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					                        CLUSTER MEETING #3
                         WINTER INSTITUTE
                           JANUARY, 2009











           SCHOOL VISITS

       MATERIALS: TIPS Data, Sample action plan, rubric, chart paper & markers


               RECONNECTING & SHARING OF RESOURCES – Invite the members to join job-alike
groups and share something that they have added to their leadership or school improvement plan
process since the fall.


                ANALYSIS & SHARING OF DATA - Sitting in job-alike groups, invite members to
share their technology strengths and weaknesses and ideas for changes. Ask them to record their
ideas on a chart.


               REVIEW A SAMPLE ACTION PLAN – Working in groups of 3, invite the members to
review one section of the sample action plan. Using the feedback rubric, ask them to share
possible feedback. As a large group, discuss the sample action plan and discuss the feedback
process. Feedback is for improvement, not for judging. View sample action plans on-line at under Resources, then individual practices.

                CONNECTING IT ALL TOGETHER – Close with a discussion of how action plans can
facilitate school change and what the members are learning about how to impact effective
change. Relate their discussion to the 10 practices for high-achieving schools and the Phase II


              STAYING IN TOUCH
              PHASE II GRANTS

                      ____ WINTER INSTITUTE JAN 31, 2008
                      ____ SCHOOL VISITS
                                Practices of High Achieving Schools
                                  Rural Public Schools Action Plan
                     Submitted by Elementary Principal & Superintendent
         Retrieved from
XYZ Public Schools is located in the small community of XYZ, Oklahoma (population 650) in
rural Oklahoma. XYZ Schools serve approximately 250 Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade
students who travel over a 400-mile busing area. Over one-half of our students live outside the
city limits and travel as far as twenty-five miles one way. The families are predominately white,
working class with family incomes from farming, oilfield labor, small community businesses,
employment through the school and in other communities in the area.

XYZ Schools faculty and staff strive to provide the students of XYZ with the services, programs,
and opportunities of larger communities. The administration and faculty are committed to seek
and implement research-based instructional strategies that will stimulate students to succeed in
the ever-changing world.

A Technology Planning Team was formed in the spring of 1997. This committee was given the
task of developing a Technology Plan that would guide the vision of technology implementation
school wide. The Technology Team has evolved over time to consist of the administration,
vocational teachers, the librarian, elementary and secondary classroom teachers, and various
subcommittees consisting of additional faculty, support staff, community business leaders,
students, and parents. The Technology Team has moved from a group who met annually to one
that meets in various forms throughout the school year to encourage inquiry and discourse
among faculty/staff, students, parents, and community.

The administration, seeking to develop a vision of excellence for XYZ Public Schools, enrolled
in the OK-ACTS program. The OK-ACTS program provided us with the Rubric for High
Achieving Schools. When utilizing the Rubric for High Achieving Schools, we chose to place
our emphasis on Practice 1. We selected Shared Values, Common Goals, and Shared Purpose as
our focus because it serves as the basis for decision-making as we develop our plan to become a
high achieving school.

During the second semester of the 2001-2002 school year, we utilized several different
approaches to collect data from faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members. Three
separate faculty meetings were held to assess faculty knowledge, skills, and opinions. Faculty
members worked in small groups to address all ten of the IDEALS. Three separate surveys were
sent to school, home, and community. One open meeting was held. Faculty, community leaders
(churches leaders/businesses owners), and parents where invited to attend. Surveys were
attached to the invitation for those who could not attend but wanted to include their feedback.
The following information came from these meetings and surveys.
Supporting Evidence
As we started the process of gathering data to see where we are, where we want to be, and how
we want to get there, it became evident that we had started on this journey several years ago. We
had supporting evidence that many of the practices were in place and working; however,
something was missing. The process of using the rubric and the IDEALS as our platform was
the missing ingredient. Through this process we found many practices are currently in place to
facilitate shared decision-making and give individuals an enhanced sense of purpose. XYZ has a
strong administration who has worked together for the past twelve years. They work
collaboratively with the staff to provide the foundation to facilitate the development of a shared
vision. This is evident by the development of a strong district CLEP Plan. The CLEP Plan was
developed with the administration, faculty and community working together. It provides the
mission statement, student handbooks, curriculum components, facilities management, and
professional development plans. The administration and faculty work together as they plan for
the collaborative use of federal funds and grants.

The XYZ faculty is dedicated to educating successful students. This is evident in the many
professional development opportunities they attend. The entire elementary has attended the
week-long Great Expectations Summer Institute for the past five years. The elementary faculty
has developed policies and procedures that facilitate shared goals and practices. These are
evident in the XYZ Elementary Student Creed developed by the elementary faculty and recited
each morning by the entire student body. Shared commitment can be seen in the elementary
through the school wide teaching of the Life Principles (Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, etc.).
To create a school wide community culture, the elementary faculty host Monday Morning
Assemblies and each class hosts at least one Monthly Assembly where students perform for the
student body. The high school faculty work diligently to develop exceptional programs. This is
evident in the accomplishments of the students and their programs. The shared vision of
academic excellence is evident in the advanced placement classes offered. The high school
advanced placement teachers pursued the grants, training, and implementation of the programs
on their own. They have secured an Advanced Placement Biology Vertical Team grant and are
in the process of seeking another vertical team grant in English. The faculty expresses great
pride in the curriculum offered to students.

The administration has worked collaboratively with the faculty to foster an environment and
culture for the integration of technology. The technology team working together developed a
technology plan to facilitate the development of a vision for technology use and began the
process of communicating that vision to all stakeholders. The technology team has worked to
implement and use technology-based management and operations systems; and, to allocate
financial and human resources to ensure sustained implementation of the technology plan. This
is evident in the resources made available to students, teachers, and support staff. XYZ Public
Schools provides two up-to-date twenty station computer labs for students. The curriculum
offers technology related instruction, and technology integrated into the curriculum. All
classrooms have Internet accessible computers. Teachers utilize technology to manage student
information. The library has a ten station computer lab to facilitate research and is fully
automated. The administration and faculty continuously evaluate and improve plans to align
efforts and leverage resources. Professional development activities are offered throughout the
school year to support professional learning using technology resources.
During the summer of 2002 the administration conducted an open meeting. The open meeting
consisted of faculty, parents, and community members including churches and businesses. The
many surveys and meetings clearly suggest the faculty, community, and parents regard the
supporting evidence the same. The information provided by the open meeting views the
administration and faculty as highly dedicated and committed to academic excellence. The
community also expressed great pride in the curriculum offered to students and in the high level
of technology offered to students and parents.

Achievement data provided through achievement tests and ACT reports indicate the students of
XYZ consistently test at the national average.

The school, home, and community share common concerns when addressing the problems that
limit developing shared values, common goals, and shared purpose. Several obstacles impact the
school, home, and community alike. All feel that time, energy, money, and communication are
obstacles. We realize these particular obstacles are common in all schools and communities.
However, in smaller communities these problems become a larger force, mainly because there
are fewer individuals to fulfill the many requirements. The surveys and meetings indicate the
school, home, and community are committed to working together to overcome the obstacles that
prevent XYZ Schools from creating a learning community that works for excellence for all.

Parents and community members expressed the same obstacles occur in their homes and in the
community. They too felt there is not enough time, energy, money, and that communication
between school, home, and community needs improvement. There was a concern on all parts
that lack of parental involvement and lack of community involvement stem from these same
issues. Too many activities and not enough students or manpower were identified as problems
that are complicated by the lack of communication between the teachers, the school, the home,
and the community.

It was determined that each subject area needs to vertically align their subject with the PASS
objectives. It was also determined that students could advance further and faster if they could
receive feedback from classroom assignments and assessments as soon as they complete
assignments. Additional training in the advancement of technology to support instruction and
learning are needed.

There was a concern that there is a lack of consistency district wide. District wide policies are in
place. However, the concern is that expectations and procedures are not consistent.

Action Plans
As we moved through the process of meeting, talking, reflecting, investigating, and discovering,
many ideas began to surface. Professional development and communication between the central
office and faculty were the first issues to receive attention. An Academic Council was formed to
meet monthly. The Academic Council will allow an opportunity for the administration and
faculty to meet and discuss specific topics relevant to education in general and to our school in
particular. To conserve time and energy, many of the committee meetings required for specific
programs can be incorporated into the Academic Council meetings. Students will be encouraged
to participate in the Academic Council meetings. Once a month school will be dismissed at 2:30
to provide additional professional development. These professional development opportunities
will be developed so that we can provide time to encourage district wide discourse and inquiry
and to develop continuity with district wide processes and procedures. A summary of all
Academic Council meetings will be e-mailed to the entire faculty.

As we address the problem of aligning the curriculum with the PASS objectives, we plan to
utilize our IETV Distance Lab. We will work with the State Department of Education to set up
one to two hour working time slots during the school day. During this time teachers from
specific curriculum areas will work with the SDE Director of that particular subject area and
begin the process of alignment. Substitutes will be provided for the classroom teachers during
this time. Additional time will be allowed during the school day for teachers from Pre-K through
the 12th grade to work in small groups and continue the alignment process.

Several innovations in technology will be used to provide feedback to students, teachers, and
parents. Accelerated Math and Reading software will be utilized to create lessons and
assessments, track achievement, and provide feedback to teachers, students, and parents. The
STAR Reading and Math Assessment software will also be utilized to assess growth quarterly.
The secondary English curriculum will use an on-line essay assessment tool to give secondary
students immediate feedback on the essays they compose. Federal funds will be used to
purchase the Levings PASS PLAN software. This software will allow classroom teachers to
constantly monitor and assess student progress as they progress through the PASS objectives.
Training will be provided to all administrators and classroom teachers at intervals throughout the
school year. Training will be provided to teachers during the school day. Substitutes will be
provided and teachers will work in small groups with the PASS PLAN officials to acquire the
necessary skills to implement and manage this software.

Technology training will be provided from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday during the school
year to all faculty and staff. This time will be designed to meet individual training needs and
will be provided on-site by local technology trainers. It will also allow a structured time slot for
faculty to develop and up-date classroom web pages to communicate with students and parents.
Teachers can provide newsletters through their web pages, assignments, schedules, and many
other topics.

Another tool that would aid in school, parent, community communication would be to add
automated telephone answering software. This software would address the need to conserve
time, energy, money, and assist in communication between school, home, and community. The
software would reduce frustration and allow secretaries more time on task. The software would
allow parents and community immediate access to important information that could be pre-
recorded and accessible. Voice-mail messaging would allow parents and community immediate
access to faculty and staff. Software to manage data in attendance, behavior problems, and
grading would also provide continuity with processes and procedures and aid in communication.
                   ACTION PLAN FEEDBACK From OK-ACTS Phase I

The following major indicators were reviewed:
        STRUCTURES: Facilitating communication, input and information flow
        TECHNOLOGY: Implementing for integration of authentic teaching and learning
        ASSESSMENT: Guiding decisions and providing feedback for improvement
        RESEARCH: Reviewing for guidance and data in decision-making
        STAKEHOLDERS: inclusion for differing perspectives and ideas
        STAFF DEVELOPMENT: on-going learning processes
        LEADERSHIP & SERVICE: guiding an d serving a common good
These STARSS-LS list serves as a guide and each plan may demonstrate different combinations
of these. In reviewing each action plan, the focus is on strengthening, clarifying and focusing
your plans. The feedback the participants receive may enhance your action for Phase II grants.
The bottom line questions are: Is what you are doing impacting student achievement and what
evidence do you have to show the impact?

School/District: I-02 I-1
Practice: Shared Values, Common Goals, and Shared Purpose

A. STRUCTURES: Facilitating communication, input and information flow
This plan has many avenues for inquiry and discourse, including the Technology Planning Team,
Open Meeting involving all stakeholders (including survey input), monthly Academic Council,
and Technology training offered Wednesdays. Is there a mechanism or process structure that
seeks to tie the data and discourse occurring in these various structures so as to build cohesion
to these many efforts? If so, how does this occur and then get communicated for consistency of
vision and purpose?

B. TECHNOLOGY: Implementing for integration of authentic teaching and learning
It is an important and relevant goal to seek ways to not only improve communication of data
collected for teachers to improve authentic teaching, but also faster and relevant data to students
for the improvement of authentic learning. Is there a time to bring all the assessment and
technologically gained data together for cohesive, “big picture” discourse across stakeholder

C. ASSESSMENT: Guiding decisions and providing feedback for improvement
The Accelerated Math & Reading assessments, online essay assessment tool, and Levings PASS
PLAN software are all excellent resources to generate meaningful data to drive decisions that
will improve authentic achievement. What is the ongoing, regular opportunities to have
discourse around the gathered data from these sources?

D. RESEARCH: Reviewing for guidance and data in decision-making
Your practices are clearly supported by research; you should cite the research to support your
efforts involving stakeholder involvement and shared decision-making processes and structures
(consider Glickman, Lambert and Fullan).
E. STAKEHOLDERS: inclusion for differing perspectives and ideas
This is a key strength of this plan. From the Tech Planning Team to the Academic Council to the
surveys seeking stakeholder input, this school is actively engaging multiple stakeholder
perspectives. Make sure you are communicating regularly to your stakeholders how you are
using their input, while providing additional, regular opportunities for additional input.

F. STAFF DEVELOPMENT: on-going learning processes
The monthly 2:30 dismissal for professional development is exemplary and the envy of many
districts across the nation; what a gift! The leadership of the school needs to assure the time is
used meaningfully; keep the inquiry and discourse for enhancing authentic teaching and
learning at the heart of this time period. Partnering with external expertise, as seen in State
Department connection on the IETV distance lab, is a great example of using this time

G. LEADERSHIP & SERVICE: guiding an d serving a common good
Leadership capacity is apparently strong for such a small school to be accomplishing so much.
The attention to multiple stakeholder perspectives and their resultant support for the school
indicates Lambert’s “broad-based” and “skillful” leadership attributes associated with building
leadership capacity in a school. Are their ways to connect the Great Expectations Life Principles
of your learning community to service projects that benefit the broader community?

Your strengths clearly lie in the involvement of your stakeholders as well as the
utilization of technology tools that provide assessment data capable of driving better
decisions to enhance teaching and learning. As you develop these opportunities,
maintain cohesion of your efforts by regularly reflecting on how the adopted teaching
and learning practices tie back to your common beliefs as a school.

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