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Three Practices to Ensure Your School Plan Lead to Better Student Outcomes

Three Practices to Ensure Your School Plan Lead to Better Student Outcomes

Three Practices to Ensure Your School Plan Lead to Better Student Outcomes

Every year, school administrators spend hours developing measurable goals for their plans. This blog post offers practical, research-based strategies for school administrators to enhance goal attainment and effectively implement their strategic plans.

May 19, 2024

Every year, school administrators invest countless hours developing measurable goals for their strategic plans. Unfortunately, many of these goals are not aligned with the data, making it difficult to create attainable goals to achieve by the end of the academic year. With tools like Plan Forward’s SMART Goal Calculator, administrators can identify data-informed, specific goals that can contribute to continuous improvement, allowing administrators to concentrate on the effective implementation of their plans to ensure success.

Here are three research-backed practices to enhance goal attainment:

1. Implement “Learning Goals” to Facilitate Staff Growth

Setting ambitious goals requires a balanced approach to avoid “tunnel vision,” which can negatively impact the school community. Rather than solely pushing staff to meet challenging targets, leaders can support their teams by building the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve these goals. By encouraging staff to set “learning goals,” leaders are more likely to see their strategic objectives realized. For instance, a 2001 study of MBA students revealed that commitment to learning goals was stronger than to outcome goals. Administrators may find that staff are more motivated to pursue learning goals, which, in turn, contribute to the achievement of overall outcome goals.

2. Frame Goals Around Success, Focus, and Motivation

Goal framing is crucial in shaping the school’s culture. Often, staff view goals as threats linked to high-stakes accountability measures over which they feel they have little control. Regardless of how attainable the goals are or how capable the school is of achieving them, if the leadership doesn’t frame these goals in an inspiring manner, they are unlikely to be met. Framing goals around success, clear focus, and genuinely valuable reasons can significantly motivate both administrators and teachers.

3. Establish Both Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Research from a 2003 study demonstrated that athletes who set short-term goals were able to revise their long-term goals for greater achievement. School administrators should consider setting quarterly or mid-year goals, annual goals, and three-year goals. This dual approach allows for:a) revisions of long-term goals based on short-term performance., and b) continuous feedback on implementation and strategies, enabling timely adjustments to action steps. While the prospect of adding extra planning tasks might seem overwhelming, school administrators are likely to see greater success, improved student performance, and higher staff retention by fostering a high-performance culture. 

By employing these strategies and utilizing Plan Forward’s innovative tools, school administrators can lead their schools to new heights. Plan Forward partners with educational leaders to provide tools for more effective and efficient planning. Consequently, leaders become more adept at guiding their schools through actionable implementation rather than merely focusing on plan creation. 

To request a free trial and receive sample goals and strategies tailored for your school district as you prepare for the upcoming school year, please contact us at info@k12planforward.com or visit www.k12planforward.com.

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© Plan Forward | All rights reserved

Washington D.C.

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