The Macon Miracle

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Presentation at the #2012waic Conference - Ghent, Belgium

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The Macon Miracle

  1. 1. The  Macon  Miracle:  Connecting  Strengths,  Reinventing  Education,  Helping  Children  Flourish  Presented  By:  Dr.  Romain  Dallemand,  Susanne  Griffin-­‐Ziebart,  Dr.  Judy  Godfrey,  Kathy  Becker,  and  Jim  Pulliam  
  2. 2. Where  is  Macon/Bibb  County?  
  3. 3. County  and  District  Demographics  •  155,000  people  in   the  County  (2010   Census)   •  43%  white   •  51%  African-­‐American     •  6%  Other  •  Student  PopulaQon   •  21%  white   •  79%  African-­‐American   and  Other    
  4. 4. The  Macon  Miracle:    Why  is   Transformation  Urgent?  •  Approximately  25,000  students  •  Rated  174th  out  of  179  Georgia   districts  •  Has  10  of  the  78  lowest   performing  schools  •  51%  graduaQon  rate  •  9,441  students  suspended  –   48,000  days  of  missed   instrucQon  •  703  students  dropped  out  •  493  students  expelled  
  5. 5. The  Macon  Miracle:    Why  is   Transformation  Urgent?   •  20,000  students  are  receiving   services  from  D.F.C.S.   •  632  students  are  documented  as   homeless  students   •  1,000  students  are  living  with   someone  who  is  not  a  biological   parent   •  1,111  students  have  at  least  one   parent  incarcerated   •  78%  of  students  receive  free  or   reduce  priced  lunch   •   1,100  students  arrested  from   August  2011  –  March  15,  2012  
  6. 6. Why  Appreciative  Inquiry?  •  Recognized  the  challenge   of  increasing  the   “probability”  of  “buy-­‐in”  •  Recognized  the  need  to   include  more  than  the   “tradiQonal”  voices  in   the  creaQon  of  the  plan  •  Wanted  to  ensure  that   employees  and  key   stakeholders  played  an   acQve  role  in  creaQng  the   plan  
  7. 7. Why  Appreciative  Inquiry?   •  Involves  everyone  in  the   process   •  Creates  “space”  for   people  to  envision   possibiliQes  rather  than   barriers     •  Develops  a  sense  of   unity  by  bringing   everyone  in  the  same   room  and  creaQng  a   shared  experience   •  Ensures  equitable  access   to  informaQon    
  8. 8. The  Macon  Miracle:     Bibb  County’s  Planning  Process  •  Two  days  to  complete   what  was  typically  done   in  four  days  (i.e.,  Dream,   Discovery,  Design  and   DesQny)  •  All  employees,  parents,   community  members,   business  partners  and   state  and  local  dignitaries   parQcipated  (i.e.,   approximately  4500   people)  
  9. 9. The  Macon  Miracle:     Bibb  County’s  Planning  Process  •  Dedicated  Qme  during   the  work  day  for  all   employees  to   parQcipate  •  Held  at  the  Macon   Centreplex  Arena  •  Co-­‐facilitated  by  the   Center  for  AppreciaQve   Inquiry  and  educators   from  Bibb  County  
  10. 10. Opportunities  of  Facilitation  •  Number  of  People   •  Core  Team  Sign  Up  •  Size  of  the  facility   Arena  •  Equipment    Circles:  150   Monument  •  SeaQng    Circles:  62  •  Sound   Ballroom  A,  B  •  PreparaQon  Time        Circles:  50    •  Turn-­‐around  Qme   Ballroom  C,D,E  •  PrinQng    Circles:  75   Exhibit  Hall  A    •  TransportaQon   Circles:  75  •  Food              
  11. 11. Engaging  the  Core  Team  •  Core  Team  ParQcipants   •  Represented  all  employee  groups   •  60  members  •  Core  Team  Involvement   •  Champions  of  the  process   •  Planned,  designed  the  process   •  Selected  topics  for  interviews   •  Facilitated  groups  in  the   interviews   •  Assisted  with  data  collecQon  •  Thoughts  of  Core  Team  Members  
  12. 12. Data  Collection   Strategy  •  SUMMIT  ONE   •  PosiQve  Core  &  Headlines   captured  from  each  circle  group   •  Strategic  Plan  Themes   Developed  •  SUMMIT  TWO   •  Employees  surveyed  to  idenQfy   energy  for  each  theme     •  IniQaQves  for  each  Theme   emerged  
  13. 13. What  Were  the  Summit   Outcomes?  •  ParQcipants  in  the   Summits  created:     •  6  Focus  Areas     •  22  Goals  •  Strategic  Plan  •  District  Management   Plan   •  Research-­‐based   iniQaQves   •  InnovaQve  iniQaQves  
  14. 14. Key  Initiatives  •  Year-­‐round  school    •  InstrucQon  in   Mandarin  Chinese    for   all  students  beginning   in  kindergarten  •  System-­‐wide  porfolio   schools  of  choice    
  15. 15. Key  Initiatives  •  Proficiency  for  all   students  in  numeracy   and  literacy  by  third   grade  •  Students  earn  up  to  30   college  credits  by   graduaQon  •  Change  the  culture  of   schools  through   system-­‐wide,  strategic   professional  learning  
  16. 16. Key  Initiatives   •  Integrate  21st  Century   teaching  tools  in  the   classroom  and  in  the   home   •  District  Welcome  Center   to  provide  informaQon   and  training  to  parents   •  Gihed  instrucQon,   Advanced  Placement   classes,  and  Honors   classes  for  all  students  
  17. 17. Key  Initiatives   •  Students  iniQate  a   porfolio  they  will   conQnue  to  develop   through  high  school   •  Dormitories  for   students   experiencing   unanQcipated   circumstances  
  18. 18. Lessons  Learned  •  Including  all  stakeholders  is  powerful  •  Clear  expectaQons  and  training  and  supporQve   scripts  are  important  to  ensure  the  message  and   experience  is  consistent  •  DedicaQng  4  full  days  to  the  process  would  have   been  valuable  
  19. 19. Lessons  Learned  •  The  Core  Team  plays  a  criQcal  role—selecQon  and   training  is  key  •  IniQate  the  Strategic  Planning  process  AFTER  you   have  leaders  in  place  to  lead  the  work   •  Using  exisQng  leaders  meant  that  “old”  mindsets  could   interfere  with  the  work  
  20. 20. Lessons  Learned  •  For  large  scale  summits,  develop  a  plan  that   ensures  everyone  hears  the  work  of  other  groups  •  Be  prepared  to  address  the  fact  that  not  everyone   will  agree  with  everything  (yet)  •  Be  prepared  to  address  the  fact  that  some  will  be   against  the  plan  for  various  reasons  
  21. 21. Bibb  County’s  Successes  •  The  process  and  the   inquiry  created  hope   and  enthusiasm  •  The  effort  resulted  in   a  comprehensive,   research-­‐based   innovaQve  plan  that   was  approved  by  the   School  Board  
  22. 22. Bibb  County’s  Successes   •  The  inquiry  created   broad-­‐based   engagement  in  the   conversaQon  about   educaQon   •  The  inquiry  engaged   individuals  not   previously  included   •  The  inquiry   engendered  support  
  23. 23. Bibb  County’s  Opportunities  •  Engage  and  maintain   “buy-­‐in”  •  Build  equity  so  all   students  excel—create   unified  support  •  Change  the  culture  of   the  organizaQon  and   community  •  Help  people  to  focus   their  energy  in  a   posiQve  way  
  24. 24. Bibb  County’s  Next  Steps  • Strong  implementaQon   •  CommunicaQon   •  Building  understanding  of  strategies   •  Build  understanding  of  each  individual’s   unique  role   •  Impact  of  IniQaQves  on  students  and  staff   •  Communicate  expected  outcomes  of  each   iniQaQve   •  Build  understanding  of  requirements  from   students  and  parents    
  25. 25. Bibb  County’s  Next  Steps  • Create  and   celebrate  quick   wins  • ConQnue  to   support  the  strong   guiding  coaliQon  
  26. 26. Why  was  this  inquiry  so   powerful?  
  27. 27. PresentaQon  brought  to  you  by:  

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