Evaluation of Dynamic Impact in Worcester County Public Schools Phase I

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the implementation of Dynamic Impact (DI) in Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) by Johns Hopkins’s Center for Technology in Education (CTE). As described by CTE, DI builds the capacity of school districts to form and sustain high-performing teams using several protocols to guide their work together as they implement school improvement plans. This descriptive study collected and analyzed quantitative and qualitative data to document perceptions of DI as implemented in WCPS, including regarding the experience of being on a DI team, fidelity of implementation, and perceived impact. All members of DI teams were asked to complete a survey that included closed- and open-response questions, and a selection of teachers, school administrators, and district personnel participated in focus groups. Data collection took place during the spring semester of 2022. In survey responses and focus groups, participants characterized the experience of being a DI team member as being defined by coordinated, purposeful efforts to set goals, identify root causes, analyze germane data, and continually monitor plans and progress, making adjustments to plans as appropriate. Guiding team members in these efforts are clear protocols that structure teams’ work and help ensure that all team members are positioned to contribute to plans and implementation and are accountable for doing so. CTE staff provide materials, training, coaching, and assistance to support teams in their work, and DI team members seem to respect the CTE team’s expertise and value their support. Participants generally reported a smooth experience, despite some frustrations around logistics and workload. While the expectations of DI team members are high, particularly given other demands on educators’ time, team members for the most part reported strong investment in the DI process and high fidelity in implementing its protocols. Participants generally indicated that they believe DI protocols are effective and that DI is strengthening their schools. Benefits identified included effective teaming and collaboration; shared vision and coordinated activity around goals, informed by data and involving well-chosen interventions; and ongoing engagement with the SIP as a living document. The most common area for improvement that participants noted was to increase the engagement and investment of educators at their schools beyond those on the DI teams.
professional development, school improvement plan, continuous improvement