The HIL Project School Renewal model is built on the educational leadership work of two researchers from Western Michigan University—Dr. Patricia Reeves and Dr. Jianping Shen—who together have overseen five successful leadership grants, including two from the Wallace Foundation.

“This project will continue to develop and validate the renewal model, as opposed to reform model, for school improvement,” Shen said.

The HIL project school leadership work also has roots in an initiative by our key leadership partner, the Reading Now Network. The RNN comprises a group of West Michigan school superintendents determined to improve student reading levels by working together to build a school leadership model around the practices they observed in high-performing schools.

Working with a pool of elementary schools in 20 West Michigan counties, the project is supporting teams of school principals and teacher leaders in two Cohorts of schools.

  • Provided intense professional development and support, and money for renewal projects for teams of leaders in 75 Cohort A schools that successfully implemented targeted sets of literacy essentials.
  • Placed a trained team of school renewal coaches in each project school.
  • Provided a lower level of professional development support and funding for leaders in an additional 75 Cohort B schools, who entered the program as full participants in 2020.
  • Continuing to apply a set of proven school leadership practices for school renewal and sustainable implementation.

“Education leaders throughout West Michigan understand the importance of developing talent that is career ready and college capable. While there are a variety of metrics that help gauge success, no milestone may be more indicative of students’ future achievement than their early reading proficiency.” – Reading Now Network