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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume I, Issue 1 2012 For the next several months our council met regularly to continue the work of discussing topics and creating drafts for the grading/reporting handbook. We prioritized the topics and I provided activities and resources for each topic to facilitate our teamwork. Throughout this process, I witnessed the results of group work and collaboration. Because they took part in a significant way in all decisions, the council members felt validated and were willing to put forth the energy required to sustain the process. Finalizing / Technology Skills, Problem Solving Skills (Superintendent Competency 010-c: The superintendent knows how to frame, analyze, and resolve problems using appropriate problem-solving techniques and decision-making skills.) When a new school year began, council members suggested meeting bi-monthly instead of monthly. We discussed the idea as a group and decided that we could make adequate progress with fewer face-to-face meetings. There remained, however, a lot of work to be done. I was interested in finding a way to keep our members engaged and working as a team between our meetings. I found the solution in technology. I set up a Moodle course on our district network. I was able to organize all our documents and resources along with meeting agendas, notes, and announcements into the easy-to-operate format. I provided a short training at one of our meetings and our members were quickly set up to review information, post input in a forum, and work on drafts whenever they had time. In addition, Moodle provided an excellent accountability tool for the work of our council. The superintendent and other central office administrators had access to review our progress and the documentation of our work at any time. I was pleased that this connection would bring to light the dedication of our council members and the work they had accomplished. (Superintendent Competency 010-e: The superintendent knows how to encourage and facilitate positive change, enlist support for change, and overcome obstacles to change.) Even though we had a great start, we knew it would take a long time to cover every topic. At some point, we had to decide we had enough topics for a start-up handbook and prepare to publish our first edition. We did that during the summer after our second year of work. The director of student services submitted our drafts to the superintendent’s cabinet for approval. With a few edits, the cabinet approved the Elementary Grading / Reporting Handbook. Although it would be a work in progress, the teachers could begin to utilize the guidelines we put in place. An important step remained. How do we inform the teachers and staff about the grading/reporting procedures and ensure buy-in for the upcoming school year? The principals and teachers who served on the council became the best resource for rolling out the change. I created a slide show presentation for them that introduced the handbook and highlighted the important changes to grading policy. The teachers on the council were effective ―bridge builders.‖ They were the connection between the classroom practice and the ideas we worked on in the council. When these teachers and their principal presented the slide show and handbook on - 63 -

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JTWSE—Volume 1  

JTWSE—Volume 1  

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