The Gauntlet • Running the Gauntlet. Clint Eastwood Style. • Getting the job done against what ever the odds.
Pair Share • Warm Up: • Engage: E 5 Model. • 2 minute Turn & Talk. • Discuss situations at your school where you’ve had to run the gauntlet & having to make tough decisions
The WMR Blueprint has empowered the school leadership to effect significant change. • Some will see similarities in our presentation to their own path, perhaps offering some reassurance.
School Background: 2007 • Deer Park North is much like any other disadvantaged school. • We have our fair share of challenging students. • Many of our students will not have gone to kinder before starting school. • Many of our families struggle to put food on the table – school offers a breakfast program every morning between 8.30 & 8.55am
2007 • We have a high proportion of ESL students (Approx 60%). • A significant number of single parents. • A high proportion of SLD students (Severe Language Disorder) • Employ a full time Speech Pathologist. • From the Playroom to the Classroom Kits. (school readiness, responding to 1/3 of our students not having been to kindergarten) • Our SFO is around .74
2007 - Continued • For all intents & purposes we felt that we had a hard working staff. • A well organised school with various support programs. • Hardly a formula for poor performance. • Our most recent review has been the ‘Continuous Improvement Model’.
2007 • School Data was nothing startling though showing some signs of improvement. • We needed to rethink on the gradual, though slow improvement.
Reflection Time • The gap between our support programs & the requests/needs of our staff was getter wider. • Becoming increasingly difficult to plug holes. • Leadership discussed best way to move the school forward. • Visited High Performing Schools Bellfield – John Forrester.
Narrowing the Focus • 90/90/90 document influenced decision to streamline school curriculum. • Swimming restricted to Year 2 students. • Years 3/4 & 5/6 alternate going to camp • Secondary transition programs restricted to the two local secondaries. • Needed to have a greater focus on Literacy & Numeracy with fewer distractions.
Mountain to Climb • Essentially we needed to approach 2008 with a greater commitment/focus on ‘Building Teacher Capacity’. • A fair mountain to climb.
2008 • Regionally appointed coach. (A welcome initiative & a real plus for our school). • Proved confronting for many. • Needed to establish a profile as to which teachers does one allocate a coach, i.e. * the first year graduate * the team leaders * the teacher in most need of support * the teacher who was enthusiastic about being coached * Spread across teams • Too valuable a resource not to maximise potential.
Professional Reading • ‘Breakthrough’ – Fullen, Hill/Crevola. ‘Precise’, ‘Personalised’ &’ Purposeful’ ‘In the dark all schools look the same, it’s not until one turns the light on that we begin to see the real difference.’
Classrooms Walks 2008 • Introduced ‘Literacy Walks’. • Established protocols & visit focus. • Staff involved helped to create list of observable behaviours. • This proved challenging for some.
Symbolic Leadership:The Coach • Principal Coaching Program: If I was going to ask our teachers to accept being coached then I needed to be prepared to be coached myself. • Discussed managing change, dealing with personal limitations, changing school culture & dealing with difficult people, etc
School Coaching • Decision to train a school based coach to compliment the regionally appointed coach. (2008) • Not altogether successful as at that stage we didn’t really know what we wanted and who could best fulfil the role.
2008 - Assessment • Saw the need to develop an Assessment Schedule as a result of a 2007 audit. • Wanted consistency across the school. • Needed a workable timeline • We questioned value of certain assessments & time factor. • Developing our knowledge of ‘AS’ ‘OF’ & ‘FOR’.
Planning for 2009 • December 2008: Leadership planned our 2009 Curriculum Days. • Strong emphasis on quality PD and the ‘Building the Capacity of our staff’.
Challenge of Filling Positions • Decided to advertise a full time Leading Teacher coaching position - Teaching & Learning (Literacy). Training required. • Proved to be a challenging exercise with a very limited list of applicants. (We got lucky.) • Also trained a staff member in Numeracy. • Quality Coaches - Challenge for all schools.
Sudden Impact Faye Bolton – 1st day of the school year 2009 - Focus on Literacy overview and more specifically: Spelling Investigations & Interactive Writing • Consultancy work was extended for an additional 4 days throughout the year moving from a spelling focus to reading & ‘just right books’
Comprehension Strategies Demonstrated by Faye in 2009: • Prediction • What makes sense? (Not sounding out) • Decoding • Story Grammar – Problem/Solution • Top Level Structures - Cause/effect, Problem/solution, Compare/contrast, List-like • Investigations
Changing Community Attitude • Becoming a ‘Values based School’ involving staff, students, school council & the broader community.
Becoming a Values Based School • Reduced our Values list from 9 to 5. • Came up with a School Purpose Statement. • Unpacked the school values and completed what our values Respect, Honesty, Trust, Care & Responsibility actually looked like for everyone. • Launched each value at our whole school assembly by way of a play/performance that included people from all sections of the school.
The Assesment Schedule • Implementation of the Assessment schedule. We wanted to establish a more consistent approach across the school, believing……. “ If you want to measure change, don’t change the measure!”
Critical Mass • Moving the critical mass. • Earlier signs that our graduate teachers & new staff were falling into an existing culture instead of using the opportunity to create a new one. • Saw this as a real concern. ‘Behaviour unchallenged is behaviour condoned.’
Money Well Spent!. • High Performing Principal Program (Unfortunate title – should ‘all’ get to experience other systems. • Application was based around a 6 day Data Wise course at Harvard University at Cambridge in Boston.
Opportunity Knocks • Program proved to be motivating, inspiring & re-ignited some needed passion. • Led Workshop - ‘Consultancy Protocol – Tall Poppy Syndrome’ (A question of Changing a School Culture) • On returning - Introduced ‘Data Discussion’ meetings - 1 on 1 with teachers. (School Data Folder - Greater accountability).
Changing Your Leadership Style • Unpopular decisions needed to be made. • Not renewing Leading Teacher positions. • CGU Work Cover Claims against me/ Appeals/ Conciliation. • Calls to Conduct & Ethics/AEU re holding firm on roles for individual staff members reluctant to embrace change.
New Leadership Profile • Restructure of our leadership team. Two Assistant Principals. ‘Curriculum’ & ‘Daily Organisation/Well Being’ • Two Leading Teachers – Literacy & Numeracy Coaches. • Preparation for the 2010. • Some 15 of the 21 classroom teachers either moved rooms or were newly appointed to the school.
National Pride Funding • Used to renovate and create spacious open design classrooms. • Created large learning centres for 4 of our year 5/6 classes.
2010 School Year • Strategic allocation of roles & greater role clarity. • Roles linked closely to Strategic Plan/AIP • Performance and Development Staff Information folders - Revised Framework . • Introduced group reviews. • Individual and team goals aligned with AIP. • Meeting schedule having a greater focus on PD.
A Paradigm Shift • Hit the ground running for the beginning of the 2010 school year. • The majority of our people have embraced the change with our more junior staff leading the charge. • Classes restructured to include straight preps. • A very different feel around the school.
Older but still a Classic • You can be old(er) but still very valuable . • Whilst I think our junior staff has led the way in embracing change positively, there are some very positive signs that our more experienced staff are doing the same.
A Changing Culture • Staff having high energy levels & showing enormous commitment & dedication. • Greater enthusiasm for learning. • Now have teachers aspiring to be coaches. • Terrific commitment to Regional E5Quip program.
Coaching across the school • Most fortunate to have appointed a quality Literacy Coach to work in 3/4 area. • Numeracy Coach (.6) working in the 5/6 area. • Intervention offered through 1.5 EFT R. Rec. • Regionally appointed coach (.4) across P-2. • Coaching across all levels of the school deemed ‘intervention’.
Quality Consultants • Faye Bolton engaged as a consultant to work at the school for 10 full days in 2010 • Focus on explicit Literacy teaching strategies with selected teams. • Faye plans/prepares with teachers at 8:15-8:50am. • Models a particular strategy (Sessions 1-3) • Opportunity for teachers to be observed/coached by Faye (Session 4) • Feedback and discussion with teachers (Session 5) • School coaches involved – continue to implement explicit strategies with teachers.
Literacy Coaching • Coaching • Classroom Libraries • Classroom Environment • Independent Reading • Reading Conferences • Reading Data
Classroom Environment Literacy Learning Area
Classroom Environment Literacy Conferencing Area
Classroom Environment Anchor Chart
Classroom Environment Anchor Chart
Classroom Environment Personal Book Bags and Book Boxes
Independent Reading Buddy Reading