Frequently Asked Questions
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Great support is a hallmark of Opportunity Culture schools. Multi-classroom leaders get intensive training before the school year begins in how to lead their teams, and all Opportunity Culture staff get on-the-job training and development, and scheduled, dedicated collaborative time for planning, coaching, and support.
Yes. Another hallmark of an Opportunity Culture is that the roles are sustainably funded through reallocating the school’s budget, not through temporary grants. We believe these roles will be the new norm in education, and they continue to spread in other school districts as well. We believe these roles are best for students, providing them with a great education through well-supported, great teachers or teachers on a team led by a highly successful teacher—and we believe these roles are best for teachers and the teaching profession.
Busy and rewarding! An MCL’s day may include direct instruction with students, co-teaching, coaching, modeling instruction for teachers, planning with teachers, and data analysis, observation, and feedback. MCLs are granted much schedule flexibility, but expected to plan their schedules carefully to focus on what will make the most impact on student achievement.
Unlike most coaches, multi-classroom leaders are fully accountable for the results of all the students assigned to them and their team—and they continue to teach part of the time in some way as well. And unlike many coaches/facilitators, MCLs lead small teams—typically two to five, although advanced MCLs may lead teams of six to eight. This gives them the protected, in-school time to provide the on-the-job guidance, co-planning, help with data analysis, and feedback that is a hallmark of the support in an Opportunity Culture. Additionally, many MCLs help select their teammates, help them advance in their own careers, and help principals lead instructional excellence school wide. Finally, additional pay for this advanced role does not depend on grants.
MCLs are responsible for the results of all the students on their team. They are evaluated under the state teacher evaluation along with an MCL-specific evaluation.
The reach associate role is an advanced paraprofessional role. Reach associates take on greater levels of responsibility to support teachers with instruction. They are expected to support student learning through various activities such as leading small groups, working with students one on one, and managing larger groups of students while the lead teacher (such as a multi-classroom leader or team reach teacher) works with individuals or small groups. While working with students, reach associates often reteach concepts to students who have not mastered a skill, or extend and enrich instruction for students who are ready to move forward. Reach associates also must have some classroom management skills to supervise students independently. Reach associates do not create lesson plans, but implement plans created by the lead teacher. They may provide input for lesson plans based on their observations and data gathered on student performance. The reach associate role may be played by a teacher resident who is obtaining a degree or certification while working.
A team of teachers and administrators in each school adopts the Opportunity Culture roles that best fit their school’s needs, to reach more students with teachers who have produced high-growth student learning; the team figures out scheduling and how to pay for the roles as well.
For the 2021-22 school year, the following schools will be Opportunity Culture Schools: Barnes Elementary Gardners Elementary Hearne Elementary Lee Woodard Elementary Jones Elementary Vinson-Bynum Elementary Wells Elementary Lucama Elementary Forest Hills Middle Toisnot Middle
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