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Schools on the Move

Guest(s): Jay Westover and Christopher Steinhauser
Date: 06/27/2022
Run time: 27:18
Season 3, Episode 9

A coherent system has never been more important for schools. In fact, the best buffer against crisis, learning loss, and changing human resources is a school that has uniform systems, shared language, and a common vision. This net provides the structure for continuous learning at both the teacher and student level. If you are a district leader, the trick is to keep all the schools in focus and on the same page so that that the system moves like one organism. Our guests today will help clarify this complexity and map a path for keeping schools on the move.

Jay Westover Photo

Jay Westover

Jay Westover has provided leadership training and school improvement consulting in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, state departments of education, colleges, educational service centers, and school districts across North America. Over the past fifteen years, his work has focused on developing capacity of school district systems to close the gaps of college and career readiness. Creating coherent systems of continuous improvement has been a central aspect of state-wide, regional, and local partnerships including the Association of California School Administrators, more than a dozen County Offices of Education, and over 100 school districts.

Jay’s role at InnovateEd is lead advisor for state-level, county-wide, and local school district partnerships, client executive leadership coaching, and guiding the expansion of consulting services. His passion is working alongside leaders to simplify the complexities of developing school district capacity and coherence for sustainable improvement.

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Christopher Steinhauser Photo

Christopher Steinhauser

Christopher J. Steinhauser served as superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District from 2002 to 2020; the fourth largest school district in California serving approximately 70,000 students. With more than 39 years of experience in the diverse Long Beach school system, Chris has earned a national reputation for improving student achievement and closing achievement and opportunity gaps. To ensure that there were equitable outcomes for all students in the school system, Chris implemented a continuous improvement process known as The Collaborative Inquiry Process/Quarterly Visits where teams of educators from different schools would visit each other’s sites to review student outcome data and observe teaching and learning. The purpose of this process was to make real-time changes based on formative assessment data to better meet the diverse academic and social/emotional needs of the students in the system. These site visits would occur three to four times per year. Under his leadership, Long Beach earned the national Broad Prize for Urban Education and qualified as a finalist for the award five times. In a 2010 report by McKinsey & Company named Long Beach as one of the world's 20 leading school systems -- and one of the top three in the United States in terms of sustained and significant improvements. The school district was later listed among the world's top five school systems by the nonprofit Battelle for Kids organization.

Long Beach students, 70 percent of whom receive free and reduced-price lunches, annually earn more than $100 million in college scholarships. Thirteen Long Beach high schools were named in 2020 to be among the top 12 percent in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Under Chris’s leadership, the Long Beach College Promise was developed which became a model for the State of California and the nation on providing two years of free college to every student that enrolled in a community college upon graduating from high school. Since the implementation of the Long Beach College Promise, the college going rate for students in the Long Beach USD has been consistently higher than the State of California and the nation. To ensure that all students were college and career ready upon graduation from high school, Chris implemented industry based pathways system-wide through the Linked Learning approach to ensure equitable outcomes for all high school students.

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Peter M. DeWitt Photo

Peter M. DeWitt

  Peter M. DeWitt, EdD is a former K–5 teacher (eleven years) and princi­pal (eight years). He is a school leader­ship coach who runs competency-based workshops and provides keynotes nationally and internationally, focus­ing on school leadership (collaborative cultures and instructional leadership), as well as fostering inclusive school climates.

Additionally, Peter coaches school-based leaders, directors, instructional coaches, teacher leaders, and school-based leadership teams both in per­son and remotely. In summer 2021 Peter created a yearlong on-demand asynchronous coaching course through Thinkific where he has fostered a community of learners that includes K–12 educators in leadership positions.

Peter’s work has been adopted at the state and university level, and he works with numerous school districts, school boards, regional networks, and ministries of education around North America, Australia, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the UK.

Peter writes the “Finding Common Ground” column for Education Week, which has been in circulation since 2011. In 2020 Peter co-created Education Week’s “A Seat at the Table” series, where he moderates con­versations with experts around the topics of race, gender, sexual orienta­tion, research, trauma, and many other educational topics.

Additionally, Peter is the editor for the Connected Educator series (Corwin) and the Impact series (Corwin), which include books by Viviane Robinson, Andy Hargreaves, Pasi Sahlberg, Yong Zhao, and Michael Fullan. He is the 2013 School Administrators Association of New York State’s (SAANYS) Outstanding Educator of the Year and the 2015 Education Blogger of the Year (Academy of Education Arts & Sciences), and he sits on numerous advisory boards. Peter is the author, co-author, or contributor of numerous books, including the following:

·       Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students (Corwin, 2012)

·       School Climate Change (co-authored with Sean Slade; ASCD, 2014)

·       Flipping Leadership Doesn’t Mean Reinventing the Wheel (Corwin, 2014)

·       Collaborative Leadership: Six Influences That Matter Most (Corwin/Learning Forward, 2016)

·       School Climate: Leading With Collective Teacher Efficacy (Corwin/Ontario Principals Council, 2017)

·       Coach It Further: Using the Art of Coaching to Improve School Leadership (Corwin, 2018)

·       Instructional Leadership: Creating Practice Out of Theory (Corwin, 2020)

·       10 Mindframes for Leaders: The Visible Learning Approach to School Success (edited by John Hattie and Ray Smith; Corwin, 2020)

·       Collective Leader Efficacy: Strengthening the Impact of Instructional Leadership Teams (Corwin/Learning Forward, 2021)

Peter’s articles have appeared in educational research journals at the state, national, and international level. His books have been translated into four languages.

Some of the organizations Peter has worked with are the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Arkansas State University, EDUTAS, University of Oklahoma, Victoria Department of Education (Australia), University of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), the National Education Association (NEA), New Brunswick Teacher’s Association (Canada), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Education Scotland (Scotland), Glasgow City Council (Scotland), Kuwait Technical College (Kuwait), the National Association of School Psychologists, ASCD, l’Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO), the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario (CPCO), the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), National School Climate Center, GLSEN, PBS, NPR, BAM Radio Network, ABC, and NBC’s Education Nation.

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Related Titles

Featured Publication
Schools on the Move - Booksphoto
Schools on the Move
Leading Coherence for Equitable Growth

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