Annually since 2001 the Superintendent of Schools has presented to the Board of Education an Instructional Plan that articulates the instructional goals of a particular year. From 2001 until 2011, these goals focused principally on curriculum revision in all content areas and its implementation; the development and implementation of teacher and administrator evaluation plans connected to the work of instruction and student achievement; professional development that geared towards developing understanding and utilization of research based instructional strategies, and the development of school growth plans based on data analysis and the SMART goal model.
In November 2006, in response to the requirements of the State Education Department under the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, District staff began work on a District Improvement Plan. This plan was adopted by the Board of Education in February 2007 and approved by the State Education Department. The plan provided a strategic focus for all central office and school staff. It represented a specific agenda for the 2007-2011 school years with clearly defined goals, objectives, and strategies to be used to achieve specific student achievement goals.
The plan identified three goals:
- Improve performance in literacy, particularly in reading and writing, of all students in grades K-12 as measured by District and State assessments
- Improve performance in numeracy of all students in grades K-12 as measured by District and State assessments
- Improve partnerships with parents and community stakeholders to increase the academic performance of all students
The plan also acknowledged that, as important as the implementation of the District Plan is, improving student achievement will only occur if instructional staff in schools is committed to achieving the three goals in their daily work with students by focusing on their practice in the classroom. To this end, our administration and instructional staff must:
- Create and nurture a cultural norm that encourages and reinforces that teachers must collaborate with each other in thinking about classroom practice, assessing student work, planning instruction, and observing each other’s practice;
- Align the work of the classroom around particular variables that research has demonstrated influence student achievement;
- Ensure that students are engaged in instructional tasks of high academic rigor;
- Ensure that students collaborate with each other and with their teachers in their work; and
- Continually assess the progress of students and use this information to inform instruction.
- Have a common understanding of the language to be used in our instructional work. (Appendix A).
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