Organization

Organization Blog


Together
A Model for Real World Learning Partnerships

Is your school, like so many others, thinking of leveraging community partnerships for real world, student-choice learning? If so, read on!

Tue May 17 08:35 AM

3 truths
3 Truths for the Future of Education, The Urgent Need to Build a Modern-Day System of Learning

Here we are in spring 2022. COVID-19 is shifting from pandemic to endemic. Putin invaded a sovereign nation and revived the threat of global nuclear war. Inflation is the highest it has been in four decades. And if you have been working in schools, you are the closest to burnout you have ever been – or well past it. School administrators and teachers have been heroic in their efforts to prop up the creaking bureaucracy of our inherited system of schooling. A system that was designed during a time when teachers and textbooks were the predominant sources of knowledge and the path after secondary school was highly predictable.

Thu May 05 02:05 PM

school status
Why Data-Informed Communication is a Game-Changer for K-12 Districts

If engagement through two-way communication is part of your strategic plan, it may be time to think critically about the tools teachers are using to reach parents. Most K-12 communication solutions weren’t built with consideration for analytics, or administrator oversight. Other common issues are lack of language translation, one-way mass text blasts, and robo calls with no way for parents to return a phone call. Feature-rich parent apps may seem like the solution, but apps only work for the parents who will download them. What results is inefficient communication that frustrates teachers and parents alike. For a district administrator, these issues may go unnoticed because they can be difficult to observe. Educators are innovative–experts at making the most of the tools available to them with little extra time. Your teachers may be using a free app with little security, a tool with no administrator oversight, or their own cell phones to talk to parents. What are the signs that your teachers need better tools so that parent engagement is supporting your district goals?

Tue Apr 12 10:21 AM

innovations
Innovative Practices Spotlight: SchoolStatus: K-12 Student Data Analytics & Parent Communication

At The Akribos Group, we are fully committed to research-based practice and data informed processes and solutions. In support of that commitment, we attempt to provide informative insights and resources that support educational institutions and organizations in their efforts to facilitate productive and efficient programming. In this edition of Thought Leader, we are pleased to share content from our friends at SchoolStatus with a focus on data informed parent communication for effective strategic planning.

Tue Apr 12 10:17 AM

Change
Leverage Points of Change: Part II

If you are trying to change your school, this is where your efforts will be most rewarded. In Part II, we again visit the work of systems guru Donella Meadows who identifies ” ‘leverage points’ within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything.” In Part I, I covered her Bottom Six, or less impactful leverage points; in this post I translate the Top Six.

Tue Mar 15 08:11 AM

cloud
Leverage Points of Change: Part I

Schools are complex systems. In a meaty article by systems guru Donella Meadows (HT to Tim Fish at NAIS for sharing with me) we find that, “Folks who do systems analysis have a great belief in ‘leverage points’. These are places within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything.”

Tue Feb 15 01:29 PM

The COVID Experience
Leadership Lessons for Defining Moments: The COVID Experience

The Covid 19 Pandemic was declared a national emergency on March 19, 2020, and most of us would agree that the past twenty-two months have been memorable, and unfortunately not all those memories have been pleasant. A world-wide pandemic with resulting implications, compounded by a highly contentious political season, has left many of us worn and weary looking for a much brighter future. The covid experience has certainly given us multiple opportunities for personal and professional reflection and learning and this is particularly true for those who serve in positions of leadership. Without a doubt, many leaders find themselves in a truly defining moment, both personally and professionally.

Tue Feb 01 02:14 PM

True Greatness
True Greatness by Dr. Kevin Elko, Akribos Guest Contributor

As I prepared to go on my journey to help football teams open the year I considered the concept of greatness. What is it and how do I help teams and athletes achieve it? The late Muhammad Ali often said, I am the greatest of all time. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean that he was the best boxer? A god, man or both?

Tue Jan 11 09:28 AM

The Whole Education Series
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Strategies That You Can Implement Today

In an effort to place concrete, ready-to-implement SEL strategies in the hands of more educators, more quickly, The Center for Educational Effectiveness recently released an online training course taught by SEL specialist, Dr. Greg Benner from the University of Alabama. Research shows that SEL not only improves student achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011). In the six-module SEL training, called THE WHOLE EDUCATOR SERIES, Dr. Benner asserts that the many benefits of implementing strong SEL strategies don’t end with the students, but can be of vast benefit to educators themselves, decreasing their own stress levels and potential for burnout - a critical point given that job-related stress is the primary reason for 43% of educators leaving teaching before and during the pandemic (RAND Corp., 2021).

Wed Nov 10 07:15 AM

The Whole Educator Series - Innovation
The Whole Educator Series

As a part of our research partnership with The University of Alabama College of Education, The Akribos Group is pleased to offer our enthusiastic support for The Whole Educator Series. The program was conceptualized and founded by Dr. Greg Benner, O’Sullivan Professor of Special Education, and Implementation Science at The University of Alabama, who is a recognized leader in Whole Child transformation programs.

Wed Nov 10 07:05 AM

putting it all together
Putting It All together (Part V)

Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Dean James E. Ryan states, “Right now, there exists an almost ironclad link between a child’s ZIP code and their chances of success.” In this five-part blog series I have questioned policy and practice, over reliant on standardized test scores and indirectly the standardized movement, against the stark reality of few schools providing transformative opportunities for students inside of their school systems.

Tue Oct 26 09:18 AM

Road Closed
What Gets In The Way of Moving Quickly To Serve Our Students? (Part IV)

John F. Kennedy stated, “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.” The quote is resonant, particularly in this time as since March of 2020, school operations and education delivery have been highly variable across our country. However, it is overly convenient to attribute our difficulty in getting timely supports to children solely because of the COVID pandemic.

Mon Oct 04 09:00 PM

success
You Have Set Your Course; Is That Enough?

In my first two pieces as guest contributor, we focused on the urgency of what some refer to as the “twin pandemics,” social unrest and COVID 19, causing us to need access to high quality data to ensure we are framing the issues unique to each school system during these tumultuous times. In addition to having high quality data to frame clear problems of practice, it is essential each school organization consistently measure and build high-quality culture, as absent high-quality culture, little work benefitting children gets done.

Wed Sep 22 09:37 AM

set your course
To Set Your Course, You Must First Know Where You Are (Part II)

In my last piece as a guest contributor, we covered the critical need to have actionable data to help our systems navigate through and beyond the COVID 19 pandemic. The title, To Set Your Course, You Must First Know Where You Are, applies to the following four data domains that we work in as professional educators...

Tue Sep 07 08:06 AM

compass
To Set Your Course, You Must First Know Where You Are

Business sector author Patrick Lencioni stated, “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”

Tue Aug 17 08:22 AM

solution
Defining Moments for Educational Leadership

Educators have always acknowledged the problem of summer learning loss or “summer slide” and the resulting achievement gaps observed in their students.

Tue Aug 17 08:10 AM

meeting
Maximizing Meeting Participation and Productivity: Is Everyone “Bringing It” to Your (Virtual or In-Person) Meeting?

By: Dr. Howie Knoff, Recognized Thought Leader and Akribos Professional Associate

Tue Aug 03 08:42 AM

5 Questions
Five Questions That Will Change Your Life

By: Dr. Kevin Elko, Akribos Guest Contributor

Tue Jul 20 08:27 AM

TEAM
“Team-of-Teams” Really Works

By: Grant Lichtman, Recognized Thought Leader and Akribos Guest Contributor What can a wildly diverse group of architects, engineers, educators, and district administrators teach us about how to transform the K-12 learning experience? Plenty. As I posted last week, I am involved in helping to design and build a new public middle school in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Our charge: build the best school in America and make it a core of the community. As I mentioned in that post, such an audacious goal would not be possible were it not for the most “obstinately visionary” (my new favorite hashtag!) group of district leaders I have ever worked with.

Tue Jun 29 08:52 AM

welcome back
APPRECIATIONS and PERSPECTIVES

As we conclude the 2020-2021 academic year, The Akribos Group would like to express our sincere appreciation to the numerous educational professionals who have successfully navigated the unprecedented challenges of the past fourteen months, in response to the COVID 19 Pandemic. Throughout this time, we have witnessed the unwavering dedication and commitment of educational professionals, at multiple levels, as they have responded to the unique and far-reaching implications resulting from this unparalleled experience.

Tue Jun 01 07:39 AM