Handbook of SMART School Teams

Handbook of SMART School Teams

by Anne Conzemius
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Solution Tree

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Handbook of SMART School Teams

The Handbook for SMART School Teams is a comprehensive guide to forming, working in, and achieving results from school teams, and is written specifically for school teams. These teams might include grade-level teams, steering teams, school improvement teams, process improvement teams, and committees and task forces.

The book begins with a foreword by Rick DuFour and Bob Eaker. It is important to note that this handbook is the perfect companion resource for a school that is seeking to become, or has already started the process of becoming, a professional learning community. SMART Schools is based on the same idea for school improvement as PLC—that the focus of a school should be on student learning and that goals should be Strategic and specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-based, and Time-bound. The book's foundation comes from W. Edwards Deming (the pioneer of quality improvement) and his theory of continuous improvement (Plan, Do, Study, Act). When an entire school community is thinking PDSA, learning and improvement become second nature and schools can move rapidly up the learning curve to understand how and why progress is (or is not) being made.

By Chapter Overview
In the Introduction, the authors present the SMART framework and outline the basics of SMART Schools. In Chapter 1, they explore the three cornerstones of productive collaboration and how to remove barriers to collaboration, the most common barrier being time. Chapter 2 focuses on the structures of teamwork by examining types of teams. Chapter 3 looks at the basics of effective teamwork including identifying team membership, group goals, skills and methods for effective teamwork; managing team meetings, team growth and development; and continuously improving your team's work.

Chapter 4 marks the beginning of the second part of the book: the tools. In this chapter, readers will learn about group process tools, such as dialogue and brainstorming, as well as specific planning tools, such as flowcharts and tree diagrams. Chapter 5 focuses on tools for understanding perceptions and opinions. It begins with an explanation of the difference in perceptual and opinion data and goes on to examine how to collect and analyze perceptual data, including criteria for interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

Chapter 6 also focuses on tools for data collection and analysis. The focus here is on tools for understanding problems and improving results. Readers will learn about cause and analysis tools and numerical data tools. They'll examine the "why" of a problem with 5 Why's Analysis and a relations diagram, and then collect data and map it with bar charts, histograms, pareto diagrams, run charts, and control charts. Chapter 7 focuses on tools for measuring student performance, namely on standardized and curriculum-embedded assessments.

The third part, Chapters 8-11, brings all the information together to produce an overall picture of a SMART School. Chapter 8 examines the benefits of thinking like a system. Chapter 9 looks at improving processes and systems and examines several models for improvement (the Accelerated Improvement Process, problem-solving, and functional analysis). Chapter 10 goes further in aligning SMART Schools with the goals of PLCs. It examines the process for becoming a SMART School and looks at the following questions: Where do we want to be? Where are we now? How will we get there? What are we learning? And where should we focus next? Chapter 11 takes a look at the role of professional development in learning communities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2901935249923
Publisher: Solution Tree
Publication date: 01/01/2009
Edition description: CD-ROM with reproducible sheets; grades K-12
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Anne Conzemuis, M.S., is a former school psychologist and executive assistant to the Wisconsin State Superintendent and has spent many years working in quality improvement in the public and private sectors.

Jan O'Neill, M.S., is a former teacher who became one of the pioneers in applying quality principles system-wide in municipal and state governments and health care.

Both authors are cofounders of Quality Leadership by Design, LLC, based in Madison, Wisconsin, and co-authors of The Power of SMART Goals.

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