The Roadmap to Rigor Workshop is suitable for individuals or teams of elementary, middle, and high school principals, assistant principals, supervisor and teachers. It is centered on the Rigor Rubric developed by NAESP. The rubric includes an extensive annotated bibliography of books, articles, websites, DVDs, and YouTubes related to rigor and brief descriptions of what the resources are all about. Rigor is broken down into four components:

  • Metacognition   
  • Higher Level Thinking    
  • Deep Understanding     
  • Solving Problems

Please contact Honor Fede at or (800) 386-2377, ext. 256, for more information on pricing and/or bringing this workshop to your school, district, or state conference. 

Workshop: A Roadmap to Rigor

A full-day workshop for K-12 teams of principals and teachers

The purpose of the session is to learn how to use the Rigor Rubric and develop an action plan for schools and classrooms. Essential questions addressed in the presentation include:

  • What is the relevance of rigor?
  • How can the Rigor Rubric be used?
  • What does research reveal about best practice and rigor? 
  • What will happen “back at school?” (action plan)

The rubric describes four levels of expertise for both students and teachers aligned with the Danielson Framework levels of teacher performance (beginning; developing; accomplished; exemplary) and directed at both teacher and student actions. What participants like about the rubric is that if a teacher is operating at a "beginning" or "developing" level he/she can easily see how to take him/herself and his/her students to an accomplished and then exemplary level. The rubric may be used individually or collectively by teachers, colleagues, principals/assistant principals or supervisors at any level.

This training involves getting acquainted with rigor from different angles then delving for an in depth exploration of the four aspects of the rubric along with viewing teaching clips demonstrating metacognition, higher level thinking, deep understanding and solving problems in classrooms. There are options for quick, engaging and easy to work with elementary, middle and high school teaching examples. Materials are customized for each presentation to suit the levels, the schools, districts, regions, or state following a preliminary discussion with the presenter.

Academic rigor is more than a set of activities; it is focused on the belief that the primary role of schooling is to develop self-directed individuals who are self-reflective, self-modifying and self-managing. It entails teaching beyond knowledge and skills to a deeper understanding of concepts, generalizations and principles that sit at the heart of disciplines and are transferable within and across subjects. While the rubric can be used as an observation and feedback tool, many principals may find it easier to use this tool for discussion purposes and to help teachers become more aware of the components that facilitate greater rigor.

NAESP can deliver the Roadmap to Rigor Workshop at your school, district, or state conference. Depending on the audience, we will customize the training for K-12 administrators, leadership teams, and/or district staff.