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The essential superintendent leadership practices, as identified by OLAC (2013, 2008), set the stage for OLAC’s identification of aligned leadership practices for district leadership teams (DLT) and building leadership teams (BLTs). Collaborative team structures organized around aligned and focused work facilitate collective action and increase the district’s capacity to improve instructional practice and student learning.

The OIP was created as a strategy for districts to use in supporting this kind of capacity building. OLAC and the OIP are two interrelated parts of Ohio’s development of a statewide system of support that has been designed to support all districts and their schools in making and sustaining improvements in teaching and learning. Core messages, sometimes referred to as “non-negotiables,” guide the continuous refinement of OLAC and OIP.

Numerous districts across Ohio have increased their capacity to lay a strong and sustainable foundation for improvement through the work of OLAC in delineating essential practices (“the what”) and the accompanying use of the OIP (“the how”). Outcomes associated with OLAC-OIP use include (1) increased engagement of teachers, administrators, board members, parents, and others in a much more collective and strategic examination and use of relevant data to make better informed decisions about instructional practice; (2) identification of a limited and focused set of goals and strategies to improve instructional practice across the district; (3) development of shared instructional practice among adults in the system; (4) full implementation of those shared instructional practices across the district; and (5) the ongoing use of monitoring systems to assess the degree of implementation of agreed-on practices and provide feedback and support in relation to what is/is not working well.