Evaluation: A Key to Success for Community SchoolsApril 7, 2010 Susan McDowell-Riley Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation Dan Diehl Diehl Evaluation and Consulting Services, Inc.
Session Overview • History of the community school movement within the EVSC and the evolving nature of evaluation • Integration of evaluation into the overall district strategic plan • Keys to success in integrating evaluation
History of the CommunitySchool Movement and Role of Evaluation • Full-service school efforts started at Cedar Hall Elementary (e.g., afterschool programs, family literacy, site council) • Community school model expanded from 1 to 13 schools with support from various 21st CCLC grants, Title I and other funding sources • School Community Council was established
Collection of over 70 community organizations and businesses working together to support students success • Mission: Establish school sites as places of community to support youth and family development • Committee Structure • Steering Committee • Evaluation • Health • Afterschool • Social and Emotional Learning • School Site Councils
History of the CommunitySchool Movement (continued) • Expansion from 13 schools to the district • Integration of diverse funding sources and community resources, such as Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant, Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse, Early Childhood Development Coalition • Integration of a community school philosophy within the EVSC strategic plan
The mission of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) is to provide equity and excellence for all students. • Equity is accomplished by providing all students with fulfilling opportunities and experiences regardless of background and requires that educators move all students forward without holding others back. • Excellence involves providing all students with the skills necessary to achieve sustained success and growth.
With student achievement at its core, five goals represent the primary focus of the strategic plan: • Accelerate achievement for all students • Reduce the achievement gap • Improve standardized test performance • Increase graduation rates • Increase college preparedness, college-going, and college completion
Five core focus areas of the strategic plan include: • Professional development • Early childhood development • State-of-the-art technology • Innovative schools models • Family, school, and community partnerships
Integration of Evaluation into the EVSC Strategic Plan • Create a culture of evaluation that reflects key principles of accountability, data-driven decision making, and continuous quality improvement at all levels within the EVSC.
Student Achievement Outcomes • Defined as short-term, intermediate, and long-term conditions where change is observed (e.g., student and family engagement, academic performance and achievement, college-going, attendance).
Strategies and Innovations • Defined as concrete strategies (e.g., specific structures or programs) and innovations (e.g., pilot projects) that are selected to impact core student outcomes.
Internal District Processes • Defined as the informal and formal methods of communication between and among staff, as well as the organizational capacity (e.g., staffing, finances, leadership) to implement the plan.
External Factors • Defined as external factors (e.g., historical events or stakeholder perceptions) that may impact the feasibility and fidelity of plan implementation. Stakeholders include community partners, parents, and residents.
Identifying Core Indicators and Developing District Capacity to Collect and Report on them • Development of warehouse: • Indicator summit for community partners • Indicator summit for educators • Benefits: • Action: Inform instruction • Decision making • Accountability Data Warehouse: Transform data into information for knowledge-based decision making
Stakeholder Survey Surveyed all stakeholders: Survey included questions pertaining to: • Parents • Students • Staff • Community Partners (Business Council, School Community Council, Community Members) • Collaboration • Diversity and Equity • Strategic Plan Focus • Job satisfaction (morale) • Leadership • Data • Engagement • Customer Service
Creating a Process for Review and Performance Management Research Review Team • Creation of a formal process to review internal and external research requests • Partnership with University of Evansville for IRB • LLC Action Research Projects
Performance Management Team • Armstrong and Baron (1998): “A strategic and integrated approach to increasing the effectiveness of organizations by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors” • Facilitate the effective delivery of strategic and operational goals • Maximize district team efficiency through improved communication and development • Encourage transparency and accountability that results in improved student achievement
Keys to Success • District leadership recognizing and supporting the importance of community schools and the development of an evaluation culture • Creation of a center to organize the community school work • Creation of a department that is dedicated to supporting evaluation and research • Increased capacity to track district-level data using an integrated data management system • Partnership with external evaluation consultants