Do you ever wonder what changes occur after a day of professional development? Matt Davidson and I had the privilege of doing a training day in the Pittsford School District at Allen Creek Elementary School on August 26th and then returning there less than one month after school began. We walked away very impressed with how they had taken the tools from our Power2Acheive Toolkit training and were already utilizing them so effectively.
One of the tools we trained on was the Portable Compact-4-Excellence. Allen Creek kicked off the year with a building-wide assembly which focused on developing a building-wide Compact-4-Excellence that would help them “To be their best self and do their best work”. They used one of the Four Keys, an “Other Study”, as a key part of this assembly, as Mr.Biondi, the Allen Creek School Principal, brought in his custodial staff as an “other study” and asked them questions. One of the questions was, “What does it mean to do your best work?” Another question was, “What does it mean to persevere?” Each classroom then developed a Compact-4-Excellence. Mike Biondi shared how he used an “Other Study” as part of this process by sharing classroom examples of Compacts that were being submitted. He followed this up by using another of the Four Keys, “Public Performance”, as he shared the Compacts over the morning announcements.
During our visit, Matt and I were able to see the Compacts that were being used in each classroom and receive feedback from a few staff members about their use of a Compact. For example, Kathleen Roser, a third grade teacher, shared several Compacts-4-Excellence that she had developed in her classroom. She had a Class Compact-4-Excellence, a Math Class Compact, a Class Meeting Compact, and each of her four reading groups had developed their own Compacts-4-Excellence. She was very pleased with how the Compacts were helping her to create an intentional culture of excellence and ethics in her classroom. Dennise Zobel, another third grade teacher, shared her class compact. Her Compact-4-Excellence was typed up and was also sent home to parents and signed by parents and their child.
In my 27 years as a school building administrator, I was part of attending and helping to lead many training days. Unfortunately, I often came away frustrated, as I would look back to see whether any real changes were made that were going to impact learning for students or change the adult culture. During this visit, I was very excited to see a concrete example of a school that really grabbed hold of our Power2Achieve Toolkit training and immediately began to use the tools to further enhance the many good things they have going on in their school community.