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The entire staff is represented on the improvement team, including (staff titles e.g., teachers, social worker, librarian, etc.), all working jointly toward our goals. Secondly, we noted as DeFour emphasized, this is a continuous process to constantly make improvements where necessary.
At this first session, we created new mission and vision statements. The mission answers the question why do we exist? In one form or another we are here to help all students achieve at a high level. However, we did not wish to create a lofty mission statement where goals are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Rather, we wanted a mission that was specifically directed toward learning and developing accountability on what our school needed to improve. As a result, we established the following statement: MISSION STATEMENT
The vision gives a picture of a school in three to five years. The values are guidelines for the way we collaborate to accomplish this vision. The goals provide the continuous steps that will move forward. The vision statement we jointly created is:
We all know it is essential to keep the momentum going on this process. Too many times, mission and vision statements are designed, and the continuous improvement goals die out. To be successful, all the staff has to buy in to the values set and convey their support to the students and parents.
During this first session, we created an effective template to be used with the DeFour Professional Learning Community. Now the real hard begins -- inquiry, assessment, improvement and more inquiry and assessment. We will work as a team to ensure the school and its students reach higher levels of performance.
Further, rather than "inviting" students to seek help, the systematic plan "requires" them to receive additional assistance until mastering the concepts. For example, at an Illinois school, the collaborative team determined that every three weeks, each student receives a progress report. Within the first month of school, new students learn that if they are not doing well, they will receive a wide array of immediate interventions. First, the teacher, counselor,
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