for August 4, 2016 Who Is On We, the staff at Hinkley, believe all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. It is our job to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional growth. We are confident that, with our support, students will become critical thinkers, effective communicators, self advocates, stewards of the community, and navig ators of the 21 st Century. We achieve this shared educational purpose by working collaboratively with colleagues, students, and parents. Statement of Inquiry: PLT Leaders will facilitate highly productive professional learning teams that: Demonstrate t hrough daily planning and execution that all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. Utilize the expertise of the PLT to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional student growth. Time Topic General Outline 3:00 3:10 p.m. Introduction Learning Objective: As the PLT Leader, assess the initial needs of the PLT and the structures available to launch a successful PLT. Begin to examine personal leadership strengths and areas of growth. Success Criteria: Frame an initial plan of how you will take on the role of a PLT Leader, using it to guide you next steps in planning your first PLT meetings. Overview of notebook and tools that are contained in it. 3:10 3:30 p.m. Identify who is in your PLT. Use PLT Leader Matrix Identify each of your PLT members on the grid based on your best assessment of where s/he is in beliefs and support of the PLT process. Reflect: How can I be sure to capitalize on the strengths of this team member? What supports will I need from my administrator to help move the PLT? to move each PLT member? Set protocol for discussion. Have brief discussion with partners, and then open to entire group to share key ideas that surfaced. (last question revisited in Academic Circle)

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169 3:30 3:40 p.m. Creating Norms from Learning by Doing by DuFour go.solution tree.com/PLCbooks Review key ideas to focus on when creating exercise resource. Walk through exercise for PLT Leader group, modeling it. 3:40 3:45 p.m. Meeting Protocols Ensure protocols are centered around the critical questions of a PLT. Similar to norms, but mor e operationalized. Refer to PLT Log and Norms example from whole staff PD. Protocol needs to include maximizing your time as a group and then relax at the end of the meeting. Business and comradery balance. Also, keep in mind those protocols that ensure that every PLT member is involved in the PLT process. Review Critical Questions of a PLT. 3:45 4:00 p.m. Using the PLT Planning Calendar Re visit the Doug Lemov graph on high poverty, high performing schools. Results come from effective backwards planning. Review elements of PLT Planning Calendar. Know when major events occur that effect instruction like: Interim Assessments Data Dig Parent Teacher Conferences Holidays/Inservice Days Can intentionally plan for: Common Formative Assessments/End of Unit Assessments Re teaching Plan MYP/DP Criteria Assessed 2 W riting Prompts & CM Language Function 4:00 4:30 p.m. Summarizing the Learning Reflection + Academic Circle Model and explicitly point out that this is an academic circle for reflection and summarizing learning just like it can be used in the classroom. Reflection Questions:: What do I need to keep in mind about the entire team so that it is inclusive of everyone? What supports will I need from my administrator to help move the PLT? to move each PLT member? How will I take on this new role of P LT Leader?

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170 APPENDIX D PLT Leader PD Session 2 Lesson Plan for August 17, 2016 What Exactly Is Needed to Prepare Effectively for Our Upcoming We, the staff at Hinkley, believe all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. It is our job to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional growth. We are confident that, with our support, students will become critical thinkers, effective communicators, self advocates, s tewards of the community, and navigators of the 21 st Century. We achieve this shared educational purpose by working collaboratively with colleagues, students, and parents. Statement of Inquiry: PLT Leaders will facilitate highly productive professional learning teams that: Demonstrate through daily planning and execution that all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. Utilize the expertise of the PLT to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional student grow th. Time Topic General Outline 3:30 3:35 p.m. What do I see? Share with PLT Leaders the information I receive; note that it is reflected to me anonymously, providing me with an unbiased level of feedback to determine if I met my learning objective and learning targets that were outlined within my lesson plan. Connect to how teachers do the same thin g each and every day; effective teaching and learning. 3:35 3:40 p.m. Statement of Inquiry/LO/SC Review the Statement of Inquiry, Learning Objective, and Success Criteria. Draw parallels to how this relates to the classroom and to the PLT meetings. Ensure that teachers know how it translates to both of these levels and ask them to relate it to their PLT members. This is their responsibility as PLT leaders. How can I be sure to capitalize on the strengths of this team member? 3:40 3:45 p.m. PLT Planning Calendar Look at PLT Planning Calendar. Has everyone identified when their Common Formative Assessments will occur within the quarter? Do you have your first writing prompt scheduled for your PGP and SLO (if applicable)? Do you have your baseline data date set for your SLO? What will your PLT do with the Interim Assessment data? Walk through exercise for PLT Leader group, modeling it

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171 3:45 3:55 p.m. Data Analysis Setting the Stage Video from Man On Fire per Paul Bambrick Santoro to set the stage. Critical Pedagogies Show key questions: to help Pita? Set the scene for video and make explicit connection to data analysis meetings. There is a analysis is so effective. Watch the video and identify it! This models the importance of the data analysis work of a PLT. Pair Share and then share out as whole group answers to the two questions. Review Core Ideas and connect to Culturally Relevant Pe dagogy: Asset Based Factors Relationships well established praise was not fake Pit a is a strong swimmer; she is just slow off the blocks. Vulnerability Creasy showed he, as a big blac k man, cared about her. Pita was still doubting herself and shared that with Creasy. Connect with our Non Negotiables. 3:55 4:05 p.m. Data Analysis Now we will do the data analysis from an Interim Assessment together. Middle School Math Interim. Identify that Ratio and Proportion is not the answer the students do not know how to multiply fractions! Digging deep makes it happen! Level One Analysis Global Analysis Review questions in small table groups summarize as whole group. Ratio Propor tion Results Overall: 70% Ratio Proportion General Questions 12,13,21: 82% Ratio Proportion Rates #22, 30: 58% Level Two Analysis Dig In Review questions in small table groups summarize as whole group. Look more closely at 2 Rate Questions #22: 35% #30: 80% Students are struggling with multiplying mixed numbers, not with rates. Verified with #5 Mixed Numbers #5: 40%

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172 Teacher One Role Play Teacher and Administrator are in the center of the group. They have a discussion. Can you identify the belief system of this teacher based on our 4 quadrant grid from the last session? Who is this teacher? (made up name here) Reflect on how to move this teacher if s/he was a member of your PLT? How would you capitalize on his/her stre ngths? How would you redirect the conversation to be all about the students and student learning? What strengths do you bring as a (1) educator who cares about students and (2) a PLT Leader that can help this teacher begin making the shift to seeing studen ts as capable, but just needing support? Write reflection. 2 minute pair share. 3 minute share out. 4:15 4:30 p.m. Teacher Two Role Play Teacher and Administrator are in the center of the group. They have a discussion. Can you identify the belief system of this teacher based on our 4 quadrant grid from the last session? Who is this teacher? (made up name here) Reflect on how to move this teacher if s/he was a member of your PLT? How would you capitalize on his/her strengths? How would you redirec t the conversation to be all about the students and student learning? What strengths do you bring as a (1) educator who cares about students and (2) a PLT Leader that can help this teacher begin making the shift to seeing students as capable, but just need ing support? Write reflection. 2 minute pair share. 3 minute share out. 4:30 5:00 p.m. Summarizing the Learning Reflection + Academic Circle Model and explicitly point out that this is an academic circle for reflection and summarizing learning just like it can be used in the classroom. Reflection Questions:: As I think about my fellow PLT members, what do I need to consider so we have effective PLT data analysis discussions? By capitalizing on my ________, I can support data analysis discussions in my PLT when _______________. My next step to support my PLT is:

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173 APPENDIX E PLT Leader PD Session 3 Lesson Plan for August 31, 2016 We, the staff at Hinkley, believe all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. It is our job to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional growth. We are confident that, with our support, students will become critical thinkers, effective communicat ors, self advocates, stewards of the community, and navigators of the 21 st Century. We achieve this shared educational purpose by working collaboratively with colleagues, students, and parents. Statement of Inquiry: PLT Leaders will facilitate highly productive professional learning teams that: Demonstrate through daily planning and execution that all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. Utilize the expertise of the PLT to create classroom environments resulting in e xceptional student growth. Time Topic General Outline 3:30 3:40 p.m. What do I see? Share with PLT Leaders the information I receive; note that it is reflected to me anonymously, providing me with an unbiased level of feedback to dete rmine if I met my learning objective and learning targets that were outlined within my lesson plan. Connect to how teachers do the same thing each and every day; effective teaching and learning. 3:40 3:45 p.m. Statement of Inquiry/LO/SC Review the Statement of Inquiry, Learning Objective, and Success Criteria. Draw parallels to how this relates to the classroom and to the PLT meetings. Ensure that teachers know how it translates to both of these levels and ask them to re late it to their PLT members. This is their responsibility as PLT leaders. How can I be sure to capitalize on the strengths of this team member? 3:45 3:50 p.m. Man On Fire Movie Segment Man on Fire Movie Give context to upcoming movie segment Please look at this movie segment with these two questions in mind. Show 2 questions. As you view this scene, what is effective analysis?

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174 3:45 3:55 p.m. Think Pair Share Video from Man On Fire per Paul Bambrick Santoro to set the stage. Show key questions: action plan effective? Set the scene for video and make explicit connection to data analysis meetings. There is Watch the video and identify it! This models the importance of the data analysis and the reflection in the work of a PLT. Pair Share and then share out as whole group answers to the two questions. Review Core Ideas and connect to Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Asset Based Factors assets, what she did wrong, and how she can knows he supports her. Relationships well established examination of her practice specifically targeted her abilities and her problems. He cared enough to share what she needed to work on, Practice Practice Practice: He helped her at hool or when it worked for him but in the 3:55 4:05 p.m. and necessary things, but unless they are coupled with real, concrete action, they will not What are we doing this for? Are we giving up this time for the money? Is all of this worthwhile? Is Suzanne doing ANYTHING to make it meaningful PD for me? ing up my time (even though give a care about the kids. They were gone Are you her?? What is your hot button when it comes to student learning? (Bri ef reflection on blank sheet of paper) 4:05 4:15p.m. Questions Focus on the concrete strategies needed to move from theory to reality in the classroom for Mr. Holland. Talk in pairs Share out ideas. Questions, Questions 4:15 4:20 p.m.

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175 Action Steps Planning Review questions in small table groups summarize as whole group. Look more closely at 2 Rate Questions #22: 35% #30: 80% Students are struggling with multiplying mixed numbers, not with rates. Verified with #5 Mixed Numbers #5: 40% 4:20 4:25 p.m. Action Steps Ongoing Asse ssment Where are the students at?? Share next few slides as challenge to PLT Leaders. Share that at the next meeting they will receive questions to spur on the c onversations to direct teachers to think about the very things they are currently thinking about, yet phrased in a supportive way 4:25 4:30 p.m. How does it all end for Pita and Creasy? Share last video clip on how it all worked out. Why do we cheer? Why do we care? How does this video connect with our work? Why is it relevant? 4:30 5:00 p.m. Summarizing the Learning Reflection + Academic Circle Model and explicitly point out that this is an academic circle for reflection and summarizing learning just like it can be used in the classroom. Reflection Questions: As a PLT Leader, I am not sure that I can ____, but with the support of _____, I know I can make it happen for students. In my PLT, students really need _____. In order to help them, I need to __________. As a PLT Leader, I am really encouraged about how I can help my PLT to do __ _____.

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176 APPENDIX F PLT Leader PD Session 4 Lesson Plan for September 14, 2016 Re Teaching Challenging Concepts + Restorative Practices in Re We, the staff at Hinkley, believe all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. It is our job to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional growth. We are confident that, with our support, students will become critical thinkers, effective communicators, self advocates, stewards of the communit y, and navigators of the 21 st Century. We achieve this shared educational purpose by working collaboratively with colleagues, students, and parents. Statement of Inquiry: PLT Leaders will facilitate highly productive professional learning teams that: Demonstrate through daily planning and execution that all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. Utilize the expertise of the PLT to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional student growth. Time Topic Genera l Outline 3:30 3:35 p.m. Review of: Where we have been Where we are going Share with PLT Leaders a brief synopsis of some of the topics we have covered thus far and the topics we will be covering in this session. Connect this to good teaching practices where prior knowledge and teaching is recognized and identified. Then, clearly connect it to the new concepts that are going to be learned, providing participants with the anticipatory upcoming le 3:35 3:40 p.m. PLT Observation Protocol Share PLT Observation Protocol form with teachers. Identify the 3 key areas where PLTs will be observed: Culture, Student, and Data. Depending on the conversations in the PLT, various habits within a section will be noted. This is part of the data that will be examined in the PLT Case Study documenting the growth Leadership Training has, and the school wide focus on consistency within eac h PLT. 3:40 3:45 p.m.

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177 Statement of Inquiry/ LO/SC Review the Statement of Inquiry, Learning Objective, and Success Criteria. Draw parallels to how this relates to the classroom and to the PLT meetings. Ensure that teachers know how it translates to both of these levels and ask them to relate it to their PLT members. This is their responsibility as PLT leaders. Creating a Culture of Care is not just in the classroom, but in our work with one another. We have a tremendous opport unity to support one another in our PLTs. 3:45 3:50 p.m. Consensus, Unanimity Define consensus and unanimity in relation to PLTs. Is this an elephant in the room? way to operate. 3:50 4:00 p.m. Consensus Example Use the cell phone proposal as a way to demonstrate how to arrive at consensus. Break room into 2 groups. Have one group identify 3 reasons why the cell phone proposal is good. One group will identify 3 reasons why the cell phone proposal is NOT good. Share out to whole group, and other group provides 2 additional reasons to add to their li st. Same is done for the other group. Then, Connect to Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Asset Base d Factors Everyone comes with expertise and a true desire to do well. No one intentions. If you have someone who is negative about something in your PLT, could it be because they are unsure of their ability to implement the strategies being suggested? Relationships well established these are the people who have your back. They are the ones Practice Practice Practice: The more a PLT works on data analysis and focusing on student imp rovement and re teaching, the more it all what we do. Now, see these same culturally relevant factors evident in the work of the PLT the Culture of Care applies to how we work with one another just as much as it applies to our work with students. Review the Results Meeting Protocol steps. Assigning roles helps keep everyone accountable to the results of the meeting. It

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178 4:00 4:10 p.m. Results Meeting Protocol keeps an eye on that most precious of all commodities time! Within this protocol, there is also a way to conduct the brainstorming, the consensus, and the reflection. These are all done in a way that ensures EACH member of the team has a voice in each of these critical elements of the resul ts meeting. 4:10 4:20p.m. Role Play of PLT Results Meeting Protocol information from this PLT. Also, have them they listen to the dialogue. (Note: Four people who were selected at the beginning of the session have a Results Meeting script as members of the PLT.) As the role play is conducted, ask everyone to look at the PLT matrix to see if they can identify any of named at Session 1. 4:20 4:25 p.m. One Minute Reflection If you had this PLT, how can the results meeting protocol help your ability to move the meeting to the desired conclusion? Please write your brief reflection on your PowerPoint slide handout. 4:25 5:00 p.m. Summarizing the Learning Reflection + Academic Circle Model and explicitly point out that this is an academic circle for reflection and summarizing learning just like it can be used in the classroom. Reflection Questions: As I think about ways to guide challenging discussions in my PLT, I need to remember ________. What really helped me expand my thinking about ways to discuss student data and progress was ________ because ___________. Student success will be achieved through growing the quality of _______ in my PLT. _______ because ________.

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179 APP E NDIX G PLT Leader PD Session 5 Lesson Plan for September 28, 2016 We, the staff at Hinkley, believe all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. It is our job to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional growth. We are confident that, with our support, students will become critical thinkers, effective communicators, self advocates, stewards of the community, and navigators of the 21 st Century. We achieve this shared educational purpose by working collaboratively wit h colleagues, students, and parents. Statement of Inquiry: PLT Leaders will facilitate highly productive professional learning teams that: Demonstrate through daily planning and execution that all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. Utilize the expertise of the PLT to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional student growth. Time Topic General Outline 3:30 3:35 p.m. Statement of Inquiry/ LO/SC Review the Statement of Inquiry, Learning Objective, and Success Criteria. Draw parallels to how this relates to the classroom and to the PLT meetings. Ensure that teachers know how it translates to both of these levels and ask them to relate it to their PLT members. This is their responsibilit y as PLT leaders. The focus is on effective data analysis and how our Culture of Care can help support us when the data discussions are difficult. Creating a Culture of Care is not just in the classroom, but in our work with one another. We have a treme ndous opportunity to support one another in our PLTs, and ultimately, this is the only way for us to truly help our students grow. 3:35 3:40 p.m. Review of Prior Learning Where did we leave off? Review some of the main points from the last session on 9.14, reminding the leaders of the discussion we had. Then, reinforce that the focus of this session is on how to build a data driven culture. 3:40 3:45 p.m. untrained, which one are Ask everyone to find at least one other person that they feel they can be honest with in a discussion. Go stand by that person for the upcoming discussion. Share the Man on Fire video clip again of how Creasy helps Pita get off the blocks.

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180 Ask leaders to do a pair share with a trusted colleague, answering the question in relation to their PLT and to themselves. 3:45 3:50 p.m. Additional Points on Being Free to Analyze the Data Make some additional points and connections to the video, helping to identify that the video is a metaphor to our idea s/prec onceived notions about data. some additional thinking time. Share next slide of quote from Odden & Archibald, reading the quote to them. Again, bring out rhetorical question. 3:50 4:00 p.m. How to Evaluate Teacher Effectiveness Go through the elements of the teacher effectiveness that we are all used to the old system. Notice that all of it is very teacher centered with the entire focus and are the students? Share that research from Banbrick Santoyo states that you truly only see 20% of how effective a teacher is in this method of observation. This is because learning is not being mea sured. 4:00 4:10 p.m. Importance of Data Quote & Results of Data Driven Instruction Review the quote from Chenoweth about great student achievement in high poverty schools, giving the why for the importance of data and the reason why we focus on it. Share that research from Banbrick Santoyo states s effectiveness in this method, because it truly measures learning. Make a connection to SLO data, but then acknowledge how it is uncomfortable because it is a paradigm shift in education. But then, again, what is 4:10 4:20p.m. Bam! Slide So, now I have hit you with something that is uncomfortable, eliciting change from all of us. Where does it come from? Follow up with the main core ideas around data driven instruction and how it can translate to success for everyone, especially with the support of their colleagues in their PLTs. Bring in the Learning Objective and Success Criteria again, making that connection. 4:25 5:00 p.m. Summarizing the Learning Reflection + Academic Circle Model and explicitly point out that this is an academic circle for reflection and summ arizing learning just Reflection Questions: My PLT is trained in _______ and untrained in ________. My next step is _________ so we can be fully trained for the benefit of our students. Based on our most recent PLT data, students really need ________. In order to help them, we need to ______________.

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181 like it can be used in the classroom. My PL T needs to focus on student ______ so the next step I will take as a PLT Leader to support them in taking this step is _______. APPENDIX H PLT Leader PD Session 6 Lesson Plan for October 26, 2016 ly with We, the staff at Hinkley, believe all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. It is our job to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional growth. We are confident that, with our support, s tudents will become critical thinkers, effective communicators, self advocates, stewards of the community, and navigators of the 21 st Century. We achieve this shared educational purpose by working collaboratively with colleagues, students, and parents. Statement of Inquiry: PLT Leaders will facilitate highly productive professional learning teams that: Demonstrate through daily planning and execution that all students can and must learn at appropriately high levels of achievement. Utilize the expertise of the PLT to create classroom environments resulting in exceptional student growth. Time Topic General Outline 3:30 3:33 p.m. Statement of Inquiry/ LO/SC Review Statement of Inquiry Draw particular attention to the focus on working toward highly obligation to demonstrate how to explore and learn, truly creating a collegial, learnin g environment. This includes leaders on all levels of the school. Then, we need to recognize and capitalize on utilizing the resources of our colleagues, other schools, and the support we have from one another to move to the next level, to take risks and try new things together. Learning Objective: Understand the specific systems needed for PLT data analysis meetings to be effective and how to lead an effective data analysis meeting, including overcoming obstacles that may arise. Success Criteria: Utilize a variety of resources to refocus PLT meetings on the data, mitigating any conflicts or concerns as the emphasis is on data. Remember, in our work with one another, we have a tremendous opportunity to support one another in our PLTs, and ultimately, this is the only way for us to truly help our students grow. Review of Prior Learning Where did we leave off? Review some of the main points from the last session on 9.28, reminding the leaders of the discussion we had.

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182 3:33 3:35 p.m. Then, reinforce that the focus of this session is on how to lead an effective data analysis discussion. 3:35 3:40 p.m. Effective Data Analysis PLT member characteristics when coming to a data ana lysis meeting. Remind everyone about what consensus really means and a good data analysis meeting helps the PLT come to consensus. Ask everyo ne to do a quick 25 second personal Where are they do some of them have essentials? Do some of them have non them that they can conduct a data discussion regardless of what traits th eir PLT members have 3:40 3:45 p.m. Are we trained to handle data? Re video, helping to identify that the video is a metaphor to our ideas/pre conceived notions about data. 3:45 3:55 p.m. Ineffective Leader Responses With one volunteer, go through 3 ineffective leader responses in a role play with Negative Nancy who mis short whole group debrief after each response. 3:55 4:20 p.m. Effective Leader Practice Have data available from Session #2. Break into groups of 3 based on the sticker on the treat they received. Each person will have the opportunity to assume each role: teacher, PLT leader, and observer. I will give ev eryone a phrase; the teacher starts the role play by repeating the phrase. Then the PLT leader will respond, and the teacher and PLT leader will converse for 1 minute while the observer takes notes. th e analysis as effectively as possible. Use the phrases that have been provided to you as well as tips about leading meetings. Each role play will last one minute. notes. The group rotates roles, and next r ole play begins. (9 rotations) They just make silly mistakes. really need to know. learning. class. If you change the wording to ______, then the students will get it. I taught it and they knew it.

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183 Students will n ever be able to master all of this too hard. 4:20 4:20p.m. Next Steps for Effective Analysis Meetings Other than effective dialogue, review some preparation expectations all PLT members should be held to so that the data analysis meetings can truly be productive. 4:25 5:00 p.m. Summarizing the Learning Reflection + Academic Circle Model and explicitly point out that this is an academic circle for reflection and summarizing learning just like it can be used in the classroom. Reflection Questions: As I reflect on what I need as a PLT leader, my next steps will be to ___________. The most effe ctive way that was shared that suits my leadership style and my PLT is _____________. For the benefit of my students and my PLT, I commit to improving my practice in __________. Have all participants complete the Exit Ticket after sharing in the Academic Ci rcle.

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184 A PPENDIX I PLT Process Rubric Elements Learning (1) Literal (2) Refinement (3) Internalize (4) Collaborative Culture Work together in collaborative teams to achieve student learning No application Teams meet regularly during the school week Collaborative teams develop written norms and establish learning goals that clarify expectations and commitment Teams focus on pre arranged topics that impact student learning and make revisions to goals or teaching strategies to improve team e ffectiveness Teams honor their collective commitments to each other and our s tudents in or der to maximize learning LOOK FORS Logs kept every meeting, Set meeting times All members held accountable to norms, SMART goal Collective pronouns, Agenda consistently kept, Agenda more than just teacher items Meeting the needs of ALL groups within the cohort, PLT is self directed in all aspects Guaranteed Cur riculum Establish what we want our students to learn No application Educators use district developed curriculum guide resources Educators work together to define the essential learning and establish pacing Educators build shared knowledge of current standards, unpack high stakes assessments to clarify learning, and adjust instruction based on fo rmative assessments Educators continually refine essential learning and guarantee a viable instructional program for ALL students LOOK FORS Syllabus, District P&P guides Evidence of backwards planning, MYP unit planner, Common pacing and timeframes, Aligned Common Formative Assessments Evidence of reteaching, Shared rubrics, Calibrating scoring by looking at s tudent work, Alignment to PARCC (9) /PSAT(10) /SAT(11/12), Alignment to Common Core or CO Academic Standards Analysis of impact of curriculum sh ort and long term, Reflective conversations on student lear ning, Discussion on ALL groups, Interventions agreed and enacted Common Assessments Determine if each student has learned what we want them to learn No application Educators use Common Formative Assessments several times throughout each quarter Educators discuss common success criteria and analyze student work and CFAs Educators consistently apply common criteria to assess student work and collectively apply effective formative instructio nal practices Educators consistently utilize formative instructional practices, including common assessments, to gather evidence of student learning LOOK FORS Aligned to State Standards or Common Core Standards Rubrics, Grading Calibration Tool, Student work shared with group, CFAs completed before instruction begins Reflection on instructional practices, CFA is refined to reflect s tudent learning, Willingness to implement successful instructional strategies of team members Team is self directed, Systematic p rocess for decision making, Collective voice throughout all aspects of decision making geared toward student success, CFA validates instructional decisions of the team

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185 Ensuring Learning Respond when some students have not learned it No application Educators use classroom time, establish 'pull out'/small group, or after school program when students are identified for intervention Educators provide studen ts with additi onal time and suppo rt that does not remove the student from new direct instruction Educators develop and utilize a timely, directive, and systemic plan when students experience difficulty Educators coordinate a flexible, supportive, and proactive system of intervention for students who experience difficulty LOOK FORS Individual teac hers create/lead the interventions, refer to after school tutoring, intentional grouping, Some or individual teachers take ownership (may be inconsistent) Team routinely shares effective intervention strategies, Focus on studen t learning, Collective reflec tion and reaction to student needs Backwards plan with reteach in mind, Team collectively agrees on effective interventions, Collective teacher ownership of success Consistent proactive planning for ALL throughout the PLT process, Direct correlation between PLT agreements and student grades Enriching Learning Extend and enrich the learning for students who demonstrate mastery No application Educators use school classes, establish 'pull out', or after school progra m when studen ts are i dentifi ed for enrichment Educators provide students with additional time and support for enrichment during the school day Educators develop and utilize a timely, directive, and systemic plan when students move beyond the essential learning Educators coordi nate a flexible, supportive, and proactive system for students who have moved beyond the essential learning LOOK FORS Indi vidual teachers create/ lead the enrichment, Intentional grouping, Some or individual teachers take ownership (may be inconsistent) Team routinely shares effective extension strategies, Focus on student learning, Collective reflection and reaction to student needs Ba ckwards plan with enrichment/ext ension in mind, Team collectively agrees on effective enrichment, Collective teacher ownership of success Consistent proactive planning for ALL nt throughout the PLT process, Direct correlation between PLT agreements and student grades Observation Notes: