The key to Turnaround’s approach is addressing, in measurable and targeted steps, the predictable effects of poverty on teaching and learning. Turnaround understands that children living in poverty bring to school the disadvantages of their communities and the challenges of their homes. Teachers often arrive unprepared for the level of disruption and need in their classrooms; and even the best school leaders and teachers may feel unequipped to handle these challenges or engage external services in an integrated way.
Over a three-year period, Turnaround provides extensive professional development for teachers and leaders in instructional and behavioral strategies, sets up behavioral and academic intervention systems for the highest-need students, and supports the principals in key school leadership issues. Additionally, Turnaround helps schools establish effective partnerships with community-based mental health providers and other child-serving agencies.
The Turnaround Intervention is rooted in a powerful organizational change strategy for meeting the highly predictable needs of students in high-poverty schools. The goal of this methodical, disciplined change process is a fundamentally redesigned school in which:
- All adults are prepared with the skills they need to succeed and are committed to and accountable for the successful development of all students;
- High academic and behavioral expectations are the rule; and
- There is ready access to the services that are vital to the success of many students living in poverty.