WHETSTONE FOR districts

Building coaching capacity across a district is hard.


Make instructional coaching successful across all of your schools

As a district leadership team, you spent months (maybe even years) setting a vision for instructional coaching in your district. You engaged teachers, principals, coaching experts, and data gurus in countless surveys, meetings, and planning sessions. You designed a system, got it approved, and enacted a communication plan to ensure all stakeholders were bought in and ready to hit the ground running on the first day of school. Then, you sat down to figure out how you’ll track all of this data so you can see how each school is doing and… you realized a spreadsheet just isn’t going to do it.

Managing instructional coaching data for one school is hard -- multiply that by 20. Or 50. Or 100! With the time and resources invested in developing a district-wide coaching system, it’s critical that your team has an easy way to track implementation and teacher growth to show progress. Some schools adopt coaching with ease, but others need help, and you need answers to these questions:

  • Which schools are observing teachers regularly and which schools need help getting started coaching?

  • How do we turn sit-and-get professional development into sessions that are tailored to teachers’ unique growth needs?

  • With what instructional skills are elementary ELA teachers struggling? Middle school math teachers?

  • We just got our interim results back and we need to kick it into high gear. How do I ensure each of my schools are coaching on our new priorities to maximize the time they spend with teachers?


OBSERVE. MEET. REPEAT.

How do i get all of our teachers better, faster?

Many districts are legally required to evaluate teachers for compliance purposes, but many more are looking for ways to help teachers improve their practice incrementally throughout the school year, when their growth can have an impact on classroom outcomes. Thousands of districts have adopted the practice of instructional coaching across their schools to move the needle on teacher practice. Rather than teachers receiving just one 60-minute observation per year for the purpose of evaluation, school leaders now spend 10-15 minutes in classrooms each on a weekly or monthly basis, observing for one high-leverage action step a teacher can take to improve their practice in the next week. With instructional coaching, leaders and teachers meet to debrief the observation and collaboratively set an action step for growth. This style of instructional coaching makes teachers engaged and energized because they are constantly growing and supported, and makes it easy for leaders to be tied into what’s happening in classrooms.


square peg, round hole

Spreadsheets don’t work to manage coaching or evaluation. And forget about tracking both.

Districts that are just getting started often try to manage coaching using spreadsheets, but quickly run into problems:

  • Managing multiple spreadsheets for hundreds of teachers across multiple schools is unwieldy and quickly becomes impractical

  • Schools often track different things for coaching and evaluation, doubling the number of tabs required to manage both.

  • Spreadsheet data is difficult to protect, putting sensitive teacher performance information at risk.

  • One errant click can erase valuable formulas and data.

  • Protected spreadsheets make it nearly impossible to share feedback in an efficient or timely manner.

Heavyweight evaluation platforms don’t make it easy to track coaching

Some districts swing the other way and try to force coaching into their outdated, clunky evaluation platforms that were only made for scoring rubrics and printing reports once a year. With these platforms it’s nearly impossible to capture action steps, track observation frequency, or analyze coaching trends happening across schools.


A PLATFORM MAKES IT POSSIBLE

Whetstone is built to manage both coaching & evaluation

While we believe frequent coaching is the key to helping teachers get better faster, Whetstone understands that districts are required to evaluate teachers. Whetstone was built to make it super easy to do both. (We also know that some districts are required to keep coaching and evaluation separate. We can help with that, too!)

Whetstone is an intuitive and easy-to-use tool that:

  • Gives schools and districts one home for everything related to instructional coaching and/or evaluation.

  • Lets district and school leaders see real-time data on observation frequency, action steps, and coaching trends, in addition to standard evaluation reports

  • Enables district leaders to quickly identify which schools need help implementing coaching.

  • Engages teachers and leaders by enabling them to see how their coaching work is moving the needle forward

  • Lets the right people see the right data at the right time.


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Why Whetstone?

Whetstone was born out of necessity from a school team that needed a better way to track instructional coaching. Designed by a principal, Whetstone is built with schools and districts in mind:

  • Intuitive and ridiculously easy to use. One digital home for coaching lets you track coaching and/or evaluation across ALL of your schools.

  • Built-in coaching best practices structure feedback work in your schools around proven coaching strategies.

  • Flexible and customizable. Whetstone knows every district is different. That’s why we made it easy to customize Whetstone with your specific coaching and/or evaluation process.

  • Coaching analytics will make it easy for your Academic Team to plan and prioritize targeting professional development and coaching support.

  • Easy exports will make end of year reporting simple for your HR Team.

  • And your Data Team will love our Open API to pull any and all data wherever it needs to go.