Improving from Here: How Systems Can Accelerate Student Progress

No matter how much pedagogy we know, no matter how many degrees we have, unless our students know that we care, they will not learn from us.

– Lemuel Kwon

As parents, students and our communities worry about the impact of the pandemic on student progress, we can tackle any disruption that students experienced this year with a rigorous problem-solving approach. In this roundtable, Dr. Kathy Oropallo shares stories of improvement and progress that took place during the most challenging times we’ve faced in education. By measuring what matters, we can continue to help our systems find the bright spots and blind spots. We can create opportunities that send students on a pathway to success in spite of the many obstacles they face.

In the roundtable and the discussion, Kathy challenged leaders to think about their greatest concerns to their school, system or organization as they consider helping student progress. She also asked everyone to reflect on what we’ve learned over the last year that can help us plan most effectively for improvement in the 2021-22 school year.

    • What have we learned about our students, families and communities in 2020-2021 that will help us continue to serve our students and create value?
    • What resonated with you from seeing how the ABCs leading measures helped school progress (attendance, behavior-achievement and course progression)? How could they help you track progress?
    • How will you define “return to learn”?

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Roundtable Resources

Return to Learn Toolkit Header Image

Return to Learn: Organizational Excellence Execution and Improvement | Leadership Toolkit

To support leaders and teams in achieving these goals, the Organizational Excellence Execution and Improvement Toolkit provides resources aligned to creating a scorecard, using a scorecard to apply a short-cycle improvement process, and turning meetings into improvement conversations.

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Why Do Values Matter? | 9P

An organization’s core values are the beliefs that guide the actions and words of individuals within the organization. When organizations successfully live out their values, alignment of strategy, action and mindset is obvious to internal and external stakeholders.

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Partner Story | Estacada Bus Drivers Deliver Lunches to Kids Whose Schools Have Closed due to COVID-19

Located in rural Oregon, the Estacada School District serves nearly 1,700 students, with about half of its’ students qualifying for free or reduced meals. So, when the school district had to close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, school leaders worried about the strain it would put on families to be able to feed their children. The district decided that the best thing to do would be to bring the meals to their students.

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View part one of this roundtable series with Dr. Kathy Oropallo.

How are Students Doing? Student Learning Despite Disruption

In this roundtable, Dr. Kathy Oropallo shares how to apply an improvement cycle to address learning gaps that have arisen this year, especially to inform your plans for the year ahead.

Move Students Forward with a Focus on Strengths

It’s our mission as educators to keep students engaged and accelerate learning. We strive to create the best learning environments for student success. We want to help low performers excel and progress. It’s time to pause and ask ourselves, what are we really doing to focus on progress? And how do we help teachers have the right mindset to drive the work?


Toolkits are developed by our experts to guide leaders with a framework for complex solutions. View and download our interactive toolkits on communicating using the Execution Triangle, results rollout, execution and improvement, crisis communication and more.

Future Roundtable Sessions

Each week, our coaches lead a discussion with a community of leaders who are facing similar challenges. These 60-minute sessions are free and allow opportunities to learn from expert leadership coaches and have candid conversations with other leaders about barriers, share successful practices and re-center on what works.

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