Stage Four – Prioritize & Set Goals
Stage Five – Research & Identify Effective Practices, Strategies, Programs, Interventions
Meeting Three: Planning Team Agenda
The Kansas Improvement Process is inherently flexible, allowing districts to adjust the process, agendas, and/or activities to fit the needs of the district/school. Although this meeting is represented as one session, it could be a series of sessions.
What are the objectives for the third meeting?
The goal of this meeting is to determine a manageable set of Specific Measurable Attainable Results-orientated and Time-bound (SMART) goals that will become the focus of improvement efforts district wide and/or school wide.
Another goal of this meeting is to identify and select practices, programs, interventions, etc. that incorporate strategies scientifically based in research (SBR) that will assist the school and/or district in reaching their SMART goals. This includes reviewing research on specific SBR strategies and/or networking with schools/districts that have implemented these specific strategies.
What are the tasks for the first part of the meeting?
- Warm-up and/or team-school activities as appropriate.
- Review prioritized challenges.
- Identify areas for system-wide focus. Develop goals that need to be in place to support growth in schools across the district or individual schools, including strategies, interventions, and programs that address the needs of all students.
- Share any district, state and federal goals that are nonnegotiable.
- Draft and prioritize goals.
- Develop a communication plan for sharing the goals with stakeholders.
What are the tasks for the second part of the meeting?
- Review goals and make minor revisions, as necessary.
- Begin researching how the goals will be achieved.
- Decide which methods will be used for studying and selecting SBR strategies, interventions, and/or programs. Determine whether the team will visit other districts/schools using effective practices.
Options for involving the planning team include the following:
- Engage the team in studying and selecting effective practices. With this option, it helps to have the core leadership team identify several resources for each goal. Planning team members can join a group that studies the resources and continues researching action steps for each SMART goal. The advantage of this approach is that it increases the planning team’s awareness and helps build buy-in. A disadvantage is that it requires a large time commitment. Team members can use the Study Process Planning Grid and the Study Teams form to guide the process and the District Visitation Question Guide to investigate other school districts.
- The core leadership team documents the research and brings it back to the larger team for investigation. This option takes less time for planning team members but makes “buy-in” more difficult. If a district or school is tackling persistently low gains, this strategy may not be the best way to build support for change.
- Districts may choose to join with school study teams in researching common goals.
- District teams may wish to join other districts that are researching the same topics.
- School teams may wish to join other schools that are researching the same topics.
In all cases, the planning team is heavily involved.