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Leading for Observable Impact: Practical Tools and Strategies

3-Part Series

April 26, May 3, and May 10, 2022

4:00-5:30 pm  Central Time

Video Access Available until July 31, 2022

All Sessions Take Place on Zoom

$299 per person

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There has never been a more challenging time for school and district leaders across the educational system. Health and safety protocols, Zoomified meetings, the daily email logjam, where do we fit it all in? And how can we transition from ‘triage-mode’ to what we signed up for...educational leadership? 

Join Garth Larson and Cale Birk, imagineers and co-authors of 'Collaborating for Observable Impact Today's Schools' and 'The PLC 2.0 Toolkit', for this series of three 90 minute sessions to learn more about the Observable Impact Model, the framework that allows leaders to determine the impact of any initiative, program or action in our schools. Designed for school and district leaders across the system, these three sessions will model practical tools to transform staff meetings, professional learning and improvement planning into learning experiences and help participants develop the Observable Impact dispositions that connect strategic plans, school plans and professional learning actions to impact where it matters the most, in our classroom with our teachers and students.


Cale Birk is the Global Director of the Learner FIRST Center for Observable Impact. He is also a former District Principal of Innovation from Kamloops, and imagineer and co-author of "PLC 2.0 - Collaborating for Impact in Today's Schools", "The PLC 2.0 Toolkit" and "Changing Change Using Learner-Centered Design". As a former high school Principal of a model professional learning community school, Cale helps districts, schools and industry leaders answer the question "What is our observable impact?", the observable changes in practice that make the difference for all learners. In addition to his work as an author and facilitator, Cale has done a TED Talk on changing the learning experience in schools, and given keynote addresses and workshops in Canada, the United States, Asia and Australia and has been the keynote/featured speaker at conferences in Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Maine, Hawaii and Quebec.  The father of two daughters in the K-12 system, Cale is passionate about helping educators and leaders experience and model the learning experiences we want for our students in their classrooms.


Cale Birk


Garth Larson

Garth Larson, Ed.D is the Co-Founder and President of FIRST Educational Resources. Garth has previously worked as the Director of Learning for the Winneconne Community School District in  northeast Wisconsin, was an elementary principal in two separate buildings and started his career in education as a high school speech and English teacher. In 2011, Garth formed Wisconsin Educational Resources (now FIRST) with a focus on improving student achievement across the United States. Since 2011, over 1600 school districts throughout the globe have become partnership districts with his company. Garth currently consults to school districts around the world and provides customized professional development around a variety of topics, mainly Professional Learning Communities 2.0, Learning-Centered Grading Practices, Leadership and School Improvement and Response to Intervention. Garth is also the co-author of PLC 2.0: Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools with co-author Cale Birk, Collaborative Systems of Support: Learning for ALL with co-authors Tom Hierck and Chris Weber, Target-Based Grading in Collaborative Teams: 13 Steps to Moving Beyond Standards with co-author Tom Hierck, Grading for Impact: Raising Student Achievement through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System and PLC 2.0: Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools.

Session Information

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Session 1

Introduction to Observable Impact

“I don’t have time for 

Observable Impact!”


If you are thinking this--perfect! You are one of the thousands of leaders across North America who is saying “Please, no more initiatives!”. Rather than being ‘one more thing’, participants will learn how the OI framework helps leaders to determine the impact of any action, strategy, initiative or professional learning taking place in their context. In this session, participants will create a vision for continuous improvement that moves their teams from ‘conversations’ and ‘action’ to ‘connecting our actions to observable impact’, the impact we can SEE in the classroom.

Technology Class

Session 2

Stealing Time To Meet the Needs of All Learners

“How do I find the time to be the educational leader I want to be?” 


If you have thought this question before and are looking for answers, this session is for you! Participants will use the ‘Leadership Time Thief’ tool to not only find time where there seems to be none, but more importantly to create a vision for what that instructional leadership time will look like and lead to in the staff room and in the classroom when we are meeting our educators and students’ needs at the highest level. 

Smiling Student in Lecture

Session 3

Creating a Continuous Improvement Plan for Observable Impact

“How do we get our teams to ‘buy-in’ to school improvement?”


In this session participants will experience the most widely used leadership tool in the Observable Impact Toolkit, the Leadership Impact Plan Generator. At the end of this session, participants will leave with a plan that connects their leadership actions to impact in the classroom and builds leadership efficacy that makes it easy for us to know that we make a difference every day in our schools.