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Bay State Reading Institute

 Ed Moscovitch, Executive Director, 50 Prospect Street
 Amesbury, MA 01913
[P] (800) 683-9682 x 710
[F] --
http://www.baystatereading.org/
[email protected]
Tom Giddens
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INCORPORATED: 2006
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 32-0161930

LAST UPDATED: 11/02/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The Bay State Reading Institute’s (BSRI) mission is to change student’s lives and learning through partnerships that champion and empower teachers and principals. BSRI is committed to accelerating the achievement of all students, and closing the gap for low-income and English language learners. We help schools transform classroom practice and build a confident and collaborative school culture through targeted professional development and expert instructional and leadership coaching.

Mission Statement

The Bay State Reading Institute’s (BSRI) mission is to change student’s lives and learning through partnerships that champion and empower teachers and principals. BSRI is committed to accelerating the achievement of all students, and closing the gap for low-income and English language learners. We help schools transform classroom practice and build a confident and collaborative school culture through targeted professional development and expert instructional and leadership coaching.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $1,447,914.00
Projected Expense $1,551,915.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Improving Principal Leadership
  • Middle School Partnership Development
  • Sustaining multi-year partnerships

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Bay State Reading Institute’s (BSRI) mission is to change student’s lives and learning through partnerships that champion and empower teachers and principals. BSRI is committed to accelerating the achievement of all students, and closing the gap for low-income and English language learners. We help schools transform classroom practice and build a confident and collaborative school culture through targeted professional development and expert instructional and leadership coaching.


Background Statement

 

BSRI began partnering with six schools in 2006, and currently partners with 44 elementary and middle schools in 11 districts across the state. BSRI was founded by Barbara Gardner, a 14-year Massachusetts state representative and a retired Massachusetts Associate Commissioner of Education for School Readiness, and Edward Moscovitch, a contributor to the writing of the 1993 Massachusetts education reform law, education policy advisor, and the external evaluator for the State of Alabama’s Reading Initiative. Moscovitch now serves as executive director and Gardner serves on the board.

BSRI has been a trusted partner to schools across the state during a time of much change. Our partner schools have relied on us to help them adapt teaching and curriculum to the Common Core, weather a change of assessment from MCAS to PARCC and now to MCAS 2.0 and to meet the need to build teacher teams, foster collaboration and grow and nurture school leadership. As education has changed, BSRI has grown and changed in order to continue to meet the needs of schools, teachers and students.



Impact Statement

 

BSRI partners with schools to help improve instruction and accelerate student achievement. Great teaching and inspired leadership is at the heart of a successful school. We support teachers in their quest to become exceptional, through hands-on services to our partner schools. Our approach includes:

  • ·   Professional development that is job embedded and targeted to the specific needs of schools and students. Our professional development is led by both experts in the field and experienced master teachers who help teachers translate theory into practice.
  • ·  Effective and student improvement centered use of data to help teachers plan and deliver instruction that is student centered and meets students where they are. This help with using data allows us to support and grow grade level teacher teams who understand their students and provide them with the instruction they need.
  • ·   Leadership coaching, providing a school's principal with support in being not only an effective supervisor but also in becoming the instructional leader and driving change and innovation.

 

BSRI serves schools that educate students in grades K through 8, ages 5 to 14. The majority of schools we serve are high need schools with large populations of low income, minority and English language learner students. We serve a number of schools in Massachusetts' Gateway Cities - communities marked by lower than average per capita income and education levels including Everett, Gloucester, Westfield and Taunton.  We also serve underserved districts in small communities and rural areas including Webster, Adams-Cheshire, Northern Berkshire School Union, Acushnet, Berkley and North Adams.


Needs Statement

Our needs include:

  • Funds to launch work in new districts.  Our services are intensive in the first years of partnership. We work with districts that have not only academic challenges but budget challenges as well. Seed funding would allow us to work with more of these small districts.
  • Developing and deepening our resources for our work in middle school - We have begun to work with middle school teachers and principals in several districts working on a problem that has vexed school districts for decades as they struggle with getting middle school to work well for students. We have a more  student-centered approach and are working to help middle school teachers learn to use data and differentiate instruction. Funding is needed to help us build a model of services, assessments and resources to meet the needs of our district partners.

CEO Statement

Typically, school improvement organizations work with schools on only one or two areas such as helping the principal with leadership skills, or providing stand-alone teacher training sessions.  BSRI becomes fully involved and absorbed in the culture of the building, closely mentoring principals and instructional coaches, as well as making frequent visits to classrooms.  The school develops a common understanding and culture of open dialogue about teaching that consistently accelerates the achievement of all children.  Teachers in BSRI partner schools are empowered by learning new approaches and stretching to do things differently alongside their principal and instructional coaches. Data is used to guide instruction and provide clear evidence of the gains being made by the students.

BSRI has found that making a number of changes at once makes each individual change easier and more meaningful than it would have been if done one at a time. Learning how to teach each student at his or her level provides an example: Through professional development, principals become instructional leaders and spend significantly more time in classrooms. BSRI coaches show the principal what to look for when visiting classrooms. Teachers are able to successfully differentiate instruction because they receive professional development in using assessment data to identify student needs, and hands-on coaching in proven teaching and classroom management strategies. They use a curriculum which includes differentiated materials. The school day has been reorganized to provide teachers with enough time, teaching tools, intervention materials, and interventionists to address the full range of student needs. When teachers get stuck, they have a building-based expert to assist them. These reading coaches also provide feedback to the principal about the progress and needs of the teachers, and the cycle continues.

BSRI commits to a long-term partnership with each school because we understand that comprehensive change to improve student performances doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to make fundamental changes in a system as complex as a public school. Teachers know this, and often remark on the futility of initiatives of short duration.  BSRI is not a quick hit. We ensure that the practices learned in professional development are implemented in the classroom. BSRI is not a program. BSRI is a journey to better teaching.


Board Chair Statement



Geographic Area Served

STATEWIDE

BSRI works in more than 40 schools, including 11 schools in the greater-Boston districts of  Malden (02148), and Everett (02149).  We also work with the Gateway Cities districts of Westfield and Taunton.

BSRI also partners with schools in Adams-Cheshire (01220)  North Adams (01247)  Gloucester (01930), Taunton (02780), Webster, Berkley, Acushnet, Northern Berkshire and Westfield (01085).  We are pursuing additional partnerships in several other communities.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  2. Education - Management & Technical Assistance
  3. Education - Educational Services

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development

Programs

Improving Principal Leadership

In a careful study of our partner schools and their performance on reading assessment tests and the MCAS, BSRI has found a very strong correlation between the strength of the principal and the extent to which a school improves its literacy instruction.  This correlation has also been found in numerous national studies.  In order for a school to consistently meet the needs of all its students in an inclusive and timely way, the school’s principal must be exceptional. 

Many principals were strong teachers before they became administrators. A few have the natural leadership skills which allow them to guide a school through the numerous, simultaneous changes that are required to measurably improve student achievement.  However, although almost every principal wants to be the leader his or her school needs, most have never received the necessary training and education. BSRI is developing an intensive program of professional development and professional learning communities specifically for principals that is linked to the individualized coaching of each principal that BSRI already provides. 
Budget  $100,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  BSRI secures funding for principal leadership training for FY16.
Program Long-Term Success  BSRI principals attend a principal leadership academy and participate in professional learning communities.
Program Success Monitored By  Student achievement scores and school accountability measures.
 
Examples of Program Success  BSRI offered an initial principal leadership institute that was extremely well received.  Principals wanted more including more opportunities to interact and learn from each other.

Middle School Partnership Development

Middle schoolers are at a crossroads in terms of learning. Studies have documented the declines in school engagement and academic performance as students move from elementary to middle school.  More  and more neuroscience indicates that middle schoolers learn best with lessons that are varied with lots of involvement and hands-on activities. 

The major challenge in middle schools stems from the structure and schedule. Since an elementary teacher teaches all core subjects, it is far easier to interweave lessons and to extend time for struggling students by extending learning blocks within the school day. Unlike elementary teachers, middle school teachers are subject experts and the school day is far less flexible with classes lasting anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. This often results in a stand-and-deliver lecture which fails to engage many students. There is also little time to gauge which students are struggling or need more challenge and to change lessons or activities to meet their needs.

While there are many data tools and curriculum supports for elementary school teachers, there are far fewer materials and supports for the middle grades. Teachers many not have the data needed to group students, may lack the supports and specialists to assist them in adapting curriculum or may not access to additional materials to supplement text books.

We have need for support for capacity building to build a set of core trainings, coaching routines, data tools and curriculum resources for middle school teachers.

Budget  $100,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 
Tasks encompassed in this project include:
  • Develop  models to creatively schedule lessons using multiple class periods
  • Develop  blueprints and resources for adapting curriculum and finding curriculum resources that allow student to access content at various reading and vocabulary levels
  • Review  available assessments and assessment technologies to help determine which are most valuable easy to use and administer.
  • Develop  methods for principals to create and activate teacher teams, conduct data meetings and discuss student progress and plan interventions across the curriculum.
  • Develop a toolkit of interventions and adaptations teachers can use to help students access materials across the curriculum.
  • Develop the studio model of small group and collaborative work for middle school and coaching and professional development sessions to help implement the studio model.
Program Long-Term Success 
Long term success is changing the way we teach middle schoolers in BSRI partner schools.  Middle schoolers are not only at a challenging age, but they are at a crossroads in terms of learning. We seek to change highly departmentalized curriculum and teacher driven instruction to a more student centered lessons that engage and challenge.
 
Program Success Monitored By  BSRI uses data to evaluate the success of our work.  Since this is a capacity building  need, we will set up, within the framework created tools to monitor success of implementation.  We'll build on past efforts and will use teacher and principal feedback, student assessment scores, a fidelity of practice score and other measures.
Examples of Program Success  Since this is capacity building, we will be building measures of success into the model and framework.

Sustaining multi-year partnerships

Early reading proficiency is a strong predictor of school success and is also a strong predictor of future incarceration rates, lower wages, lower voter turnout, and higher health costs. Poor, non-white, and ELL students make up a disproportionate number of the students who struggle with reading.

BSRI received an Invest in Innovation (i3) award for $5,000,000 over five years. This award fundspartnerships in Fitchburg, Gloucester, Malden, Revere, Taunton and Westfield.  

The i3 award will end at the end of FY 15. We are working with our partner districts to find ways to continue to fund our work.  We are also working on capacity building and sustainability strategies to propel our next phase of work.

Budget  $900,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  BSRI secures needed funding for FY 16.
Program Long-Term Success  A long-term sustainable funding strategy is identified for high-need school districts.
Program Success Monitored By  Program success is monitoring by school and student test scores and accountability data.
Examples of Program Success  We are able to continue programs in all high needs districts and expand to new districts.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) is dedicated to helping teachers and principals increase the achievement of all children.  Low test scores and persistent achievement gaps are only part of the story. There are so many talented teachers and administrators who work incredibly hard and do lots of things right. BSRI works to help schools find new ways to teach and lead in order to meet the needs of all children, especially those who come to school with limited vocabulary and little exposure to text and language.

Most efforts to improve literacy achievement are of limited duration and focus on one specific aspect of literacy instruction; curriculum, teacher collaboration, use of data, etc.  However, it is only when changes are made in all these areas simultaneously that schools create a learning environment in each and every class that supports the achievement of all students.  The MA and U.S. Departments of Education, and schools across the country, have learned that managing a complex and comprehensive school reform process is almost impossible for schools to do by themselves.  Especially during the first few critical years of transformation, schools benefit from the help of an outside partner.

BSRI also focuses on partnering with schools in smaller districts.  Many of the districts we work with struggle with budgets or are in areas that are geographically isolated.  Very small districts struggle with a lack of professional learning community.  BSRI is able to create a community of practice for these small districts, connecting them to each other through us and our work.

 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ed Moscovitch
CEO Term Start July 2015
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Ed Moscovitch is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Bay State Reading Institute. He was the lead evaluator of the Alabama Reading Initiative, consultant to the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, and led a team that prepared a comprehensive evaluation of primary, secondary and university education in Kazakhstan, among many other projects. Previously Ed was the Executive Director of the MA Municipal Association, the Vice President of the Charles River Associates, the Vice President of Data Resources, Inc., and was the MA Chief Budget Officer from 1972 – 1975. Ed recently served on the Chapter 70 formula review committee.


Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience


Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Barbara Gardner June 2005 July 2015

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Kelly Ally Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kelly Ally serves as a Reading Coach Trainer and oversees curriculum for Bay State Reading Institute where she provides ongoing professional development and support for reading coaches, teachers and administrators employing research-based instruction, data analysis, and data-driven decision making. Working as a consultant in MA, NH, and NY, she has developed and conducted training workshops for the Department of Education. She has been trained in RTI using Core programs and Guided Reading and has extensive experience with many supplemental and intervention reading programs. Her background includes working as a classroom teacher in the Lowell, MA Public Schools and an adjunct professor at Middlesex Community College, co-authoring their “Step-Up” program, assisting paraprofessionals in obtaining teacher certification. She considers herself very lucky to have her passion become her career.
Mr. Tom Giddens Development Director --
Ms. Britt Ruhe Chief Operating Officer

Britt Ruhe provides financial oversight and planning for BSRI, and leads BSRI’s development work.  Through her guidance, BSRI has moved from dependence on a single source of funding to a more balanced portfolio of support from federal, state, district and private sources.  Since Britt began working with BSRI in 2010, the number of BSRI partner schools has more than doubled, and the budget has grown by 85%. Previous to working with BSRI, Britt was the founder and director of a community based mental health and wellness center, and the director of an educational foundation in Costa Rica.  She has her M.B.A with a focus in non-profit management from the University of Massachusetts.

Mr. Ben Scherz Director of Partnerships --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Purpose Prize Fellow Civic Ventures 2011
Invest in Innovation (i3) grant awardee U.S. Department of Education 2010

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

We collaborate with 44 schools in 11 school districts statewide – Adams-Cheshire, North Adams, Webster, Northern Berkshire School Union, Berkley, Acushnet, Everett, Gloucester, Malden, Taunton and Westfield. 

 


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 19
Number of Volunteers 11
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 21
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 19
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration No

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Barry Weiner JD
Board Chair Company Affiliation Ruberto, Israel and Weiner
Board Chair Term Apr 2016 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Kelly Blank JD none Voting
Ms. Vashti Brotherhood none Voting
Mr. Robert R. Fanning Retired Voting
Ms. Barbara Gardner Retired Voting
Dr. Pamela Hook PhD Retired Voting
Mr. Andre Mayer Retired Voting
Mr. Ed Moscovitch PhD Executive Director, BSRI NonVoting
Ms. Jillian Nesgos retired Voting
Ms. Alex Osborne Teacher, Gloucester Public Schools Voting
Mr. Joseph Tafuma BNY Mellon Voting
Mr. Samuel Tyler Research Bureau Voting
Mr. Barry Weiner JD Senior Partner, Ruberto, Israel, and Weiner Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 88%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Compensation
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

BSRI’s challenges and opportunities are one and the same.  The first is to achieve greater levels of improvements in our partner schools.  We now have nine years of practice implementing our model and we have  a more clear understanding of what works and what does not.  In order to realize greater gains in student achievement, we must implement some changes to our partnership model:

1)     BSRI’s standard for outstanding teaching has changed and become more rigorous. This then necessitates changes in the services and support we provide to our partner schools. 

2)     We have learned that in addition to partnering with teachers and principals, we must work more collaboratively with superintendents and their staff.  Central office support is vital to successful school change.

There are many long-standing administrative practices in school districts which inhibit change.  We have begun to work more closely with superintendents to address the issues of principal autonomy including control of building staff, specialists and interventionists; superintendent and central office staff support for the principal and the changes they are making in conjunction with BSRI; continuity of leadership and; central office support for principals who may need to make tough decisions and have difficult discussions with teachers who may be resistant to change.  

The second major challenge and opportunity for BSRI is to continue to serve more schools and districts while maintaining the quality of services we provide.  BSRI receives an annual external evaluation, and thus far has been able to maintain quality while growing. . In order to attract and retain highly qualified professionals in the places where we need them, BSRI has developed a unique organizational structure.  BSRI is a virtual organization, allowing our coaches to live across the state and in proximity to the schools with which they work.  This type of organizational structure can present challenges as we grow.  However, it has been very effective in helping us recruit the very best in the field.  Almost all of our staff work for BSRI part time, allowing them to pursue the multiple interests and commitments that usually come hand in hand with successful and dynamic people.  This arrangement also is conducive to cross fertilization between BSRI and other school reform initiatives, since many of the coaches engage in research, consulting, and higher education teaching when they are not working for BSRI.  

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $1,447,914.00
Projected Expense $1,551,915.00
Form 990s

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2016 BSRI audit

2015 BSRI audit

2014 BSRI audit

2013 BSRI audit

2012 BSRI audit

2011 BSRI audit

2010 BSRI audit

2009 BSRI audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,868,944 $2,355,273 $2,679,356
Total Expenses $2,036,463 $2,378,249 $2,655,871

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $419,694 $1,076,348 $1,626,764
    Federal $19,694 $682,348 $1,226,764
    State $400,000 $394,000 $400,000
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $167,151 $253,666 $153,333
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,281,975 $1,025,259 $899,259
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $124 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $1,253,264 $1,734,699 $2,079,312
Administration Expense $722,028 $623,374 $553,555
Fundraising Expense $61,171 $20,176 $23,004
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.92 0.99 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 62% 73% 78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 10% 2% 1%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $1,035,351 $1,205,124 $1,164,143
Current Assets $1,033,329 $1,202,398 $1,160,714
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $190,989 $193,243 $129,286
Total Net Assets $844,362 $1,011,881 $1,034,857

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 5.41 6.22 8.98

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Over the past four years, BSRI has moved from a single source of state funding to receiving funds from the federal government, multiple state sources, school districts, corporations, foundations and individuals.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited financials.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

BSRI partners with schools to help improve instruction and accelerate student achievement. Great teaching and inspired leadership is at the heart of a successful school. We support teachers in their quest to become exceptional, through hands-on services to our partner schools. Our approach includes:

· Professional development that is job embedded and targeted to the specific needs of schools and students. Our professional development is led by both experts in the field and experienced master teachers who help teachers translate theory into practice.

  • · Effective and student improvement centered use of data to help teachers plan and deliver instruction that is student centered and meets students where they are. This help with using data allows us to support and grow grade level teacher teams who understand their students and provide them with the instruction they need.
  • · Leadership coaching, providing a school's principal with support in being not only an effective supervisor but also in becoming the instructional leader and driving change and innovation.

 


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

To achieve high quality teaching and leadership, BSRI guides its partner schools through five steps to success.

1) Partnership Development: We lead schools through an assessment of their current practices – what is happening at the school, what is working and what isn’t going so well – in a process that produces a shared vision of what strengths need to be promoted and what needs to change.

2) Implementation Plan: We work with the school’s principal, teacher leaders, instructional coaches and district staff to develop a plan for improvement.

3) Build Capacity: BSRI provides professional development workshops as well as on-site job embedded PD for teachers, principals and instructional coaches.

4) Observe, Measure and Refine Implementation: BSRI instructional and leadership consultants model the professional practices we teach. Each partner school’s principal is assigned a principal coach who supports the principal to be the leader of the systemic change in their school and an instructional consultant who works with teachers and coaches in the building to enhance the day-to- day implementation of rigorous small group differentiated instruction. 

5) Reflect and Revise: Each walk through during the year with the BSRI team is followed up with reflection and feedback. At the end of the year the leadership team along with BSRI and teachers at each grade level reflect on accomplishments achieved throughout the year. Structured conversations are a hallmark of the BSRI cycle of continuous improvement which leads to revised implementation plans, updated goals, and establishes initiatives.

 


 


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Our internal strengths are our highly experienced staff of former teachers, literacy specialists and principals. The professionals who work in schools with teachers and principals are highly experienced in school improvement and have led change in schools. They also keep abreast of the latest research and approaches and many of them teach courses for teacher preparation at local colleges and universities.

 

Our senior leadership has long-standing relationships with the educational and political leaders in the state. They understand the arc of education reform in Massachusetts as both of them were instrumental in the first wave of reform that began in 1993. Because of this they carry great credibility with members of the legislature and educational leaders.

 

We have engaged outside assistance with press, promotion and social media. This outside help have the press contacts and know-how to raise our profile. We are also working to redesign our web presence, consistently brand our materials and attend and present at conferences that  allow us to get before stakeholders and decision makers in today’s schools.

 

As we strengthen our brand and our profile we are also looking at adding administrative staff which will help us make inroads with private donors and foundations that are funding education reform and grow our footprint to more schools and districts. It is difficult to be a champion of public schools and public school teachers in a philanthropic environment that is focused on charter schools and increasing the number of charters. Our work is not flashy or controversial. Strategic leadership that will help us grow in this environment is much needed.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We have several indicators of progress. The most important is how well our students are doing in comparison to similar students in schools whose teachers and principals do not have the benefit of BSRI’s services. As a federal grantee we carefully monitor our outcomes. In addition to using MCAS scores to evaluate progress, we also rate our partner schools through a tool which measures fidelity of practice – how well are they implementing strategies and focusing on the work of school improvement. Subsequent analysis has shown that schools that rate well on the fidelity of practice measures also rate well in achievement on MCAS. Schools that do not do as well on fidelity of practice do not make the kinds of gains that high implementers do.

In addition to MCAS we use other measures and data to monitor progress and measure success including standard literacy assessments like Dyanmic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) a measure of reading fluency and other assessments for comprehension based on a school's needs and preference. This year we are training schools to use iReady as its interface is similar to the computer based MCAS assessment.  This data is regularly analyzed in schools by our coaches and staff and is used by teachers in the school to inform instruction.

As a grantee of the U.S. Department of Education as well as a Priority Partner for Turnaround of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, BSRI is required to collect and analyze data and outcomes in a rigorous and consistent manner and we are committed to the use of this data to improve outcomes. BSRI works closely with SchoolWorks, a Beverly-based nationally known evaluator of school improvement projects. Our annual evaluation meets the very rigorous standards of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. BSRI examines changes in student, teacher and principal behaviors and interactions between the central office and schools, and correlates these changes with student achievement.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

For those schools we partner with over several years, we have seen progress in student achievement, but more critically we have seen changes in teaching and leadership which positively effect all students. We now hear others talk about differentiation - sometimes in other guises such as student-centered learning and personalized learning.
 
We are still struggling with a financial model that makes sense for districts and for our organization. For the first five years of our existence we were fortunate to have a federal grant which allowed us to experiment and allowed financially challenged districts to partner with us. Our model is labor intensive and the intensity and frequency of our interventions at the beginning of partnership is often beyond the budgets of poorer, smaller districts.  We are working with both Westfield and North Adams on different ways to deliver our services and will be evaluating the effectiveness.