School Efficiency Plan Analysis

Introduction

There are important elements to take into account regarding reforms to the school systems. Despite their different contexts, all the schools should be able to adopt similar interventions or measures that are unique to each of them. These interventions can be categorized into process, structure, or resource-based. In the restructuring phase, instructional strengths and failures have to be identified. It is important to develop plans to address various issues including problems with the curriculum, the school’s leadership, the learning environment, and the teaching process itself.

A district superintendent has to content that, for better education development in the district; the strategies implemented have to be comprehensive. Therefore, the district superintendent has to possess not only interpersonal and collaborative skills but also technical skills. Identification of the cause for the failing performance has to be given proper attention and in doing so, compared with other state schools would be a good start. This means collaborating and consulting with other school administrators outside the district in an attempt to identify and adopt some of their successful projects. In the same regard, work on ejecting viable projects designed uniquely to the schools in the district (Popham, 1981). To make satisfactory progress, other practical skills, which include: observing, research, envisioning, planning, and assessment are essential.

Using grant funds to emphasize changing the teaching-learning culture that is collaborative there has to be accountability to all, including the funders. High expectations by teachers and parents, rigorous standards, and parental involvement are as important to educational attainment as spending. There are a number of areas that have to be worked on in attaining a reasonable adjustment for performance improvement. These include how information is disseminated, the physical environment, understanding the revised curriculum, and the use of technology.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal in schools is a very essential tool in maximizing the effectiveness of all aspects of the institutions, from staffing and development to proper teaching methods. The three main functional areas of performance appraisal systems for any learning institution are administrative, informative, and motivational.

To guide both administrative and educational decisions the use of systematic data analysis is important in trying to modify systems in improving the performance of both teachers and students. Concerning teachers, both issues of instructional improvement and accountability should be addressed.

Teacher Motivation

There is a correlation between teacher motivation and school reform efforts. To achieve effective strategies that ensure strong academic knowledge and skills are taught any school administrator knows the importance of having good teachers to put this into effect. Research has shown that a good principal will make a good school but good teacher practices govern student learning and performance. Popham (1981) argues that educational administrators have to ensure a conducive environment for their staff. Therefore, a participatory style of leadership, where all stakeholders have a say, is key. Feedback is a factor that can help to enhance job satisfaction. Participation can be enhanced through professional dialogue among colleagues, collaborative curriculum development, peer coaching and supervision, and the creation of a culture of inquiry. Emphasis on professional development and coaching initiatives aimed at teachers, because they are the recipients of accountability measures as classroom managers.

In general, incentive measures for principals and teachers such as recognition, intangible rewards, or secondary benefits act as good measures to mobilize capacity and improve performance. Funding in-service training for teachers is a good way of creating situations that guarantee the teachers the feeling of competence with new practices by teaching those practices right alongside them.

Cooperation learning is important to create a positive attitude and enable a more inclusive teacher-student relationship. Although it creates high expectations for both the teacher and students, it encourages a very conducive learning environment. This interaction enables the teacher to understand each student’s strengths and weaknesses and is in a better position to ensure all students’ needs are being met. Proper teaching methods therefore will be applied uniquely to each student ensuring that each of their individual needs is catered for.

Teachers need to be centrally involved in the development and maintenance of teaching and learning standards and practices. The approach by the teacher where high-ability students are encouraged to work with lower ability colleagues to demonstrate problem-solving modeled by a peer is very effective. The high level of interaction and interdependence among group members regularly enables members to resolve their differences amicably. If one’s idea is challenged by fellow students, they learn that it is part of teamwork without necessarily personalizing issues but become part of the process of exploratory learning. Being able to assess themselves, their group, and class procedure creates a responsibility to themselves and others. The students who take part in such assessments assume ownership of the learning process. Thus, the teacher can take advantage of these formative students’ input and it uses to assess both the student’s progress without necessarily having to wait for course evaluation or results of an examination.

A teacher might be an efficient classroom manager and possess good lesson design skills but without the ability to motivate his or her students, their results will be dismally apparent. Therefore, as a superintendent one should be in a position to create a condition that enhances the creation of probability of motivation for all both teachers and students. Increasing the number of teachers acts as a contributing factor in any inclusive process. Other aspects like giving more time to prepare or monetary motivation like salary increment might play a huge role in accelerating student-teacher relationship which is likely to be a culmination in better academic performance.

Involving staff in evaluation and the development of annual staff objectives, encouraging all staff members to discuss good teaching practices, demonstrate knowledge of theories of learning, teaching method, and research, make students’ discipline and school attendance a priority. An administrator has a high but reasonably attainable expectation of pupils, teachers, and you within given timelines. Be more interactive by making class visits and be visible, facilitate positive reinforcement between teachers, students, and the community at large including parents. Learn to expect the best of people, maintain a positive self-image, to develop the entire team.

Student Motivation

It is important to understand and appreciate the differences among students and factors that play key roles in either advance or slowing the learning process. It is only by this realization that proper measures to improve both the collective and individual aspects in achieving swift improvement and sustainable success can occur.

A teacher’s teaching style, course structure, the nature of the assignments, and informal interactions with students all have a significant effect on student motivation. Dealing with syllabus versus a student’s best interest and understanding that academic performance is not always an indicator of a student’s intellect (Popham, 2010). Models that cooperate with the artistry and academic abilities of learners are crucial to encourage autonomy and originality.

The use of value-added measures to develop support for teachers and schools in the analysis of involved in the development of programs and dissemination as the best practices. These value-added measures give information to all parties which makes it more inclusive meaning that even parents are provided with proper information to help inform choices. What is more important is that through school improvement processes, all students in the district have access to strategies or programs that are aimed at giving quality teaching and resources to support learning needs. Although the self-regulation and responsibility act is an important success component, findings indicate that every year when students perceived that their teachers and parents had a concern about their schoolwork motivation and interest in studies increased resulting in a long-term gain.

Technology

Technologies suited for students’ needs can assist them to learn faster and more easily. There is a need for continued Integration of technology into the educational process i.e. in the curriculum and assessment. Technology helps increase the student’s access to the curriculum and other materials. The comprehensive effort to integrate technology into schools shows an increase in interest by student skills in the achievement of measurable educational objectives.

Instruction software is essential in both reading and mathematics. North Central Education Laboratory (2005) contends that before planning for technology, it is of great importance to set clear objectives and criteria for improvement in the learning process. With technology, specific practices, skills, attitudes, and policies can be identified that incorporate assistive technology for students with disabilities.

The use of technology in major content areas can help to link existing district school initiatives. District leaders use technological tools in the collection and analysis of student achievement data. This is crucial in identifying weaknesses and strengths of the curriculum and instruction and helps in identifying teacher and student technological skills essential in making informed decisions. Besides, technology aids in facilitating the development of appropriate learning experiences, by providing varied and diverse information in several ways including auditory and visual and at different levels that capture the varied abilities of both weak and strong students and ways to improve.

A possible strategy in incorporating software, hardware’s and support resources that have universal designs for learning concepts. They should in essence have models and training materials that strive at complementing and supporting the various teachers’ styles of instruction and integration.

In technology acquisition, maintenance, and training there should be a consistent and substantial balance to the school budgets to maintain the level ground across all schools in the entire district. By its nature, much new technology is performance-oriented which increases diversity in dimension to student presentations and exhibitions of what they learn. The emphasis on the aspect that educational technology is important as both educators and parents have come to the realization that these essential skills regarding computer operation are easy to acquire and impact the transition from school to the workforce.

Technology enables the students and teachers to apply effective techniques to efficiently coordinate efforts, foster attitudes, and share information across school sites not only in their district but also in the entire nation. Computer-based programs are important in addressing the collaborative process to learn online resources and tools to formulate data-driven strategies in better ways of reaching instructional objectives on a comparative platform. This enables different school administrations across the district to compare their own way of teaching to other better performing schools giving them ideas on what needs to be improved or worked on.

Instructional Strategies and Educational Programs

According to Mitechell (2007), some guidelines and skills are key in making group decisions. Academic decisions should be arrived at consultatively and not unilaterally. It can be more time-consuming but it offers reasonable alternatives to the problem, which are debated, and an inclusive decision is reached. It is important to note, that although if a curriculum is more specific and detailed, it allows fewer choices given to teachers to vary instruction according to the classroom situation. Therefore, there is a need to develop in-service programs that give ongoing leadership training and support for practicing educators and administrators.

Fraser (1998) illustrates that it is the role of the superintendent of schools to facilitate the implementation of a system, which establishes accountability standards, for services provided to improve the educational skills designed to prepare individualized education for all. The system should be inclusive to cater to both regular and special school programs. Moreover, the system should be designed and regularly reviewed towards ensuring every student attains his or her success goals. Therefore, a substantive amount should be allocated to ensure intensive interventions and focused supplementary instructions are in a place where necessary based on the curriculum framework.

Principals who assume a proactive role in supporting teachers’ instructional efforts tend to communicate directly and frequently with teachers about instruction and student needs. School practices that encourage communication to all parties with parents are key in the promotion of student progress (Mitechell, 2007). Therefore, the superintendent is mandated in working towards enhancing good relations among teachers and their immediate supervisor who is the school principal. By appreciating efforts made by the school leader to set even higher performance expectations. It supports a conducive environment for performance excellence and interaction with other state schools.

Learning Environment

As the superintendent, it is important to adapt the framework for specific schools in an innovative way to meet its institutional needs. High expectations, rigorous standards, and parental involvement are as important to educational attainment as spending (Fraser, 1998). The learning environment is a major determinant in a learner’s performance; the concepts of personal space and territoriality have also been applied to the learning environments of an individual. When the interaction between students and the teacher is at a one on one session, it has been observed that this close proximity produced better learning (Fraser, 1998).

Reis et al. (2011) illustrate that class arrangement should allow easy access to materials and supplies to eliminate disruptions and delays in the preparation of student activities. A classroom environment that informs and engages the learner to reduce behavioral problems is key in enhancing learning. Class layout plays a great role in how the students interact with each other. Moreover, class layout determines how teachers interacted with the students, and how staff members worked together. These relationships encourage gifted students to interact more with weak students facilitating peer coaching; in a situation where the teacher acts as the facilitator rather than an administrator (Reis et al, 2011). This plan should be based on the vision to design an optimal facility that encourages student development.

Presenting forums to address and monitor discrimination based on disability, admission or access to educational facilities, or treatment, the district’s programs, and activities to the extent provided by law. Suggestions solicited from the community can open the school to community involvement. Invitations can be extended for participants to be involved in school activities. The creation of such an environment takes the combined effort of educators, the parents, and community groups can be included in decisions that the school makes.

Conclusion

To achieve sustainable progress in the educational process of the district, which seems to be lagging behind, very articulate plans have to be put in place. For that to happen, the district superintendent should have both technical and practical skills, to ensure the implementation of succession plans that are competitive to bring his or her district at par with the rest in the Republic. An inclusive approach is most appropriate to enable all parties to discuss educational issues and table various alternatives to this effect. The principal needs to feel appreciated enough to motivate their teachers to inspire the learners to perform better. In addition, the learning environment has to be conducive for learning to occur. The student is able to concentrate better if he or she has supported both in school and at home. Therefore, parents’ involvement in their children’s education cannot be overlooked.

It is important to understand that the immediate environment can influence creativity greatly. Contrary to popular belief that only the arts need creativity, science subjects should equally be taught creatively. When a student in a science class is allowed freedom and flexibility, such a conducive learning environment allows for innovation. Learning is a continuous process, meaning that the incorporation of in-service programs or peer coaching for educators is essential. Although, teaching and instructional methods tend to vary it is important to identify methods that produce better results and work with them. Easily accessible materials and supplies can eliminate delays, disruptions, and confusion as students prepare for activities. All these factors have to take effect for the good of the learning institutions. The desirable changes are only achievable if proper plans, strategies are put in place, and most importantly when the commitment to implement is there.

References List

  1. Fraser, J. J. (1998). Learning Environment: Development, Validity and Application. Learning Environment Research. New York: Macmillan
  2. Mitechell, D. (2007). What Really Works In Special and Inclusive Education: Using Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies. Florida: Taylor & Francis
  3. North Central Education Laboratory. (2005). Critical Issues: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement. Web.
  4. Popham, J. W. (2010). Classroom Assessment. New York: Pearson Education
  5. Popham, J.W. (1981). Modern Educational Measurement. New York: Prentice-Hall
  6. Reis, M. S., McCoach, D.B., Little, A.C., Muller, M.L. & Kaniskan, R.B. (2011). The Effects of Differentiated and Enrichment Pedagogy on Reading Achievement in Five Elementary Schools. American Educational Research Association, (48), 2, pp. 462-501.