Developing children who will change the world.

 

Dear King Elementary Community Members,

I am looking forward to the 2012-13 school year with great excitement, as I begin my role as your new principal.  My time at King last year allowed me to learn about the history, culture and programs at our school. It also gave me opportunities to develop relationships with many of you, both personal and professional. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside Rob McElroy, who so thoughtfully led the establishment and implementation of a unique vision at our school. Still, I know there is much to learn, and this time of changing leadership provides a natural opportunity to pause and reflect on the strengths, challenges and goals of our learning community. Therefore, one of my priorities this fall will be to implement an Entry Plan as a means of continuing my learning and framing our work together.

The Entry Plan process will take place between September and January, and will involve three phases. During the first phase, I will collect information through interviews, observations and surveys. My focus will be on better understanding the strengths, challenges, and priorities at King Elementary by exploring the unique perspectives of many individuals in the community. In the second phase, I will share the data with staff in order to identify themes and trends, and make sense of the implications for our school. In the third phase, I will work with the King staff to apply the themes that emerge from the Entry Plan to the King Action Plan, and share this plan with community members.

Change can be unsettling, particularly when that change involves losing a well-respected and highly effective leader. I want to assure you that amidst this change in leadership, I am committed to the IB focus and the vision that is core to our school. I look upon this Entry Plan as an opportunity to learn more about the King community, and for you to learn more about me as a leader. It is a time to build trust and lay the groundwork for clear communication. Towards that end, I will ensure that your personal reflections are kept in confidence, and that I share and process feedback in the form of themes and trends in collected data. If you see any omissions, or have suggestions for the plan itself, I welcome your feedback.

Thank you for your participation in this process. I look forward to the important work of learning, teaching, and community building that lies ahead.

Sincerely,

Analisa Ficklin
Principal, Wade King Elementary

 

Principal’s Entry Plan – Wade King Elementary School

 

Goals

  • To build relationships within a culture of collaboration and trust
  • To develop an understanding of the many and varied experiences, beliefs and perceptions regarding the strengths, challenges, and goals of Wade King Elementary School.
  • To clarify the priorities of the King Action Plan based upon the themes that emerge through the Entry Plan process

 

Activities and Timeline

In August and September, I will be familiarizing myself more fully with programs, district curriculum, Wade King Program of Inquiry, and other existing guiding documents at King Elementary.

 

Key Groups

Activities

Time Frame

Teachers

Classroom visits to each classroom (including special education, specialists, etc.)

Complete by October 19

(45 minutes x 25)

Individual interviews with each certificated staff member

Complete by end of October

(30 minutes x 30)

Staff meetings - These meetings will include progress updates, analysis of themes in the data, and clarification of our Action Plan.

Planned and scheduled with staff in late August.

 

 

Classified Staff

Setting visits - Observe the work of classified employees in various settings

 

Complete by end of November
(30 minutes x 6)

Interview teams of classified staff (cafeteria, custodial, office, playground, etc.)

Individual interviews at staff request

Complete by end of November

(30 minutes x 5)

Classified staff meeting - This meeting will include a progress update, analysis of themes in the data, and clarification of our Action Plan.

December

(45 minutes)

 

Students

Lunch with students

Weekly, beginning in early September

Participate in classroom and school-wide activities

 

Ongoing, beginning in early September

Online student survey

Shared with intermediate students in early October

Student Council

 

Support teachers in forming a student council by the end of October, with opportunities for students to provide feedback through student council representatives.

 

Wade King Families

Family gatherings to present Entry Plan and gather feedback

 

One during the school day and one in the evening, October

(1 hour x 2)

Parent survey – available both online and hard copy

Presented to parents in September, open for feedback through the end of October. Survey data analyzed in November.

 

Group interview with PTA board members

October  (1 hour)

Newsletter and PTA meetings

Entry Plan progress and themes will be shared with families in January

 

District Administration

Individual meetings with Deputy Superintendent and/or Director of Teaching and Learning; Director of Special Education; Curriculum Director

By end of October

(1 hour x 3)

Individual meetings with other elementary principals

By end of December

(1 hour x 4)

 

Interview Questions for staff –
These questions will be altered as appropriate for other groups and individuals 

  • What is something I should know about you that will help me understand your role at King, and the strengths you bring to our school?
  • What are the top two strengths of our school? What practices should remain in place to maintain these strengths?
  • What is the most pressing issue/challenge that you face in your job, and how are you addressing it? How can I help to address it? How can the school community help to address it?
  • In terms of decision making, what mechanisms are in place, and what advice would you give me to ensure that the decision making process is as clear and inclusive as possible?
  • What’s one piece of advice you have for me as a leader?
  • What else do you want me to know that I haven't asked?