Aligning Best Practices Throughout an Entire School

Faculty members at Amana Academy, an expeditionary learning institution for grades K through 8 in Alpharetta, Georgia, emphasize the importance of staff walk-throughs to align teachers and classrooms with the school’s core practices necessary for student achievement. These practices entail setting a learning objective for each lesson, challenging students to engage with concepts, assessing comprehension, displaying anchor charts, and following consistent discussion guidelines. Teachers at various experience levels, ranging from beginners to seasoned educators, navigate the implementation spectrum of these practices throughout the academic year.

Regularly, a specialized team of trained personnel conducts walk-throughs to observe 75% of classrooms multiple times per year, spending 15 minutes in each room over two or three days. Employing a rubric and grading sheet, the team evaluates teachers’ adherence to the North Star components. If a specific practice falls below 80% implementation, it signals an area necessitating growth and further professional development. Feedback, in the form of data sharing and acknowledgment of strengths and areas for improvement, is provided to teachers post-observation.

Embracing a whole-school strategy, each teacher receives feedback within a supportive context, linking skill development to the overall mission and fostering engagement in professional growth. Consistent progress is evident throughout the year, culminating in most teachers achieving 80% proficiency in multiple indicators by year-end.

Schools That Work

Amana Academy School

Charter, Suburban
Grades K-8
Alpharetta, GA

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