Wahoo Public Schools

TeachBoost helps Wahoo teachers drive their own professional learning.

Location

Wahoo, NE School district

Profile

86 educators 1,069 students 4 schools

Products

Success

520 observations since 2019

Wahoo is a small, rural district in Nebraska that serves over one thousand PreK-12 students. Staff are deeply invested in the community and the success of their students. There’s a strong sense of connection and pride in the rich history and heritage of the town and a deep commitment to offering a high-quality education.

Wahoo is deeply committed to supporting our teachers and that means providing timely and actionable feedback to support their individual learning and growth goals. But we didn’t have a system to support our process and objectives. Enter TeachBoost.

The Goal: Provide educators with differentiated feedback and professional learning experiences

Wahoo wanted a growth-focused evaluation tool that is proactive, not punitive. Their goal was to get feedback to their staff in a timely way that was both constructive, explicit, and responsive. Before TeachBoost, the district was using a Google form-based system to conduct evaluations aligned with the Marzano Instructional Framework.

In this framework, instructional leaders provide feedback on all 43 elements, but the Google form-based system was too static to keep up with the dynamic dialog required for the high-impact and differentiated professional development they were after.

Wahoo's use of the Marzano Framework also requires a standards-based system in every classroom, a focus on student results with leading indicators, and quick access to resources to respond to teacher needs and scaffold instruction. This proved extremely difficult with Google Forms.

Coaching session in a Wahoo classroom
Director of Learning, Josh Snyder, tracks his notes and coaching conversations in TeachBoost to make his feedback more rapid and useful.

The Challenge: Uneven tracking and lack of coherence at the district level

Wahoo did not have a central platform to house their observation and coaching work—the outputs from the informal and formal observations were nearly impossible to track at the district level.

The Director of Learning for Wahoo, Josh Snyder, shared that they "needed a flexible and customizable tool that would allow every educator in the system to be able to get or give feedback aligned to their instructional model." Wahoo is committed to helping every educator to grow in their role, with each employee receiving a minimum of seven informal observations over the course of the year.

Josh worked with the district team to pilot several tools in order to make a final decision. The decision to move forward with TeachBoost was unanimous: it was simple to use, stored every coaching conversation across the district, and it's data capabilities allowed instructional leaders to see holes in the frequency of informal walkthroughs, pull out data trends, provide timely feedback to all teachers, and use feedback to differentiate professional learning supports.

We are making a huge shift in our thinking and planning for professional learning opportunities. We now think about each educator and what they need, much like we ask teachers to differentiate.

The Outcomes: Moving towards differentiated professional learning opportunities for every teacher

All aspects of Wahoo's evaluation and professional development are centralized on the TeachBoost platform, from walkthroughs to summatives. TeachBoost has enabled:

  • Customization of the observation, evaluation, and professional development process
  • Teacher-driven goal-setting and ownership
  • Timely feedback and two-way communication
  • Explicit, specific, and actionable observations
  • Easier scheduling and calendar management
  • Centralized, real-time reporting that shows progress toward goals
  • Ability to pinpoint holes and gaps at the individual, department, school, and district level
  • Connection and collaboration between teachers with similar professional development goals
  • Increased visitation to other school districts for learning and growth
Wahoo's performance summary report
The TeachBoost Performance Summary report gives a quick overview on district-wide progress towards evaluation targets.

Snyder shared, "whether we are conducting informal walkthroughs or year end evaluations, every learning and growth touchpoint can be found in one place." Wahoo instructional leaders are able to provide clear action steps, ongoing supportive feedback, and valuable professional development resources in one platform. "TeachBoost has played a huge role in our continuous learning and coaching process which has led to the observed professional growth of our teachers."

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