April 22, 2019

The Tech Team is doing some amazing work trying to take thoughts from my head around a talent management dashboard and create a tool that will do what I had envisioned.  The goal is give you a high-level view of the various aspects of talent, where it is located within the district, and allow you to drill down to see details. It would be like a one stop view of HQI, Pastoral Care, Competencies, Evaluation data, etc., all in one place to help districts think about what talent they have, where it is located, and how they can effectively use strategic placement and capacity building to continuously grow skills, competencies, and expertise needed in a Blueprint district. 

We’re hoping to be able to share some thinking and what this tool might look like during June’s Leadership Institute.  If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to register your team for this institute, I would encourage you to do so quickly.  We are fast approaching our capacity and will soon begin creating waiting lists for this event. Register today!

Join us Tuesdays at 7:30 PM

This weeks SWFT_LiveChat – Instructional Infrastructure: What implications does installing Instructional Infrastructure have to improving student, teacher, and leader performance?

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Did you miss Episode 06 of Blueprint Symposium? Grant discusses the Communication Driver System and chats about the Leadership Network and Selecting Blueprint Leaders and Teachers with two superintendents. 

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Caroline Howard (Disruption vs. Innovation:  What’s the Difference, March 23, 2013, Forbes) wrote, “People are sometimes confused about the difference between innovation and disruption. It’s not exactly black and white, but there are real distinctions, and it’s not just splitting hairs. Think of it this way: Disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptors — in the same way that a square is a rectangle but not all rectangles are squares. Still with me?

Innovation and disruption are similar in that they are both makers and builders. Disruption takes a left turn by literally uprooting and changing how we think, behave, do business, learn and go about our day-to-day. Harvard Business School professor and disruption guru Clayton Christensen says that a disruption displaces an existing market, industry, or technology and produces something new and more efficient and worthwhile. It is at once destructive and creative.”

When you think of where you are in the process of Blueprint installation, to what degree are you displacing current practices and procedures and creating something that is both more efficient and worthwhile?  Is it becoming obvious that you are disrupting the educational landscape?

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 today’s post, we will explore an aspect of the Instructional Infrastructure, we’ll also continue that conversation in our Twitter Live Chat tomorrow night (Tues., Apr. 23) at 7:30 p.m.

The ground floor of Instructional Infrastructure is focused on creating the Visions of High-Quality Subject-Specific Instruction.  There are many steps involved in creating a viable vision of high-quality subject-specific instruction. It starts with developing a process for creating the vision. Next, by leveraging the Communications Driver System, the process is clearly communicated, then implemented, and then the vision is vetted and shared. A shared understanding of the vision is developed throughout the district by engaging educators and leaders across all buildings. Building this shared understanding involves determining what the vision looks like in practice for both teachers and students.

So you might ask, what does it mean to have a vision?  Why is having a vision so important? It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future practices to reach the intended outcome.  What does a vision look like when it comes to instruction? Why is it important to establish a vision of high-quality subject-specific instruction?

As we explore the Evidence of Practice for Instructional Infrastructure, we’ll think through what it should look and sound like when our visions are created and living within our district.

  1. The first criteria states, ‘the district communicates its vision for subject area teaching and learning, social and emotional learning, its instructional frameworks, and its proficiency expectations for student learning and performance.’  When fully installed, we will see and hear all stakeholders routinely engaged in a process to interpret, discuss, and develop a shared understanding of the district’s visions of high-quality instruction. We’ll also hear district leaders routinely communicate their commitment to meeting the learning needs of each and every student.
  2. The second criteria says that ‘the district describes and communicates explicit high-quality subject-specific instructional practices that are aligned with the district’s specific student learning targets.’ When fully installed, we would see and hear district leaders and teachers having conversations each day about the district’s visions of high-quality instruction in relation to instructional practices.

As you read through your district’s subject-specific visions (or samples from the SWFT), you might recognize that the visions are lofty and aspirational and provide the big picture of high-quality subject-specific instruction.  When districts begin to develop a shared understanding of these visions, what becomes clear is the need to take these theoretical visions and make them concrete for leaders and teachers to truly grasp the specific actions needed for these visions to live out in classrooms.

Still in Floor 1, identifying specific observable teacher actions and student actions that represent each vision is the logical next step for setting clear expectations for classroom instruction.  Be sure to take some time to look at the teacher and student actions associated with your district’s visions and make connections to the theoretical visions of instruction and the concrete actions outlined in this document. Think about how these teacher and student actions might support teachers and leaders to develop a shared understanding at scale of  high-quality instruction.

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

This week in Automated Tools

  • Teacher and Administrator Competency input forms and visualizations are now live in the District Data Warehouse. This is the final piece to combine with HQI and Pastoral Care for the Talent Management Dashboard which will be previewed in June and live in August. Please contact the tech team or your SWFT facilitator for more information.

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

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

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