MENU

Going Beyond Access Framework

Going Beyond Access Framework
Posted on 10/24/2017

Our work as a team around instruction and learning is thoroughly underway! Grade-level and specialist teams have common planning time every day. During this time, teams have the opportunity to meet, plan, and work together around 4 focus areas:

  Team Building Logistics Instruction & Learning Social, Emotional, Behavioral Learning through Data
What is it? Time to collaborate and build your team.
 Time for announcements, planning, and organization
Time to grow our skills as teachers in planning, instruction, and reflection
Time to use data to identify instructional and social emotional strategies for student growth
Framing Questions(s) How do we grow, develop, and collaborate as a team?
What do we need to be aware of? What do we need to plan for as a team?
As individuals and as a team how do we design learning that: values impact over intentions, is objective driven, reflects the learners, and is authentically relevant?
What does the data tell us about our impact and how does that inform our actions?
How can we best meet the needs of a diverse population of learners?
What do teachers do during this time? This is the most flexible block of time that teachers have. Some of the ways that they use this time are: co-planning with colleagues and special educators, coordinating and brainstorming around portfolio, and team-building activities.
Teachers work together to cover all of the logistical issues that arise during our day-to-day work, as well, as plan town halls and other matters related to school culture.
Teachers collaborate to engage in cycles of looking at student work (protocols) AND looking at teacher work (video) where we reflect, ask questions, and provide one another with feedback for growth.
Teachers examine a variety of data (assessments, warning notices, office referrals, etc.), work to identify root causes, and match supports based on students’ needs.

Courageous Conversations about RaceAs a school we continue to embrace the “Going Beyond Access” framework, and have begun reading, wrestling with, and discussing Glenn Singleton’s award-winning book, Courageous Conversations About Race. Examining and addressing race is important for us as a community because “...race matters—in society and in our schools. It is critical for educators to address racial issues in order to uncover personal and institutional biases that prevent all students, and especially students of color, from reaching their fullest potential. COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION serves as the essential strategy for school systems and other educational organizations to address racial disparities through safe, authentic, and effective cross-racial dialogue” (taken from: https://courageousconversation.com/about/).

Lastly, all of our core content departments have also been hard at work--with all departments focusing on developing the reasoning skills of our students:

  • Math teachers have been working together to deepen our understanding of how to make student thinking visible by:
    • Aligning tasks to mastery objective,
    • Selecting tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving,
    • Using data to identify target students and create action plans, and
    • Engaging in plan, observe, debrief cycles in order to increase mathematical thinking for all students.


  • English Language Arts teachers are embarking upon a journey to incorporate thinking routines into their instruction to bolster the reasoning skills of our students. This work is in conjunction with guidance from Project Zero at Harvard;


  • Science teachers are focusing on creating a rubric for constructed response in Science and creating student exemplars in order to expand students’ abilities to make a claim and substantiate that claim with evidence and reasoning.

  • Social Studies teachers are working with a Universal Design for Learning expert to explore how to plan learning experiences that are innovative, meet the needs of all students, and use technology to support both the content and the objectives.


  • The instructional focus of Special Education teachers is their collaboration with General Education Teachers to deliver and promote inclusive practices. As a team we are considering: How can we effectively communicate with and hold accountable our general education colleagues? What are the most effective ways to organize and remind teachers of accommodations? How will we utilize lesson plans to both communicate with General Education Teachers and differentiate during push in?