School Development

We work with existing schools and non-formal educational programs towards developing them into world-class quality service-providers!

A2Q supports formal and informal schools to optimize the quality of their programs and services, with the end goal of improving student learning outcomes. We collaborate with visionary school leaders to design and implement comprehensive ‘school development plans’ for their institutions, over a span of 3 to 5 years.

 

We do this by supporting the leadership to reimagine and transform five key drivers of quality teaching and learning within their organizations, each of which is described below.

We believe that leadership is a set of functions, and not merely positions held by individuals. Research tells us that these functions include setting and communicating a clear and inspiring vision, supporting curriculum and teaching, and monitoring progress in order to make data-driven decisions for school improvement.

A2Q helps reorganize schools to distribute leadership, by setting up committees and teams of different stakeholders assigned to focus on various aspects of academic and non-academic functions. A2Q then provides systematically scaffolded support to the leadership – from directly coaching the school principal, to working with different leadership teams on their mandated responsibilities.

Professional capacity is built when individual performance is meaningfully assessed on an ongoing basis, and professional development (PD) is provided to meet specific needs and personalized goals that emerge from such assessment.

A2Q first helps its collaborators define what quality performance looks like in their organization. Next we design protocols for performance assessment. Finally, we help design a sustainable in-service PD program based on current research. To this end, we undertake two specific lines of action – professional learning communities and instructional coaching protocols.

Curriculum involves decisions about what students should learn, how to assess this learning, and how to teach for it.

A2Q identifies innovative programs and resources needed to meet the unique goals in an institution’s vision for its learners. In cases requiring a high level of contextualization and adaptability, we design original curriculum with our collaborators. Also, we help our collaborators to organize resources and implement programs in a manner that promotes goal-driven pedagogy and assessment practices.

We believe that a learning environment implies more than just physical infrastructure and facilities, and includes creating a socio-emotional environment that promotes learning for all by establishing a sense of social belonging, emotional safety, and stakeholder voice and autonomy.

A2Q advises on the purposeful design of physical spaces and infrastructure to ensure that form follows the function of optimizing learning. We also help our collaborators draw up administrative policies and daily organizational routines and practices that promote the growth and development of trust, respect, and solidarity, that in turn lead to a distinct and positive school culture.

A2Q helps in the design of policies and practices that include parents and the extended community in school decision making processes and curricular activities. Our efforts include organizing social spaces for stakeholders to participate in the process of school evaluation and goal setting, to restructuring parent-teacher associations to be more efficient, focused, and productive, to directly engaging the neighboring community in service-learning projects undertaken by students.

Our School Development projects are typically implemented in the following sequence of steps or phases:

School Development

Conduct 360-degree Quality Assessment

We do this by investigating the efficacy of certain inputs such as leadership, curriculum, professional capacity, learning climate, and parent-community partnerships as well as outputs such as quality of teaching and student learning outcomes. This exercise allows an institution to identify gaps between their desired and actual performance, and create strategic plans that address such gaps in a systematic and evidence-based manner.

Create A Shared Vision & Organizational Model

Using an appreciative and participatory lens, we attempt to understand the needs and desires of various stakeholders in the school such as students, staff, leaders, and parents. We then work collaboratively with the leadership to construct these ideas into a shared vision and coherent logical framework for their institution. This is an important first step as the vision and logic model frame the school’s purpose and philosophy in a manner that influences every single activity they undertake thereafter.

Establish Leadership Teams & Learning Communities

We start by supporting leaders with reorganizing various key functions in their organizations, as well as helping them empower different stakeholders to take over those functions effectively. We also reorganize all the staff in the building into professional learning communities (PLCs), who collaborate with each other in a structured and ongoing manner to ensure better teaching and learning for all students.

Optimize Curriculum & Instruction

We help leaders to assess the extent to which their current curriculum reflects their vision and educational goals, and then collaboratively redesign programs for greater coherence and alignment. A2Q has some unique offerings of its own on this front that enable a school to achieve transformational learning outcomes, such as service learning and social entrepreneurship programs.

Redefine Organizational Practices

We work with leaders as well as specific teams to restructure and systematize their operating protocols, day-to-day processes, and the various tools that are used for the same. Doing this enables the practices and routines that team members are engaged in to be institutionalized i.e. become conventions and norms of the everyday working culture of the institution.   

Sustain A Culture of Learning & Improvement

We support the leaders of the institution with their overall functioning by helping them monitor and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their programs and initiatives on an ongoing basis, providing specific lines of action if and when necessary.  

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