Geraldine A. Ryan, M. Ed. EDL-726 – Section 32 Dr. Mary Calderone
SET THE STAGE
Anytown SD avoided furloughing teachers; we were not able to avoid substantial changes at the intermediate school.
Anytown Intermediate School has the smallest class sizes compared to the other six buildings.
In order to reduce the district’s deficit a reduction in teachers and an increase in class size had to occur.
Previously the intermediate school supported approximately 800 students in sixth and seventh grade with four teams of teachers at each grade level.
SET THE STAGE
This configuration had provided the students and staff a luxury not often found; small class sizes, on the average, classes had 17 to 20 students.
The budget demands have forced the district to reduce the number of teams at Anytown Intermediate School.
In September, the middle school teams will be reduced from four to three at each grade level.
SENSE OF URGENCY Budget crisis forces district to realign staffing structure at the Intermediate School This information was communicated to the district staff and community for months. The superintendent met with Anytown staff answering questions about the budget and how it would impact them. The superintendent was ‘transparent’ with this information. He discussed enrollment at Anytown and the balance needed to satisfy the budget. Consequently, people were more prepared to handle the inevitable changes. Anytown’ Intermediate's Staff has been reduced by 12 teachers. Class sizes will be increased to adjust to the smaller staff.
GUIDING TEAM Superintendent Principal Vice-Principal At the building level only the Principal and Vice Principal are developing Arcola’s new schedule and then it is presented to the department coordinators. There is no room for discussion or input from the staff. Team Should include all administrators and representatives from within the building
VISION Arcola will have 12 less teachers Change must be fully implemented by September Class sizes will increase by 6 students One less team at each grade level Teachers will be teaching subjects for the first time Expectations do not change Anytown Intermediate School will educate the same number of students, providing the same level of quality education with less staff. The student experience will not change.
The effect of class size is well documented in research. Some research indicates that student achievement increases with smaller class size (Konstantopoulos, S., 2011).
Smaller class size has resulted in positive effects on students’ achievement in early grades (Konstantopoulos, 2011).
Communicate for Understanding and Buy In The communication is delivered to staff to inform them of changes that have been made There has not been any formal or direct communication between the supervisor of sped and the building principal, The VP has communicated some information. There is no opportunity to present feed back or voice concerns about special education student needs. Individuals, Department Chairs, Departments and the faculty and staff as a whole have been included in some form with communication.
Empower Others to Act Provide opportunities for staff to have input in the process and include them in the decision making process Self Reflection on the part of the Administration to determine if current process is being as successful as it could be The opportunity to act in an effective manner that would support this building change has not been provided nor welcomed when given.
No furloughs at the district No furloughs at the district Teachers will support each other Teachers who are in a new subject will be provided with a Mentor The building schedule will be completed and students will have schedules for September Anytown Intermediate school was an appropriate choice for this change Produce Short – Term Wins No furloughs at the district
Revisit current strategies for effectiveness Create opportunities to share thoughts on building schedule and the impact on special education students Support teachers when changes in the schedule directly impact the ability to deliver special education supports and services Don’t Let Up Continue to work with Anytown’s Administration with sustaining this change
Create a New Culture A new culture is developing at Anytown Continue to move forward with the plan, adjusting as needed Provide Staff training in the area of Differentiated Instruction Set up a team to review the success of the new schedule, for suggestions on improvements and changes for the following year. Create a New Culture Meet with departments through out the year to hear first hand how the change is effecting them
Sense of Urgency—Clearly stated and communicated to district staff with a focus on Anytown’s staff.
Guiding Team—the Superintendent. Building Principal and Vice-Principal make a good guiding team to begin the process
More staff involvement at the building level
Change Vision and Strategy—The vision is clear and shared. The Strategy to achieve the goal is not clearly stated or communicated to those that it will effect the most.
Communicate for Understanding and Buy In.—All staff at Anytown understand the need for the change and accept that things will be changed.
Without a clear vision and strategy to the change it becomes difficult to accept without ‘push back’.
Empower Others to Act—Not currently being encouraged
Produce Short-Term Wins- Can be defined as; no furloughs, teachers support each other, teachers who have a need for a mentor will be provided with one.
Don’t Let Up-Continue to strive to complete the change process with as much communication from this point on.
Create a New Culture-Continue to meet with each department through out the school year, in order to become more visible, provided opportunities for staff to get to know the administration.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE CHANGE
Larger Class sizes can decrease achievement
Increase student behavior
Increased Differentiate Instruction
Co-Teaching teams will be changed
Graded Teams will be shifted
Changing Role of the Instructional Assistant
SUGGESTED CHANGES IN ANYTOWN’S PROCESS
Include a representative from each department of the school in regular meetings to review the changes being made to the building schedule
Include custodial and cafeteria workers.
Ask the representatives to report back to their departments
Schedule time to meet with the departments plan for time for questions
Konstantopoulos, S., (2011). How Consistent Are Class Size Effects? Evaluation Review, 35(1) pp. 71- 92. doi: 10.1177/0193841X11399847
Kotter, J. (2005). Our iceberg is melting: Changing and succeeding
under any conditions . New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.