3 Minutes: November 2017

At each Baltimore County Board of Education meeting, CASE has three minutes to present information to the board in the interest of our organization. The following is a transcript from one of those meetings.

Good evening Chairman Gilliss, Superintendent White, and members of the Board.

You may recall that in my first message to the Board, I emphasized the need for consistency through all facets of the organization, and the need for ongoing professional development and support for the school based leadership.

On September 26th I shared CASE’s enthusiasm of the System design for ongoing professional development for principals, assistant principals, and STAT teachers at monthly meetings.

I have had the opportunity to attend the first three monthly professional development sessions for the principals. I have also attended two sessions for assistant principals and STAT teachers.

As an old professional developer around leadership development, I am pleased to share with you my thoughts on the sessions thus far… using our current rating system – Highly Effective! They have been well designed and presented with a very deliberate and purposeful message around literacy and the effective use of data to improve instruction.

Principals have worked in small groups clustered by high school feeder patterns and facilitated by a community superintendent, executive director, director, or a C&I coordinator. This model allows for much needed networking between principals within the same communities creating a clear vertical dialogue. The fact that area office leadership is engrained in the learning contributes to consistency of message.

The three sessions have built upon one another, and principals and assistant principals have been reminded consistently that this is a year of learning and they aren’t expected to take this new learning back and implement it all at once. This new learning is creating dialogue, developing the mindset, and setting the stage for real change in the schoolhouse, but it is happening in a purposeful fashion and not in the “Strategy of the month” mentality, too often associated with educational change.

I have reviewed the feedback given to the Office of Organizational Development. It was consistently positive. I will share some of it:

  • Best Principals’ meeting in the last 2 years
  • Outstanding format and content. Loved today’s PL! I even said so in a tweet!
  • This style of learning was effective and engaging. Megan Shay was very effective. (I mentioned this one because Megan is the leader of this learning.)
  • Literacy PD structure was effective, interactive, and allowed for meaningful discourse
  • I enjoyed this style of learning. It was great to have so much time to engage in meaningful discussions
  • Improved connection between literacy and PARCC
  • It provided clarity of expectations and next steps
  • Talking to other administrators helps clarify thinking
  • Great connections between literacy and our data points—very important session this month
  • Great examples of leading and lagging data. Well thought out questions to share with our teams as we analyze data

There is much more, but with limited time I just want to say that this ongoing Professional Development is being done in a fashion that is deliberate and purposeful and will bring about positive results for the students in the Baltimore County Public Schools.

Thank you.
— Tom DeHart, Executive Director