Navigate the ADE School Improvement Process with Instructional Empowerment

School Support
& Improvement

Awarded RFPBPM005277 School Improvement Consultant ADE

School Support & Improvement

Awarded RFPBPM005277 School Improvement Consultant ADE

100% Success for CSI and TSI Schools

Instructional Empowerment, Inc. (IE) is proud to partner with over 200 school districts around the country – including several in Arizona. We have a research-validated, perfect track record for increasing achievement in schools designated for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI).

We can provide expert support in completing the following in accordance with Arizona Department of Education Guidelines:

  • Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA)
  • Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
  • Integrated Action Plans (IAP)

Our Social Mission Drives Our Results

This work matters to us. Our social mission is to end generational poverty and eliminate racial achievement gaps through transformed core instruction.

We are so serious about our social mission that we founded our own independent Applied Research Center.

Our research center verifies every project using the most exacting federal research standards. We ensure our methods work in every school and every classroom in all the different communities that our partner schools serve.

If you want to close achievement gaps for all students and build a collaborative, engaging learning culture in all classrooms, we promise to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you.

Arizona students engaged in student-led teaming.

Meet Our Arizona School Turnaround Team

Michelle Fitzgerald, Ed.D.

Executive Director,
School Advancement


Middle school teacher, building administrator, district curriculum coordinator, assistant superintendent, and area superintendent – principal supervisor

Rob Belous, MBA

Senior Director of District Partnerships,
School Advancement


K-12 Teacher, turnaround administrator, district curriculum director and principal supervisor, and leader in organizational design and reform

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We Are Not a Program – We Do Systems Work

We have worked closely with ADE to align our work with Arizona’s requirements because we understand how important this work is to your district and the community. Our partnership is an investment in school leadership and systems improvement. We are not a program – we offer a true, comprehensive partnership.

Whether your schools have been identified as CSI, TSI, or ATSI, our experienced coaches will work side-by-side with your team to develop a plan around evidence-based methodologies that fit the needs of each school and the people in that school.

Before partnering with us, many of our partner schools had implemented program after program without obtaining the desired student achievement results. Difficult or challenging school environments persisted because the behavioral and instructional systems were not addressed first. Programs cannot build the foundational systems necessary for sustainable growth. Systems work is a second-order change that requires time and the personalized support of dedicated leadership coaches.

Embedded Support for Systems Development

Instructional Empowerment goes to great lengths to provide the best school leadership coaches to our partner schools. Every one of our leadership coaches has served as successful school or district leaders. Every single one.

Our coaches have been where you are and successfully led their buildings or districts through the turnaround process. Together, we focus on rapid, small wins that lead to sustainable systems improvement and instructional leadership development for principals.

School principals work side by side with our onsite leadership coaches, learning by doing. This alliance ensures new practices immediately transfer and impact the school’s instructional systems, creating visible wins and building principal confidence.

“The most powerful attribute of the partnership has been meeting our schools where they are and assessing what tools we can use to help support them based on their needs. Each time I collaborate with Instructional Empowerment, I walk away from the meeting feeling that they’re just as invested in the success of our schools as we are.”

Brandon White
Assistant Superintendent of Academics,
South Bend Community School Corporation, IN

“The coaching model has had such a great impact on helping develop our instructional leadership capacity. Developing my campus leadership team helps everyone to take ownership in the work that we are doing.”

Krista Daniel
Principal, Bunche Elementary School, Midland, TX

ADE-Aligned School Improvement Services

1. Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA)

IE’s School Comprehensive Needs Assessment (SCNA) aligns to Arizona’s CNA. We collect and analyze data related to leadership, instruction, curriculum, and the culture and conditions at your school. The intention is to identify both strengths and areas for growth, and to assist you in planning for support. The SCNA findings will be presented to the Superintendent and School Principal to effectively inform RCA and IAP Planning.

2. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) of Primary Need

IE’s expert school improvement staff will facilitate a consultation with you to support the completion of the RCA. Utilizing a combination of IE’s tools, the state rubric, and collaboration with the district, we analyze the data based on the 4 Domains of Equitable Learning to identify areas of need.

3. Integrated Action Plan (IAP)

Onsite planning sessions include a deep dive into the CNA and RCA results, followed by collaboratively developing your IAP. IE’s school improvement strategies and measurement tools have been researched and evaluated by our in-house What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) certified reviewer through IE’s Applied Research Center. Our strategies comply with the evidence-based intervention requirement of ESSA [Title VIII Section 8101 (21)].

4. Implement IAP with Comprehensive School Improvement Services

We partner with you to develop tailored, comprehensive services aligned to your IAP that match the unique needs of your school and the community it serves. We focus on your instructional vision, initiatives, and goals. Your schools develop their capacity for continuous instructional improvement that translates into year-after-year learning gains.

5. Monitor Progress to Your Goals with Research-Validated Metrics

Every step of our partnership is guided by real-time predictive data. Our metric of instructional systems improvement is research-proven to predict student learning gains. District leaders have absolute confidence in the project’s progress with transparent data sharing.

Arizona school leader tracking progress in partner school.

“Instructional Empowerment has made a big impact not just for myself, but for our school environment. Our dedicated consultant provided clear direction and built a relationship with our staff. He wants us to succeed and move forward, and expresses compassion for our students and leadership team. Through our daily standup, we intentionally plan on how we’ll meet our weekly goals and address any barriers to success. We have shared data trends with our staff. I really believe with Instructional Empowerment, we’re going to make gains in student achievement and exit school turnaround.”

Marcella Clark
Principal, Kayenta Elementary School, AZ

Our real-time metrics have a statistically significant correlation to:

Higher ELA learning rates
Higher math learning rates
Higher student attendance
Lower behavior referrals
Lower suspension rates

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Visible Changes in Students

We provide the structures and supports to help students develop agency or the ability to self-direct their learning. Our support and model of instruction transition students from a learning environment that creates dependent, compliant learners to one that cultivates independent, critical thinkers.

Developing Student Agency Inside Classrooms

Changes in both teacher and student behavior soon become evident as teachers gradually release the responsibility for learning to students. Listen to a group of students discuss the resources available while working on a given task in the video below.

The most important transformation is always within the students themselves. We don’t just re-label students as “scholars.” We go deeper with our model of instruction and support students as they become empowered scholars in their learning environment. A learning culture is formed, focused on rigorous critical thinking and reasoning, where students engage in deeper learning and scholarship. Students take center stage and positive behaviors become incredibly visible in all our partner schools. Visitors notice the difference in student behavior and ask how to do the same in their schools.

Empowered Learning Environment

Our model of instruction creates classroom learning environments of rigorous engagement through purposeful and meaningful tasks that require student dialog around standards-based content. Classroom instruction transforms from low-rigor activities and worksheets to high-rigor team tasks.

In every case, student behavior and attendance improve because students are meaningfully engaged in satisfying, quality learning.

A True Partnership

Mutually Accountable Partnership

We meet you where you are, we learn your current strategies, and we activate your instructional vision, initiatives, and goals for school advancement.

We walk your schools with you, we own your data with you, and we work shoulder-to-shoulder with you.

We embed ourselves in the daily work of the team, share your problems and challenges, and are invested in your overall outcome.

“Their ‘boots on the ground’ approach when they are on both of my campuses is what definitely sets them apart from other school improvement partnerships!”

Shelly Haney
Chief of Schools, REACH Network
Goddard Junior High & Bunche Elementary School, Midland, TX

We Honor Your Work

We complement and build on the work at your school. Our model of instruction can be implemented alongside any program, with any curriculum, in any subject area, and in any grade level.

We provide the intensity of support and structures needed to rapidly transform leadership practices and enhance classroom instruction while honoring the current work of the school.

We implement systems that are missing or are not well-functioning and strengthen systems that are working.

We build capacity in instructional systems as well as leaders, teachers, and students.

“We are not paying for someone to come in and do something to us. This is a lot of coaching work for both the leadership team as well as for professional learning for our teachers with an emphasis on teacher leadership teams. Instructional Empowerment works alongside our teachers to help them develop and expand capacity.”

Brandon White
Assistant Superintendent of Academics, South Bend School Community Corporation, IN

Our Team Members Have a 100% Career Success Record for Accelerating School Achievement

Below are just a few results from our team members’ partnership schools.

Basileo, L. (2023). 2022-23 Interim Analysis District Assessment Results: Arizona. Instructional Empowerment Applied Research Center (Unpublished).

Interested in learning more about our ADE-aligned school improvement services?

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