The Make-or-Break of School Reform
All school reform efforts are doomed to fail without the active support of district-wide and building-level Leadership Teams. Not only do these teams develop the Focus Plans for the district and each building, they oversee the implementation of each Plan and monitor stakeholder concerns, celebrations, and ideas about what will make continuous improvement efforts succeed—and keep them going over the long haul!
EdFOCUS provides training to Leadership Teams at every level. To be effective, team members must see themselves as “representing” others in their respective stakeholder group. For maximum effectiveness and practicality, each teacher member should actually work with a small cohort of his and her peers. To prepare team members for this task, The Leadership Teams are provided training in adult learning theory to understand how to work effectively with adults. Teams are also shown how to take continuous ‘soundings’ of their colleagues to anticipate needs and provide on-going clarity and reassurance.
The Leadership Team Training also includes group processes, consensus-building, collaborative decision-making, and systemic thinking. Through frequent and honest communication with the central office on the one hand and their stakeholder groups on the other, Leadership Teams remain ideally positioned to initiate and sustain viable programs that meet the needs of their building staff and students. The seamless connection among buildings and between each building and the central office ensures that the reforms in each school fit within the context of the district as a whole. In the work we have done, this concept is one of the keys to success and buy-in on the part of all staff. The Building Leadership Team must reflect the school group, but also work to move the building to the next level. EdFOCUS provides facilitation of the building teams and guides the work to ensure success and progress.