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Educational Administration Artifact Reflection

Artifact Title: School Improvement Project
Date of Experience Completed: June-July 2015

Artifact Description:
My artifact is a School Improvement Project that I assisted in designing for a
phantom school district during the Systems I Module of the Educational
Administration two-year master’s program at the University of WisconsinPlatteville. The purpose of the project was to assess and address the needs
within the phantom school district. Our group created a school climate
survey to identify areas of concern, determine district goals and an
improvement timeline, budget resources and solutions for the areas of
concern, and generate separate presentations and reports summarizing our
findings for staff members and school board members.

Wisconsin Administrator Standard Alignment:
This School Improvement Project best aligns with Wisconsin Administrator
Standard 4 which states: A school administrator is an educational leader who
promotes the success of all students by ensuring management of the
organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective
learning environment.
This School Improvement Project best aligns with Standard 4 because it
demonstrates competency in recognizing, studying, and applying emerging
educational trends and trusting people and their judgements. In addition,
competency is demonstrated through the development of high-quality
standards, expectations, performances, and procedures that are designed
and managed to maximize opportunities for successful learning, and the
management of decisions to enhance learning and goal completion.
Standard 4 competency was also demonstrated via examples of effective
communication skills while gathering input from staff members and
stakeholders regarding decisions affecting schools.
Development of this School Improvement Project required understanding,
studying, and applying educational trends. As the artifact demonstrates, a
staff survey was produced to assess staff members’ knowledge of content,
common assessment, and standards. Based on the results, it was

determined that the phantom school district required the development of
professional learning communities to create common forms of assessment.
Administration demonstrated trust in staff members’ opinions and judgments
while creating assessments. High-quality assessments, standards, and
procedures were also designed as a result of the staff survey, PLCs, and
common forms of assessment. The district goals can be observed
throughout the school board presentation and the staff presentation. The
management of decisions made by the school board and administration
enhanced learning and goal completion. Assessments and projects were
designed to maximize opportunities for successful professional and student
learning. For example, professional learning would be enhanced through PLC
trainings, book studies, and in-district professional support. As a result, staff
members’ increased understanding of content, common assessment, and
standards would positively affect student learning. The school improvement
plan also includes opportunities for continuous input via staff surveys and
presentations, evaluations, and modifications designed around the decisions
affecting the school district.

What I learned about administration from this experience:
From an administrative perspective, I learned it is important to become
somewhat of an expert on topics you intend on rolling out to your staff
members. I also learned that trust is earned, not assumed. When beginning
this project, the discussions revolved around which educational “hot topic” to
assess, research, and address. When it was determined that common forms
of assessment would be an end goal of professional learning communities, I
quickly acquainted myself with information about PLCs, common forms of
assessment, and various resources for each. I would not have been able to
contribute to project completion had I not developed working background
knowledge of the project the group intended on implementing. In a
leadership role, it is equally important to gather necessary background
knowledge about educational initiatives your district requires your staff
members to participate in. Going into a new initiative or project blind will
negatively impact your relationships with staff members. Staff members
should be able to trust their leaders. While trust is established with staff
members, it is important to remember to trust them in return. Trust the
process while giving them the information, supports, and evaluations
necessary for success.

What I learned about myself as a prospective administrator as a
result of this artifact:
Creating this School Improvement Project was an eye-opening experience.
One of the most important things I learned throughout this process was that I
need to take more initiative to find current educational trends and news. I
will be the first to admit that research and reading educational updates is not
at the top of my daily “to do” list. Realistically, I remain current with
education, but I find it difficult to access and understand trending
administrative topics while not functioning in an administrative role. I
believe another setback has been my inexperience as an educator. Five
years with a teaching license does not make me an expert, and I am aware I
have not seen it all. One of the things I will have to do to prepare for an
administrative role will be to actively seeking out information; if not for me,
then for my staff members.