What Does Success Look Like For Your School?

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What Does Success Look Like For Your School?

Yesterday I posted some reflections on how schools can more effectively move from broad vision statements that sometimes sound formulaic or canned to a real pathway of strategic implementation.  One critical step is to paint a picture of what success looks like in the future.  Innovative organizations recognized two elements of painting this picture:

  • The picture will change.While we need to be rigorous in holding ourselves and our organization accountable for implementation, we cannot be overly rigid in our assessment protocols.
  • Not all measures of success are objectively quantifiable. Business people are used to framing benchmarks for success in highly objective terms; I built some objective dashboards when I was CFO of Francis Parker School. Schools are not like assembly lines (well, they should not be!) Some measures of success can be tracked on a spreadsheet, and schools do that pretty well: test scores, graduation rates, admissions demand, etc. Other measures are just as critical.

Here are a few that I brainstormed for another school I am working with that might help you start:

  • Faculty, administrative staff, and trustees are able to communicate a brief summary of the school vision and how what they do each day contributes to that vision.
  • Faculty and administrative staff have PLC’s of both the school community and external colleagues with whom they connect frequently.
  • Faculty and administrative staff are increasingly viewed as educational thought leaders within the school community, the local region, and with a national educational audience.
  • Professional growth resources are closely aligned to specific elements of the vision.
  • Ongoing professional growth is a core element of faculty and administrative staff assessment.
  • Most adults are eager to come to work most days; they would rather work at your school than at other schools; they are happy and have some fun!
  • Adults increasingly feel comfortable with taking risks in their work and know that school leadership supports them. The board and leadership team have developed a transparent risk profile that sets out broad boundaries for others to follow.
  • Faculty and administrative staff embrace the role of “leader” in their respective jobs; are able to articulate what that means and how they lead.  Authentic leadership is available and expected throughout the organization.

What might your school look like in 12 months using these measures?  In 36 months?  What are you and your leadership doing to get there? How might you edit this list?


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