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The Transformation Academy guides principals and their A-Teams (teachers) in transforming their instructional system and shifting school culture.

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Transforming Instruction and Culture

The Academic Development Institute (ADI), in its partnership with WestEd in the Center on School Turnaround, played a key role in developing the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement, a framework that is now a guiding document for many states, districts, and schools. The “four domains” are Leadership, Talent, Instruction, and Culture.

In 2017, ADI launched the Transformation Academy to provide school-level training on two of the domains—Instruction and Culture, both of which naturally also address aspects of Leadership and Talent.

The Transformation Academy now includes:



For principals with district liasons.



For principals and lead teachers with district liasons.



For teachers, principals, and district personnel who work with teachers.



For three-member school teams (principal, teacher, parent) with district liasons.



For three-member school teams (principal, teacher, parent) with district liasons.

Jump-Starting Instructional Transformation

By participating in Jump-Starting Instructional Transformation, your school:

  • Enhances instructional leadership (principal and teacher A-Team) 
  • Bolsters practice-focused collaboration among faculty
  • Examines the school experience through the eyes of students 
  • Closely examines each stage in the instructional system 
  • Creates a 90-Day Action Plan to address priorities to improve the instructional system 
  • Launches and monitors implementation of the 90-Day Action Plan

Jump-Starting Instructional Transformation depends upon the Transformer-in-Chief (the participating principal) working closely with an A-Team of two or more teachers gathered for purposes of transforming instruction. The principal attends the four, one-day training sessions and engages the A-Team during the intersession weeks with agendas and implementation materials introduced in the training sessions. 

Download the booklet below for an in-depth look:

So many participants have stated it’s the best professional development they’re received their entire career. Knowing the impact it’s had on our principals, we have to continue it.

Molly Killingsworth

Regional Support Coordinator, Alabama

Deep Dive in Instructional Transformation

By participating in Deep Dive in Instructional Transformation, your school:

  • Enhances instructional leadership (principal and lead teachers)
  • Strengthens each stage in the instructional system
  • Bolsters practice-focused collaboration through the sharing and review of lessons plans and taught lessons
  • Builds students’ learning competencies through the Big Four strategies

Deep Dive in Instructional Transformation is an advanced learning opportunity for principals (and their district and state supporters) who have completed the four sessions of Jump-Starting Instructional Transformation. In Jump-Starting Instructional Transformation, the principal works with an A-Team of teachers in the school to implement the tasks introduced to the principal at the sessions. In Deep Dive’s four sessions, two teachers join the principal for the sessions and work closely with the principal to implement the tasks at the school.

Download the booklet below for an in-depth look:

Wow! Where do I start? My entire thought process has changed. I look at everything differently, and my leadership skills will be much better for next year. I better understand the meaning of “transformation."

Raxie Baker

Principal, Jackson, MS

Building Strong Learners

By participating in Building Strong Learners, teachers in your school:

  • Review the fundamentals of instructional design, including lesson definition, lesson detail, and lesson enhancement
  • Learn an array of strategies to build students’ capabilities as learners and how to incorporate them in lessons
  • Examine helpful lesson planning templates that provide guidance for building students’ learning skills and motivation to learn
  • Develop exemplary enhanced lesson plans, created by each teacher for classes they teach
  • Use a feedback rubric to review and strengthen lesson plans, reflect on lessons, and collaborate to build a library of “super lessons”

Building Strong Learners is based on the pioneering work of the Center on Innovations in Learning (CIL) at Temple University. CIL’s research and content development for instructional design follows two parallel tracks: (1) Strengthen the fundamentals of basic lesson design, and (2) Enhance strong lessons with strategies to build students’ capabilities as learners.

Download the booklet below for an in-depth look:

I feel that the Transformation Academy has significantly impacted the level of collaboration between school leaders and members of the A-Team. In addition, I trul y believe leaders are more cognizant of the amount of time spent with building capacity in others and increasing learning opportunities for students. 

Jennifer Maye

Jefferson County, AL

Culture Shift Initiative

By participating in Culture Shift Initiative, your school:

  • Builds the expertise of a Culture Shift Team (principal, teacher, parent) about school culture, its impact on learning, and ways to strengthen the school culture
  • Conducts a thorough review and analysis of the current school culture
  • Describes the ideal school culture
  • Develops and implements a plan to engage the school community and make the ideal school culture a reality
  • Shares its ideas and experiences with other schools

The Culture Shift Initiative equips a Culture Shift Team (principal, teacher, parent) to guide the school community in reviewing the current school culture, describing the ideal school culture, and closing the gap between the two.

Download the booklet below for an in-depth look:

The “A‐team” has created a PLC that is a true “change engine” in how our school now approaches the instructional processes as we meet the needs of our students.

Michael Turner

Principal, Pinson Valley HS

Strengthening Your School Community

Principals are tasked with improving the community of the school, including the relationship with families. A strong school community enhances academic and social learning by engaging families, teachers, staff, students, and administration in focusing on each student’s success. The Academy brings together a cohort of school teams (principal, teacher, parent) for two one-day sessions separated by four intersession weeks in which activities are completed. The second session equips the cohorts with a plethora of resources to carry out a plan based on individual school needs. 


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