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					Earning Public Confidence in Seattle Public Schools:
 Every Student Known, Challenged, Cared For
                 Dr. Susan Enfield
              Interim Superintendent
                    March 25, 2011
My Immediate Priorities

This is a time of great challenge, but also great opportunity for Seattle Public Schools.
Since being appointed Interim Superintendent on March 2, I have received many
sincere, practical offers of support and partnership from students, teachers, staff,
families, community leaders and organizations across our city. I am confident that our
community stands ready to come together to focus on what matters most: our students.

As your Interim Superintendent, I pledge to work with all of you to ensure the education
of our children remains our top priority. In the months ahead, there will be multiple
opportunities for you to share your concerns and ideas with me and I look forward to
hearing them.

For the remainder of this school year, my goal is to create a strong foundation for the
future of Seattle Public Schools. My top priorities between now and June include:

    1. Focusing on our core mission: providing every student with an excellent
       education
           Continuing our commitment to Excellence for All, our five-year strategic
            plan, with an eye to making adjustments in light of budget constraints.
           Supporting struggling students by involving principals and teachers in
            creating a comprehensive plan for increasing student achievement
            through high-quality instruction and interventions.
           Moving towards becoming a standards-based system that ensures high
            expectations and common outcomes for all students.

    2. Supporting teachers and principals
          Partnering with the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and the
            Principals Association of Seattle Schools (PASS) to implement recently
            approved contracts with a particular focus on how we can all share
            responsibility for student achievement.
          Ensuring that our Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) system is being
            implemented well so it becomes a tool for teachers to use in tailoring their
            instruction to meet the individual needs of students.

    3. Creating a central office that serves and supports schools
           Reorganizing departments across finance, operations, and teaching and
             learning with a clear focus on being a results-driven organization.
           Building partnerships between central office and school staff to better
             meet the needs of all students.




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    4. Fostering a system-wide culture of transparency and accountability
           Continuing to partner with the City of Seattle and other agencies to
             strengthen our internal controls.
           Creating a system that provides opportunities for two-way communications
             among staff, families and community.

I know public confidence is earned through strong leadership, and I am committed to
ensuring that every Seattle Public Schools student is known, challenged and cared for.
By early May, I will report back to staff and the community on what I have heard and
learned and how that information might be incorporated into our work moving forward.




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Listening and Engagement Plan

Earning trust and confidence among our staff, parents, families, students and the
community will not be easy. As Interim Superintendent, I vow to be honest and
transparent with our budget, our policies and our programs.

One of my core beliefs is that our system becomes stronger as we listen to and
incorporate stakeholder voices in our plans. I commit to meeting with, and listening to,
students, staff, principals, families, School Board members, elected leaders and our
community. Listed below are just some of the upcoming opportunities for all of us to
engage in conversations to make sure every student receives an excellent education.
There will be other opportunities, and given that dates are subject to change, I
encourage to you visit the District Calendar to receive up-to-date information on times
and locations.

    1. Outreach to parents, families and the community

       Given my commitment to supporting staff in the district and engaging with the
       community, I will commit to protecting, to the best of my ability, two times on my
       calendar each week, including:

             Tuesday mornings in schools. I will be in schools to learn firsthand the
              progress we are making in our classrooms and discover ways we can
              more effectively support students, teachers, staff and principals. While in
              schools I will meet one-on-one with principals and with other staff in small
              groups to gather input and provide feedback.

             Thursday Office Hours. I will host weekly office hours each Thursday
              from 4-5:30 p.m. To ensure each individual or group receives my focused
              attention I ask that you schedule time to visit me at the John Stanford
              Center by contacting Venetia Harmon at vlharmon@seattleschools.org or
              by calling 206-252-0167. The purpose of these office hours is for me to
              hear directly from staff and community members their concerns, questions
              and suggestions.

       Highlights of my upcoming outreach to parents, students and the community
       include:

             Coffee with the Superintendent: The first of these will be next Tuesday,
              March 29th, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. the Central Library,1000 Fourth Avenue,
              10th floor, Betty Jane Narver Reading Room. Additional coffee chats will
              follow throughout the year. All are open to the general public.

             Engaging Seattle Council PTSA: Along with Robert Boesche, Interim
              CFO, I will be meeting with the Seattle Council PTSA at a general meeting
              on March 30 to hear feedback on the school budgeting process and

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              answer questions. Our partnership with SCPTSA will continue to remain a
              priority for me and my staff.

             Continuing the Superintendent’s Family Partnership Advisory
              Council: I am scheduled to meet April 12 with this appointed group, which
              meets regularly with our Manager of Family & Community Engagement to
              provide advice and counsel on district initiatives. The Council also
              provides an invaluable service in helping to share key district information
              with our diverse communities.

             Meeting with key stakeholder groups representing our families: As
              Chief Academic Officer I met with many groups representing our families
              and I will continue this practice as Interim Superintendent. These groups
              include, but are not limited to the Special Education PTSA, Special
              Education Advisory Council, Native American Parent Advisory Council,
              Accelerated Progress Program and Spectrum Advisory groups and the
              Alternative Schools Coalition. Next week I will be meeting with members
              of the East African community, the Seattle Council PTSA, and members of
              the Native American community.

    2. Outreach to teachers, principals and staff

       Engaging and inspiring employees is central to my work as Interim
       Superintendent. Our employees care deeply about the success of our students
       and I will ensure that they have access to me and multiple opportunities to share
       suggestions, concerns and celebrations.

       Highlights of my upcoming outreach to teachers and staff include:

             Initiating “Soup with the Supe.” I will meet informally over the lunch
              hour with teachers and other staff at their schools to hear firsthand from
              them their suggestions, concerns and celebrations. Thanks to our
              outstanding Child Nutrition Services Department, I will be providing soup
              for us to enjoy during these conversations.

             Establishing a Teacher Advisory Council. I am working with the Seattle
              Education Association to create a Teacher Advisory Council comprised of
              representatives from all regions of the district. Our teachers know what is,
              and is not, working in classrooms. This will be an opportunity for me to
              listen carefully to their ideas and concerns so that decisions made at
              central office truly support the work in classrooms.

             Hosting informal brown bag lunches and after-school gatherings. As
              Chief Academic Officer, I established regular times to meet informally with
              small groups of principals and assistant principals. I will continue these
              throughout the school year.

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             Hosting central office meetings. I will host these at least once per
              quarter, and as needed, to share information, gather feedback and answer
              questions. Meetings will be held at a variety of times so that our central-
              based staff who work in schools, including maintenance and trades
              workers, can attend.

    3. Outreach to labor partners

       Working collaboratively and effectively with our labor association partners is
       critical to student and system success. I appreciate the major changes reflected
       in our new collective bargaining agreements with the Seattle Education
       Association (SEA) and Principals Association of Seattle Schools (PASS).

       All of us are working in public education for one reason: to ensure student
       success. We must rebuild a respectful, trusting and professional collaboration
       with all of our labor associations. I pledge to lead that work, and to ensure that all
       district staff are similarly committed to the values of trust, openness, collaboration
       and accountability that must be the hallmark of our organization.

       Highlights of my upcoming outreach to labor partners include:

                 Continuing regular meetings with SEA, PASS and 609 leadership to
                  work through contract implementation and address challenges we
                  face, all with a focus on student achievement. We will discuss with
                  these associations whether the current structure of meetings and
                  subcommittees is working well, and collaboratively adjust as needed.
                 Identifying additional opportunities for me to engage with our labor
                  partners and their members, such as attending an SEA board meeting
                  and representative assembly.

Summary

I will maintain a focus on our core mission: providing every student with an excellent
education. To that end, all of us at central office will also partner with and support our
teachers, staff and principals to ensure that we are providing the services our schools
truly need.

All of this will be done in the spirit of open, honest and transparent communication.

I want to thank all of you—staff, families and community partners for your support of our
students and our schools. I do not take this support for granted, and I look forward to
meeting with you and learning how, together, we can make sure every student in
Seattle Public Schools is known, challenged and cared for.



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