Schools

Transforming Schools

In transforming schools – the bottom line is student achievement. The
most promising strategy for sustained school improvements is building
the capacity of school personnel to function as a collaborative
community
focused on learning using a shared mission, vision,
values and goals.  We can achieve the fundamental purpose of high
levels of learning for all students only if we work together.  We
cultivate a collaborative culture through the development of high
performing teams.
Creating a collaborative culture is the single
most important factor for successful school improvement initiatives and
the first order of business for those seeking to enhance the
effectiveness of schools.

If schools want to enhance
their capacity to boost student learning, they should work on
building collaborative culture…When groups, rather than
individuals, are seen as the main units for implementing
curriculum, instruction and assessment, they facilitate
development of shared purposes for student learning and
collective responsibility to achieve it.
                                              
-Fred Newmann

The Key to Effective Teams

Leaders foster effective teams when they help teams establish specific,
measurable, results oriented, performance goals.  Promoting teams for
the sake of teams or focusing on team building exercises does little to
improve the effectiveness of the organization.  There is nothing more
important than each member’s commitment to common purpose and a related
performance goal to which the group holds itself jointly accountable.

  • Have you done team building
    with your team?
  • What difference did it make?  How long
    did the changes last?

Ultimately there are two kinds
of schools: learning enriched schools and learning impoverished
schools.  I have yet to see a school where the learning
curves of the adults were steep upward and those of the students
were not.  Teachers and students go hand and hand as
learners… or they don’t go at all.
                                            
-Roland Barth

Focus on Results:

We work with educational systems to  build effective collaborative
communities that are producing the results that are needed.  Central to
our work with schools is the highly effective program Best Year Yet™.  Teams come together to create an plan for
producing results.  Best Year Yet has a track record of great outcomes.

=> Read our Case Study <=

Why Best Year Yet for Education?

  • motivates and inspires real and sustained teamwork
  • provides a structure for working in collaborative teams focusing on
    results for students
  • provides clear focus on measurable results
  • opens the door for formative assessments
  • supports other school improvement models
  • contributes to the momentum of school improvement efforts
  • provides collaborative team structure which encourages independent
    strategies
  • meets requirements of Federal and State mandates including No Child
    Left Behind and Title I

How Best Year Yet for Education Works:

Our goal is to work with whole school communities including
administrative, faculty and ultimately students in order to facilitate
the most effective process for school improvement.  Improvement
needs to occur at all levels.  School improvement at one level
without improvement at another cannot last.  It is essential for
the administration to be part of the improvement.  When everyone is
on board and striving to create the best year yet for the school amazing
results occur.

Best Year Yet for Education is a year long improvement
program starting with a two day planning meeting for each team.  During
this planning meeting the team has the opportunity to review the past year,
celebrate the successes, identify the challenges and short falls and learn
the need lessons from them all.  This evaluation piece is critical in
preparing the team for their new, clear focus for the upcoming year. 
With lessons learned the team then looks deeply at what has stopped them
from achieving the success and the results they had aimed for.  What
were the limitations, the impediments, what stood in the way?  The is
another critical aspect of the transformation of the team. During these
conversations team members learn from each other, new collaborations begin,
deeper appreciation of each other’s roles occurs and the path is created for
effective planning.

Once the team does a great deal of ground work they
set goals for the upcoming year.  The power of goal setting as a group
is the consensus on the top priorities for the team.  Then each team
member takes responsibility as the "champion" of a goal.

Best Year Yet has
been effective with teams because of the monthly follow-up meetings. 
Instead of working to create a collaborative team and then leaving at the
end of the two day session, we partner with you for the whole year. 
The program leader comes back each month to meet with the team.  These
meetings are critical to the team’s success.  During the meeting we
review and score goals.  Yes, score goals.  We look specifically
at what went right, and what is not quite right yet and what has gotten in
the way.  We continue to explore how to create greater success as a
team.  The power of the monthly meeting is in the commitment of the
team to each other and the school.  Coming together each month to
report on what you personally had committed to work on at the last meeting
is a high motivator.  When people are involved in creating the plan
they are more committed to carrying the plan out.

Outcomes
of Best Year Yet for Education:

  • Decreases in student absentee rate
  • Decreases in staff turn over
  • Improvements in student performance
  • Improvements in collaborative work
  • Increased fund raising
  • Improved communication

Other Benefits of BYY for Education:

  • We will help you to meet your federal reporting requirements for
    school improvement plan and staff development plan through our
    on-line tool called PRO.
  • You will have a dedicated facilitator working with you at each
    meeting to keep you on track and moving forward.
  • We have the ability to work with multiple teams within a school
    or a district, forming cross discipline collaborative teams