School Improvement Plan Steps

The making of a School Improvement Plan (SIP) - simplified
The purpose of a SIP is to answer questions:  "where are we going;, how will we get there;" and how will we know when we get there?"  The plan sets goals aligned with state and district goals and then creates strategies and 'action plans" to implement the school's goals.  A SIP should incorporate state goals and district goals.

From the DOE SIP Evaluation booklet:  "Each plan shall also address issues relative to budget, training, instructional materials, technology, staffing, student support services, specific school safety and discipline strategies, and other matters of resource allocation, as determined by school board policy, and should be based on an analysis of student achievement and other school performance data. 
  
Use the SMART strategy:  
* Specific,
* Measurable,
* Attainable,
* Realistic, and
* Timebound
1. First, what are the "needs" of the school?  This is called a "needs assessment" which is defined as identifying where we are now and where we want to be (goal).  School scores are driven by state goals and the corresponding reporting of test results like the FCAT  and Florida Writes. The tests are measurement tools.  SACs also use other tools to determine the school's needs:  surveys, tests, and other data.  Surveys are to be completed yearly.  A great data tool is the NCLB AYP (click here for definition or NCLB notes page)
Example:  FCAT data shows that 30% of students score at or below level 2. Several DOE reports that may be used for data collection. http://www.flbsi.org
2. Now the SAC (or committee) sets school goals. Be specific.  To say we 'will increase' is not specific enough - the words are subjective and not definitive.
Example:  SAC decides that the school goal would be to decrease by 5% in a school year the amount of students scoring at or below level 2.
3. Action: How will that goal be achieved?  What steps are going to be implemented to get to our goal?
Example:  Read 180 program, special software geared to reading comprehension, a school-wide reading time, and a library program that rewards students for book reports. These are only examples....
4. Responsibility - Who is the designated leader of the action step to make sure it is happening?  Who is monitoring?
5. Resources - What does the school need to implement the action steps? This is required.
Example:  The school may need to buy the Read 180 program, buy software for the reading program, and train teachers how to use the programs... So the resources would be both financial and human.  School improvement funds may be used for these costs; along with other financial sources like grants, discretionary budget, 'pepsi or soda funds'....
6. Measure:  How will we know when we get there?  How will we see progress toward the goal?  Usually there are measurements that will periodically tell us if our plan is working. Tests. surveys, are examples of measurement.  
7. Evaluate:  Are the action steps working?  If they are not working, (and not all ideas work), change them.  Each school is different and therefore one school may have an effective program that is a flop at another school.

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