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Opportunity Culture Audio

Author: Public Impact

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What do great Opportunity Culture educators do, and what have they learned about successfully redesigning school roles to reach all students with excellent teaching? Opportunity Culture Audio pieces bring their voices and advice to you, to help confront some of the stickiest issues facing education.
15 Episodes
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Since 2017, the Vance County, N.C., school system has used Opportunity Culture® teaching teams to improve teacher retention and student learning. How has the district sustained implementation through a pandemic and transition to a new superintendent? Superintendent Cindy Bennett discusses what the district values in the support these teams provide, and how it continues to learn and adjust its use of the model—with a focus on Aycock Elementary, now in year six of implementation and excee...
Former Multi-Classroom Leader Okema Owens Simpson led the development of Public Impact’s on-demand module, Building a Scalable, Sustainable Tutoring Culture for All. In this podcast, Simpson provides an overview of the Multi-Classroom Leader role and the power of small-group, in-school tutoring through MCL teams, as a preview for watching the module and understanding our SIMPLE framework for building a tutoring culture.
Successful Opportunity Culture implementation in a school district isn’t all up to the schools: Getting broad participation and communication from multiple district offices provides the support schools need. In North Carolina’s Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Area Superintendent Timisha Barnes-Jones and Tina Lupton, executive director of professional learning, have collaborated closely to ensure that Opportunity Culture support exists at all levels. They share how collaboration is layin...
A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that high-dosage tutoring reaches only about one in 10 students—despite the national push for it. But if schools build innovative staffing models such as Opportunity Culture models, small-group tutoring can happen routinely, during the school day. Schools should think now about using their Covid funding for planning and implementation, to create a sustainable, long-lasting tutoring culture. Listen to (or read) this post t...
Lucama Elementary, a rural, Title I school in Wilson County, North Carolina, implemented several Opportunity Culture roles in 2021–22. Following a focus on data-driven, small-group tutoring, instruction based on the science of reading, and greater educator collaboration through Multi-Classroom Leader teams, the school dramatically increased student learning growth. Principal April Shackleford and Lucama educators explain their success, and why it led them in 2022 to expand to schoolwide Oppor...
Superintendent Scott Muri, a finalist for state superintendent of the year in Texas, has Opportunity Culture experience in multiple districts; since he brought Opportunity Culture models to Ector County Independent School District in 2019, the district has seen significant improvement in student learning and teacher recruitment. Hear Muri’s thoughts on the impact of Opportunity Culture innovations in areas including teacher residencies, teacher leadership, and other district offices, and the ...
Susan Hendricks was the principal of Ross Elementary in Ector County, Texas, before becoming the district’s director of leadership in August. Under her leadership, Ross Elementary received high ratings on the annual, anonymous survey given to Opportunity Culture educators. When we spoke with Hendricks earlier this year, she credited that success to having structures in place that the whole school understands and committing to the belief that the Opportunity Culture initiative is “who you are.”
Principal Julie Shields leads a school that ranks very high on Opportunity Culture surveys for communicating its Opportunity Culture plans and impact. She spoke with Public Impact about how she thinks through a communications strategy to keep Opportunity Culture implementation strong over many years.
As Anne Claire Tejtel Nornhold, who leads the Opportunity Culture work in Baltimore City Public Schools, prepared to move out of that role in spring 2022, she spoke with Public Impact about what worked well and her advice for other district Opportunity Culture directors. Nornhold is a strong advocate for Opportunity Culture implementation as a powerful means to improve student outcomes and retain great educators. Listen to her reflections in our latest Opportunity Culture Audio piece, with he...
What if you could improve student outcomes even in a time of rising teacher shortages? Many schools and districts report feeling stuck on the hamster wheel of trying to fill all their open positions—a struggle that has been worsening for years. Listen to this recording of our post about the solution that could take principals out of chronic emergency hiring mode, and how two principals have used that solution.
Angela Caldwell, an Opportunity Culture expanded-impact kindergarten teacher in Guilford County, North Carolina, and her teaching assistant, Lora Terry, speak with Public Impact about their teaching partnership and the impact they see small-group tutoring making on student learning growth. Listen as they share their tips for creating a successful partnership!
Former Edgecombe County Public Schools principal, Jenny O'Meara, talks about introducing a morning time for students intended to help them start every day with a teacher of their choice.
In this first Opportunity Culture Audio piece, we hear from Jenny O’Meara, who until 2021 served as a principal for a middle school using Opportunity Culture roles. O’Meara worked in Edgecombe County Public Schools in a rural part of North Carolina, which has taken its Opportunity Culture implementation district-wide. After stepping away from her principalship, she sat for an interview about her Opportunity Culture experience, including reflections on working with her school’s first multi-cla...
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