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Resource Toolbox

Since the federal government announced the distribution of ESSER funds, organizations across the nation have developed resources to inform district spending. The Toolbox is a one-stop shop for vetted, evidence-based resources designed to help school and district leaders make high-impact ESSER investments. Resources in the Toolbox are produced by a range of well-respected education research organizations. 

Empowering, Adaptable Instruction

  • High-Quality Instructional Materials
    Evaluate the quality of your current curriculum to ensure that it meets students' diverse needs. Determine where you should invest ESSER funds to increase the quality and efficacy of your curricular materials. EdReports EdReports conducts research on a wide array of curricula and evaluates their standards alignment and usability. For each curriculum they study, EdReports publishes an in-depth report explaining their methodology and offers detailed insight into their ranking criteria. This tool is ideal for instructional leaders looking to assess the quality of their current curriculum and/or the quality of curricula they are considering using in the future. CURATE By Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education CURATE convenes panels of Massachusetts educators to review curricular materials and produce reports on each curriculum's alignment to Massachusetts standards and usability for teachers. CURATE's reports are a useful tool for instructional leaders seeking to identify high-quality curricular materials for their district. Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool By Achieve the Core This tool is targeted toward those who seek to ensure that instructional materials are both academically rigorous and actively disrupting the racist systems and beliefs that are ingrained in the current education system. The IMET can be used to evaluate any existing curriculum, making it highly flexible for instructional leaders working across many grades and/or subject areas. Select high-quality, culturally relevant instructional materials that will address gaps in learning and lay a strong foundation for continued academic and social-emotional development. Selecting for Quality: Six Key Adoption Steps by EdReports EdReports details six key steps to follow when determining whether a curriculum will meet your students' needs. Instructional leaders can use the frameworks and guiding questions on this site to ensure that any new curricula they choose is both standards-aligned and able to meet the unique needs of a school's population. Proficiency-Based Learning by Great Schools Partnership This toolkit on proficiency-based learning is a framework that allows school and district leaders to strategically plan their instruction around the most important standards and skills that students need to be successful in future grades, higher education, and careers. This model balances high educational standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity. Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard (2021) by The Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) This tool allows educators and instructional leaders to explicitly evaluate their instructional materials for cultural responsiveness and ensure that their curriculum affirms the experiences of a diverse student body. Developed by Black and Latinx parents and the NYC Coalition for Education Justice, the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard uplifts community perspectives and supports schools in providing an affirming education for all students. Priority Instructional Content in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics by Achieve the Core This resource contains a roadmap for instructional leaders looking to choose, leverage, and develop content that addresses the highest-impact standards. By identifying content priorities at the K-8 and high school levels, this resource can help guide instructional decisions at the classroom, school, and district levels.
  • Just-in-Time Supports
    Provide flexible support to address students' particular needs at various points throughout their academic journeys. Have strong interventions in place to both support struggling students and develop students' talents. Just In Time Intervention Planning Toolkit (2021) By Bellwether Education This tool, from Bellwether Education, is a highly actionable resource that instructional leaders and teachers can use to assess their readiness to implement "just-in-time" supports for students. Interactive and comprehensive, this intervention planning tool will support educators in their pursuit to accelerate student learning while providing the necessary scaffolding and support. Accelerate, Don't Remediate: New Evidence from Elementary Math Classrooms (2021) By TNTP Research shows that by providing grade-appropriate instruction and "just-in-time" supports, educators can help students accelerate their learning. In this report, TNTP draws evidence from Zearn, an online math platform, showing that acceleration can help students access grade-level standards more quickly than remediation. It also outlines concrete steps districts can take now to prepare for learning acceleration in the 2022/23 school year. Disrupting Barriers to Strong Instructional Scaffolding: A toolkit for advancing mindsets, principles, practices & conditions (2021) by TNTP Research shows that remediation holds many students back from accessing grade-level content. This toolkit can assist educators in providing high-quality instructional scaffolds without holding students back from grade-level work. Using this resource, school leaders and teachers can help accelerate student learning through the pandemic and beyond.
  • Professional Learning
    Provide high-quality, content-focused professional development so that teachers have the time and ability to understand their curriculum deeply and identify what background knowledge and skills students will need in order to access grade-level content. Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool: Self-assessment for seeing how your current teacher professional learning model compares to best practice by Education Resource Strategies This tool is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their professional learning practices. Using evidence from four districts that have implemented high-impact professional development programs, ERS' Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool can help leaders determine whether or not their current professional learning practices are meeting the needs of teachers and students. Effective Teacher Professional Development (2017) by Learning Policy Institute This report reviews methodologically rigorous studies that have demonstrated the link between professional development and student learning. Synthesizing findings from these 35 studies, the Learning Policy Institute defines effective professional development and proposes recommendations around how best to design and implement highly effective professional learning. Developing a Professional Learning System for Adults in Service of Student Learning by The Aspen Institute This resource provides research-based guidance on creating ongoing, collaborative, content-aligned, differentiated professional learning systems that dramatically improve teacher quality. Provide regular access to instructional expertise and concentrate expertise in buildings with the greatest need. This will ensure that novice teachers receive the necessary support and that all teachers have equitable access to coaching and curriculum support. Sustained and Integrated Observation and Coaching Cycles by Education Resource Strategies This actionable guide is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to leverage the potential of coaching and observation cycles to support teacher development, create a culture of continued growth, and ensure schoolwide professional learning goals are implemented at the classroom level. Improving Teaching Practice with Instructional Coaching by Annenberg EdResearch for Recovery This resource integrates best practices from the research on coaching into a comprehensive roadmap for building a high-impact coaching program. It answers key questions, including "Who are the best candidates to coach and be coached?" and "What do effective coaches do?"" It offers a cost-benefit analysis of coaching in relation to other interventions and clarifies the conditions necessary for implementing high-impact instructional coaching. Instructional Coaching Practice Standards by New Teacher Center The Instructional Coaching Practice Standards guide schools in establishing a culture of collaboration and feedback when it comes to the work of instructional coaches. By introducing these standards and sticking to them, school leaders can support their instructional coaches to make a positive impact. Leverage formal and informal assessment data to inform future instruction, student groupings, and in-the-moment responses to students' academic needs. Measuring Unfinished Learning: A Guide for Schools and Systems to Understand and Measure Student Progress By The Learning Accelerator This guide is a comprehensive roadmap for collecting and acting upon student data. It can help school leaders evaluate the current state of data in their buildings, collect strong data, and make informed instructional decisions. Using Data to Improve Schools: A Toolkit for Educators By Great Schools Partnership This toolkit offers an array of resources to support educators in the process of collecting and leveraging data to support safe and equitable school communities. Using these resources, teachers and administrators can strengthen their data collection and management skills and adapt their data practices to reflect school values.
  • Educator Collaboration
    Provide time for content-focused and student-focused teacher collaboration so that teachers can share expertise, co-plan, and ensure that students are supported holistically. Professional Learning Groups by Great Schools Partnership Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) provide educators with opportunities for structured and effective collaboration. This comprehensive guide to PLGs includes detailed background information and provides actionable guides to implementing PLGs in schools and districts. These tools can help instructional leaders develop and implement a PLG system that meets the unique needs of their staff. Finding Time for Collaborative Planning: Connected Professional Learning Case Study by Education Resource Strategies Though teachers often long for collaborative opportunities, and research supports the effectiveness of collaborative planning, finding time for collaboration can be challenging. In this guide, ERS provides context around how American teachers currently spend their time and offers actionable strategies for school leaders looking to increase the amount of time teachers have to collaborate. Use non-teaching staff to free up teachers for collaborative PD by Unlocking Time by Abl In small schools, teachers can often feel isolated and may lack content-area collaboration partners. To remedy this, Unlocking Time suggests using non-teaching staff creatively to both limit pull-outs during normal instructional time and free up content teachers to connect with colleagues in other schools within their district. This resource may be of interest to school and district leaders willing to get creative in order to create time for teacher collaboration.

Time and Attention

  • High-Quality Instructional Materials
    Evaluate the quality of your current curriculum to ensure that it meets students' diverse needs. Determine where you should invest ESSER funds to increase the quality and efficacy of your curricular materials. EdReports EdReports conducts research on a wide array of curricula and evaluates their standards alignment and usability. For each curriculum they study, EdReports publishes an in-depth report explaining their methodology and offers detailed insight into their ranking criteria. This tool is ideal for instructional leaders looking to assess the quality of their current curriculum and/or the quality of curricula they are considering using in the future. CURATE By Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education CURATE convenes panels of Massachusetts educators to review curricular materials and produce reports on each curriculum's alignment to Massachusetts standards and usability for teachers. CURATE's reports are a useful tool for instructional leaders seeking to identify high-quality curricular materials for their district. Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool By Achieve the Core This tool is targeted toward those who seek to ensure that instructional materials are both academically rigorous and actively disrupting the racist systems and beliefs that are ingrained in the current education system. The IMET can be used to evaluate any existing curriculum, making it highly flexible for instructional leaders working across many grades and/or subject areas. Select high-quality, culturally relevant instructional materials that will address gaps in learning and lay a strong foundation for continued academic and social-emotional development. Selecting for Quality: Six Key Adoption Steps by EdReports EdReports details six key steps to follow when determining whether a curriculum will meet your students' needs. Instructional leaders can use the frameworks and guiding questions on this site to ensure that any new curricula they choose is both standards-aligned and able to meet the unique needs of a school's population. Proficiency-Based Learning by Great Schools Partnership This toolkit on proficiency-based learning is a framework that allows school and district leaders to strategically plan their instruction around the most important standards and skills that students need to be successful in future grades, higher education, and careers. This model balances high educational standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity. Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard (2021) by The Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) This tool allows educators and instructional leaders to explicitly evaluate their instructional materials for cultural responsiveness and ensure that their curriculum affirms the experiences of a diverse student body. Developed by Black and Latinx parents and the NYC Coalition for Education Justice, the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard uplifts community perspectives and supports schools in providing an affirming education for all students. Priority Instructional Content in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics by Achieve the Core This resource contains a roadmap for instructional leaders looking to choose, leverage, and develop content that addresses the highest-impact standards. By identifying content priorities at the K-8 and high school levels, this resource can help guide instructional decisions at the classroom, school, and district levels.
  • Just-in-Time Supports
    Provide flexible support to address students' particular needs at various points throughout their academic journeys. Have strong interventions in place to both support struggling students and develop students' talents. Just In Time Intervention Planning Toolkit (2021) By Bellwether Education This tool, from Bellwether Education, is a highly actionable resource that instructional leaders and teachers can use to assess their readiness to implement "just-in-time" supports for students. Interactive and comprehensive, this intervention planning tool will support educators in their pursuit to accelerate student learning while providing the necessary scaffolding and support. Accelerate, Don't Remediate: New Evidence from Elementary Math Classrooms (2021) By TNTP Research shows that by providing grade-appropriate instruction and "just-in-time" supports, educators can help students accelerate their learning. In this report, TNTP draws evidence from Zearn, an online math platform, showing that acceleration can help students access grade-level standards more quickly than remediation. It also outlines concrete steps districts can take now to prepare for learning acceleration in the 2022/23 school year. Disrupting Barriers to Strong Instructional Scaffolding: A toolkit for advancing mindsets, principles, practices & conditions (2021) by TNTP Research shows that remediation holds many students back from accessing grade-level content. This toolkit can assist educators in providing high-quality instructional scaffolds without holding students back from grade-level work. Using this resource, school leaders and teachers can help accelerate student learning through the pandemic and beyond.
  • Professional Learning
    Provide high-quality, content-focused professional development so that teachers have the time and ability to understand their curriculum deeply and identify what background knowledge and skills students will need in order to access grade-level content. Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool: Self-assessment for seeing how your current teacher professional learning model compares to best practice by Education Resource Strategies This tool is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their professional learning practices. Using evidence from four districts that have implemented high-impact professional development programs, ERS' Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool can help leaders determine whether or not their current professional learning practices are meeting the needs of teachers and students. Effective Teacher Professional Development (2017) by Learning Policy Institute This report reviews methodologically rigorous studies that have demonstrated the link between professional development and student learning. Synthesizing findings from these 35 studies, the Learning Policy Institute defines effective professional development and proposes recommendations around how best to design and implement highly effective professional learning. Developing a Professional Learning System for Adults in Service of Student Learning by The Aspen Institute This resource provides research-based guidance on creating ongoing, collaborative, content-aligned, differentiated professional learning systems that dramatically improve teacher quality. Provide regular access to instructional expertise and concentrate expertise in buildings with the greatest need. This will ensure that novice teachers receive the necessary support and that all teachers have equitable access to coaching and curriculum support. Sustained and Integrated Observation and Coaching Cycles by Education Resource Strategies This actionable guide is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to leverage the potential of coaching and observation cycles to support teacher development, create a culture of continued growth, and ensure schoolwide professional learning goals are implemented at the classroom level. Improving Teaching Practice with Instructional Coaching by Annenberg EdResearch for Recovery This resource integrates best practices from the research on coaching into a comprehensive roadmap for building a high-impact coaching program. It answers key questions, including "Who are the best candidates to coach and be coached?" and "What do effective coaches do?"" It offers a cost-benefit analysis of coaching in relation to other interventions and clarifies the conditions necessary for implementing high-impact instructional coaching. Instructional Coaching Practice Standards by New Teacher Center The Instructional Coaching Practice Standards guide schools in establishing a culture of collaboration and feedback when it comes to the work of instructional coaches. By introducing these standards and sticking to them, school leaders can support their instructional coaches to make a positive impact. Leverage formal and informal assessment data to inform future instruction, student groupings, and in-the-moment responses to students' academic needs. Measuring Unfinished Learning: A Guide for Schools and Systems to Understand and Measure Student Progress By The Learning Accelerator This guide is a comprehensive roadmap for collecting and acting upon student data. It can help school leaders evaluate the current state of data in their buildings, collect strong data, and make informed instructional decisions. Using Data to Improve Schools: A Toolkit for Educators By Great Schools Partnership This toolkit offers an array of resources to support educators in the process of collecting and leveraging data to support safe and equitable school communities. Using these resources, teachers and administrators can strengthen their data collection and management skills and adapt their data practices to reflect school values.
  • Educator Collaboration
    Provide time for content-focused and student-focused teacher collaboration so that teachers can share expertise, co-plan, and ensure that students are supported holistically. Professional Learning Groups by Great Schools Partnership Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) provide educators with opportunities for structured and effective collaboration. This comprehensive guide to PLGs includes detailed background information and provides actionable guides to implementing PLGs in schools and districts. These tools can help instructional leaders develop and implement a PLG system that meets the unique needs of their staff. Finding Time for Collaborative Planning: Connected Professional Learning Case Study by Education Resource Strategies Though teachers often long for collaborative opportunities, and research supports the effectiveness of collaborative planning, finding time for collaboration can be challenging. In this guide, ERS provides context around how American teachers currently spend their time and offers actionable strategies for school leaders looking to increase the amount of time teachers have to collaborate. Use non-teaching staff to free up teachers for collaborative PD by Unlocking Time by Abl In small schools, teachers can often feel isolated and may lack content-area collaboration partners. To remedy this, Unlocking Time suggests using non-teaching staff creatively to both limit pull-outs during normal instructional time and free up content teachers to connect with colleagues in other schools within their district. This resource may be of interest to school and district leaders willing to get creative in order to create time for teacher collaboration.

Relationships & Social-Emotional Supports

  • High-Quality Instructional Materials
    Evaluate the quality of your current curriculum to ensure that it meets students' diverse needs. Determine where you should invest ESSER funds to increase the quality and efficacy of your curricular materials. EdReports EdReports conducts research on a wide array of curricula and evaluates their standards alignment and usability. For each curriculum they study, EdReports publishes an in-depth report explaining their methodology and offers detailed insight into their ranking criteria. This tool is ideal for instructional leaders looking to assess the quality of their current curriculum and/or the quality of curricula they are considering using in the future. CURATE By Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education CURATE convenes panels of Massachusetts educators to review curricular materials and produce reports on each curriculum's alignment to Massachusetts standards and usability for teachers. CURATE's reports are a useful tool for instructional leaders seeking to identify high-quality curricular materials for their district. Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool By Achieve the Core This tool is targeted toward those who seek to ensure that instructional materials are both academically rigorous and actively disrupting the racist systems and beliefs that are ingrained in the current education system. The IMET can be used to evaluate any existing curriculum, making it highly flexible for instructional leaders working across many grades and/or subject areas. Select high-quality, culturally relevant instructional materials that will address gaps in learning and lay a strong foundation for continued academic and social-emotional development. Selecting for Quality: Six Key Adoption Steps by EdReports EdReports details six key steps to follow when determining whether a curriculum will meet your students' needs. Instructional leaders can use the frameworks and guiding questions on this site to ensure that any new curricula they choose is both standards-aligned and able to meet the unique needs of a school's population. Proficiency-Based Learning by Great Schools Partnership This toolkit on proficiency-based learning is a framework that allows school and district leaders to strategically plan their instruction around the most important standards and skills that students need to be successful in future grades, higher education, and careers. This model balances high educational standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity. Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard (2021) by The Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) This tool allows educators and instructional leaders to explicitly evaluate their instructional materials for cultural responsiveness and ensure that their curriculum affirms the experiences of a diverse student body. Developed by Black and Latinx parents and the NYC Coalition for Education Justice, the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard uplifts community perspectives and supports schools in providing an affirming education for all students. Priority Instructional Content in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics by Achieve the Core This resource contains a roadmap for instructional leaders looking to choose, leverage, and develop content that addresses the highest-impact standards. By identifying content priorities at the K-8 and high school levels, this resource can help guide instructional decisions at the classroom, school, and district levels.
  • Just-in-Time Supports
    Provide flexible support to address students' particular needs at various points throughout their academic journeys. Have strong interventions in place to both support struggling students and develop students' talents. Just In Time Intervention Planning Toolkit (2021) By Bellwether Education This tool, from Bellwether Education, is a highly actionable resource that instructional leaders and teachers can use to assess their readiness to implement "just-in-time" supports for students. Interactive and comprehensive, this intervention planning tool will support educators in their pursuit to accelerate student learning while providing the necessary scaffolding and support. Accelerate, Don't Remediate: New Evidence from Elementary Math Classrooms (2021) By TNTP Research shows that by providing grade-appropriate instruction and "just-in-time" supports, educators can help students accelerate their learning. In this report, TNTP draws evidence from Zearn, an online math platform, showing that acceleration can help students access grade-level standards more quickly than remediation. It also outlines concrete steps districts can take now to prepare for learning acceleration in the 2022/23 school year. Disrupting Barriers to Strong Instructional Scaffolding: A toolkit for advancing mindsets, principles, practices & conditions (2021) by TNTP Research shows that remediation holds many students back from accessing grade-level content. This toolkit can assist educators in providing high-quality instructional scaffolds without holding students back from grade-level work. Using this resource, school leaders and teachers can help accelerate student learning through the pandemic and beyond.
  • Professional Learning
    Provide high-quality, content-focused professional development so that teachers have the time and ability to understand their curriculum deeply and identify what background knowledge and skills students will need in order to access grade-level content. Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool: Self-assessment for seeing how your current teacher professional learning model compares to best practice by Education Resource Strategies This tool is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their professional learning practices. Using evidence from four districts that have implemented high-impact professional development programs, ERS' Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool can help leaders determine whether or not their current professional learning practices are meeting the needs of teachers and students. Effective Teacher Professional Development (2017) by Learning Policy Institute This report reviews methodologically rigorous studies that have demonstrated the link between professional development and student learning. Synthesizing findings from these 35 studies, the Learning Policy Institute defines effective professional development and proposes recommendations around how best to design and implement highly effective professional learning. Developing a Professional Learning System for Adults in Service of Student Learning by The Aspen Institute This resource provides research-based guidance on creating ongoing, collaborative, content-aligned, differentiated professional learning systems that dramatically improve teacher quality. Provide regular access to instructional expertise and concentrate expertise in buildings with the greatest need. This will ensure that novice teachers receive the necessary support and that all teachers have equitable access to coaching and curriculum support. Sustained and Integrated Observation and Coaching Cycles by Education Resource Strategies This actionable guide is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to leverage the potential of coaching and observation cycles to support teacher development, create a culture of continued growth, and ensure schoolwide professional learning goals are implemented at the classroom level. Improving Teaching Practice with Instructional Coaching by Annenberg EdResearch for Recovery This resource integrates best practices from the research on coaching into a comprehensive roadmap for building a high-impact coaching program. It answers key questions, including "Who are the best candidates to coach and be coached?" and "What do effective coaches do?"" It offers a cost-benefit analysis of coaching in relation to other interventions and clarifies the conditions necessary for implementing high-impact instructional coaching. Instructional Coaching Practice Standards by New Teacher Center The Instructional Coaching Practice Standards guide schools in establishing a culture of collaboration and feedback when it comes to the work of instructional coaches. By introducing these standards and sticking to them, school leaders can support their instructional coaches to make a positive impact. Leverage formal and informal assessment data to inform future instruction, student groupings, and in-the-moment responses to students' academic needs. Measuring Unfinished Learning: A Guide for Schools and Systems to Understand and Measure Student Progress By The Learning Accelerator This guide is a comprehensive roadmap for collecting and acting upon student data. It can help school leaders evaluate the current state of data in their buildings, collect strong data, and make informed instructional decisions. Using Data to Improve Schools: A Toolkit for Educators By Great Schools Partnership This toolkit offers an array of resources to support educators in the process of collecting and leveraging data to support safe and equitable school communities. Using these resources, teachers and administrators can strengthen their data collection and management skills and adapt their data practices to reflect school values.
  • Educator Collaboration
    Provide time for content-focused and student-focused teacher collaboration so that teachers can share expertise, co-plan, and ensure that students are supported holistically. Professional Learning Groups by Great Schools Partnership Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) provide educators with opportunities for structured and effective collaboration. This comprehensive guide to PLGs includes detailed background information and provides actionable guides to implementing PLGs in schools and districts. These tools can help instructional leaders develop and implement a PLG system that meets the unique needs of their staff. Finding Time for Collaborative Planning: Connected Professional Learning Case Study by Education Resource Strategies Though teachers often long for collaborative opportunities, and research supports the effectiveness of collaborative planning, finding time for collaboration can be challenging. In this guide, ERS provides context around how American teachers currently spend their time and offers actionable strategies for school leaders looking to increase the amount of time teachers have to collaborate. Use non-teaching staff to free up teachers for collaborative PD by Unlocking Time by Abl In small schools, teachers can often feel isolated and may lack content-area collaboration partners. To remedy this, Unlocking Time suggests using non-teaching staff creatively to both limit pull-outs during normal instructional time and free up content teachers to connect with colleagues in other schools within their district. This resource may be of interest to school and district leaders willing to get creative in order to create time for teacher collaboration.

The Teaching Job

  • High-Quality Instructional Materials
    Evaluate the quality of your current curriculum to ensure that it meets students' diverse needs. Determine where you should invest ESSER funds to increase the quality and efficacy of your curricular materials. EdReports EdReports conducts research on a wide array of curricula and evaluates their standards alignment and usability. For each curriculum they study, EdReports publishes an in-depth report explaining their methodology and offers detailed insight into their ranking criteria. This tool is ideal for instructional leaders looking to assess the quality of their current curriculum and/or the quality of curricula they are considering using in the future. CURATE By Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education CURATE convenes panels of Massachusetts educators to review curricular materials and produce reports on each curriculum's alignment to Massachusetts standards and usability for teachers. CURATE's reports are a useful tool for instructional leaders seeking to identify high-quality curricular materials for their district. Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool By Achieve the Core This tool is targeted toward those who seek to ensure that instructional materials are both academically rigorous and actively disrupting the racist systems and beliefs that are ingrained in the current education system. The IMET can be used to evaluate any existing curriculum, making it highly flexible for instructional leaders working across many grades and/or subject areas. Select high-quality, culturally relevant instructional materials that will address gaps in learning and lay a strong foundation for continued academic and social-emotional development. Selecting for Quality: Six Key Adoption Steps by EdReports EdReports details six key steps to follow when determining whether a curriculum will meet your students' needs. Instructional leaders can use the frameworks and guiding questions on this site to ensure that any new curricula they choose is both standards-aligned and able to meet the unique needs of a school's population. Proficiency-Based Learning by Great Schools Partnership This toolkit on proficiency-based learning is a framework that allows school and district leaders to strategically plan their instruction around the most important standards and skills that students need to be successful in future grades, higher education, and careers. This model balances high educational standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity. Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard (2021) by The Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) This tool allows educators and instructional leaders to explicitly evaluate their instructional materials for cultural responsiveness and ensure that their curriculum affirms the experiences of a diverse student body. Developed by Black and Latinx parents and the NYC Coalition for Education Justice, the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard uplifts community perspectives and supports schools in providing an affirming education for all students. Priority Instructional Content in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics by Achieve the Core This resource contains a roadmap for instructional leaders looking to choose, leverage, and develop content that addresses the highest-impact standards. By identifying content priorities at the K-8 and high school levels, this resource can help guide instructional decisions at the classroom, school, and district levels.
  • Just-in-Time Supports
    Provide flexible support to address students' particular needs at various points throughout their academic journeys. Have strong interventions in place to both support struggling students and develop students' talents. Just In Time Intervention Planning Toolkit (2021) By Bellwether Education This tool, from Bellwether Education, is a highly actionable resource that instructional leaders and teachers can use to assess their readiness to implement "just-in-time" supports for students. Interactive and comprehensive, this intervention planning tool will support educators in their pursuit to accelerate student learning while providing the necessary scaffolding and support. Accelerate, Don't Remediate: New Evidence from Elementary Math Classrooms (2021) By TNTP Research shows that by providing grade-appropriate instruction and "just-in-time" supports, educators can help students accelerate their learning. In this report, TNTP draws evidence from Zearn, an online math platform, showing that acceleration can help students access grade-level standards more quickly than remediation. It also outlines concrete steps districts can take now to prepare for learning acceleration in the 2022/23 school year. Disrupting Barriers to Strong Instructional Scaffolding: A toolkit for advancing mindsets, principles, practices & conditions (2021) by TNTP Research shows that remediation holds many students back from accessing grade-level content. This toolkit can assist educators in providing high-quality instructional scaffolds without holding students back from grade-level work. Using this resource, school leaders and teachers can help accelerate student learning through the pandemic and beyond.
  • Professional Learning
    Provide high-quality, content-focused professional development so that teachers have the time and ability to understand their curriculum deeply and identify what background knowledge and skills students will need in order to access grade-level content. Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool: Self-assessment for seeing how your current teacher professional learning model compares to best practice by Education Resource Strategies This tool is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their professional learning practices. Using evidence from four districts that have implemented high-impact professional development programs, ERS' Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool can help leaders determine whether or not their current professional learning practices are meeting the needs of teachers and students. Effective Teacher Professional Development (2017) by Learning Policy Institute This report reviews methodologically rigorous studies that have demonstrated the link between professional development and student learning. Synthesizing findings from these 35 studies, the Learning Policy Institute defines effective professional development and proposes recommendations around how best to design and implement highly effective professional learning. Developing a Professional Learning System for Adults in Service of Student Learning by The Aspen Institute This resource provides research-based guidance on creating ongoing, collaborative, content-aligned, differentiated professional learning systems that dramatically improve teacher quality. Provide regular access to instructional expertise and concentrate expertise in buildings with the greatest need. This will ensure that novice teachers receive the necessary support and that all teachers have equitable access to coaching and curriculum support. Sustained and Integrated Observation and Coaching Cycles by Education Resource Strategies This actionable guide is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to leverage the potential of coaching and observation cycles to support teacher development, create a culture of continued growth, and ensure schoolwide professional learning goals are implemented at the classroom level. Improving Teaching Practice with Instructional Coaching by Annenberg EdResearch for Recovery This resource integrates best practices from the research on coaching into a comprehensive roadmap for building a high-impact coaching program. It answers key questions, including "Who are the best candidates to coach and be coached?" and "What do effective coaches do?"" It offers a cost-benefit analysis of coaching in relation to other interventions and clarifies the conditions necessary for implementing high-impact instructional coaching. Instructional Coaching Practice Standards by New Teacher Center The Instructional Coaching Practice Standards guide schools in establishing a culture of collaboration and feedback when it comes to the work of instructional coaches. By introducing these standards and sticking to them, school leaders can support their instructional coaches to make a positive impact. Leverage formal and informal assessment data to inform future instruction, student groupings, and in-the-moment responses to students' academic needs. Measuring Unfinished Learning: A Guide for Schools and Systems to Understand and Measure Student Progress By The Learning Accelerator This guide is a comprehensive roadmap for collecting and acting upon student data. It can help school leaders evaluate the current state of data in their buildings, collect strong data, and make informed instructional decisions. Using Data to Improve Schools: A Toolkit for Educators By Great Schools Partnership This toolkit offers an array of resources to support educators in the process of collecting and leveraging data to support safe and equitable school communities. Using these resources, teachers and administrators can strengthen their data collection and management skills and adapt their data practices to reflect school values.
  • Educator Collaboration
    Provide time for content-focused and student-focused teacher collaboration so that teachers can share expertise, co-plan, and ensure that students are supported holistically. Professional Learning Groups by Great Schools Partnership Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) provide educators with opportunities for structured and effective collaboration. This comprehensive guide to PLGs includes detailed background information and provides actionable guides to implementing PLGs in schools and districts. These tools can help instructional leaders develop and implement a PLG system that meets the unique needs of their staff. Finding Time for Collaborative Planning: Connected Professional Learning Case Study by Education Resource Strategies Though teachers often long for collaborative opportunities, and research supports the effectiveness of collaborative planning, finding time for collaboration can be challenging. In this guide, ERS provides context around how American teachers currently spend their time and offers actionable strategies for school leaders looking to increase the amount of time teachers have to collaborate. Use non-teaching staff to free up teachers for collaborative PD by Unlocking Time by Abl In small schools, teachers can often feel isolated and may lack content-area collaboration partners. To remedy this, Unlocking Time suggests using non-teaching staff creatively to both limit pull-outs during normal instructional time and free up content teachers to connect with colleagues in other schools within their district. This resource may be of interest to school and district leaders willing to get creative in order to create time for teacher collaboration.

Family and Community Partnerships

  • High-Quality Instructional Materials
    Evaluate the quality of your current curriculum to ensure that it meets students' diverse needs. Determine where you should invest ESSER funds to increase the quality and efficacy of your curricular materials. EdReports EdReports conducts research on a wide array of curricula and evaluates their standards alignment and usability. For each curriculum they study, EdReports publishes an in-depth report explaining their methodology and offers detailed insight into their ranking criteria. This tool is ideal for instructional leaders looking to assess the quality of their current curriculum and/or the quality of curricula they are considering using in the future. CURATE By Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education CURATE convenes panels of Massachusetts educators to review curricular materials and produce reports on each curriculum's alignment to Massachusetts standards and usability for teachers. CURATE's reports are a useful tool for instructional leaders seeking to identify high-quality curricular materials for their district. Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool By Achieve the Core This tool is targeted toward those who seek to ensure that instructional materials are both academically rigorous and actively disrupting the racist systems and beliefs that are ingrained in the current education system. The IMET can be used to evaluate any existing curriculum, making it highly flexible for instructional leaders working across many grades and/or subject areas. Select high-quality, culturally relevant instructional materials that will address gaps in learning and lay a strong foundation for continued academic and social-emotional development. Selecting for Quality: Six Key Adoption Steps by EdReports EdReports details six key steps to follow when determining whether a curriculum will meet your students' needs. Instructional leaders can use the frameworks and guiding questions on this site to ensure that any new curricula they choose is both standards-aligned and able to meet the unique needs of a school's population. Proficiency-Based Learning by Great Schools Partnership This toolkit on proficiency-based learning is a framework that allows school and district leaders to strategically plan their instruction around the most important standards and skills that students need to be successful in future grades, higher education, and careers. This model balances high educational standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity. Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard (2021) by The Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) This tool allows educators and instructional leaders to explicitly evaluate their instructional materials for cultural responsiveness and ensure that their curriculum affirms the experiences of a diverse student body. Developed by Black and Latinx parents and the NYC Coalition for Education Justice, the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard uplifts community perspectives and supports schools in providing an affirming education for all students. Priority Instructional Content in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics by Achieve the Core This resource contains a roadmap for instructional leaders looking to choose, leverage, and develop content that addresses the highest-impact standards. By identifying content priorities at the K-8 and high school levels, this resource can help guide instructional decisions at the classroom, school, and district levels.
  • Just-in-Time Supports
    Provide flexible support to address students' particular needs at various points throughout their academic journeys. Have strong interventions in place to both support struggling students and develop students' talents. Just In Time Intervention Planning Toolkit (2021) By Bellwether Education This tool, from Bellwether Education, is a highly actionable resource that instructional leaders and teachers can use to assess their readiness to implement "just-in-time" supports for students. Interactive and comprehensive, this intervention planning tool will support educators in their pursuit to accelerate student learning while providing the necessary scaffolding and support. Accelerate, Don't Remediate: New Evidence from Elementary Math Classrooms (2021) By TNTP Research shows that by providing grade-appropriate instruction and "just-in-time" supports, educators can help students accelerate their learning. In this report, TNTP draws evidence from Zearn, an online math platform, showing that acceleration can help students access grade-level standards more quickly than remediation. It also outlines concrete steps districts can take now to prepare for learning acceleration in the 2022/23 school year. Disrupting Barriers to Strong Instructional Scaffolding: A toolkit for advancing mindsets, principles, practices & conditions (2021) by TNTP Research shows that remediation holds many students back from accessing grade-level content. This toolkit can assist educators in providing high-quality instructional scaffolds without holding students back from grade-level work. Using this resource, school leaders and teachers can help accelerate student learning through the pandemic and beyond.
  • Professional Learning
    Provide high-quality, content-focused professional development so that teachers have the time and ability to understand their curriculum deeply and identify what background knowledge and skills students will need in order to access grade-level content. Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool: Self-assessment for seeing how your current teacher professional learning model compares to best practice by Education Resource Strategies This tool is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their professional learning practices. Using evidence from four districts that have implemented high-impact professional development programs, ERS' Professional Learning Diagnostic Tool can help leaders determine whether or not their current professional learning practices are meeting the needs of teachers and students. Effective Teacher Professional Development (2017) by Learning Policy Institute This report reviews methodologically rigorous studies that have demonstrated the link between professional development and student learning. Synthesizing findings from these 35 studies, the Learning Policy Institute defines effective professional development and proposes recommendations around how best to design and implement highly effective professional learning. Developing a Professional Learning System for Adults in Service of Student Learning by The Aspen Institute This resource provides research-based guidance on creating ongoing, collaborative, content-aligned, differentiated professional learning systems that dramatically improve teacher quality. Provide regular access to instructional expertise and concentrate expertise in buildings with the greatest need. This will ensure that novice teachers receive the necessary support and that all teachers have equitable access to coaching and curriculum support. Sustained and Integrated Observation and Coaching Cycles by Education Resource Strategies This actionable guide is ideal for school and district leaders seeking to leverage the potential of coaching and observation cycles to support teacher development, create a culture of continued growth, and ensure schoolwide professional learning goals are implemented at the classroom level. Improving Teaching Practice with Instructional Coaching by Annenberg EdResearch for Recovery This resource integrates best practices from the research on coaching into a comprehensive roadmap for building a high-impact coaching program. It answers key questions, including "Who are the best candidates to coach and be coached?" and "What do effective coaches do?"" It offers a cost-benefit analysis of coaching in relation to other interventions and clarifies the conditions necessary for implementing high-impact instructional coaching. Instructional Coaching Practice Standards by New Teacher Center The Instructional Coaching Practice Standards guide schools in establishing a culture of collaboration and feedback when it comes to the work of instructional coaches. By introducing these standards and sticking to them, school leaders can support their instructional coaches to make a positive impact. Leverage formal and informal assessment data to inform future instruction, student groupings, and in-the-moment responses to students' academic needs. Measuring Unfinished Learning: A Guide for Schools and Systems to Understand and Measure Student Progress By The Learning Accelerator This guide is a comprehensive roadmap for collecting and acting upon student data. It can help school leaders evaluate the current state of data in their buildings, collect strong data, and make informed instructional decisions. Using Data to Improve Schools: A Toolkit for Educators By Great Schools Partnership This toolkit offers an array of resources to support educators in the process of collecting and leveraging data to support safe and equitable school communities. Using these resources, teachers and administrators can strengthen their data collection and management skills and adapt their data practices to reflect school values.
  • Educator Collaboration
    Provide time for content-focused and student-focused teacher collaboration so that teachers can share expertise, co-plan, and ensure that students are supported holistically. Professional Learning Groups by Great Schools Partnership Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) provide educators with opportunities for structured and effective collaboration. This comprehensive guide to PLGs includes detailed background information and provides actionable guides to implementing PLGs in schools and districts. These tools can help instructional leaders develop and implement a PLG system that meets the unique needs of their staff. Finding Time for Collaborative Planning: Connected Professional Learning Case Study by Education Resource Strategies Though teachers often long for collaborative opportunities, and research supports the effectiveness of collaborative planning, finding time for collaboration can be challenging. In this guide, ERS provides context around how American teachers currently spend their time and offers actionable strategies for school leaders looking to increase the amount of time teachers have to collaborate. Use non-teaching staff to free up teachers for collaborative PD by Unlocking Time by Abl In small schools, teachers can often feel isolated and may lack content-area collaboration partners. To remedy this, Unlocking Time suggests using non-teaching staff creatively to both limit pull-outs during normal instructional time and free up content teachers to connect with colleagues in other schools within their district. This resource may be of interest to school and district leaders willing to get creative in order to create time for teacher collaboration.

Do you know of a resource to support schools and districts in making high-leverage ESSER investments? Tell us about it here for possible inclusion in the Resource Toolbox!

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