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2008 State Superintendent Forum Dr. Krista Parent South Lane School District Denver, Colorado October 16, 2008 A Look At The Critical Factors in One District’s.

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Presentation on theme: "2008 State Superintendent Forum Dr. Krista Parent South Lane School District Denver, Colorado October 16, 2008 A Look At The Critical Factors in One District’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 2008 State Superintendent Forum Dr. Krista Parent South Lane School District Denver, Colorado October 16, 2008 A Look At The Critical Factors in One District’s Path to Significant Change

2 Demographic Profile South Lane School District  4 th largest of 16 school districts in the county  12 schools; including 3 charters  3,000+ students  Nearly 60% Economically Disadvantaged  18% Special Education  246 Homeless Youth Served in 2007  75%+ students transported to and from school  2.5% ELL

3 SLSD Transformation Prior to 2002  Drop out rate low double digits – 10.5%  Lower 1/3 county high schools on state tests  No AP Courses  No common assessments  Limited parent involvement at secondary level  Failure rate each term of high 30% Post 2002  Drop out rate less than 1.3%  Top three of the county in for Math and Reading  11 AP courses with an 80%+ passage rate  Common literacy assessment and power standards for some content areas  Significant parent involvement at all levels  Failure rate each term in the teens

4 OSA 12 -Year History for Reading

5 Average Oral Reading Fluency Scores – High School Class Ave. ORF Score Fall 9 th Grade Ave. ORF Score Spring 10 th Grade Ave. Gain over 2 years

6 Intervention Effects on ORF – High School

7 OSA 12 -Year History for Math

8 An Anecdotal Look at the Past  A little over a decade ago, the community soundly defeated two bond attempts for funds to build a new comprehensive high school – 75% “no”, 25% “yes”  Less than a decade ago, high school students attended a school that was nearly 60 years old and was beyond repair  The attitude in the community was not “pro” education  Many male students dropped out of high school to work in the woods  Principals main concerns and conversations focused on “keeping a lid” on things and student behavior  “Smoke and mirrors” budgeting  Six superintendents in 22 months

9 Critical Factors for Significant Change 1. Community Engagement : Schools of the Future 2. Transparency: Budgeting Process 3. Clear Communication: TEAM UP 4. Vision:Shared Beliefs and Vision 5. Leadership: Self and Team Assessment 6. Central Office Support: Cabinet Overhaul

10 Critical Factors for Significant Change 7. Doing the Right Work: Administrative Council Shift 8. Strong Curricular Focus: Literacy as the Foundation Leadership Literacy Plans District Welcome Back Overhaul Book Clubs 9. A Culture of Learning Together: Coaching Commitment Teams Learning Walk Tool 10. Job Embedded PD: Studio Classrooms Math Writing Leadership

11 #1 Community Engagement Schools of the Future  100+ Citizen Task Force  Gary Marx – Ten Trends:Educating Children for a Profoundly Different Future  Robert Marzano – Effective Schools Research  King and queen for a day  Vision of our school 5 and 10 years out  Sub-Committees High Flyers Interventions Home-school connection Health and Wellness Choice

12 #2 Transparency Transparent Budget Process  School and Service Club circuit Taught Oregon School Funding 101 Thoroughly explained SLSD budget  Engaged community in preparing the budget through a zoomerang survey

13 Community Budget Exercise  Your task is to generate a list of cuts totaling $3.2 million dollars in order to balance the budget. On the left are a list of items and their average cost per item. On the right you are to – in priority order – develop a list of cuts. Keep going until your list reaches $3.2 million.

14 #3 Clear Communication TEAM UP – Communication Plan  Statewide project  Collaboration of OEA, OSEA, OSBA, COSA, ODE, OPTA and the Chalkboard project  2 pilot districts  35 person Task Force locally  Internal all-district survey  School and department meetings  Resulted in a district communication plan

15 3 Main Objectives in TEAM UP Plan 1. Engage and inform all SLSD employees by improving and enhancing internal communication systems. “What’s Right in SLSD...” Website overhaul 2. Develop a system to inform community citizens of SLSD success stories. Guest editorials Service Club presentations 3. Assess the current status of parental involvement throughout the district and develop plans to enhance parental involvement. District Parent Club Rep and Volunteer Coordinator Meetings “Good Things to Know at CGHS”

16 #4 Vision Shared Beliefs and Vision What We Are About in South Lane School District Children Come First Decision Making Is Student Centered Children Learn Best When They Want to Be at School Academic Excellence  There is urgency about the push for academic excellence and there is value added for each year of instruction.  Students are encouraged to dream and excel and are held responsible for doing their best.  All students learn to read fluently and become mathematically literate. Reading and mathematical competence open doors to productive futures.  Students are exposed to a broad and varied curriculum in addition to instruction in core content areas. Learning Environment  Schools and classrooms provide caring and respectful learning environments  An emphasis is placed on connectedness; students need relationships with trusted adults.  School is enjoyable.  Students have their basic needs met and feel safe and secure in order to learn best.  Students are provided with the necessary resources to be successful learners. Quality Instruction  Outstanding and well-trained teachers are at the core of providing quality instruction.  All staff are a positive influence for students.  Quality teachers are dedicated, motivated, creative, knowledgeable, flexible and empathetic.  Formative and summative assessments are used to monitor and adjust curriculum for each student. Citizenship  Imbedded in instruction is a focus on developing the character of each student. Learning activities provide opportunities for students to build positive citizenship traits including, but not limited to: Personal responsibility Building self-esteem Instilling integrity Interacting cooperatively Learning how to get along

17 #5 Leadership Work Administrator Self Assessment Tools ** Spent several sessions together studying both of these models and then used the tools to assess our strengths and weaknesses as individual administrators and as a team  Input  Affirmation  Relationship  Change agent  Optimizer  Ideals/beliefs  Monitors/evaluates  Flexibility  Situational Awareness  Intellectual Stimulation  Knowledge of C, I & A  Culture  Order  Focus  Communication  Outreach  Contingent Rewards (21 Areas of Leadership Responsibility – Waters, 2003)  School Culture  Craft Leaders – Thinkers and Practitioners  Children’s Literature  Instructional Models  Curricula  Options for Organizing Time & Space  Assessment/Content Standards  Special Interventions  Knowledge and Research (Children’s Literacy Initiative Blueprint for Leadership)

18 #6 Central Office Support Cabinet Shift  Reconstructed District Leadership Team  Found 4 of the best instructional leaders and got them to agree we’d share the rest of the stuff  Organized our work around a structure described in Patrick Lencioni’s Death by Meeting 15 minute stand up meetings on Monday Cabinet Meetings on Friday  Lightening round  Goal check-in  Tactical agenda items  Strategic meetings  Actions to be taken Intense focus on teaching and learning

19  Twice monthly meetings  Professional Learning Communities  Communities of Practice #7 Doing the Right Work Administrative Council Shift

20 The “old” Administrative Council Agenda 1. Bus evacuation drills 2. Budgets 3. Classroom management 4. School board meeting report 5. Staffing updates 6. State reports 7. Reimbursement forms 8. Fire and earthquake drills 9. Technology report 10. New special education forms 11. Updated board policies on travel 12. Field trip guidelines 13. Custodial hours 14. Purchasing guidelines 15. Free and Reduced Meals Information

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22 Literacy Book List

23 What We Read Last Year

24 What We’re Reading This Year The board, all district administrators and teacher leaders read The Six Secrets of Change over the summer All administrators and teacher leaders read Schools That Change this fall Administrators just started reading The Global Achievement Gap

25 #8 Strong Curricular Focus Leadership Literacy Plans – 10 Components 1. My personal philosophy about literacy is 2. Two self-reflection analyses 3. Ways I am currently supporting literacy 4. 5 year review of assessment data 5. Identify the instructional needs for staff members 6. My personal goals for supporting literacy 7. Specific action steps needed to attain goals 8. Support I need from district administration 9. Staff development and training opportunities 10. Ways I plan to monitor my progress on my plan

26 My Personal Philosophy About Literacy is...  “Literacy is inseparable from living. This statement resonates with me. Reading provides access to the world. It ties the reader to a girl in China, a science experiment, and the advice of Ann Landers. One can read the thoughts of humans who have long ago left this earth but whose ideas are alive in books. Reading connects our life and being to others. It is a way to find significance, direction and intimacy in our lives.”  “Literacy is more than the ability to read and write. Literacy involves extensive use of expressive and receptive language skills. Even a functional level of literacy requires a level of prior knowledge and vocabulary in order to make sense of what is read or written.”

27 Identify the Instructional Needs for Staff Members  “We need to develop better instructional practices for improving reading fluency, as well as increasing our use of non-fiction text.”  “We need to infuse our 3-5 reading curriculum with non-fiction materials, allowing students multiple opportunities to practice this format. Non-fiction demands increase at the middle and secondary level and many of our students are not sufficiently prepared.”

28 My personal goals for supporting literacy  Increase my level of familiarity with children’s literature  Stay current on best practices and literacy research  Build time into staff work sessions for collegial reflective practice  We have to prioritize specific interventions we know work and allocate the necessary resources and materials  I will model the use of good instructional strategies with staff and name those strategies

29 Book Clubs Administrative Team Leadership Team Whole District Voluntary for Credit

30 Book Clubs for Credit YearFallWinterSpring Graphic Novels, Read- Aloud and Battle of the Books Lessons from Successful Writers From Uber-geek to 12:00 Flasher: Technology Integration for All From Graphic Novels to Young Readers’ Choice From Uber-geek to 12:00 Flasher: Technology Integration For All From “I Hate To Write” to “Where’s My Journal?” Reading Children’s Literature: Graphic Novels, New Non-Fiction & Young Reader’s Choice Nominees Bringing the Outside In: Visual Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers Making Non-Fiction Come Alive: Great Biographies, Narrative Information Books, How-To Books & Textbooks Building Background Knowledge Teaching Math Vocabulary in Context Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding Reading Children’s Literature The New Science Literacy: Using Skills to Help Students Learn Science Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning

31 #9 A Culture of Learning Together Coaching Commitment Teams  Goal: To support and coach colleagues to implement practices that focus on instructional leadership and less on managerial tasks.  Teams: At least one each - district administrator, elementary principal, secondary principal, and administrative intern (teacher leader).  Each team identified their focus for the year and the teams regularly reported their status in whole group ad council meetings.

32 Classroom Learning Walk Tool  Developed from the work of a Coaching Commitment Team  Various versions have developed  District and School-wide focus for Learning Walks  Power is in the discussions post-learning walk

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34 #10 Quality, Job-Embedded Prof. Dev. Studio Classrooms  Logical next step in professional development pursuits  Intense  Focus is on student discourse  At least five cycles per year  Includes: Studio Teacher Resident Teachers Coach Consultant

35 Communities of Practice Leadership Studio  The Leadership Studio mirrors the Lesson Study Model we use with writing and mathematics for our Studio Classrooms except the setting isn’t in the classroom.  The purpose of the Leadership Studio is to deconstruct the work of “Leadership” into smaller practices, go deep into those practices, and put it all back together for improved practice.  The process includes: 1. Advance Preparation: Making Connections to Best Practices 2. Experiencing the Content Together 3. Overview of the Lesson Summary 4. Getting Real: The Observation Phase 5. Reflections and Learning: Lesson Debrief 6. Putting it to Work: Transferring Learning to Practice

36 Other Communities of Practice Enhancing Teaching & Learning: One Staff Member at a Time Examines all aspects of the differentiated supervision and evaluation process. The group observes one another in various phases of this process and explores other models. This group identifies effective strategies for working with expert teachers versus rookie teachers and teachers struggling to meet minimal instructional standards. The needs for support staff will also be a key topic of study. Improving Schools From Within Supports and challenges building leaders as they focus on innovations and improvements for their schools. Each participant identifies a particular curriculum innovation they are working on in their building and the group studies, coaches and support the innovation. Issues related to year long planning, communication, creating a sense of urgency, implementation dips, monitoring progress, celebrating the successes, and adjusting along the way are topics of discussion.

37 What I did differently as the superintendent to support and lead a Community of Practice?  I became the “learning leader” and pushed/motivated my leadership team to do the same  I got in and got my hands dirty, attending professional development sessions regularly and often times led them  I stimulated forward thinking and innovation and gave permission to challenge the status quo  We got focused on the right stuff and spent our time accordingly  We spent time as a leadership team to develop our guiding principles and I helped lead that discussion

38 What I did differently as the superintendent to support and lead a Community of Practice?  I set an expectation level for principals that is high (but I think they feel supported)  We developed clear expectations for what we wanted our students to look like  I spent more time at the high school and met more regularly with the high school principal  We had honest, courageous conversations that pushed one another to examine “the way things had always been”  I pushed my district leadership team to get more versed in high school life and matched their levels of expertise with how they could support the high school transformation  Although we are just beginning to see success in this area, I’ve really been working with my board to get focused on teaching and learning and less focused on the typical stuff


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