MAKING YOUR MAGNET THEME WORK Vision, Mission and Goals Gladys Pack Jordam@comcast.net Identify A Design Team A design team should include key staff members who are decision makers. These individuals will help you review data, identify programs and themes and make the case. These should include staff in charge of: Research and data School administration including principals Staff development Curriculum and instruction Key teachers Parents KNOW YOUR COMMUNITY AND YOUR TARGET POPULATION What does your community and your target population value. Identify community resources (parks, museums, artists, colleges, libraries, arts groups, businesses) Conduct informed focus groups (Work with parents and community resource persons to vision the school Share research on the theme and information about other like magnet schools. Share this plan and garner support from parents and community. Start Researching Excellent Research-Based Programs Contact Magnet Schools of America for a list of Magnet Schools of Excellence. Write to them ask for a description of their schools, their curricula and schedules. Look at award winning schools with similar themes. Go online and look under United States Magnet Schools, Magnet Schools and Blue Ribbon Schools, Math Science Magnet Schools . Visit excellent schools. Write to schools with similar themes and request curriculum and schedules. Visioning VISIONING IS A PROCESS OF IMAGINING ANDACTUALLY SEEING THE TOTAL SCHOOL AS IT IS WHEN YOU WILL GET TO WHERE YOU WANT IT TO BE. IT IS BACKWARD BY DESIGN AS YOU START WHERE YOU WANT TO BE AND WORK BACKWARDS. IT INVOLVES A CREATIVE PROCESS OF MAKING A LEAP INTO THE FUTURE AND LOOKING AT ALL ASPECTS OF THE SCHOOL. VISIONING INVOLVES ALL OF THE SENSES AND THEREFORE YOU ARE SEEING THE SCHOOL IN ITS TOTALITY. WHAT IS YOUR VISION OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE Visioning Close your eyes and dream the theme Use no educational jargon. Just describe what you see. Describe it in such a way that we all can see it, hear it, smell it. Don’t tell us that you see student work. That doesn’t tell us anything. What is the work? Visioning What do you see as soon as you walk into the school or before you walk in that tells the theme? What is in the hallways? What student work tells me about the theme? Describe it! What do the classrooms look like? How are they arranged? What magnet related work do you see in each grade? What are teachers doing in the classroom and out of the classroom that is magnet related? What are students doing in the class and out of the class that is magnet related? What are parents doing in the school? The Result of Visioning Once you and your design team have the vision you need to share the vision with the staff and have them vision as well. Have parents vision and students. Once you have most of the staff on board with the vision, you then need to determine how you will get there, working backwards “by design”. Your vision leads to your mission. Key Elements of Your Magnet Program List 5 key elements of your magnet program that you will expect to achieve in the next 3 years that grow out of your vision that include both the equity and excellence you expect to achieve. Do this in single words. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Mission Statement A Mission Statement is a statement that expresses the belief of what a school is committed to accomplishing. It should represent the broadest perspective of your mission, your magnet focus and how it will effect students and achievement. It should reflect diversity. Everything the school does- curriculum construction, grouping students, instructional strategies, professional development- must fit the mission. The Mission Statement The purpose of the Mission Statement is to: Express why this magnet school exists Define the school’s intentions and overall purpose Serve as a framework for everything the school does Focus energies when preparing School Plans Mission Statement Guidelines The statement should be clear, concise, understandable, flexible, realistic and results-oriented It should address both excellence and equity Fit your six key elements into your mission statement. Mission Statement Format The Statement should include the answers to these questions: Who is committed? To what? For whom? To what degree/with what result? Goals Goals are broad-based and represent your hopes and dreams. There should be goals for your students, for your teachers, for your parents and for the school. As a magnet school you will have desegregation goals that are based on data about your school, your community, feeder schools and other factors. Goals should stretch your school and go beyond your reach today but within your reach tomorrow given your magnet program.