Schools and districts interested in becoming ARCS sites enter into collaborative partnerships with Communities for Learning and, over the course of two to five years, learn to use the ARCS Framework to deepen their capacity to improve and sustain change. The sites implement the following actions, all of them involving and tapping the expertise of multiple stakeholders:
- Engaging in a baseline assessment
- Articulating a shared school vision to guide goal setting and planning
- Exploring what defines the gap between current reality and the desired vision
- Generating questions that probe their current state and provoke learning
- Having cross-role groups consider and test diverse practices that promote a culture of continuous improvement
- Defining, implementing, evaluating and reflecting on each step in growing the school's capacity for improvement
Initially, Communities for Learning staff members are the primary site facilitators, however, as members of the site become more comfortable with the Framework and proficient in using it, the staff facilitator assumes a supporting role, training in-house facilitators.