As part of the school improvement journey, each school will engage in a process to determine a learning focus in three areas: achievement, well-being and equity. These three areas are clearly connected: equity is the foundation on which student achievement and well-being are built.
The School Improvement Process will be driven by professional learning to allow each school to support student improvement in these areas, determine the evidence/data the school will collect, monitor progress, and reflect on what is happening in an ongoing way to support next steps. Staff will be provided with learning opportunities to support this improvement through the creation of a leadership capacity development plan (see Strategic Component #5: Leadership Capacity Plan).
This professional learning journey is characterized by important dialogue which includes some of the following questions:
- What barriers exist in the school that might be keeping students from achieving?
- What bias might persons in the school possess about what certain groups of students are able to achieve?
- What needs to change in terms of the instruction, the environment in the school, and the relationships in the school so that achievement and well-being will improve for all students?
- How might we work collaboratively with our parents and communities to support student achievement and well-being?
The School Improvement Process relies on the ability of leaders to provide coaching, facilitate learning and monitor progress. It is also predicated on the ability of those in formal leadership positions to share leadership. Through the School Improvement Process, this approach will allow us to create enhanced learning cul-tures in which all staff have a leadership role, and this will in turn improve equity, responsiveness and engagement. Specific equity objectives include:
- Supporting leadership which emphasizes influence rather than positional authority.
- Building a deep understanding of equity, bias.
- Building knowledge of how to read, interpret and use data through a critical equity lens.
- Supporting our youngest learners to read by end of grade 1.
- Provide all students with engaging learning opportunities to achieve global competencies, supported by technologies.
- Improving well-being for all our students.
Actions Year One (2016-2017)
Actions Year Two (2017-2018)
- Support our system leaders and school leaders to enhance our school effectiveness/school improvement process that includes supporting schools to arrive at an authentic focus for achievement, well-being and equity, develop a capacity plan with staff so that they may achieve these goals for students, determine schools based assessment measures, utilize system data, and engage in a continuous and collaborative cycle of inquiry in order to strengthen par active.
- Emphasize the important integration of our school improvement/school effectiveness process and our commitment to equitable access, opportunity and outcome for all students every time our staff is engaged in learning.
- Support system leaders and school leaders to create learning teams of schools throughout TDSB organized by the learning foci that have been determined.
- Build capacity for system and school leaders so that the focus of our improvement efforts remains on every class-room in every school supported by the responsiveness of the system.
- Provide specific training opportunities for superintendents, principal and vice-principals and coaches, consultants and coordinators to provide effective leadership for the school improvement cycle: Plan, Act, Assess, Reflect, realizing that each group of leaders has distinct related responsibilities for this process.
- Support superintendents, principals, vice-principals, coaches, coordinators and consultants to facilitate professional dialogue with all staff, honouring the professional expertise of all staff leading to a shift in how leadership is shared and exercised and how our school goals are achieved.
- Provide support to all educators in schools through focused professional learning, aligned with the areas of focus by providing staff some time to collaborate with each other to learn together and to enhance their practice.
- Leverage existing examples of good practice from the field to inform system planning.
Actions Year Three (2018-2019)
- Continue the work that was begun in Year 1, realizing that the work required in Year 2 will be influenced by the improvements made in our first year of implementation of our enhanced school improvement/school effectiveness process.
- Adjust foci as required based on review of what did and did not improve equity, student achievement and well-being in Year One, to work with staff on different evidence-based instructional strategies as required.
- Continue to shift the focus of school improvement planning to the school level by focusing further on the supports that respond to school needs (specifically, professional learning in schools based on their foci and across Learning Teams) so that Principals are supported by their own colleagues, Superintendents of Education, Coaches.
- Continue to add online resources and move to teachers sharing those resources that are best supporting their work.
- Continue to build capacity to begin the shift to using classroom leading data so that teachers are using the School Improvement Learning Cycle at the school level.
- Assess School Improvement Process to ensure consistency with Integrated Equity Framework and to measure overall effectiveness.