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Goal Setting

Teachers and school teams establish performance goals for themselves and their students. Teachers facilitate student achievement goals through a positive, collaborative relationship with their students. Students drive the implementation of performance goals facilitated by the teacher, goals. The establishment of all goals is based off data utilization and collaborative processes.

The creation of goals is a product of collaborative processes. Goals are a shared experience, even if the goal relates to an individual teacher or individual student. The goals are collectively developed and shared by all members of the school community. Achievement of goals is the result of teamwork.

Goal Setting Assumptions

• Goal facilitation: teachers facilitate goal-setting with students. Teachers create goals as a result of collaboration.

  • • Goals—for teachers and students—result from collaborative processes and data utilization.
  • • Goals drive actions through collective responsibility.
  • • Goals established are assumed to have been created through data utilization and collaborative processes to build consensus through shared governance.

Case Study: Vision Starts with Knowing What Your Target Is...

At Park Center Middle School, transitioning students from fifth grade to sixth grade and establishing a solid foundation of learning targets has been a challenge. Mrs. Schraughben, the school principal, was up to the task. She had a group of dedicated teachers who simply needed a target to visualize.

During weekly collaboration Mrs. Schraughben and the sixth-grade team were reviewing the students' data from their fifth-grade year at the local elementary schools. They were going over the data, looking for trends and student strengths and weaknesses. Mr. Summers, a sixth-grade teacher, made a comment when they were looking at the English language arts data: "Seventy-five percent of the kids look like they're proficient in English language arts coming from the local elementary schools." He also noted that this was his eighth year in teaching, and that this was the eighth year in a row that around three-fourths of the incoming students had been proficient. Mr. Summers stated that he wanted to set a different goal for the students this year, in addition to the regular student achievement goals based on standardized test scores. Thinking back on his past experiences he commented that sixth graders transitioning from elementary school always seemed to lack the executive functions and executive skills necessary to be successful in middle school. Mr. Summers' idea was to use anecdotal data and observation data to identify students who were struggling with organizing themselves for five teachers, instead of just one. Mr. Summers set a goal for the team to teach all sixth graders the necessary skills together, observe students over a period of two weeks, and then refer those who were struggling to an intervention group to teach the skills. The team and principal loved the idea.

Mrs. Schraughben grabbed a marker and started taking notes on chart paper, eliciting ideas from the team about the skills that students needed to be successful in middle school. The team compiled a list of eight skills students needed to be successful at Park Center. Mrs. Schraughben created a simple referral form for teachers to use that identified the skills and an individual student's strengths and weaknesses. The teachers developed a series of short lessons to teach every sixth grader. After the teachers had the students in class and were able to observe them and develop a relationship with them, those who needed it could be referred to an intervention group to explicitly teach them the agreed-upon skills.

After the first quarter 90 sixth graders out of 230 had received the additional instruction in executive skills. The teachers celebrated in their collaboration meeting to start the third quarter, because based on their observations students were learning the executive functions. At the end of the year student formative and summative assessment data showed an increase in proficiency from the year before for this cohort of students. Overall, students grew in achievement from fifth to sixth grade in all subjects. This had never happened at Park Center before. Usually, there was a slight dip in achievement from fifth to sixth grade. Not this year, thanks to great collaboration and goal setting, focused on things that have the most profound impact.

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