Focusing on a few things and doing them well: 5D, CCSS/NGSS and PLCs
“If we have a compelling WHY, we will always discover the HOW.”
With a clear, compelling vision of our preferred future established (the WHY), we need to determine what highest-leverage strategies we will employ to realize our vision (the HOW). Then, in our profession of competing expectations and priorities, we must maintain relentless focus on them.
Research shows that focusing more deeply on fewer high-leverage initiatives moves organizations toward achieving their goals. In my district we are concentrating our efforts and resources on our “big 3.” They are 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning/Teacher and Principal Evaluations, Common Core State Standards and Professional Learning Communities. These three initiatives work together to help us achieve our vision of improving the quality of classroom instruction, increasing rigor of student learning and providing time for teachers to collaborate and share expertise so all students benefit from the work of all teachers. We do these in service of better teaching and leading FOR student achievement!
Since these strategies target our vision, focusing on these allows us to allocate resources – time, money and people – in alignment with our mission and vision in tangible ways. They shape the district strategic plan and thus school improvement plans.
With clear goals and evidence of progress defined, we must monitor our work on an ongoing basis. Remember, we show what we value by:
- What we measure
- What we celebrate
- What we confront
“Artifacts of the culture” help us share the message of our learning mission. This timeline shows our ongoing commitment to these “big 3” and when we are accountable for providing “summative” evidence of our implementation. (We gather ongoing evidence frequently so we can support the work in a timely, targeted way. See “Data-Driven” page.)
The following are some presentations developed and shared to help us make connections on how our “big 3” initiatives (5D, CCSS and PLCs) are connected to each other and the learning mission of the system.
- “The big picture: Putting the pieces together” for our initiatives and systems-alignment presented for Admin Advance August 2012 – http://www.slideshare.net/MarciShepard/initiatives-and-systemsalignment-putting-the-pieces-together
- “The big picture: District strategic plan overview and introduction to school improvement plans” presented to the school board December 2012: http://www.slideshare.net/MarciShepard/osd-district-strategic-plan-and-sip-plans-introduction-12612-shepard