Thirdway Solutions Group

Discipline Revolution Project Sample Clients

Facilitated community of practice for principals of highest performing schools across the state.
Worked across systems to address de-criminalizing the way communities in Phoenix think about student behavior
Developed strategy to embrace DEI values while growing their footprint in diverse – geographic and ideologic – markets
Advise on data-driven strategies for communities and cities to set and track key equity metrics across agencies
Convened a learning work session with key district and charter leaders and members of the Broad community to address over-policing of Black students
Provided coaching and facilitation for education superintendents and state commissioners across the country; envisioned ‘leading while female’ initiative
Helped revise giving strategy with an equity lens
Provided evaluation of New Dawn Charter High School’s academic performance to determine the effectiveness and quality of its program
Provided district-wide strategy to improve the academic outcomes of 16 – 22-year-olds who are off-track, including recommended shifts in policy and practice related to enrollment, accountability, discipline, instruction, socio-emotional support, current and future portfolio offerings, and staff capacity.
Helped create Let’s Adopt Reform! Initiative — a national policy and advocacy agenda to radically improve adoption and improve outcomes for kids in school
Following a pilot program with the Louisiana Department of Education, EBR engaged DRP to work with the Executive Director of Alternative High Schools to reimagine their alternative schools
Worked with leadership to develop training modules using research, case studies, and data to make the case for school-based and system-wide reform.
Supported six Superintendents and their c-suite to devise multi-year plans to replace harsh, biased discipline systems with ones that keep kids safe, and avoid shame and exclusion
TWS envisioned and facilitated a 10-month, virtual community of practice with seven school systems (six traditional and YES Prep)
Developed training module for Equity Bootcamp in Harris County, Texas
Supported team to define core values and align practices to values; provide executive coaching to key leaders on the senior team
recognized students with disabilities were being segregated from their peers and suffering from poor academic outcomes. Further, the district had been embroiled in a 30-year consent decree related to special education. The TWS team envisioned an entirely new approach to special education and a multi-year plan to get there
Provided training to leadership of district and select schools in an equity audit of their systems aimed to articulate necessary changes – in policies, practices and mindsets – across the district
Tapped TWS’ Discipline Revolution Project to pilot a radically different approach to the Alternative Education Pilot Program. The TWS team worked with the state to shift policies and incentives, and with two parishes to put in place on-the-ground pilots
Provided coaching and strategic advising on leadership framework with an equity lens
Supported work on the charter application, including support with K-12 curriculum and development of accountability structure
Envisioned and facilitated a four part series for all principals and their leadership teams on the intersection of rigor and relationships
Created a framework for better serving over-aged, under-credited students and disconnected youth in Washington, D.C.
Supported CEO and VP of Education Partnerships to rethink how they engage systems leaders to use their content
Led a community of practice for school leaders, funders and advocates in Memphis. TWS created workshops to create a common understanding and align efforts to implement and support discipline reform, restorative practices, and preventative measures schools and the greater community
Supported senior team of Summit Public Schools to review equity work across central office and schools.
Provided leadership and content expertise, facilitated a series of working group webinars and participated in launch of state-wide pilot on expanding the definition of charter success
Working with the district leadership, DRP helped develop and implement a multi-year plan to be a district, organization and community that exemplifies critical consciousness, equity, and inclusion.
Coach senior team to support anti-poverty initiative in the central valley of California

Five Phases of Work

While each engagement is different, typically there are four or five phases of the work.

Phase One – Context and relationship-building

Create conditions for success, build teams, finalize year-long calendar​.

  • Interviews, document review, context​
  • Launch work teams
  • Solidify goals, approach, calendar

Phase Two – Norming

Norm frameworks and tools, ensure common understanding of goals.

  • In-person and online training
  • Case studies, readings, discussion​
  • “Micro content” — just-right information

Phase Three – Self-assessment and emerging plan

Provide technical assistance, facilitate self-assessment, and start emerging action plan

  • Some remote, some in person​
  • Team images in self-assessment, with triangulation
  • TWS team supports process of shared assessment of assets and need for change

Phase Four – Implementation Planning 

Complete action plan and solidify a collective action team​

  • Invest stakeholders​
  • Sequence the work​
  • Ensure clear ownership with right skill and will

Phase Five – Implementation Support 

Identify areas of action plan where TWS can kickstart the work​.

Levels of Support

We customize our approach to meet the needs of our clients, whether it’s a light touch or a deep dive.

Key frameworks

P-Framework. The P-Framework is a comprehensive approach to conducting an organizational assessment. At its core, the P-Framework and accompanying tools help complex organizations of all sizes examine how their values or principles are — and are not — translating to everything from how they think about talent to how they execute their core strategy.

EQUITY Framework and Self-Assessment Tools for School Systems. We have integrated the research on anti-biased, anti-racist organizations, behavior modification, achievement motivation, risk and resilience, school culture and climate, and social and emotional learning — along with promising practices from restorative justice, PBIS, MTSS, RTI, and culturally responsive teaching — into one set of actionable, non-jargony tools. 

The EQUITY Framework has six competencies, and each competency has three to five indicators of success. We’ve broken this down into a set of “look fors” in the form of a school-based self-assessment and a system-based self-assessment. 

In essence, our self-assessment helps school teams understand where they are in building school culture and students supports,against the fourth leg of the stool and what it will take to make progress

What makes us different

ThirdWay Solutions’ team members, projects, and goals are laser-focused on equity, and have been since our founding six years ago. Our core team and our extensive network of independent contractors have a proven track record of personal commitment to anti-biased, anti-racist work. We are also recognized for getting results in a diverse range of fields — from school reform and child welfare to marketing and organizational culture. 

Most importantly, our clients appreciate the lens we bring to the work. According to client surveys, 100% of them say they would recommend us to peer organizations. They say we are different because we embrace tensions inherent in realizing deep change.

  • We have field-tested tools and research-based resources — AND we believe context matters so we listen and tailor our work. ​

Our approach has been honed by working with nearly 50 clients and through decades of leadership experience across sectors. Our frameworks and tools are detailed and help our partners quickly diagnose areas of strength and things that need to change. 

AND, we support the work of naming, sequencing, and making plans that are carefully aligned to local and/or sector context. We do not believe in checklists, stock presentations, or one-size-fits-all.

  • We support technical work — AND we catalyze deeper adaptive work for lasting change. ​

We know that sometimes change requires things like rewriting job descriptions, changing core business processes, and rewriting policies. We are detail-oriented and sweat the small stuff. 

AND, we believe deep work related to equity requires shifting values, mindsets, and beliefs. This only happens through experiential learning and deep culture work over time.

  • We get things done with focused plans — AND we become part of your team and know when to adapt and go off-script. ​

Our engagements always include clear phases with deliverables for each, based on goals co-constructed with our clients. At the same time, our clients trust us as elbow partners and coaches and use us as key advisors when ABAR values come into tension with current events and company decisions. During COVID, for example, we pivoted to advise our clients on how to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

  • We are comfortable with discomfort — AND we know that shame and finger-pointing shuts down learning and progress.​

We live by the Baldwin quote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed unless it is faced.” We recognize this requires discomfort and confronting sometimes brutal facts. We facilitate spaces where this leads to collective action instead of more gridlock.

  • We provide capacity and leadership — AND we are explicit about teaching leadership teams “how to fish” so progress continues well after our engagement.

We always enter engagements at the level of the CEO, superintendent, commissioner, and/or founder, as well as their team. Meanwhile, we concurrently do work with members throughout organizations, to sew change and build capacity top-down and bottom-up.

DRP Services

Targeted Systems Approach

The DRP team engages with school districts/CMOs over the course of 12-18 months. Our work has two components:

  • The District Implementation Team: In every engagement, we work with a high-level and cross-functional implementation team (which must include the superintendent and/or the CMO CEO) that we launch in partnership with the district and/or charter management organization.
  • School-Based Change: We also work with school leaders and their teams. The scope of the work with individual schools varies depending on the budget and goals of the client.

Superintendents, leaders of charter school networks, state commissioners, and school board members are seeking to solve a particular problem related to equity. This work happens in four phases through our Core Model as follows:

  1. We believe context matters. In Phase One of our work, we spend time interviewing key stakeholders to build our understanding of the local context — challenges and opportunities, current thinking on the work, as well as the goals and fears, and best ways to communicate with the community. During this phase, we help build teams at the central and school levels and introduce our frameworks (EQUITY and P) and assessment tools. At the end of the first phase, the major players in the central office are clear about the EQUITY Framework, the approach of DRP and how the entire engagement will work.
  2. We provide capacity and coaching, teaching leadership how to fish. During Phase Two, we provide training (virtual or in-person), norming the central and school level teams on the EQUITY Framework and laying the groundwork for developing and implementing a strategic plan.
  3. In Phase Three, our coaches work with central and school level teams — through virtual or in-person trainings and school visits — to develop and review the emerging action plans. Our team knows how to get things done and knows when to go off script. By the end of this phase, our coaches will have identified any obstacles and provided the support to create a comprehensive plan.
  4. During our final phase, Phase Four, we reflect on progress to date, solidify the community of practice, and ensure that central and school teams are shifting from planning to implementation.

At the end of the engagement, with a deeper understanding of the EQUITY Framework, clients will have a finalized, two-year implementation plan for central teams and school teams. Teams are clear about how to charter and implement strategies developed with their two-year action plan.

The Collective Action Model

The collective action approach takes one of two forms:

  • DRP convenes district leadership teams from several districts or regions — traditional and charter together — to actively shift away from harsh, biased, and exclusionary discipline and other school policies and practices that disproportionately and negatively impact Black, brown, LGBTQQ students and students with disabilities.
  • DRP convenes diverse leaders from adjacent systems — police, advocates, higher education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and/or school systems — to generate a comprehensive plan to address inequities in how students and families are punished.

The initiating client is typically a superintendent, commissioner, mayor or county executive, advocacy organization, and/or funder with a regional focus. The collective action approach is tailored to each engagement based on the initiator, but some basic elements are typically included.

  • Convene and on-board the right people to the collective: We work with the initiator to recruit and on-board members who are committed to (a) real self-reflection, change, and learning, and who will actively participate to support collective growth; (b) represent diverse stakeholders who need to be at the table in order for system change to occur; and (c) empowered and high-level decision-makers who can translate insight into action.
  • Case for action: Explore the specific, tangible, and research-based consequences of harsh, biased, and exclusionary disciplinary practices in fueling the school-to-prison pipeline; create a sense of urgency for collective and individual action.
  • Vision for success: Understand, at a high level, the six building blocks — and accompanying people, policy, practices, and power-dynamics shifts that need to occur — to make progress on replacing antiquated approaches with more equitable ones.
  • Reflection: Learn about local and national promising practices and research; reflect on local practices that are promising; surface common struggles.
  • Planning: Begin to envision how to make the deep adaptive (mindset and beliefs) and technical (practices and policies) changes necessary to replace inequitable approaches to student behavior with more proactive, ABAR (anti-biased and anti-racist), and developmentally appropriate ones.

DRP Tools

Our approach is anchored by two frameworks:


EQUITY Framework and Self-Assessment Tools

We have integrated the research on anti-biased, anti-racist organizations, behavior modification, achievement motivation, risk and resilience, school culture and climate, and social and emotional learning — along with promising practices from restorative justice, PBIS, MTSS, RTI, and culturally responsive teaching — into one set of actionable, non-jargony tools. The EQUITY Framework has 6 competencies, and each competency has 3 to 5 indicators of success. We’ve broken this down into a set of “look fors” in the form of a school-based self-assessment and a system-based self-assessment. In essence, our self-assessment helps teams understand where they are against the fourth leg of the stool and what it will take to make progress.


P-Framework

The P-Framework is a comprehensive approach to conducting an organizational assessment. Once teams are normed on the EQUITY Frameworks, our team guides leaders and their teams through an inventory of their principles, practices, people and performance management, policies, partners, and power dynamics — and how they need to change in the short, medium, and long term.

DRP Client List


Facilitated community of practice for principals of highest performing schools across the state.
Worked across systems to address de-criminalizing the way communities in Phoenix think about student behavior
Following a pilot program with the Louisiana Department of Education, EBR engaged DRP to work with the Executive Director of Alternative High Schools to reimagine their alternative schools
Supported six Superintendents and their c-suite to devise multi-year plans to replace harsh, biased discipline systems with ones that keep kids safe, and avoid shame and exclusion
Developed training module for Equity Bootcamp in Harris County, Texas
TWS envisioned and facilitated a 10-month, virtual community of practice with seven school systems (six traditional and YES Prep)
Supported team to define core values and align practices to values; provide executive coaching to key leaders on the senior team
Provided training to leadership of district and select schools in an equity audit of their systems aimed to articulate necessary changes – in policies, practices and mindsets – across the district
Supported senior team of Summit Public Schools to review equity work across central office and schools.
Working with the district leadership, DRP helped develop and implement a multi-year plan to be a district, organization and community that exemplifies critical consciousness, equity, and inclusion.
Coach senior team to support anti-poverty initiative in the central valley of California

Corporations & Philanthropy

Corporations and philanthropists often wonder where they should invest time and resources to better realize their vision and mission. ThirdWay helps leadership teams tackle everything from lack of diversity in executive teams to incrementalism in organizational culture.  We are particularly interested in projects and organizations dedicated to realizing equity, specifically those focused on increasing the organization’s capacity to be anti-biased and anti-racist.

  • The EQUITY Framework — Our research and evidence-based framework is a tool that organizations can use to examine their culture and climate. We’ve taken what we know from research about anti-biased and anti-racist work, achievement motivation, and the optimal conditions for productivity and put it into one comprehensive and practical tool. We find the EQUITY Framework helpful in focusing our work with clients.
  • The Organizational Audit and Action Planning Process
    • First we work to get the right people at the table to understand the tenants of the framework — and get to know the context of the organization by conducting interviews, looking at data, and steeping ourselves in the context
    • Next we help stakeholders engage in an audit using the EQUITY Framework
    • A summary is prepared and socialized among stakeholders identified by the client that focuses on the organizations strengths and areas in need of improvement
    • Then we use our Six-P Framework to create an initial plan for change — and eventually build that into a full blow implementation plan
    • Often, we stay on to build capacity of the team to work the implementation plan, provide executive coaching, and help teams overcome real obstacles to progress
  • The Six-P Framework — Every organization has a finite number of levers for change. We have identified the levers in our Six-P Framework.
    • Performance — how you measure progress and what key metrics tell you about how you are doing.
    • People — who you recruit, hire, retain, and promote and how aligned that is to your vision and values.
    • Practices — your norms and rituals, what your celebrate, how you develop folks from within, people’s day-to-day experience in your organization.
    • Policy — what guardrails you set, what if enabled by policy, what is forbidden, and what implicit messages your policies send
    • Partners — who you work with outside of your immediate organization and how aligned they are to your mission and values.
    • Power-dynamics — who is at power tables, who will experience change as loss, how current power dynamics might be holding back collective progress.

Government & School Systems

Government agencies and non-profits focused on child welfare, mental health, substance abuse juvenile justice, homelessness, and education often exist in silos and don’t have structured ways of learning from each other or working together.  We help organizations better meet their goals by helping them improve their approach to planning, people, practices and/or policies. 

We are particularly focused on systems integration and helping clients execute bold, high-impact ideas to promote equity and undertake previously unthinkable tasks.

The ThirdWay Solutions Team has a wealth of experience in K-12 education. Our Managing Partner served as a Superintendent of Schools for over a decade and lead two nationally recognized education reform organizations.

Our team includes former principals and district personnel as well as coaches who have provided professional development and technical assistance for schools over multiple decades.  We help school systems improve their approach to performance, planning, practices, policies, partner management, and power dynamics.  We are particularly focused on equity — and improving outcomes for students who are too often pushed to the side.

Below is a list of school systems with whom we have worked (in alphabetical order):

  • DC Public Education Fund and Raise DC
  • East Baton Rouge School System
  • KIPP SoCal
  • LaFourche Schools System
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Louisiana State Department of Education
  • Phoenix Union High School District
  • Summit Public Schools
  • Tangipahoa Parish School System

What our clients say

“Cami and the ThirdWay team have done amazing work all over the country, including in the most unlikely corners of Louisiana. What’s different about their approach is that they are committed to the long-term work of changing hearts, minds, and practices about issues of identity, school culture, and equity. Her team’s wisdom, if not their services, would be of great use and influence for many chiefs, especially now.” — John White, Former Louisiana State Superintendent

“ThirdWay Solutions, led by Cami Anderson, is fiercely focused on making sure all students thrive, including and especially those who are often left behind. I am continually impressed by their deep knowledge of everything from very technical and specific solutions for students with disabilities to big, disruptive ideas about fundamentally changing the way we think about special education and other equity issues.” — Kristin Wright, former California State Director of Special Education and Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, Intervention at the Sacramento County Office of Education

“Cami has been focused on delivering excellence to students who struggle and broader issues of equity for as long as I have known her. Systems will benefit from her passion, know-how, and real-life experience in creating change at scale. She’s good at both the details and systems needed to move the work as well as the deeper coaching of leaders that leads to lasting change.” — Kaya Henderson, CEO of Reconstruction, and former Chancellor of DC Public Schools