LINKS- The process of aligning the work we do to achieve aim high annual performance targets.
School success is inversely proportional to the size of a school’s strategic plan. With that concept in mind the district embarked on a process to indicate SMART* actions necessary to achieve the 3-year goals established in 2013. A step in this process is LINKing the various committees and plans into one document, helping to align our work. 2014-15 is our second year developing this process.
Coherence-making is defined by Michael Fullan as “change processes that help connect elements of reform so that groups gain shared clarity and shared commitment.” For 2014-15 the LINKS plan combines professional development and technology into the action steps that support the strategies to achieve each building’s annual targets. The merger of these two historically separate entities is a step towards bringing more focus and a ubiquity of consistency around the work we do district-wide. The LINKS plan demands sustainability through consistency in our actions and by making all our work more transparent.
Creating the plan is only a first step. The plan is a living document evidenced by the monitoring each quarter of progress towards reaching annual targets, and the adjusting of action steps and if necessary strategies to support teachers in achieving the targets. The LINKS plan supports our Results System approach of targets-data-instruction. It is vital this plan be communicated and referred to often so the entire school team is aware of how their individual actions can benefit the school.
The plan informs the work we do to increase teacher efficacy that in turn has the biggest impact on student learning.
The vision regarding the use of targets within the LINKS process is that a spiraled process will occur where teachers move from creating yearly targets to developing quarterly targets and then unit targets integrated into backward-designed unit plans. These targets as part of the continual assessment cycle to track student learning will help us converge our instruction and assessments to the common CORE, sustained through focused strategic professional development and tactical job embedded training . The target process through LINKS will be the central cog that will keep our curriculum, instruction and assessment working together in a transparent manner.
Ultimately, the LINKS planning process takes our shared vision to reality by providing specific realizable annual goals-milestones we expect to reach before too long. The strategies and action steps represent what people commit themselves to do.
*Strategic, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely.
· During the session we will:
· Gain a deeper understanding of data driven instruction and the “Assessment cycle.”
· Build shared knowledge of the characteristics of a professional learning community.
· Analyze the 2013-14 student learning data as it relates to building targets and district goals.
· Assess the effectiveness of strategies implemented to improve student achievement.
· Review 2013-14 building targets in order to establish 2014-15 targets.
· Develop connections to and among Student Learning Objectives and local achievement targets across the building and district.
· Define 1-2 strategies and action steps to build overall group capacity.
· Generate a timeline for tracking our progress and identify essential resources for successful implementation of strategies.
· Come to consensus that all actions directly support our missions, and vision.
· Plan roll-out in September.