School Improvement in Maryland

Leading the Process: Principal's Role

“As principal, I played an important role in initiating, facilitating, and sustaining the process of shifting our collective focus from teaching to learning. To make collaborative teams the primary engine of our school improvement efforts, teachers needed time to collaborate. Teachers, accustomed to working in isolation, needed focus and parameters as they transitioned to working in teams. They needed a process to follow and guiding questions to pursue. They needed training, resources, and support to overcome difficulties they encountered while developing common outcomes, writing common assessments, and analyzing student achievement data.” —The Learning-Centered Principal, Rick DuFour

How will you monitor the monitoring plan?

Monitoring staff on their collection and use of data will be much simpler now that your monitoring plan will already have identified what data results need to be submitted and to whom, how data needs to be recorded and when and how the student performance data will be discussed and used.

You will monitor your plan on different levels:

  • Is the data being submitted?
  • Can staff discuss student performance on the indicator? Can they identify what students can do and can't do?
  • Are staff interpreting the data? For example, can they tell you which students or what percent of their class have mastered an indicator?
  • Are staff using the performance data to self-assess and modify their instruction
  • What evidence have they provided that this is happening?

You may need to reaffirm that this is a priority with teachers who are not complying with your expectations. The attached memo illustrates one way you can both reaffirm the importance of the process as well as remind staff of their assignment.

Your most critical role in this process is to show that you value this activity enough to monitor it. You will need to model through the questions you ask how you expect staff to use the data. For example, asking the following questions will help teams understand better what you want them to look for.

  • How can a student demonstrate for you they are proficient on an indicator?
  • What percent of your students improved on the indicators assessed by the scored assessment?
  • What strategies did you use to help students improve their performance?
  • What are you planning to do for the students who are not improving?
  • What data do you have to help you identify their area of difficulty?