What are #Quality Improvement Professionals saying about your School District? SDMF Part 1 of 2

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In performance-driven districts, leaders constantly reflect on how well they are achieving and surpassing goals across district departments and schools. The same holds in performance-driven classrooms; teachers constantly reflect on how well their students are learning; they collect and analyze information about student learning, and the data are used in focused conversations with students to help teachers know if and when they need to re-teach the content, provide more practice, or coach more.

Teachers in the School District of Menomonee Falls (SDMF) build performance-driven classrooms. Check out what quality improvement professionals had to say about the district’s efforts during a visit (video cite):

At the classroom level, SDMF teachers know that their success is measured by how well their students have learned rather than how well they think they have taught. This means teachers collect and analyze data about student learning which helps them know what’s working well in their classrooms and where there is room for improvement.When teachers and students do this—when they engage in goal setting and instructional strategies that lead to improved learning—the result is increased student achievement, as captured in this Tweet by my colleague, Dr. Melissa Matarazzo:

At the district level, performance-driven improvement is built on quality-focused criteria and continuous improvement models aligned to goals and measures. Leaders use these data to drive decisions that accelerate movement to the goals. When leaders consistently and coherently move toward their goals and measures, they create a results-driven and performance-driven culture that produces improved student engagement; improved employee engagement and service excellence; and a great place for faculty to teach and staff to work, and for children to receive an excellent education. It’s in the culture, as captured by this Tweet from SDMF’s North Middle School principal:

SDMFprincipal1

The School District of Menomonee Falls is creating a culture of continuous improvement and quality. District and school leaders and teachers cascade goals and progress monitoring measures to the classroom level. Teachers have implemented a system of formative assessments to see how students are doing and make “real time” adjustments to instruction when needed. Students, beginning in kindergarten, are owners of their learning. Everyone is hungry to achieve quality and passionate in its pursuit.

StuderEducation

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Video accessed via North Middle School’s Vimeo site.

Heidi Eliopoulos is the principal of North Middle School in the School District of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. For more information about the school, check out North Middle School’s Facebook page and its website. Follow Principal Eliopoulos on Twitter at @htaylor79.

Discover more about the School District of Menomonee Falls from the district’s website at http://www.sdmfschools.org/ or contact Mitch Maersch, the district’s Public Information Coordinator/Executive Assistant.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Education is a Difference Maker. Every Child, Every School System, Every Day.

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Education is a Difference Maker. It strengthens our economy.

USDOE

Education is a Difference Maker. It gives kids a future.

Below is a portion of Denisha Merriweather’s story shared in The Wall Street Journal and on the Foundation for Excellence in Education website. Ms. Merriweather shares that attending “a secondary school that was the right fit for me… changed my life.” Let’s make every school “a right fit.” Here’s more from Ms. Merriweather:

Making honor roll is expected and academic success is celebrated. This environment was very different for me. But something clicked. My grades and self-confidence rose. I believed I could succeed and people there believed the same. Learning was no longer a nightmare, but a gift I greatly appreciated. I worked hard. In the end, I graduated with honors.

And yet, that’s not the end. A different school didn’t just make dreams come true for me. It allowed me to have dreams I didn’t know I could have. Last summer, after graduating from the University of West Florida, I volunteered at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, where I learned firsthand about that country’s social-welfare system. This spring, I plan to continue my education at the University of South Florida, in its joint master’s program in social work and public health.

I’m not sure which professional road I will take. I have options now. But whatever it is, I know I want to create opportunities for children to have a shot at a bright future. Just like I had.

Today, one of my colleagues, Dr. @janetpilcher, is attending the Foundation for Excellence in Education conference in Washington, D.C. Why? Because our Studer Education responsibility statement, “Every Child, Every School District, Every Day” is being shared in the day’s message; here are some tweets from this morning’s keynote by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush via @ExcelinEd:

“Too often, the bar is set low… and too little is expected of children who could do far more.”

“When schools fail our kids, we deny them more than an education….we deny them their right to their potential.”

“We need to measure to identify students & schools that are struggling so we can get them the support & resources needed to help them improve.”

“Aim higher…be bolder…raise standards and ask more of our students and the system.”

“… The promise of a quality education for every American child and with it, a chance to strengthen America.”

One final tweet from @ExcelinEd before this post goes to press sums up the importance—the purpose—we live daily at Studer Education and in the work we do with school districts across the country, “… All that can be done in the future will require bold leadership from the people in this room.”

StuderEducation

 

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Photo clipped from our @StuderEducation twitter feed via US Department of Education. Follow them on Twitter at @usedgov.

Merriweather quote via The Wall Street Journal and accessed online via ExcelinEd here.

Tweets harvested from @ExcelinEd Twitter Feed.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Preparing Student to be College and Career Ready in Clinton Schools (MO)

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“Prepare Students to be College and career Ready” is a measurable student achievement, quality goal for school districts. This district-level goal is often cascaded and measured across schools in a district with goals such as:

Increase percent on track to graduate all students from… to…

Increase composite percent of sophomores meeting college readiness standard on PSAT from… to…

Increase percentage of students proficient in math and reading in grades… from… to…

But, what does “college and career ready” mean for communities? It moves communities toward being “work ready.” Work Ready Communities commit to making their county, state, and region more competitive, closing the skills gap between individuals/workers and company needs by “providing a community-based framework” that:

Links workforce development to education

Aligns with the economic development needs of communities, regions and states

Matches individuals to jobs based on skill levels

When school districts focus on “college and career ready” goals, communities may find great success at being “work ready.” We saw this recently when Missouri Governor Nixon visited Clinton Technical School in the Clinton School District  to help celebrate Henry County becoming the 13th county in Missouri to achieve Work Ready Community status.

Clinton2Clinton Technical School (CTS) played a huge role in the accomplishment by participating in the National Career Ready Certificate assessments last spring. Over 98% of CTS students earned certification. Below, one CTS student, Grady Gatzmeyer, from Montrose School District, was recognized by Governor Nixon for earning Platinum Level on the National Career Readiness Certification assessment. Only 1% of students in Missouri participating in NCRC achieve Platinum Level.
Clinton4

During his visit to Clinton School District, Governor Nixon shared about the important role of education in economic development through the development of a quality workforce. By participating in Work Ready Communities initiative, Clinton School District and other “educators help close the skills gap by using tools integrated into career pathways with stackable industry-recognized credentials” (website).

Clinton3Truly, last Friday was “A great day to be a Cardinal!” Join us in congratulating Dr. Craig Eaton, Superintendent; Mr. Jake Fowler, Director of CTS; and teachers, staff, and students in the Clinton School District along with partners throughout Clinton and Henry County for being designated a Work Ready Community by Governor Nixon.

StuderEducation

 

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Photos and text focused on Clinton School District adapted from the district, as shared via the district’s Facebook page. Special thanks to Superintendent Dr. Craig Eaton for sharing about the governor’s visit to the district and recognizing his colleagues and students across the district for this achievement.

Visit the Work Ready Communities website for more information.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Keep Calm and Think, Cook, Eat, and Live Healthy!

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When non-instructional departments in a school district improve service excellence, instructional and learning gains are positively impacted. Here’s an example based on a Child Nutrition Services department spurred by one of our partner school districts, Tarrant City Schools (AL).

Research suggests that students who eat school breakfast attend on average more days of schools, achieve higher proficiency in mathematics, and are more likely to persist to graduation (No Kid Hungry); in addition, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) highlights the connection in this infographic:

FRAC

In Spring 2012, Tarrant City Schools implemented a universal breakfast program and breakfast participation rose across the district. The greatest increase was at Tarrant Elementary School where participation rose from 54% to 95%… Breakfast and lunch (at no cost to all students) was added the next year and the largest increase in lunch participation was at Tarrant High School. In turn, the district saw increases in student achievement.

Spurred on by the words of First Lady Michelle Obama that, “We can help create a culture – imagine this – where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them,” Tarrant City Schools’ Child Nutrition Program invited students to be part of Keep Calm and Live Healthy. Check out their story:

 

The district’s success of increasing breakfast and lunch participation among students across all grade-levels was recently recognized by the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) as one of the Best Practices and Innovations in the non-instructional departments of K12 public schools. Their video—their story—will be shown and celebrated at the AASB luncheon next month. Join us in congratulating the district, its leaders, teachers, staff and students on this recognition!

As district, department, and school leaders we are challenged to think about the way we define and commit to strategic actions. This means whether we’re leaders of a school or leaders of facilities, bus transportation, or child nutrition services, our school/department goals align to our district’s goal of “increasing student achievement.” Tarrant’s “Keep Calm and Live Healthy” strategic action was created in an environment where leaders, teachers and students own it and live it. It serves as a perfect reminder that non-instructional departments make a difference in the lives of students and in student learning.

 

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Special thanks to Dr. Shelly Mize, Superintendent of Tarrant City Schools, Tarrant, Alabama, for providing the link to their winning video! Dr. Mize is committed to providing students with healthy food choices, a high-quality education, and skills to be successful in college and/or a career. Read more about how Tarrant City Schools prepares students for “learning, service, and success” on the district’s website.

Augustine-Thottungal, R., Kern, J., Key, J., and Sherman, B. Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Impact Analysis. No Kid Hungry: Center for Best Practices. Accessed online here.

Infographic provided by Food Research and Action Center here. Follow them on Twitter at @fractweets.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Commitment to Digital Learning #edtech @OfficeOfEdTech #FutureReady

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This Wednesday, President Obama hosts “ConnectED to the Future,” a convening of superintendents and other educators from around the United States who are committed to digital learning. This, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, includes educators and leaders who have signed the Future Ready District Pledge, which:

Recognizes the importance of building human capacity within schools and districts for effectively using increased connectivity and new devices to transform teaching and learning (website).

Check out the Pledge below and/or download a copy here.

FutureReadyPledge

The ConnectED convening provides an opportunity for the President and U.S. Department of Education leaders to:

Recognize selected superintendents for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning; and

Facilitate opportunities for the superintendents to share lessons learned with each other and with ED to help disseminate promising approaches across the nation.

One of the superintendents to be recognized at ConnectED is Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Superintendent of Arlington Independent School District, Texas, and partner district of Studer Education. Join us in celebrating AISD and all the ConnectED school districts as model districts using technology to create personalized learning environments for its students.

FutureReady

Why the importance? From the Office of Educational Technology,

Technology has the potential to transform education in America, allowing students to learn more, to do so at their own pace, and to develop the knowledge and skills employers demand. And yet, fewer than 30% of classrooms have the broadband internet to support today’s education technology needs. 

The ConnectED Initiative has a goal of connecting 99% of students to next-generation connectivity by 2018.

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The photos and screen shots included above as well as all content of post adapted from U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology website and pages: http://tech.ed.gov/superintendentsummit/. Follow on Twitter at @OfficeOfEdTech and #FutureReady.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

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