NCASCD - District Improvement 2/09Presentation Transcript
Hickory Public Schools February 12, 2009 Wiki Your Way to Improved Instruction
Objectives for Session:
Review key principles of school improvement planning and district reform
Describe the process used in developing HPS instructional core
Highlight technology applications used throughout process
City School System with 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 1 high school, and 1 alternative school
Located in Catawba County, a small urban center in northwestern North Carolina
53.5% of our students qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch (ranging from 35% to 94%)
15% of our students are English Language Learners
The district operates under a court order for desegregation (1973)
The school district has made its first step out of LEA Improvement
District Context: Demographics 48.9% White 6.6% Multi-Racial 22.9% Black 15.7% Hispanic 5.4% Asian Percentage Ethnicity
District Context: School Improvement Model
Our previous was template based
Schools included everything they were doing
Our School Board annually reviewed plans
No formal training and on site support for planning/needs assessment
No formal monitoring of implementation existed to assist schools
Most schools used test scores as the primary source of data
Schools selected the strategies they believed would address needs
To address Improvement…
a collaborative partnership between The Education Alliance & Hickory Public Schools
With a goal of:
developing a multi-level system of school improvement that holds both the district and schools accountable for student success
data-based decision making leading to the implementation of evidence-based strategies for increased student success
What does the Research say?
According to Elmore (2000), improvement is…
change with direction , sustained over time, that moves entire systems , raising the average level of quality and performance while at the same time decreasing the variation among units, and engaging people in analysis and understanding of why some actions seem to work and others don’t
The research cont’d…
Planning for District Improvement involves:
Developing a theory of change framework
Selecting indicators for measuring change and setting timelines
Gaining community support for change
Implementing the plan
(Connell & Klem, 2000)
The research cont’d…
“ Scaling up” your improvement efforts through:
Domains of School Improvement
Comprehensive needs assessment
Curriculum, instruction & assessment for student outcomes
Research-based improvement strategies
Parent & community involvement
Coordination of resources
School governance and management
Continuous School Improvement Framework Gather school and student-level data, including evaluation results of previous improvement efforts Identify and prioritize needs Determine/refine school goals, objectives and performance targets Analyze data to determine areas for improvement Evaluate results in comparison to school goals and performance targets Implement your plan Research and select appropriate strategies/interventions
Basing the system on the the framework and guided by the domains…
A collaborative process is cultivated
through which staff members identify
strengths and weaknesses of the entire
school operation and use that information
as a basis for making positive changes in
deliberate, cohesive, observable, and
measurable student outcomes.
Think, Pair, Share
Reflecting on the domains and the continuous
How closely does your process resemble the presented domains and framework?
What are you doing differently?
How could the domains and/or framework inform changes to your school improvement system?
Does your school improvement plan process include district improvement planning?
The Importance of District Planning
Elmore states that the reason schools don’t change is due to the structure of management.
School systems traditionally use a “loosely coupled” theory of management.
We hire good teachers.
We allow them to do what they do best.
The administrative role is to buffer the teacher from outside interference.
Teachers identify what they need to improve.
Each teacher individually manages the instruction in the classroom.
As a system, we could not make positive change for students without
engaging in district-wide needs assessment and planning
touching the instructional core.
Teachers need a clear picture of our instructional expectations.
They need our support to change practice.
We have never explicitly defined what quality instruction looks like in our system.
District Improvement Plan
District Improvement team met numerous times and followed the new process
Presented the plan to schools and stakeholders for feedback and buy-in
Reviewed with Education Alliance using established criteria
Revised the content and shared the working document
What should be taught
When it is taught
How it is taught
What students are expected to learn
How students demonstrate learning
How students are evaluated
1. Define Instructional Core to meet the needs of diverse learners in the 21st Century
a. Create resource repository of supporting research
i. Create a Wiki for collaboration
b. Create and conduct district survey of instructional practices to determine current practice and begin the process of defining the instructional core.
c. Present District Plan to schools
d. Conduct focus group meetings
collaboration and comments
e. Reach consensus on Instructional Core
f. Publish document that ties to research base
2. Define the state curriculum to meet the needs of diverse learners in the 21st Century.
a.Vertically align core subject areas using a research based process
b. Develop a wiki to collaborate on vertical process
c. Study research associated with content area instruction
d. Publish documents through the web and to a secured site for teachers
e. Schedule review sessions for ongoing dialogue regarding curriculum changes, updates, resources
3. Conduct Gap Analysis at Each school regarding teacher practice in relationship to instructional core
a. Develop Gap Analysis Process
b. Conduct Gap Analysis
c. Create a gap analysis report for each school and the district that outlines the gap between current instructional practice and the stated instructional core in order to plan future professional development and school improvement work
Technology to Support Gap Analysis Classroom Walkthrough Tool
Contact Information Hickory Public Schools 828.322.2855 http://www.hickoryschools.net Dr. Ric Vandett Superintendent [email_address] Timothy Sims Director of Student Services [email_address] Ann Stalnaker Director of C&I [email_address] Donna Murray Instructional Technology Specialist [email_address]