In March of 2020, the Leadership for Learning (L4L) Coaching Process Team was preparing to travel to multiple school districts to work with school and district leaders on how best to leverage the data they acquired from the WIDA School Improvement System (WIDA SIS). In using WIDA SIS, the schools would be able to capture task-based data on specific school-wide practices that enhance instruction for multilingual learners. The nature of the data aligns well with a personalized coaching process, and the L4L team was ready to go. And then everything changed.
Most of this story is familiar to everyone reading this. Like everyone in the world, the L4L and WIDA SIS team had to adapt. And despite the changes we made in how we were going to support schools through the L4L Coaching Process, we recognized that the value of WIDA SIS remained unchanged. In fact, the school leaders felt fortunate to be able to collect data for school improvement planning and professional development planning during a time in which data collection was suddenly a significant challenge.
Andi Weigel, Collaborative Director, Lake Country School District, CO, offers this anecdote on working with WIDA SIS and L4L:
We had been in search of assistance for years in order to improve our practices for our (multilingual learners). We did the best we could utilizing ELD teachers, small groups, free online information, but had never found a support system. After researching WIDA PD offerings, we stumbled upon WIDA SIS with our PD person and have been happy ever since. Our entire district decided to move forward with this offering and each team, at our three schools, has been very happy with the coaching and structure used by the WIDA SIS team. We look forward to our continued relationship!
In March, the participating schools were either in the process of taking the WIDA SIS survey or were about to. And because the survey is online, teachers could take it from anywhere. Moreover, through the process of responding to the WIDA SIS questions, they could reflect on the work they all had been doing together in their schools throughout the school year while they were all separate from each other. The L4L coaches then met (virtually, of course) with teams of leaders from each school and helped to identify action steps for improvement based on WIDA SIS data.
This may be a familiar story, but it is also an ongoing story. WIDA SIS and the continuous L4L coaching is part of an interactive process.
The country seemingly stopped in March of 2020; but the work of equitable school improvement cannot stop. Equity is not an afterthought or something we should work on "if we have time." WIDA SIS and L4L Coaching will work to continue to prioritize this essential work and support school and district leaders.
For more information or a one-on-one demo, please contact us.