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Reflection Process

Reflection Process

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Published by Michael King
The goal of the reflecting process is to generate a list of the strengths and weaknesses that are true to the organization’s beliefs of why it exists. This process will answer the question, “Where are we when compared to the characteristics for effective school practices?” The following section is a list of the characteristics for effective school practices that can be used in the reflecting process as the topic categories on group participation focus sheets.
The goal of the reflecting process is to generate a list of the strengths and weaknesses that are true to the organization’s beliefs of why it exists. This process will answer the question, “Where are we when compared to the characteristics for effective school practices?” The following section is a list of the characteristics for effective school practices that can be used in the reflecting process as the topic categories on group participation focus sheets.

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Published by: Michael King on Aug 09, 2009
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11/28/2012

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A QUICK GUIDE TO SCHOOL REFLECTION PROCESSbyMichael D. KingWHAT IS A SCHOOL PROFILE?
A school profile is a
reflection of the school’s existing practices and is determined by school indicators.
The profiling of school data indicators can be a shared responsibility among school staff. Various reportformats can be created to accomplish the gathering process. The information in the school profiledocument is a helpful tool in allowing professional learning communities to analyze the strengths andweaknesses of existing school practices. Information contained in the school profile should include thefollowing school indicator data:
 
number and areas of discipline referrals
 
historical core curriculum achievement standards reports
 
community/parent involvement information
 
historical annual Yearly Progress Report (AYP)
 
climate surveys (parent, teacher, student)
 
staff information attendance, experience, number of certified areas
 
staff development surveys
 
facility, media center, student attendance, and enrollment information
 
historical projections in student numbers, achievement indicators by achievement scores, andgrade distributionsData obtained in the profile will enable professional learning communities to reflect on the various ideasconcerning the particular strengths and weaknesses of the school.
Factors To Consider*
Blum and Butler describe the school profile as providing baseline data about student performance againstwhich effects of school improvements can be measured. This information becomes a primary tool inplanning and managing targeted school improvement efforts. They suggest that several important factorsshould be considered when creating a school profile:
 
The profile describes student performance on a school wide basis.
 
All students and all curriculum areas should be represented in the profile; the more comprehensive theprofile is, the more broad based and complete will be the school picture that emerges.
 
By creating a profile, it is possible to sharpen the focus on both the strengths and weaknesses instudent performance.
 
The profile is a snapshot of the school. It can become the first in a series, perhaps updating annuallywith new improvement decisions.
REFLECTING PROCESS
The goal of the reflecting process is to generate a list of the strengths and weaknesses that are true to the
organization’s beliefs of why it exists. This process will answer the question, “Where are we whencompared to the characteristics for effective school practices?” The following section is a list of the
characteristics for effective school practices that can be used in the reflecting process as the topiccategories on group participation focus sheets.In the reflecting process, a collaborative work group session should be used to examine the strengths andweaknesses of existing school programs. The list of effective school characteristics (See Effective SchoolCharacteristics and Practices) should be used as a guide for comparing the existing practices of the schoolto the practices that have become known as the characteristics of the effective school movement. It shouldbe noted that these characteristics are to be used as a guide and not as a panacea for total schooltransformation.
 
 A Quick Guide to School Reflection Process
Because all schools are not alike and because they do not all foster the same beliefs about teaching andlearning, these characteristics will not measure or determine all facets of effective education. Schools areentities unto themselves and have created their own tools for teaching and learning that are inherent to theindividuality of the organization. Successful schools are created by the desires and beliefs of individualswithin the school who are driven by their own experiences and beliefs, and each school will differ.The characteristics listed below were first published by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratoryin 1984 and updated in 1990. The research cited classroom, school, and district practices that fosterpositive student achievement, attitudes, and social behavior. The list contains school-level practices thathave been shown to promote student learning. Goal developers may choose to use classroom-, school-, ordistrict-level practices, depending on the focus or level of goal setting. School-level practices are usedhere because the focus is on school-level site goals. However, before developing site goals, district-levelgoals should already be in place.
Effective School Characteristics and Practices*
 
Everyone emphasizes the importance of learning.
 
Strong leadership guides the instructional program.
 
The curriculum is based on clear goals and objectives.
 
Students are grouped to promote effective instruction.
 
School time is used for learning.
 
Learning process is monitored closely.
 
Discipline is firm and consistent.
 
There are high expectations for quality instruction.
 
Incentives and rewards are used to build strong motivation.
 
Parents are invited to become involved.
 
Teachers and administrators continually strive to improve instructional effectiveness.
 
There are pleasant conditions for learning.
REFLECTING STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Strengths identify the school’s ability to perform, represent the achievement of the school, and identify
areas in which excellence is maintained. Strengths are recorded on focus sheets.Weaknesses of a school are the internal characteristics, conditions, or circumstances that prevent the
realization of the school’s mission. Weaknesses do not necessarily mean that the school staff do not have
the talent to improve in a particular area. Instead, they more often mean that a particular weakness has not
received the staff’s priority attention. Weaknesses provide an inventory of areas for which programs may
be designed to improve school effectiveness. Each of the professional learning community groups shouldkeep in mind that all schools have weaknesses. It is important that (PLC) reflection work groups decidewhich weakness can be tolerated and which are beyond the resources or control of the school staff tochange.
Focus Sheets
Focus sheets
are the result of the reflecting work group’s analysis of the school’s strengths and
weaknesses. One purpose is to distinguish between weaknesses that are tolerable and those that arecritical and must be corrected. The focus sheets are compiled as one document and used in the goalsetting work group session to establish future goals for the organization.

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