Practice Activity: Evaluating School Improvement Plans
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Identify an effective plan

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The School Improvement Plan serves as a blueprint of the actions and processes needed to produce school improvement. Once developed, the School Improvement Plan should guide resource allocation and staff development. The school needs to focus staff meetings, staff in-service, staff recognition, and staff monitoring around the School Improvement Plan objectives. In order to ensure that staff can implement the School Improvement Plan, a staff development plan must be developed to address staff needs. In order to ensure that all members of the school community are aware of the School Improvement Plan goals and objectives, a communication plan should be developed. Investing time in the development of a thoughtful, focused plan will pay dividends to the school over time.

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Most districts require the same set of components for your school improvement plan that are identified in the graphic below.

Strand Diagram linking together the components of a school improvement plan

The degree to which your objective is based on a thorough evaluation of your data and your strategies are based on a thorough clarification of your problem will determine how likely you are to attain the results you want. The degree to which you have aligned your staff development to these strategies and have identified the formative data you will collect to monitor progress toward your objective will determine whether you get the results you want.

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There are a number of resources that will help you identify an effective plan. The self evaluation checklist is one tool to guide you through the identification of an effective plan.

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You could also work with other schools to conduct a peer review of each other's school improvement plan. Some districts in other states require a peer review of a school improvement plan. This has the advantage of ensuring that a school has the input of another school team before it tries to implement its plan. In a K-12 cluster of schools, it also has the advantage of promoting alignment of efforts to improve student achievement. The next practice activity describes a peer review process.

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