Question Two: What should be considered when developing a timeline?

Conceptual Overview

Text-Based Reflection

Watch this short video from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on timelines and PDSA cycles and read this blog post Building the Capacity for Districts to Continuously Improve by Jeannie Myung. Then answer the questions below.

  • Knowing that a comprehensive needs assessment is the planning phase of a PDSA cycle and what you need to know about the school year, how do you feel about the advice and strategies in the video?
  • How can you use the Example Practices from the blog post to create a timeline for the year.

Teacher Leader

Your principal has asked you to organize a system for collecting information on the types of sources students use in their research projects and papers in science and social studies. He would like aggregated data by subject and grade level by January 1. It is August 31st.

Thinking about your school’s calendar and schedule, create a timeline for collecting the data. What resources will you need? Where do you see hiccups?

School Based Leader

In continuous improvement cycles, goals are reviewed, updated and revisited often. It is a constant conversation about where we want to be, where we are and how we are going to get where we want to be. Knowing what you know about needs assessments so far and the ebb and flow of the school year, how and when would you review school wide expectations for students? If you already do this on a regular basis, what would you tell another administrator about your process?

District Leader

You are an administrator for a school union that serves many schools and many boards. One executive board works together to create a vision and mission for the union as well as a strategic plan. It has been five years since this was last reviewed and the new plan is due to taxpayers in eight months.

As the discussions begin to take place about vision and mission, there is a disagreement about how to proceed. Read the two plans and complete the activity below.

Plan #1

Each school creates its own vision and mission and school wide expectations first. Then we look at all and synthesize the results. From there, we create our vision, mission and strategic plan. This way we ensure each school gets what it needs.

Plan #2

The executive board which represents each school, creates a vision, mission and strategic plan for the entire school union. Then we share that with each school and they ensure their visions, missions and school wide expectations are aligned with the school union goals.

Create a list of pros and cons for each plan.

Then answer these questions:

  • Are there other options to proceed?
  • What other considerations does a school union like this have to consider?

Case Study Analysis

Read the case study and answer the questions below.

Improvement High School has just been on a cycle of continuous improvement for quite some time. While they revisit their school wide expectations regularly, a major examination and significant rework is scheduled every four years. This review includes all stakeholders including teaching staff.

IHS is at the start of the second year in the cycle. At the first faculty meeting of the year, when the principal reviews and leads reflections on expectations, someone points out that when the expectations were overhauled last, thirty-three percent of the current staff was not employed at the school. Some teachers begin to voice that it might be important to do the more formal review and rewrite again. A healthy debate ensues and soon, the faculty meeting is over and no review of the expectations has happened.

  • What advice would you give the principal?
  • How would you handle the situation?

Additional Resources

Examine the VT AOE’s Annual Snapshot: Multiple Measures infographic about multiple measures to begin getting idea of the state-wide scope of improvement plans.

Read Appendix C: Organizing for Continuous Improvement (Optional Checklist) of the VT AOE’s Education Quality and Continuous Improvement Framework to see one list of possible actions to take before and while implementing a continuous improvement plan.

Read the Annenburg Institute’s Inquiry & Action guide to learn more about how to make continuous improvement part of daily practice at your school.

Be sure to record your answers to the above questions in the Evidence of Learning Tool.