Case Studies

Teaching Trust: 2017 – 2018


Teaching Trust develops education leaders at all levels to build the professional capacity critical to transforming urban schools. Operating three distinct programs aimed at developing school leaders, school leadership teams, and teacher-leaders, Teaching Trust serves leaders across levels of leadership throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. At the end of the 2017-18 school year, over 750 educators across Dallas-Fort Worth have participated in one of the three programs.

THE NEED for the project

While strategically planning for the year ahead, Teaching Trust’s Teams Program Officer concluded that program participants would benefit from increased clarity around specific action steps each team would need to take in order to successfully implement each of the three Teaching Trust strategic priorities or “big rocks” for the 2017-2018 school year:  student culture, instructional planning calendars, and lesson plan alignment.

The Teaching Trust team also required objective data to benchmark progress toward successful implementation of the three big rocks.  Benchmark data would ensure that Teaching Trust’s principal coaching team, the Leadership Development Directors (LDDs), had necessary data to assess forward progress by principal and accurately identify gaps in action step execution.


  • BRES created Implementation Guides including resources and step by step directions on how to implement each of the three Teaching Trust big rocks.
  • BRES completed School Diagnostics for each of the 12 schools in Year Two of the Teaching Trust Teams Program, consisting of evidence-based ratings for the three big rocks of student culture, instructional planning calendars, and lesson plan alignment. The beginning and end of the school year diagnostics identified campus-wide strengths, upgrades, and action steps utilizing the implementation guides that LDDs and principals could leverage to propel their work forward and assess progress.

sample implementation guide content

Which of the following two coaching actions will increase the chance a principal can implement the big rock of student transitions to fidelity?

Coaching Action One: provide step by step directions on how to implement, co-plan and work side by side with the principal during implementation

                                Five steps to upgrade student transitions during morning arrival:

  1. Create a step by step system for transitions during morning arrival. More specifically what should adults and students be saying and doing?
  2. Following the system in step one, create a rubric and observation form
  3. Conduct initial professional development on the system with all pertinent staff
  4. School leader and leadership team create an observation and feedback schedule to provide ongoing feedback and coaching using the observation form created in step two
  • prework: initial norming and training on observation form
  • ongoing norming and coaching with leadership team
  • ongoing data-based scheduling of who to support and how often
  1. Continue observation and feedback throughout the school year

Coaching Action Two: tell the principal that morning arrival data is low and upgrade that big rock

Coaching Action One is clearly the most impactful.  Thus the reason for the project; creating implementation guides with the Teaching Trust team and performing school diagnostics.


  • Collaborative conversations occurred between BRES, Teaching Trust Leadership Development Directors (LDDs), and the Teams Program Officer to determine the greatest areas of need

  • BRES / Teaching Trust framework and rubric were revised from the previous year to objectively define the three big rocks of student culture, instructional planning calendars, and lesson plan alignment in preparation for the school diagnostics

  • Implementation Guides were revised from the previous year with resources and step by step directions on how to implement the three Teaching Trust big rocks on the framework

  • School diagnostics performed twice during the school year using the BRES / Teaching Trust framework and rubrics to collect data and objectively assess three big rocks

  • Report of findings presentation delivered at the end of each school diagnostics with data-based strengths, upgrades and recommendations including step by step directions on how to implement, enabling the LDDs to work with the principals to make necessary changes and upgrades

CLIENT BENEFIT – where are they now?

  • The implementation guides and school diagnostics were used by the Teaching Trust LDDs to prioritize the three high-impact big rocks – student culture, instructional planning calendars and lesson plan alignment – for the 2017-2018 school year and guided the team to increase student achievement for its partner schools.
  • Click here for student achievement results!