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Transforming Organizational Culture to Improve Student Achievement

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John Searles

on 7 December 2013

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Transcript of Transforming Organizational Culture to Improve Student Achievement

Midland County ESA:
The Mosaic

Superintendent, Merrill Community Schools
Six Years
Many Successes
$1.5M in Cost Savings and Shifts
High Achievement at all Levels
Stable and/or Increasing Enrollment
New Programs
Mobile Learning
Chinese Language Program
Early Childhood Program
On-line Learning Lab
First Leadership Team Meeting, May 2, 2011
Expectations for Leadership Team
A New Vision
Interdependency of Members
Quote: "This is all very nice, John. But we
can't even get paper in the copy
Began to Identify Issues
Relationships with Local Districts
Business Office in Shambles
Human Resource Office Dysfunctional
SILOS, Silos, silos
No Decision-making Power
Cabinet vs. Administrative Staff
Lack of Vision
Focus on Behavior Management of Students
Low Staff Morale and Expectations
Started at MCESA, May 2, 2011
Spent one week with retiring supt.
My assistant's son in car crash
No help with the culture of transition
Leadership Team
Community Responsibilities
The Realization
(or CRASH and BURN)

Relationships with Board Members
Relationships with Local District Superintendents
Internal Organizational Chaos
Anna...Heaven Sent
Fall Conference: What do I "Need 2 Be"?
Realization that Transition is HARD
Union Issues with Para President
Board Inquisition
Leadership Team
StrengthsFinder 2.0
Market Analysis of ALL Salaries
New Business Department
CFO from AHP
New Model of Sustainability and Capacity
New HR Department
Outsourced to HR Firm...but it didn't work
Restructured Again
A New Vision of Success
A New Focus on Relationships at Every Level of the Organization (both inside and out) to Build a Foundation of Trust.
My Board of Education
Working on Relationships
Board Workshops
Led by MASB
One Employee
Constant, Consistent, Communication
One member remains a challenge
Planned succession and my influence
Working with Unions
New Para Union President
New Revolutionary Teacher Agreement
New Paraeducator Agreement
Monthly Meetings
Better Relationships
Local Districts
Trying to Build Relationships and Trust
Individual Meetings with Superintendents
Meetings Between our CFO and Local Business Managers
Refunds to Districts
Listening to Better Meet LEA's Needs
Transforming Organizational Culture to Improve Student Achievement

Without the right culture and strong relationships, it is nearly impossible to be an effective leader.
Implemented Executive Coaching
Katy Caschera, Need 2 Be
Model for All Employees
I'm coached by Katy
I coach my Leadership Team
They coach their direct reports, including teachers
Teachers coach paraeducators
Next, peer to peer?
Partnerships to Support
Improved Student Achievement
Great Lakes Bay Instructional Services Consortium
Three ISD's: Saginaw, Midland, Bay-Arenac
Saginaw ISD and Midland County ESA
Shared Leadership in Tech Director
Shared people and skill sets
Data Director
Gratiot-Isabella RESD and Midland County ESA
Shared Expertise
Health and Human Services
Midland Kids First
Midland County Emergency Management Team
Great Lakes Bay Regional Education Advisory Committee
SEAC Vice-Chair
Teaching and Learning
Transform organizational culture from an emphasis on managing student behaviors to teaching and learning
Teaching and Learning
Created Advisory Team
Developed a Vision of Mass Customized PD for ALL
StrengthsFinder 2.0
We are offering what employees need to implement the vision.
Teaching and Learning
Three simple questions everyone in each classroom must be able to answer:

What are you teaching?
Why are you teaching it?
What comes next?
Structures to ensure effective organizational operations
Building Capacity to Support LEA's
Dreaming about where we need to go next
What is one area you can commit
to work on next week?

What's your plan?
Contact Information
John M. Searles, Superintendent
Midland County ESA
Office: (989) 631-5892 ext. 107
Cell: (989) 798-0291
My Vision Influenced...
-Opportunity to travel with Gerstacker Fellowship

* Taiwan
* China
* Chicago
* Los Angeles
* Tampa
Midland County ESA Strategic Plan
Constantly Updated
Not just sitting on a shelf
Historical document of tasks completed
Major Components include:
Policy Revisions
Strategic Partnerships
Teacher Contract
Focus on Student Achievement
IEP Goals
Student growth is measureable
No Steps
Performance Pay
Student performance contributess to teachers rebasing of salary
Paraeducator Recruitment and Retention
New recruiting strategies
Flexible scheduling to accommodate college students and retirees
Focus on high quality highly trained individuals
EMT's, Paramedics, CNA's
Local District Collaboration
Monthly Special Education Supervisors/Directors Meetings
Work closely with local business managers
More collaboration with technology
Weekly Meetings to Articulate the Vision
Monday, Leadership Team
Thursday, Supervisors Meeting
Dir. of Sp. Ed. and four supervisors
Meetings led by Dir. of Sp. Ed.
Ongoing Opportunities for coaching
To be an effective coach...
I Must Understand Myself
We challenge each other to use technology to enhance our work
StrengthsFinder 2.0
Stages for Staff Evaluation
Part of a larger consortium
Custom fields for
various itinerant staff
Home and School Connections
Parent Advisory Council
Programming for parents
School events, ie: dinners, musical performances
Research Supported Strategy
Support Training and ResourceS
Traditionally for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Now applied to all good teaching
Domains focus attention to round out experiences for students
Student Progress
Must be measured against IEP goals
There is no single test or standard grade level movement for most kids.
New Student Information System
Tracks IEP's
Progress on goals is visible
Immediate Transformation
Better technology replaces some expensive assistive technology
Professional Development for iPads
As part of our focus on custimized PD, our staff have requested opportunities to share strategies for classroom implementation and apps.

Truly grass roots PD driven by the end user.
Stakeholder Input
Parent Advisory Council
Autism Resources
Other informal meetings
New Projects
Shared Leadership with Saginaw ISD
MASA President Elect
The Midland Promise
Position: Dir. of Vocational Enterprises
The Longview Project
Building Relationships with Community Stakeholders
Corporate Leaders
Local, State, and Federal Officials
Foundation Community
Law Enforcement
Service Community
Business Community
Full transcript