2022 Spring Learning Series

Spring Learning Series 2022

Success Stories of Culturally Responsive School Change


The 2022 Spring Learning Series showcases school success stories to provide culturally responsive, tangible moves in support of effective COVID recovery efforts. Each session dives into a critical instructional element of Highlander Institute’s Culturally Responsive School Change Model, sharing the research base, schoolwide actions, and stakeholder perspectives around implementation and impact. Building leaders, district administrators, and teachers will find inspiration in each session, and leave with strategies to advance student learning and create more equitable schools.


Evidence shows that when students are able to persevere through challenging work it increases confidence, builds academic mindset, and motivates them to achieve  academic success. Amidst the pandemic, school leaders have consistently reported a drop in student persistence and a rise in student frustration levels when faced with challenges. In this session, join Highlander Institute to hear how schools striving for instructional equity are overcoming these issues — by upholding high expectations for all learners, increasing student engagement, and building capacity for rigorous work.


Building a culture of thinking and strong relationships in classrooms are foundational to student success in school. Highlander Institute partners collect data to measure the depth of teacher-student relationships and the strength of student engagement and confidence. In this session, participants will explore student answers to two survey items: “My teacher has tried to get to know me” and “My intelligence is something I can change”. We will examine the difference in student responses across demographics, discuss the impact that this data had on teacher practice, and share interventions that led to positive student outcomes.


Join us to connect the dots between data, research-backed strategies, and cognitive skill development with students. In this session, discover how our comprehensive school change model empowered one building to significantly outperform both district and state test score averages and another to close achievement gaps for students with special needs. Participants will explore data protocols, hear about schoolwide professional learning focused on problem solving and making thinking visible, and learn how Highlander Institute’s teacher and leadership coaching brings these components together.

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