November 20, 2019

Checking Progress on School Improvement Plans

I was asked to facilitate a session with school leadership teams examining the status of their progress with their school improvement plans. Taking a measure in January is great as there is still time for adjustments to impact outcomes.

I began by having the teams review the student achievement goals and the degree that the staff was united to reach the goal.

Student Achievement

What are the indicators of student achievement/success we have set as our goal?

How clearly have staff agreed to and committed to this goal?

Next we examined the decisions regarding the needed student behaviors. It is critical that teachers and leaders are focused on generating these student behaviors as the purpose of the teacher actions that are being implemented. (I was recently working with a system that realized they were requiring a teacher behavior of “presenting the learning objective to students” without ever identifying the student behavior that the practice was trying to gain.)

Student Behaviors

What have been identified as the student experiences and actions that are critical to the achievement goal being met?

Are there particular students who are the focus of these desired student behavior changes?

Teacher Behaviors

What have been identified as the teacher behaviors most likely to generate and support the changes in student experiences and behaviors?

Once we have reviewed the changes that we planned for, it’s time to examine where we are in the change process. I suggest that the very first observable change should be in teacher conversations and planning.

Change Indicators

#1 – Have PLC, grade-level, faculty and coaching conversations with and among teachers indicated a focus on the targeted plan?

To what extent are changes evident in teachers’ plans?

What are leaders’ next steps?

#2 – How observable are the desired teacher actions/practices during your classroom observations and walkthroughs? 

To what extent do all teachers have the knowledge and skill for successful implementation of your plan?

What PD, coaching, and collegial support are you offering?

What are leaders’ next steps?

Change Indicators?

What is your observation and walkthrough data indicating about the changes in student experiences and behaviors?

How is this data providing feedback for teachers and leaders?

What are leaders’ next steps?

If you are unable to identify the changes in teacher and student actions, the focus of the leadership team needs to be on producing those behaviors. If the changes are present we should then be examining assessment data that would indicate that the changes in student achievement outcomes have begun.

Change Indicators

What assessments are in place to judge the progress toward your desired student achievement goal?

What does that current data indicate?

What are leaders’ next steps?

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