School Improvement

We are very fortunate to live in a state that provides so many resources to support schools and districts in a variety of school improvement initiatives. However as the graphic to the right illustrates, those supports are coming from a variety of agencies and each initiative is tied to a mandated process and requirements. It is feasible that one individual school building would have multiple action plans created by multiple teams within the building. This can fracture already taxed systems.... How do you use a single staff development day? Which initiatives are the priority? Which materials should we purchase? etc...




We may not be able to change the requirements, but we can change how we approach the requirements. Instead of seeing each mandate as a separate event, we could choose to align all efforts. For example:
  • One school improvement team with cross representation from the faculty including special ed, regular ed, and related service providers.
  • One team with work with all support providers e.g. DEs, LRE, DSL, IU personnel etc...
  • Have one action plan…. Use other documents as needs assessments, but represent an integration of needs in a single action plan that is implemented and monitored. This could include overall building goals, school improvement plans, LRE action plan, DE action plans etc.....

Comments

kemeigh said…
I was just reading some information on school improvement from the Wallace Foundation. In the article entitled "Leadership: The Bridge to Better Learning" by M. Christina DeVita the author totally agrees with what you say. She states, "We need to stop arguing, find common ground, and build bridges among our various reform efforts, so that we can achieve our goal of educating all of our children for productive adulthood in a future we can now only imagine.
And that brings us to leadership — the bridge that can bring together all the required elements of school reform into a coherent whole." It is exciting to work with teams in our schools consisting of administrative leaders and teacher leaders. They will make a difference. We need to keep delivering the message that they must build bridges between all the different reform resources to truly impact student learning. (http://www.wallacefoundation.org/)
Donna said…
As a member of our school improvement leadership team, I have come to better understand the enormous paperwork challenges our districts are confronted with in an effort to meet compliance regulations. What a relief the administrators and stakeholder must feel in the districts needing school improvement to hear that their district goals do not have to separate entities depending on what documentation they are completing, but can be a joint venture in aligning their goals to district needs. When that fact is mentioned in any of our trainings, I hear a collective sigh of relief from participants. I must say the state is doing a much better job at supplying the necessary guidance through their School Improvement web site to help manuever through all the various documentation to ensure the job is done correctly the first time. I have found their resources very valuable in understanding the process of school improvement so that I may better service the districts that I may be called to provide guidance in completing the school improvement process.

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