Bill’s Weekly Reflection: 2012-2013 Focus
Two weeks ago at inFusion, I outlined our areas of strategic focus for the year. We gathered input from many of you, via surveys and focus groups, and landed where we did based on your thoughts regarding: what we need to keep doing, stop doing, or do better. In simple terms, we want to concentrate on two big areas this year:
- Greater Academic Growth for our Students
- Making DSST a Great Place to Work
What do I mean by strategic focus? We will put special emphasis on these areas, create collaborative teams and work collectively to grow and improve as an organization. For example, as many of you know, we have been working hard on a Teacher Career Pathway initiative for the last 12 months. This effort has been driven by a team of teachers, DCIs, school leaders and Home Office team members. The team is consistently seeking input on decisions from all across our network. The Teacher Career Pathway initiative will be a focus again this year under the “Making DSST a Great Place to Work” strategy.
Here is a simple overview of the initiatives under each strategy:
Greater Academic Growth for Students:
Reading: Generate better reading growth for all of our students, across all of our schools, by drawing on research, better sharing of strategies internally, improved diagnostic and progress-monitoring tools and piloting new efforts.
Writing: Generate better writing growth and proficiency by consistently implementing best practices from our highly successful writing classrooms to all classrooms across the network.
Data: Create a data warehouse (“Polaris”) to develop the network’s ability to generate data that will inform better student, school and Home Office performance.
Making DSST a Great Place to Work:
Teacher Career Pathway: Pilot the Teacher Career Pathway in our schools to help us learn how to improve this effort for network-wide implementation next year.
Collaboration: Connect team members across our six schools and Home Office so they can collaborate and learn in meaningful ways to maximize efficiency and explore the best use of new technology.
Benefits: Hold an organization-wide conversation on benefits with an eye on maximizing the impact of benefits for all our team members.
Leadership Development: Work to improve our organization-wide leadership development programs to ensure that all of our teams and schools have a strong pipeline of leaders.
We will provide brief updates on this work each week via your school weekly memos. We know that in order for these efforts to be successful, we need your support and input. There will be more to come on this topic, but I wanted to give you all a little more detailed understanding of the vision I laid out two weeks ago. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.