Indiana School Improvement Grant Award

To: Indiana School Improvement Grant Applicant
From: Sue Reynolds, President, American Student Achievement Institute

I am very pleased to inform you that your school has been selected to receive the Indiana School Improvement Grant awarded by the American Student Achievement Institute! We are very excited to begin working with you as a new member of the Indiana School Improvement Institute (SI2).

If you work in central office, please forward this email to the person at the school receiving the grant who will serve as the school's contact person. That person will be responsible for completing the initial tasks outlined in this email. Future tasks will be delegated among all Steering Team members.

First Tasks: The first steps in the SI2 process are to 1) identify a contact person within the school, 2) convene the SI2 Steering Team, and 3) have each Steering Team member register for all six webinars listed in Task 3 below. These are undoubtedly the most critical steps in the entire SI2 process. With the right Steering Team members, you will be able to delegate tasks which makes the process of school improvement manageable. Detailed instructions for each task are provided in this email.

On-Call Support: As you begin working on SI2, please remember that we are here for you. The SI2 Strategic Planning Specialist assigned to your school is Tina Weisman. Tina is the former principal at a school that was an SI2 Top Gainer school more years in a row than any other SI2 school. She understands schools and she understands the SI2 process. Tina will be monitoring your work as it is completed. She is also available for on-call support. Please contact her anytime you are confused or have a question. In addition to quick calls, you may schedule consultation appointments with Tina. You may reach Tina at 812-349-4142 or weisman@asainstitute.org.

Introductory Call: Tina Weisman will call the contact person from each school this week to introduce herself and answer any questions.

November SI2 Tasks

TASK 1

DEADLINE

November 16

TASK

School Contact Person

INSTRUCTIONS

Please send an email to the asai@asainstitute.org with the following information:

  1. School Name
  2. Contact Person's Name at the school
  3. Contact Person's Email address

TASK 2

DEADLINE

November 22

TASK

Steering Team Recruitment

INSTRUCTIONS

VERY, VERY IMPORTANT: A KEY component to your school's success in the School Improvement Institute and raising student achievement is the strength of your SI2 Steering Team. Schools that put time and energy into this step of the SI2 process have no problems completing the SI2 process on time and with integrity since each team member takes responsibility for their part of the process. Please read the following guidelines carefully.

ROLE: The role of the SI2 Steering Team is to MANAGE the change process. Since the role of the Steering Team is to manage change, it is critically important that each Steering Team member is a responsible individuals who will complete assigned tasks on time and with high quality. Delegated tasks will be assigned to each Steering Team member during the first training webinar.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Steering Team will:

  1. Attend six one-hour, interactive webinars
  2. Participate in six discussions with the Steering Team
  3. Complete ONE of the following tasks
    • Achievement data
    • Root cause data
    • Student body discussion
    • Council discussion
    • Council consensus
    • Intervention development
  4. Make decisions related to school improvement vision, goals, root causes and interventions (Start Up year only)

REQUIRED MEMBERS:

  1. Principal
  2. Teacher *
  3. Teacher *
  4. School counselor
  5. Parent
  6. Economic development council rep **

REQUIRED ATTRIBUTES: Each of the following attributes must be present in at least one Steering Team member

  1. Allocate resources - especially time at staff meetings
  2. Credibility - others watch to see what they think
  3. Natural leader - no authority, but others follow
  4. Natural teacher - engages and motivates students
  5. Authority - has the ability to "drop the hammer"

CONSIDERATIONS:

  1. Teacher appointments to the Steering Team should be made in accordance with IC 20-29 and local agreements between the school board and the exclusive representative. If the local teacher association does not have two members who wish to fill two point positions on the Steering Team and be responsible for completing tasks as outlined above, please consider increasing the size of your Steering Team with non-association members performing tasks and association members serving as observers for the association. The goal is to have six members on the Steering Team who will take responsibility for the delegated tasks.
  2. Current school improvement leadership: Your school is likely to have an existing leadership team for your school improvement efforts. As you convene your SI2 Steering Team, please be respectful of the current leadership and consider inviting them to continue serving as a member of the SI2 Steering Team. At the same time, we want to make sure that we have six strong Steering Team members who will each follow through on assigned tasks. Some schools may wish to have more than six Steering Team members with six being designated as the "worker bees" and others present but not responsible for task completion.

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* In middle and high schools, one teacher should be a math teacher. In Title I elementary schools, one teacher should be a Title I teacher.

** The economic development representative does not have to live in the school district. You may wish to invite a representative from a nearby town or city where students from your community tend to be employed after their postsecondary education. These representatives are usually interested in participating in your council because this gives them a chance to shape their future human resources. If you are not able to secure a member from your county's economic development council, a member from a nearby Chamber of Commerce or someone responsible for human resources at a large, nearby business or industry would be accepted.

TASK 3

DEADLINE

November 29

TASK

Steering Team Member training registration

INSTRUCTIONS

Please make sure that ALL Steering Team members have registered for all six SI2 Steering Team Webinars. Webinars will begin at 3:30pm Eastern Time.

Nov 30 REGISTER
Jan 4 REGISTER
Feb 1 REGISTER
Mar 1 REGISTER
Apr 5 REGISTER
May 3 REGISTER

TASK 4

DEADLINE

November 30

TASK

Steering Team Training

INSTRUCTIONS

All Steering Team members must attend the first SI2 Steering Team as a team.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please test your local technology prior to the webinar. In addition to watching and listening to the web-based presentation, you will need to be able to heard by the training facilitator. If using your computer for the audio (rather than calling in on a phone), make sure your computer has BOTH speakers AND a microphone. Some computers do not contain microphones.

TASK 5

TASK

Post-Training Discussion

INSTRUCTIONS

All Steering Team members participate in local post-training discussion. Ideally, the post-training discussion would occur immediately following the training. However, it is possible for the Steering Team to participate in the training one day and conduct the local discussion another day.