• Teachers at Bryson ISD participate in a team building exercise. The school sought to create a safe and collaborative culture as part of its Level 1 certification as part of Marzano’s High Reliability Schools program.

Taking learning to a new level

Both Bryson ISD and Jacksboro ISD are celebrating success for recently achieving new levels of certification within the Marzano High Reliability Schools system.

Bryson ISD and Jacksboro Middle School achieved Level 1 certification near the end of the Fall 2016 semester. Both have now achieved Level 2 certification as the result of a visit from representatives from Marzano Research last Wednesday. Jacksboro Elementary and High School achieved Level 1 certification status as of last week.

“The High Reliability Schools (HRS) program is based off of Dr. Robert Marzano’s world-renowned education research,” said Bryson Superintendent David Stout. “It’s about 40 years of research into what good schools do. What do they really look like? How do they operate?”

The program is broken into five levels. The first level focuses on creating a safe and collaborative culture. The second level focuses on effective teaching in every classroom.

A leadership team made up of a handful of teachers and administrators received extensive training to put the Marzano practices into place for the schools.

One of the first steps within each level of the program is is the completion of a survey by parents, students, faculty and administrators to pinpoint areas to improve upon. Then the school sets out to do so.

Each advancing level builds on those before. One of the biggest segments of Level 2 was increasing student engagement. Teachers and school leaders worked to set instructional goals and are excited about what they are learning and doing.

Working together in the collaborative culture created as part of Level 1, the staff routinely meets to find ways to make teaching more student centered with an emphasis on hands-on learning.

“Instead of doing a worksheet, we get them up and moving around,” said Bryson High School math teacher Elizabeth Gulley.

Gulley gave an example of when she was teaching similar triangles. The class headed out to the track and created the throwing sectors for discus and shot put.

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