Case Studies

Dallas Independent School District: 2017 – 2018


The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) sits in the heart of a large, diverse, and dynamic region with a metropolitan population of 6.5 million people in the 12 counties in North Central Texas. The district is the second-largest public-school district in the state and the 14th-largest district in the nation. In March 2015, the district released the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) initiative to transform campuses that were designated as Improvement Required (IR) by the Texas Education Agency for multiple years. The Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) initiative was based on the principle that transforming schools requires strong leadership, effective teachers, and an environment of high expectations for students and staff. The ACE program offered competitive stipends to incentivize top teachers and principals to relocate to some of the district’s most challenged schools.

THE NEED for the project

The Dallas ISD ACE administrative team needed a partner who could help ensure implementation of its 2017-2018 planned big rocks by working side by side with the school principals and the ACE core administrative team to ensure successful implementation in the ACE schools, particularly those most in jeopardy of not meeting state requirements and thus facing possible closure.

what was the project?

  • Coaching school principals by co-observing and working side by side with them, identifying the highest leverage big rock implementation gap, and the precise leader actions necessary to ensure successful implementation of ACE priorities.
  • Accountability partnering with principals in-the-moment on their execution of the precise leader actions to ensure follow through and successful big rock implementation, thereby ensuring that the feedback loop was remarkably swift.

WHY was this project chosen?

Collaboration with the DISD ACE program was the realization of a vision entirely aligned to the BRES team’s most deeply held belief – all children and all schools can be highly successful with the right leadership.

The highest performing schools spend their time and energy focused on what moves student achievement the most, implementing high impact big rocks. The ACE team was 100% committed to these ideals. Critical to ensuring leaders are successful in this environment is being able to identify the exact gap to successful implementation, knowing the specific leader actions to implement the gap, and having an accountability partner who ensures the principal and his/her leadership team fills the gap correctly, in the moment and at all times throughout the implementation process.

PROCESS FOR how the project was implemented

  • Collaborative conversations occurred between the Dallas ISD ACE Schools Assistant Superintendent and ACE Director to select the 2017-2018 big rocks and determine how they should be implemented.

  • School diagnostics were collected by walking with the ACE administrative team and principals to collect baseline data for where each school was at with respect to big rock implementation.

  • Metrics for success were defined and goals were collaboratively established that determined successful big rock implementation at each school.

  • Coaching and implementation occurred side by side and in the moment with principals to ensure metrics for success goals were met, big rocks were implemented to fidelity, and, in return, student achievement results continued to rise throughout the project.

CLIENT BENEFIT – where are they now?

  • In the process of identifying goals following campus baseline data collection, individual campuses created measurable metrics for improvement that reflected the highest leverage actions that would accelerate progress on critical priorities.
  • By ensuring school leader coaching followed a high accountability model with close and frequent collaboration, campuses were able to achieve the identified metrics in turn dramatically improving student achievement outcomes and creating significant traction toward realization of campus priorities.
  • Click here for student achievement results!