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Vision for an Excellent School

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Dawn Doorenbos

on 11 December 2012

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Transcript of Vision for an Excellent School

Eileen Orner, Nicole Williams,
Kim Schrader, and Dawn Doorenbos The Awesome Dream School Our Mission: Distinctives Distinctives:
"We believe GRACE
transforms lives...
20 Points of Grace* (adapted from www.graceprep.com) Delivering an excellent global education where individuals are loved and valued, and character is built for life-long success grounded in truth and integrity. Middle School (Grades 5-8) Standard American Calendar Christian International School Classroom size: 15 students School Size: 180 students 12:1 Student to faculty ratio 1:1 Student to Computer ratio Building distinctives:
-Library, lunch room, computer lab, swimming pool; admin. office; teachers have own rooms; teacher meeting rooms; conference rooms; teachers lounge; gym; fine arts with practice rooms; nurse’s office; student lockers; bathrooms; separate teacher bathrooms. Strategic planning depends on…
Specific organizational goals
Capacity for objective, independent judgment
Technical expertise

Every 6 years our school will be assessed by Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC).
Every 3 years we will have a mid term review by WASC to check on the progress of our schools’ improvement. Strategic Planning Community Resources Keeping school affordable, especially to M families in the area:
We will provide scholarships on a needs basis.
Donors who will allow the school to keep tuition to a minimum.
Keeping a multi-cultural climate in the school:
While using an American-based curriculum, teachers will develop curriculum to tie in multi-cultural perspectives.
Teachers will also integrate information regarding TCKs. Any International curriculum that may become available in the future will be assessed for it applicability to the school.
Showing love and mercy while maintaining high standards:
Major decisions regarding discipline and academic issues will be dealt with prayerfully while seeking what is best in each unique situation for each student. Issues The school will enlist help from the community members, parents, and businesses when designing and planning major school events.
All will work to designate representatives to help plan the event with the goal of bringing the school community together. School Events The school will use leaders Parent Teacher Organization and government leaders to allocate community resources. Local teachers will help teachers know how to mobilize the resources available.
- All available stakeholders will gather in quarterly meetings to discuss issues and create action plans
- The school will communicate with stakeholders using
o A website translated into the major languages represented in the school and community
o Weekly newsletter e-mailed to all stakeholders
o Yearly report of progress and identified need
Parents remain one of the most defining factors in a students’ education (Guthrie & Schuermann, 2010). As such, the school will pursue positive relationships with families, stressing the importance of family participation and support of education. Allocation and Mobilization In order to serve the non-English speaking community while keeping English standard high:
The school will have a well-developed ESOL program with push-in assistance in addition to pull-out classes. ESOL students will be charged an extra fee.
While English will be the main language of the school, the school website, newsletter, and other major communication will be translated into major languages represented in the school.
Translators from the school and community will also provide services as needed. Issues continued Involvement in the community despite language barriers
Each grade will have a TA who will present ways to involve the community and be involved in the community in conjunction with the curriculum
The school will have a team to provide students and staff with optional ways to serve in the community. Projects will mostly take place after school, on weekends, and on long school breaks.
Gaining and maintaining government support while pursuing a Christ-centered learning environment
The school will not hide its Christ-foundations either from government or parents. Issues continued A team of teachers and parents representing major countries and companies will gather annually to assess curriculum and instruction needs.

All final decisions will be made by department heads for which the curriculum is chosen. Curriculum & Instruction As new positions open up, teachers and parents will be given the opportunity to express important characteristics desired in new staff.

Teachers in related field will meet with the principal and new staff candidate before hiring decisions are made. Selection and Retention of Staff
♣ The school will have a board.
♣ The school principal will be elected by the school board.
Teachers and parents may suggest candidates for principal positions.
The board will assess these choices. Leadership Decisions We will partner for excellence with all stakeholders by asking for input in most major decisions. Stakeholders will know they have been heard, but the board will make most of the major decisions.
While we want to get as much input as possible from all stakeholders, we also submit all final decisions to the board for the sake of efficiency and in order to remain founded in the school’s vision and purpose. Partnering for Excellence and Love Teachers
Organizations and businesses that send their kids to the school
Community members and leaders
Other school staff The stakeholders are: Stakeholder Involvement
Stakeholders and Community School and Community Issues Major financial decisions will be made by the board. Any other stakeholders affected by the decisions will have input into major decisions.
The school will have financial transparency and therefore accountability to parents and other community members.
One study conducted in Kenya revealed that financial transparency had positive impact on the school (Peter, Moses, & Anthony, 2009). Finances Nondiscriminatory: The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or ethnic origin in the hiring or treatment of its staff members or in the admission of students.
Enrollment Priority:
First – Children of staff and associates
Second – Brothers and sisters of students already in attendance
Third – Children who speak English fluently
Fourth – Children who do not speak English fluently
Tuition Payments and Refund: Parents are responsible for the payment of all school fees. Report card and transcripts (if moving to another school) will not be released if payments are not complete. Policy The school will operate on an Administration-Dominated Budget.
Management is responsible for the yearly budget.
Administration and the department heads will oversee the distribution of funds. School Finances Data-driven decision making is a process where educational problems are analyzed and addressed.
“It is imperative that school leaders engage in reflective and systematic data analysis so that difficult decisions are made wisely” (Guthrie & Schuermann, 2010). Data-Driven Decision Making Students caught cheating will receive
First offense:
An automatic zero on that assignment or test
A 2-hour detention
Parents will be notified
Second offense:
On-campus suspension
Denoted behavior of their permanent record
Third offense:
Academic dismissal Student Discipline - Cheating Student Discipline - Bullying School Management 1. Sickness:
Students should not be sent to school if they have bad colds, fever (above 100F/37.7C), nausea, or have vomited in the past 24 hours.
2. Attendance:
Parents should notify the office by 9:15 am on the day in which the student is absent with a reason for the absence.
3. Early Release:
If a student needs to leave before the end of the school day, he/she must have a note from a parent. Policy Emergency Drills:
Every quarter, the school will conduct at least one fire drill or emergency drill.
Medical Emergency Procedures:
In case of a serious illness of accident, the family will be contacted immediately and asked to come get the child from school.
If family cannot be contacted and immediate treatment is required, the student will be taken to the appropriate medical facilities. School Safety Our school will be a site-based management/school-based decision making shifts the responsibility from the school district to the administrators, teachers, community members, and others involved in the school.
Our school will also be focused enhancing teacher leadership roles and decision making without taking teachers out of the classroom.
-These two styles combined will provide accountability to all involved with the school. School Management The parents of those involved will be contacted.
If the process of a non-punitive approach is exhausted with no change in behavior, the student will begin a process of:
Behavioral contract with the school principal and/or
Removal from the classes and contact areas in common with the target
Continued failure of a student bully to achieve the required change in behavior will result in the student bully being recommended to the school board for expulsion. Student Discipline - Bullying Students are expected to abide by the regulations set up by the school.
The first violation is considered a warning.
The second, results in a 1-hour detention and a letter home to the parent.
The third, results in a second 1-hour detention and a parent conference.
The fourth, results in a further meeting with the parents and detention.
The fifth, results in a one day suspension. Student Discipline - Behavioral Probation Policy The MS principal will create a master schedule of all available courses. Students will select their electives. Elective courses:
Choral Music
Instrumental Music
Foreign Languages Required courses:
Social Studies
Physical Education Scheduling 6. Mentor- serve as role models, acclimate new teachers to a new school, and advise new
teachers about instruction, curriculum, procedure, practices, and policies
7. School leader- serving on a committee, shares the vision of the school, aligns professional
goals with those of the school and district, and shares responsibility for the success of the school as a whole
8. Data coach- lead conversations that engage their peers in analyzing and using data to
strengthen instruction
9. Catalysts for change- visionaries who are never content with the status quo
10. Learner- model continual improvement, demonstrate lifelong learning, and use what they
learn to help all students achieve
(Harrison & Killion, 2007) More Roles of Teacher Leaders Here are some of the roles:
1. Resource provider- shares instructional resources
2. Instructional specialist- helps teachers implement effective strategies
3. Curriculum specialist- leads teachers to agree on standards, follow the adopted
curriculum, and develop shared assessments
4. Classroom supporter- works inside the classroom to help teachers implement new
ideas by demonstrating a lesson, co-teaching, or observing and giving feedback
5. Learning facilitator- facilitating professional learning opportunities among staff
(Harrison & Killion, 2007) Roles of Teacher Leaders “Teacher leaders assume a wide range of roles to support school and student success. Whether these roles are assigned formally or shared informally, they build the entire school’s capacity to improve” (Harrison & Killion, 2007, pg. 74).

“Regardless of the roles they assume, teacher leaders shape the culture of their school, improve student learning, and influence practice among the peers” (Harrison & Killion, 2007, pg. 78). Roles of Teacher Leaders We will also provide:
Professional development and quality leadership development that is sustained and on-going
Coaching and support to ensure the leaders are continuing to improve and grow
Job-embedded learning at the school site
Collaborative learning opportunities
Action research opportunities
Opportunities for developing professional networks
(Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009). Developing Teacher Leadership Develops school mission and goals
Coordinates, monitors, and evaluates curriculum, instruction, and assessment
Promotes a climate for learning
Creates a supportive work environment
Unites teacher in the common points of their educational missions
Provides staff with the environment and opportunities to learn from each other
(Guthrie & Schuermann, 2010) Best Practices of Principal “The key to effectively bringing a school together to collectively learn is building teacher leadership” (Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009, pg. 26).
We will provide teachers with:
Leadership opportunities to improve their classroom and the overall school
Professional development opportunities and promote collaboration and team work
Opportunities for shared decision making
(Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009). Promoting Teacher Leadership “One of the most important duties of a leader is to have an ethical perception of management” (Karakose, 2007, pg. 464).
Our school principal will be:
A good role model for staff by displaying ethical behaviors first
A principled decision maker
Honest, caring, and principled individual who makes fair and balanced decisions
Objective, respectful of individuals, and just
(Karasoke, 2007) Ethics, Fairness, and Integrity “Principals of successful schools negotiate with the larger system and develop liaisons with powerful individuals to diminish barriers” (Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009, pg. 97).
Actively listen to teachers
Assuming responsibility for knowing about teaching and learning in the school
Being consistent in follow through on shared decisions
Encourages the staff
Accepts the different ideas of the staff

(Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009) Leadership Skills of Principal Four dimensions of our transformational leader:
1. Charisma- displays convictions, takes stands, and appeals to followers on emotional level
2. Inspirational motivation- articulates a vision that is appealing to others, challenge others with high standards, communicate optimism about future goals, and provide meaning for task at hand
3. Intellectual stimulation- challenges assumptions, takes risks, solicits others’ ideas, stimulate and encourage creativity in their followers
4. Individualized attention- attends to others’ needs, acts as mentor or coach, listens to concerns and needs, respect and celebrate the individual contributions

(Guthrie & Schuermann, 2010) Leadership Style of Principal Our principal will be a transformational leader.
He or she will be one that creates an environment in which each individual feels empowered to fulfill his or her needs as a member of a productive learning community.

(Guthrie & Schuermann, 2010) Leadership Style of Principal School Leadership 1. Every quarter the administration and teachers will choose an ESLR to focus on school-wide.

2. When communicating with parents about their child’s progress (through mid-quarters, report
cards and/or emails), ESLR’s will be mentioned as teachers see students meeting these goals.

3. Planned student activities related to ESLR’s:
Fall camp – done by grade at the start of the year to help students get to know each other, their teachers and the Lord.
Weekly assemblies – done as a whole school, are a time of worship through song and message
Service days – done both by grade and school-wide at least twice a year
Spring trip – done by grade at the close of the year to help students leave well (if they are moving), wrap up the year and see where they are in relationship with God. 3 Action Steps for ESLR’s Versatile thinkers who…
Think critically by analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing information in order to make decisions and solve problems
Think creatively in order to independently produce original works with high standards

Effective communicators who…
Articulate thoughts and ideas well in any oral or written form
Gather information through active, open listening, reading, and observing
Use available technologies to search for and communicate truth Global Learning Goals – ESLR’s cont.
(Expected School-Wide Learning Results) Lovers of truth who…
Articulate and defend their own worldview
Eagerly pursue learning as a continuing habit of life
Demonstrate a well-rounded proficiency in the academic disciplines, athletics, and the arts 
Understand these disciplines as an interconnected whole

Spiritual discerners who…
Understand the true meaning of life and articulate it well
Demonstrate inner character by applying truth to all pursuits and dealings
Accept themselves and others as created with intrinsic value Global Learning Goals – ESLR’s
(Expected School-Wide Learning Results) We believe in the existence, accessibility, and applicability of transcendent truth.
We desire for all students to become people who consistently do right in thought, word, and action.
We desire to be a community where all are nurtured and appreciated. Student Learning Philosophy The Stanford Achievement Test is administered each spring to all students as a basis for comparison with U.S. national norms for achievement.
All students will also take a standardized writing assessment called the WrAP.
Mid-Quarter reports are posted online at the 3 ½ week mark to update parents as to their child’s progress.
Report cards come out every 9 weeks with a comment about each students academic and behavioral progress to track their quarterly achievements. Assessment Philosophy Mission: To enrich the quality of people’s lives
“Utilizing findings of research on brain-based learning, the C.L.A.S.S. model has transformed school communities, weaving climate, community, and curriculum together in positive and powerful ways.”

www.indianaclass.com/aboutus.html Curriculum Philosophy Creating successful schools with collaboration skills, brain research, and character education
There are three strands of the C.L.A.S.S. model: climate, community, and curriculum-all three are interdependent
Best teaching practices are based from the understanding of the human brain, systemic understanding of human beings, and the interactions among human beings and their environment
www.ridleysd.k12.pa.us/domain/11 School Reform Model – C.L.A.S.S. Philosophy and
Improvement Plan Mature interactors who…
Take responsibility for their actions
Seek to understand and interact effectively with all cultures
Set reasonable goals, take appropriate risks, and set personal boundaries
Proactively maintain all aspects of their health

Societal influencers who…
Maintain a high level of global awareness
Proactively seek to impact other cultures in a contextually appropriate way
Take seriously their responsibility as caretakers of the world around them
Serve others around them graciously and proactively Global Learning Goals – ESLR’s cont. We desire for our students and faculty to make a positive, lasting impact in any context in which they find themselves.
We believe that every aspect of school should be characterized by a commitment to excellence.
We believe that education is most effective in the context of a clearly defined curricular approach, strong parental support, and international emphasis. Accountability Philosophy Translate brain research into practical classroom application
Provide research-based techniques that drive successful learning
Prepare current and future educators to become exemplary practitioners
Create a philosophical foundation in the school community that empowers the growth of the students in becoming productive contributors in society
(www.ridleysd.k12.pa.us/domain/11) Instruction Philosophy The academic courses were listed earlier in scheduling. Extra-curricular (one per quarter in the order listed):
Baseball/Softball Curricular:
Strong academics
Administration focused on learning
A focus on meeting the needs of all students
An emphasis on developing the whole child Curricular and Extra-curricular We recognize:
The challenges of sharing resources.
Resources may be limited.
Strategic planning ensures that resources are allocated equally among teachers and students, and students are provided with quality education.
The value of evaluating our current resources and decide how they can be used most effectively for student learning. Competition for Resources “It is necessary to design strategies to deal with cultural diversity in a proper way so that education becomes significant for all students regardless of their background” (Agudo, Ballesteros, & Malik, 2003, pg. 50).
We will:
Implement an intercultural approach
Provide staff training programs on cultural diversity and innovation practices
Promote cultural conscience and awareness of the diversity of ideas, values, world visions, practices and experiences of the cultural groups
Provide all students, regardless of their social and cultural group, have real access to high quality education
(Aguado, Ballesteros, & Malik, 2003) Cultural Diversity
Diversity, Technology, and Change Section 7 We recognize that we are teaching and learning in a digital age:
“Simply being able to use technology is no longer enough. Today’s students need to be able to use technology to analyze, learn, and explore. Digital age skills are vital for preparing students to work, live, and contribute to the social and civic fabric of their communities” (http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students).

We will promote the daily use of technology in the classrooms. We will have a 1:1 laptop to student ratio in each classroom in addition to a computer lab. Increased Technology
We will have a media specialist to:
Provide teachers and students with the most current information.
Assist students with retrieval of meaningful information for their research needs.
Assist teachers and students in incorporating research into the curriculum and extension.
We will teach our staff and students to evaluate the vast array of information at their disposal. We will teach them how to select the most pertinent information that aligns with their educational goals.
(Loesch, 2010) Information Explosion Goal is to IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING

1. Teacher observations of other teachers for encouragement and ideas
2. Action-research implementation and evaluation through assessments and learning through successes and failures
3. Verbal conversations and evaluations face-to-face
4. Regular visitations and observations teachers and administration to improve student learning
5. Teach teachers with observations of excellent teaching
6. Assessment of students objectives--how to help students meet objectives Classroom Supervision and Evaluation for Improving Instruction, Learning, and Student Achievement Goal: CREATE a great culture!

1. Welcoming of ideas both from teachers and administrators (two-way)
2. Freedom
3. Caring place
4. Developmental Focus: Support
5. Sense of belonging and security
6. Encouraged to express thoughts and ideas
7. Discussions about thoughts and ideas
(Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009) Environment for Professional Growth: Goal: Empower and refresh teachers

1. Principal and administration provide resources and support for the staff
--Ongoing support: follow-up conferences, strategies, research, implementation
2. Continuing education:
--Provision for continuing education at teacher discernment--teachers can bring personal/educational ideas school will support and fund these endeavors.
--Each department--Monthly topic for research and discussion and share inspiring video clips and follow-up
3. Take whole staff to an annual teaching conference with free to enjoy and be refreshed
4. Teacher-leaders: developing, encouraging and supporting other teachers and administration
5. Professional development school-wide topics to staff monthly provided and discussed among staff and then practiced
6. Send links, websites, videos, new trends, and resources
7. New staff sent to a nice hotel to rest after the first quarter and then share encouragement and struggles
8. Attend an annual mission conference
9. A personal day each semester--be refreshed (not paid for not using, not only for emergency just necessary rest) and birthday off Professional Personal Growth (Faculty and Staff) Plan: NOT driven by standardized test-scores, but by student NEEDS.

1. Tests such as MAPS will be used to assess and identify challenges to student learning. The test is computer-based and adapts questions to students learning level to help students feel successful as they are taking the test.
2. Teacher Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) will meet to discuss student needs, develop and carry-out action plans, evaluate student learning, and share research.
3. Students will also identify problems, research, and come up with action plans to learn and evaluate their own learning and solve problems they identify.
4. Student-based learning projects will encourage individualized learning and community involvement using "actual" real projects like running a business, traveling abroad to learn language and culture, or interning at a local business.
5. Evaluations of student learning objectives through hands-on activities, written and verbal evaluations (students, parents, community)
6. Curriculum cycle and evaluation Student Achievement Continuous Improvement Plan: A Culture of Growth Aguado, T., Ballesteros, B., & Malik, B. (2003). Cultural diversity and school equity: A model to evaluate and develop
educational practices in multicultural education contexts. Equity & Excellence in Education, 36(1).
Bambino, D. (2005). Learning to see with a third eye: Working to address inequity effectively. Educational Horizons,
84(1), 47-50.
C.L.A.S.S. (2009). Retrieved October 26, 2012 from http://www.indianaclass.com/aboutus.html
C.L.A.S.S. Curriculum Model. (2009). Retrieved October 26, 2012 from http://www.ridleysd.k12.pa.us/domain/11
Grace Prep School. Retrieved October 26, 2012 from http://www.graceprep.com/40points/
Guthrie, J. & Schuermann, P. (2010). Successful school leadership: Planning, politics, performing, and power. Boston,
MA: Pearson Education.
Harrison, C. & Killion, J. (2007). Ten roles for teacher leaders. Educational Leadership.
International Society for Technology in Education. http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students
Karakose, T. (2007). High school teachers’ perceptions regarding principals’ ethical leadership in Turkey. Asia Pacific
Education Review, 8(3).
Katzenmeyer, M. & Moller, G. (2009). Awakening the sleeping giant: Helping teachers develop as leaders. Thousand
Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Loesch, M. (2010). Librarian as professor: A dynamic new role model. Education Libraries, 33(1).
Peter, K. K., Moses, W. N., & Anthony, K. S. (2009). Principals' and students' perceptions on parental contribution to
financial management in secondary schools in kenya. Quality Assurance in Education, 17(1), 61-78. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09684880910929935
(2012). Secondary handbook and planner. Tianjin International School. References for Awesome Dream School Development! Math Classes: Will be provided by ability not simply grade level.
Students new to English will be provided with pull-out support in ESOL classes in replacement of language and social studies classes. Students will remain in this class until they have a functional level of English.
Students of all levels will receive push-in support until they reach a basic English level.
Specialized ESOL teachers will work with classroom teachers to develop IEPs for each ESOL students.
The school’s special education expert will make plans for learning disabled, emotionally and physically handicapped students. These students will be integrated in normal classes as much as possible and the special education expert will provide resources and support to classroom teachers
In regard to cultural needs, teachers will seek to “know what we do not know” in order to provide support and be aware of the unique needs of each student (Bambino, 2005, p. 48). Celebrating Successes Teachers will:
Provide plan lessons to provide for multiple intelligences.
Differentiation in every class is expected.
The school will:
Hire a special education director and more workers as needed to meet each unique need as it arises and provide resources for teachers.
Gifted programs will be provided. Diverse Needs: Access and Equity Diverse Needs Diverse Learning Needs
and References Once identified each bully, target, bystander, and witness will be spoken with and investigated and documented.
If a violation of the school behavior policy requires a punitive response than it will be treated as a separate issue to the required support response for the bullying behavior
Those involved will be directed to one or more of the following: counselor for individual accountability, counselor for reconciliation talks, peer mediation. Unique Learning Needs: We believe success is much more than getting 100% on a test, honor rolls, or awards.
Each individual has value and should be encouraged.
Success is felt mostly deeply when someone takes risks to create something he or she values and cares about.
Because affirmation for small successes enlarges capacities for greater tasks, we seek to encourage with verbal and written (private and public) affirmation for small successes as well as large ones.
We celebrate success through creative learning experiences that allow students to accomplish something bigger than they thought possible.
Then we, as a school, share in those successes through:
Science Fairs, Poetry Jams, Showcasing Student Books, Parents' Night, Drama Productions, Music Concerts, Community Service Projects, Graduation
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