Ayers Institute Case Study

Lexington High School

Coaching for School-wide Improvement

Partner Lexington High School
Location Henderson County Schools (Tennessee)
Timeframe Started 2013; ongoing
Goals
  • Implement best practices in education
  • Build capacity in teachers and leaders
Program Elements
  • Coaching
  • Professional learning

Lexington High School is one of two high schools in Henderson County, a rural West Tennessee county with a population of around 30,000.  The administrative team at Lexington knew they wanted to focus broadly on best practices that lead to student achievement.  So, Lexington entered a partnership with the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation and began to set a vision and goals for school improvement.

During the first year, the members of the Ayers team partnered with individual teachers in a coaching role, working alongside teachers to improve standards-based instruction.  According to Lexington principal, Steve Lindsey, “As the relationship continued to grow, it became evident that there were some things we needed to address at a school-wide level.”  Using a faculty survey, the unique needs of the school were identified and analyzed.

The second phase of the partnership began when Ayers Institute coaches began coaching Lexington’s administrative team.  Using input from the faculty survey, Lexington’s administration decided on a course of action: implement professional learning communities (PLCs), expand the leadership team, and focus on empowering teachers through collaboration.

Throughout the process, the Ayers Institute has provided support through professional learning, facilitation and modeling of best-practice strategies, and effective coaching conversations.

“The partnership with Ayers has allowed our staff to develop a more productive environment,” said Principal Lindsey.  “I am starting to see conversations about instructional strategies and classroom management take place outside the classroom.  Hard conversations about learning can now occur in the PLCs without the administration’s direct input.  Teachers are building each other’s capacity.  Coaching from the Ayers Institute has made all of this possible.”

Partnership results:

  • Increased understanding of standards-based instruction
  • School-specific needs analysis
  • Strengthened leadership structure
  • Shared-leadership culture to increase collaboration
  • Establishment of professional learning communities

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