An Awareness Building Year
Kathyrn Shupe just finished her first year at Whitewater School in Charlotte, NC. Whitewater is a Pre-K – 5th grade rural school, and Kathryn serves as the assistant principal. This was the first year Whitewater was introduced to Indistar, so for Kathryn, it was a year to build the awareness and capacity of her school to dig in and work on school improvement. She admits, she was a “pencil and paper” person, but she saw the value in having the indicators and not having to create goals out of thin air. The school is using Indistar voluntarily, so she felt they were in a safe place to figure out what they really wanted to focus on. The state mandated some indicators, but the school was able to also focus in on curriculum and instruction—two areas they where they felt they needed to work.
The school was organized into committees when Kathryn arrived there, but she felt the committees were meeting “just to meet.” As she rolled out Indistar, staff members were asked to select very specific committees to serve on (i.e., parent involvement, curriculum, etc.) and each staff person would be responsible for the work of those committees. The chairperson from each committee then served on the school leadership team, and the chairperson would be responsible for taking the information from Indistar back to their committee. Kathyrn also used the indicators as a survey for the committee members, allowing them to rank where they thought the school was in implementing the indicators and to assist in prioritizing the indicators.
This first year, Kathryn felt that Indistar helped them put the structures in place for them to building on next year. Everyone has the same objectives and they are working toward the same goals.