PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVE: CULTURAL LEADERSHIP: Develop an internal culture that is structured around high-performing teams, values collaboration, and fosters an atmosphere of trust.
The 2015 Administrators Leadership Kickoff featured keynote speaker — Hasan Davis, former Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice. Mr. Davis showed us the piece of fabric from the remnant table — for one person, something to be thrown away, and yet for another person, a piece of fabric that could be used to create something amazing. He encouraged us to look at our students to see their possibilities. The districtwide live webinar was held on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.
The school year 2015-16 began with the process well underway to create a new strategic plan to take us beyond where Vision 2015 had taken us. Stakeholder involvement was a key to the development of the plan. It was agreed to take the time through the end of calendar year 2015 to “get it right”. It was approved on November 23, 2015.
The Strategic Plan, Vision 2020 Excellence with Equity, immediately became the road map for our school district work. A Comprehensive District Improvement Plan (CDIP) was created to provide specific action steps to achieve the goals with the understanding that it would be refined along the way and be a living working document. Cabinet identified specific and timesensitive deliverables-to-target. A Cabinet member is responsible for each Strategy and working collaboratively with a team. A project management timeline charts the work of the team.
This Board and our JCPS employees are to be applauded for the receptivity to review and feedback. This year the Board continued to work with Dr. Alsbury.
In the 2015-16 school year — nine (9) schools received a full KDE audit and two (2) schools, Valley and Western High, received a leadership KDE audit (Standard 3 only). In addition, we had a full KDE District-level Review and District of Innovation Review.
The KDE District Audit confirmed that JCPS has the leadership capacity to lead the turnaround work in priority schools. Some strengths reported were: (1) strategic plan, (2) restructuring of district level staff, including the creation of the Director of Priority Schools position; (3) strategic and aligned resource allocation, (4) building relationships with a variety of external stakeholders; (5) internal data systems that allow tracking key student performance indicators, and (6) Professional Learning Communities. Areas of growth included four improvement priorities associated with teaching and learning as well as an improvement priority related to HR in the area of attracting and retaining effective teachers to priority schools.
Two schools exited Priority School Status: Waggener High School and Fern Creek High School. Both schools were held harmless in 2016-17 when it comes to budget. Both schools are on transition plans this coming year
Four Board meetings were held off-site in the community connecting the work of the Board to the center of the universe — classrooms and schools: October 12, 2015 Westport Middle School December 14, 2015 Ramsey Middle School February 9, 2016 Waggener High School April 26, 2016 Fairdale High School Professional Learning Communities remain a key piece of our instructional infrastructure. Building the capacity of our staff to work effectively in PLC’s was supported by a district-wide training by the DuFour’s in July 2015. Eleven Community PLC Rounds gave schools the opportunity to showcase their PLC efforts.
The 2025-2016 school year marked the creation of a teacher-led professional movement called JCPSForward. The initiative aims to establish more leadership opportunities and more effective communication threads among JCPS educators. In the first year of JCPSForward, one of the major accomplishments has been a monthly #JCPSchat that reached over 600,000 total users, making the initiative the most successful district-level chat. Future goals for JCPSForward include having ambassadors in each JCPS building to help create (a) more effective professional learning communities, (b) additional opportunities for professional growth, and (c) new avenues of communication between teachers and district leadership.
High expectations behavior are integral to the foundation of high expectations for learning. Implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a multi-tiered approach for improving student, academic and behavioral outcomes, was begun in 34 additional schools in 2015-16, and continued in 74 schools that had PBIS in previous year. By 2017-18, PBIS will be 176 JCPS schools. PBIS involves the entire school in proactive planning to increase social and academic success. Schools determine what best fits the needs of their students and staff, then use the PBIS framework to identify programs that are working and those that are not working.
Twelve staff members representing each of the divisions — Michael Alexander, Barbara Dempsey, Mindy Eaves, Craig Garrison, Franklin Jones, Terri Robinson, Leslie Taylor, Kristin Wingfeld, Suzanne Wright, and Alan Young — were trained in Facilitative Leadership by Madeline McNeely, Interaction Institute for Social Change.
Principals continued with the research-based NISL (National Institute for School Leadership) training. NISL is an executive leadership program for school leaders. It focuses on instructional leadership that will result in improved instruction and high achievement by all students, particularly in priority school settings.
After our second summer at the Harvard University Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) attended by Area Superintendents, Board Member Diane Porter, and Superintendent Donna Hargens, it became clear that we needed to strengthen the connection between the Cabinet and the schools. We have collaborated with Guilford County, NC and Austin, TX for two webcasts. The Area Assistant Superintendents are a critical link between Central Office and the schools. For 2015-16, Area Assistant Superintendents began attending Cabinet meetings once a month and moved their offices to VanHoose Education Center to have access to supports. Simultaneously, a team attended the Regional TURN (Teacher Union Reform Network) Summer Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, regarding poverty, proficiency, and proficient practice.
We are proud to be one of six cities participating in the Harvard Graduate School of Education launched initiative By All Means: Redesigning Education to Restore Opportunity. By All Means will address the iron-clad correlation in the U.S. between a child’s socio-economic status and his or her prospects for educational achievement. This work will connect entrepreneurial and committed city leaders in a plan for change inclusive of the community and will build on existing initiatives such as Cradle to Career.