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The Planning Meeting: Creating a Community Blueprint for Educational Change
The Big Picture:
What is my commitment to our shared vision?
6 Set the Context
Underscore the importance of equity, access and excellence in education and the need to support graduation and college readiness for all children. Create an environment of trust and a safe space to dialogue and build open channels of communication. Everyone must participate fully in the roundtable discussions.
Introduce IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework™, particularly highlighting the four school system indicators. Explain that the work of community blueprint planning will focus upon four indicators in the framework:
- parent involvement and community engagement;
- student engagement;
- teaching quality; and
- curriculum quality and access.
Additional information about the Quality Schools Action Framework™ is available online (http://www.idra.org/School_Holding_Power/Quality_Schools_Action_Framework) and in the book, Courage to Connect – A Quality Schools Action Framework.
7 Re-Introduce the "Keeping the Promise" Video
For those who were unable to attend the previous night, the video provides a historical background to the initiative and highlights voices of participants from other communities to build a sense of a larger movement across states.
8 Roundtable One: Assign Participants to Roundtables by Sector
To begin the planning process, the initial discussion is focused on what each sector can bring to overcome the challenges to access and success for all students. Group participants across race but within similar sectors or similar categories, such as: district administrators, building principals, board members, state level administrators, leaders of community-based organizations, private non-profit leaders, funders, and faith community leaders. The goal is to have no more than 10 members per group. Make the groupings work for you.
9 Reports Outs
Because student voice is a critical component in the planning and decision-making process in education, hearing diverse student perspectives is the springboard to the next day’s discussions. Present the student panel to the community as experts who have recommendations to be heard and acted upon. Students may use a variety of formats, including poems, slides, photos, skits, articles or speeches.
It is important that the table facilitator carry out logistics for discussion. Be sure to review the factsheet on the status of education to support the blueprint planning process. Table leaders should help facilitate discussion so that everyone speaks and is heard. Each group should select a recorder and a reporter for the breakout sharing session that follows.
Sample questions and a table leader’s guide are available on the resource CD and on the community web site.
10 Roundtables Two and Three: Re-Assign Participants to Roundtalbes across Sector and Race
The second and third rounds of discussion are across race and sector to begin to build the local blueprint plan of action. Table leaders should facilitate discussion so that everyone speaks and is heard without interruption. Participants at each table again select a recorder and a reporter for the breakout sharing session at the end of the segment. The format questions to be addressed focus on the four Quality Schools Action Framework indicators. Ensure that student voice and perspective from prior presentations are considered in the plan.
11 Share Plans with the Whole Group
Each table should report out its plan and, if possible, post it on the community web site for future work. Delineate next actions that the group has identified for each of the four indicators.
After each group reports, questions and discussions can continue for a designated time period, for example with up to 10 minutes per group.
12 Delineate Next Actions for Self and Enlist Volunteers
Have each participant complete the commitment form. Participants will complete the evaluation forms and also indicate their commitment to be part of a core team that will continue the work and/or be willing workers to support the blueprint implementation, designating their area(s) of primary interest and expertise for next actions.
13 Send Thank You Letters and Acknowledgements to Key Participants
Following the dialogues, be sure to acknowledge and thank key participants, including students, their school principals, and any co-hosts.