School Improvement Plans for Student Success
The Ministry of Education requires that, “Each school and school board will develop plans for improvement. Schools, Boards of Education and the Ministry will monitor progress towards improving student performance and will report these results to parents and the community. Implementation may differ from school district to school district.
This year, our school plans underwent a major revision to more accurately reflect our shift to an inquiry-based model for school improvement. While the format of the plan is significantly different, school plans, and the subsequent inquiry questions, must still fall within one of the three district goals of LITERACY, NUMERACY, and SCHOOL COMPLETION.
The inquiry-based model for school improvement is centered on a critical question developed by the school staff. Specifically, each school staff develops a question driven by their own curiosity as to what will make the greatest positive difference for student success. Through an on-going, collaborative professional learning experience, schools will implement and learn from an action research plan that is more reflective in nature and seeks to put theory into practice. The school plans consist of the following four sections.
1. Inquiry Question(s): Depending on the size of the school and/or the interest of the staff, schools may develop more than one question. In some cases, the question will serve as an over-arching question that allows for various learning teams to explore, at greater depth, the specifics of answering the question. This section will also include an evidence-based rationale that explains what compelled the staff to ask the question.
2. Action Plan: Outlining the action that schools will take in order to fully answer their question(s), this section will/could include the follow:
· Objectives that outline specific steps to be taken or more specific questions to be explored.
· Structures and Strategies to be implemented for all students and/or the most vulnerable learners.
· The Assessment Tools & Process to be used in order to measure the school’s success toward answering the question.
· A Professional Learning strategy designed to increase, through collaboration, the collective capacity of all staff.
· The Resources needed or to be used in order to increase the achievement of the students AND/OR supplement the professional learning of the staff.
· Parent involvement and how parents will become partners in the school’s efforts to increase student achievement.
3. Evidence: This section will report any evidence/data related to answering the inquiry question. This evidence can be presented as both statistical and/or narrative data. While statistical data is a more traditional form of data, narrative data seeks to tell the story beyond the numbers for the entire school, a specific grade level, a small group, or an individual student.
4. Reflection and Summary: Action research is a reflective process, therefore, a critical component to the school plans is the school staff’s reflection on what was learned and how/if it made a difference. This reflection will serve as a springboard for future planning that allows schools to develop their plans for the following year.