Case Studies

Richardson Independent School District: 2018 – 2019


The Richardson Independent School District is a sought-after district in Dallas County and includes most of the city of Richardson along with portions of the cities of Dallas and Garland (60% of RISD is in Dallas, with 35% of the district in Richardson and 5% in Garland). RISD is comprised of 54 campuses that serve more than 38,700 students. Richardson ISD has a long-standing reputation for educational excellence and is continually recognized at both the state and national levels. In fact, RISD received a “Recognized” rating from the Texas Education Agency from 2006-2012 positioning the district as the largest, most diverse district in Texas to earn that rating over those consecutive years.

Modeled after successful initiatives first piloted in other Texas districts, the Accelerated Campus Excellence (ACE) program began in RISD in the 2018-2019 making it the third district in Texas to implement ACE. The ACE initiative is grounded in the idea that strong schools require excellent leadership, skilled teachers, high quality instructional materials, and a culture of high expectations for students and staff. As pioneered first by DISD and later FWISD, the ACE program offered stipends to incentivize top teachers and principals to relocate across the district so that the highest needs schools were staffed strategically with the historically highest performers in addition to providing district-level comprehensive supports to create environments for transformation.

THE NEED for the project

The implementation of ACE in RISD was a strategic effort to turnaround some of the district’s outlier low performers – schools in jeopardy of not meeting state requirements. The Richardson ISD ACE administrative team needed a partner who would support the implementation of the cohort’s key initiatives by working side by side with the school principals and the ACE core administrative team.

what was the project?

  • Coaching school principalsby co-observing and working side by side campus leadership team to identify strengths and gaps, BRES consultants were able to collaboratively work with leaders to identify the precise leader actions necessary to ensure successful implementation of ACE priorities.
  • Accountability partnering with campus leadership teams in real time on the execution of those leader actions served to ensure successful implementation. Accountability was swift and comprehensive allowing the team to move toward feedback quickly, dramatically accelerating improvement.

WHY was this project chosen?

The BRES team chose this opportunity for collaboration with the Richardson ACE program because its leaders mirrored the team’s most foundational core value: all children and all schools can be highly successful with the right leadership, mindsets, and partnership. District leadership had strategically selected school leaders who were committed to implementing high impact big rocks and the RISD ACE administrative team was 100% committed to these ideals. The BRES team knew that with systems for accountability, real time feedback, and intensive partnership, these schools would show tremendous growth.

PROCESS FOR how the project was implemented

  • Collaborative conversations occurred between Richardson ISD ACE Schools resulting in the Executive Director of Student Improvement to select the 2018-2019 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 would serve to determine successful big rock implementation at each school. Relationships were established and the team’s built a vision for aligned work.

  • 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?

  • BRES and the RISD ACE team partnered closely to ensure all campuses and leaders were able to meet collaboratively created goals.
  • 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!