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Effective planning increases the likelihood of success for a program while ineffective planning practices almost always results in false starts and frustration. When a group is aware of the characteristics of effective planning and monitors the presence of these characteristics, formally or informally, they will be a step closer to high quality program accountability. Directions: Below is a list of effective planning characteristics.

Rate how well your organization practices these characteristics using a five-point scale where 5=always ND I—never.Organization 1 . Planning to plan session: refers to a meeting to discuss how planning will occur; objectives, group processes, decision making, conflict resolution, expected outcomes, and the like would be determined.

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2. Written norms: the group has a set of established ground rules regarding how the group will operate when they are together. 3. Group facilitator: person is identified and responsibilities are established. 4. Objectives for planning: the group knows what the purpose of planning is, what the expected outcomes are, and is aware of its roles and responsibilities. Conflict resolution: procedures for resolving differences of opinion are established ahead of time.

6. Decision making: this is not left to chance; procedures are in place to enable fair and consistent decision making. Group members; the degree of decision making authority (empowerment) is known; constraints are understood. 8. Plan description: How the content of the plan will be written and communicated to others has been considered as part of the planning activities, not an add-on when all else has been completed.Group members know that the format of the written plan ill affect the structure of the planning process and eventually will affect the degree of overall implementation.

9. Materials available for reference: During the planning session, materials, including available data, are available for reference; this is to enhance the efficiency, hence the effectiveness, of the planning sessions. 10. Contribution of research to the plan: Current thought, based upon known research findings, is considered when formulating the plan; when solutions are posed, the group copyright 2009 ND LEAD center.All rights reserved.

5. 1 questions itself regarding the basis upon which solutions are established. 1 . Format for discussion: How meetings are conducted is an important concern and a format that fits the group is followed. Group Interaction 12. Group members’ contribution: There is positive contribution from each group member, using the language of respect; the group holds itself responsible for obtaining input from everyone while a planning meeting is in progress.

13. Continual refocusing: During planning sessions, it is an understood responsibility 14.Member domination: There will be no domination by any group member; the group sees this as an essential characteristic of an effective process. Supportive Elements 5. Time: There is sufficient time to plan, both on a short term (one session) and a long term (entire process) basis. 16.

Availability of resources: Such aspects as release time, selected personnel, and the access to materials are considered and made available according to the significance of the task. 17. Program evaluation: A program evaluation plan is established during planning. 8.

Staff development: A staff development plan is established during planning. 19. Implementation expectations: Standards and expectations for program implementation are established and meaner for implementation support are considered. . 2 Elevating the Quality of Planning Directions: Form small groups. Share your ratings and record them in the form below.

Anyone who rated certain characteristics higher than others should indicate why. Discuss how this procedure might contribute to the overall quality of planning back in your school.Characteristics Rater #2 #3 #5 Consensus 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 5. 3 Educational Program Supports and Deterrents The aim of this activity is for you to become familiar with the Analysis of Process (POP) form and its potential application. Every school has some high priority needs.

A deed could be content (such as reading or math), a subgroup (such as the primary grades), or it could be a combination of the two (such as boys/reading). Directions: If you are part of a school team, complete this exercise as a group.If you are the only person from your school, work as if there were 5-6 staff members participating with you. Working alone will seem a bit contrived because the richness of discussion will be missing and this is what makes the process so meaningful. Begin by identifying a need in your school. Next, assess the instructional program associated with that need by completing the POP form.

After completing the POP, have a conversation in your group about what you learned and if you think this would be a meaningful and useful process to use back in your school.If you worked alone team up with one or two other “singles” and have the same conversation as above. 5. 4 ANALYSIS OF PROCESS Several elements of an instructional program can support or detract from the quality of that program. Identifying these elements will assist planners in deciding which areas to address in order to continuously improve. Completing this Analysis of Process form as a collaborative exercise identifies these elements.

Completing “Setting Priorities” on the backside of this page identifies the elements that need the most attention.Directions: Fifteen elements of a program are listed. Space to add two more is available on the back side. The “Description” column clarifies the element. In the rating column record one of three symbols for each program element. The “Comments” column provides space to record anything the group wants to highlight. + = Support: indicates that the element currently supports the quality of the program.

– = Deterrent: indicates that the element currently is a deterrent to the quality of the program. O = Not assessed: indicates the element is not appropriate or relevant to assess.Program being assessed: Program Element Materials/equipment for teachers (consider quality, quantity, accessibility) Materials/equipment for students Materials/equipment for parent’s Existing program content Curriculum is aligned and integrated with standards, instructional goals, objectives, and assessments. Curriculum content is reviewed regularly to ensure continued alignment. Time spent on instruction (actual time spent teaching) Consider only the time the teacher spends in direct contact with students in the specific content areas being assessed.Teachers’ schedules (consider time for instruction, planning, duties, This considers the manner in which teachers spend their workday. Sufficient planning time? Reasonable duty time? Appropriate instructional time? Diagnosing learning and prescribing instruction on a Relates to the process of identifying where students are and adjusting instruction to meet individual and group needs. May be formal or informal.

Does a process exist? Is it positive? Does the process assist or burden the teacher?Assessing student results or outcomes Is there a system for assessing student progress? Is it efficient and effective? Consistent? Is assessment clearly connected to intended learning? Efforts at performance based assessment? Use of multiple measures? Managing the classroom (organizing and operating) Is the manner in which classrooms are maintained efficient and effective? Is the organization basically sound in light of the number of students? Providing effective instruction in a positive environment Is the atmosphere conducive to learning?Variety of instructional strategies? Are learning styles considered? Is there an attitude that all students can learn? Is positive reinforcement important? Is the classroom a good place to be? Physical environment (library; lassoers; labs, etc. ) Do the facilities support effective instruction? (This would be significant for science, P. E. , and other areas in which the physical plant facilities play an important role.

) Teachers’ knowledge and skills Comments learning center equipment. Rating Consider those things SPECIFICALLY for teacher use; e. .

, teacher text editions; curriculum guides; professional books, Journals; technology equipment. Are they sufficient to contribute to maximal growth? Are there specific areas of strength? Is something lacking? These are items specifically for parent use; e. G. Assistance kits for assisting students; trials for educating parent’s as to how to help students; do not consider typical memos, newsletters, etc. 5.

5 Description Teachers’ receptivity to the program Do teachers agree with the intent of the program? Do they like the program?Is there an advocacy base for the program among the teachers? Communication systems (clear goals and expectations, understanding between principal, among the grades) Do all levels within the school and community (especially the school) understand what is expected? Are lines of communication clear? Is it known who makes decisions and under what circumstances? Are there surprises? Is the situation fairly stable? What is articulation among the grades like? Staff Development Is there a strong link between staff development and what is planned for program implementation?

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