Coaching, professional development workshops and more —
customized support for real academic growth.

What can your school or district and Houston A+ Challenge do together?

What We Offer

  • instructional practices coaching
  • content coaching
  • leadership coaching
  • custom, on-site PD workshops
  • custom leadership academies for your school or district
  • assessment development (mathematics)
  • and more – just ask!

Our Expertise

  • school leadership
  • change management
  • reading
  • writing
  • mathematics
  • teaching and learning with technology
  • personalized learning
  • family and community engagement

Learn More

To set up an individual consultation with an A+ executive coach, contact Tom Monaghan at or (832) 519-9590 tom-monaghan

Tom Monaghan

Director of School Performance

Our Approach to Professional Learning

All Challenge Network workshops, academies, coaching, and campus engagements are guided by our mission and values, as well as a commitment to delivering the highest-quality professional learning. We model effective adult learning practices that translate into the classroom, promote research-proven strategies for instruction and leadership, and go deep into content areas.

Locally grown, internationally informed.

Founded nearly 20 years ago to serve as Houston’s hub for strengthening education, Houston A+ Challenge has one eye on local schools and issues, and the other on work nationally and internationally that is most effective in achieving gains for kids. Our coaching is informed by experts, researchers and innovators – Robert Marzano, John Hattie’s Visible Learning, Lucy West, Lucy Calkins, Sugata Mitra, and Summit Public Schools, just to name a handful – and by our own startup initiatives around ideas like personalized learning and family engagement. But it is also informed by what we know works best for the dozens of Houston-area schools and districts who have relied on Houston A+ Challenge coaching for years.

Not just another workshop.

A+ offers affordable packages of interconnected professional development options that will ensure strong teaching and learning takes root in your school or district. Summer workshops can be followed up by weekly in-class coaching for teachers and specialists. Leadership academies and coaching give administrators the tools they need to maintain a focus on instruction on campus. And A+ has a strong track record of earning buy-in from teachers, specialists and leaders because we have deep respect for their work. Coached by A+, teachers and schools will see results.

Everybody needs a coach.

Like a personal trainer, A+ coaches pair personalized expert support with trust and inspiration. They help educators push themselves to be smarter and stronger – just as we want teachers to do for students. A+ coaches are effective because they prize relationships with clients and their schools. They put clients’ and schools’ goals first. They bring a packed toolkit of research-based solutions that increase rigor in classrooms, but offer them in the context of learning and planning together – strengthening educators’ and leaders’ innate ability to reflect and grow.

Professional Learning
One or Multiple Days

Professional Learning Communities
Explore the 3 Big Ideas that Drive the Work of High Functioning , Collaborative Teams

Practices to Increase Student Learning
Explore effective instructional practices that promote high levels of student learning: classroom environment, teaching of how, coaching into differentiation

GREAT Personalized Learning
Competency-based, personalized, self-directed, socially-embedded, and open-walled learning are the topics for this set of workshops

Assessment FOR Learning
From Formative to Summative
and Everything in Between

Algebra I
Teachers collaborating to build shared craft knowledge and expand their tool kits

Preparation for the STAAR tests
Just in Time STAAR Reading
Putting Thinking to the Mathematics Test
A Crash Course in STAAR Writing

Coaching for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Across The Year

Content Focused 
Side-by-side coaching w/teachers in Reading/Writing & Math classrooms Coaching cycles-plan, implement, observe & debrief

Key Instructional Practices 
Effective instructional practices to increase student learning; establish look-fors Calibration amongst leadership team  

GREAT Personalized Learning
Take your campus from traditional to personalized by focusing on academic growth, strong relationships, student empowerment, anytime/anywhere learning, and technology 

Mission, vision, values & goals, Effective communication, Change leadership and courage

Algebra I
Coaching shoulder to shoulder with teachers
to build pedagogical content knowledge
and increase student learning

Open-Enrollment Leadership Academies
8-10, 2 Hour Sessions Across the Year

Central Office Staff 
Mission, vision, values and goals
Establishing collaboration
Relationship building
Effective communication

Specialist/Instructional Coach 
Building vision and goals for department
Ways to give effective feedback
Process for planning, observing, giving feedback. 

Principal and Assistant Principal
A shift from manager to learning leader
Effective communication
Calibration with leadership team
Professional relationships

New Teacher (and/or Classroom Coaching) 
Classroom management strategies
Building content knowledge
TEKS breakdown
Effective instructional practices

How to Personalize Your Campus
Learn how to lead a campus that meets learning
standards through personalization.
GREAT (Growth, Relationships, Empowerment, Anytime/anywhere, Technology)
personalized learning will be the focus.

Additional Services

Comprehensive School Reviews
Self-assessment, guiding questions, classroom visits, teacher focus groups

Backwards Design
Unpack the complexity of the standards to design learning targets for all classrooms

Formative Assessment Packages
Mathematics Grades 5-9
Blueprints based on district scope and sequece
5-7 Formative assessments
High leverage student expectations (SEs)
Answer keys, Student Self-analysis

Students are growing in stamina and metacognition, and classrooms are full of quality instruction where students are doing the heavy lifting…

Teachers and admin are incredibly thankful for the training and believe this is the source of all their growth.”

Literacy Specialist

I have gotten so much positive feedback about your presentations.  Our district appreciates this partnership and I look forward to more to come!

A+ has the right people on the bus!

District Professional Learning Officer