Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




culturally responsive, school leaders, equity, opportunity gap, collective efficacy, district leadership


This organizational improvement plan addresses the problem of practice of how a district leader can support elementary school leaders in a small, rural school district to work towards improving their schools to become more culturally responsive and meet the needs of all students. Historically, there have been many students, particularly those who have been underserved, who have not had a positive school experience that considers their identity and learning needs. Schools have been unsuccessful at being places that accept all learners and strive to ensure that they are able to grow and flourish. Although there are some classrooms that are experiencing success, a traditional, teacher-centered model rather than a student-centered model has been the norm for many school districts and there is resistance to change. This plan utilizes the lens of sociocultural theory and culturally relevant pedagogy with a blended leadership approach of authentic, transformative, and compassionate system’s leadership to consider how to support school leaders to shift schools into culturally responsive spaces that meet the needs of all students. This plan identifies the critical importance of the role of school leaders in shifting these practices and why they should be a primary focus for district leaders. The theories of a blended change framework using the coherence framework and the mandala for systems change will guide the direction of the proposed solution to this problem which includes building collaborative structures to develop the collective efficacy of elementary school leaders involving a variety of differentiated learning opportunities.