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Supportive Leadership Getting Behind Your Teachers to Lead Rantoul Township High School District 193.

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Presentation on theme: "Supportive Leadership Getting Behind Your Teachers to Lead Rantoul Township High School District 193."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supportive Leadership Getting Behind Your Teachers to Lead Rantoul Township High School District 193

2 Traditional leadership model Board Administration Teachers

3 Collective Wisdom Model “Groups are inclined toward stupidity the more they believe an answer lies outside themselves, including a belief that an answer lies with the leader.” “Inversely, when a leader brings attention to the challenges and complexity that are inherent to the circumstances a group faces together, group members can begin to bring their own unique talents and special qualities. “ Alan Briskin, blog at

4 Instead of teacher buy-in…. We asked the question: What would happen if we require the administration and board to buy in to an idea?

5 Where did we start? We had a problem: Graduation rate had fallen to 65% We had an AYP problem and more importantly, a problem with not enough students graduating in our community. It was a big problem.

6 Our options:  We could have gathered the board and community to think of what we can do.  We could have gathered out Administrative Leadership Team to find a program to institute to respond to the program.  We could have asked the teachers and then done what the board wanted to anyway.  We could have just ignored the problem.  We could ask the teachers to exercise collective wisdom to find a solution.

7 What did we do? Went to the teachers as a group and began a dialogue within the faculty. Started by stating the problem and then we asked the teachers…. “What will you be telling a reporter about how we turned our graduation rate problem around 5 years from now?”

8 We asked them to brainstorm… No matter the cost No thought of practicality No argument No commentary on other ideas… or people Just ideas…

9 Did they have any ideas? 224 of them…

10 With that mountain of ideas… We stopped for a deep breath…. Not permanently but we waited to let those begin to soak in for a while. We did not take over the process. We waited for it to develop within. We set up a re-visitation of the issue for the faculty to begin to refine the ideas.

11 We gathered our wisdom again…  We presented the 224 ideas for the teachers to combine, categorize, reduce duplication and prioritize.  This was done as a whole with facilitation.  Categories were suggested by the faculty as we wrestled with the problem of reducing the ideas.  They reduced to three big areas we could pursue in further study and analysis.

12 Then the tough part….. Everybody signs up to study one of the three ideas…  Creates cross-disciplinary teams to work toward a common goal including collaboration between regular ed and special ed  The existing collective wisdom is increased by study to gather more information

13 The Alternative Ed Study Group  Carefully evaluated the needs to address the right problem  Gathered research on alternative programs  Studied existing programs in other districts  Avoided repeating a previous model but took elements that seemed useful for the current needs  Analyzed costs with directions to plan the best program for the students to see if the district could afford the best

14 The Alternative Ed Study Group  Studied staffing needs, facility needs, resource and equipment needs  Prepared a report including all elements and requirements  Set out the full outline of how the program would operate  Reviewed the proposal with the administration  Invited teachers to attend the board meeting where the proposal was presented…33% of the faculty attended

15 Meanwhile, back at the board…  Board was not directly involved in study or planning  Board was informed of the ongoing process and upcoming result by administration  Board checked resource availability with administration before presentation

16 Meanwhile, back at the board…  Board listened to a professional presentation of the plan  Board supported its teachers in the improvement effort  Leadership came through support and encouragement of teacher ideas, creativity and planning with resources

17 What is the big idea? A school board can provide leadership by giving the teachers an opportunity to develop solutions to school improvement and supporting that effort. Together the board and teachers made a difference. By using the collective wisdom of the teachers and supporting their efforts, the district has a successful program. How successful?

18 Eagle Academy Students who were not graduating earned full diplomas and the AYP requirement for graduation was met in one year.

19 Any questions?

20 Thank you for attending. You can contact us at: Eagle Academy Rantoul Township High School Sandy Davis, Mindy Moberg, Lead Marla Deem, Board This presentation will be on our web site on Monday for you to copy if you wish.

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