Sunday, February 12, 2012

Greatest Challenges in Implementation

Challenges in implementation:
1.) Coordinating time to meet with all administrators
2.) Coordinating the student surveys
3.) Collecting useful data from students, teachers, and administrators
4.) Getting the students who have been selected for the panel to provide open and honest feedback

I know these challenges seem a little surface level but I honestly feel that I have a lot of support from our administrators on this project, including the superintendent, so the challenges I will have are not at all terms of cooperation, but more along the lines of things that I cannot control.

I am really excited about this project and it's findings.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Action Plan

Action Research Plan: PBIS and how it is affecting campus climate

Goal: To evaluate how the districts newly instituted PBIS is affecting campus climate

Activity: Survey students and teachers at our (two) secondary campuses in order to evaluate how affective the PBIS system is.

  • Persons responsible – Zach Snow
  • Timeline – February 2012 – August 2012
  • Resources – Surveys (hard copies for students, online for staff)
  • Evaluation – Collect surveys and compile data

Activity: Provide evaluations forms for administrators for the purpose of them rating how they feel their campuses are doing

· Person responsible – Zach Snow

· Timeline – February 2012 – August 2012

· Resources – Evaluation forms for the administrators

· Evaluation – Compare evaluation ratings to the actual data collected from the students and staff

Activity: Form a panel of students to meet with face-to-face to have some discussions and get honest feedback on their feel of the campus climate

· Person responsible – Zach Snow

· Timeline – February 2012 – August 2012

· Resources – 10 students from each of our secondary campuses (chosen at random) and access to a meeting area

· Evaluation – Compare these panels to the data collected from anonymous surveys

Activity: Engage in reflection time about the findings from the data collected and the interviews conducted

· Person responsible – Zach Snow

· Timeline – August 2012

· Resources – Time to reflect, data collected, blog entries, meetings with campus administrators

· Evaluation – Compare the collected data and information and review it with each campus administrator

Friday, February 3, 2012

Action Research Details

Topic: How is our newly instituted PBIS affecting campus climate/culture?

Context: Community ISD's secondary campuses (1 High School and 1 Middle School)

Target Population: Administrators, Teachers, Para-professionals, Students, and Community Members

Selecting Sample: I will be creating surveys that will be made available to every secondary teacher and para, as well as every secondary student. I will conduct a panel study at the middle school and another at the high school (panels will be made up of 10 students per campus chosen at random from the student population). I will also use the venue of our "Community U" group (made up of parents and other community members) to get anonymous surveys from community members.

Rationale: I feel the more feedback we receive from as many stakeholders as possible, the better the feel we will have for our current campus climate.

Description of how: I will use anonymous online surveys for staff (using surveymonkey or something of the like) and hard copy papers surveys for the students to fill out (also anonymously). I was given permission from the superintendent to have teachers distribute the student surveys during the student's tutoring time (which is a built in 30 minute period each day). I was also given permission from the superintendent to survey a group of 25 parents and community members that meet together once a month to learn about Community ISD, this group is called "Community U". Another part of the evaluation process will be to take a look at the number of office referrals we had last year compared to this year.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Campus Climate and Culture

The purpose for my proposed action research project is to gauge how we are doing in terms of our campus climate and culture at our secondary campuses. There are several different areas that I am wanting to look into in terms of what we are doing to create a more positive learning environment for both students and teachers. With the PBIS initiative in place this year, I would like to take a look at the number of office referrals that have been received so far this year and compare that to last year. I would also like to evaluate the extra curriculum programs, events, etc that have been put in place for the purpose of creating a more positive environment. Lastly, I will conduct surveys and face-to-face interviews with students, teachers, and parents in order to get a true sense of how they feel about their campus climate and culture and (for those who have been here for more than one year) what changes have they seen.

The significance of this project will hopefully be felt by all stakeholders for both our high school and middle school campuses. After evaluating the data we can determine if we are truly creating the type of campus culture that is conducive to student achievement. I will have the opportunity to meet with the campus administrators after collecting the data and discuss with them the findings. My hope is that if changes need to be made, based off of student, teachers, and parent responses, they will be willing to take a deeper look it to ways in which we can create the type of campuses that we all want.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Using Blogging in Education

I have been an active blogger for many year. I started my first blog in 2006 prior to getting into public education.

Throughout the years I have found it to be a great platform for getting information out. I believe in this process so much that I started a blog for our district this year. Specifically it is for our special education department. It is call "Our TRIBE". You can check it out by clicking on the link.

If you have any questions, you can post them as comments either on this blog or on the TRIBE blog.

Happy Blogging!

Action Research

I am truly excited about this course because I have really grown to appreciate the part action research plays in education.

In my current position in Community ISD, we are going through a couple of years of great transition. From coming out of a special education coop to bringing all services in house to better serve our students (this directly affects me because I am a special education teacher), to hiring a new has been almost two full years of transition for our district.

I feel that most would agree that the changes have been good and necessary. I have seen a real commitment to moving our district forward. I know that there are meetings and conversations on a weekly basis in which the old order of doing things are being challenged. Not change for the sake of change but to determine what is in the best interest of all stakeholders.

A big part of the decision making process for the administration has been in looking at the data (research based data) and determining the best direction based off of the findings.

This has been encouraging because, while I am not in all of those meeting, I can see the evidence of them and I truly feel like taking this approach to decision making is in the best interest of all involved. While change can be hard, those who are truly here because they are passionate about students and seeing them successful, we (teachers) can accept change when they see results.

That is why I am so excited about this course, I want to be an affect action research for the betterment of my district and more importantly for our students.