School Improvement in Maryland

Keep the Focus on Student Achievement

The allocation of time is one of the truest tests of what is really important in any organization. The time devoted to an issue on both the annual calendar and within the daily schedule of an organization tells its people what is really valued.

Strategies for Keeping a Sharp Focus

The following list of strategies summarize ideas already presented as well as give you some additional ideas for how to keep a sharp focus on your target.

  • Using regularly scheduled time with staff
    • Identify on the monthly school calendar, work that will be completed during staff, team, and department meeting times to examine student work and monitoring data
    • Plan monthly staff meeting agendas that focus on evidence of learning of student achievement
    • Structure team meetings to focus on an examination of student work
    • Define end products for ongoing team meetings that focus on student learning
    • Carefully monitor the percent of meeting time you spend on student achievement versus other topics
    • Find other forums for delivering administrivia
  • Using written and oral communications
    • Include in your staff newsletters progress updates on your school improvement goals
    • Use back-to-school paperwork, end-of-year paperwork, and other correspondence to staff and parents to focus on school improvement goals and progress
    • Ensure that expectations and priorities given orally to staff are also given to them in a written format for later reference
    • Monitor your PA announcements to ensure they promote school achievement priorities
  • Using staff development activities
    • Ensure that all staff development activities are aligned to student achievement goals and state standards
  • Using the physical environment
    • Use bulletin boards to communicate your progress
    • Make sure that entry way signs and signboards reflect your priorities
  • Using recognition activities
    • Identify strategies to recognize those activities and staff that support school improvement goals
    • Showcase at staff meetings promising practices in using data to monitor individual student progress or to inform instruction