Table of Contents
In 1998, for the first time, the MPISD board set written goals for a school year (Exhibit 1-3). Each of eight goals for 1998-99 identifies a series of related issues, strategies to accomplish the goals, and a combination of quantitative and qualitative measurements to gauge progress in accomplishing the goals. The goals were not formally made a part of the state-mandated district improvement plan (DIP), but they were reflected in the priorities of the DIP.
Exhibit 1-3Source: MPISD.
MPISD Board Goals
Goal Description 1. Students will be encouraged and challenged to meet their full educational potential. 2. A well balanced and appropriate curriculum will be provided to all students. 3. MPISD students will demonstrate exemplary performance in comparison to national and international standards. 4. Qualified and effective personnel will be recruited, developed, and retained. 5. All campuses within MPISD will maintain a safe and disciplined environment conducive to student learning. 6. Technology will be implemented and used to increase the effectiveness of student learning, instructional management, staff development, and administration. 7. Educators will keep abreast of the development of creative and innovative techniques in instruction and administration using those techniques as appropriate to improve student learning. 8. The school district will provide and maintain adequate facilities, which will contribute to student learning.
In developing the goals, the board also identified a series of strategies to accomplish each goal and key measurements to determine progress (Exhibit 1-4).
Strategies and Measurements Associated with MPISD Board Goals
Goal Strategies to
to Determine Progress
Students will be encouraged
and challenged to meet
their full educational
Strengthen reading skills by implementing instructional programs that ensure that all students master reading, writing, and mathematics and are proficient in science and social studies by the end of 3rd grade. Student failures will decrease because of the added support and nurture provided by the teaching staff.
- All 3rd grade students will read on grade level by the end of their 3rd grade year.
- The percentage of students in each student group who pass each subject of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) will increase to 90%.
- The percentage of students in grades 3-8 who show adequate progress on the Texas Learning Index in reading and mathematics will increase to 90%.
A well balanced and appropriate curriculum will be provided to all students. Implement effective reading programs, which enable all students to achieve early mastery of reading. Build mathematics and science programs around rigorous content and student performance standards. Implement strong social studies programs that stress the democratic process. Implement language programs that provide for multilingual opportunities.
- All students will achieve computational and problem solving skills in mathematics.
- All students will achieve scientific literacy in the physical and life sciences.
- All students will achieve an understanding of the democratic process and the role of citizenship in a democratic society.
- All students will be provided enrichment in foreign languages, music, and the arts and encouraged to excel in one or more areas.
- All students will be provided curriculum opportunities in vocational areas.
MPISD students will demonstrate exemplary performance in comparison to national and international standards. Implement valid, nondiscriminatory, consistent, and reliable assessments which measure the progress of students relative to national norms and performance standards. Increase participation in, and performance on, advanced placement and college entrance exams.
- Student performance will consistently exceed national norms.
- The percentage of students completing the Distinguished Achievement Program will increase.
- Student performance on college entrance exams will exceed the national average.
- The number of advanced placement examinations receiving grades of 3 or higher will increase.
- MPISD will have at least two of its campuses recognized as "Exemplary" with the remainder rated "Recognized."
Qualified and effective personnel will be recruited, developed, and retained. Provide professional staff development and a communications network to assist teachers and ensure that all students achieve high standards. Develop initiatives to identify and address critical teacher shortage areas.
- Ninety-eight percent of teachers will be in teaching positions for which they are certified.
- The percentage of teachers on permit in critical shortage areas will be reduced.
- The teacher turnover rate will be 10% or less.
All campuses within MPISD will maintain a safe and disciplined environment conducive to student learning. Develop school-family-community partnerships and interagency collaboration to establish safe schools. Establish zero-tolerance guidelines for behaviors and actions that threaten school safety.
- The rate of criminal activities on school campuses will decrease.
- The number of discipline referrals among students will decrease.
- The percentage of students using tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs will decrease.
Technology will be implemented and used to increase the effectiveness of student learning, instructional management, staff development, and administration. Establish a planning process that emphasizes integrating technology into curriculum and instruction. Establish a system of technology training and professional development that is tied to the content and student performance standards.
- All graduates will demonstrate computer-related competencies.
- MPISD will meet or exceed the state standard for the student-to-computer ratio.
- The number of classrooms with direct access to the Internet will increase.
Educators will keep abreast of the development of creative and innovative techniques in instruction and administration using those techniques as appropriate to improve student learning. Promote district and campus improvement in academic and instructional performance through continuous training in, and implementation of, site-based decision making. Ensure that the information provided to campuses increases the effectiveness of planning. Link district and campus plans for improvement to strategies for implementing content and student performance standards, familiarize educators with those standards, improve teaching, and enhance organizational effectiveness.
- The campus site-based committees will report improvements in the use of site-based decision making and improvement planning.
- The number of presentations by campus groups at state, regional, and local conferences by local educators will increase.
The school district will provide and maintain adequate facilities which will contribute to student learning. Planning should include short-and long-range needs assessment to insure that MPISD facilities are more than adequate for the educational needs both now and in the future.
- The district will annually conduct a short-range facility assessment.
- The district will periodically conduct a long-range needs assessment of the district's facilities.
- The district will design a plan, incorporating the long-range facility needs to accommodate site acquisition, financial issues, and construction.
The administration has taken the broad goals and, under the auspices of a long-range plan, has developed priorities to be addressed currently, in the long term, or on an ongoing basis (Exhibit 1-5).
Exhibit 1-5Source: MPISD.
MPISD Long-Range Plan
Priority Description 1. Expand the team-building training for board and administration. 2. Automate the policy manual. 3. Expand the Gifted and Talented program to include under-represented groups. 4. Conduct a facilities needs assessment. 5. Reorganize the Transportation Department. 6. Enlarge the library on the high school campus. 7. Construct a new competitions gym for the high school campus. 8. Complete the re-roofing of all district buildings. 9. Obtain a level of four networked computer stations in every classroom in the district. 10. Have all campuses reach recognized status in state accountability process. 11. All students will remain in school until they obtain a diploma. 12. Have 100 percent of the teaching staff committed to the Accelerated School concept.
The board and the staff have established district goals and developed concrete measures and strategies to implement them.
While both the board goals and long-range plan contains measures and strategies for implementation, neither prioritizes goals nor estimates the funds necessary to accomplish them over three to five years. No distinction was made in the board goals or the long-range plan on the relative importance of any priorities.
As required by state law, the district prepares a district improvement plan and individual improvement plans for each campus. A site-based decision-making committee plan and a technology plan also are prepared each year. Site-based teams set goals and objectives for the specific plans. The technology plan, updated annually, is a long-range document tied to specific expenditures. Board goals are not specifically incorporated in the district improvement plan. The district and campus improvement plans are not specifically tied to district objectives or to specific budgeted expenditures.
Residents cited a lack of long-range planning in several areas including the budget, transportation fleet, and facilities. Others cited a lack of a long-range plan to address student achievement in light of changing student demographics.
An effective planning document can be developed through a process that involves determining community priorities and student needs, translating results into annual objectives, and then tying objectives to the district operating budget.
The American Association of School Boards and the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting have developed key elements to an effective long-range planning process (Exhibit 1-6).
Exhibit 1-6Source: American Association of School Boards, National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting, and interviews of MPISD board members and staff.
Key Elements of An Effective Long-Range Plan and Their Presence in MPISD
Key Elements Presence in MPISD Regular stakeholder input: parents, citizens, community groups The board employs no regular method for community member to provide input. MPISD received poor marks in communication with campuses and parents in the written survey conducted by the review team. Development and annual review of policy and critical objectives of the district by the board of trustees Goals were established by the board in 1998, but the goals were not specifically included in the district improvement plan or the staff's long-range plan. Development of strategies to achieve critical objectives by the staff The staff has prepared a long-range plan that includes strategies to accomplish the results. Linkage of financial resources to strategies which help achieve policy and critical objectives There is no formal link between the district's goals and the budget. Communication of the plan and expected results and outcomes to stakeholders There is no regular communication in these areas. Measurement of results versus plan and evaluation of performance Each area of the district is measured individually, but sufficient time has not elapsed to evaluate performance. There is no central plan with performance expectations so there is no ability to look at priority areas collectively.
Setting district goals and establishing a long-range educational plan for a district can be greatly enhanced through wide community and staff involvement and participation. In assuming responsibility for guiding the development of this planning process, a board and superintendent meets one of their most important governance responsibilities, setting clear direction for the district. A board and superintendent also may properly budget funds consistent with annual objectives. Such a process builds confidence in the community and among staff members that the district has a planning process that sets the district's direction.
Establish a five-year plan that ties annual district priorities to the budget.
Building upon the exemplary work begun by the board in 1998, the superintendent, working with the board, should enhance its planning by establishing timelines for implementing each strategy, prioritizing goals and strategies, and tying goals directly and formally to the budget by involving community members and staff in the process. The board and superintendent also should establish an annual performance evaluation cycle during which priorities and strategies are adjusted and modified to ensure success. The process should describe the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of each program, and show how the programs will be measured annually to determine if progress is being made in accomplishing objectives.
Representatives from all staff groups and from the community should be included in developing the priorities. Such a process provides the district with a way to communicate its priorities, achievements, and results to the community.
Technical assistance may be available from RESC VIII field service agents or Northeast Texas Community College.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The board appoints a committee of MPISD staff and community members to develop long- and short-term priorities. March 1999 2. The committee recommends priorities to the board for consideration. May 1999 3. The board holds a public meeting/hearing on the recommended priorities and adopts priorities. June 1999 4. The board refers the priorities to staff for inclusion in the annual budget process and the committee begins working with the board and administration to formally link the priorities to the budget. July 1999
This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.