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BERC Report for OEMS RAD Program

In 2011, the Onalaska School District (OSD) was identified as a Required Action District (RAD). As part of the application process, The BERC Group, Inc. conducted a School and Classroom Practices Study (SCPS) at Onalaska Middle School. Findings identified in the initial report were used to complete the Required Action District application and were incorporated into the ongoing implementation of improvement goals and action plans at the school and district levels. In 2012, The BERC Group, Inc. conducted a follow-up SCPS to assess the school’s progress toward improvement goals.

This report is a follow-up to the previous two reports, highlighting changes the school and district have made over the last two years related to the School Improvement Grant (SIG). Evaluators repeated the data collection process used for the first two reports. The findings in this report are based on information gathered from the following sources:

  1. a review of changes in district level practices and policies to support an intervention model;
  2. a classroom observation study focusing on instructional practices within the school; 
  3. qualitative interviews and focus groups focusing on the alignment of school structures and practices with OSPI’s Nine Characteristics of High Performing Schools
  4. surveys of school staff, students, and parents;
  5. demographic and achievement data.

Evaluators obtained information during a site visit on March 13 and 14, 2013. Approximately 43 people, including district and building administrators, union leaders, certificated and non- certificated staff members, coaches, parents, and students participated in interviews and focus groups. In addition, evaluators conducted 12 classroom observations to determine the extent to which Powerful Teaching and LearningTM was present in the school. Finally, evaluators accessed additional information about the school and district, including school improvement plans, school newsletters, professional development schedules, student achievement data, and additional school documents.

The following documents describes the federal intervention model Onalaska School District and Onalaska Middle School chose to adopt. These documents also includes a comparative overview of the district findings from all SCPS studies, a description of the support provided to the school by the district, and a summary of the changes made at the school level. Subsequent sections of the report offer a detailed review of the school’s alignment to the Nine Characteristics of High Performing Schools based on classroom observations, interviews and focus groups, and survey data. Under each of the Nine Characteristics indicators, the report will highlight how the school has addressed issues brought to light in the initial study. 

Brad Klein,
May 20, 2013, 1:20 PM