The On-Site School Review is a research-based improvement approach that leads to remarkable gains in student learning and staff and community satisfaction with their schools.  Over the past decade Dawn Billings and Mardale Dunsworth, founding partners of School Synergy have conducted school reviews in schools of all grade levels and sizes; in urban, rural, and suburban locations; and with student populations that well reflect the diversity of the nation.  We have seen first-hand the remarkable gains that grow from this work.

School Synergy


The On-Site School Review is a benchmarking technique in which a review team works in partnership with a school’s administrators, staff members, students, the district and the community to compare the processes, strategies and activities of a school to those research has shown to be the key elements in place in the nation’s most effective schools – those that make the most difference in student achievement and adult success. 

What sets the On-Site School Review apart is its reliance on high quality research and its rubric based system.    First drafted in 2001, the research base and rubrics were updated in 2005 and again in 2009 as the On-Site School Review process was published in The High Performing School:  Benchmarking the 10 Indicators of Effectiveness  (Solution Tree, 2009). 

In an On-Site School Review, schools may select a review that includes some or all of the 10 Indicators of Effectiveness – the essential elements of high performing schools. 

The review provides the vital improvement information necessary for high, low and mid-performing schools to take the right steps to accelerate learning.  The On-Site School Review provides schools and districts with the answers to three key questions:  

  1. What high-quality research has identified as essential elements of effective schools?
  2. To what extent do the programs, practices and strategies currently in place mirror that research?
  3. Why and how should schools change their practices to improve student learning?

In an On-Site School Review, a team spends several days learning about the programs, practices and strategies employed by the school through conducting interviews, administering surveys, observing classes, reviewing student work and examining data reports and other documents, ensuring an objective evaluation of the school’s performance.

The team gathers data using a set of tools that ensure the collection is complete, is conducted in a way that the all parties feels safe and confident in participation and includes all stakeholders.  The data is then mapped onto rubrics that depict what each characteristic of the Effectiveness Indicator looks and feels like in an effective, high and low performing school. 

Based on this evaluation, the review team presents tightly targeted recommendations for the specific next steps for the school to take to increase student learning and achievement. The review team leader then follows up with the school staff via video conference as they put the recommendations in place.
Contact us for more information about the On-Site School Review. 

School Synergy is available to assist schools in an On-Site School Review in 4 ways:

  1. Assemble and lead a school review team based on the needs of your school or district
  2. Lead a school review team by training team members from your area
  3. Train Leaders and Team Members Participating in an On-Site School Review in your area
  4. Follow up video coaching for schools and districts as they implement the recommendations of the review
  5. Conduct a Workshop on High Performing School Effectiveness Indicators

Contact us for more information about how School Synergy can assist you with an On-Site School Review. 


School Synergy

Copyright 2023

Site Developed and Hosted by The Web Doctor