CASE STUDY:

An Exemplary Teacher in Every Classroom

How Blue Valley Schools upholds a stellar academic record.

 

Blue Valley Schools At a Glance:

Blue Valley Schools

Location: Overland Park, KS
K-12 Enrollment: 22,078
Staff:
Certified staff: 1,848
Classified staff: 1,418
Administrators: 104
Facilities: 34


Demographics: 10% of Blue Valley students report a home language other than English and identify 70 different primary languages.

 
 

The Challenge:

Although Blue Valley Schools experiences high levels of student achievement, the Board of Education challenged the district to meet two goals to improve student success even more.

  • Ensure that there is an exemplary teacher in every classroom
  • Focus on personalized student learning
“The primary root of our success is in the strength of our teaching staff.”
– Chief Human Resources Officer Bob Kreifels
 
 

The Results:

  • Blue Valley students outperformed nearly every educational system in the world tested in math and science on the PISA exam, following only Shanghai, China. Blue Valley ranked first on the exam’s reading section with an average district score of 538.
  • Blue Valley Schools was named to the College Board’s 7th Annual AP Honor Roll for increasing access to AP coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.
  • Graduates of the class of 2016 recorded the top SAT score in district history and exceeded state and national averages.
  • In a Customer Assessment survey, 91 percent of community members surveyed said they would give teachers in the district a grade of “A” or “B.”
  • Multiple district employees have been recognized for their work:
    • Jason Sickel — a vocal music teacher at Blue Valley North: 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year
    • Cathy Kerr — a district psychologist: 2016 Kansas School Psychologist of the Year
    • Kristi Dixon — a high school counselor: 2016-2017 Kansas School Counselor of the Year
  • Blue Valley Schools took first place on Niche Rankings’ “2017 Best Places to Teach in Kansas” list.
“Frontline Professional Growth has been extremely helpful for us in terms of helping us identify where we have strengths, where our teachers perform very well and how our teachers take advantage of professional learning opportunities. Then we can look back to see if there are areas that can be improved, and start planning more focused professional development opportunities. That ensures that our teachers have what they need to do for our kids in the classroom every day.”
— Bob Kreifels
 
 

The Solution:

LEVERAGING ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS FROM FRONTLINE

Blue Valley Schools partners with Frontline to reach its goals through four main strategies.

Having exemplary educators in every classroom means a commitment to helping educators continually improve their skills. To see how much progress they have made, leaders at Blue Valley Schools use Frontline Professional Growth to gain a thorough understanding of teachers’ strengths and deficits. District administrators can identify where the district’s teachers perform very well, how teachers take advantage of learning opportunities and which areas could benefit from improvement. Then, they can plan relevant, collaborative professional development opportunities that help every educator become truly exemplary.

“Frontline Professional Growth has been extremely helpful for us in terms of helping us identify where we have strengths, where our teachers perform very well and how our teachers take advantage of professional learning opportunities. Then we can look back to see if there are areas that can be improved, and start planning more focused professional development opportunities. That ensures that our teachers have what they need to do for our kids in the classroom every day.”

– Bob Kreifels

 

A NEW BRAND FOR HUMAN RESOURCES

Dedication. Collaboration. Innovation.

Providing Blue Valley students with the highest level of instruction possible means having an exemplary teacher in every classroom. To attract and retain this level of talent, the district developed a new brand for the Human Resources department and worked with principals to determine the qualities possessed by exemplary teachers. These conversations sparked a tagline (“Dedication. Collaboration. Innovation.”) that is now used in the district’s recruiting and interviewing process to identify better talent.

  • DEDICATION: Exemplary teachers are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help each student succeed.
  • COLLABORATION: Exemplary teachers collaborate and use data to personalize learning for each student.
  • INNOVATION: Exemplary teachers use innovative instructional strategies, integrate technology and create learning environments that help meet the personal learning needs of each student.
 

Hiring, Engaging & Growing Great Teachers

As you can see, Blue Valley takes a holistic approach to ensuring an exemplary teacher is in every classroom for every child. Listen to our interview with Bob Kreifels, Chief Human Resources Officer, here.


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