Targeted Instructional Area

LVHS’s Targeted Instructional Area (TIA) | Critical Thinking & Reading

SY 2014-15 marked the beginning of LVHS’s partnership with the Network for College Success (NCS) at the University of Chicago.  In that first year LVHS’s newly-formed Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) worked closely with NCS to engage all staff in a conversation to determine what our students needed most to become college and career ready.  That process resulted in our Target Instructional Area (TIA) of Critical Thinking and Reading Using Claims, Reasoning, and Evidence

Embracing NCS’s core values (see below), LVHS continued our partnership this year, as we come to a common understanding and language around what our TIA, Critical Thinking and Reading, can look like when students do it in every classroom and content area.  The goal of developing this shared vision of our TIA is so that we can, as a staff, identify a Powerful Instructional Practice by the end of this school year.  This staff-selected Powerful Instructional Practice will guide curriculum planning so that students can engage in critical thinking on daily basis at LVHS.  

A Powerful Instructional Practice is one that:

  • Integrates higher-level thinking skills into learning
  • Connects directly to our Targeted Instructional Area
  • Promotes real-world application of the learning
  • Increases learning for students at all levels of achievement
  • Requires our staff to learn and use new approaches
  • Has a sound theoretical base • has been shown to be strongly effective with many students
  • Makes sense in light of student achievement data
  • Supports the expertise of the faculty
  • Impacts learning in areas beyond our Targeted Instructional Area
  • Assures student success in challenging, rigorous work
  • Takes into account the cultural and language needs of the students
  • Helps students make connections from prior learning & experiences to new learning & across disciplines
  • Implements through re-alignment of current resources

Network for College Success Core Values and Beliefs

  • School-based leaders drive change in schools. Increasing their capacity as leaders is an essential lever for improvement.
  • Educators have the capacity to solve their own problems when there is actionable data, research-based strategies, collaborative teams, and professional trust.
  • School improvement happens when adults make their practice public and critically examine their work collaboratively. Trust is essential to adults’ willingness to engage in this process.
  • Data is a powerful tool for school improvement when it is used to trace causes, seek solutions, and guide change. Data can be destructive when it is only used to judge and punish. Students’ intellectual capacity is not static. It grows when challenged and develops when teachers explicitly build academic mindsets and non-cognitive skills.
  • Challenging leaders to interrupt inequities in schools and districts is vital to improving schools. All students across race, religion, family income, language, gender, learning disabilities, and sexual orientation deserve equitable access to quality schools and learning.