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2015 Strategic Plan

MENASHA JOINT SCHOOL DISTRICT


WE ARE RESPONSIBLE TO THE STUDENTS OF THE MENASHA JOINT SCHOOL DISTRICT WHOSE FUTURE IS AT THE CENTER OF ALL OUR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS. EVERY STUDENT, EVERY CLASSROOM, EVERY DAY IS OUR FOCUS.


MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT Dear Menasha Community Partner:

On March 25, 2013, the MJSD Board of Education accepted this Strategic Education Plan to provide us with purposeful guidance as we look to accelerate achievement gains for all students. This plan is the result of months of both internal and external analysis and research with painstaking attention paid to student achievement data. The primary aim of our plan is to provide ongoing direction for our instructional program, curriculum, budgeting, staffing, and overall operations. Why do we need a Strategic Education Plan? With our increasingly limited resources, we must focus our energy and attention on the goals and strategies that will best prepare all of our students for college, career and life in a globally competitive environment. This requires us to be fully transparent in the decisions we make to guide this district, identify priorities and adhere to them, and concentrate our resources on the policies, programs and practices that will assure our students’ ongoing academic success. You should notice the ambitious goal that has been set by our Board of Education. We have chosen to set the bar high because we realize that we are preparing students for success in a twenty-first century world where many of the jobs they will be holding haven’t even been created yet. The strategies and action steps embedded within this plan are designed to help us achieve our goal of universal student achievement

proficiency across the entire district. We have also developed a comprehensive plan with measurable objectives that will tell us if we are making adequate progress toward our goal. Our students’ success is dependent upon a successful partnership between our community, families and the school district. On behalf of the district, we pledge to have highly effective teachers in every classroom. If MJSD families get their children to school on time with no unexcused absences, make sure they do their homework, and have their children stay with us for at least three years, then we will be responsible for insuring that the students perform at or above grade level standards. If students stay with us through graduation, they will graduate ready for college, career, and life. The plan’s success also requires a commitment from the greater Menasha community to help us provide the services and supports many of our students need to surmount the challenges in their lives that may affect their readiness to learn. There can be no doubt that if we work together and implement the strategic elements of our plan, we will raise the level of achievement for all of our students, close achievement gaps, prevent students from dropping out, and have them primed for success in an ever changing, highly competitive, and wonderful world.

Dr. Robert Kobylski


Message from the Board of Education

District Goal

06

03

Key Statistics

05

01

CONTENTS

Strategic Framework & Core Objective


09

40

43

45

Focus Areas

Accountability Standards

Acknowledgements

Communicating the Plan

Effective Instruction 9 Equity & Inclusion 13 Professional Development 17 Data Driven 21 Community Engagement 25 Accountable Leadership 29 Customer Service 33 Operational Excellence 37


KEY 2012 STATISTICS Academic Performance (WKCE Reading)

Students African American

96

2.6%

Asian/ Pac. Isle.

197

5.3%

Hispanic

676

18.2%

23

0.6%

2524

67.7%

207

5.6%

3723

100%

Native American White Two or More TOTAL

Proficient

Basic

16.3%

Minimal

43.2% 7.1%

Advanced

26.1%

Proficient

47.0%

Basic

12.6%

Minimal

14.2%

Employees Teachers

Schools

# of Students

Banta Early Learning Center Pre-K

243

Butte des Morts Elementary

K-5

484

Clovis Grove Elementary

K-5

521

Gegan Elementary

K-5

411

Jefferson Elementary

K-2

154

Nicolet Elementary

3-5

131

Maplewood Middle School

6-8

800

9-12

979

TOTAL

33.4%

Academic Performance (WKCE Math)

Economically Disadvantaged = 57.0% Limited English Proficiency = 23% Special Education = 15.0%

Menasha High School

Advanced

3723

285

Administrators

15

Admin. Support

16

General Support

135

TOTAL

451

Budget General Fund

$38,396,900

Special Ed. Fund

$ 7,786,887

Debt Service Fund

$ 2,034,972

Food Service Fund

$ 1,955,205

Community Service Fund

$

TOTAL

$50,977,564

803,600

Average Teacher Salary = $52,900 Tax Rate = $9.92/$1000 valuation Cost per Pupil = $11,888* *2010 Actual

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A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD OF EDUCATION As a Board, our efforts and attention are directed toward offering our citizens a school district of premier standing. Never in our history has the need been more urgent given the skills and experiences that are required for our students to succeed in a fastpaced, technologically infused, global economy. The potential is here as a steadfast student support system comprised of educators, parents, community, business, and faith-based leaders is firmly established. Yet, in order to become a premier school district, we must set high expectations and establish an unambiguous action plan that will set us on the path of success. This Strategic Education Plan will be a key element in the operations of the Menasha Joint School District as we strive to meet our goal. The Board of Education is firmly behind the spirit and intent of the Menasha Joint School District Strategic Education Plan. We are pleased with its outcome and view the plan as a practical blueprint for our ongoing operations. We are ready and willing to meet the challenges that face us and we will continue to proudly serve as the public guardians of academic excellence for our students, parents and community.

03


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‫ک نم می ف کر‬

‫מאמין‬ geloof credi

Wierzę

Tror

believe

Θεωρήστε

верьте crea

Croye

信じなさい

glauben Sie


DISTRICT GOAL By 2015, 100% of students in the district will score in the proficient or above category on state reading and math tests, and there will be no gap between the performance of students with disabilities, limited language proficiency, low socioeconomic status and/or diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Milestone #1

By 2013, 60% of students in the district will score in the proficient or above category on state reading and math tests, and there will be no gap between the performance of students with disabilities, limited language proficiency, low socio–economic status and/or diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Milestone #2

By 2014, 75% of students in the district will score in the proficient or above category on state reading and math tests, and there will be no gap between the performance of students with disabilities, limited language proficiency, low socio–economic status and/or diverse ethnic backgrounds. BOE Adoption: August 27, 2012

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PLAN FRAMEWORK Over the next three years, we must accelerate achievement gains for all students. This is our primary task as we strive to reach our goal of universal student achievement in math and reading by 2015. This Strategic Plan serves to provide us with a comprehensive model for continuous improvement, as well as describe a specific implementation process that includes quality assurance features, or evidence of our success along the way. The district has identified eight focus areas which, we believe, will guide us in our discussions, deliberations, and actions moving forward. Within the district, these focus areas are referred to as the “Essential Eight�.

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PLAN FRAMEWORK

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

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EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

We believe that our number one responsibility and priority as a school district is to ensure that effective teaching is taking place in our schools.

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FOCUS AREA: Effective Instruction

About this focus area What is our vision of effective instruction? How do we insure that effective instruction is taking place in every classroom, every day, for the benefit of every student? These two questions strike at the core of our improvement efforts. Our ability to provide clear and decisive answers to these questions will ultimately determine the district’s success over the next three years and beyond. After a decade of confusion created by curricular changes and standardized assessment demands, it is important to return to the often neglected “art and craft” of teaching. Much energy and attention has been placed on reforming schools from the outside through policy and mandate. Too little value has been given to how schools can be shaped from within.

As a district, we must help teachers clarify and articulate their beliefs about teaching and learning and encourage them to utilize and share best practices. We see teachers as cognitive coaches who believe that all students can learn given proper supports. They need to hold high expectations for all learners with no exceptions. Then, by using their diagnostic skills, they need to assess the current knowledge and skill set of each learner then, initiate methodological approaches that further each student’s ability. We realize that there are a multitude of factors that can affect student achievement. However, we believe that improved teaching is the most direct pathway to improved student achievement. Likewise, there is a growing consensus among educators nationally, as well as locally, that the best measure of effective teaching must include not only calculating the percentage of students who are proficient, but also measures of student growth. The most effective instructors are those who can teach students to achieve more than one year’s growth in a year’s time. The ability to move students this way is particularly critical in addressing achievement gaps, where students may be two or more years behind in basic skills. For these reasons, this plan seeks to establish effective instruction as the core focus area. The effectiveness of the strategies and actions steps associated with improved instructional delivery models will be the engine that powers us to our goal of universal achievement. 10


FOCUS AREA: Effective Instruction

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: Launch the implementation of the Common

Core State Standards, and insure allignment in English/Language Arts, and Mathematics. Initiative: • Train administrators and staff on content, rigor and depth • Introduce and train teachers in the Curriculum Companion Tool • Develop an ELA Resource Guide • Identify ELA resources needed to support curriculum (non-fiction, inter-disciplinary, etc.) • Align updated Math Expressions to CCSS • Restructure 6-12 math and ELA course offering with an emphsis on rigor • Evaluate current AP/CAPP offerings and explore aditional post-secondary options • Analyze word study and spelling Strategy 2: Implement the Early Learning Model Academic Standards PK, emphasizing developmental expectations for children from birth through entrance to kindergarten Initiative: • Develop implementation plan and staff training calendar Strategy 3: Initiate Add+Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR) program where teachers use strategies, activities and games to reinforce math concepts and learning, with an emphasis on the use of assessment data to plan for instruction. Initiative: • Develop implementation plan and staff training calendar

Strategy 4: Develop an instructional coaching model that builds capacity for content knowledge, pedagogy, and collaboration, and helps teachers think deeply about their practice to insure the academic, social and emotional growth of all students. Initiative: • Develop a comprehensive coaching plan for K-5 math and K-12 ELA • Develop a coaching plan for 6-12 math • Provide coaching training for district level coaches and administrators Strategy 5: Continue the Above & Beyond, 21st Century Learning Initiative. Initiative: • Complete A&B pilot study to include a comprehensive program analysis and recommendations for next steps Strategy 6: Improve gifted and talented programming. Initiative: • Evaluate current service delivery model and associated resourses Strategy 7: Develop a tiered system of interventions. Initiative: • Differentiation training for staff • Identify varied service delivery models • Implementation of new SLD rule. • Calibrate PBIS across the district • Continue devepoment and training within the RTI framework

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

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EQUITY INSTRUCTION & INCLUSION EFFECTIVE

We believe that all students can learn at grade level or higher, with this being true for all students and is not determined or limited by race, family income, native language, gender, disability, or area of residence.

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FOCUS AREA: Equity & Inclusion

About this focus area Public education has long been considered a cornerstone of our democratic society. All Americans share the belief regarding the need to help students learn in preparation for their future role in society as engaged, productive and responsible citizens. However, we know that some groups of students, including recent immigrants, children from low income families, limited language skills and students with special education needs, among others, may be at-risk of lower achievement. What we have learned is that an equitable and inclusive educational system is critical to the goal of high achievement for all students. We must also think more broadly and realize that our growing diversity requires equitable and inclusive education practices in order to sustain a cohesive society and a strong economy that will, ultimately secure our nation’s future prosperity.

What is … DIVERSITY: The presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within a group, organization, or society. The dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, ancestry, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, physical and intellectual ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio–economic status.

EQUITY: A condition or state of fair, inclusive and respectful treatment of all people. Equity does not mean treating people the same without regard for individual differences.

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: Education that is based on the principles of acceptance and inclusion of all students. Students see themselves reflected in their curriculum, their physical surroundings and the broader environment, in which diversity is honored and all individuals are respected.

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FOCUS AREA: Equity & Inclusion

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: Implement a co-teaching model as a way to

deliver services to students with disabilities, English language learners, and/or other special needs students as part of a philosophy of inclusive practices; with the aim of reducing any stigma for students with special needs, increasing understanding and respect for students with special needs on the part of other students, and developing a sense of a heterogeneously-based classroom community. Initiative: • Team training and coaching for ELL/Special Education staff • Develop collaborative grade level teams with support personnel with common planning time K-5 • Create effective student-centered schedules to allow for co-teaching practices K-12 Strategy 2: Articulate and develop service delivery structures that are based upon the Universal Design for Learning model, and have those structures infused within the culture, policies and practices of our schools. The focus is on providing a classroom environment where responsive teaching is the norm and where strategies, materials and resources used are tailored to student profiles. Initiative: • Create a nonnegotiable inclusive, Social Justice/Equity vision • Identify alternative ways of meeting student needs in non-segregarted learning environments • Shift mindsets from programs to services • Establish a process to ensure heterogeneous class make-up

Create a school climate where all students feel that they belong Strategy 3: Celebrate our diversity by helping our learning community identify and address discriminatory biases and systemic barriers in order to support the achievement and well-being of all students. Equitable, inclusive education is central to creating a cohesive society and a strong economy that will secure Wisconsin’s future prosperity. Initiative: • Evaluate all school activities to determine demographic proportions • Model equity and inclusive practices in all internal and external settings • Institute student, parent, and community programming designed to improve student/staff relationships and embrace multiculturalism, human rights and diversity as fundamental values • Provide continuing community education on bullying, hate propaganda, cyberbullying, racism, religious intolerance, homophobia and gender-based violence, etc. Strategy 4: Address the needs of a rapidly changing and increasingly complex society by ensuring that our policies evolve with changing societal and student needs. Initiative: • Review all district policies, administrative guidelines and protocols to enure that they are culturally responsive and free of bias •

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

3

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

We believe that we must retain and recruit the most effective teachers, principals, and we must develop and support them so they are able to implement research-based best practice in every classroom and school.

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FOCUS AREA: Professional Development

About this focus area The Menasha Joint School District recognizes that the two prime purposes of professional development are to enhance professional practice, and, ultimately, to improve student academic performance across the district. Specific knowledge and skills are crucial in each job category and for all employees: classified, certified, exempt, and administrative. Professional development across all employee groups will be data-driven, research-based, and differentiated to ensure that all adult learners acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to match desired performance outcomes. All professionals in our system must be prepared to meet the multivariate needs of all students. These students are expected to grapple with more challenging and demanding content standards. Students will also need to be prepared for a future where they will be required to quickly adapt, adjust, and grow their skills according to ever-changing and novel workplace environments. With this in mind, teachers must model and nurture collaborative, innovative, problem solving, and self-reflective skills for our twenty-first-century learners. The adult learning, or professional development model, must mirror these skills. To the extent possible, professional development must be embedded into the work structure of all employees as job embedded models, designed with collaborative learning opportunities in mind, have proven to be the most effective means of implementing and sustaining new practices and initiatives.

Research suggests that the classroom teacher has the greatest impact upon student learning. We know that teacher content knowledge, background and effective instructional and assessment practices are critical to positive learning outcomes. Given the district’s expectations to accelerate learning for all students, we must provide ongoing, focused, and coherent professional development programs for all staff members.

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FOCUS AREA: Professional Development

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: Expand our job-embedded professional growth

model as it serves as a way to differentiate instruction for individual teacher professional development. It suggests that professional development services should not be identical for each teacher as is the case with much of the current professional development workshops and seminars provided by external venders. The job-embedded coaching model will focus on the following areas: Initiative: • The Comprehensive Literacy Model K-5 • Balanced literacy 6-12 • Add+Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR) • Math Expressions • College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) • Differentiation for students with disabilities and those identified as gifted and talented and/or ELL • Above and Beyond Initiative (incorporating technology within a constructivist framework Strategy 2: Expand and nurture Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) where, through collaborative inquiry, teachers explore new ideas, current practice, and evidence of student learning using processes that respect them as the experts on what is needed to improve their own practice and increase student learning. Initiative: • Establish 6-12 department collaboration on every other month late start Wednesday’s • Schedule PK-5 collaboration on late start day’s • Organize 9-12 department collaboration on second late start Wednesday each month • Develop agenda and minutes template that includes data analysis

Strategy 3: Develop a comprehensive and systemic professional development plan that includes areas of focus, inservice timeline and/or schedule and follow-up training. Initiative: • Continually evaluate level of need and implement professional development activities in the following focus areas: • K-5 Add+Vantage Math Recovery • Kindergarten Phonological Awareness Literacy Screener (PALS) • Seclusion & Restraint • Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) • Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) • Teacher Efectiveness/My Learning Plan • K-5 Comprehensive Literacy • Alpine Acievement Systems – Academic data Software • NWEA (MAP) Assessment Analysis • Integration of the Common Core State Standards • Math Expressions • College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) • Standards-Based Learning • SMARTER Balanced Assessment • Explore/Plan/ACT • Functional behavior Analysis/Behavior Intervention Plans • Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) Rule • Diferentiation • Co-Teaching • Math Screener K-5 • PK Literacy and Math Instruction and Assessment • Inplementation of Nine instructional Strategies • Challenging classroom behaviors

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

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DATA DRIVEN EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

We believe that we must use performance data to inform decision making at all levels of our organization.

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FOCUS AREA: Data Driven

About this focus area Data collection in schools is not a new concept. For years, districts have collected a vast array of student and institutional information, including such items as test scores, enrollment data, budget and finance information and human resources data. In fact, district and state administrators have been dealing with continuously expanding data reporting requirements for the past two decades. In 2002, those responsibilities increased drastically with the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Whether or not you agree with the legislation’s scope and intent, NCLB has heightened awareness and attention on student data to a new level across the country. As a result of NCLB, school administrators were responsible for monitoring and enabling student and teacher performance improvement, broken down by important subgroups. This kind of reporting required a sophisticated system for data collection and analysis. Moving into NCLB, all states and most districts have some sort of a data management system in place. Unfortunately, the average system is often composed of a number of spreadsheets, databases and paper reports that are loosely connected through various interfaces, making it difficult to retrieve and analyze the data in a comprehensive, integrated fashion. The MJSD has, in the past, suffered from this malady. Many districts have used NCLB as a catalyst to move to data-driven decision making. The most enlightened districts

are using it to improve their technology infrastructure and formalize data collection and analysis procedures, allowing them to make informed decisions based on data rather than assumptions. For example, many districts are faced with tight budgets and limited resources, having to make tough decisions about cutting programs. With a data-driven decision making system in place, administrators can quickly and easily analyze the correlation between student participation in these programs and other indicators such as student attendance, discipline incidents and student achievement, giving them a clear picture about the effectiveness of each program. When forced to make cuts, ineffective programs can be eliminated based on real-time facts and figures, rather than emotions or assumptions. Data-driven decision making has opened a new world of opportunities for schools and districts to provide professional educators, students, and parents access to large amounts of information. Today, schools can enable key decision makers with data and information to facilitate more informed decision-making, boost overall school performance and improve student achievement. Our goal is to build robust data systems and processes that enable easy access to, and use of, key data to inform decisions, manage high levels of performance, and boost overall school performance and student achievement district-wide. 22


FOCUS AREA: Data Driven

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: District and school staff will analyze and use

data – WKCE, MAP, DRA, student work, formative assessments, classroom observations, and feedback from students – in order to: • Track each student’s achievement progress • Plan instruction for each student • Check alignment among standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessments • Plan teachers’ and principals’ collaborative learning • To hold themselves accountable for students’ achieving proficiency and for closing achievement gaps between sub-groups • To develop ongoing Comprehensive School Improvement Plans Initiative: • School leadership teams, including the principal, manages data and presents disaggregated findings at least twice each year to track each student’s and each subgroup’s progress toward proficiency • Teachers will know the value and purpose of various kinds of assessment through associated professional development • Develop K-5 math screeners for use in 2013-2014 • Train teachers in report gathering and the appropriate use of Explore/PLAN/ACT student achievement data • Initiate awareness of SMARTER Balanced assessment question stems • School teams analyze data and student work to plan instruction and identify their own learning needs during PLC time

Teachers will track each student’s learning and share their progress with them regularly • Teachers will use NWEA/MAP and other school and district assesments to track patterns in their students’ performance and modify their instruction in response • Teachers will be trained on the use of the Alpine data warehouse to include inputting assessments and utilizing the system • School leadership teams will establish standards for student engagement using all relevant achievement and attendance data points Strategy 2: The district will post data publicly and in a timely manner. Initiative: • Develop and build data dashboard for both internal and external use Strategy 3: Common assessments will be developed in all 6-12 core subject areas. Initiative: • Designate common planning departmental/team time to facilitate the development of each course assessment protocol Strategy 4: Central administrators will use data to examine the effectiveness of major initiatives, to monitor performance of sub-groups and to make operational decisions Initiative: • Develop a strategic program evaluation plan that addresses all academic areas • Develop a strategic program evaluation plan that addresses all operational areas •

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

5

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

We believe that parents and the community are essential partners in the effort to improve student achievement and that it is our responsibility to engage them in that process.

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FOCUS AREA: Community Engagement

About this focus area The Menasha learning community consists of a large number of stakeholders. These include board members, students, parents, community members, business leaders, teachers, classified staff, principals, universities, city officials and members of numerous civic organizations. Our aim is to strengthen the relationships with our diverse group of stakeholders in order to make our district one of the most competitive in the state. We all have a shared responsibility to ensure that our students excel. By working collaboratively, we guarantee that our students will soar academically, socially and emotionally. Everybody should be involved and connected, including parents and members of the community, to solve problems and create solutions.

and culturally-inclusive partnerships with our families and community are the best way to ensure our students’ success in school, careers, and life. Over the next three years, we will utilize several strategies to engage our stakeholders and to ensure that our mission and core beliefs are realized.

Researchers and educators have long acknowledged a strong link between community engagement and children’s success in school. Studies have shown that school-familycommunity partnership programs enjoy improved student achievement, attendance, and fewer discipline problems. At the Menasha Joint School District we recognize that when families are engaged in their children's education they achieve higher grades, have better attendance and behavior, complete more homework, and demonstrate a more positive attitude toward education. We are proud of the diversity of our students and their families. We believe that building meaningful, authentic 26


FOCUS AREA: Community Engagement

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: School staff will reach out to show they value

all children and welcome families and community members as partners and contributors to the teaching/learning process. Initiative: • Each teacher sends home an easy-to-understand syllabus based upon the curriculum • Teachers call write, email, and/or meet with students’ families regularly to share progress and suggestions that will help students learn • Teachers promote home reading and home math and reach out to those who do not participate • Parents will have opportunities to have an active role in school governance • School staff follows a protocol for greeting visitors, take messages reliably, and respond promptly and respectfully to questions and concerns • District and school staff, including administrators, are involved in neighborhood activities that strengthen school-community relations Strategy 2: Schools develop a plan to engage families in their children’s school life in a manner appropriate to the characteristics of the families served. Initiative: • In middle and high school, the plan details how staff will work with students to identify issues of importance to them. The plan is shared with family and community members and is posted in the school • Each elementary school will have a written Family Involvement Plan and Home-School Compact

Strategy 3: Strenghten channels of communication among various public stakeholder groups, parents and families, and broad-based audiences. Initiative: • Organize, build and maintain a data base of “Key Communicators for the District” who have the ability to disseminate information and provide feedback Strategy 4: Project a positive public image of the district through the use of print, electronic, news, and other communication media. Initiative: • Craft materials that allow all staff members to clearly articulate the vision, mission, strategies and achievements of the district • Produce a calendar of school, neighborhood, community, and regional events • Provide periodic media updates on the status of various programs and initiatives • Advertise the success of students and schools using multiple communication outlets • Publish an annual Staregic Plan update Strategy 5: Strenghten utilization and impact of the district’s website. Initiative: • Redesign website for easier navigation and stronger brand marketing • Develop individual school and teacher websites to create a consistent, complimentary design

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

6

ACCOUNTABLE LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

We believe that creating a district-wide culture of learning, leadership, and performance will best ensure our ability to build and maintain optimal conditions for student learning in every school.

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FOCUS AREA: Accountable Leadership

About this focus area On April 26, 1983, in a publication entitled "A Nation at Risk," a blue-ribbon commission found poor academic performance at nearly every level and warned that the education system was "being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity." This began nearly three decades of frank discussion about public schools and reforms that culminated in 2002's No Child Left Behind, (NCLB), the Bush administration law that compels schools to improve students' basic skills or face significant sanctions. This act essentially made schools accountable for achievement results by linking federal funding to test outcomes. The focus was on measuring student proficiency, not student growth. NCLB legislation also emphasized educator credentials with a focus on degrees and certifications, rather than growth in student learning. It is our view that we would benefit from a focus on educator effectiveness by measuring how far their students have moved academically in a year, rather than simply educator qualifications. History, and research, suggests that a reliance on credentials to measure educator effectiveness is, at best, misguided. This understanding will be the basis for our new evaluation system for teachers and administrators. While we have developed valid and reliable measures of student performance, creating metrics that measure teacher and administrative performance is more complex. However, this important task can be accomplished by using a range of student assessments and additional evaluation tools.

There still exists a variety of opinions on educator effectiveness, yet there is almost universal agreement that high expectations, rigorous standards, and measurable objectives, will produce improvements in student performance. In addition, we know that efforts directed toward educator accountability, and improvements in overall performance management systems, will accelerate the growth in achievement. As such, accountable leadership is closely aligned with increasing student achievement. The MJSD is committed to an evolving performance management system that will improve the performance levels of all employees, utilizing prescriptive models that are fair, transparent and accurate. This plan points us in a completely new direction regarding how teachers and administrators are chosen, trained, paid and retained. To succeed in our goal of universal achievement by 2015, every member of the MJSD team must continue to learn— and lead.

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FOCUS AREA: Accountable Leadership

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: Principals have concrete strategies to develop

and share leadership with teachers and support staff. Initiative: • Teachers lead PLC’s where they review student work, and use student data • The principal and leadership team members set the agenda for LT meetings • Principals, teachers, and students work collaboratively to help create school policies and practices that foster an encouraging, inclusive, “risk free” environment that reflects the social and cultural backgrounds of the students and families served • Staff and students refer to the school as “our” school, not “my” school Strategy 2: Teachers share responsibility for for the school’s instructional decisions. Initiative: • Teachers and other LT members take part in formative classroom observations • Teachers teach each other, and some teachers teach courses for colleagues • Teachers demonstrate lessons for other teachers as part of an informal peer review • The principal and all teachers make it “safe” for teachers to talk about their practice • Teachers have opportunities to assume leadership roles outside of the classroom

Strategy 3: Central administrators align evaluation tools, compensation model, and leadership development with expectations for instructional improvement and the goal of universal achievement. Initiative: • Clearly define and measure teacher effectiveness • Train administrators on callibration of instructional expecations and effective teaching • Implement year 1 of Educator Efectiveness Project with the goal of completing 50% of all teacher evaluations by the end of the 2012-2013 school year • Train staff on My Learning Plan regarding expectations and software use • School administrators are in classrooms every day, talking with students about what they are learning and conferring with teachers about their informal observations and formal observations and decisions on next steps • Create new measures and evaluations that specify expectations for every job in the district. • Revise compensation structure to reflect a focus on performance over longevity • Develop training programs for leaders and potential leaders to help improve performance • Recruit and retain top talent for school-level positions • Base teacher recruitment and selection on effectiveness, not on qualifications • Develop a measure for a year's worth of academic growth for every subject and grade level.

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

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CUSTOMER SERVICE EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

We believe that we must constantly and consistently exceed our customer’s expectations with an employee focus on serving and treating students, parents, taxpayers and peers in the best possible manner.

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FOCUS AREA: Customer Service

About this focus area In a new era of school choice, excellent customer service is viewed as equally important in public schools as in every other aspect of our lives. The benefits for successfully meeting this goal can be remarkable. A breakdown in this area can have significant consequences. As a public school system of choice, we acknowledge our special obligation to provide excellent service to our customers. The more pleasant and responsive we are to serving the needs of our families, community members and visitors, the more invested they become in the academic success of our children. Their satisfaction is directly related to the success of academic and extracurricular programming. The first prerequisite to achieving a high level of customer service in our school district is to create and nurture positive school-based cultures. This is essential to providing effective customer service, and influences all aspects of the educational and customer experience. A positive and caring school atmosphere impacts all stakeholders, and ultimately can effect student achievement. Usually, when the general public thinks about service oriented organizations, public schools are not customarily at the top of anyone’s list. In order for us to achieve our goal of universal achievement, this perception will have to change. Given the high-profile state-wide discussions regarding public education, we need to adjust how we provide our service, which will ultimately change the perception of our customers.

With more and more local alternatives such as school choice, charter schools, distance learning opportunities and other new initiatives, our customers have to want to choose MJSD schools over our competition if we are to succeed and grow in this new and highly competitive environment. When our parents, community, students and stakeholders truly believe that we care about them, and when their experiences and interactions with us every day, every time, reinforce this belief, only then will we become a viable and dependable choice in this competitive marketplace. Creating a consistent positive impression is critical to our future. Customer service is the responsibility of everyone in our school district. Knowing how to interact with parents and other visitors, handling phone calls in a timely and professionally manner, communicating effectively and dealing with challenging situations, has an impact on each customer. Creating a healthy and welcoming environment for our customers, and taking responsibility for the interactions we have with each customer permeates the entire organization. Positive first impressions, combined with ongoing constructive interactions, will insure our long term success as a school system of choice.

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FOCUS AREA: Customer Service

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: Develop a comprehensive MJSD customer

service plan. Initiative: • Establish a Customer Service Committee to design, review and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive Customer Service Plan and associated professional development for employees • Orient employees about the plan and how they can use it to become knowledgable of their customers and to provide better customer service to students, parents, community members, school board members, co-workers, vendors, media, and other internal and external customers Strategy 2: Provide customer service training for all employees. Initiative: • Provide training for all current district employees and all new employees • Develop a customer service manual that can be used as a ready reference for employees • Develop an employee customer service pledge and obtain commitments from employees to adhere to the pledge • Prepare a video about the district’s customer service philosophy and require viewing by employees Strategy 3: Hold every employee acountable for exhibiting exemplary customer service. Initiative: • Make exemplary customer service a goal for every employee and rate each on customer service using an appropriate evaluation tool

Work with the Human Resources Department to establish performance measures with regard to how well employees adhere to the guidelines and how responsive and accurate they are in providing exemplary customer service • Oversee the customer service plan efficiently and effectievely through the Human Resources Department Strategy 4: Ensure that MJSD customers receive exemplary service with as few contacts as possible. Initiative: • Empower employees to deliver timely, customized, personalized service • Ensure that all staff possess a “basic tool kit” of the information necessary to deliver customer service right the first time Strategy 5: Enhance MJSD processes so as to remove barriers to quality customer service. Initiative: • Evaluate the current level of customer service and develop processes and strategies for improvement • Make sure that employees recognize the challenges associated with high quality customer service delivery in a school district • Creat a Customer Service Online hotline that adresses customer servive related issues • Create survey tools that allow us to capture, understand, and address concerns of our learning community •

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FOCUS AREAS: Strategies and Initiatives

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OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

We believe that raising and accelerating achievement for all students requires optimal resources, a high level of capacity in schools and at the district level, implementation of effective change management strategies, and the strategic management of all resources.

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FOCUS AREA: Operational Excellence

About this focus area At its essence, operational excellence can be thought of as a focused, multi-faceted, effort to make the operations of an organization more efficient so that entities, such as school districts, may direct more resources away from operational expenses and toward teaching and learning. To achieve operational excellence, school leaders need to think differently, using the tools of value added management, return on investment, and, of course, waste reduction,. In order to make great things happen for our students and for our district, operations must be aligned and efficient in order to support our schools and academic programs. More specifically, human resources, budgeting, facilities, technology, and transportation must work in harmony with the schools so that resources are available to insure high achievement for our students. Many steps have been taken in the past several years to improve our systems and we must continue to work in a strategic way to create additional efficiencies of scale. An additional goal is to provide a safe and secure environment to promote the optimal educational experience for students, staff and parents. Overall, district safety and security have increased significantly, especially at our school sites. This is due to enhanced staff training, communications, proactive preventetive measures and cooperation.

The MJSD is committed to the ensuring that our schools are safe, orderly, clean and attractive. Many efforts have been taken to make this a reality. However, some students, parents and community members feel that more must be done to make every school in the district a safe, welcoming environment that fosters the greatest learning opportunities for students. All of our schools should be clean and attractive learning environment of which students and staff will be proud. We will ensure that we maintain healthy and attractive learning environment in every school by modernizing facilities, planning for and promoting capital improvements. Several key strategies will allow us to make every school a beautiful, healthy and safe place to learn. 38


FOCUS AREA: Operational Excellence

Strategies & Initiatives: Strategy 1: Update the district-wide Facility Master Plan so

that it reflects a strategy that considers enrollment projections thru the 2015-2016 school year and to review the plan to assure it compliments the development and implementation of our student achievement goal. Initiative: • Strategically maintain the property and buildings • Focus on the curent plans as well as future building plans for the district Strategy 2: Support the completion of the capital projects plan for building and school facilities. Strategy 3: Review and adjust the resource allocation process in a manner that will align resources with the educational goals and objectives of the district. Initiative: • Enhance the budgetary process to ensure that the administration of funds is aligned with the district’s goal and objectives • Align federal funds with the goal and include them in the budget process Strategy 4: Provide age-appropriate, subject specific, and state-of-the-art equipment designed to support the student learning process. Initiative: • Complete Above &Beyond pilot study to include a comprehensive program analysis and recommendations for next steps. • Explore technical solutions that will enable students who are absent from school to be able to access missed lessons via the internet

Strategy 5: The school maintains a safe, clean, and orderly learning environment. Initiative: • School safety contingency plans are updated annually, and schools conduct quarterly evacuation & containment drills • School doors accessible to the outside are closed and locked from the outside, but allow for egress • Vistors access to building follows a controlled process with all school buildings utilizing a video monitoring system Strategy 6: Redefine the Hiring Process. Initiative: • Revise practices in Human Resources for recruitment • Revise pratices for the screening/interviewing of applicants • Revise the hiring/on-boarding practices Strategy 7: Recruit Highly Qualified Employees. Initiative: • Develop a Reqruitment Plan that will attract highly qualified teachers from colleges and other area school districts • Increase the diversity of the teaching pool Strategy 7: Retain Excellent Staff. • Provide a mentor for each newly hired staff • Implement a New Employee Orientation program • Enhance the district’s internal professional development program for all employee groups

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ACCOUNTIBILITY STANDARDS This strategic plan is designed to provide the framework and direction for all district operations for the next three years and, as such, it must be monitored in order to assure the district is progressing toward the articulated aims. The following list of performance indicators is a summary of the measures to be used to monitor expected outcomes of the strategies and initiatives developed in the following areas: Effective Instruction 1. Increase in overall WKCE test scores 2. One hundred percent of students will achieve more than a year’s growth in a year’s time 3. Teachers and leaders will narrow the achievement gap between the lowest-performing and highestperforming students 4. Number of students successfully completing courses 5. Increase in number of students enrolled in AP/CAPP 6. Increase in MJSD graduation rate 7. Increase in Explore/PLAN/ACT scores Equity & Inclusion 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Increase in heterogeneous classroom groupings Increase in the number of co-teaching classrooms Reduction of students in pull-out rooms Elimination of prerequisite barriers Teachers and leaders will narrow the achievement gap between all subgroups 6. Universal use of culturally responsive activities, lessons and programs

Professional Development 1. Increase in the number of professional development sessions provided, and an increase in the percentage of teachers trained 2. Teachers adopt and refine instructional strategies to meet the needs of their students as evidenced by WKCE, MAP and other district assessments 3. Increase in the number of teachers that visit each other’s classrooms 4. Increase in number of teachers surveyed regarding the level at which professional development needs are being met Data Driven 1. Universal attendance at all PLC meetings 2. Submission of semi-annual team/grade level reports with analysis of student needs and track all subgroups 3. Submission of annual report on student achievement by school leadership teams Community Engagement 1. Increase in parent participation rates at various school events 2. Increase in number of external partners that advance educational processes 3. Recreate district newsletter 4. Increase in number of outreach activities 5. Increase in Key Communicator list 40


ACCOUNTIBILITY STANDARDS Accountable Leadership 1. Increase in percent of all employees will meet or exceed expectations 2. Increase in number of staff participating in school leadership activities 3. Create new compensation structure 4. Develop a proprietary student growth model to be applied to performance expectations 5. Universal use of My Learning Plan Customer Service 1. Develop a comprehensive Customer Service Plan 2. Increase in number of customer service training sessions 3. Improvement in the number and types of comments from various stakeholder surveys 4. Increased student enrollment along with decrease in open enrollment ‘out’ data 5. Periodic administrative review of strategic aims with recommended actions for improvement Operational Excellence 1. Reports on all school sites meeting safety and comfort standards 2. Decrease in expenditures for operational costs 3. Increase in number of teacher mentors 4. Percentage increase in general, as well as minority, employment applications by job title and function 5. Increase in retention rates for regular teachers, paraprofessionals and substitute teachers 41


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Menasha Joint School District Strategic Plan is the result of the concerted effort of our entire learning community. In addition, numerous educational partners from across the nation provided inspiration, content, structure, and support for this project.

Special thanks are also extended to the following groups which actively contributed to this process:

The Community Vision Committee MJSD Board of Education, Administration, Faculty & Staff MJSD School Improvement Planning Teams

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“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” - John Dewey


COMMUNICATING THE PLAN

The development of the Menasha Joint School District Strategic Plan has been a combined effort of the district and our many stakeholders. The district is pleased to share this Strategic Plan so that all who are interested will have access to its contents, and have an understanding of the various strategies and initiatives. The first step in our communications process will occur in March of 2013, when the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Robert Kobylski, will make a formal presentation of the Strategic Plan to the Board of Education. Shortly thereafter, the district will make the Strategic Plan available in a variety of ways. Electronic copies of the plan will be shared with our administrators, principals and all major department heads within the district. The Strategic Plan will be posted on the MJSD website in its entirety for all to access at will. As a next step, the District wishes to ensure that our parents, students, teachers and communities have an understanding of our plan. Therefore, during the fall semester of 2013, the district will conduct Community Forums so that all who wish to discuss the Plan with those responsible for its implementation. Additionally, as we implement our Strategic Plan, we will continue to communicate to our stakeholders on the progress and status of intended outcomes. The District appreciates the involvement, input and interest of our stakeholders and intends to keep them engaged throughout the implementation phase of the Strategic Plan.

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Menasha Joint School District  

Strategic Plan

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