Time is the currency of education, and we never have enough of it. Hanover is able to conduct the research we need more quickly and extensively than we could using our internal resources. These data are then used to develop our board updates and guide our decision-making discussions.
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
THE HANOVER PARTNERSHIP
The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) is a high-achieving district with 34 school sites located in northeast Orange County, California.
In response to the emergence of the new California Content Standards and California Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), PYLUSD sought to ensure its administration had sound data to guide the development of future educational services polices.
Based on recommendations from fellow California superintendents who used Hanover’s research support to address similar needs, PYLUSD Superintendent Dr. Doug Domene established a partnership with Hanover in the fall of 2013.
In the first 18 months of partnership, Hanover helped the district examine its homework policy, analyze the extent to which its district-created mathematics assessments were Common Core-aligned, evaluate its gifted education program, and synthesize the information contained in PYLUSD’s LCAP data portrait to identify trends and goals for the district.
THE RESEARCH SNAPSHOT
DISTRICT NEED: Determine the correct amount of homework to assign students at different grade levels
PYLUSD’s long-standing homework policy required a thorough re-examination. As such, the district’s school board asked administrators to form a committee of teachers, parents, and community stakeholders to evaluate PYLUSD’s homework policy and the consistency with which this policy was implemented across schools.
Dorie Staack, Director of Elementary Education and Categorical Programs, spearheaded this initiative. Ms. Staack sought Hanover’s support to help the committee develop a new homework policy by providing national-level best practices and district-level stakeholder insights.
HANOVER APPROACH: Conduct best practices research and analyze stakeholder survey results
|STEP 1: Identify current education
literature and best practices
|STEP 2: Analyze stakeholder feedback|
COMMITTEE PROCESS: Leverage research findings to inform policy development, decision-making discussions, and communication efforts
STAKEHOLDER IMPACT: Praise district for giving families additional home-time with their children
Regarding the value Hanover provided to her team and the homework committee, Ms. Staack stated:
In a standards-based curriculum, it is often easy to push towards increasing students’ homework load. Hanover helped us concretely identify that we were assigning more homework than research suggests is appropriate for each grade level. We were able to develop and successfully implement a new homework policy consistently across schools. Each step in the policy development process was grounded in research, and as a result, PYLUSD’s parents, teachers, and students are already benefiting from the new policy.
As the partnership continues, PYLUSD will use Hanover’s custom research and syndicated briefs from the Education Library to evaluate potential interest in a dual language immersion program, support its LCAP reporting process, conduct district-wide parent surveys, inform school board discussions and strategy, and further the initiatives of the educational services team.