2013 Pathways to the Prize - District Winners - Page 18

Pathways to the Prize Lessons from the 2011 SCORE Prize District Winner Teachers in each school are required to engage in comprehensive analysis of test results for their students and develop a summary of outcomes and action steps for improvement. Finally, data are shared with each student, and his or her parents know what the student has mastered and which standards still need to be addressed. In several schools, information on standards mastery for each student is sent home as part of the nine-week report card. Conclusion Maryville City Schools has many factors in place that are associated with highly effective districts. The school board and director of schools are single-minded in their pursuit of excellence, as demanded by the community. The district has translated and codified these high expectations into the district mission, vision, and goals. The strategic plan further articulates the goals into specific objectives, and specifies the strategies that the district and its schools will undertake to reach goals. Pathways to the Prize Lessons from the 2011 SCORE Prize District Winner While student responsibility is encouraged, it is not left to chance. Rather, the schools offer multiple interventions to any student at risk of failure or falling behind. Schools host before- and after-school programming and peer and teacher assistance during the day. Some students are assigned an adult to monitor, support, and mentor them. Families are also supported through the Family Resource Center and other sources of assistance. Maryville City Schools’ leadership, district governance, cohesive systems and operations, communication and advisory structures, and approaches to solving instructional challenges through deep data analysis, collaboration, and intensive interventions all work together to make the district effective. Maryville has operationalized high expectations in ways that can serve as a model for other districts in Tennessee and the nation. The plan itself was well developed, with district leaders and staff carefully listening to Maryville’s constituents, taking a critical look at the district’s strengths and needs, and focusing on the areas where change would have the highest yield. The plan reflected both the community’s values and the research literature on what works. With so many voices represented in the development process, the plan was readily accepted by internal and external stakeholders. Maryville staff did not stop listening to constituents when the plan was developed, but rather engaged in creating a communications plan and structure to promote continuous improvement. The director and the board communicate regularly, and the district has also established two advisory boards comprised of internal and external stakeholders to consider issues of district concern on a routine basis. These deep and broad communication vehicles nurture cohesion and promote responsiveness to the community. Maryville extends its high expectations into the schools through the development of a performance culture that both demands accountability and supports its personnel in achieving goals. The district offers a wide variety of professional learning opportunities and ensures that