CPSEL 4 Reflection:
Collaboration. I feel I have made tremendous growth in this area since entering the program nearly two years ago. My position as Vice Principal has broadened my group of collaborators.
In X399B, I chose to focus one of my action plan goals on the review and revision of my school’s student/parent handbook. My site supervisor, Janice Callender, is responsible for all aspects of the handbook and its approval by our school board and the Diocese. So, when she started the planning process for the community forum meeting to be held in spring of 2018, I offered to help as a part of my action plan. We began the planning by asking the oversight committee for suggestions of how to organize the open forum meetings. The suggestions:
• Make the metrics clear
• Have participants up and moving around
• Give participants a venue to give feedback and ask questions
Based on these ideas, Mrs. Callender and I blocked out about five hours of planning time. Building on that plan, we were able to decide what support we would need from other members of the committee. We decided a gallery walk for participants based on the goals of the handbook (with the supporting metrics) would be a great way to get people up and moving. I made four panels with the goal in the middle, and the supporting metrics surrounding it. They were also color-coded. We also put the recommendations of the oversight committee on each panel. Also, we decided to have one committee member facilitate each goal so they could clarify any questions for participants. Additionally, we put one computer at each rotation so facilitators could track any suggestions, questions, or clarifications on Padlet in real-time. Padlet was projected during the meeting so participants could see the thoughts of the other participants.
At the conclusion of the meeting, we answered any questions we could. We compiled items for community follow-up, which were posted, along with the entire presentation, on the school website.
This experience enabled me to incorporate information about family and community expectations into school decision-making and activities and recognize and value the goals and aspirations of diverse family and community groups. Upon further reflection, it has helped me to analyze the host of ways community members should collaborate with educational institutions on a site and system-wide level.
CPSEL 5 Reflection:
Capacity. My capacity to be a leader has been supported and grown substantially through the work in this program. When I think back to the start of this program almost two years ago, my capacity to digest information on educational issues and analyze how that information best aligns with my school’s vision has been the most powerful part of this program for me.
Implementing the ZAP (zeros aren’t permitted) program at our school site was very meaningful and applied current educational issues to the current context of the Diocese. It was really a combination of all of the aspects of the X399B program combined into one over-arching project.
This project in particular demonstrated all of the aspects of Standard 5. The ability to analyze data to find an achievement needs, and then find best practices in the current educational community to address the need, is a very real-world application.
On a personal level, the creation of the final presentation of the ZAP Program through the lens of a school board presentation was very eye-opening for me. I wanted to make sure the board members knew this plan was to benefit the children, so that is why I included so many pictures of students. By giving presentations, I have learned that focusing on the students we serve is what will influence those whose help you need to implement the program most.
Building capacity of the people around me is also an area I feel I have made much growth. I am able to speak more confidently about best practices and have “brave” conversations with people. I really feel the work in these courses has helped me to make that growth just by learning from and listening to my fellow participants of this class. We all have different strengths to draw upon, and important insights and suggestions to share.
CPSEL 6 Reflection:
Synthesize. Standard 6 is the combining of all of the responsibilities a site administrator has to lead a school. This is the part of my job that I feel I have made the most growth since entering the program nearly two years ago.
Actively participating in the school budgeting process was instrumental in my growth. I appreciated the ability to find and research the trends paper to align with my work. I chose to look at how Title IIA was being funded to private schools since that directly aligns with my current role in the budget process as an administrator. From there, I engaged in several negotiations that transferred directly to my section of the budget. This, in turn, tied into my budget presentation. In the budget presentation, I was able to work with a group of colleagues and community members to create a meaningful and targeted presentation to the school board, at a parent-teacher association meeting, and a community meeting.
The ability to integrate all of these components into my job has given me the tools to know how to lead a successful school. I still have so much more to learn, but the program has definitely given me a strong foundation to build upon.