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More About the SAM Process

The SAM process was initially funded by the Wallace Foundation as the Alternative School Administration Study in Louisville, Kentucky and is now used by over 1200 schools across the United States.


In the study, all of the principals increased instructional time and exceeded 60% of day/year. Additionally, rate of gain in student achievement significantly outpaced control schools. (ERIC, Alternative School Administration Study, Shellinger, 2005)


External and independent studies by Washington D.C. Policy Studies Associates found that the average gain in instructional leadership time for participating principals was five hours and fifty-seven more minutes every week, the equivalent of twenty-seven extra days each year. By the end of the second year of SAM work, the gain increased to eight hours and thirty more minutes every week, the equivalent of thirty-eight extra days each year. By the end of the third year of participation the gain in instructional leadership time increased to twelve hours and twenty more minutes every week, the equivalent of fifty-five extra days each year.


The Wallace Foundation supported replication and development of the SAM professional development process until July

1, 2010. Extensive testing of the tools, and other SAM process elements, determined that, when used separately, they did not have an impact on change of principal practice.


It was the use of the tools, and coaching support, in an integrated manner, that consistently worked. The Foundation assisted with the creation of a non-profit, National SAM Innovation Project (NSIP), to provide SAM implementation and support services for schools, districts and states through a fee-for-service structure. NSIP contracts with individual schools, districts and states to provide the SAM process. The tools, Time/Task Analysis, TimeTrack, First Responders and the name, SAM, are trademark and copyright protected to ensure fidelity of use.


The SAM process changes the status quo.  It relies on the use of principal time data and a series of tools to refocus the principal’s work and alter the expectations of teachers and parents.  After a few months, SAM principals are spending the majority of the day in scheduled activities directly connected with improving teaching and learning.  Relationships between principals and teachers improve and principals become closely connected to the work in each classroom.  Accountability increases as instructional practices grow stronger.

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