Part II of my interview with Lori Furgerson, an Idaho-based instructional facilitator who has led her school to reach significant success by following what the research says works – it’s possible!
JJ: What factors got in the way of your implementation – what did you have to overcome to experience this success?
LF: There wasn’t anything that got in the way. Everyone was willing to implement and I think that is why we were successful.
JJ: What made this year the successful year? In other words – why success now?
LF: I think we were successful this year with our first graders because we had the data to see that what we had been doing the previous two years was not working. The data doesn’t lie. We knew that if we wanted different results we were going to have to make changes. Again, it was successful because everyone was willing to do this and make it work.
JJ: As you head into next school year, what are you looking forward to? What are you worried about? How will your focus adjust?
LF: What I am looking forward to is increasing the number of intensive-to-benchmark student by even more. We have found repeatedly that is very important to look at your data and make adjustments every year. Create a plan you can follow. I always say you wouldn’t head out on a road trip without planning it and having a map. The same thing is true with school success. I am worried about our third through fifth graders and our state testing. The benchmarks are high and we need to make sure we maintain our success and move even more students to proficiency. We don’t want to leave ANY child behind. Our focus adjusts based on what the data tells us. My principal and I sat down and looked at the specific data from our state testing and again created a plan for the changes we will make for next year. We made a plan for what the grade levels will do differently, as well as individual plans for students.