Richardson ISD: Making a Difference for Learners

I had the pleasure of having lunch with some of the leadership team from Richardson ISD this week which made me reflect on the implementation there and the success they are having. This district had so much readiness for the Engage! Learning Model (ELM) that shortly after their Coaches Academy team attended training in May of 2013, they were turning it around to teachers in the district with fidelity. I loved their energy and growth mindset from the outset. Their obvious belief in doing the right thing for learners and teachers resonated with me. We share the passion for recognizing the talents and honoring the gifts that teachers bring to their profession by providing the permission and the resources to lead amazing, challenging, standards-based learning experiences in their classrooms.

Richardson ISD is unique in a few aspects. One of these traits is the readiness I mentioned earlier and the way the Coaches Academy team led by Bob Devoll and Anne Marie Yarborough dove into the work to make sure teachers had what they needed to make a difference in the classroom right away. Another unique aspect to RISD is that the Board of Trustees has a vision for learning that is pervasive and forward-thinking. That kind of support is critical in times of transition.

Finally, one personal reason why Richardson is unique to me is because that is where my daughter, Karina, started school. She started in Kindergarten at Richland Elementary and had the most amazing first few years in the Richardson school district. She came to school reading already, and I was so thankful for her Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Cotton, who knew how to and had permission to differentiate for all students so that Karina was not stuck learning the letter of the week when she could read fluently or learning how to count when she could already count to 100. Instead, she learned to write stories and to solve problems and to interact effectively with others and to love school and see it as valuable. Of course, she would have been compliant and done exactly as she was told regardless, but I was thankful for a system that 12 years ago (Karina graduates this year and is currently 2nd in her senior class) was already well beyond one-size-fits-all and so focused on student achievement and creating experiences in the classroom that challenged all students. It makes me even more excited to be working with this awesome district and helping the leaders there increase the opportunities for students to be college and career-ready by taking engaging learning experiences to the next level.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This