Case Studies

Equitas Academy: 2015 – 2017


Equitas Academy Charter Schools are free public schools for families who believe their children deserve a high-quality education and challenging school experience. Its school model offers credentialed, passionate, and dedicated teachers and staff who are experts in their field. Founded in 2009, Equitas Academy is part of the Building Excellent Schools Network and it aims to provide a structured, achievement-based community that prepares students to graduate from four-year colleges and universities.


Through close communication and collaboration with the CEO and the network academic team, the following areas of need were identified:

  • Implementation of high impact systems or “big rocks” – Selection and implementation of three big rocks: school-wide cultural systems, classroom academic and cultural systems and school-wide behavior management systems
  • Ongoing coaching – Implementation and coaching teachers and staff members on execution of the three big rocks
  • Prioritization and time management – Creating systems to ensure daily implementation of the three big rocks


  • Teacher observation rubrics and guide were created for the school-wide, classroom, and behavior management big rocks
  • On-site training and coaching was provided to the school leadership team on how to:
    • perform effective observations using newly created teacher observation rubrics
    • take high impact notes citing evidence and making objective claims
    • prepare debrief notes on high impact strengths and areas for growth using “BRES targeted sweet spot questions” to ensure next steps to address growth areas are actionable, bite-sized and owned by teachers
    • deliver a lesson debrief to a teacher or staff member via role plays
  • On-site training and coaching was provided to the school leadership team on how to:
    • select the big rocks to implement for the upcoming school year
    • schedule the big rocks and corresponding action items into a daily calendar


  • Teacher observation rubrics ensure all members of the leadership team are planning, prioritizing and implementing the highest impact big rocks of school-wide cultural systems, classroom academic and cultural systems, and school-wide behavioral management systems which will increase school and classroom culture as well as student achievement.
  • On-site training and coaching ensures observation and debrief sessions by all members of the school leadership team are effective and consistent.
  • Having strong teacher observation rubrics and a systemized observation and debrief process will help teachers improve at a faster rate and thus positively impact student achievement.
  • Having a daily calendar ensures that leadership team members prioritize at least 75% of the instructional day on implementation of the big rocks that lead to high student achievement.
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