Developing School and District Plans TranscriptTranscript of the video presented by the California Department of Education.
Welcome to the Quality Schooling Framework—also called the QSF. The California Department of Education developed the QSF to assist educators as they work to ensure that the students in their schools are learning and thriving. This QSF module outlines an effective planning process.
As schools and districts implement new standards, respond to changing accountability requirements, and work to prepare students for college and careers, good planning is more essential now than ever before.
Good planning is an ongoing process in which the school and district community work together to develop a shared vision and action plan to support student learning.
Schools and districts are required to develop local, state, and federal plans—each with their own set of requirements and templates. However, the principles of good planning can be applied to virtually any plan.
Creating a new plan may seem overwhelming. But, there are a number of concrete steps you can take to make this a manageable process.
Each school and district is unique, so begin with local student interests and needs. Bring your full community together to develop a shared vision for what it means for your students to learn and thrive. Within a school community:
- Parents and students present a diverse range of aspirations and expectations.
- Teachers translate the vision into day-to-day interactions with their students.
- School administrators connect individual school plans to the district vision.
- District leaders align district resources to support the shared vision.
- School board members determine local priorities and develop policies to support the district vision.
- And community members, including local business leaders, anticipate the future role students will play in their community.
Once the community has created a shared vision and agreed on local priorities, how will planning participants transform these into a plan for action?
The action plan will be based on a needs assessment that evaluates how well current practices are supporting the district vision and local priorities. This process leads to a better understanding of what is working and what needs to change in order to ensure that all students learn and thrive.
A good needs assessment starts by examining the progress of all students and then focuses in on the needs of specific student groups. Student progress should be measured using multiple local and state assessments to identify needed academic improvement. Use the student achievement results to identify specific areas for improvement.
Using student data, the planning team develops concrete learning outcomes that define what students will know, accomplish, and be able to do when they reach academic improvement targets.
It is critical to prioritize outcomes! With input from the school community, determine which outcomes are most likely to increase student achievement, support district priorities, and effectively use district resources. Remember that not all outcomes need to be accomplished in the first year.
Once outcomes are defined, select strategies with the potential to accomplish the desired student outcomes. This may mean continuing or expanding current activities that have produced promising results, or adopting new strategies. In all cases, the choice of strategies should be based on evidence of effectiveness.
The planning team must also determine how the district will measure progress towards outcomes. This includes monitoring local assessments throughout the year as well as a yearly district- or state-wide assessment shared with the public.
To put the plan into action, identify if current resources adequately support the plan’s strategies. Review the use of time, people, materials, facilities, and money; then, determine if these resources should be used differently to execute this plan. Clearly identify funding sources, the individuals responsible for carrying out strategies, any materials or technology required, and a realistic timeline.
Even the best plan is effective only if it is implemented! To ensure the plan’s success, involve members of the school and district community in both creating and carrying out the plan. Successful implementation also depends on regular monitoring to know that the strategies are being enacted and if they are having a positive impact on student learning. The entire school community should periodically review progress, make needed adjustments and celebrate student achievements.
To assist with effective planning, the QSF website provides a variety of resources. For example, student and parent surveys within the QSF “Culture and Climate” element assist in the needs assessment. Resources in the “Family and Community” element offer useful strategies for expanding parent and community participation. Additionally, explore the resources associated with this video, including a discussion guide that provides ideas for using this video with your school community.
Thank you for viewing this introduction to developing effective school and district plans. We encourage you to use and share this resource within your school and district community as you work to ensure that all your students learn and thrive.