School and District Improvement

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Background
In August 1997, the Kentucky Department of Education introduced the consolidated planning process, a joint effort between KDE and local school and district stakeholders that provided a single tool for planning and applying for categorical funds. In spring 2002, that process was aligned with Kentucky’s Standards and Indicators for School Improvement (Standard 9) and is now referred to as “Comprehensive Improvement Planning” for schools and districts.

Purpose
Comprehensive Improvement Planning is used to determine how schools and districts will plan to ensure that students reach proficiency. The process focuses school and district improvement efforts on student needs:

  • By bringing together all stakeholders to plan for improvement;
  • By focusing planning efforts on priority needs;
  • By building upon school and district capacity for high-quality planning;
  • By making connections between how the funds that flow into the district address the priority needs in schools.

District Improvement Priorities

In spring 2016, AdvancED and the Kentucky Department of Education conducted a diagnostic review of leadership in the Knox County Public Schools.  Since then, committees have been developed to move our district forward in the areas of curriculum, instruction, assessment, evaluation and supervision, and governance.

Priorities identified for the district were:

  • Develop, implement and monitor a district curriculum plan and process that addresses: 1) the development and use of district-wide curriculum documents: (e.g., congruent Pacing Guides, Instructional Units, Lesson Plans and Assessments), 2) vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment so that all essential standards are taught at each grade level, 3) the inclusion of challenging and equitable opportunities for all students to develop learning skills, thinking skills and life skills, 4) individualized learning activities for each student in a way that supports achievement of expectations, and, 5) monitoring of progress by examining student academic performance
  • Develop, implement and monitor a district-wide instructional plan and process that ensures teachers develop lesson plans and instructional strategies that: 1) inform students of clear learning expectations, 2) provide students examples of how they will demonstrate learning, 3) formatively assess student learning to guide and modify instruction and provide on-going student performance feedback, 4) provide students with exemplars of high quality work, 5) require student collaboration and self-reflection, 6) address student development of critical thinking skills, and, 7) are individualized to meet unique student learning needs.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor a district supervision and evaluation plan and process that: 1) ensures teachers are teaching the district-approved curriculum and that the curriculum emphasizes the use and development of higher-order thinking skills for all students, and, 2) provides immediate and specific feedback to teachers that allows for adjustment of classroom instructional practice to ensure student learning.
  • Develop, implement, document and monitor a comprehensive assessment system that ensures all district and school personnel 1) use data from multiple assessments of student learning, 2) use consistent measurement practices across all classrooms, courses and educational programs, 3) use data to monitor and adjust curriculum, instruction and assessment to ensure vertical and horizontal alignment, and, 4) regularly evaluate the assessment process for reliability and effectiveness in improving instruction and student
  • Review and comply with all board policies, procedures, laws and regulations pertaining to the roles and conduct of individual board members and the board as a whole. Implement a process to evaluate board decisions and actions to ensure they are in accordance with defined roles and responsibilities, a formally adopted code of ethics, free of conflict of interest, and for the benefit of student learning.
  • Review board policies and practices to ensure, support and respect the autonomy of system and school leadership to accomplish goals for achievement and instruction and to manage day-to-day operations of the system and its schools. Maintain a clear distinction in all board actions between the roles and responsibilities of the school board and those of system and school