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View full detail regarding the six student learning strategies below:
Evidence based story that explains specific belief statements intended to improve teaching and learning.


Academic roadmap

The Academic Roadmap is a flexible outline of Cedar Rapids Community School District’s journey in ensuring every building becomes and remains a High Reliability School (HRS). Based on the High Reliability Schools’ five-level framework, the Academic Roadmap highlights an annual theme and focus area that serves as the foundation for teaching and learning, professional development, and school-level implementation on the path towards high reliability for our students, staff, and community.

Theory of action

IF Cedar Rapids Community School District can strategically, methodically, and purposefully implement the High Reliability Schools’ framework throughout our Strategic Plan, THEN CRCSD can regularly and reliably achieve equitable student achievement and fulfill the vision of Every Learner. Future Ready.

Current state

SY18-19: Access to a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum (HRS 3.2)
SY19-20: Standards-Aligned Instruction (HRS 2.3 and 3.3)
SY20-21: Supporting High-Functioning PLCs, Student Learning, and Family Engagement (HRS 1.4)
SY21-22: Assessment for Learning (HRS 3.5)
SY22-23: Grading for Mastery and Equity (HRS 4.1 and 4.2) *Implementation for ES/MS, PL and Design Work for HS

As of December 2020, the Academic Roadmap has outlined the journey towards HRS through the 22-23 school year. According to the current draft, by the end of the 22-23 school year, CRCSD will have system-wide implementation of HRS Levels 1-4. While there will always be room for improvement and growth in those levels and variance among individual schools, implementing Levels 1-4 by the 22-23 school year could then allow CRCSD to focus on identifying and improving outcomes on leading and lagging indicators rather than implementing new levels.


Digital literacy

The CRCSD Digital Literacy Plan was created in the 2017-18 school year and gathered input from over 3,300 students, 800 staff, and 850 parents. This feedback was crafted into a five-year strategic plan that encompasses four critical commitments:

  1. Clear learning outcomes for students
  2. Clear learning outcomes and professional learning for staff
  3. Access to resources
  4. Robust infrastructure and support systems

This ambitious plan outlines time-bound goals associated with each critical commitment: assessing and implementing the highest leveraging digital learning platforms, designing differentiated professional learning for staff, providing access to digital tools to all students both at home and at school, and creating reliable and robust data systems. The full plan is available here.

Theory of action

IF we create a digital literacy system that provides equitable, rigorous, personalized academic programming with diverse learning opportunities, THEN we will prepare all of our learners to be future-ready.

ActionsSMART goals
CC 1.A.2: Crosswalk the CRCSD computer science standards with the National Library Information Literacy StandardsBy June of 2021, the librarian team will have completed the crosswalk of standards.
CC 4.A.2.b: Acquire and deploy a data warehouse system that consolidates district student data and provides real-time dashboards of important information to teachers and administrators.By the spring of 2021, the data analytics team will have completed at least one data dashboard based upon the end of unit assessment data (stored in Infinite Campus) for use by teachers, principals, and/or building collaborative teams to support PLC work.
CC 4.A.3.a: Reassess current learning management system (LMS) options to ensure systems alignment support staff and student learning needsBy December of 2021, a representative stakeholder group (teachers, students, administrators) will provide a recommendation for the CRCSD LMS.
Revise the current Strategic Digital Literacy Plan.By July of 2021, the next revision of the CRCSD Strategic Digital Literacy Plan will be complete. Input will be gathered by a representative stakeholder group (students, teachers, administrators, parents, community members).

Magnet schools and innovation programs

CRCSD is anchored in the vision that every student is thriving academically and prepared to graduate future ready. One way CRCSD is working to achieve that goal is through magnet schools and innovative pilot programs. We currently have five magnet schools and three innovative pilot projects. A deeper description of each program can be found here.

Theory of action

IF we create and support innovative educational experiences that foster creativity, promote personalized learning, and connect students with their future world for our students and communities, THEN we will improve student outcomes and decrease racial and economic disparities.

ActionsSMART goals
Define Innovative Pathways and Phases for our innovative programming to clarify support and accountability.By June 2021, all innovative programs will decrease gaps in reading and math for IEP, race and EL.
Create and monitor innovation implementation plans (SMART goals, actions, funds).By June 2022, all magnet schools will be on track to certify in the Magnet Schools of America Standards of Excellence within their five year time frame.
Facilitate a high functioning Innovation PLC that includes all funded schools.

New Art and Science of Teaching (NASOT)

We know the number one impact on student achievement is the classroom teachers. That is why we commit so many resources to your learning and development. One of those resources is the Model of Instruction for effective teaching in every classroom.

Our district has adopted the High Reliability Schools as a comprehensive school improvement framework. Within that framework, Level 2 focuses on Effective Teaching. A group of dedicated teachers and administrators finalized 12 New Art and Science of Teaching (NASOT) priority elements from the 43. You can view the 12 prioritized elements here and here is an element explanation that includes why the various elements were chosen. This work will create a common language for what effective teaching looks, feels, and sounds like, which is directly related to the High Reliability School leading indicator 2.1.

The New Art and Science of Teaching is a model of instruction that was researched and developed by Dr. Robert Marzano along with his associates. There is a wealth of research around the work and you can view it here.

Theory of action

IF Cedar Rapids Community School District can define and prioritize elements of effective instruction and implement those elements in all classrooms, THEN CRCSD can regularly and reliably achieve equitable student achievement and fulfill the vision of Every Learner. Future Ready.

ActionsSMART goals
All teachers will go through at least two Cedar Rapids Coaching Inquiry Cycles as part of a coach’s roster for a length of time.By June 2022, 100% of teachers will set an IPDP goal based on a prioritized NASOT element, receive effective coaching during a coaching cycle to show growth on prioritized elements, and show improvement on the related scales.
All teachers will reflect upon their IPDP within Kiano on a quarterly basis.

Profile of a Graduate

As each CRCSD student is provided access to essential concepts and meaningful learning experiences in the core academic content areas, it is imperative that we also look to the Future Ready skills outlined in our Profile of a Graduate: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, and Citizenship. These skills build capacity in students so they are prepared to lead productive, satisfying lives. Businesses and community partners are sending a very clear message that students need the skills to “work comfortably with people from other cultures, solve problems creatively, write and speak well, think in a multidisciplinary way, and evaluate information critically. And they need to be punctual, dependable, and industrious.” (Gewertz, 2007)

There are seven steps to implementing the Profile of a Graduate; these steps are not linear, rather continuous:

Step 1: Adopt a Vision

  • Adopted by SIAC
  • Must revisit continuously

Step 2: Create Consensus

  • Among OLL Leadership
  • Among District and building leaders
  • Among broader audience

Step 3: Align the System

  • Some alignment has been done with individual systems (HRS, Standards-Based Grading, SEBH)
  • Need to align with the Strategic Plan and embed in goal areas

Step 4: Build Professional Capacity

Step 5: Focus Curriculum & Assessment

Step 6: Support Teachers & Students

Step 7: Improve & Innovate

Theory of action

IF we prioritize the five Profile of a Graduate competencies through a student self-reflection system and offer multiple pathways to demonstrate Postsecondary Workforce Readiness (PoWeR) skills, THEN our students will be future ready for postsecondary settings.

ActionsSMART goals
Align Profile of a Graduate Road Map to Office of Learning and Leadership Goals. – Step 2 and 3By June 2021, a POG work team will work to develop a student-centered process to implement a self-reflective system in grades 6-12.
Develop a work team to design next steps for Profile of a Graduate implementation. – Step 2 and 3By Spring 2021, a POG work team will review and understand alignment from the five POG competencies to SEL curriculum.
Continue to support early adopters and innovators. – Steps 1-7By Spring 2021, a POG work team will review and reflect on best practices being implemented throughout our district—magnet programs, BIG, CTE, and individual classroom settings.

School Improvement Plan (SIP)

CRCSD is anchored in the vision that every student is thriving academically and prepared to graduate future ready. One way CRCSD is working to achieve that goal is through the School Improvement Plan (SIP), a school’s annual plan that defines targeted work to raise achievement for all its students.

Theory of action

IF schools develop, implement, and measure SIPs, THEN student outcomes will improve.

ActionsSMART goals
Each respective school develops academic goals (3.4)By June of 2021, all respective schools report on academic goals aligned to system indicators
Teachers administer Common Formative Assessments (3.3) and benchmark assessmentsBy June 2022, all teacher administer and repost Common Formative Assessment results to target instruction
Teacher teams regularly analyze and adjust instruction based on assessment (1.4)