Jefferson County School District in Alabama serves over 36,000 students and is the second largest school district in the state. Considering their large number of students, it’s no surprise Jefferson County focused on student success as their starting point for their improvement journey. At What’s Right in Education, our annual leadership conference, two Principals from Jefferson County Schools, Dr. Angela Bush and Marty Everrett, explained how their teams developed a single pillar scorecard to close the achievement gap in their schools.

In the presentation below, these Principals provide examples of tools that they use to track and monitor progress on their goals.


As Angela and Marty explained, after identifying student success as their core pillar to focus on, their district established three improvement project outcomes:

  1. Engage leadership in setting goals, progress monitoring and action planning sessions.
  2. Build a single pillar student success scorecard.
  3. Cascade communication around progress, what is working well and what can be improved. Then, celebrate success and solve problems together.

To measure success the schools would measure and monitor student attendance and learning progressions. These measures are predictors of graduation readiness and post-secondary readiness for students in Jefferson County Schools.


With their focus on student success and their identified measures of student attendance and learning progressions, Angela and Marty were able to build a single pillar scorecard to monitor and communicate progress towards the goal.

In time, other pillars can be added to the scorecard. However, starting with one pillar provides a clear focus and facilitates the understanding employees crave to begin an improvement journey. A single pillar scorecard could look like this for example:

Pillar Goal/Annual Measure Progress Monitoring Measures Strategic Actions – Who Owns? 30-Day Status 60-Day Status 90-Day Status Quarterly Reporting
Student Success Increase the number of students with an 80% or > attendance rate from 63% to 67%. Track Attendance & Tardies (Daily, Weekly, 30-60-90-Days) (Each leader will have 1-3 actions based on this scorecard)


Building the scorecard is the first step. Leaders in Jefferson Schools use a leader action plan template and leader huddle agenda to hold each other accountable to achieving their goals. Review their presentation to learn more about the tools this team used to achieve success early in their improvement journey.

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