The plan currently under review is that of the Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center and its implemented Florida Differentiated Accountability Program developed and put into use during the 2009-2010 school-year in hopes of improving the school's functioning and overall mission. The school at hand has consistently sought to discover and identify the individual strengths of each child in its facility in order to promote enthusiasm and the desire to learn, and to assist students in achieving academic success. The mission of the school, and its implemented plans, aim to provide a secure, innovative, and challenging environment that affords academic achievement and a technologically-rich program for students in order for them to develop a strong, firm foundation from which to succeed and meet the challenges of the 21st century. The plan at hand sets in motion distinct goals for teacher involvement, parental involvement, and for improvements in each area of study within the school. While the plan takes into account the specifications of the school in terms of history, strengths and weaknesses, certain areas of improvement can be made in assessing the overall plan and strategy.
Overview of Plan and Development
The plan itself seeks to implement new tools and strategies to improve certain areas of school interaction, involvement and foundation as well as to provide improved scoring and educational models for the respective fields of study within the school such as mathematics, the sciences, and writing. The development of the plan begins with the assertion that the Center has consistently maintained a school grade of an "A" and has achieved this status for the past 9 years. In working in accordance with this success level, professional development in the areas of data analysis and curriculum have been offered and attended by faculty to improve student performance, providing the basis for the plan at hand.
The process by which the improvement plan was designed is focused largely on data and on how this data can be adjusted with action to provide the best overall result for the school, its respective students and the community. Specific student achievement data such as school grade trends, adequate yearly progress trends, and Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test trends were taken highly into account noting the areas of data response that are in need of improvement. Additionally, a full-faculty breakdown was provided in order to include the degrees and certifications of each respective faculty member, each member's years in the school and as an administrator, as well as a full review of each faculty member's prior performance record in order to pinpoint individual strengths for the successful implementation of the strategic plan at hand.
The plan further involves a significant amount of strategic thinking which not only evaluates the strategies of the school's respective plan, but evaluates how these strategies will work on a broader level within the community and within the state. For instance the school's principal asserts that full compliance with policies and procedures for all State and Direct assessments is always a key to success. Additionally, professional development and strategies to implement this development within the staff are consistently provided during the implementation of any plan, for example in this case, to ensure that the plan is implemented appropriately.
The improvement plan at hand largely revolves around the implementation of a Response to Instruction/Intervention (RtI) team within the school, and a point-by-point analysis of the team's function has been provided to ensure that each member has a distinctive duty backed with a full skill-set, as well as additional support for these individuals should it be needed. Further in viewing how the RtI leadership team will aid in the development and implementation of the school improvement plan at hand, the school asserts that the RtI leaders will meet with the EESAC and faculty of the school to help develop the SIP. Additionally, the RtI team will provide a variety of sources of data to individual students as well as subpopulations within the school that need special attention in order to meet standards. Finally, the RtI will provide input in the strategies and professional development activities in the plan in order to ensure that all students attain AYP.
This team, set in place as well as the school's work to continue following the School-Wide Florida Continuous Improvement Model seeks to improve overall school structure and success, and allows for consistent and thorough assessment throughout the year in order to determine if said improvement plans have worked as well as understanding which portions of the plan need to be adjusted in order to reach the optimal level of success. Assessments will be given in order to measure student progress, the reaching of benchmarks, success of teams, quality of data, etc. Assessments will also be made as to the expected improvements in the subject areas of reading, math, science and writing as well as the overarching goal of increased parental involvement.
Each goal is broken down in order to view the areas in need of improvement, as well as the action plans that will be necessary in order to set these improvements in motion. However, above all, these actions are depicted in a manner that will yield success even with budgetary constrictions, asserting that each goal has the capacity to be fully achieved and carried out should the format for improvement be followed accordingly throughout the school year.
Strong Aspects of Content and Process
One area of plan development that has led to the inclusion of some of the strongest aspects of content and process within the plan is the school's consistent attention to local needs, ethical leadership, social justice issues and societal trends as well as the implications such factors will have on the school and the overall community. In viewing the plan at hand, it must be noted that consistent mention of student demographics, economic backgrounds and societal influences are available in order for readers to gauge a better understanding of the individual people who will be affected by the plan at hand. So often plans for improvement focus specifically on the policy of it all rather than upon the individuals who will actually reap the benefits of such improvements. In noting this, it can be said that the Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center has truly put the focus on its students, which is an aspect of organizational strategic planning that has the capacity to be overshadowed.
For instance the plan makes mention that the school community is at the cutting edge of implementing "green" and eco-friendly initiatives in accordance with the new and growing trend within the United States and across the world to improve the methods to ensure a smaller environmental footprint is left by each and every one of us. Additionally, as such a method of sustainability proves to be the way of the future, the staff and students at Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center have the capacity to move forward in their lives living in an eco-friendly way with the tools that the school itself has given them. In understanding this facet of the information provided, one can see that the faculty at this school is truly working toward the goal of bettering its students in an overarching manner that goes far beyond academics and standardized test scores into the realm of fully developing well-rounded and societally-aware individuals.
The plan at hand is also exceedingly strong in its step-by-step assessments of the faculty and support staff that will be involved in each facet of the improvement plan. Very often, such plans focus only on the bigger picture of involvement, narrowing down on the specifics that need to be accomplished but leaving uncertainty present in attempting to understand who actually will get the job done. In viewing the plan's consistent mention of the people who will be involved in its implementation as well as a nearly-exhaustive listing of their relevant qualifications and achievements, onlookers of the plan (especially parents) will likely gain a more secure and supportive feel toward the programs and actions that are being taken within their children's school.
Weaker Aspects of Content and Process
In understanding why the proposed plan may not go into effect as seamlessly as the staff at the school had hoped, one must take into account the turnaround that will take place in the following year with the retirement of the school's current principal and the implementation of a new one. Not only will this respective person be expected to make the change as seamless as possible for the staff and students, he or she will be expected to oversee the implementation of the strategic plan at hand, which may prove a far more daunting task than one would imagine at first glance. Additionally, the plan makes consistent mention to abbreviated and jargon-based programs and standards that some individuals, particularly parents and teachers at a lower level of superiority may have trouble understanding and following through with. While this is a minor issue in the grand…