Dickinson Public Schools earns 'effective teaching in every classroom' certification

Dickinson Public Schools announced that eight of its schools received the achievement of Level 2 certification in Marzano High Reliability Schools. According to DPS, it means that they established “effective teaching in every classroom,” which focuses on the responsibility of both school leaders and teachers in ensuring high-quality instruction.

The entrance to the Dickinson High School is shown. (Dickisnon Press File Photo)

All eight of Dickinson Public Schools recently achieved level two certification from the Marzano High Reliability Schools as having effective teaching in every classroom.

Since achieving level one status, DPS Interim Superintendent Marcus Lewton said that the school system has continued to revisit those qualifications to achieve a higher status.

“Our staff, not just our teachers ... deserve an applause on all the hard work they've done to be dedicated to themselves and improving. I think it's important in a career in a profession when you always want to improve — that's part of being a professional,” Lewton said. "We are constantly adapting and improving."

Lewton continued, “That's why we survey parents. That's why we interview students. That's why we have our school improvement teams in each school. So each school has a school improvement team that works on improving that school and they use this framework to improve their school. So really the work is being done not at the superintendent (level) ... but ... at the ground level.”

According to the Marzano Resources website, the Marzano High Reliability Schools framework serves as a “strategic planning framework to help schools focus on specific, research-based conditions for continuous school improvement.”


“The High Reliability School process is a framework to help schools continually improve by doing the right work,” Lewton noted.

“... You have things in place to create a safe and supportive and collaborative culture. As an example, the safe part might come down to drills and audits of safety and those types of things. And then obviously supportive is you're supporting teachers, and collaborative is you're working with all stakeholders essentially in creating a safe, supportive and collaborative culture,” Lewton said. “Then effective teaching in every classroom comes down to (having) supports in place to help teachers grow. Teaching is a challenging, rewarding career, and this process ensures that there are people there or there are programs or processes in place to help you grow as a professional.”

There are five different levels to that framework, which include level one: safe, supportive and collaborative culture; level two: effective teaching in every classroom; level three: guaranteed and viable curriculum; level four: standards referenced reporting; and level five: competency-based education.

The Marzano group meets with school districts in the middle of the school year, usually in the winter, and will present information to each school on what they need to achieve in order to achieve a higher certification level, Lewton said.

DPS started this process two years ago. Lewton noted that it has been a journey that provides feedback, guiding educators to improve their skills.

“I think more than anything it provides a framework. I think any organization has goals and those goals, depending on the industry, they're specific to improving themselves,” Lewton added.

Moving forward, Lewton hopes to acquire a level five rating from the Marzano High Reliability Schools framework.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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