We will exhibit shared leadership that is courageous, collaborative, and transformative.
Eliminating our achievement gap will require significant changes within our district – from classrooms to boardrooms and throughout our community. Changes will likely impact policy, communication, personnel, curriculum, and how we build relationships with and teach our students. It is nearly impossible to achieve systemic cultural change without strong leadership, positional and informal, and we must ensure that our leaders have the skills, understandings, and mindset to lead others in the work.
- We will commit intentional time and energy and to establishing and maintaining a culture of true collaboration and student-centered decision making across the district and within the community. Shared ownership and responsibility will not be evident without open dialogue, a willingness to try new ideas, and a commitment to courageous conversations. Leadership must study change processes, recognize patterns and opportunities, and be prepared to support staff through periods of uncertainty. Finally, leaders must reflect upon their work, celebrate successes, and share new learning with colleagues.
- We will actively build connections among leaders within our district and with leaders in other schools, districts, and organizations. Reciprocal partnerships must be established with exemplary leaders, in or out of education, so we can learn from others’ work and seek feedback on our efforts.
- We will provide high quality training for all administrators to ensure they are prepared to lead others in the work. Training will be mandatory, systemic, and routine, focusing on bias, privilege, identity, and understanding diverse cultures. Training for leaders will also focus on content and process, preparing individuals to facilitate meaningful change in buildings. It is our recommendation that training of administrators be facilitated, whenever possible, by outside experts and resources.
- We will form a district-level “Diversity Leadership Group,” modeled after the district Technology Leadership Group (TLG), to coordinate building and district efforts around equity and student achievement. Building administrators will be expected to play an integral role in the work of this group. This leadership group will also work hand-in-hand with members of the Professional Development Committee to ensure continuity of efforts, resources, and messaging.
- We will identify and follow through with accountability measures for both teachers and administrators, using the Kirkwood Educator Evaluation System (KEES) and administrator evaluation tool, to support teachers’ work around student growth and measure their impact on students of color. A range of data will be analyzed on a regular basis and used to guide decisions about teacher practice.
- We will ensure that all new administrators in the district receive adequate training, mentorship, and support – especially around issues related to recommendations of the Task Force.