What we do

Third Future provides professional development, job-embedded coaching, mentoring, leadership training, and assistance in implementing a wide range of initiatives. Our training and educational resources can be tailored to meet the needs of a particular school or district. The educational services we provide include:

We will assess your school’s or district’s organizational effectiveness and the capacity of the current system to reach stated goals and objectives. The success of any initiative or reform effort depends on the alignment of several systemic variables: staff capacity, leadership density, the strength of the organization’s processes, the culture or climate, and specific steps to monitor the implementation of the action plans. Third Future uses a system’s model to assess the degree to which an organization is working in aligned and reinforcing ways. We will provide recommendations and suggest specific steps to improve the school’s or district’s ability to attain its vision.

We develop leadership skills for educators at all levels – teachers, assistant principals, principals, central office staff, and superintendents. No reform or turnaround strategy can be successful without leadership. Third Future consultants use proven methods to help grow the organization’s leadership capacity. We will tailor the training and coaching to the specific needs of the school or district. Training may include job-embedded coaching, one-on-one mentoring, workshops on key aspects of leadership, and the use of unique scenarios and real-world vignettes.

We help develop and implement new teacher and principal evaluation systems that tie the evaluations to student achievement results and other factors valued by the district. Members of the Third Future team have implemented more rigorous and relevant evaluation systems in districts in Colorado, Texas, and New Jersey. While new evaluation systems may not include changes to the compensation system, Third Future can design evaluation systems that also tie evaluations to compensation. Using concepts and processes developed by Mike Miles, Third Future can help design fair, accurate, and rigorous pay-for-performance evaluation systems that are also financially sustainable.

We design and help implement a fair, accurate, and rigorous evaluation system for the educators who supervise principals. If principals are to be evaluated accurately and coached well to support teachers, then their supervisors must also be effective instructional leaders and skilled at growing the capacity of campus leaders. Third Future can also provide rubrics and performance templates that can be adjusted for use by any district.

We help teachers and schools develop a strong instructional core and improve the quality of instruction. Third Future members are expert at curriculum alignment; making the standards more clear and relevant; designing aligned, formative assessments; the use of data to improve instruction; good, first instruction; and engagement strategies. Even with a Year 2025 and the necessary attention being paid to personalized learning, teacher effectiveness and the quality of the instruction she delivers will continue to be the key variable in preparing students for college or a career.

We write action plans or school improvement plans. Action plans need to be based on a prioritized needs assessment and be aligned with outcomes and resources. Successful action plans also help school and district leaders work systemically and in reinforcing ways. Third Future will coach principals and district leaders in the development of action plans. We will provide templates and models to make action planning easier and focused.

We coach teachers and principals on how to provide meaningful and effective feedback. Recognizing that a continuous improvement model requires people at all levels to receive regular feedback to strengthen instruction or job performance, we help school leaders grow staff capacity through effective coaching and formative feedback. Third Future associates model providing feedback and provide tailored templates and rubrics to assist school leaders.

 

We help school districts anticipate curricular changes and plan for a Year 2025 curriculum. Schools should be considering teaching computer programming, social-emotional learning, information literacy, the use of mobile devices, and critical thinking and logic. We will convene focus groups, conduct surveys of business leaders and community stakeholders, and meet with district leaders to determine future curricular changes and course offerings.

 

We help districts grow the number of choice schools they offer to the public. More and more districts are trying to offer more choices and a “best fit” education for its students. These schools will take advantage of technology, personalized learning strategies, and tailored programs or teaching strategies to help meet the needs of students. Third Future will help districts develop a process to open choice schools or convert traditional schools to schools of choice.

We assess school or district culture and help organizations take steps toward building a high-performance culture. Everyone talks about a culture of high expectations, continuous improvement, and professionalism; few are purposeful in creating the positive and creative culture that undergird highly-effective schools and districts. Third Future also provides coaching for leaders who are trying to build a high-performance culture.

We review processes, practices, and policies to help schools and districts build an adaptive organization. Meeting the needs of all students in an ever-changing environment requires organizations to focus on continuous improvement and innovation. Additionally, decision-making must be more frequently pushed to the level of implementation. Third Future’s defined autonomy model and adaptive decision-making concepts will help your organization continue to change in manageable ways and meet the needs of future students.

We help district leaders create a budget that is prioritized and aligned with district goals and objectives. When a new vision is adopted or goals change, priorities must also change. Resources – time, money, personnel – must be aligned with those priorities and the district’s key actions. Third Future will guide the district through a budget process that is tied to action planning and that will ensure the most effective use of scarce resources.

We analyze your staff needs and provide recommendations on how to recruit and retain high quality teachers. In the end, the victory is in the classroom and the quality of the instruction that teachers provide. Thus the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff has never been more critical for any school or district. Third Future conducts cross tabulations to determine the recruitment variables that are most correlated with the outcomes you desire. We will also identify talent pipelines and recruitment strategies that will ensure the selection of a high-quality workforce.