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Quality Impact Teams
(Intensive Intervention)
Pilot Program

Ohio's system of accountability presents a unique opportunity for the state to think in different ways about how it can best support schools and districts experiencing the highest difficulty providing all students a quality education. As a result of Amended Substitute Senate Bill 1 and also in accordance with the ESEA Framework for Accountability, the Office of Regional School Improvement Services contracted with the Ohio Center for Essential School Reform (OCESR) to pilot an intensive intervention program of direct, building-level assistance to chronically low-performing schools.
The project, known as Quality Impact Teams (QIT), is targeted at assisting school personnel to build capacity to meet the challenge to improve student achievement for all students. The QIT works with chronically low-performing schools to improve the academic achievement of all students by targeting strategies that address standards-based curriculum and assessment, leadership, organizational design, and scientifically research-based instructional practices. Such an approach reflects the OCESR's belief that sustained student improvement is predicated upon the development of a professional, collaborative learning culture.

Historical Perspective
In response to the evolution of our state’s current phase of school-level accountability, the Ohio Department of Education prepared to pilot an intensive intervention strategy during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 school years. Planning for the Ohio pilot included study of the North Carolina and Kentucky models of technical assistance. Both efforts center on identifying schools in need of assistance and providing intensive support in the form of on-site, full time distinguished educators who had demonstrated a successful record of increasing student performance. The North Carolina model, which provided the framework for Ohio’s Quality Impact Teams, began work in the state’s 15 lowest performing schools during the 1997-98 school year. Each school site utilized a team of coaches made up of five teachers and at least one administrator. Within a year, all 15 schools moved out of the low performing category. During the second year of the program, nine of the eleven schools with assistance teams moved out of the low performing category.
The next step in Ohio’s pilot plan for intervention was the formation of Quality Impact Teams and the selection of schools for participation. Factors considered during selection included:

  • Willingness to serve as a pilot as demonstrated by the support and approval of the district superintendent;
  • Proximity and availability of highly-skilled educators to serve as QIT coaches;
  • Buildings located in low-performing rural and urban school districts.

The purpose of the QIT pilot project was clear and straightforward: to help low-performing schools evaluate their teaching and learning environment and to provide support and assistance that will improve the education for all children in the school as demonstrated by Ohio’s accountability system.

Pilot Projects
In keeping with the Ohio Department of Education’s drive to raise expectations, build capacity and improve results, QIT was designed to provide technical assistance in schools representing both rural and urban demographics.
The first two ODE pilots of the QIT project were initiated during the 2001-2002 school year and scheduled to conclude at the end of the 2002-2003 school year are:

  • Lakewood Local School District (Licking County)
    Two full-time coaches are assigned to three schools in the small rural district in the Lakewood model. The buildings include Hebron Elementary (grades kindergarten – three); Jackson Elementary (grades kindergarten – three); and Lakewood Intermediate (grades four – five).
  • Columbus Public Schools (Franklin County)
    The Columbus model reflects a three member QIT assigned to Hilltonia Middle School. Two of these coaches were formerly Columbus Public School teachers.

A third QIT pilot was initiated in Lorain City Schools (Lorain County) for the 2002-2003 school year. This project is designed to provide intensive intervention in a Kindergarten to Grade Twelve feeder pattern at Hawthorne and Palm Elementary Schools, Lorain Middle and Lorain Admiral King High School. Nine full-time coaches are working in the four schools.

Through intense coaching, classroom modeling, professional development that was embedded and ongoing and Collaborating for Student Success Teams, success became the rule, not the exception! External audits were performed annually in all the schools associated with a Quality Impact Team. At the end of two years, the data showed increase in teacher awareness and use of the new state standards, lessons more aligned with the state standards, improvement in school climate, evidence of assessment guiding the instruction due to the creation and/or use of short cycle assessments, more teacher collaboration and evidence of best practices in the school and the classrooms.

Increase in student performance was evident in all schools involved by the end of the two year pilot. (As per the state issued report cards) As a result, each of the three districts made a commitment to use their own resources or CSRD grant monies to hire coaches back for a third year to help continue to build the capacity and to bring administrators on board. There was a continuation of the improvements mentioned above. The original two districts in the pilot have asked for part time assistance from the coaches, making this the fourth year in the QIT project. Collaborating for Success Groups are operating on their own in all three districts.

It is obvious that intensive daily coaching is a successful model to increase student achievement. The relationships the coaches form with the teachers and administrators is key to the success of systemic growth, collaboration and leaving no child behind. Specific data and reports are on file at the Ohio Center for Essential School Reform.




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