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High Reliability Schools


The High Reliability Schools framework explicitly supports improvement initiatives such as; professional learning communities, The Art & Science of Teaching framework, teacher performance and development plans, curriculum implementation, vocabulary instruction, instruction in critical thinking and reasoning skills and formative assessment, standards-based grading and reporting systems, or student mastery systems.


Robert Marzano, Janelle Wills, Gavin Grift and Jan Hoegh introduced the High Reliability Schools framework. Robert Marzano provided an introductory keynote, followed by concurrent workshop sessions by each of the presenters. Participants addressed leading indicators and samples of practice in each session for the Marzano high reliability model.  Participants also took part in some self-assessment of their own situation in regards to the levels and were introduced to the concept of leading and lagging indicators a school might use to measure their progress within a designated level.


High Reliability Schools Framework

William Ross will commence the HRS journey in Term 2 with the focus of moving the school to the next level of effectiveness in terms of enhancing students’ achievement.  All school leaders, teachers, support staff, parents/carers and our school community will be involved in professional learning and tutorials with the High Reliability Schools framework.  The framework provides a mechanism for all of our school leaders to show evidence of continual school improvement, and provide clarity and focus on key elements essential for improving learning outcomes for all students. A high reliability school is a school that take proactive steps to prevent failure and ensure success. As a high reliability school William Ross will continue to demonstrate build high, clear and shared goals, real-time, understandable, comprehensive data system, collaborative environment, flexibility, formalised operating procedures, a focus on best practices and expertise, rigorous teacher performance systems and a clean, well-functioning school campus.


Leading and Lagging Indicators

Leading and lagging indicators will be selected and levels 1,2 and 3 are worked through and commence simultaneously but high reliability status for level 1 will be sought initially.  Leading indicators shows what the school should work on to achieve a high reliability level – they provide direction for the school. Lagging indicators are the evidence a school gives to validate its achievement of a high reliability level – they provide proof. The process of achieving high reliability status for a given level is fairly straightforward. Leading indicator surveys are distributed to students, parents, teachers and school leaders.  Scores on the surveys are analysed to determine the school’s strengths and weaknesses. Areas for intervention are identified and programs or practices are implemented for targeted improvement and growth. Once those programs and practices are in full implementation and the lagging indicators have been met for a given level the school has reached high reliability status for that level.  The school continues to use data to monitor its status and acknowledge success on a regular basis.


William Ross will continue this process until it has reached high reliability status at all five levels and declare itself a high reliability school.  The school will continue to use data to monitor its status and success at all five levels.  Whenever the data indicates that a lagging indicator for any level has slipped below the acceptable level, the school will immediately intervene to bring the school up to acceptable levels of performance on the fluctuating indicator.​

Levels of Operation for a High Reliability School
Level 5
Competency-Based Education
Level 4
Standards-Referenced Reporting
Level 3
Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
Level 2
Effective Teaching in Every Classroom
Level 1
Safe and Collaborative Culture