StimulatingSchool Improvement!!Or… Harvey Perkins John Hodge The Urban Learning and Leadership Center March, 2009
Don’t Confuse Your School Improvement PlanwithSchool Improvement!!
School improvement corollary:“If we develop a beautiful school improvement plan that meets the state guidelines, but does not produce meaningful school change, did we have school improvement?”
Truth or Dare? Is your school improvement plan a vehicle for faculty dialogue around best practices and the means of cultural and instructional renewal in your school? OR Is it an annual chore that allows you to put another check in the box of the bureaucracy and move on with business as usual?
Macro Mission, Vision, Values Driven Primary Stable Internal Locus of Control Micro Goals & Data Driven/ School Improvement Plan Secondary Dynamic External Locus of Control (in a high stakes testing environment) Two Faces of School Leadership in a Professional Learning Community Cultural Development Program Management
Well, what are schools supposed to be? • Places for teaching and learning? • Places for transmission of culture, societal values, individual values? • Places for development of responsible citizens? Most of these concepts are found in the missionstatements of the majority of American schools. ALL of the Above!! ™ ULLC
Many school improvement efforts today are fragmented, addressing only part of their stated mission. This problem has become more acute in this era of high stakes testing!
The S.A.M.E. Pathway How members of the school community engage in teaching and learning Academic environment Moral environment Social environment What members of the school community believe How members of the school community behave Distributed Leadership Culture
The S.A.M.E. Pathway Academic environment Adults Moral environment Students Social environment Adults Adults Students Students Distributed Leadership Culture
Activity:Consider all three environments from the SAME model. List 1 or 2 ideas which, if implemented in your schools, would significantly impact teaching and learning.(Share out when prompted)
Readiness questions for SIP planning: • Given the mission of our school, what are indicators of excellence for our students/our teachers? • How can we measure growth towards these indicators? • Do the indicators address students approaching proficiency as well as challenge those who have surpassed proficiency?
Team time • With members of your SIT, discuss what indicators of excellence reflect the outcomes you desire for your students and staff, e.g. what indicators measure lifelong learners, responsible citizens, high academic achievement for all, continued professional growth, collaborative lesson design, etc.
So…Let’s get started!How do you feel about this process definition for your SIP?Our SIP clearly articulates the goals, objectives, and strategies to make this school a more productive place for teaching and learning next year, and it presents a clear implementation and monitoring strategy.
Let’s reflect on our current School Improvement Process!(See “Taking our SIP Pulse!”)
Activity:Score the process and product of your current SIP. Share with your table group any items below “3” on your score. Look for common areas of concern at your table.
Let’s now explore a vehicle to transform an over-burdened bureaucratic document into a viable action plan for school growth:ULLCSix Steps to SIP Planning
Non-Negotiables for a Quality SIP • Student achievement focus-beyond process measures to product measures • Meticulous data analysis • Input from all stakeholders • Targeted focus—less is more!! • Tenacious monitoring for consistent delivery • Communication and celebration!
ULLC Design for SIP Development:Six Critical Steps • Data Capture and Reporting • Data Analysis • Goal/Objective Setting • Strategy/Action Plan Development • Monitoring and Adjusting • Communicating the Plan
Step I. Data Capture and Reporting • Historical data yields new direction! • Some folks LOVE data-use them! • Data Capture is a technical skill; Data Reporting is leadership skill! • Display of data should tell YOUR story and challenge your staff! • The state template is for organizing your data; it may not be the best way to tell your story.
Data Capture:Much Has Been Done! • The state has provided many valuable test results reports for i-LEAP, LEAP, OR GEE, such as: • School roster report • School performance report • School Achievement level report • School economic status subgroup report • School subgroup/Education classification report • School special education exceptionality report
How Do I Display the Data…Bar, Pie, or Line Graph ??? Trend Data (comparisons over time)
Targeted Test Areas How Do I Display the Data…Bar or Line Graph ??? Trend Data (comparisons over time) Part to Part Comparison (i.e. subtests)
Team Time 1.Discuss how you can use your data displays to tell your story. 2. Where are your “data gurus” with graphics capabilities? 3. When and where do you need to “tell your story”?
II. Data Analysis • Purpose is two-fold • celebration • How can you use your data analysis results for celebration? • When should this occur? • How can celebration be motivational for next year’s SIP? • purpose/performance dissonance • Should your SIT consider the deliverables in your mission statement as it develops your SIP goals? • Is your mission statement “alive”? • How does data analysis and mission, when taken together, provide a vehicle for change?
Data Analysis • Total team involvement • At some point in the process, all staff members need to “get their hands” into the data! • How does getting a report from the SIT differ from sifting through the data yourself? • Types of analysis (different lens!) • Trend analysis • Program/strategy analysis • Content analysis • Instructional asset analysis • Student performance analysis
Don’t forget to use qualitative data as well as quantitative data to triangulate your analysis!
III. Goal and Objective Setting • Must reflect the state goals • Goal statement needs assessment objective strategy activity – direct line of sight!! • Create no more objectives than you can and will tenaciously monitor!
Direct Line of Sight! • Goal: By 2013-2014, all students will reach high standards, attaining proficiency or better, in mathematics. • Needs Assessment: • By the end of the 2008-2009 school year, 48% of ____________Middle School eighth grade students had attained proficiency or better in mathematics on LEAP. • 54% of white students attained this goal while 38% were African-American. • Objectives: By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, LEAP mathematics proficiency in grade 8 will increase from 48% to 70%. • By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, LEAP mathematics proficiency for African-American students in grade 8 will increase from 38% to 60%.
Team time • With members of your SIT.. • Review each goal area to ensure a direct line of sight from data analysis to objective to action strategy • Ensure that goals and objectives are consistent with local, state, and national benchmarks.
IV. Strategy/Action Plan Development • Where would you be if your physician diagnosed your illness accurately, but gave you an ineffective or inappropriate prescription? • Your team must expand its knowledge base before prescribing the solution set!
Strategy/Action Plan Development • “Benchmark” successful teachers • Find model schools or programs • Contact your curriculum coordinator (if applicable) • Research your target area (regional offices are a good source) • Contact university personnel • Web Research (www.esrlink.com)
Strategy/Action Plan Development • How many strategies are enough? • Select 1-3 action steps per objective • Select no more than you can TENACIOUSLY MONITOR! • “Institutionalized” practices vs. new SIP • Take the I-S-E challenge! • The “preamble” solution!
V. Monitoring and Adjusting • “What gets measured gets done!” • Monitor the process (are we consistently implementing our strategies?) as well as the product (what interim data do we need to collect to determine the effectiveness of the strategy?) • If the horse you are riding dies, get off!
Monitoring and Adjusting • Timeline • Not Sept-June!! • This should reflect the report dates for the action step! • Indicator of Implementation • What is the OBSERVABLE change you desire? • Evaluation Procedures • What evidence will you accept that the action step is really being done? • Think creatively; use existing sources; don’t create a reporting nightmare!
VI. Communicating the Plan • Internal and external communication • Use regular communication tools (daily/weekly bulletins, newsletters, etc.) to keep the plan alive! • Structure existing meetings (grade level, team and department) around the plan strategies • Promote your “improvement” culture with parents and business partners!
SIP as a bureaucratic chore! Teachers Administrators Student Achievement Parents Students
SIP as a tool for cultural change! Student Achievement Parents Teachers Administrators Students
“After the Final Rose”…Site Visits • School improvement in schools engaged in re-structuring is a collaborative effort between district and school based leadership. The purpose of site visits is to allow district personnel to engage in dialogue with the SIT and the school administration to achieve a deeper understanding of building issues and the team’s rationale for the action plans in use. use.
District Advantages • To gain a firsthand knowledge of the school improvement efforts of the school based leadership teams • To facilitate networking between schools • To share best practices for increasing student achievement between schools throughout the district • To provide support services to assist schools in achieving their stated goals and objectives. • To assist in long range budget development and professional development planning consistent with school needs
School Advantages • To celebrate successes in student achievement • To engage in professional dialogue around school improvement planning • To receive support as appropriate from district personnel for school based reform efforts • To receive assistance in school improvement planning in such areas as data analysis, action step planning, and program monitoring.
Leading and Sustaining School Change Efforts • Distributed leadership training • Site based coaching • Networking for excellence
Harvey W. Perkins, CEO John W. Hodge, Vice-President 757-766-5234 www.ullc.org