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The Focus Model

Systematic School Improvement for all Schools

The four-part method in this book solves the growing problem of schools attempting too many improvement strategies at once instead of deep focus on the most critical few.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483344270
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 176
  • Publication date: July 28, 2014

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.


With school improvement initiatives, quality trumps quantity every time.

Today, a vast array of techniques, plans and initiatives purport to improve student performance. But a “shotgun” approach—trying many strategies at once without the deep focus they need to succeed—always falls short.

The Focus Model solves this growing problem with a method for carefully implementing research informed initiatives proven to work and getting the most out of them, detailing:

  • From Standards to Learning Intentions—Defining with clarity the skills your students most need now
  • Criteria for Success—Defining with clarity what it will mean for students to have mastered skills
  • Critical formative analysis of students — Taking formative assessment to a systemic level of implementation
  • Impact-Professional Learning Communities (I-PLCs)—Collaborating with colleagues so that the focus is learning for both students and the adults

With The Focus Model, your school and system will benefit from the truth that less is more in planning for improvement.

“Here's a first-synthesis of today's best suggestions about how we can make school improvement a reality instead of a hope. A seasoned, perceptive author has assembled an excellent collection of school-improvement tactics that are demonstrable winners.”
—W. James Popham, Emeritus Professor

“If the US implements the Common Core Curriculum it will require a constructive alignment between the standards, the teaching, and the assessment. Jones highlights these latter two critical parts of schooling in a way that not only makes the alignment constructive, but he increases the probability of acceleration in student learning.”
—John Hattie, Director
Melbourne Education Research Institute
Victoria, Australia

Key features

(1) Provides a comprehensive model of systemic school improvement that is designed around four, high-leverage practices that are proven to have a significant impact on student achievement.

(2) Grounded in the latest research and practice on school improvement and instructional effectiveness.

(3) Provides teachers and school leaders with a coherent, step-by-step process for implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

(4) Includes a number of in-depth examples of various stages of the model to help guides teams and individuals in use of the strategies.

(5) Brief by design, the book is ideally suited for use by busy professionals and offers a level of practicality that is largely absent from most works on school improvement.


B.R. Jones photo

B.R. Jones

Learn more about Billy Ray Jones' PD offerings

B. R. Jones is a professional development consultant working on effective school improvement with schools from kindergarten to university all over the United States. B.R. started his career as a teacher and athletic coach, but over the course of twenty years in education, he has worn the hat of club sponsor, bus driver, maintenance director, and for the past several years, building-level principal.

Most of B.R.'s experience has been in schools with high minority populations and low socio-economic conditions. When B.R. took over as the supervising principal of his current school, Wayne County High School (WCHS) in Waynesboro, Mississippi, the school faced many difficult issues. One of the most concerning was that WCHS was considered by many to be unsafe and a lost cause.

By implementing many of the solutions described in this book, B.R. was able to lead WCHS to new heights in student achievement. The result has been graduates who are better prepared for college and careers and a revamped perception by the community concerning the safety of the school.

Because of these improvements in instruction and serving at-risk kids and increased student achievement, US News and World Report chose WCHS as one of America's Best High Schools in 2010. In addition, B.R. was selected as the administrator of the year for the State of Mississippi in 2010, as well as the Mississippi Educational Computing Association (MECA) administrator of the year for 2010 for the advancements in technology that he helped implement for at-risk students.

B.R. completed his PhD in educational leadership at the University of Southern Mississippi. He also received his master's at the University of Southern Mississippi and his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Mississippi.

B.R. enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He has three children and a lovely wife whom he adores.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author

1. The Hard Work of School Improvement

2. The Keys: Focus, Monitoring, Efficacy, and Continuous Learning

3. From Standards to Learning Intentions

4. Criteria for Success

5. Formative Analysis

6. Collaboration

7. Impact: Professional Learning Communities

8. A Call to Action

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.