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“ Building a Learning Community” School Development Past School Development Efforts Challenge for Excellence Provincial School Assessment Project 1995 District School Improvement programs Possible reasons for limited success: Not focused on results Not staying the course

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“ Building a Learning Community”

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Building a learning community l.jpg

“Building a Learning Community”

School Development


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Past School Development Efforts

Challenge for Excellence

Provincial School Assessment Project 1995

District School Improvement programs

Possible reasons for limited success:

  • Not focused on results

  • Not staying the course

  • Not paying attention to the change process (Kotter 1996)

    • Complacency – establish a sense of urgency

    • Critical mass

    • Vision

    • Removing barriers

    • Short term wins

    • Anchor in culture


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Approaches to School Development

Each approach has emerged from problems encountered in the previous approach


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Approach 1

  • Planning of school development by senior administration and/or leadership team

  • Assumes that if it is planned by administration and/or leadership team, plans will be executed and change will occur


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Approach 2

  • Detailed attention needs to be paid to implementation

  • Middle management are included in the formulation of plans to gain support and commitment

  • Assumes that coming up with great plans is not sufficient


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Approach 3

  • Building awareness of the need for change

  • Creating a climate or culture supportive of desired change

  • Equipping people throughout the organization with the skills needed to participate in planning and implementation of change

  • Assumes that it is essential to create readiness before, planning and implementation


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Approach 4

  • The organization must be in a state of constant readiness

  • Continuous plans that are open and flexible are developed, shared, and embraced by the entire organization

  • Implementation occurs as a process that is dependent upon experimentation rather than a prescribed plan

  • Over time, successes are institutionalized

  • Change occurs through action learning on an ongoing basis (not re-evaluating only once-a-year)

  • Change occurs through action, reflection, and adjusting course throughout the process

  • Assumes that change efforts when treated as established programs, and not unfolding processes, almost always fail


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For the past two decades there has been a growing body of research to support the claim that:

‘if schools and school systems are to make meaningful improvements to support teaching and learning, they must increase their organizational learning capacity.’

Schools must become:

Professional Learning Communities.

(Barth, 2001; Darling-Hammond,1996; Fullan,1998; Leithwood, 2000).


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Theory

Organizational Learning  

Learning Organizations

Professional Learning Communities

Learning Communities


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Five Disciplines

  • Personal Mastery

  • Mental Models

  • Shared Vision

  • Systems Thinking

  • Team Learning

    Senge, 1990


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Characteristics of a Learning Community

  • Shared vision, mission, and values

  • Collective inquiry

  • Collaborative Teams

  • Action orientation and experimentation

  • Continuous improvement

  • Results Orientation

    Dufour and Eaker 1998


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Defining a Learning Community

A school learning community is one that promotes and values learning as an ongoing, active collaborative process with dynamic dialogue by teachers, students, staff, principal, parents, and the school community to improve the quality of learning and life within the school.Speck (1999)


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3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995)

  • Characteristics

  • Structural Conditions

  • Human/Social Resources


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3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995)

1. Characteristics:

Reflective dialogue

Collective focus on student learning

Deprivatization of practice

Collaboration

Shared values and norms


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3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995)

2. Structural Conditions:

Time to meet and discuss

Physical proximity

Interdependent teaching roles

Teacher empowerment/school autonomy

Communication Structures


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3 Dimensions of the Professional Learning Community Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1995)

3. Human/Social Resources:

Support openness to improvement

Trust and respect

Supportive leadership

Socialization

Cognitive skill base


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Fundamental Principles of School Development

School Development:

  • Is focused on student learning and achievement

  • Reflects the uniqueness of the local school environment

  • Is consistent with, and linked to individual, district, and department plans

  • Is a process that builds capacity within a learning community, characterized by honesty, trust, and a collaborative culture where learning is valued by all


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Fundamental Principles of School Development(continued)

School Development:

  • Ensures practice is guided by a vision and mission consistent with shared values

  • Directs resource allocation and use

  • Is a cyclical process involving research,

    reflection, discovery, and renewal


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Fundamental Principles of School Development(continued

School Development:

  • Is predicated upon the principle of empowerment and shared leadership

  • Involves all members of the learning community

  • Has accountability as an integral component


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Defining a Learning Community

…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.


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Provincial School Development Process

  • Research based (school effectiveness/school improvement/learning communities)

  • Developed collaboratively with districts

  • Steeped in practice and theory


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BUILDING CAPACITY

COMMUNICATION

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

IMPLEMENTATION

MONITORING

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW

3-5 YEAR PLAN

(Goals)

EXTERNALREVIEW

MISSION


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BUILDING

CAPACITY

School

Development

Cycle


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Building Capacity

Building Capacity for School Development involves:

  • Sharing and discussing related literature

  • Building a culture for school development

  • Building commitment and motivation

  • Understanding benefits and limitations

  • Building leadership capacity

  • Developing skill levels in consensus building, team building, shared decision-making

  • Understanding implications for teaching and learning

  • Understanding and establishing timelines

  • Understanding roles and responsibilities


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BUILDING CAPACITY

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle


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VALUES

Values

  • Shared

  • Fundamental convictions

  • Used to establish ethical, moral priorities within the educational system

  • Guides to all behavior

  • Reflected in the mission and vision


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VISION

A short statement describing the ideal state a school is striving to achieve


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BUILDING CAPACITY

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW


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15 Criteria Statements

4 Areas


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Internal Review Includes:

  • Student achievement data

  • Teaching and Learning Experience

  • School Climate and Culture

  • Student Support Services

  • Leadership

  • Professional Development

  • School Councils (partnerships)

  • Policies

  • Resources (human and financial)

  • Programming

  • Communication

  • School Development Plan

  • Organization/Program delivery

  • Staff deployment

  • Validation of Process


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Internal Review Process

  • Establish time lines for internal review

  • Establish data collection teams

  • Gather and organize relevant data (criteria statements)

  • Interpretation of the data

  • Report on the data


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Internal Review Handbook

  • Step by step procedure of the process

  • Outline of roles and responsibilities of stakeholders

  • Guides, templates, and samples for criteria statements

  • Surveys/focus group questions for data gathering

  • Guides to finding achievement and demographic data

  • Toolbox of School Development processes, such as building learning communities and building leadership capacity


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BUILDING CAPACITY

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW

3-5 YEAR PLAN

(Goals)


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Goals

  • General statements of desired results to be

    achieved over time

  • Measurable and attainable

  • Few in number

  • Reflected in the school’s mission statement

  • Focused on student achievement

  • Linked to district, provincial and teachers personal

    professional plans

  • Results oriented

  • Listed in order of priority


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Objectives

  • Specific targets or milestones set to promote achievement of a particular goal by a specific date

  • Answer both what and when

  • Express, in measurable, broadly stated terms, what will be done in a reasonable and specified period of time.


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Strategies

  • Broad commitments to deploy resources

  • Express broadly how the objectives are to be achieved


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Action Plans

  • A detailed description of what is required to accomplish each strategy. Includes:

    • Individual responsibility

    • Target Dates (beginning and ending dates)

    • Monitoring

    • Resource requirements

    • Communication methods

    • Professional development needs


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BUILDING CAPACITY

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW

3-5 YEAR PLAN

(Goals)

MISSION


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MISSION

  • A brief, clear statement reflecting the goals of the school

  • Sets out purpose of the goals

  • Anchor points for developing and assessing

    goals, objectives, and strategies

  • Is cyclical


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BUILDING CAPACITY

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW

3-5 YEAR PLAN

(Goals)

EXTERNALREVIEW

MISSION


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External Review

  • Conducted every 3-5 years

  • Provides feedback to school on validity of the Internal School Review and the School Development Plan

  • Conducted by an individual or team external to the school

  • Uses the same provincial criteria statements used in the internal Review

  • Involves a school visit

  • Provides a report to the school, school council, district and department

  • Makes recommendations for change where deemed appropriate


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15 Criteria Statements

4 Areas


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External Review Includes:

  • Student achievement data

  • Teaching and Learning Experience

  • School Climate and Culture

  • Student Support Services

  • Leadership

  • Professional Development

  • School Councils (partnerships)

  • Policies

  • Resources (human and financial)

  • Programming

  • Communication

  • School Development Plan

  • Organization/Program delivery

  • Staff deployment

  • Validation of Process


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External Review Handbook

  • Overview (context, purpose, expectations)

  • Procedures (before, during, after school visit)

  • Responsibilities

  • Reporting

  • Appendices

  • Report template


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BUILDING CAPACITY

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

IMPLEMENTATION

MONITORING

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW

3-5 YEAR PLAN

(Goals)

EXTERNALREVIEW

MISSION


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Implementing and Monitoring

Includes:

  • Continuously monitoring progress and effect

  • Making necessary adjustments

  • Developing support structures

  • Working in teams and team building

  • Involving various stakeholders

  • Professional development

  • Multi-level monitoring

  • Accountability

  • Commitment to the Plan

  • Appropriate resourcing


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Roles for Implementation and Monitoring

  • School Planning Team

  • Action Teams

  • Administrators

  • Staff

  • Students

  • School Development Program Specialist

  • District Personnel

  • School Councils/Parents

  • Department of Education

  • Other


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BUILDING CAPACITY

COMMUNICATION

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

IMPLEMENTATION

MONITORING

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW

3-5 YEAR PLAN

(Goals)

EXTERNALREVIEW

MISSION


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Communication

  • Plan submitted to the School Council

  • Members of the school community are informed about the plan (Websites, newspaper, newsletters, memos, meetings )

  • Plan submitted to district office, board members

  • Regular School development progress reports (School Council, staff, SD planning team, parents, district office)

  • Celebrate successes

  • Annual School Report (primary means)


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Annual School Development Report

1. Cover Page

2. Overview of School

- Physical Location

- Number of Employees/students/classes

- Programs and services provided

- Some key highlights/special projects

- Partnerships

3. 3-5 Year School Development Plan

4. Report on School Development Plan from Previous Year

5. School Development Plan for Current Year


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BUILDING CAPACITY

COMMUNICATION

VALUES VISION

School

Development

Cycle

IMPLEMENTATION

MONITORING

INTERNAL SCHOOL

REVIEW

3-5 YEAR PLAN

(Goals)

EXTERNALREVIEW

MISSION


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“The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is developing the ability of school personnel to function as professional learning communities”. (Defour & Eaker)


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