Standard 1:  Purpose and Direction

The agency maintains and communicates at all levels of the organization a purpose and direction for continuous improvement that commit to providing programs and services, active learning, and high expectations for professional practice as well as shared values and beliefs.

 

Indicator 1.1

Indicator 1.1 – The agency engages in a systematic, inclusive, and comprehensive process to review, revise, and communicate an agency purpose.

Rating:  3 - The agency’s process for review, revision, and communication of the purpose statement is documented. The process is formalized and implemented on a regular schedule. The process includes participation by representatives from all stakeholder groups.

The agency’s process for review, revision, and communication of the purpose statement is documented.

  • For the past two review cycles, MAISD has used an outside facilitator, Monica Verplank, to lead us through the strategic planning process. We used the a one-page planning guide based on the Rockefeller Habits.  We will be using the results from several surveys and the results from the AdvancED External Review to create our next set of 3-5 year goals and yearly objectives. This will coincide nicely with our new evaluation efforts.

The process includes participation by representatives from all stakeholder groups.

  • Strategic planning has included a wide variety of stakeholders. During our last round of planning, 2012, we met with stakeholder groups from each school district to gather information.
  • In 2014, as we contemplated seeking AdvancED Accreditation, using Survey Monkey we posed questions to a variety of stakeholders including parents, community business owners, law enforcement individuals, local school districts, etc.

 

Indicator 1.2

Indicator 1.2 – The agency leadership and staff at all levels commit to a culture that is based on shared values and beliefs that include provision of relevant and targeted educational programs and services, equitable support, active engagement in learning, application of knowledge and skills, and high expectations for professional practice.

Rating:  3 - Commitment to shared values and beliefs is evident in documentation and decision making. This commitment is regularly reflected in communication among leaders and staff. Relevant and targeted educational programs and services are implemented. There is a commitment to equitable support for all schools/systems served by the agency. Evidence indicates a commitment to instructional practices that include active engagement in learning and the application of knowledge and skills. Agency leadership and staff share high expectations for professional practice.

Commitment to shared values and beliefs is evident in documentation and decision making. This commitment is regularly reflected in communication among leaders and staff.

  • Every MAISD name tag displays our shared values and beliefs.  Many staff display a sticker that highlights our values. This poster related to our strategic planning also hangs in buildings across the ISD.

Relevant and targeted educational programs and services are implemented.

  • Our website has been designed to feature programming and support for educators as well as parents instead of simply being formatted by department. Additionally, our commitment can be seen through our budget assumptions for our three major budgets: General Fund, Special Education, and CTE.

There is a commitment to equitable support for all schools/systems served by the agency.

Evidence indicates a commitment to instructional practices that include active engagement in learning and the application of knowledge and skills.

  • We use the Hexagon Tool from the National Implementation Research Network to help us make decisions that are evidence-based. Our website also features links to resources for teachers that are meant to engage them in learning and applications of knowledge and skills.

Agency leadership and staff share high expectations for professional practice.

 

Indicator 1.3

Indicator 1.3 – Leadership of the agency implements a continuous improvement process that provides clear direction for improving conditions that support learning.

Rating:  3 - Leaders at all levels of the agency implement a documented, systematic continuous improvement process for improving the conditions that support learning. All stakeholders are engaged in the process. Personnel maintain a profile with current and comprehensive data on the agency and its schools/systems. The profile contains analyses of data used to identify goals for the improvement of conditions that support learning and that are aligned with the agency’s purpose. Improvement goals have measurable performance targets. The process includes action planning that identifies measurable objectives, strategies, activities, resources, and timelines for achieving improvement goals. Leaders hold all personnel accountable for and evaluate the overall quality of the implementation of all interventions and strategies. The process is reviewed and evaluated. Documentation that the process yields improved conditions that support learning is available and communicated to stakeholders.

Leaders at all levels of the agency implement a documented, systematic continuous improvement process for improving the conditions that support learning. All stakeholders are engaged in the process.

  • As mentioned for indicator 1.1, MAISD has used a strategic planning process that flows from the Rockefellow Habits. As this process was valuable, we will continue to use pieces of the process but will also move the language such that it is more consistent with school improvement terminology in Michigan.

Personnel maintain a profile with current and comprehensive data on the agency and its schools/systems. The profile contains analyses of data used to identify goals for the improvement of conditions that support learning and that are aligned with the agency’s purpose.

  • MAISD staff use several databases that feature comprehensive data at the local, county, state, and national levels. These data bases are easily accessed on our webpage.

Improvement goals have measurable performance targets. The process includes action planning that identifies measurable objectives, strategies, activities, resources, and timelines for achieving improvement goals. The process is reviewed and evaluated. Documentation that the process yields improved conditions that support learning is available and communicated to stakeholders.

  • Every 5 years MAISD engages in a process that helps us identify our major goals for the next 3-5 years. The process includes seeking input from stakeholders via face-to-face meetings and surveys.

 

Indicator 1.4

Indicator 1.4 – The agency ensures that each school engages in a systematic, inclusive, and comprehensive process to review, revise, and communicate a school purpose for student success.

Rating:  2 - Agency policies and procedures outline the expectations for schools regarding a process for review, revision and communication of a purpose for student success. Agency personnel monitor each school and sometimes provide feedback for the improvement of the implementation of the process to school personnel.

Agency policies and procedures outline the expectations for schools regarding a process for review, revision and communication of a purpose for student success. Agency personnel monitor each school and sometimes provide feedback for the improvement of the implementation of the process to school personnel.

  • Our career center, early college program, and Seiter Educational Center each produces a school improvement plan. The Seiter and Early College plans are submitted by September 1 of every year in accordance with Michigan Department of Education policy and state law. We are aware as an agency that these plans could be better monitored and greater feedback provide.
  • MAISD's Board of Education approves handbooks for our schools/programs as one way to communicate with students and parents about student success.

Narrative

Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) has a clear direction and common purpose, shared culture and beliefs, and high expectations for professional practice. The largest piece of evidence of these shared values and practices can be found in our strategic plan, which also demonstrates our process of continuous improvement and organizational planning. As part of our strategic plan, we have embraced helping our districts create multi-tiered systems of support. Currently, we have two local districts and three ISD programs in the process of setting up these systems. After initial training, the next focus for districts and their MTSS efforts is the development of positive behavior intervention supports followed then by actions on literacy.

In a recent survey to staff and stakeholders, respondents indicated areas of strength related to this strand are: continuous collaboration, quality of the staff employed at MAISD along with their caring nature, the relationships MAISD fosters with local districts, the professional learning opportunities offered to MAISD staff as well as local district staff, and the continuous improvement demonstrated and modeled by the organization.

Areas of improvement include the need for more systemic communication within the MAISD, more communication and use of data especially data about our evaluation of our programs, and the need to continue with our strategic planning/improvement process. It was noted that local district beliefs or values may conflict with the values of MAISD, and those districts need more help evaluating data and understanding the "why" behind the direction of the MAISD. This is true especially in regards to MTSS. Stakeholders also requested more information about program evaluation and data-based decision-making including more published results from data collection efforts. Survey results also show an ongoing need for communication and to that end we are currently working on a communication plan.

The MAISD continues to strive to offer exceptional leadership with unmatched service, and will continue to build relationships with local districts and work to help meet their needs.