This post was originally published on Feb. 2017 and can be found here.
With our latest temperatures, one would say that spring is in the air. It’s also that time of year that School Improvement Planning (SIP) for the 2017-2018 school year takes place. I was excited and honored to work with Two Rivers Middle Prep leadership team on February 9, 2017 with their SIP development. Let me share how the collaborative inquiry process was used to facilitate the process.
Collaborative inquiry is a data-based team process that consciously uses the collaborative learning cycle (activating and engaging, exploring and discovering, and organizing and integrating) and the qualities of effective groups (fostering a culture of trust, maintaining a clear focus, taking collective responsibility and data-informed decision-making) (MNPS Community of Practice, 2016).
With this definition in mind, let me take you through the process.
- Activating and Engaging: The leadership team began the conversation by brainstorming to answer the question, “What is your vision for Two Rivers Middle Prep?” This brainstorming not only generated many great ideas, but allowed everyone to have a voice at the table and helped develop physiological safety for the remainder of the meeting.
- Exploring and Discovering: Due to the time constraints for the meeting (1 hour), the bulk of our session was spent in this phase of collaborative inquiry. During this phase, inferences and explanations are suspended and just observations are made. Because of the larger number of data sets being used, the leadership team worked in smaller groups to record their observations on chart paper. To see their work, please go to: http://www.mnpscollaboration.org/two-rivers-sip-process-feb-2017.html.
- Organizing and Integrating: We didn’t get to this phase today as we plan to develop SMART goals at our next meeting on February 23. However, we did leave the meeting with next steps and a reflection for this first meeting.
If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Margie Johnson for more information.
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