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The Focus Model
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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Author 1. The Hard Work of School Improvement 2. The Keys: Focus, Monitoring, Efficacy, and Continuous Learning 3. From Standards to Learning Intentions 4. Criteria for Success 5. Formative Analysis 6. Collaboration 7. Impact: Professional Learning Communities 8. A Call to Action Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C References Index

About the Author

Learn more about Billy Ray Jones' PD offerings B. R. Jones is a professional development consultant working on effective school improvement with schools from kindergarten to university all over the United States. B.R. started his career as a teacher and athletic coach, but over the course of twenty years in education, he has worn the hat of club sponsor, bus driver, maintenance director, and for the past several years, building-level principal. Most of B.R.'s experience has been in schools with high minority populations and low socio-economic conditions. When B.R. took over as the supervising principal of his current school, Wayne County High School (WCHS) in Waynesboro, Mississippi, the school faced many difficult issues. One of the most concerning was that WCHS was considered by many to be unsafe and a lost cause. By implementing many of the solutions described in this book, B.R. was able to lead WCHS to new heights in student achievement. The result has been graduates who are better prepared for college and careers and a revamped perception by the community concerning the safety of the school. Because of these improvements in instruction and serving at-risk kids and increased student achievement, US News and World Report chose WCHS as one of America's Best High Schools in 2010. In addition, B.R. was selected as the administrator of the year for the State of Mississippi in 2010, as well as the Mississippi Educational Computing Association (MECA) administrator of the year for 2010 for the advancements in technology that he helped implement for at-risk students. B.R. completed his PhD in educational leadership at the University of Southern Mississippi. He also received his master's at the University of Southern Mississippi and his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Mississippi. B.R. enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He has three children and a lovely wife whom he adores.

Reviews

"It is a relief to find a book that not only addressed the urgency to provide purpose in teaching and learning but provided a systematic way to tackle the Common Core State Standards in an effective and in-depth manner for all stakeholders." -- Elizabeth Alvarez, Principal
"The Focus Model provides all of today's best research to support your school's efforts to systemically and collaboratively evaluate ever-changing standards and implement best practices in instructional strategies, assessment and professional development. It is a concise, 'one stop shop' for school improvement." -- Sean Beggin, Associate Principal
"This book is relevant, readable and filled with practical suggestions for individuals working in both public and private educational settings. It is a 'must read' for those interested in systemmatic, step by step school improvement, and it should be incluided in the professional libraries of superintendents, principals, and teacher leaders." -- Judy Brunner, Principal

"If the US is to implement the Common Core Curriculum effectively, it will require a constructive alignment between the standards, the teaching, and the assessment. Dr. Jones highlights these latter two critical parts of schooling in a way that not only makes the alignment constructive, but he increases the probability of acceleration in student learning. By focusing on four major features, he brings a clarity that is often missing. In this book, Jones argues it begins with categorizing the standards (combating the myth of 100% coverage), by creating learning intentions and success criteria (clarifying the learning intentions), by critical formative evaluation that informs both the student and the teacher (provides the information critical to effective feedback), and by Impact-PLCs - such collaborative impact can truly make the acceleration so needed. In a book that is both readable and filled with engaging examples, Dr. Jones introduces us to a model for action containing a clarity too often missing. B.R. has done us a service by bringing together many powerful ideas, with a strong sense of unity and direction."

-- John Hattie, Director of Melbourne Education Research Institute

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