Florida Network for School Improvement
The Florida Network for School Improvement (FNSI) is a community of schools focused on improving math proficiency for Black and Latino/a students and students experiencing poverty. Participating schools work together to address challenges related to student outcomes by employing continuous improvement cycles that aim to identify, test, and refine instructional strategies.
AIR serves as the “intermediary” for this network by 1) providing math coaches who support subject-specific teacher teams in each step of the continuous improvement process; 2) helping to build school and district capacity to do this type of continuous improvement work in a deep and sustained way; and 3) organizing networking opportunities to share learning across schools.
Teachers work together, with support from AIR, and use Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to continuously test, refine, and adapt new and improved instructional strategies:
- Plan – Create a plan for testing a new strategy
- Do – Implement the strategy and collect data (e.g., student work)
- Study – Analyze the data to determine whether the strategy achieved intended improvements
- Act – Decide how to modify the strategy for continued testing or how to adapt successful strategies into daily practice
Subject-specific teams meet to discuss their PDSA cycles every 3-4 weeks. There are also opportunities for cross-school network meetings to share learnings at least twice per year.
The FNSI launched in the 2019-2020 school year with ten high schools from the School District of Osceola County (SDOC) and will continue through the end of the 2023–24 school year.
Participating in this network gave me the opportunity to self-reflect on my teaching practices. I also gained a new perspective on teaching methods that I have adapted for personal use.
In the first year of the network, AIR worked with 71 teachers and tested 25 change ideas. On an annual survey, teachers agreed FNSI helped them better understand and improve their own work (71%). Despite the pandemic, AIR continued the work with SDOC in the 2020-2021 school year and worked with 78 teachers and completed a total of 480 PDSA cycles. In its third year, FNSI will expand to include another district and schools.