Turning Schools Around

Rocky Road School District has been having numerous challenges, which include several lawsuits from former members of staff, angry parents who were suing the school because of mishandling Special Individualized Education Plans meant for children. Parents are pulling out their students, school grades over the last three years have been deteriorating. The school class sizes are too big, the buildings are dilapidated, teachers are uncaring, and the current principal does not make time to meet with the parents. Finally, the state is threatening to take over the school. With these challenges, there is need to prepare a three-year strategic plan which will address all these issues. 

A strategy is essential in identifying and implementing any action, which leads to realizing the anticipated future. Long-term strategic plans involve making future-based decisions founded on current school data (DuFour et al., 2011).  For any strategic plan to be effective and efficient there needs to be a three to five-year design framework, which focuses on the collective values, visions, and beliefs held by the school and community at large. By empowering leaders with information and policies to improve decision-making. Operational implementation, planning, research, and assessments are the vital points in that enable School districts Strategic plans to work. Strategic planning concentrates on qualitative and quantitative data, political, economic, and social/ community, internal and external environment, resources, involved participation and staffing. 

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Having this in mind, a strategic plan is a document that expresses an organization’s mission and vision, goals, and objectives compulsory in achieving their vision. The main aim of this three-year strategic plan is to improve student success, patch-up parent-teacher relationship, mend staff- management relations, repair buildings and ultimately improve district performance (Nor et al., 2008).

The Strategic Planning Process involves three actual stages that put into action the plan itself. Involving the administration in launching the strategic planning process solidifies the commencement of the process. The First Stage is the Research Stage. This stage comprises recording the present school state of reality and the preferred future school district position with the involvement of key stakeholders. They include administration, students, Board of Education, faculty, staff, community, and parents. For a successful research conduction, there is need to use Focus Groups, interviews, surveys, interviews, student analyses, and review of archived data. Individual interviews for both staff, Board members, students and the community is a method research, which not only leads to data collection but also improves communication between different faculties of education (Nor et al., 2008).

Stakeholder Surveys take a crucial part in any strategic planning process. They enable the emergence of vital concerns that leaders may not be aware of and provide proof of present data. This has proven over time to be an extremely effective method of data collection from a large distinct sample. Surveys explain the potentials and observations of stakeholders within the school. They also lead to current data analysis that is key in planning and implementing future initiatives. 

The second method of research is analyzing student achievements. In this case, the school performance has been on the decline for three years. An inclusive scrutiny of student achievement data is very critical, as it is the major key in the process of strategic planning. Through data evaluation, it is easier to address and improve the effectiveness of overheads on future results. Last research method is the broad review of archived data. Any applicable data is triangulated with new data, which conveys objectives and goals. Some of these data include mission and vision statements, core values, past strategic plans, budgets etc. 

The Second Stage is developing the Strategic Plan. This stage entails designing an agenda for a comprehensive course of action in form of a formal document. This stage involves synthesizing, summarizing, and reporting all the findings from the research stage in this plan. This stage will also address all of Rocky Road School challenges. First, the school will work with a set of both school and community leaders to formulate a new or update the strategic vision for the school (DuFour et al., 2011). This involvement is a solution that addresses the issue of parent involvement in school matters, advice on student performance and creates unity within the school. Part of the community involved in the vision creation must embrace the viewpoints of less-learned and less-wealthy residents, whose children make up an increasing percentage of students. Secondly, developing methods and tools that principals and teachers will use to augment student career-readiness standards. This raises student intellectual levels and ultimately raising their performance levels. 

Third, is investing in first-class proficient development for teachers, non-teaching staff, and the school principal (DuFour et al., 2011). Through these developments, these staff can self-develop into better workers and therefore increase their performance levels. This addresses the challenges the legalities issues facing the school as it creates unison and harmony within the school. When teachers get far-reaching chances to learn, they employ more competent practices that engage students towards better challenging learning. Fifth, analyses of school data make available the detection of the root cause(s) resulting in student failure. For the school to comprehend the reasons behind the recent poor performance, they need to understand students’ perceptions concerning school experiences, extra tutorials, and faulty beliefs. This enables our school to understand and tackle student failure. 

According to Corcoran & C (2012), as a means of solving economic challenges, redirection of both new and existing resources, the school should involve every necessary stakeholder in the planning process. It is in this process that the school is able to implement a full school development plan, which should be in alignment with the vision of the district. These processes help improve the political climate within the district and the school. Develop a succession plan for school principals. Districts can help themselves and their schools by investing in professional development to prepare future school leaders (Corcoran & C, 2012).

The school will engage both parents and community in continuing discussions about the school vision development. The steady focus, policy implementation, and support services will heighten the school’s capability to realize our own strategic vision and plan within the three-year plan. School leadership, school principals will work as a team to create a conducive school environment. This will improve both student commitment and education. 

References

Corcoran, C. A. (2012). Exiting school improvement: principals’ roles in turning schools around for success (Doctoral dissertation, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). 

DuFour, R., & Marzano, R. J. (2011). Leaders of learning: How district, school, and classroom leaders improve student achievement. Solution Tree Press.Nor, S. M., & Roslan, S. (2008). Turning around at-risk schools: What effective principals do. International Journal on School Disaffection6(2), 21-29.

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