Develop Plans and Appropriate Mechanisms to Achieve Your School's Vision and Goals

By PrinciPal Connection posted 08-30-2018 10:56

The Principal’s Calendar is intended to help school leaders stay focused, organized, and growing. The Principal’s Calendar provides you with monthly lists of important responsibilities and legal requirements. In addition, it offers dates to remember (some just for fun) as well as critical professional development opportunities and resources. Finally, the Calendar challenges you to study and reflect on Attributes from the School Leader Paradigm - one per month. The Principal's Calendar is a benefit of membership to the Illinois Principals Association, so if you are not a member, join today!

September's Featured Attribute
Strategic – Develops plans and appropriate mechanisms to achieve the school’s vision and goals.

Associated Competency
Mission, Vision, and Strategic Planning – Defines the mission as the intent of the school; fosters a vision of what the school will look like at its peak performance; strategically determines the procedural path to intentionally achieve the vision.

Associated Intelligence
Systems Intelligence – Individual understanding of the inter-workings and leadership of complex systems within an organization.

For Your Reflection
@Mandy Ellis Principal, Dunlap Grade School, Dunlap, Central Illinois Valley, Region

Engaging staff and students in continuous improvement efforts at the classroom level begins on day one of the school year as students develop their own mission statement and goals. This process sets the stage for dynamic classroom collaboration, student engagement, student ownership, and accountability toward these goals.

As the school year progresses, students and teachers collaboratively write classroom goals and individual student goals. These goals are displayed in classroom data centers and student data binders, should align to building goals, and are communicated through the district, building, and classroom strategic plans. These goals are monitored through professional learning communities with teachers and during classroom meetings facilitated by students and in individual reading conferences. The power of the conversations that occur in professional learning communities and classroom meetings drive continuous improvement efforts and deeply embed the value of reading. Students communicate this progress to families during student-led conferences.

We can achieve this in the school setting as well as we lead our teachers and students to educational victory toward common and meaningful goals in a positive and supportive school culture with four key components:

A. A dedicated and professional team of teachers, administrators, and support staff who understand how their individual roles contribute to the success of the school as a whole. This means ensuring that students are in learning environments that support creating a love of learning, regardless of the teacher they have.
B. Parents and community members who support the school, the students, and all learning endeavors through volunteerism and financial support of school initiatives.
C. Leaders who foster vision and a mission that places a priority on school goals.
D. An identifiable brand communicated efficiently to engage families and the community that includes an unwavering commitment to developing a culture of learning.

To Keep You Thinking
In an age that is focused on data-formed instruction, we need to focus school goals to reflect the vision and mission statements on school-improvement plans. Many schools strive to develop “lifelong learners” or “globally aware citizens” or “respectful and responsible students.” When setting school improvement goals, we need to consider how the qualitative measures of learning can be used in setting school goals. Instructional leadership teams should consider more than just student achievement data when developing their school improvement plans. Some questions to consider as a leadership team:

In what ways do we want our students to grow as learners?

In what ways are our school goals supported through classroom goals and individual student goals? This cohesive and collaborative correlation not only provides a sense of purpose for the students and teachers but also provides a platform in which the school can communicate to the community what is important.

In what ways can we involve our students in developing meaningful goals?