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Tools for Principals & Administrators

The role of a school administrator or district mathematics coordinator carries responsibility for establishing the conditions for teacher work and student learning on a site-wide basis. Here, school leaders can find resources to support their work with teachers. Two principals, Jaguanana Lathan of Anna Yates Elementary School and Deb Negrete of Ida Price Middle School, discuss how they work to establish a school-wide emphasis on mathematics teaching and learning

Conversations with School Principals

Videos of Principal Deb Negrete

Videos of Principal Jaguanana Lathan

Resources for Leadership and Change: Building a School Culture of Mathematical Thinking
  • Theory of Action: The First in Math Consortium is a subset of districts in SVMI that was chosen to work deeper and more systemically in changing learning experiences for students with the ultimate goal of improving students’ access to and success in higher mathematics. The theory of action is the frame for the comprehensive approach to working in concert with all the district-employed stakeholders. DOC >>
  • Pathways of Influence: This graphic shows the stakeholders within a school system and how learning is influenced. The math department is positioned in a very influential location to address and support teacher and student learning. This graphic communicates the importance of developing a math department into a learning community. It also illustrates how others can influence the work. DOC >>
  • Tracking and Assessing Cultural Shifts Ver. 1 & Ver. 2: A major emphasis of the initiative is to develop, support, and sustain professional learning communities as a structure for improving teaching and learning. This tool assists principals in assessing how their teachers are moving from traditional independent agents to learning communities that focus on student learning. There are two versions. The first has a more comprehensive view of the school, while the second is designed to focus primarily on the work of the math department. More: DOC Ver. 1 >> & DOC Ver. 2 >>
Resources for Developing Faculty Capacity in Mathematics
  • Role Group Expectations: The document describes the roles and expectations each district stakeholder must meet to function in a systemic approach to improve math instruction. Making the expectation explicit is at the heart of working cohesively in a district organization. DOC >>
  • Tasks for Role Groups: This checklist accompanies the Role Group Expectations. It lays out the duties and jobs for the stakeholders. In this manner, everyone knows what they are expected to accomplish and how their duties align with the other stakeholders – where jobs/duties overlap and where they reside in relation to other work. XLS >>
  • Planning for Site-Level Work – Continuum of Roles: This instrument assists principals in planning their strategy and work in promoting professional learning communities within their school. It helps them look at the different change agents and assess where they are on the continuum. Utilizing personnel to support change is a critical leverage point for promoting change. DOC >>
Resources for Mathematics Engagement and Intervention
  • Re-Engagement Protocol: Use the steps outlined in the file linked here to re-engage students in the mathematics of a particular lesson. PDF >>
  • Intervention Worksheet: This instrument is built on Phil Daro’s work to describe the different levels that students struggle in school, in this case specifically in math class. The chart includes columns that describe what students need and suggest some interventions. There is space for principals to add information about intervention activities at their school. It works both as a needs assessment and for planning for the future. It supports principals in analyzing their school's intervention programs. DOC >>
  • Reflection-Observation: This tool helps principals and site administrators reflect on observing mathematics classroom and department meetings. The classroom tool was designed to encourage the observer to focus more on students, their thinking, and mathematics. This tool is one device to make observing a classroom more than a mere “walk-through.” It shifts the focus away from examining artifacts (bulletin boards, students' seating arrangements) or evaluating teacher moves to a focus on student thinking and learning. Similarly, the department tool is used to gauge what the math department’s discussion is focused on. DOC >>

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