District Administration - October 2011 - (Page 36)
Lizzy KLoiber, secondary curricuLum director, ceLina (texas) independent schooL district
A Small Community’s Innovative Curriculum Coaches
By Marion Herbert
Celina (Texas) independenT school district, roughly 100 miles north of dallas, has 2,000 students across its four school campuses—and they’re all Bobcats, says lizzy Kloiber, secondary curriculum director, referring to the district’s unifying mascot. The community is tight knit, she adds, with most teachers having grown up in the district, and families regularly mingle at church or at high school football games each weekend. prior to 2009, the best rating the district had received from the Texas education agency was “recognized,” and Kloiber, who joined the district in July 2009, feared the district was in a rut and that its achievement was going to flatline. inspired by Jim Knight, a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on learning, Kloiber began investigating the possibility of implementing instructional curriculum coaches in Celina’s high school, which has over 500 students. The coaches would observe classrooms and point out best practices for teachers, while also mentoring new teachers and tutoring at-risk students. after finding out the district was eligible for a Texas Title 1 priority schools grant, formerly known as the school improvement Grant, Kloiber and a team of administrators from the high school and the district drafted a plan for curriculum coaches in the spring of 2010. Former Celina superintendent Rob O’Conner was initially hesitant. “i had to convince him,” says Kloiber. “He knew it was a hoop jump, and you’re really working when you take money from the state. Finding Funding Celina isd was by no means at the bottom of the barrel in student achievement level, and Kloiber and administrators knew receiving the money was a stretch. “We knew it was really a shot in the dark,” says donny O’dell, interim superintendent of Celina isd and former assistant superintendent. “We knew several schools would apply because of the money involved, but we felt like we had a great plan and that if the plans were really looked at, we had a very good chance of receiving the grant money.” in July 2010, they got the call. “i thought it was someone pulling my leg,” says Kloiber, who was shocked to see the Texas education agency appear on her caller id. The agency had, in fact, awarded Celina isd $3 million. From Teachers to Coaches By august 2010—one month later—the high school had selected four master teachers with over 20 years of experience to serve as curriculum coaches. They would teach one class each and spend the remainder of the school day monitoring classrooms. “Giving them this leadership role really awakened them,” says Kloiber. “Teachers, particularly those who have been with the district for some time, can get into that cruise control mode.” every day, each teacher in the high school has at least one or two curriculum coaches monitoring the classroom. according to Kloiber, the high school had to ease into this transition to garner a working relationship between the teachers
Curriculum coaches Sherry Huddleston, Valerie Carey, Kim Tingle, Corbi Dillard and Curriculum Director Lizzy Kloiber.
But we knew what was coming down the pipeline in terms of state budget cuts, so it was a no-brainer.”
Secondary Curriculum Director, Celina (Texas) Independent School District Age: 37 Tenure: 2 years Salary: $80,000 Schools: 4 Students: 2,005; 585 in high school Staff: 158 Students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch: 32% Per-pupil expenditure: $7,500 Web site: www.celinaisd.com
36 October 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - October 2011
District Administration - October 2011
From the Editor
Building a Blended Learning Program
How Are Science Fairs Fairing?
A New Age for Algebra
Early College High Schools
Changing of the Guard in Florida
How Much Computing Power Do You Need?
An Unconventional Approach to 1:1
District Administration - October 2011