Local School System Leadership Teams Hit The Classroom

October 26, 2004

(Charleston, W.Va.) Student academic achievement is at the top of West Virginiaís priority list. County School System Leadership Teams recently returned home from the second statewide conference of this school year where team members studied curriculum practices used by high performing school districts throughout the country. During the conference, team members heard from national leaders in standards based education and from practicing superintendents both from West Virginia and other states whose leadership is bringing about improved student achievement.  

Additionally, local teams devoted time each day of the conference to analyzing curriculum practices common to high performing school systems. This analysis is part of the process outlined by the West Virginia Framework for School System Improvement that will eventually culminate in each school system working with local education stakeholders in the writing of a five year strategic plan for the local school system.  

Each county team is part of a statewide initiative that began three years ago designed to achieve the stateís goal of bringing all children in the public school system to mastery and beyond and to close the achievement gap among the subgroups of students in the stateís schools. This yearís focus is on the elements that impact student achievement. These elements include curriculum (what is taught), instruction (how it is taught), school effectiveness (where it is taught), and parent/family support (the context in which children live).  

The county team brought home from the conference Learning Community Resource Packets on eight curriculum practices and on building a strong strategic plan. These resource packets are designed to be used with local educators for studying in a community learning setting about the different curriculum practices introduced at the conference. The team also has available to it resources for providing modules of professional development.  

The West Virginia Framework for School System Improvement is an initiative developed by the West Virginia Department of Education and supported by the West Virginia Board of Education for the purpose of building capacity among the stateís education leaders. Over 400 state leaders are currently developing new knowledge and skills necessary to implement the major changes occurring in the national, state, and local school systemís education program.

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