In just a few short weeks, Mike and Stuart will be traveling to Green Bay for a Packer football game. As they begin to plan their trip, they have been studying maps to determine the best route. In doing so, they have discovered there are multiple routes with multiple opportunities to explore and see sights along the way. At this point, there is no right way. They have the ability to chart their course and make adjustments as needed along the way. However, they do need to maintain a focus on the end goal – to arrive at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Sunday by 3:00 pm for the football game.
Planning this trip is very similar to the work in which we are doing to plan our collaborative time together. We have parameters and boundaries in which we must work, but we also have some flexibility in reaching the end goal. For many of us this can be a difficult journey as we explore, wander, and pave a trail that fits with our school district mission and our A+ philosophy. Unfortunately, it simply isn’t as easy as we perceive and/or would like it to be. There are roadblocks, detours, scenic overlooks, and historical markers along this adventure; which will be opportunities for re-calibration, reflection, and careful navigation. Yet, when we arrive – there will no doubt be a sense of accomplishment!
On Friday, members of our Leadership Team had the opportunity to attend a Solution Tree Workshop. It was a powerful day of learning with validation of our structure and framework. At several points during the day, the presenter used the phrase, “clarity must proceed competence.” Therefore, here are some clarifications to consider as we continue on this journey….
What’s Tight (non-negotiable):
- Teaching Staff will work in collaborative groups during their double during the day (DDD) as well as after school on Wednesday afternoons. Teams will work collectively to impact student learning.
- Teams will determine the essential learning for a unit of study and write a SMART goal in which to work towards. Q1: What do we want our kids to know?
- Teams will develop a common formative assessment for the unit of study. Q2: How will we know they have learned it?
- Teams will analyze the results of the common assessment to determine enrichment and/or intervention. In addition, teachers will use this information to improve their practice and build the capacity of the team as a whole. Q3 & Q4: What will we do for those who aren’t there yet? What will we do for those who have been successful?
- Teams will have evidence (agenda/planning template) in drive of the work being accomplished.
What’s Loose (empowered to decide):
- Creation of SMART goal specific to the unit of study and needs of students.
- Determine learning and pacing (time spent) for each unit within the realm of our district essential guides.
- Determine the assessment to be used and the standard of proficiency for learning.
- Determine the instructional strategies to be implemented in the classroom along with what resources to use.
The collaborative sessions, Doubles During the Day and Wednesday Afternoons, are one and the same. We will follow the same model for both time frames working our way through the four critical questions of professional learning communities. However, you will have the opportunity to work with the Specialist every other week on Wednesday afternoon to tap into their arts perspective and ensure our A+ philosophy continues to be present in classroom instruction.