April 15, 2019

Greetings!  I hope this edition of Blueprint Installation Central finds you and your teams comfortably settled into the post spring break time of year.  State testing, graduations, proms, staffing, wrapping up the school year, trying to determine how many snow days you have to make up, and thinking about the upcoming school year all make this time of year an incredibly busy, high-stressed time for everyone.

Last Friday’s Blueprint Superintendents’ Network was, in some regards, one of the best conversations we’ve had all year with superintendents.  Heather and her team did yet another fabulous job of demonstrating updates in the automated tools and previewing things yet to come. I know I was impressed.

The rest of the day we focused on deep thinking and conversation about two topics:  (1) how to keep all the Blueprint plates spinning and (2) exploring the significant differences between traditional and Blueprint superintendents focusing on Public Impact’s critical competency of Achievement, the Iceberg Model, and some great thinking from FYI.  I was absolutely thrilled to watch these courageous, amazing leaders interacting with one another and pushing each other’s thinking about these critical ideas.

The PPT for this session has been posted in the Online Warehouse.  

New Episode Today (click the image on the left to go to Episode 06):

This week Dr. Grant Chandler welcomes the state back from Spring Break.  In the Diving Deeper Segment he continues the discussion from Blueprint Installation Central, he looks more closely at how an effective communication driver system constantly connects the vision and work of the district to all stakeholders in the district at scale.(2:05) Dr. Chandler is joined by two guest this week: Matt Olson, Superintendent of Benzie County Central Schools and Penny Brockway, Superintendent of Colon Community Schools.  Dr. Chandler engages Matt in a conversation about his district’s Leadership Network and Learning Focused Partnerships.(12:40)  He finishes today’s episode examining the Selecting Blueprint Leaders and Teachers process with Penny.  She and Grant discuss how this work has evolved since collaborating to create the process as a part of the Statewide Field Team to using it in her district.  They dig a bit deeper into the Behavior Event Interview (BEI) and discuss its impact in the hiring process. (23:28)  Enjoy.

Blueprint Symposium is available on iTunes, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Subscribe TODAY.

The April 2019 edition of ASCD’s Educational Leadership is definitely worth taking a look at.  Entitled “Race in America’s Schools: Separate and Still Unequal. As editor Anthony Rebora noted in the opening reader’s guide, “This special issue of Educational Leadership looks at the topic of race and schools in the context of the 65th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, which was handed down on May 17, 1954. As such it is somewhat different in scope and sequence than most EL issues.  It offers more in the way of social-historical perspective, for example, and it may be more ideologically challenging and searching.” As interim CEO Ronn Nozoe siad, “We have to make people see that the system may be OK for your kids or kids in your school, but is it OK for everyone’s kid?”

I’ve scanned the table of contents and included here so you can take a look.  

LINK to Table of Contents

Let us continue to strive to ensure that all students see themselves and are heard, valued, respected, nurtured, and appreciated each and every day in our schools.  May we ensure that they know how incredibly important they are and that their education, their future, and their success is our only priority.

Let’s save children’s lives today. They are counting on us.

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In this new feature of Blueprint Installation Central, we’ll highlight a specific Blueprint component and then carry that conversation to the rest of the Dialogue Series that week.  So in next’s weeks edition of Installation Central, when we explore some aspect of the Instructional Infrastructure, we’ll also continue that conversation in our Live Chat and in Trailblazers and Pathfinders.

Today, I want to spend a few minutes thinking about the Communications Driver System and we’ll continue this conversation in today’s episode of Blueprint Symposium and Tuesday evening’s Live Chat on Twitter.  Here’s a brief excerpt (sneak preview) from our soon to be released Realizing Systemic Reconfiguration podcast series: Systemic Reconfiguration is all about changing systems and routines, in essence changing what everyone is expected to do within the organization from top to bottom.  If the expectation for change is not clear and consistent, it may cause more problems than it is trying to solve. When embarking on systemic change we need to communicate a clear and consistent message and keep communicating to ensure the message is received by all.

George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communications is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Let that serve as a reminder to not suffer under that illusion, but rather check and recheck the effectiveness of our communications remembering what we know about senders and receivers, and dealing with resistance and change.

As we make the Communications Driver System come alive, pay attention to the Evidence of Practice, Planning Tools, and the Installation Assessment Tools to look deeply at what research says should be happening around communication. Some of the questions you might find yourself asking and responding to are:

  • Do I have ongoing and deliberate communication with my staff (is my communication responsive, episodic, and reactive to events, or regular, consistent, and proactive)?   
  • Do my staff know when and how I will be communicating with them?
  • Is my communication clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, courteous?
  • What methods are in place for staff to communicate with you? How do you know they are receiving the messages, understand them, or have agreements or disagreements with them?
  • How do you monitor that communication has taken place

Finally, Chris Parker wrote in Trailblazers (August 21, 2018),  “Great leaders create the conditions for excellence and drive the cultural change needed to be successful.” (Kirtman & Fullan, 2012)  The Communications Driver System’s design and intent is to effectively communicate, support, connect, and influence every system, routine, AND to influence all stakeholders in the district and in each school building.  Our goal is also to create shared meaning at all levels in the District, to LEAD the purposeful disruption of the status quo, to sustain a sense of urgency, and to continuously connect our purpose to performance in pursuit of  revolutionizing our Districts, engineering significant cultural change, as well as bringing about dramatic improvement in teaching and learning. After all, isn’t that our highest aspiration, our greatest challenge, and our most significant charge/responsibility?  

To subscribe yourself or teams from your district to the blogs, simply email Heather Heitsch, Coordinator of Technology and Communications (heitschh@calhounisd.org)

The materials from Friday’s Blueprint Superintendents’ Network have been added to the warehouse.  They are in the second corridor within the warehouse.

UpdateThere has been an exciting update to our PL Registration system!  If you click on this My Events image on the Events Registration page of the Blueprint Tools and Resources site you will see all of the upcoming PL events that you’re currently registered for. You can even edit or cancel your registration right from that page! Plus, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see all of the events you have ever registered for using this system (back to early 2018).

This week in Automated Tools

  • Talent Management – Competency input forms are available for both Teacher and Principal. Visualizations coming next week. If you have collected this information in a spreadsheet format we can work with the data to upload into the District Data Warehouse, this will allow you to visualize the data. Ask your facilitator or reach out to the Tech Team to begin.

Questions?  Need assistance? Contact: miexceladmin@calhounisd.org

Click on the images below to register for upcoming events. 

May 3, 2019
May 9-10, 2019
May 23, 2019

Registration is Open!!

 Click on images below for additional details.


Materials presented on this Blog including the Online Warehouse were developed with Title I, Part A funds and are in the public domain.