External Visitation Team
Hay Springs Public Schools
October 29-30, 2017
The external visitation team began their exit report with a brief summary of the “Continuous Improvement in Nebraska Schools” process. Which includes a review of the school profile which is a document that provides a concise collection of information, in chart and graph form, that includes:
- Student Performance Data
- School and Community Demographics
- School Program Data
- Student and Adult Perceptual Data
This information was provided in a Power Point presentation presented by Mr. Lechtenberg and Mrs. Marx at our Sunday evening meeting with the external visitation team, our school Improvement and our school’s committee chairpersons. We also provided a school profile in written format as part of our evidence over the past five years on the Hay Springs website link.
The next step in the improvement process involves utilizing the profile information in the following steps to identify the district goals.
- Analyze the Data in the Profile
- Prioritize Areas of Need
- Identify Improvement Goals
These determined goals serve as targets for the remainder of the improvement cycle and were established in 2012 to improve writing proficiency across the curriculum and as the continuous improve process took place in 2016 to our goal was changed to demonstrate an increase Math proficiency across the curriculum.
Once goals have been determined the next step in the process is the development of an improvement plan. The Action Plan for Improvement, serves as a guide in Implementing strategies for continuous improvement and covers a period of one to three years. The action plan helps all staff implement strategies to improve student learning and includes appropriate staff development, teaching strategies, and staff and student accountability. The implementation process involves an entire set of significant actions by ALL staff, over a period of time, resulting in Improved Student Performance. Implementation is monitored closely by annual data analysis by administrative staff and school improvement committees to provide assistance and support as needed. The final step in the school improvement process includes a visitation by a team of external representatives to review progress and provide written recommendations to the district at least once every five years.
The purpose of the external team visitation is three fold.
- Assist the school in selecting or fulfilling school improvement goals and plans by adding an outside, objective view of the school improvement procedures
- Enlist the professional advice of colleagues from outside the district
- Increase the depth of understanding for moving forward to achieve school improvement goals
In the oral exit report on the afternoon of October 30th the external team presented the staff with the following general process commendations:
- Hay Springs Public School has a strong commitment to School Improvement as evident by:
- SIP Team Leadership and Membership
- Profile (Google Website)
- Vision and Mission and District Goals
- Data Retreats
- HSPS has a high level of standards for students
- Graduation Standards
- Above Average Instructional Units
- Support for students
The team’s general process recommendations included:
- Based upon the recommendations and commendations, develop and implement a plan that leads or directs the next steps in the cycle.
- Based upon the recommendations and commendations, develop and implement an action plan that addresses:
- Current Practices and Process
- Professional Development Plan
- Technology Plan
- Instructional Model Development
Writing goals commendations:
- A great and challenging goal.
- A great quantity of passive writing curriculum.
- Writing goal is known to students.
- Data retreats used to make decisions.
- Evaluate, update, and implement a plan to assess student writing not based on NeSA
- As part of a district Action Plan, develop and implement a professional development plan that focuses on improving writing across the curriculum.
Math goal commendations:
- Students are held to high expectations and supported by caring staff
- Goal is integrated across the curriculum
- Clarify, refine, revise, and reword the math goal
- Develop and implement a professional development plan addressing math
- Revisit student goal development
- Explore 1:1 technology support
Overall commendations included:
- Sense of community
- The school is the “hub” of the community
- Give Back Day
- Hawk Talk
- HSPS Foundation-Lister-Sage Community Gym
- Four-Day week
The external visitation team left us with the recommendations for our next steps to include:
- Develop and implement a plan for the next cycle based on the exit report recommendations.
- The assurance that they would have a complete written report back to the school within three to four weeks.
It was a very rewarding day and a thank you goes from the visitation team, our school visitation team, the staff and the administrative team to all who played a role in this process over the past five years and in particular those involved in the visitation process on October 30th.