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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 DeWitt (Ed.D) is the founder and CEO of the Instructional Leadership Collective. He was a K-5 teacher for 11 years and a principal for 8 years. For the last 10 years, he has been facilitating professional learning nationally, and internationally, based on the content of many of his best-selling educational books. 


DeWitt's professional learning relationships are a monthly hybrid approach that includes both coaching and the facilitating workshops on instructional leadership and collective efficacy. 

Additionally, in the Summer of 2021, DeWitt created a year long on-demand, asynchronous coaching course through Thinkific where he has created a community of learners that include k-12 educators in leadership positions. 


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


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


Additionally, DeWitt is the Series Editor for the Connected Educator Series (Corwin Press) and the Impact Series (Corwin Press) that 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 sits on numerous advisory boards. 

Peter is the author, co-author or contributor of numerous books. Click on title to purchase. They include:
Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students (Corwin Press. 2012).

Flipping Leadership Doesn't Mean Reinventing the Wheel (Corwin Press. 2014)

Collaborative Leadership: 6 Influences That Matter Most (Corwin Press/Learning Forward).

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

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

Instructional Leadership: Creating Practice Out Of Theory (Corwin Press. 2020).

Collective Leader Efficacy: Strengthening the Impact of Instructional Leadership Teams (Corwin Press. Learning Forward. 2021).

De-implementation: Creating the Space to Focus on What Works (Corwin Press. 2022). 

Leading with Intention - Developing self-awareness to fostering an unreasonable human interconnectedness to impact the school community (co-authored with Michael Nelson. Corwin Press. 2024).

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

Some of the organizations Peter has worked with are the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Learning Forward, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), University of Oklahoma, Cognition Education (New Zealand), Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL), 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), and the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), National School Climate Center, GLSEN, PBS, NPR, BAM Radio Network, ABC, and NBC's Education Nation.

Learn more about bringing Peter DeWitt to your school or district at petermdewitt.com

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Related Titles

Featured Publication
Schools on the Move
Leading Coherence for Equitable Growth

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