Sample Memo to Staff after Forming WFSG Study Groups _____, 2007 To: Fr: Cc: Re: ____ School Staff _____, Principal Karl Clauset, WFSG Consultant Follow-up to ____day’s WFSG workshop
Thank you all for participating in __day’s workshop to launch Whole-Faculty Study Groups at the _____ School.. WFSG Study Groups at _____ Formation On ____, we formed ___ faculty study groups. Faculty study groups include teachers and other certificated staff. Attached is a document showing the student needs, the categories, the study groups we formed, their members, and their category of student needs. I have also attached a draft WFSG calendar for the year. Absent Staff Several staff members were absent on ___day. Each absent staff member will be asked to complete an individual action plan (Step 4, Part 1) just as you did and then join a group on ___ with the same category of student need. This may create a group of more than 5 members. In this case the group should split into two smaller groups. Expectations Whole-Faculty Study Groups focus on improving student learning in the curriculum goals, standards, and objectives in the district _____ and the state _______. Whole-Faculty Study Groups are self-governing groups of professionals. They organize and lead their own meetings, establish their own norms, choose what needs to address, develop an action plan to guide their work, and implement cycles of action research aimed at improving student learning by changing what and how they teach and assessing the effectiveness of each new strategy they try. Each study group meets for a minimum of 50-60 minutes each week – starting September 26. Groups working on the same needs/categories may choose to have joint meetings once a month. Members stay in their study group for the entire school year. Study groups implement cycles of action research to improve student learning in the needs they are addressing. The action research steps are: Analyze student needs to decide what to focus on, establish baseline performance, and set targets Identify and select best practices Plan interventions Discuss actions taken in classrooms and to what degree interventions worked
Sample Memo to Staff after Forming WFSG Study Groups Look at student work, assess changes and decide what the next steps are Monitor student progress and determine corrective action Assess end of the year results and plan for next year
The Action Research Cycle is described in your WFSG notebook in Section 3, Step 6, p.__ and in the Action Research document in Section 4 (pp. _____). Whole-Faculty Study Groups are a place to connect our school professional development in ______, and district professional development on ____ to our teaching. In May, each study group will: Collect final data on student learning in the student needs the group addressed Update their action plans so they reflect the work they actually accomplished Engage in a self-assessment of their work – reflecting on the WFSG process guidelines, the activities they did in their meetings, and the impact of their work on their teaching practices and student learning. Copies of these reflection forms will be placed in the school’s ___________ system. Prepare for an end-of-the-year WFSG Celebration and Sharing (date TBD).
The data from each study group’s self-assessments will be compiled, analyzed, shared and used to plan for the next cycle of WFSG starting in September. Planning for the first Study Group Meetings As you get started with your study group meetings, you can meet in the _____ (teacher lounge or media center) or one of your classrooms, if available. Choose a location that will provide the least distractions. The media center has a computer and a printer which you can use to word process your action plans and logs. Forms will be posted in the school’s ________ system. Each study group will receive feedback on its draft action plan and logs created during the group’s first three meetings (during the week of ____). Use the Checklist for the first three meetings (section 3, p. 6) and the Decision Making Cycle Step 5 in Section 3, p. ___, in your notebook, to guide your work. In the first meeting, we recommend you o Choose a name for your group to go on your action plan and log o Develop your norms o Establish a schedule for rotating leader and recorder responsibilities o Start developing a group action plan (Step 5) – using the electronic template, and o Complete a meeting log – using the electronic template. The main task for each study group over the next three meetings is to complete the action plan (down through data sources) and begin planning for collecting baseline data on one of your student needs.
Sample Memo to Staff after Forming WFSG Study Groups We strongly recommend that you focus on only one need at a time and that you make the need as specific as you can. For example, if a need is improving critical thinking skills, choose one critical thinking skill as your focus. We also recommend that you set student learning targets for each grading period, beginning with the __ grading period (______ insert dates of grading periods).
Readers __________ will read your action plan and weekly logs and will provide feedback to you on your study group action plans and logs. Role of Readers (same as the role of the principal in WFSG Notebook, Section 1, Page ___) Provide after every meeting regular, timely feedback and support to study groups on action plans and logs Protect WFSG meeting times Post study group action plans and logs Meet with groups as needed Help groups that get stuck Participate in sharing sessions at Instructional Council meetings and at faculty meetings
________________ will form their own administrative study group focused on supporting the faculty study groups. They will also develop an action plan and keep meeting logs. Reporting Guidelines Study groups create and update their action plan to guide their work and reflect their results. Study groups create logs for each meeting that document for themselves and others what happened and plans for the next meeting. Think about your log as a “letter to an absent study group member.” 24-hour rule – study group meeting logs should be submitted within 24 hours of the meeting. We recommend completing the log during the meeting and that responsibility for writing the log is rotated weekly. Electronic Action Plans and Logs – _____ will provide MS Word templates for the study group action plan and log this week. The templates will also be placed on the school server for you to access. Please complete your ___ meeting log using the electronic template. Please create your action plan using the electronic version. Please post your action plans and logs on __________ for your readers to read.
Each study group member should keep copies of her/his study group action plan, logs, and study group artifacts in their WFSG binders. Display One of the WFSG Principles is that the work of study groups is public. This means that hard copies of study group action plans and logs will be posted in the school (location ______).
Sample Memo to Staff after Forming WFSG Study Groups Resources for action plans and logs Section __ in the WFSG notebook contains a checklist for action plans (p. ____) and a checklist for logs (p. ____). Both the readers and study groups should use these checklists as they prepare and review study group action plans and logs. Meeting Guidelines Frequency of meetings – Whole-Faculty Study Groups meet _____. On average, study groups will meet ____ times per month from September through mid-May. ___ study group meetings will be scheduled. The last two study group meetings of the year are reserved for study group self assessment and preparing for year-end sharing and celebration. Protecting meeting time – WFSG meeting times are for study group work. Other meetings involving study group members will not be scheduled during WFSG meeting times. Resources for Individual Study Groups Action Research The Action Research Cycle is described in your WFSG notebook in Section 2, Step 6, p. ___ and in the Action Research document in Section 3 (pp. _____). Some funds will set aside to purchase resources for individual study groups. We will develop a procedure for groups to follow to request resources. If your group receives resources to support your study group work, we expect you to use these resources. Sharing among study groups will occur through Instructional Council meetings with representatives from each study group. See draft calendar for tentative schedule.
Books and other resources
Questions about WFSG If you have any further questions about WFSG contact a Focus Team member or our WFSG Consultant Karl Clauset o Karl Clauset contact info – email: firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone: (360) 6768001 (home/fax); (360) 261-0799 (mobile) Home is on West Coast Time. Attachments: ___ School Student Learning Needs, Categories, and Study Groups WFSG Calendar