School Improvement Plan

School Improvement Plan It is through the development of a collaborative, trusting culture that a school leader will be able to build a school improvement team with all stakeholders being represented. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) provides school leaders with six guiding questions to help school improvement teams establish goals, create and implement plans, and evaluate progress. When these questions are answered honestly they are effective tools in planning for school improvement. These questions include:
1. Is there a system within the school that enables the principal to serve as a strong instructional leader?
2. Is there a system within the school that fully ensures school-wide use of data that is focused on school improvement
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One way a school leader may do this is through creating participatory action research teams. Gaffney (2008) defined participatory action research as a group of professionals who set out a question of relevance in their current school, and then activities and experiences are designed to reflect upon the issues at hand. Arranging for teachers to reflect upon the school’s ability to answer the above questions affirmatively is an excellent way to evaluate the school improvement plan. The empowerment of all stakeholders in the school improvement process can only improve the school and the community (Esposito & Smith, 2006). Isernhagen (2012) reported on the perceptions that school improvement planning participants had on the process by stating, “Educators emphasized the importance of a collaborative culture to the school improvement process, as it allowed teachers to share resources, cooperate on a more cohesive curriculum, and support each other emotionally” (p.5). Isernhagen further pointed out the need for strong leaders to encourage a change in the school culture in order to facilitate the school improvement …show more content…
As Levenson, Baehr, Smith & Sullivan (2014) pointed out, too often principals and district leaders decide programming changes based on emotions or feelings rather than data. Difficult decisions are sometimes made based on the popularity of a program or how well liked a system may be. They suggested that schools and districts have opportunities to realign resources and reallocate funds to support their comprehensive plans. Levenson et al. suggested that school leaders apply an Academic Return on Investment Philosophy (A-ROI) when it comes to funding programs within a district or school. Bowers (2008) argued that it is essential for leaders in the private or public sector to focus their resources on the system-wide goal, in this case student achievement. Bowers further alluded to the need for organizations to focus on creating an overall systems approach, which motivates employees to reach for a common goal. Levenson, Baehr, Smith & Sullivan (2014) took three questions and transformed them into a formula, which can be used to help principals decide how to best fund programs within their buildings. First, how much are we spending per student on any particular strategy or program? Second, How much learning is being achieved for each dollar spent? Lastly, How does this “learning per dollar spent” compare

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