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The Core 3 model can act as an invaluable training playbook for schools looking to strengthen adult practices around three core areas: classroom culture, academic rigor, and data use. In this model, leaders are coached through a two-year implementation journey to transform their teachers’ academic practices to strengthen students’ sense of belonging in the classroom, improve their academic outcomes and engagement, and provide more personalized learning through the use and analysis of real-time data. Core 3 occurs through replicable training modules that can be integrated into almost any learning environment. 

Currently, the Core 3 model reaches about 2,800 students across two Navigator schools and nine partner schools. Navigator Learning offers coaching and implementation support for leaders seeking to improve their school’s Core 3 priorities. The model also offers regular workshops and videoconferencing to build academic leadership capacity in these three areas. 

  • Academic Knowledge & Skills
  • Adult Capacity & Well-being
  • Positive Mindsets
  • Goal Setting and Reflection
  • Multi-Tiered Support Systems
  • Personalized Learning
  • Professional Development
  • 1:1 Coaching & Consulting
  • Resource Toolkit

What Makes This Model Innovative?

High Expectations with Unlimited Opportunities
Core 3’s mission is to develop top-tier teams of educators who continuously improve and innovate at their schools and deliver phenomenal outcomes for all students, regardless of circumstance.
Rigorous Learning
Core 3 provides teachers with instructional practices that prioritize rigor and align learning standards to the Common Core so that students continuously experience productive struggle.
Customization
Core 3 helps school teams grow their data collection and analysis routines and teaching practices. Daily data enables teachers to redesign or pivot their instruction in the moment to meet the unique needs of individual students.

Goals of the Model

Core 3 aims for teachers to build a positive classroom environment so that students feel a sense of belonging and can master content knowledge as well as support the development of leaders seeking to strengthen their schools’ culture and community. 

Improve Academic Outcomes

Students are consistently engaged in rigorous learning that is more personalized, which leads to improved academic outcomes.

Strengthen School-Based Teacher Training

Teachers experience rich professional development and coaching and feel supported by their leaders.

Develop Top-Tier Academic Leaders

Leaders excel in their responsibilities to support and train their teachers.

Experience

This model prioritizes student learning through adult training focused on building a positive classroom culture, implementing personalized and rigorous instruction, and collecting and analyzing data. To achieve this, Core 3 offers coaching and training for teachers around these priorities, as well as strong leadership training for principals, assistant principals, and other school leaders in order to ensure that Core 3 is properly implemented across participating schools.

The Core 3 consists of developing classes that are rigorous, data-driven, respectful, and engaging. School leaders receive development around these priorities and turnkey training for their staff. The following elements describe the key priorities of a Core 3 classroom:

  • Building a Positive Classroom Culture: Teachers training under Core 3 first internalize what a positive classroom culture entails, set a vision for their classroom community, and fill their “teacher toolbox” with new strategies that promote consistency through routines, respect, and engagement. Core 3 encourages teachers to do what best fits their students and leverage these strategies as often or as little as needed. Teachers are trained to use Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Tight Transitions Tight Transitions One-Pager Culture of Error Culture of Error One-Pager
  • Implementing Personalized and Rigorous Instruction: Core 3 ensures teachers are deeply prepared for every lesson, student misconceptions, and questions by training teachers on high-leverage intellectual preparation strategies. Teachers are coached to first deeply know and internalize the lesson’s content and the ways it aligns around a sequence, and plan for misconceptions by creating exemplars. Students participate in small-group work that is differentiated by their learning needs, as well as receive in-class and after-school interventions. Many lessons and activities utilize blended learning techniques. Targeted Questions Habits of Discussion Habits of Discussion One-Pager
  • Collecting and Using Data: Core 3 supports teachers in learning exactly what each of their students has and has not mastered. This can only be achieved through a constant and repeated cycle of action that is deeply informed by real-time data or routine data analysis. These practices range from in-the-moment interventions to planning monthly post-assessment analysis lessons to review highest-leverage exam questions. Teachers meet with students to set goals and check their progress on them. 

Many of these strategies are inspired by and adapted from those found in Teach Like a Champion.

Navigator Schools believes that the primary job of a school leader is to develop their staff in areas of culture, personalized and rigorous instruction, and data. The Core 3 elements described above are strategically broken up into training modules that can be integrated into most professional development sessions and serve most student populations. 

Coaching the Core 3 consists of integrating these modules with a deep understanding of the school community and culture and being responsive to your staff’s needs. There are several coaching methods prioritized in this model, and each one serves a unique purpose:

  • Weekly Walkthroughs
  • Live Coaching
  • Conducting Observations & Providing Feedback
  • Staff Huddles
  • Coaching Around Intellectual Prep
  • Coaching Around Data Analysis

Coaching the Core 3 Website

This model also ensures that coaching the Core 3 is paired with frequent and purposeful professional development for its participating leaders. In the two-year implementation process, Navigator Learning hosts various Leadership workshops dedicated to:

  • Developing individuals to work as a team
  • Defining and understanding strong leadership 
  • Developing a positive adult culture 
  • Running productive and purposeful meetings

5 Levels of Leadership The Ideal Team Player Coaching Mindset Professional Development

Supporting Structures

The Core 3 model can be adapted to almost any learning environment that seeks to increase rigor and personalization for students. Below are a few supporting structure specifications that should help you begin thinking about how to implement this model in your context.

Core 3 requires that curricula align to rigorous learning objectives and that instruction offers opportunities for personalization and is driven by data. 

Core 3 teachers receive training around properly understanding Common Core learning objectives and aligning their curriculum from other sources to rigorous standards. Intellectual Prep, Part 1: Unpacking Common Core Standards

Instruction under Core 3 is personalized and rigorous. Students are encouraged to do the “heavy lifting” by leading discussions and answering questions that encourage productive struggle. Students are taught how to show their work, chunk their learning, and develop habits around discussion and writing. Read about a few of their instructional methods for ELA, math, and writing. CASE One-Pager RACE Action Step One-Pager Everybody Writes One-Pager

Teachers must also gather student progress data every day and from various inputs. For example, exit tickets show students’ understanding of specific content over the course of the day, checks for understanding inform in-the-moment mastery, and spiral reviews track of students’ longer-term standards and skills.

 

Staff must train and learn together to feel like they are a part of a larger community while also developing a positive culture in their own classrooms. 

Teachers also benefit from feeling like a part of a larger community. Under Core 3, school leaders implement a “staff huddle” daily that builds community among staff. During these community meetings, school staff receive authentic shout-outs for their excellence, important announcements for the day, and bite-size development sessions to improve instructional and cultural practices. Morning Huddle Staff Huddle Checklist

Core 3 believes that taking the time at the beginning of the year to build strong classroom culture—including clear expectations for classroom routines, mutual respect, and student engagement—will ultimately save instructional time and create a stronger sense of belonging for students.

Schools must ensure that school leaders and instructional coaches receive training and can develop their teachers on each Core 3 element.

As part of leadership development and coaching, Navigator coaches support school leaders in developing their Core 3 skills through regular workshops and videoconferencing. Most schools spend two years building Core 3 capacity in the leadership team and managing change at the classroom level. By the end of coaching, school leaders will be empowered to support their staff with similar weekly professional development and coaching to build a top-tier team of educators. Classroom Walkthrough One-Pager Observation & Feedback Meeting: Implementation Checklist Live Coaching Modeling

Core 3 provides school leader training to coach their teachers around the Core 3 elements and priorities, especially around intellectual preparation and data analysis. Intellectual Prep PD Daily Data Analysis Meeting Post-Assessment Analysis Form

Core 3 training can be adapted into many learning environments and schedules, but requires dedicated and protected time for teacher and leader professional development, coaching, and data analysis. 

Teachers and leaders must have dedicated time in the day to plan instruction and review and analyze student data. Teachers spend between thirty minutes to one hour a week on data meetings led by academic coaches. Whole-staff professional development session topics vary based on needs, but teachers often spend a dedicated one hour planning instruction or training around instructional techniques. School-based leaders and coaches also receive weekly and monthly training on how to lead meetings, provide feedback, and support teachers on goal-setting and time management. 

In Year 1, Navigator supports Core 3 school leaders around observation and feedback systems and routines. Academic coaches set weekly and monthly meeting cadences, participate in training, and assess teacher moves during scheduled walkthroughs. Teachers meet with their coaches to discuss progress, participate in 1:1 goal-setting, and huddle as a staff to discuss school-wide feedback. In Year 2 of implementation, school leaders receive more focused training on mastering data meetings. These happen once a week and are led by academic coaches. BOY Core 3 Coaching PL Structures – Observation & Feedback Meetings

Core 3 requires that curricula align to rigorous learning objectives and that instruction offers opportunities for personalization and is driven by data. 

Core 3 teachers receive training around properly understanding Common Core learning objectives and aligning their curriculum from other sources to rigorous standards. Intellectual Prep, Part 1: Unpacking Common Core Standards

Instruction under Core 3 is personalized and rigorous. Students are encouraged to do the “heavy lifting” by leading discussions and answering questions that encourage productive struggle. Students are taught how to show their work, chunk their learning, and develop habits around discussion and writing. Read about a few of their instructional methods for ELA, math, and writing. CASE One-Pager RACE Action Step One-Pager Everybody Writes One-Pager

Teachers must also gather student progress data every day and from various inputs. For example, exit tickets show students’ understanding of specific content over the course of the day, checks for understanding inform in-the-moment mastery, and spiral reviews track of students’ longer-term standards and skills.

 

Staff must train and learn together to feel like they are a part of a larger community while also developing a positive culture in their own classrooms. 

Teachers also benefit from feeling like a part of a larger community. Under Core 3, school leaders implement a “staff huddle” daily that builds community among staff. During these community meetings, school staff receive authentic shout-outs for their excellence, important announcements for the day, and bite-size development sessions to improve instructional and cultural practices. Morning Huddle Staff Huddle Checklist

Core 3 believes that taking the time at the beginning of the year to build strong classroom culture—including clear expectations for classroom routines, mutual respect, and student engagement—will ultimately save instructional time and create a stronger sense of belonging for students.

Schools must ensure that school leaders and instructional coaches receive training and can develop their teachers on each Core 3 element.

As part of leadership development and coaching, Navigator coaches support school leaders in developing their Core 3 skills through regular workshops and videoconferencing. Most schools spend two years building Core 3 capacity in the leadership team and managing change at the classroom level. By the end of coaching, school leaders will be empowered to support their staff with similar weekly professional development and coaching to build a top-tier team of educators. Classroom Walkthrough One-Pager Observation & Feedback Meeting: Implementation Checklist Live Coaching Modeling

Core 3 provides school leader training to coach their teachers around the Core 3 elements and priorities, especially around intellectual preparation and data analysis. Intellectual Prep PD Daily Data Analysis Meeting Post-Assessment Analysis Form

Core 3 training can be adapted into many learning environments and schedules, but requires dedicated and protected time for teacher and leader professional development, coaching, and data analysis. 

Teachers and leaders must have dedicated time in the day to plan instruction and review and analyze student data. Teachers spend between thirty minutes to one hour a week on data meetings led by academic coaches. Whole-staff professional development session topics vary based on needs, but teachers often spend a dedicated one hour planning instruction or training around instructional techniques. School-based leaders and coaches also receive weekly and monthly training on how to lead meetings, provide feedback, and support teachers on goal-setting and time management. 

In Year 1, Navigator supports Core 3 school leaders around observation and feedback systems and routines. Academic coaches set weekly and monthly meeting cadences, participate in training, and assess teacher moves during scheduled walkthroughs. Teachers meet with their coaches to discuss progress, participate in 1:1 goal-setting, and huddle as a staff to discuss school-wide feedback. In Year 2 of implementation, school leaders receive more focused training on mastering data meetings. These happen once a week and are led by academic coaches. BOY Core 3 Coaching PL Structures – Observation & Feedback Meetings

Supports Offered

Navigator Learning offers its comprehensive coaching program and resources as a partnership to leaders seeking to strengthen their school culture, rigor in learning, and data management systems. Review the Readiness Criteria Form to evaluate if Core 3 is right for your learning environment.

Core 3 Resources and Implementation Supports
Free

Core 3 is broken into replicable training modules that can be integrated by academic leaders into most school models and student populations. Navigator Learning has uploaded videos and training resources to their website. By accessing these, you can:

  • Watch over two dozen videos of Core 3 training modules and practices in action.
  • Explore one-page summaries and descriptions of these modules, as well as checklists and other implementation tools. 
  • Explore sample professional development presentations that can be turnkeyed to staff. 
  • Explore open-source literature units.
  • Read resources and books that are foundational to Core 3’s philosophy.
School Partnership: Leadership Training
Cost Associated

The central goal of a partnership with Navigator Schools is to build Core 3 capacity in the leadership team so that they become self-sustaining over the course of two years. A school partnership provides the following:

  • Site visits and school tours to see Navigator’s Core 3 practices in action.
  • A needs analysis around Core 3 priorities that helps shape a personalized strategic plan.
  • Regular workshops and video conferencing to build the capacity of academic leadership around Core 3 goals. 
  • Weekly professional development and coaching to build coaching mindsets for a top-tier team of educators and leaders. 
  • Leadership training, coaching, and development on turnkeying Core 3 coaching practices to school-based staff.

Reach

2
Founding Schools
12
Partner Schools
5300
Students Served
80
Teachers Coached

Impact

Students whose teachers and leaders are trained on Core 3 practices and leadership tend to perform better than their district and state averages in English language arts.

All data are reported directly by Navigator Schools for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Schools that implement the Core 3 model perform in the top 10% of schools in the state of California and in the top 5% of schools in Central California.

84% of economically disadvantaged students at Navigator’s public charter schools met or exceeded standards in English language arts, compared to just 38% of students in California and 25% of students in the district.

89% of non-economically disadvantaged students at Navigator’s public charter schools met or exceeded standards in English Language Arts, compared to just 69% of students in California and 60% of students in the district.

Contact

Crystal O’Rourke-Toriumi
Director of Model Implementation