NC Transformation Model for District and School Transformation

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In 2008, North Carolina embarked on a district transformation initiative to partner with districts for district and school transformation. This voluntary partnership between a district and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provided change coaches for school and district leadership coupled with instructional support from grade level and content specific instructional facilitators. Two pilot districts signed on as partners in the original model with four additional districts being added during the second phase of implementation. Customized professional development and sustained coaching for successful implementation have resulted in change in leadership and instructional practice which, in most cases, has resulted in significant student achievement gains. First year results showed considerable improvement in a majority of the districts.

Transform Model

NC Transformation Model Graphic (text description)

District and school data after one year of support (based on 2008-09 data)
(pdf, 383kb)

District and School Transformation Conceptual Framework:


  • Based on an integration of state (ABCs) and federal (ESEA/NCLB) accountability requirements
  • Considers the current performance and internal capacity of the district or school to provide resources that generate change


  • Districts are chosen from a matrix of district and school performance by the Strategic Roundtable that is made up of senior leadership and meets quarterly to monitor the progress of the support being provided.
  • Superintendents and School Boards of selected districts sign a partnership agreement with the Department of Public Instruction to work together for three years to ensure sustainable improvement.

Resources Provided

  • A District Transformation Coach is jointly selected by the Department of Public Instruction and the district.
  • Instructional Coaching is provided for school and classroom level support.
  • A Comprehensive Needs Assessment of each school and the central office in the district is conducted focusing on the impact of the instructional program on student learning.
  • Based on the results of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment, the district may be provided with one or more School Transformation Coaches to work with principals and school personnel.

Development of Transforming Initiatives

  • Based on an analysis of the Comprehensive Needs Assessments for the central office and every school in the district, the District Transformation Coach works with the superintendent and district administrators to select high-leverage initiatives to guide and focus the work.
  • A rationale explaining how the selected transforming initiatives will improve student achievement by addressing areas of concern is developed to ensure consistent understanding and the applicability of the work.
  • An Implementation Map is developed for the Transforming Initiatives with specific strategies, key activities, and measurable criteria for success.
  • A Three-Year Benchmark Plan is established to ensure evaluation of progress against the plan and ensure capacity building so that as state resources are phased out, district personnel are well-equipped to assume full responsibility for sustaining the work.
  • A parallel process for each principal to use the Comprehensive Needs Assessment report in developing school level initiatives in collaboration with the School Improvement Team (SIT) allows the integration of work in the school with the district Transforming Initiatives.

Transformation Districts and Schools 2009-2010
(pdf, 383kb)