Results Count Launches Continuous Improvement in Milwaukee Schools

Part of the initial launch of Milwaukee Succeeds in 2011 included the use of continuous improvement tools as a foundational process for getting collaborative action networks started. We have also encouraged organizations involved with Milwaukee Succeeds to use continuous improvement practices in their own work. After piloting a math improvement model at Obama School of Career and Technical Education (Obama), school-based staff identified a need to implement more intentional continuous improvement practices. Additionally, staff identified effective data collection and use as integral to continuous improvement.

Subsequently, Milwaukee Succeeds is offering a continuous improvement training opportunity to four teams of local practitioners – both in school and out of school – in a cohort pilot model that runs concurrent with the 2018-19 school year (including summer 2018). The purpose of the project is to build the capacity of these teams to further incorporate continuous improvement practices into their operating systems in order to take their work to the next level of impact. We have implemented a plan that includes Results Count (via support from StriveTogether), continuous improvement and coaching (via support from the School District of Menomonee Falls - SDMF), and leadership development and coaching (via support from Studer Education Group).

Our first workshop, Results Count 101, took place July 12-13th, and it was a huge success! Several attendees spoke on their experience throughout the first day, and were excited to continue the training.

“My biggest takeaway from the day is that we have a lot of different sectors of people working really hard to solve problems and achieve results. The more thoughtful we can be about clearly defining our goals and reducing redundancies and gaps in roles and responsibilities, the greater our collective impact will be,” says Christopher Schwab, Chief Academic Officer of Milwaukee Academy of Science.

Executive Director of Central City Cyberschool of Milwaukee, Jessica Szymanski, shared her takeaways as well. “The last activity we just did on targeted universalism allowed our small team to have conversations that are difficult. So just framing that conversation in a small group that we can take back to the large group of our staff and learning how to safely have tough conversations.”

Participants left the workshop with drafts of their team Action Plans as well as individual action commitments. Those Action Plans will get refined as they approach the start of the school year.

A number of team leaders then attended Studer Education Group’s What’s Right in Education conference on July 31st and August 1st here in Milwaukee, which focused on leadership practices that promote high performance. Most recently, teams attended Building the Steps of Continuous Improvement, Part 1 with the School District of Menomonee Falls. What’s next? Teams will engage in Continuous Improvement, Part 2 on October 3rd and the first of four Leadership Development Institutes with Studer Education on October 31st. Each team will also receive direct support from the School District of Menomonee Falls coaching staff intermittently throughout the year. We’ll provide further updates as their efforts unfold!

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