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

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

“Aldine ISD has benefited from the services and resources provided by A+ Challenge for many years. Individual staff and board members have benefited from training and conversation with national and international experts in various educational fields through the speaker series. A+ has also provided a network for professionals to engage with job-alike cohorts for deep study into topics over several months. Most recently, Aldine has benefited from the coaching services for middle school principals and teachers in the areas of reading and math. A+ Principal and reading and math experts have assisted Aldine staff members through coaching and feedback sessions to improve teacher practices and planning sessions. Middle school campuses who have followed guidance with fidelity have seen marked improvement in student achievement.

A+ provides quality training and a network for professionals to study and improve educational practices throughout the Houston area.”

~Wanda Bamberg, Ed.D., Former Superintendent, Aldine ISD

What We Offer

  • instructional practices coaching
  • content coaching
  • leadership coaching
  • custom, on-site PD workshops
  • custom leadership academies for your school or district
  • customized assessment development (mathematics)
  • for more details see below
  • download our marketing flyers

Our Expertise

  • Smarter and Stronger
  • school leadership
  • coaching
  • reading
  • writing
  • mathematics
  • teaching and learning with technology
  • 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

Executive Director

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

Student Growth Data Tracking
Tracking, Monitoring and setting growth goals with students.

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 Coaching
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; Calibration amongst leadership team  

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

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

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

Leadership Academies
Mission, vision, values and goals
Establishing collaboration
Relationship building
Effective communication


Coaching Academies
Building vision and goals for department
Ways to give effective feedback
Process for planning, observing, giving feedback. 

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


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

Additional Services

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

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

Formative Assessment Package
Mathematics Grades 5-6-7-8-Algebra 1
Blueprints based on your 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