School-Level Handbook

School-Level Handbook
School-Level
Handbook
Center on Innovation & Improvement
121 N. Kickapoo Street
Lincoln, Illinois 62656
217-732-6462
www.centerii.org
Information Tools Training
Positive results for students will come from changes in the knowledge, skill, and behavior of their teachers and parents. State policies and programs must provide the opportunity, support,
incentive, and expectation for adults close to the lives of children to make wise decisions.
The Center on Innovation & Improvement helps regional comprehensive centers in their work with states to provide districts, schools, and families with the opportunity, information, and skills to
make wise decisions on behalf of students.
The Center on Innovation & Improvement is administered by the Academic Development Institute (Lincoln, IL) in partnership with the Temple University Institute for Schools and Society
(Philadelphia, PA), Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies at Boise State University (Boise, ID), and Little Planet Learning (Nashville, TN).
A national content center supported by the
U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Award #S283B050057
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position of the supporting agencies,
and no official endorsement should be inferred.
© 2011 Academic Development Institute. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents
Page
Getting Started
Recommended Browser Settings .....................................................................................................................
Access Levels Descriptions ..............................................................................................................................
Logging In .........................................................................................................................................................
School Dashboard ............................................................................................................................................
1
4
5
6
School-Level Process
Welcome Page ...............................................................................................................................................
School Process Main Menu ............................................................................................................................
Step Descriptions
Step 1: Register School .............................................................................................................................
Step 2: Provide School Information ...........................................................................................................
Step 3: Form School Team .......................................................................................................................
Step 4: Assess School Indicators ..............................................................................................................
Step 5: Create School Plan .......................................................................................................................
Step 6: Monitor School Plan ......................................................................................................................
11
12
16
17
19
20
28
33
Additional Tools & Resources
Resources and Reports
Resources ................................................................................................................................................. 41
Tutorials .................................................................................................................................................... 43
Indicators in Action™................................................................................................................................. 45
Reports ...................................................................................................................................................... 47
Plan Your Meeting ........................................................................................................................................... 51
Edit or Enter Meeting Agenda ................................................................................................................... 52
Print Documents for Meetings ...................................................................................................................
Enter Meeting Minutes ...............................................................................................................................
Coaching Comments .......................................................................................................................................
Wise Ways® ....................................................................................................................................................
56
58
59
61
Getting Started
Page 1
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Getting Started
Recommended Browser Settings
The principal or process manager is responsible for entering and retrieving information from the web system. While the
real work of school improvement happens in teams, team members will not need to interface with the web system. The
following recommendations will ensure that the principal’s and process manager’s computers are set up correctly for using
the system. If the default on these computers is Internet Explorer, click on the “Tools” dropdown from the menu bar and
select “Internet Options.” In the “Browsing History” section of the “General” tab, click the “Settings” button. Make sure
“Every time I visit the webpage” is selected and click OK.
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If the default browser is Foxfire, open Foxfire. In the URL field, type about:config and hit Enter. In the Filter field type
cache. Double click browser.cache_doc_frequency. The default value is 3; set this to 1 (Check for a new version every
time a page is loaded). Click OK, close Firefox, and open again.
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If the default browser is Google Chrome, please contact your IT support department for assistance. As of the writing of
this Handbook, Google Chrome required an “add on” or “extension”, so it is best to discuss this with an IT person in the
school, district, or state department.
If the Refresh is not set for every time the webpage is visited, updates may not appear or data may display incorrectly.
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A Quick Look at Access Levels Descriptions
Every login is assigned according to an access level. The access level determines the privileges that each person has to
view information, edit information, or enter coaching comments. In Indistar®, these privileges are carefully differentiated.
Access Level
Who Uses it
What is it for
State Administrators
State Administrators
Can view the work of both district and school teams but can offer Coaching
Comments only at the district level.
Cannot view the Rapid Improvement Leader’s work.
District
Superintendent and District
Process Manager
Can view and edit the district team’s work and respond to Coaching Comments
from the state. Can view the school team’s work and can offer Coaching
Comments. Cannot view the Rapid Improvement Leader’s work.
* The district level access also has the option of using the dashboard for additional reporting
purposes.
District Consultant
Consultant/Coach working with
the district
Can view the work of both district and school teams to which they’ve been
assigned but can offer Coaching Comments only at the district level. Cannot
view the Rapid Improvement Leader’s work.
District Liaison
District person working with the Can view the work of the school team(s) to which they’ve been assigned and can
school team
offer Coaching Comments only at the school level. Cannot view the Rapid
Improvement Leader’s work.
School
Principal and School Process
Manager
Can view and edit the work of the school team and respond to Coaching
Comments from the District Liaison, School Consultant, or District.
Cannot view the Rapid Improvement Leader’s work.
* The school level access also has the option of using the dashboard for additional reporting
purposes.
School Consultant
Consultant/Coach working with
the school
Can view the work of the school team and can offer Coaching Comments.
Cannot view the Rapid Improvement Leader’s work.
Rapid Improvement
Leader
Principal in a Rapid
Improvement school
Can view and edit the principal’s own Rapid Improvement Leader (RIL)
information only and respond to Coaching Comments from the RIL Mentor.
RIL Mentor
Consultant/Coach working with
the Rapid Improvement Leader
Can view the principal’s RIL work and can offer Coaching Comments to the
Rapid Improvement Leader.
Cannot view the work of the school team.
Guest Login
Teachers, parents, school board Can view the Comprehensive Plan Report, Where Are We Now?, and Summary
members, accreditation
Report.
organizations, and others
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Logging In
When a district or state registers a school, the school login and password information is sent to the school principal and
the process manager via email. The password may also be given out at a training held by the district or state. With this
information, the principal or process manager may log in to Indistar® through the 1) state’s website, if the state has posted
a link there, 2) by clicking on the “Login” button in the “Indistar Login” section of the Center on Innovation & Improvement’s
(CII) home page at www.centerii.org, or 3) through the “Indistar Login” on www.indistar.org. All of these login access areas
will lead to the same login screen. The screen shots below show the access area on the Center’s webpage as well as the
login screen.
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Navigating the School Dashboard
After logging in, the dashboard appears. A screenshot of a school-level dashboard appears on the next page. Each state
selects a unique name for the Indistar® system and designs a banner. This will appear for every school and district in the
state using the system. Below the banner, the name of the school appears. The rest of the dashboard is the navigational
area for all the parts of the system.
1. Indicator-Based Planning Tools: On the dashboard pictured, the only indicator-based planning tool listed is “IndistarSIP-School Indicators.” This link leads to the school improvement Indicators which form the basis of the school
improvement work of the leadership team. Other links may appear here if the state has chosen to include them. These
might be but are not limited to:
 School Community Indicators: Indicators that deal with family-school engagement
 Response to Intervention: Indicators that deal specifically with the needs of Response to Intervention
 High School Level Indicators: Indicators specific to the unique needs of high schools
 Transformation Toolkit: Indicators specific to schools with a School Improvement Grant
2. Other Planning Tools: Tools listed here are state specific and are not based on Indicators. The tool shown on the
sample dashboard is the Family Engagement Tool that guides a school through a process of determining their
strengths and needs concerning family-school engagement. After using the tool, the school may choose to use the
School Community Indicators to further the work of a School Community Council or other such team that includes
parents as members of the team.
3. Forms to Complete: While the Indicators are fairly inclusive of all aspects of school improvement, there are some
federal and state requirements that are not covered under the Indicators. States include questions related to these
federal requirements on the forms listed under the Forms to Complete Section. A school opens the forms from the
links provided, fills in the questions, and saves the forms.
4. Required Reports/Report Name: The forms that were listed under the Forms to Complete section are listed now under
the Report Name along with a submission date, a submit button, a submitted column, and a previous column. After the
form has been completed and saved under the Forms to Complete section, the school simply hits the submit button by
the date preset by the state. A PDF is automatically sent to the state and a link (shown as a date) is shown under the
Submitted column. If it is the second (or beyond) year of submission, the previous year’s link will appear in the
Previous column. Required Reports/Report Name also includes the submission dates for the school improvement
Indicators. Hitting “Submit” prepares a “snapshot” of the Comprehensive Report and posts it. Reports submitted are
also posted to the state’s administrative page.
5. Other Documents/Web Pages: Any other links that the state believes will be helpful to the school will be listed here.
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School-Level Process
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Page 19
Page 20
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Welcome Page
Indicator-Based Planning Tools are the heart of Indistar® and where the most explanation and guidance is needed. The
remaining sections of this Handbook will address all the parts found within the Indicator-Based Planning Tool links on the
dashboard. No matter which Indicator-based tools the state has decided to include, all of them operate the same within
the system—only the actual Indicators change.
After selecting the appropriate link under the Indicator-Based Planning Tools, the Welcome Page appears. The
information provided on the Welcome Page changes periodically to give encouragement, words of wisdom, explanation of
system changes, or other announcements. Under the “Continue” button, there is a link to [email protected] This email
address is available for any technical difficulties or questions. This link is found at the bottom of every page within the
system. An answer is usually provided within hours if not sooner. For any question that is too difficult to explain or figure
out by email, a client relations representative will call to make sure the system is working correctly or provide solutions so
including a phone number in the email is helpful.
To move into the School Improvement Process, hit the “Continue” button. Now the real work begins.
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School Process Main Page
The School Improvement Process includes 6 Steps: Register School, Provide School Information, Assess School
Indicators, Create School Plan, and Monitor School Plan. Each Step will be explained in greater detail in the following
pages. The screen shot below shows the “School Process Main.” On every page in the right hand corner is a “School
Process Main” button. This is the way to return to this screen at any time.
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Under the banner, the school name is listed as well as the set of Indicators/team that is selected. The name of the district
and state is shown as well.
In the top right corner of the page, there are “Hints” and “Help” buttons that provide extra guidance throughout the
process. These are found on all the pages.
After each Step, there is a “Video” button. The “Video” button is a narrated demonstration of what is found in each Step
and how to navigate through that part of the system. The “Video” button after Step 1 covers the process for Steps 1, 2,
and 3.
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Also in the top right corner of the screen are buttons for “Resources and Reports”, “Plan Your Meeting”, “Coaching
Comments” and “Where are we now?”. These tools are explained in greater detail in the Additional Tools & Resources
section of this handbook, but a brief description is provided here.
Resources and Reports
Resources: The Resource page includes an Orientation Power Point, an electronic copy of this Handbook as well as the
District-Level Handbook and the State-Level Handbook, Tutorials, Indicator lists, Wise Ways®, Rubrics, and links to
additional resources.
Reports: The Reports page provides a list of reports that are available to view. Each report may be exported into a variety
of file formats and saved and/or printed. There are reports for all the Steps in the process that document the work of the
leadership team as well as any coaching comments provided to the school.
Plan Your Meeting
The Indistar® system creates an agenda that documents what Indicators will be discussed and a meeting minutes
worksheet to take notes during the team meeting. After the meeting, the principal or process manager will enter the
minutes into the system. There are assessment, planning, and monitoring worksheets available to print out and use at
meetings as well as a link to Wise Ways® (short research briefs for every Indicator). Rubrics, if required, are also available
to be printed for use at team meetings.
Coaching Comments
Schools may have been assigned a coach/consultant by the state or district, may have a district liaison providing
coaching, or a district providing coaching to the school. Clicking this button will open the Coaching Comments application.
Coaches may enter comments related to the work of the leadership team within the system. When the coach enters a
comment, a notification is sent to the principal via email. A notification appears on the School Process Main page (in red).
The school may then respond back to the coach using this same link.
Where are we now?
“Where are we now?” is a quick glimpse of the work the leadership team is doing. It provides a summary report, bar
graphs, and additional information about work in the Indicators. Additional information on this report can be found in the
Additional Tools & Resources: Resources and Reports section of this Handbook.
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A Few Last Details on the School Process Main Page
There are dates shown after each Step. The first date is the first time information was entered into the Step. The second
date is the last time that Step was updated. For Step 3, it is the last date that a new team member was added.
There is also a Progress count shown for Step 4, Step 5, and Step 6. This shows the total number of Indicators in each
Step, and how many of the Indicators have been either Assessed, Planned, or are being Monitored. The total number of
Indicators will display in Step 4. Only the Indicators that have been assessed as needing a plan will move into Step 5.
At the bottom of the page is information for the consultant or coach that is assigned to the school, as well as information
for the principal and the process manager.
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Step 1: Register School
During the initial set up of Indistar®, a state or district provides the information found in School Registration. However, the
process manager and/or principal should check the information carefully to make sure all is correct. It is especially
important to have a current email address for the principal and process manager as this is the way the system
communicates when a coaching comment is added or a login reminder must be sent. It is a good practice to revisit Step 1
at least once a year to check the information, or whenever a change in leadership occurs. Be sure to hit the “Save” button
after any changes are made. Use the button at the top right of the page to return to the School Process Main page.
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Step 2a: Provide School Information
The Indistar® system provides a place for schools to enter demographic information as well as a place to enter a school’s
assessment information. The screen below shows the page for entering demographic information. The school may
already have this information stored or filed in another system or on hard copy. Not all states/districts require schools to
enter the information in Indistar® so it is a good idea to check with the state/district to see if this is required. Entering the
information here does allow for all the information about a school to be housed in one location. A worksheet is provided
for this Step under the “Plan Your Meeting” button on the School Process Main page so the information can be collected
from multiple sources (if needed) and then entered into the system. Remember to hit the “Save and Go to School
Assessment Scores” after entering or editing information and before moving to the School Assessments Scores page.
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Step 2b: Provide School Assessment Scores
Follow Steps 1 - 3 at the top of this page. If the state has required the schools to enter the assessment scores in Step 2,
the state assessment scores are required. Schools may also enter other assessment scores, but they are not necessarily
required. Remember to “Save” each addition. To return to the main menu page, use the “School Process Main” button.
A blank version of the “Provide School Information” form may be printed from the “Worksheets” section on the School
Process Main page, under the “Plan Your Meeting” button.
Not all states require schools to utilize Step 2. Please contact your school coach or state administration for this
information.
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Step 3: Form School Team
Working as a team is one of the most important elements of continuous school improvement and is the cornerstone of the
entire Indistar® system. In Step 3 the principal or the process manager will enter the information for the members of the
school improvement or leadership team. Each school may call this team something different, but this is the team that is
responsible for planning and carrying out the work of school improvement. For the purposes fo this handbook, leadership
team is used. To add a member, hit the “Add a Team Member” and enter the information needed. When finished, hit the
“Add or Update this Team Member”
If information for an existing team member needs to be edited click on his/her name to make the changes. Save the
changes by hitting the “Add or Update this Team Member.” To delete a team member, click on his/her name and use the
“Delete” button that appears at the bottom of the page.
A blank version of the “Create School Team” form may be printed from the “Worksheets” section on the School
Process Main page, under the “Plan Your Meeting” button.
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Step 4: Assess School Indicators
The easy part is finished. Besides doing a little editing or updating, Steps 1, 2, and 3 are complete and need very little
attention from here on out. Now the real work begins—working on the Indicators. Indicators of effective practice are
concrete, behavioral expressions of professional practices that research demonstrates contribute to student learning. An
Indicator is expressed in plain language so that the leadership team can answer with certainty whether or not it is
standard practice in the school.
After the leadership team has met and discussed an Indicator, the principal or process manager will return to the online
system to enter the decision of the team. By selecting the Step 4 link, the screen below opens. There is a lot of
information on this page. The next few pages will cover all the information found here.
At the top of the page, an explanation of the tabs is given. Tabs are just one way to navigate through the system. In Step
4, tabs serve as a way to see quickly which Indicators need to be assessed, which Indicators have already been
assessed, and which Indicators the school is currently assessing. Tab 4 is selected automatically when an Indicator has
been selected to be assessed—it does not show information when selected from this page.
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The system has several ways to filter and group Indicators. The state decides what filters/benchmarks/crosswalks it wants
to use to make life simpler for schools. An example of a filter may be if the state wants a school to focus on Indicators
pertinent to Response to Intervention. In the drop down menu for filters, RtI would appear as a choice. When selected,
only the Indicators specific to RtI would appear in the list of Indicators.
A state may set guidelines for pacing a school through the work on the Indicators. If the state has specific Indicators that
must be assessed within a specific timeframe, then the school would select that timeframe from the Reporting or
Benchmark filter and only the Indicators due during that timeframe will appear in the list.
If the state uses a specific framework for their school improvement, such as Danielson or Essential Elements, the school
would select the framework from the dropdown menu under Crosswalk and the Indicators will filter under the headings of
the framework.
A state may also decide that certain Indicators are “Key” and must be addressed by every school using the system. Check
the box beside “Key Indicators only” to see a list of all the Indicators the state has chosen as “Key Indicators.” The
“Remove Filter” button will remove any filters/benchmarks/crosswalks applied and return the Indicators to the default list.
Indicators are grouped under a Category, Section, Subsection I, and Subsection II. However, the school also has the
option of displaying all the Indicators in a list without these groupings. To do so, hit the “Display all Indicators as list”
button.
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Now that the Indicators have been crosswalked, filtered, benchmarked, and marked Key, it is time to actually work on
them.
Selecting Indicators
Indicators may be selected from any of the lists created from running a filter, crosswalk, or benchmark explained above.
Indicators may also be selected from the default screen, or Tab 1: Select Indicators, which displays Category, Section,
and Subsections. A Category is a broad grouping of effective practices relative to school improvement. The Section is the
effective practice. The Indicators then are the indications that effective practices are being implemented. To see the
Indicators, select a Section description.
Once a Section description has been selected, the list of Indicators that are grouped under that Section appear. The Tab
at the top will now be Tab 2: List of Indicators to Assess.
If the “Display All Indicators as List” was selected, Tab 2 will also be displayed, but all the Indicators will be listed instead
of just the Indicators grouped under one particular Section. The screen shot below displays how the Indicators appear
under Tab 2.
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To enter the assessment information from the leadership team meeting for any particular Indicator, click on the Indicator.
Once the information from the assessment of an Indicator has been entered into the system, the Indicator will no longer
appear under Tab 1 or Tab 2. It will only display under Tab 3: List of Indicators Assessed. It is still possible to edit the
information for this Indicator—even change how it has been assessed (a discussion of the assessment process is
upcoming under the explanation of Tab 4). Indicators listed in Tab 3 will either be blue or red. Blue indicates that the
Indicator will be included in the school’s improvement plan. Red indicates that the Indicator will not be included in the
school’s improvement plan (this includes Indicators assessed as fully implemented or not a priority or interest).
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Assessing the Indicator
After an Indicator has been selected, the system automatically moves into Tab 4: Assess Indicator. The Indicator
selected is now displayed as well as a link to Wise Ways®. Wise Ways® are research-based evidence and examples
directly related to the specific Indicator. If a state uses Rubrics, the link to the Rubric will also be displayed here.
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After the leadership team has read through the Wise Ways® for an Indicator, they will decide the level of implementation
of the Indicator in their school. The principal or process manager then returns to the system after the team meeting and
inputs the information. There are three levels of implementation: No Development or Implementation, Limited
Development or Implementation, or Full Implementation.
 No Development or Implementation
If the team decided that there is “No Development” on this Indicator, the principal or process manager would check
the box for “No development or Implementation. The team must also decide if the Indicator will be included in their
school improvement plan or not. The principal or process manager would check either “Not a Priority or Interest” or
“Will include in plan.”
When “Not a Priority or Interest” is selected, the team must give an explanation of why the Indicator is not a priority
or interest for the school. The principal or process manager enters the explanation in the field provided (see
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screenshot on preceding page). After entering the explanation, hit “Save this Indicator.” The button will only
become “live” when the required field is filled.
Note: An Indicator will not appear in Step 5: Create School Plan if the Indicator has been assessed as “Not a
Priority or Interest” and the leadership team has justified why it is not a priority or interest.
 Will Include in Plan and Limited Development
If the team decides an Indicator is either “No development or Implementation” and “Will include in plan”, or if they
decide the Indicator is “Limited Development or Implementation” the system will ask the same questions: What is
the priority of this Indicator? How easily is this Indicator accomplished (opportunity score)?
These two numbers will be multiplied (Priority Score x Opportunity Score) to give an Index rating. This total can be
found in Step 5: Create School Plan. The rating gives the leadership team some guidance for working on Indicators
that might be considered “quick wins”—those items that are easily accomplished and can show to the school
community that changes are taking place.
Unlike a school improvement plan which requires a school to describe and plan for its deficits, when using Indistar®
a school is asked describe what it is currently doing in the “Please describe the current level of development or
implementation” box. The “Save this Indicator” button will become live once the required field is filled.
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 Full Implementation
If the leadership team decides that the Indicator in their school has “Full Implementation”, the team then provides
evidence that the Indicator is fully implemented and some explanation of how the work will be sustained. The
evidence provided needs to be sufficient so the leadership team proves to itself and its stakeholders (students,
parents, teachers, school board) that the Indicator is fully implemented. This Indicator will not appear in Step 5:
Create School Plan.
An Indicator’s level of development may be edited until a plan has been created for that Indicator. Once a
plan is created in Step 5, the Indicator’s level of development cannot be changed, however the Index rating
and description of current level of development may still be edited.
A blank version of the “Assess Indicator” form may be printed from the “Worksheets” section on the School
Process Main Menu, under the “Plan Your Meeting” button.
Throughout the Handbook it refers to the principal or process manager returning to enter data from the
leadership team after the meeting using the worksheets printed for the meeting. If a principal or process
manager is comfortable with the technology, he/she may also enter information at the meeting.
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Step 5: Create School Plan
Once an Indicator has been assessed, it moves into Step 5: Create School Plan. Indicators are now called Objectives.
When the Step 5 link is selected from the School Main Menu page, the screen below appears. There is an explanation at
the top of the page about the switch in name from Indicator to Objective. After the leadership team has met and planned
the Objective, the principal or process manager will select the Objective from the list to enter the information from the
meeting. Objectives are also color coded. An explanation of the colors is also provided on this page. If the button “Select
Group of Objectives to Display” is selected, the Objectives will display under Sections, as in Step 4.
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A. Define Objective & Assign Task
The leadership team creates the plan for an Objective by first deciding which team member will be responsible for
managing that Objective. This does not mean that the team member is responsible for carrying out all the work of the
Objective, just that he or she will manage and monitor the work on that Objective. At each team meeting, the team
member assigned will give an update of the progress on that Objective.
Next, the team will describe how the Objective will look when it is fully implemented in their school and what
information will be needed to provide evidence that the Objective is fully met. Once again, Wise Ways® for this
Objective may be printed out and distributed to remind the team members what the research says the Objective
should look like in a school.
The team will also decide a target date for completion of the Objective. When the principal or process manager enters
this information into the system, he/she hits “Save” before moving to the next screen.
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B. Create Tasks
Once the Objective has been assigned to a specific team member, a description has been created for how it looks
when fully implemented, and a target date set for completion, the team now needs to figure out how to reach the goal.
This is accomplished by creating tasks—Objectives broken down into small steps that get the school from where it is
now to where it wants to be. Each task will be assigned to either a leadership team member or other school staff.
Assigning tasks to staff outside of the leadership team is a good way to get buy-in from all the staff in the building. A
completion date is also set for each task.
The principal or process manager, when entering the information from the team meeting, will see the screen shown
below after hitting the “Save” button from the previous screen. Notice, the information entered from the previous
screen is now displayed here.
To enter the tasks created by the team, the principal or process manager selects the button “Add a task.” Tasks may
be added to the Objective at any time, and if tasks have been previously entered, a list of those tasks will display
below the “Add a task” button as shown in the next screen shot. Tasks already entered may also be edited from this
screen.
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C. Describe and Assign
For each task, the principal or process manager will enter the short description the team created as well as the person
who is assigned to the task. If it is a member of the leadership team, the name will appear in the drop down menu. If it
is someone other than a team member, that name can be entered in the box to the right of the drop down menu. Next
is a place to enter the date by which the task will be completed and a place to enter any notes from the discussion that
might be important to the completion of the task. Don’t forget to hit the “Save” button. To enter more tasks for the
Objective, the principal or process manager repeats the process.
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The information on these screens may be edited at any time. Always be sure to save the new information.
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Step 6: Monitor School Plan
Now that the plan has been created for the Objective, the leadership team and school staff assigned to the Objective work
to complete the assigned tasks. At the next meeting, the leadership team can review the list of Objectives and tasks to
update the progress. Notice, the Objectives are once again color coded. The colors are explained at the top of the screen.
Also shown is the Objective, the leadership team member that is assigned to the Objective, the date the team decided the
Objective would be complete, how many tasks were created for the Objective, what percentage of the tasks are complete
and the date when the Objective was met.
Worksheets for Step 6: Monitor School Plan are available under “Plan Your Meeting” on the
School Main Menu page to use during the team meeting. It is also suggested that the Tasks
Report be printed for review at the meeting.
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A. Monitoring the Completion of Tasks
After the team discusses the progress of the tasks for each Objective, the principal or process manager will enter the
information. To update the information for an Objective, select the Objective. The screen shown below appears. Notice
the Objective is listed that was selected, as well as the information that was entered in Step 5: Create School Plan. The
team may have decided that the task was not yet complete, but comments were made that needed to be recorded. Enter
those in the box provided and then hit “Save/Update.” The team may have decided that the task is no longer necessary,
or that the task will not lead to the completion of the Objective. Simply hit “Delete this task.” The team may decide that the
task has been completed. Enter the date of completion and then hit “Save/Update.”
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B. Completed Tasks
Once all tasks for an Objective have been completed, the leadership team will then decide if the Objective has been met.
Completing all the tasks may not necessarily lead to the completion of an Objective. For the principal or process manager,
when the last task listed in the system for an Objective has a date entered for completion, the following screen will appear.
The team must decide if the Objective has not been met, the Objective has been fully met, or if they are undecided. If the
team has decided that it has not been met, they will need to create more tasks for that Objective. For the principal or
process manager, it means returning to Step 5 when the team creates more tasks.
 The Objective has not been met.
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 The Objective has been fully met.
If the team decides that the Objective is fully met, they will also need to describe their experience in completing the
Objective, explain how they will sustain the Objective, and give the evidence that the Objective has been fully met.
Once again, the evidence is to prove to themselves as a leadership team and to the stakeholders of the school
(students, parents, teachers, school board, etc.) that the Objective has been met. The screen to enter that
information will appear when “The Objective has been fully met” is selected. Be sure and hit the “Save” button
when finished entering the information.
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 We are not ready to make a decision at this time.
In some cases, the leadership team may not be able to decide at the meeting whether the Objective has been fully
met or not—perhaps team members are absent, or the evidence for completion has not been collected. Whatever
the reason, if the team feels they are unable to decide when the tasks have been completed for that Objective, the
system will simply mark that Indicator in Red until the team decides whether to mark it as fully met or to add tasks
in Step 5.
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38
Additional Tools & Resources
Tutorials
Page 41
Page 43
Indicators
in Action™
Page 45
Plan Your
Meeting
Page 51
Page 59
Page 61
Resources and Reports
Resources
The button for Resources and Reports is found on the School Process Main page in the top right hand corner. Once on
the Resources page, a state needs to be selected.
Resources are divided into 3 sections:
 System Instructions and Tutorials
 Indicators, Wise Ways®, and Rubrics
 Other Resources
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System Instructions
This section includes PDF versions of the School-Level Handbook, District-Level Handbook, and State-Level Handbook
as well as a short document explaining Indistar®: “Making Indistar Work for You.” Both the document and the PowerPoint
“Orientation to Indistar®” are useful when introducing the system to the leadership team, teachers, school board, or other
stakeholders.
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Tutorials
The video Tutorials provide “how-to” demonstrations for completing each step of the process. Links to the tutorials can be
found on the School Process Main page, as well as the “System Instructions and Tutorials” tab of the “Resources” section.
or
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Indicators, Wise Ways®, and Rubrics
This page offers lists of Indicators, Wise Ways®, and Rubrics (if the state provides Rubrics). The resources are organized
by State, Level, and Group. A Level would be SSOS/District/School for example, and a Group might be SIG Online Tool,
School Improvement Team, or Parent Involvement for example. By filling in these fields, the Indicators will display that are
for that particular level and group. The list may be further sorted by selecting “Key Indicators only.” The Indicators display
the same as they did in Step 4, by Category, Section, and Subsections. To view a section of Indicators, select the link
under “Select Section.” To view all indicators as a list, hit the button “Display all Indicators.”
A list of Wise Ways® is also available by clicking on the “Complete Wise Ways® List” link.
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Other Resources
The Other Resources tab offers access to the Center on Innovation & Improvement’s searchable database of resources
on topics relevant to schools in improvement, as well as a link the Center’s website and the Indistar® website.
PDFs of all the Wise Ways® for various states using the Indistar® system are also available from the links on the right.
Indicators in Action
The last link on the left is Indicators in Action—a series of videos showing real schools putting the Indicators in action. The
videos show instructional teams discussing classroom assessments, teachers in classrooms, and interviews with
principals and teachers—all implementing the Indicators in their schools. Indicators in Action™ are designed to be used for
professional development, faculty meetings and workshops, and as a tutorial for individual educators. The screen shot
below shows the web page to access the courses. Workbooks and facilitator’s guides are available for each course, as
well as downloadable templates for use.
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Indicators in Action™ can also be accessed without logging in to the Indistar® system. To find the other access points, visit
www.centerii.org or www.indistar.org and look for the Indicators in Action™ link. No login or password is required to access
the videos.
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Reports
The reports section offers reports on every Step of the process. A brief description for all the reports is given below.
Step 1
School Registration
Registration information for the school, principal, and process manager.
Step 2a
School Information
Demographic, personnel, and enrollment information as entered by the school.
2b
School Assessment
Assessment information for state and standardized tests as entered by the school.
Step 3
School Team Members
Information on members of the leadership team (names, position, phone, email
address).
Step 4
List of Indicators Included in Plan
A list of all assessed indicators that will be included in the school improvement plan.
Detailed Report of Assessed Indicators
Shows each assessed indicator, including its level of development, opportunity and
priority scores, as well as evidence of current implementation.
Step 5
List of Objectives Included in Plan
Detailed Report of Objectives Included
in Plan
A list of all objectives included in the plan.
A list of all objectives, the index score, target date, and team member assigned to the
objective, as well as a description of what the fully implemented objective will look
like.
Step 6
Tasks Report
Detailed information for all tasks including who is responsible for the task and target
date for completion.
Progress Report
Information about the created plan including the number and status of tasks for each
objective, the assigned team member, as well as the target date for completion.
Comprehensive Plan Report
A detailed description of the improvement plan including all assessments, plans,
tasks, monitoring, and implementation information.
Indicator Checklist Report
A customizable report that allows individual indicators to be selected and displays all
information for assessments, plans, and tasks for each indicator selected.
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Implementation and Monitoring Report
A comprehensive list of only those indicators that were initially assessed as fully
implemented or those indicators for which a plan has been created.
Coaching Comments
Displays the conversation entered into the system between the school’s coach(es)
and the school.
Where are we now?
An overview of the school’s execution of its plan in graph form, as well as a list of fully
implemented and completed indicators.
Summary Report
Summary information on the number of meetings held, numbers of indicators
assessed and planned, number of coaching comments, forms submitted, and
leadership team information.
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Saving Reports
Reports can be exported in multiple formats and then saved or printed. Follow these instructions for running these
reports:
1. Filter report as necessary and click “Submit”.
2. Select
and choose a file format.
3. Save or print the document.
File Format Descriptions
XML file with report data
This file type can be used to display documents on the World Wide Web. XML is a code-based file that is primarily used
to store and transport data (as opposed to HTML, which is used to display data).
CSV
Saves the report as a Microsoft Excel Comma Separated Values file. With a CSV file, the report is not separated into
categories, as it is in the online report. The file separates the information into columns which makes it easier to sort and
filter the data in a variety of ways without needing to reformat the document.
Acrobat file
Saves the report as a PDF file. This format requires Adobe Acrobat to view the file.
MHTML
Saves the report as a web archive file. With a web archive, the file may be viewed through the internet browser without
connecting to the internet.
Excel
Saves the report as a Microsoft Excel document file. The report is formatted the same as the online report.
TIFF file
Saves the report as an image file that contains multiple pages.
Word
Saves the report as a Microsoft Word document.
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Report Tools
To filter the reports, the following options are available. These options are not available on every report, only on the
reports that contain lists of Objectives or Indicators. The filters function the same as they did in Steps 4, 5, and 6. Added
to the reports section, however, is the ability to set a date range on the work to be viewed.
Filter Indicators in a variety of ways
Filter objectives/tasks
by Team Member
Filter objectives/tasks
by Date range
Navigate through the pages of the
online Report
Export & Save
Print the Report
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Plan Your Meeting
To create an agenda, click “Plan Your Meeting” and then “Meeting Agenda setup”.
 Select ‘Set up a new Meeting’ button to create a new meeting agenda.
 To edit an agenda that has already been created, click on the meeting “Location” link. To remove any agenda that
has been set up, click on the “remove” link for that meeting.
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Tab 1 - Enter or Edit Meeting Agenda
This is the main screen for planning a leadership team meeting. The principal and/or the leadership team decide which
Indicators (Step 4) or Objectives (Steps 5 & 6) will be addressed at the meeting. The process manager then comes to
“Plan Your Meeting” to create the Agenda and print out any worksheets, Wise Ways®, Rubrics, or Meeting Minutes form
needed for that meeting.
Note: A Tutorial Video link is provided on this page for a refresher whenever needed.
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Step 1: Meeting Date, Time, and Location
To begin creating a new agenda, the process manager will enter the Meeting Date (use the format shown in the box),
the Time of the meeting, a Meeting Title (if one is required) and the Location. Always remember to hit the
“Save/Update Meeting Date, Time, and Location” whenever information is added or edited.
Step 2: Add Indicators to Assess or Plan to your Meeting
The next step in creating the agenda is to select the Indicators that will be addressed at the team meeting. By clicking
the “Add Indicators to Assess or Plan to your Meeting” button, the screen will display the Indicators as they are
displayed in Step 4—by Category, Section, and Subsections. The screen will also show how many Indicators are in
that section. Choose a section to see the list of Indicators/Objectives.
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Indicators that are already assessed will have a green border around the checkbox in the Assess column. Objectives
that have a plan started will have a green border around the box under the Plan column. These Indicators/Objectives
may still be selected for the meeting if the team feels they need to be reviewed, additional tasks added, etc.
 Check the box in the Assess column for the Indicator(s) that will be assessed during the meeting.
 Check the box in the Plan column for the Objectives(s) that will be planned during the meeting.
Click “Add Selected Indicators to this meeting” to add the Indicators to the agenda for the meeting. These
Indicators/Objectives will then be listed in Assess Indicators (Step 4) and Create Improvement Plan (Step 5) of the
agenda. Selecting the red “remove” button will remove that Indicator/Objective from the meeting agenda. To add more
Indicators/Objectives, repeat the process.
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Step 3:Other Business
Add any other business that will be discussed at the meeting in the space provided and select “Save Other Business
for this Meeting.”
Now the agenda is ready to be saved and emailed out to the leadership team, or printed for the meeting. The links to do
this is found under Tab 2: Print Documents for Meeting.
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Tab 2 - Print Documents for Meeting
The top of this screen shows the place and the date of the meeting selected. To save and email or print a copy of the
agenda for the meeting, select the link “Meeting Agenda.” To print a meeting minutes form, select the “Meeting Minutes
Form” link. Both of these documents are pre-filled with the information that was entered under Tab 1. The meeting
minutes form will also include a list of the leadership team members to take attendance at the meeting.
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Notice the Indicators/Objectives are again color coded. The explanation of the colors is given under number 2. The
system also highlights Indicators/Objectives that were selected to be addressed during the meeting, and what Step was
chosen (Step 4 to assess, Step 5 to plan). Worksheets that are not highlighted may also be printed if desired, but the
worksheets highlighted are what was selected for this meeting. Also available to save and either email or print are the
Wise Ways®, and Rubrics (if the state uses Rubrics). It is a good idea to make the Wise Ways® available to the team
members prior to the meeting so they can read and become familiar with them beforehand rather than taking precious
time during the meeting to read through them. The Tasks Report and the Comprehensive Report also have links on this
page for quick access to print or email to the team members.
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Tab 3 - Enter Meeting Minutes
After the leadership team meeting, the process manager will take the worksheets that were filled in during the meeting
and enter the information back into the system. As long as the process manager is keeping up with the documentation
after every meeting, the entry shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes and sometimes less time. To enter the meeting
minutes, return to Tab 3 under “Plan Your Meeting.” If the next meeting was set up during the Leadership Team Meeting,
the process manager may also create a new agenda at this time. The meeting minutes will be entered under Tab 3. The
work from assessing, planning, or monitoring the Indicators/Objectives will be entered under those Steps found on the
School Process Main page.
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Coaching Comments
 Coaching Comments is a communication tool to be used by the school and its coaches. However, it should not be
used to replace in-depth discussions via email, phone, or face-to-face.
 The comments are listed in date order, with the “coach” comments in blue and the school responses in black.
 A notification in Red will appear on the School Process Main page when a coaching comment has been entered by the
school’s coach. An email notification will also be sent to the Principal when a coaching comment is sent. Select the
“Coaching Comments” button to view or respond to the coaching comment. To respond, click on the comment.
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Once a comment has been selected, the following screen will appear.
To respond to a coaching comment, the principal or process manager would enter his/her name, the Step (1-6) referred to, the
individual Indicator that was addressed (if applicable) and the response. Remember to hit “Save Coaching Comments” after entering
the response.
Note: It is a good practice to print out the Coaching Comments report for the leadership team meetings to share with the
team any comments the coach has made.
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Wise Ways®
Wise Ways® is a built-in reference tool that provides a synthesis of the research that supports the Indicator/Objective and
provides strategies for attaining full implementation. There are various ways to access the Wise Ways® from within Indistar®.
 The individual Wise Ways® can be accessed through each Step of the process, almost anywhere there is an
Indicator/Objective listed.
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 To access a full list of Indicators with links to their Wise Ways®, click on the “Plan Your Meeting” button and select
“Wise Ways”.
 To access a PDF document containing all of the Wise Ways® for any state, click on the “Resources and Reports”
button and select “Resources” then go to the “Other Resources” tab.
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For technical assistance email:
[email protected]
Center on
Innovation &
Improvement
Twin paths to better schools.
Center on Innovation & Improvement
121 N. Kickapoo Street
Lincoln, Illinois 62656
217-732-6462
www.centerii.org
www.indistar.org
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