Case Studies
Bryant Elementary School
Seattle Public Schools

Bryant Elementary School (K-5) in the Seattle Public School system part of the Literacy Initiative with National Urban Alliance.  

Goals and Objectives
To build a cohesive, supportive, and successful school community with parents, teachers, staff and students. To create a collaboration with a staff built on communication, consistent vision, and commonalities with methods. A new principal’s excellent leadership vision and skills created an opportunity to orchestrate the potential of the staff into a working model.

A veteran staff that had visions of how they could contribute as individuals with less focus on working together. A focus was to build a stronger collaborative community to share their many talents more effectively, and create commonalities between classrooms, specialists, and grade levels.

Pedagogical Strategies
At the regular site visits we focused on several strategies to stimulate deeper understanding and create a common usage of specific strategies K-5. The pedagogical strategies included Thinking Maps, structured inquiry, and collaborative thinking exercises.

The workshops included:

  • A format of briefing the lesson, demonstration lesson, debriefing the lesson
  • Regular exercises that facilitated short term collaboration and long term community building for the participants
  • How we use varied groupings of students effectively
  • Modeling with students including the metacognition of a process, thinking methods, and how we use our tools

The successes were a result of excellent planning and superb scheduling of the site visits. The factors included:

  • Coordination of eight substitutes to effectively have three groups for two hours each at the six site visits
  • Having a similar format for each of the three groups to stimulate common discussions leading to building a collaborative effort K-5
  • Changing how the groups were organized to maximize the collaboration
  • Meeting with the whole group at select times
  • Active reflection and input from everyone

Continuing Results
The staff continues to develop their common language with additional trainings to support their growth including school wide Junior Great Books workshops.

New Ideas
The principal and myself effectively planned a whole school involvement with an initiative that officially had one third of the staff signed up. Two years later all except one had become officially involved with the initiative.

Client Information
National Urban Alliance for Effective Education
Seattle Public Schools

Flow Map of how we collaborate.

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updated 17 March 2007