I would conduct this process differently than they do it at Bradwell Institute. There they use a similar concept as above except the teachers work in their departments and not with any staff. It is a teacher based document. I would add the secretaries, counselors, nurse, coaches, and assistant principals to the brain-storming part of this procedure. I would not however, add community members. This is going to be hard enough to get facility members to believe in if they write it themselves, if it is crafted/affected by the community, it will likely be un-used by many of the teachers who are supposed to be implementing it. See following slide...
The contracts for students, teachers and parents however, must have community involvement. Parents will never sign a contract if they don't have a say in the development of it. Even if they don't sign the documents however, simply reading it and putting these ideas in their mind is important
GA State law has a requirement for the format of every school and school district's vision documents. They must be in the 'Belief, Vision, Mission' format. However I believe this constrains people too much and makes the entire exercise of vision development a waste of time. Sergovanni specifically states that, “Thick visions are more than mission statements, more than catchy prose, more than inspirational words.” (Sergovanni, 2009, p.30). The above is the official vision documents for Bradwell Institute in Long County GA. However, after speaking with the principal he stated that it was important during the month it was developed last spring, but it honestly wasn't that important in a realistic sense. (Carrier, personal communications, 17 November 2011 ) The next slides would be my change to the vision documents.
Sergovanni recommends using goals as a basis for thick vision documents. I agree with this because goals are more tangible than missions. It is very hard to create a concrete plan to achieve the mission in slide three. But policies can be put in place to help achieve each of these goals (barring the last one, which is the most abstract of these goals).
All the contracts are phrased positively and broadly to help encourage everyone to act appropriately and behave in a way that will help the school achieve its goals.
These policies are the key highlights of how the goals and contracts become reality. The more tangible the goal is, the more easy it is to do things to achieve it. This will help these vision documents become more than a piece of paper in a handbook that is never read but a reality, a part of every day life at the school. These are really what you want when you develop a vision. Visions are great, but unless they result in a change in how things are done (or a affirmation of the way things are currently done) then they were not useful.
Distribution of these documents is important. If these are the be the centerpiece of the school then they need to be ever where so that students and teachers can always be reminded of where the ship is going. This will help guide them in decision making. Distributing this to parents and the community at large is important so they are aware of the schools goals and vision. The more they know the better. The current distribution plan at Bradwell Institute is very similar to this (Carrier, personal communication, 17 November, 2011).
Bradwell revises its documents every 5 years during its accreditation, but sometimes more frequently (if administration or BOE changes) (Carrier, persona communication, 17 November, 2011) However, in its current form there isn't really anything to implement based on the vision documents. They are guiding principals, but not specific enough to foster policy decisions.
School Vision Documents Methods and Products By: Scott Lynch G47563908 George Washington University Based on the Vision Documents of Bradwell Institute
Procedure <ul><li>All Staff and faculty will be broken down into 5 person teams at random
Each team will come up with a list of goals that will help define what the school wants to be
All lists go to a final committee that consists of the principal and all department heads to pick, choose, combine, reword, and meld all the ideas into one list of goals that will then be sent back to the small groups for approval.
Small groups can either suggest changes or approve as is. This process will repeat until 90% of the small groups approve the list of goals.
Once goals are finalized, contracts for students, teachers, and parents will be written.
Each small group will have 1 volunteer student added to it for the writing of the teacher contract </li></ul>
Procedure (Continued) <ul><li>Parents that want to give input to the parent contract will be notified of meeting times and able to participate in the creation sessions for the parent contract
Faculty small groups will be unchanged for the writing of the student contract
Contracts will be written and revised in the same manner as the goals list was
Once finalized the administration will begin policy development to help meet the goals and promote the contracts </li></ul>
Current 'Vision Documents' <ul><li>Beliefs: </li><ul><li>We believe all students can learn and should be provided with a variety of instructional approaches to support their learning.
We believe community and parental involvement is a vital aspect of the educational process.
We believe school improvement should be data-driven and based on best practices.
We believe education includes the development of citizenship, personal responsibility, and respect for self and others.
We believe every student should be provided a safe learning environment.
We believe the use of technology as an instructional tool will aid in improving student achievement and prepare students for the future. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We believe participation in extracurricular activities, such as academics, athletics, and student organizations, is an integral part of the learning experience. </li></ul></ul>Vision: Through the collaborative efforts of teachers and staff, all students will be provided a safe, caring, learning environment where students succeed academically, develop a respect for others and graduate prepared for success in life. Mission: Our mission at Bradwell Institute is to provide a safe, supportive environment where students are given an opportunity to reach academic excellence and fulfill their civic and social responsibilities.
Revised Vision Document 'Goals' <ul><li>Develop all students into confident, morally centered, productive members of society
Place every student that wants to attend college into some institution of higher learning with a realistic possibility of being able to attend
Find areas where every student is successful and help develop their excellence in that area
Students will participate in school activities in some way. </li></ul>
Facility Contract <ul><li>Teachers will come to class every day prepared to teach a lesson that will engage and develop their students
Teachers, along with the administration will ensure that all lessons are nested in the state and district curriculum
Teachers will treat each other, and all students with respect
Teachers will challenge students to become involved with clubs/activities they think the student will enjoy </li></ul>
Parent Contract <ul><li>Parents will be the primary developer of moral and ethical behavior in their children
Parents will encourage their children to explore their interests through extra curricular activities at school or other means
Parents will be the lead in developing a post secondary education plan. This will be done in concert with counselors and the students.
Parents will ensure attendance of students to the best of their ability
Parents will promote an attitude of learning in the household </li></ul>
Policies Resulting from Goals <ul><li>Every student meets with their counselor twice a semester beginning their junior year with a counselor regarding college plans and how to achieve them
Scholarship labs are set up after school staffed with teachers and counselors to help seniors find scholarships and compete for them
Teachers that sponsor extra-curricular activities would develop either a lesson or assignment that all students could do to expose them to that activity, hopefully sparking interest in it.
Incorporate ethics bases education into homeroom classes to help morally develop students.
Professional development centered around data based analysis and curriculum integration, with additional one-on-one development from senior teachers regarding how to make 'teaching to the test' work and be exciting and useful. </li></ul>
Distribution <ul><li>Goals would be blown up and hung at prominent places in the school
Goals and contracts would be placed on the school website and be in every quarterly newsletter from the school
Contracts would be sent home at the beginning of school for parents, teachers, and students to sign.
Goals and contracts would be in the student handbooks given to all students at the beginning of the year
Goals and contracts will be displayed in each classroom </li></ul>
Implementation <ul><li>The majority of the implementation of the vision documents comes through enforcing the 'contracts' and enacting policies. </li><ul><li>Students and teachers that break the contract have a reprimand that is standard, but is always examined on a case by case basis
Policies developed by the administration will be enacted to help achieve the goals of the school </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vision documents will be reviewed every two years or whenever the principal feels that all goals are being met and the school needs to take additional steps forward. Procedure for revising the documents is the same as creating them. </li></ul>