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Technical Assistance for Title I Schools in Corrective Action and Restructuring Session 1 September 2008 Presented by Karen Davies, Title I School Improvement.

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Presentation on theme: "Technical Assistance for Title I Schools in Corrective Action and Restructuring Session 1 September 2008 Presented by Karen Davies, Title I School Improvement."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technical Assistance for Title I Schools in Corrective Action and Restructuring Session 1 September 2008 Presented by Karen Davies, Title I School Improvement Coordinator Jan Stanley, State Title I Director

2 Agenda/Essential Questions What are the plans for SEA support for schools in corrective action and restructuring? What is a professional learning community (PLC)? How is team and school consensus built? What are the structures within a school? How does a school create a culture to support school improvement?

3 Introduction-Questions for Thought Why does knowledge of what needs to be done so frequently fail to result in action or behavior that is consistent with that knowledge? Do you agree your staff has all the necessary expertise to improve current results if members become more effective in working together?

4 Restructuring for Improvement Improving schools involves three phases: Phase One-actively developing an awareness and knowledge base for restructuring; Phase Two-creating a climate and commitment for change; and Phase Three-restructuring the learning environment.

5 Essential Question #1 What are the plans for SEA support for schools in corrective action and restructuring?

6 Essential Question #1 Activity: Review of School Systemic Continuous Improvement Process

7 Essential Question #2 What is a professional learning community (PLC)?

8 Essential Question #2 Activity: A new teacher is about to begin working in a traditional school and a PLC school. Listen to the scenarios of each school and make notes comparing the two schools on the T-chart.

9 Essential Question #2 Revisiting the question: What is a professional learning community? Educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators. DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, and Many, 2006) DuFour, R., DuFour R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2006). Learning by Doing. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

10 Essential Question #2 Six Characteristics of PLCs 1)Shared mission (purpose), vision (clear direction), values (collective commitments), and goals (indicators, timelines, and targets) – ALL FOCUSED ON STUDENT LEARNING 2)Collaborative culture with a focus on learning 3)Collective inquiry into best practice and current reality 4)Action orientation: learning by doing 5)Commitment to continuous improvement 6)Results oriented DuFour, R., DuFour R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2006). Learning by Doing. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

11 Essential Question #2 The use of professional learning communities is the best, least expensive, most professionally rewarding way to improve schools... Such communities hold out immense, unprecedented hope for schools and the improvement of teaching. Mike Schmoker (as cited in DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, 2008) DuFour, R., DuFour R., and Eaker, R. (2008). Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

12 Essential Question #2 Activity: Discuss the following PLC issues with your school team: 1)Brainstorm the actions necessary if the school were to implement PLC practices. 2)Identify the challenges to such practices. 3)Brainstorm actions to address the challenges. Choose a recorder to document your schools responses on chart paper and hang on wall for sharing with others.

13 Essential Question #3 How is team and school consensus built?

14 Building Consensus Steps to building consensus Create a strong leadership team Seek to understand the needs of the system before seeking to be understood Work to build shared knowledge and collectively study the knowledge as a group before making a decision Conduct an honest assessment of the present conditions compared to the school vision

15 Building Consensus Steps to building consensus Develop a common understanding of the term consensus Avoid inaction by delaying movement on an initiative until all of us agree Utilize distributed leadership

16 Building Consensus Defining consensus Consensus is achieved when all points of view have been heard and the will of the group is evident even to those who most oppose it.

17 Building Consensus Activity-Consensogram Each person receives small post-it notes Determine what is going to be measured for consensus Individuals write a number on the post-it note in increments of 10% representing where they stand on an issue (no negative numbers and no numbers over 100%) Pass the responses to the center of the table Post responses in the form of a bar chart

18 Building Consensus Lets try it… How committed are you to creating an intentional focus on reshaping the culture of the school from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning?

19 Building Consensus Activity-school staff discussions Do we have an operational definition of consensus in our school? Do we know at what point in the decision- making process we will move forward with an initiative? Do we have a sense of what decisions require consensus? When do we want to involve all staff in the decision-making process? Are we developing our skills to hold crucial conversations?

20 Essential Question #4 What are the structures within a school?

21 Structures Within a School Schools are part of a system of education- resulting from legislation and policies at the federal, state and local levels. A schools structure sets the tone for students learning environment.

22 Structures Within a School Activity-affinity chart As a school team, brainstorm all of the structures/practices within a school. Place answers on post it notes.

23 Structures Within a School Categorize the information into one of these four categories: Curriculum Management Instructional Practices School Effectiveness Family and Community Connections Place the post it notes on the larger charts.

24 Question for Thought What policies, systems and practices, have your staff put in place to make improvements? Activity: Plus/Delta Using the school handbook review all policies/procedures described for positives in making improvements in the school and then identifying those items which may need to be revised.

25 Essential Question #5 How does a school create a culture to support school improvement?

26 Essential Question #5 How does a school create a culture to support school improvement? Culture is commonly thought of as the way things are done around here. Climate is the individuals perceptions of the work setting and derives from the context and its embedded culture (Hord & Sommers, 2008) Hord, S., Sommers, W. (2008). Leading professional learning communities: Voices from research and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press & National Association of Secondary Principals.

27 Essential Question #5 All schools have cultures. They may... Foster collaboration ORFoster isolation Promote self-efficacy ORPromote fatalism Be student centered ORBe teacher centered Regard teaching as a craft which can be developed OR Regarding teaching as an innate art Assign primary responsibility for learning to teachers OR Assign primary responsibility for learning to students View administrators and teachers as colleagues OR View administrators and teachers as adversaries Encourage continuous improvement OR Defend the status quo DuFour, R., DuFour R., and Eaker, R. (2008). Revisiting professional learning communities at work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

28 Essential Question #5 Cultural Shifts in a Professional Learning Community Based on a shift in... Fundamental purpose Use of assessments Response when students dont learn Work of teachers Focus School culture Professional development Lets see some examples... DuFour, R., DuFour R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2006). Learning by doing. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

29 Essential Question #5 Activity: Reflect on your school in the following areas: 1)What existing conditions support a re-culturing process in the school? 2)What challenges to re-culturing can you anticipate? 3)What capacities will need to be developed in both the school administration and the teaching staff in order for re-culturing to occur? 4)What activities might be undertaken to advance the re-culturing of the school? 5)Where will the school begin? 6)What resources and support are available to support re-culturing?

30 Next Steps Assignments for Session 1 Share the information on SEA support for schools in corrective action and restructuring with the entire staff. Identify a core school improvement team. Each school improvement team member should read pages 1-56 of the book Getting Started. Replicate the activities done for the five essential questions during this first training session with the entire staff.

31 Next Steps-continued Build a shared knowledge of key terms and concepts in a PLC. Pages of Revisiting Professional Learning Communities That Work or pages of Learning by Doing Analyze the current master schedule for structures already in place to support the school as a professional learning community. Develop an electronic portfolio to track activities and information utilized during the school improvement process.

32 Final Thoughts Developing the capacity of educators to function as members of a professional learning community is the best known means by which we might truly achieve historic, wide-scale improvement in teaching and learning. Mike Schmoker (as cited in DuFour, Eaker & DuFour, 2005) DuFour, R., Eaker, R. and DuFour R.(2005). On Common Ground. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.


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