School/District Transformation


Dr. Windy Dorsey Carr

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, & Accountability

Public Schools of Robeson County

100 Hargrave Street, Lumberton, NC 28358

(910)671-6000 ext.3502


PSRC School Transformation provides service and support to schools across the district. Through a collaborative effort from the central office, PSRC school transformation focuses on building the capacity of all staff serving in schools across the district to support the improvement of the school performance grade and EVAAS growth score.

The single greatest factor in predicting student achievement is quality teaching. The impact of a quality educator can be measured for years after a student leaves that educator’s classroom. With educators playing such a vital role in learner success, it becomes vital that a campus and the district support educators as they refine and perfect their craft.

To support educators, campus and district staff often provide professional learning opportunities. While the traditional model of district professional learning provides opportunities for educators to learn more about current teaching practice, research indicates that no program, no matter how well presented, will have a positive impact on teaching without ongoing follow-up and support (Knight, 2007). Often these trainings do not provide adequate differentiation and customization to scaffold for the individual needs of educators. It is, therefore, incumbent on a district to create multi-tiered layers of support that ensure each educator is able to achieve his/her personal best.

One layer of support to meet the individual needs of each educator is through a strategic instructional coaching model, which provides ongoing support to educators as they improve their instructional practice, and to further develop the culture of a professional learning community. It is the instructional coaching model that recognizes the needs of each educator and fosters a spirit of collaboration with the ultimate goal of improved student performance.

Previous Slide
Next Slide
Relay Coaching

"To improve the team, you don't study the scoreboard; you go out and practice."

Paul Bambrick Santoyo  

   Beyond the Scoreboard

Relay - Leverage Leadership

The Public Schools of Robeson County (PSRC) have embarked in a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and Relay/Graduate school of Education as part of the North Carolina Instructional Leadership Academy (NCILA).  The Public Schools of Robeson County is serving as a pilot for North Carolina with the implementation of this model.  The partnership developed through a collaborative effort between PSRC and the Office of District & School Transformation (NCDPI).  The partnership involved the development of three PSRC School Cohorts across three years through the use of blended funds (PSRC & NCDPI).  PSRC will serve as the statewide model and proof point as well as a national model through RELAY.  NCDPI will scale support throughout North Carolina based on the work and lessons learned in PSRC in order to create a continuum of support for all school leaders.  Twelve schools and identified district office staff were selected to take part in the first Cohort.  As part of this cohort, principals and two teachers at each school took part in intensive training during the summer of 2021 on components of Leverage Leadership.  The Relay Framework for School Leadership emphasizes the following six elements: Instructional Leadership; Cultural Leadership; Strong Instruction: Pedagogy; Strong Instruction: Content; Strategic Leadership; and Self and Other People. Following the Summer Intensive, NC ILA participants also engaged in Quarterly day-long Intersessions, where they deepened their knowledge and skill of key leadership moves in the Levers of Leadership. In addition, principals participate in weekly coaching and classroom visits where the practices are modeled.  

PSRC developed a Framework for Support to ensure the implementation is cohesive with the District Improvement Plan.  The focus of the framework is on Principals as Instructional Leaders. Principals play a critical role in ensuring excellence and equity in schools. They shape a vision of success; guide teaching and learning, and build capacity in teachers and other adults to improve student outcomes and provide high-quality educational opportunities for all learners. The focus of this work is on the principal being an instructional leader in their building. This means the principal works alongside teachers to provide support and guidance in establishing best practices in teaching. Principals employing this model of leadership communicate with their staff and together set clear goals related to student achievement.   School leadership team members learn, practice, and plan alongside their principal, developing common student-centered instructional leadership skills.  To support principals in putting these practices in place, an assistant principal was hired for each school.  In addition, every K-8 school received an academic coach.  School leadership coaches were assigned to each school to coach and support the principals with the implementation of the practices.  An additional kindergarten-first grade instructional assistant and kindergarten-first grade interventionist was hired to support small-group targeted instruction at each school.  

Seven Levers of Leadership

  • Data-driven Instruction. Define the roadmap for rigor and adapt teaching to meet student needs.

  • Observation and Feedback. Coach teachers to improve learning.

  • Instructional Planning. Planning backwards and guarantee strong lessons.

  • Professional Development. Strengthen culture and instruction with hands-on training that sticks.

  • Student Culture. Create a strong culture where learning can thrive.

  • Staff Culture. Build and support the right team.

  • Leading the Leaders. Train instructional leaders to expand their impact across the school.

Bambrick-Santoyo, P. (2018). Leverage leadership 2.0: A practical guide to building exceptional schools. Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Brand.

Our Beliefs

In PSRC, because we believe every educator is a learner the instructional coaching model supports job-embedded professional learning and the implementation of effective instructional practices. With a specific focus on shared practices, collective learning, and application, all educators are encouraged to engage in reflection and self-improvement. It is through this process that educators are equipped to help close the achievement gap and accelerate learning for all learners. Additionally, this model serves as a communication link between the district and the campus.

With an emphasis on learning environment, curriculum, design, and assessment, instructional coaching provides:

  • Differentiated support to educators as they implement proven practices

  • Empathetic listeners that build trusting relationships with a repertoire of excellent communication skills

  • Encouragement and support for educator reflection about their classroom evidence-based practice

  • Help in creating a plan that realizes the educator’s goals with a focus on improving instruction

  • Support in developing a deep understanding of evidence-based instructional practices