Dear Colleagues,Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year. Let me express my sincere appreciation for all the work everyone did to prepare for the return of students last week. As a district, we had a very smooth opening. That does not happen by accident. Thank you for making that a reality.
I want to introduce you to the first of what will be several installments of the Superintendent’s Update. The purpose of this ongoing internal newsletter will be for me to communicate directly to all employees about important things happening within our district. The format for each of these will be the same — a bold heading to identify the issue followed by a brief explanation of what is happening and how it might affect schools and employees. Along the way, I will try to strike a balance between keeping you informed and being mindful of your day-to-day digital communications.
Operationalizing the Plano ISD Strategic Plan
We have very meaningful and appropriate objectives laid out in our district Strategic Plan. What can be strengthened is a purposeful approach, effectively a “golden thread” to weave into these objectives in our district, school and individual growth efforts. Additionally, we have not had a systematic way of measuring our success at accomplishing these important goals and objectives.
In order to focus efforts to meet the two large district goals (ensure continued improvement in student learning and ensure efficient use of resources), we needed to come to some operational agreement on the things we believe define the work and outcomes we seek. Accordingly, we created four operational expectations under each of these goals. They are as follows:
Student Learning 1.1Maintain high expectations for all students through creative and effective instructional delivery, rigorous learning outcomes and a focus on eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps 1.2Foster student acquisition of 21st century skills 1.3Provide quality, diverse programming that maximizes choice and provides students with a personalized, well-rounded education 1.4Focus on responsible citizenship by developing and recognizing character traits of integrity, ethics and service and a strong appreciation for all cultures Efficient Use of Resources 2.1Demonstrate fiscal responsibility through efficiency and mission-driven priorities (financial resources/budgeting) 2.2Attract and retain highly qualified staff and focus on strengthening the capacity of all employees (human capital) 2.3Provide students and staff with high quality, safe and productive learning environments (facilities and time) 2.4Maximize community connections to strengthen, support and promote our educational mission (community and private sector)
Now that we've established these operational expectations to guide and prioritize our work, we need to create a reasonable number of outcome indicators to help us determine our success in each area. These outcome indicators can certainly be quantitative measures that connect to our operational expectations. For example:
- Operational expectation 1.1 would likely measure success using state assessment data, rigorous coursework participation and achievement data;
- Volunteer hours may be captured as a measure for operational expectations 1.2 and 2.4;
- Safety-related work order completion might be tracked in support of 2.3; and
- Kilowatt hour consumption and per-student budget data could be measures examined for expectation 2.1.
Measures, however, do not all have to be quantitative. Survey responses from students, teachers, staff and parents/patrons will likely represent a qualitative approach—asking stakeholders about our success related to the outcome information we seek. Feedback from teachers, related to their belief in the effectiveness of professional development or evaluation efforts as it relates to strengthening their capacity and practice, may provide valuable information as we gauge our success in expectation 2.3.
Goalkeepers to Form Teams for Creating Outcome Indicators
Beyond letting you know that this is happening, my second purpose in sending this newsletter is to invite your input into the creation of these outcome measures. We have assigned goalkeepers to each operational expectation. Their immediate task is to put together a project team whose charge is to recommend to the cabinet, and ultimately to the board, a reasonable number of these outcome indicators. My hope is that these teams will come together twice to ultimately create a draft of recommended outcome measures.
The first meeting will be used to frame the group’s work. In between meetings, team members will reach out to colleagues for input and potential recommendations. The second meeting (as well as digital communication outside of meetings) will be dedicated to creating a draft of potential outcome indicators that we will longitudinally use to measure our ongoing success as it relates to critical Strategic Plan objectives. A third meeting may be necessary if feedback following review of the first draft calls for significant additions or revisions. Our goal is to take a final draft of these outcome indicators to our board for their input at the November 17 Board Work Session.
Below are the names and email addresses for the goalkeepers assigned to each operational expectation. If you would like to be considered for any one of these project teams, please email that request to the appropriate goalkeeper by the end of the day on Thursday, September 10. Please understand that we may not be able to utilize everyone who expresses interest in serving. Each team will need to have a cross-section of varying stakeholders while keeping the number of members manageable. We will get back with everyone who expresses interest.
Student Learning 1.1 Susan Dantzler
1.2 Harriet Bell
1.3 Renee Godi
1.4 Mark Allen
Efficient Use of Resources 2.1 Linda Madon (email@example.com) 2.2 Jun Melvin (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2.3 Dev Shah
2.4 Brittnea Ussery
I hope you are having a great second week of school. I sincerely appreciate all you do to make our schools great places for students to grow and learn.
Dr. Brian T. Binggeli
Superintendent of SchoolsSuperintendent's Update | September 2, 2015