Vision: To be the world-class learning organization focused on continuous quality growth for all.
Yes, but how does our school district know if it is realizing its vision across the many levels of the organization? We ask others to tell us.
We ask our parents, our students, our staff, and our community how we are doing through a cycle of surveys. The information gathered is discussed at many levels of leadership and adjustments are made based upon the input. Open comment sections are always a part of any survey, and it is often the candid sharing of our stakeholders in those sections that suggests changes which then become realities. We are currently in the spring cycle of parent and student surveys, if you did take the time to complete a survey, thank you and be assured that your input is valued and truly considered in our practice.
Additionally, an important district practice is the annual auditing process. The audit is an ongoing internal process which culminates in an annual review by professionals who are trained practitioners in their own fields in quality practices which drive excellence. We have just completed the 2012 audit cycle.
Through a regional Partnership for Excellence, our district hosted an on-site review team in March of this year. The team consisted of examiners trained in performance criteria driven by the federal Baldrige program for developing excellence across business, health, education, and not-for-profit industries. Their visit included interviews with over 100 staff, both teaching and non-teaching, and community members, review of documentation of processes and policies, and review of a 47 page prepared internal audit. The visit was followed by the team’s feedback report which outlined strengths and opportunities for improvement which they found did or could directly enhance the district’s realization of its vision.
The 1,200-word report cannot be shared here in its entirety; however, as stakeholders in the success of our students and the quality of our schools, I thought you might find a few highlights interesting. Each bullet is taken verbatim from the report:
- Westfield Washington Schools (WWS) uses a well-developed strategic planning process that is student-driven with objectives and goals designed to achieve high-level student results.
- WWS shows positive results in student achievement correlated with its capacity to attract and retain a talented workforce.
- WWS has an integrated commitment to contributing to the societal well-being of its community through multiple actions and programs as documented in the district annual report.
- Learning goals and teaching techniques are adjusted to meet the needs of the students. . . These programs provide positive results delivering enhanced student, parent, and community satisfaction.
- WWS deploy(s) enhancements to address workplace environmental factors to ensure and improve health, safety, and security, promoting a positive workplace environment and climate.
- WWS references current levels and trends in key measures and indicators of budgetary and financial performance . . . Year to Year Percentage Change (of those measures) show WWS’ ability to contain costs and reduce cost per student . . .while supporting population growth.
The strength of the team’s review resulted in our district being recognized as a Silver level performer in a fall award ceremony. WWS is the only educational organization to accomplish this in this year’s regional cycle of review.