Work continues with my group on our challenge question: How can we, as a school, use restorative justice with technology to develop a strong and supportive culture that leads students with positivity and reinforcement? I facilitated our first conference call, using Doodle to match schedules and UberConference for the call itself. We met Monday and agreed to meet weekly to work through our project.
This particular week was focused on interviews and research. As my school is a little different, we agreed I would take on research to help me learn more about the process, and because I would not have access to scholars or teachers from my site. The rest of the group agreed to ask questions at their site. Using information shared from our first week, I went to work on research and will have my findings for the entire group soon. I have also shared feedback on the questions that are being asked through our shared Google Doc. I am enjoying the level of collaboration and support amongst my group!
I am using a similar process at Compass Charter Schools as we work on our Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs). We have a group who is working on our LCAPs, using Workplace by Facebook (our Intranet) as the place for online collaboration. I shared a homework assignment for the team this past week: review our 2017-18 Planning Survey Results, 2016-17 LCAP Goal Recaps and the LCAP goals for next year. This is in advance of meeting in person next Thursday for the day. We will spend the day reflecting on this past year, aided with our Goal Recaps, and plan for next year, aided with the 2017-18 Planning Survey Results. This is a first for the organization, as one staff person developed the plan in the past before sending it to the Board of Directors for approval. This new process will give more voice to our staff and truly allow us to create goals for the upcoming year that everyone understands and supports.
This process speaks to my leadership style. I believe it is important to listen to the entire organization and our stakeholder groups before making a change in the organization. The same process occurred last year, when we rewrote our mission and vision. With the vision, we spent a month using Google Docs to rewrite our vision statement. This was after an in-person retreat where we spent 90 minutes to create our mission statement, both of which were after a series of surveys which went to all of our stakeholder groups seeking input on who we are and who we want to become. What came out of this work? For our Guiding Principles, we agreed to and the Board of Directors adopted:
"Our mission is to inspire and develop innovative, creative, self-directed learners, one scholar at a time."
"Our vision is to create a collaborative virtual learning community, inspiring scholars to appreciate the ways in which arts and sciences nurture a curiosity for life-long learning, and prepare scholars to take responsibility for their future success."
Core Values: Achievement, Communication, Integrity, Respect, Teamwork
These Guiding Principles speak to our school's commitment to preparing scholars for the future with 21st Century Skills. As I shared in my Blog with our community when we rebranded from Academy of Arts and Sciences to Compass Charter Schools in March, "You see, a compass is a tool which helps guide us. We have always believed we were guiding our scholars on this educational journey, so why not call us what we are - your scholar’s compass. It made sense. And we hope you agree. Compass Charter Schools is your school of choice, which guides your scholar’s on this journey and is here to help prepare them for their future. "
How we operate speaks to our mission, vision and values, as a virtual charter school with a robust online education program, supported by our credentialed teachers. We are the school of the future, using technology to deliver the curriculum and supporting that delivery with virtual sessions hosted by our teachers. We are bringing the learning alive through project-based assignments. And everything we do is with one aim in mind - ensuring our scholars are prepared for tomorrow. What I am most proud of, though, is our strong desire to hear from our scholars, parents, staff, and community, to find ways to enhance what we are providing our scholars. Afterall, that is why we are here. To support them, and to prepare them to be successful.