Reform at Hickory Ridge High School
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Reform at Hickory Ridge High School. Becky Brown Stephanie Henderson Candice Shim Katie Jannusch Lisa Lamorese. Team Building and Technology. ABSTRACT.

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Reform at hickory ridge high school

Reform at Hickory Ridge High School

Becky Brown

Stephanie Henderson

Candice Shim

Katie Jannusch

Lisa Lamorese

Team Building and Technology


Abstract

ABSTRACT

  • We will address the complexity of achieving school reform and examine the types of organizational structures that will promote staff development, curriculum and instructional improvement.


Introduction

Introduction

  • Hickory Ridge High school is a large urban school with approximately 1,800 students.

  • The faculty and school community have struggled to meet the needs of the students.

  • The District is working towards reform efforts that have allowed select teachers at Hickory Ridge High School to participate in technology based and pilot programs.


What is the problem

What Is The Problem?

  • Even though parents are supportive there is a high turnover rate in the neighborhood. Over the last four years, 27 new teachers who are were identified as having high potential, have been placed in order to help educate the current staff with new, innovative programs.The school has created a new mission statement and vision, but are still viewed as unable to meet the current reform guidelines.


The problem and solution

The Problem and Solution

  • The staff lacks positive interactions and communications.

  • The current reform efforts are not progressing as needed, largely due to lack of trust, confidence, communication, respect, and power.

  • In order to improve current conditions the administration at Hickory Ridge High School needs to address team building, technology, staff development.


Focus and purpose

Focus and Purpose

  • Focus: Hickory Ridge High School is located in the Wingfield School District.

  • Purpose: Our goal is to identify ways to give the principal and teachers of the school a sense of purpose, direction, responsibility, power, respect, optimism, and mission.


Effective school reform

Effective School Reform

  • Different areas of the reform need to be addressed

  • Team building is necessary among the staff at the school to make the reform effective and to reduce the high teacher turnover rate

  • This can be achieved by implementing professional learning communities


Team building

Team Building

  • Technology reform within the school can be achieved with effective training and support.

  • Communication between parents, the community, and staff is needed to make school reform effective.

  • Staff development is also instrumental in achieving the desired curriculum and instructional improvement at Hickory Ridge High School.


Leadership challenge

Leadership Challenge

  • According to Coleman and Rude:

    “The challenge for a leader is to find a direction that will introduce improvements to the system, communicate that direction, gain the support of those responsible for implementing the new practice, and then follow through with support for the change process. Change challenges the structure of an organization, causing it to become unstable.”


School success and accountability

School Success and Accountability

  • Hickory Ridge High School is in the era where school success and accountability is based highly on test scores as measure of achievement.

  • Due to their current standardized test scores this high school and other school wide factors, the school needs to make changes in order to meet the district’s reform efforts.

  • Fear has since become a motivator for change in this school.


What will work

What Will Work?

  • The existing programs are not working as they were once intended to and several issues are still being addressed in this high school.

  • “This concept of fixing an ineffective system, in many cases, works about as well as putting a Band-Aid on a flat tire. The bandage may slow the leak from the tire, but the tire will continue to lose air until it is flat and the car immobilized.


A new system

A New System?

  • If instead the flat tire were replaced with a new tire, the car’s ability to move would be improved. Similarly, Marshall suggests that, rather than fix an ailing education system that is fundamentally flawed, schools must create a new system of learning that better matches learning goals for this century” ( Coleman and Rude).


Reform obstacles

Reform Obstacles

  • There are obstacles in this school that may make the reform and improvements difficult.

  • Culture was the factor found to have the greatest impact on change in a school.


Culture

Culture

  • The idea of culture is accompanied by five leadership aspects:” the promotion of cooperation among staff, the promotion of a sense of well-being among staff, the promotion of cohesion among staff, the development of a shared understanding of purpose, and the development of a shared vision of what the school could be like” (Coleman and Rude).


Staff interaction

Staff Interaction

  • Hickory Ridge High School already has concerns when it comes to staff interactions.

  • It is clear that the staff is split between the older and younger generations.

  • Finding ways to incorporate team building would be a positive way to support cohesion, communication, and relationship building.


Teambuilding

Teambuilding

  • “Teambuilding may be defined as “the process needed to create, maintain, and enrich the development of a group of people into a cohesive unit. Teambuilding exercises are very important in the development of teams that will work together for an extended period of time on a complex project or a series of activities” (Ledlow, 1999).


Staff collaboration

Staff Collaboration

  • There are a lot of team building activities and exercises that as principal, Jim O’ Connor could use to find his staff’s strengths and weakness as a whole, and begin working towards and developing common goals and vision for the school.

  • The staff at Hickory Ridge High School needs to begin by participating in activities that help the teachers uncover characteristics that team members have in common.


Collaboration

Collaboration

  • As a staff, teachers need to have respect for what their colleagues offer to the team. Individuals need to take advantage of the resources in that fellow teachers offer and together work with those resources to better the instructional curriculum of the school.

  • Focusing on the strengths that these teachers already have to offer is key in order for this High School meet the district’s standards.


Professional learning communities

Professional Learning Communities

  • Establishing, Professional Learning Communities might be a positive way to force the two teacher generations to integrate and actually be accountable for working together towards a common goal of student achievement.


Professional learning communities cont

Professional Learning Communities, cont.

  • Shirley M. Hord states, “professional learning communities give attention to five attributes of such organizational arrangements:

  • supportive and shared leadership

  • collective creativity

  • shared values and vision

  • supportive conditions

  • shared personal practice”


Supportive and shared leadership

Supportive and Shared Leadership

  • The younger teachers see the principal as having limited power and have a lack of respect for him.

  • Shared leadership is a way that power could be distributed throughout the school to share leadership, power, and decision making.


Plc s

PLC’s

  • PLC’s promote growth professionally and builds the connection that all teachers are working together for a common goal.

  • Hord suggests that, “No longer can leaders be thought of as top-down agents of change or seen as the visionaries of the corporation; instead leaders must be regarded as democratic teachers.”


Teacher turnover rate

Over the past four years, 27 new teachers have been hired at Hickory Ridge High School with the potential for some of the current young teachers to leave in the upcoming year.

Schools that have high teacher turnover rates tend to have. difficulty “sustaining positive workingrelationships among teachers” (Guin, 2004 ).

Teacher Turnover Rate


Teacher turnovers

Teacher Turnovers

According to Kacey Guin, there are three factors to be cautious of when turnover rates become high:

  • “1. Teacher turnover rates are one indicator of school health, which school districts should consider when focusing on school improvements. Districts need to begin by developing the means to identify individual schools that experience high levels of teacher turnover.


Turnovers cont

Turnovers, Cont.

  • 2. Current district policies in implementing professional development for teachers in low-performing schools are inefficient when teachers do not remain in the schools in which they are trained.


Teachers

Teachers

3. In order for low-performing schools to improve, districts need to consider providing incentive programs so that high quality teachers apply for, and remain in, these schools.”

  • Most teachers leave their schools because they are unsatisfied with the way the school is being managed or leave to go to a higher performing school.


Hickory ridge high school

Hickory Ridge High School

  • The principal has also made it clear that these new teachers do not fully understand the background of the school or community, which he believes is the key to being a good educator. With new teachers coming to the school each year, there is always going to be a struggle to close that gap of knowledge.

  • The use of team building strategies and professional learning communities will help this high school in building a strong foundation with the staff to support the reform that Hickory Ridge High School needs.


Technology reform

Technology Reform

  • Educators need to recognize that this is a whole new breed of students and a whole new way of learning, and today’s best educators are using technology to advance learning by meeting students on their own digital turf, and using instructional strategies that allow students to be more self-directed in their learning and that promote more advanced critical thinking skills (Peretz, 2008).


Technology reform1

Technology Reform

  • According to Archibald (2001), in order for a technological reform to be integrated into instructional practice all or nearly all of the school’s faculty and administrators need to have a certain level of computer proficiency.

  • Many teachers and administrators are still of the pre-computer generation and may be reluctant users of the new technology.


Technology

Technology

  • The new vision for the school district to be a technologically driven and innovative school district was a step in the right direction especially in this day and age.

  • However, the approach to integrating this technology at the school-based level at Hickory Ridge High School had some flaws and can be improved.


Technology cont

Technology, Cont.

  • The district took the correct steps in obtaining the needed equipment to make the school a technological center with all rooms at the high school wired and with at least fifteen computers.

  • The problem was that the actual use of the technology by both teachers and students was disappointing and did not seem to meet the expectations that the technology would bring about better teaching and learning for all students.


Technology1

Technology

  • According to Schlechty (2001), it is obvious that the school reform was not incremental. Since the reform was not incremental it didn’t allow all of the teachers and school community to have buy in. The roles of the teachers were changing and they did not have to chance to modify the rules and the structure.


Technology reform2

Technology Reform

  • Many teachers will resist the change until they see the reform’s value.

  • This is what happened at Hickory Ridge High School, especially with the veteran teachers.

  • Many of the older teachers were scared to take risks with this new technology and did not feel comfortable with it.


Technology teamwork

Technology Teamwork

  • According to (Archbald, 2001), it has been found that school districts generally give insufficient attention and resources to training teachers to gain the needed proficiencies with educational technology.

  • The faculty of Hickory Ridge High School consisted of veteran teachers, and new teachers who are young and have been well prepared for the school reform and are experts in technology.


Technology reform3

Technology Reform

  • Students cannot be expected to benefit from technology if their teachers are neither familiar nor comfortable with.

  • Teachers need to be supported in their efforts to use technology within the classrooms.

  • Only a core of Hickory teachers were able to participate in activities that allowed them to take technology-based industry tours and attend forums on the implementation of pilot programs in reform schools.


Teamwork

Teamwork

  • All teachers should have been able to participate in the activities, tours, and forums.

  • Teachers who have participated in professional development with the technology will be more likely to implement the programs in their classrooms.

  • Ongoing professional development is necessary to help teachers learn not only how to use new technology but also how to provide meaningful instruction and activities using technology in the classroom (Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002).


Collaboration1

Collaboration

  • Collaboration between the newer teachers who have the knowledge and skills with the technology and the older, veteran teachers will allow the younger teachers to use their technological skills and knowledge to help those veteran teachers incorporate the technology into their classrooms and curriculum and to feel more comfortable with the programs and technology being implemented within the school.


Technology reform4

Technology Reform

  • Overall, when addressing the technology issue at Hickory Ridge High School the district needed to ensure that some important things were in place.

  • First and foremost there needed to be teacher buy in by all staff expected to use the technology within the curriculum.

  • Hickory Ridge High School staff and administrators could have collaborated to form a technology plan for the school so that all teachers had a part in the development and planning of the technology piece of the reform.


Collaborative planning

Collaborative Planning

  • Collaborative planning for the programs allows the teachers to have more of a personal investment in using the programs.

  • Research and support for the technology being integrated within the school should be apparent and accessible to the teachers.

  • The change and technological reform should have been incremental so as not to overwhelm teachers who did not have the technological experience themselves or were not familiar with the new programs.


Teacher support

Teacher Support

  • Ongoing, extensive, and research-based professional development in the area of technology is crucial to the success of the technology reform at Hickory Ridge High School.

  • Teachers need to have access to this support for both instructional strategies and technical difficulties that may arise from using the technology.

  • Teachers need to be excited and knowledgeable about technology and bringing computers and other technological tools into the classroom.


Resources

Resources

  • Establish certain classrooms within the school as model classrooms that are effectively implementing the technology, and then allow teachers to visit those classrooms and observe the technology use in action.

  • There are also resources online, on CD-ROMs and videotapes that allow teachers to view expert technology use within classrooms.

  • These resources should be made accessible to all staff and encouragedused during professional development meetings.


Success

Success

  • Time for professional development in technology is key to the success of the reform.

  • Incentives could also be put in place to encourage teachers to use the technology.

  • Teachers need to be made aware of the advantages of using technology within the classroom.

  • Use community members and parents as resources for professional development in the area of technology.

  • Specific goals using technology to meet the standards and improve test scores should be put into place across curriculums.


Technology usage

Technology Usage

Technology is not being used only to improve student learning but also keep track of assessment data and information that can be easily accessible by all stakeholders in education (Archbald, 2001)including administrators, teachers, and parents.

We need to equip students with the learning and technology skills required for the 21st century and the new global economy (Peretz, 2008).


Building communication parent community staff interactions

Building Communication: Parent/community/staff Interactions

  • Hickory Ridge High School must encourage both communication and interactions between the staff, parents, and the community


Staff interaction1

Staff Interaction

  • Staff development is one of the key ways at building positive relationships and correspondence among teachers.

  • This includes opportunities such as workshops, courses, in-services, training sessions, extension work, and internships designed to address the needs of teachers and implement local school, district, and state education policies (Bredeson and Scribner, 2000).


Relationships

Relationships

  • By utilizing staff development, Hickory Ridge could educate teachers and staff on how to successfully involve both parents and the community in school activities.

  • Building constructive relationships between the teachers and staff goes hand in hand with acquiring community and parent involvement.


Principal s role

Principal’s Role

  • It is also important that the principal play a key role in his or her relationship with the teachers and staff.

  • Once staff and teachers are better communicating it will be easier to facilitate the growth of parent and community partnerships.


Teachers1

Teachers

  • Teachers are not the problem but rather the primary creators of solutions.

  • Staff development enhances teacher quality and, as a result, student learning.

  • Staff development at Hickory Ridge must first provide team building for the teachers and then should successfully target ways to build parent and community involvement .


Staff involvement

Staff Involvement

  • In their analysis of Supporting Community-Oriented Educational Change, Ettinger and Mabry (1999) describe the importance of having the staff involved and meeting an understanding of the students and the community in order to facilitate successful change within a school.


Functions of professional development

Functions of Professional Development

  • Successful professional development activities should serve one or more of three functions:

  • (1) an establishment function (e.g., increasing awareness) when the purpose is to promote organizational change through the implementation of programs, technologies, or procedures in schools and school districts


Functions of professional development1

Functions of Professional Development

  • (2) an enhancement function (e.g., apply to and improve practice) to improve teacher effectiveness

  • (3) a maintenance function (e.g., continued practice) to ensure compliance with administrative and organizational goals and objectives (Bredeson and Scribner, 2000).


Principals play a key part

Principals Play a Key Part

  • Principals can and will influence teacher work and learning in several ways.

  • Through their actions or inactions, principals influence the students-as-context, teachers’ perceptions of subject matter, and teachers’ relationships with their colleagues.

  • The principal plays a critical role in shaping the ways teachers interact with each other.

  • Through his or her actions in the classrooms and efforts to act as a conduit between teachers, the principal is able to begin to develop a foundation upon which faculty can build their own relationships.


Principals cont

Principals, cont.

  • The principal is also able to help teachers see connections and possibilities among them that were previously overlooked.

  • Through means such as these the principal can communicate to the faculty his or her belief in the importance of investing in and developing strong professional relations among the staff (Sribner, 2003).

  • Therefore, if the administration at Hickory Ridge is able to implement similar principal and teacher relationships, then they too will build on the relationships between staff.


Benefits of communication

Benefits of Communication

  • The use of community-oriented education can generate teacher enthusiasm and skill development, and it can motivate student interest and learning.

  • Benefits to the community and the results of increased parent involvement include; students engaging in positive learning as well as increased learning about their communities, teachers gaining professional development and knowledge of classroom materials, and the forging of some new working relationships (Ettinger and Mabry, 1999).


Types of involvement

Types of Involvement

Epstein (2001), Director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at John Hopkins University describes several ways to facilitate parent and community partnerships within schools.


Cunningham and cordeiro 2008 describe epstein s six major types of involvement

Cunningham and Cordeiro (2008) Describe Epstein’s Six Major Types of Involvement

Type 1

Parenting: Assist families with parenting skills, family support, understanding child and adolescent development, and setting home conditions to support learning at each age and grade level. Assist schools in understanding families’ backgrounds, cultures, and goals for children.

Type 2

Communicating: communicate with families about school programs and student progress in varied, clear, and productive ways. Create two way communication channels (school to home and home to school) so that families can easily communicate with teachers, administrators, counselors, and other families.


Types

Types

Type 3

  • Volunteering: Improve recruitment, training, activities, and schedules to involve families as volunteers and as audiences at the school or in other locations. Enable educators to work with regular and occasional volunteers who assist and support students and the staff.

    Type 4

  • Learning at Home: Involve families with their children in academic learning activities at home; such as homework, goal setting, and other curriculum-related activities and decisions. Encourage teachers to design homework that enables students to share and discuss interesting work and ideas with families.


Types1

Types

Type 5

  • Decision making: Include families as participants in school decisions governance, and advocacy activities through school councils or improvement teams, committees, PTA/PTO, and other parent organizations. Assist family and teacher representatives to obtain information from and give information to those they represent.

    Type 6

  • Collaborating with Community: Coordinate resources and services for families, students, and the school with community businesses, agencies, cultural and civic organizations, colleges or universities, and other community groups. Enable students, staff, and families to contribute their service to the community.


Workshops and meetings

Workshops and Meetings

  • Parenting workshops and meetings will help assist families with parenting skills, family support, understanding their children’s adolescent development and setting home conditions to support learning at each child’s grade level.


Let s all work together

Let’s All Work Together!

  • This will also open the lines of communication between the parents and the staff.

  • Once the parents and staff are communicating with each other, volunteering opportunities can be addressed and implemented.

  • By involving the parents in the decision making process, they are in turn more likely to participate in volunteer efforts.


Building relationships at the community level

Building Relationships at the Community Level

  • It is important to coordinate resources and services for the families, students, and the school with the community businesses, agencies, cultural and civic organizations, colleges or universities, and other community groups in the area.

  • This will enable students, staff, and families to contribute their service to community.

  • When implemented correctly, each of these types of involvement will build better parent and community partnerships and help in reducing the lack of communication between all stakeholders at Hickory Ridge high school.


Communication

Communication

  • To promote both communication and interactions between the staff, parents, and the community the administration at Hickory Ridge high school must implement strategies that first bring the teachers and staff together.


Key roles principal

Key Roles: Principal

  • Principal

  • The principal plays a key role in his or her relationship with teachers and staff and helps to influence the ways teachers and staff interacts


Key roles teachers

Key Roles: Teachers

  • It is important for the teachers to be on board before any type of reform can occur (Ettinger and Mabry, 1999).

  • Staff development such as in-services and workshops will allow the teachers to gain professional knowledge and build team working strategies.


School improvement

School Improvement

  • Once the teachers and staff find a better understanding of one another the school can continue positive growth by then building better parent and community partnerships.

  • This will facilitate continuous improvement of the school by offering opportunities for parents and the community to become more involved in school activities.


Technology reform and staff development

Technology Reform and Staff Development

Staff Development Can Take a Number of Different Routes.


Hickory ridge high school1

Hickory Ridge High School

  • Hickory Ridge High School has hired twenty – seven new teachers over the past four years.

  • All of these individuals were in the top of their classes and are considered “fast trackers.”

  • The hope was that the existing staff would learn from them about new innovative programs and that the new staff would learn from the experience of the existing staff.

  • This goal did not happen.

  • The staff is not working together (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2009).


Collaboration2

Collaboration

  • Both the veteran teacher and the new teacher are considered learners (Novick, 1996).

  • The new teacher can learn from the experience of the veteran teacher and veteran teacher can learn from the creativity and eagerness of the new teacher.

  • This type of relationship can create trust and collaboration between the teachers.


Staff development

Staff Development

  • Peer coaching, along with other teambuilding strategies will get the staff united and working together.

  • Only after this goal is accomplished can the rest of the staff development take place.


Teambuilding1

Teambuilding

  • At faculty meetings, the principal should do Kagan teambuilding strategies.

  • These strategies allow the newer and older staff members to interact.

  • Trusting and collaborative work place.


Principal s role1

Principal’s Role

  • The principal needs to take a faculty meeting for the staff to brainstorm and revisit the mission and vision as a whole staff .

  • If they are able to have a chance to state their opinion and are able to be part of the process, they are more likely to be on board for the reform.


School s mission and vision

School’s Mission and Vision

  • All staff needs to have a role in the process.

  • . “. . . developing consensus and solidifying teachers’ understanding of the school’s mission and vision are central learning activities” (Scribner, 2003).

  • Without knowledge of the mission and vision of the school, teachers may not get on board and support the reform.


Principal role cont

Principal Role Cont.

  • The principal needs to work with the staff so they can feel ownership towards the mission and vision of the school.

  • Only after the mission and vision are cohesive, can the rest of the staff development for reform take place.


Technology reform5

Technology Reform

  • The last part of the staff development for the reform is the actual technology training


Technology2

Technology

  • The teachers at Hickory Ridge High School have access to advanced technology, but are not using it (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2009).

  • Only a core group of teachers had training.

  • All teachers need the proper technology training for the reform to be effective.


Teacher training

Teacher Training

  • Teachers have a need for many opportunities to observe, read, practice, reflect, and work collaboratively with peers (Novick, 1996).

  • There needs to be more than one opportunity for the teachers to learn about the technology that they will be incorporating into their classroom.

  • The training should focus on technology usage in the classroom.


Staff developments

Staff Developments

  • More staff developments need to take place.

  • Each one needs to be over a specific part of how to integrate the technology into the classroom.

  • Between staff developments, teachers should work in their peer coaching teams to come up with a plan on how they are going to use the technology in their classrooms.

  • At faculty meetings, ideas should be shared.

  • Teacher Mentoring and peer coaching, along with other teambuilding strategies will get the staff united and working together.


Positive change

Positive Change

  • Staff Developments to work cohesively

  • Be a part of the mission and vision

  • Technology Trainings

  • Peer Coaching

  • Technology Collaboration and Mentoring

  • Teacher Participation in all areas of the Reform


Student success

Student Success

  • It is necessary for parents, students, and teachers to continue to work together in order to further the success of all students.


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Hickery Ridge High School has faced many obstacles, but in time, with these suggestions many of the short comings can be corrected.

  • It is vital that the school starts to work toward achieving their newfound mission and vision.

  • In order to achieve this the staff and community must begin to work together as ONE TEAM.


Conclusion continued

Conclusion continued

  • Through staff development and learning communities they can begin to implement the technology that is available to them.

  • Completion of a successful reform will only be achieved if ALL elements of the proposed plan of action are incorporated.

  • This will not be achieved instantaneously, but will occur over the next several years.


References

References

  • Archbald, D.A. (2001). Information Technology and the Goals of Standards-Based Instruction:

  • Advances and Continuing Challenges, Education Policy Analysis Archives, 9(48). Retrieved [10/27/2008] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v9n48/.

  • Bredeson, P & Scribner, J. (2000). A statewide professional development conference: Education Policy Analysis Archives, 8(13), Retrieved November 1, 2008, from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v8n13.html.

  • Cunningham, W. G. & Cordeiro, P. A. (2009). Educational Leadership: A problem-based approach (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

  • Epstein, J (2002). Schools as learning communities. Educational Leadership, 6(8), Retrieved November 1, 2008, from http://pdonline.ascd.org/pd_online/success_di/el200405_epstein.html


References cont

References, Cont.

  • Ettinger, B & Mabry, M. (1999). Supporting community-oriented educational change: Education Policy Analysis Archives, 7(14), Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v7n14.html.

  • National Staff Development Council. (2001). NSDC standards for staff development. Archived at

  • http://www.nsdc.org/library/standards2001.html.

  • Novick, Rebecca (1996). Actual Schools, Possible Practices: New Directions In Professional Development. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 4, Retrieved October 9, 2008, from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v4n14.html


References cont1

References, Cont.

Peretz, J. (2008). An insider’s guide to the digital revolution. Middle Ground, 12(1), 16-17.

Ringstaff, C., Kelley, L. (2002). The learning return on our educational technology investment.

San Francisco: WestEd. Available: http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/rs/619

Schlechty, P.C. (2001). Inventing better schools: An action plan for educational reform.

New York: Jossey-Bass Inc.

Scribner, Jay P. (2003). Teacher learning in context: The special case of rural high school teachers. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11, Retrieved October 9, 2008, from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v11n12/


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