Continuous Improvement Process: The ongoing process where administrators, teachers and stakeholders collaborate to analyze data, to problem solve and to plan strategically to improve school-wide conditions that lead to student success.
School improvement means changing a schools practices and policies to improve teaching and learning. It’s a continuous process for all schools - both those with effective and ineffective practices.
Using data for improvement and engaging techers in the use of data:
Principals need to use data for nearly every decision that is made. All curricular pacing and instructional planning must begin with data starting with WESTEST in the upper grades, but also DIBELS, QPS, common assessments, benchmarks for every grade level. Teachers need to be meeting in functioning PLCs (Collaborative Teams) where they are looking at instructional practices based on data. Principals can model this in faculty meetings or ISE days when addressing issues. Principals can gather survey data, attendance/tardy data, parent involvement, various grade distribution data, test data, etc. and generate large or small group discussions based on the analysis.
Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI) is excellent to use for teacher involvement. This process involves trained teachers collecting data on levels of student engagement. Once the data is gathered, all of the school's teachers are given the data and presented with the following questions:
The West Virginia Department of Education has defined standards for principals that apply to culture as:
Standard VI - Manages Operations for Learning
Today’s principal manages the processes and systems of the school in order to assure efficiency and effectiveness in achieving 21st century outcomes for students. The leader manages facilities, transportation, nutrition, technology and fiscal resources in ways that contribute to student personal welfare and 21st century learning. Time is maximized and allocated in order to effectively benefit student and staff learning. The effective recruiting of staff with proficiencies which enable them to meet diverse student needs and implement differentiate instruction accordingly is also essential to the management of operations for learning.
Standard VIII - Effects Change and Innovation for Continuous Improvement
The leader creates an environment that embraces change and understands it as a continuous part of the improvement process. The contemporary principal analyzes a variety of data from multiple sources to implement strategic planning, goals and learning activities. This utilization will guide the plan/do/study/act cycle. It is important for the principal to nuture the leadership of others and to distribute it among students, staff, parents and the community. A balanced assessment system is utilized to determine the effectiveness of the programs.
Watch video on Distributed Leadership Teacher.
Complete this Plan, Do, Study, Act activity with you teams
Locate and identify, with some school stakeholders, two or three school improvement processes and choose one for implementation at your school.