As you know, Ruby Payne’s School Improvement Model (PSIM)is specifically designed to improve outcomes and build the capacity of educators who work with the model. Recently, I was in communication with Marcia Melton, supervisor of instruction for a school district in Tennessee. Marcia worked closely with us for several years implementing the model in the Cannon County School District. She reaffirmed the development of the educators’ capacity and the sustainability of the model when it is implemented as designed.

One component of the model is the development of time and content grids; these grids are a collaborative and collegial effort among the teachers to decide what they will teach each grading period based upon the standards and the needs of the students as reflected by the student data. While implementing the model, aha! Process consultants helped the teachers in Cannon County develop these time and content grids. As I reflect back I remember this being a task that was both rewarding and frustrating. And now Tennessee is adopting new standards for next school year—which means the current time and content grids would be outdated. However, Marcia has already reported that they have begun working on new time and content grids, “and the process has been much smoother because of our work with aha!”I was pleased to know that the effort and teamwork put into this process several years ago is coming back as an added benefit to these teachers.

The PSIM is proven to work; it has a positive impact on student achievement. Not only have I seen the positive results reported at Cannon County, I see similar results coming in from the other PSIM accounts I’m blessed to work with. A key is that it changes teachers’ practices and behaviors. It builds capacity so that they can handle the changes that will continue to occur within education. We are proud to have been a part of the initiative in Cannon County, and we are confident that students will continue to benefit because of the efforts of leaders like Marcia Melton and the many fine educators with whom she works.

Student success is what we are all about. Share your stories of success (both students and faculty) with other practitioners. Let us hear from you! Let’s be about connecting with one another, sharing our intelligence, and providing helpful information for one another.