“Mr. Hurley, the High School needs help to improve scores on the State Test.”

That was my greeting one morning from the Superintendent as I walked into my office.  She had been waiting for me to arrive.  As the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, I thought, she is correct.  So my response to her was “OK, what is the plan?”  Her response was “You are the plan. Let me know when you have the plan” and she walked of my office.

When the realization of my task hit me my mind started to go in a thousand different directions.  I finally realized I have to look at the high school data and make some judgements about what is working and what is not.

I started gathering data, all the data I could find that I thought would help! Test scores, attendance for both students and teachers, pass and fail rates, lesson plans, graduation rate, gap data, discipline referrals and anything else I could get my hands on.

As I poured over the data, I realized one source I had not looked at was teacher and administration views of what the problem revolved around or was their perception there was not a problem.  The “as is” state had to be defined.

I immediately began meeting with teachers and administrators to get their perception and ideas.  I also met with students and parents.  I knew whatever the plan was going to be had to have by-in from all stakeholders.  I found that for the most part both teachers, students and administration did not think there was a problem.  There was not an Instructional Leader, meetings for P.D. were social events, recognizing a need to change was not present and data was not driving instruction.  These were the four main issues I felt would have to guide my work and mold the plan to reach proficiency for the High School.

Stay tuned for my next entry to see how I moved forward