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Danielle Aguilar

Protocol for collaborative development of a school vision for learning


The following protocol will work best if done during a half-day professional development
session, but a longer staff meeting could suffice if needed.

If the school has a vision statement currently in place:


1. Post the current vision statement onto four pieces of sticky chart paper.
 Write the vision in a different color on each piece of paper.
 Stick them around the room.
2. Have each staff member read the vision to themselves quietly and record responses
onto four separate sticky notes (each a different color, corresponding to the colors of the
vision statements around the room). Set a timer for 5 minutes.
 Color one: Things that are working well in our vision statement
 Color two: Things that are not working well in our vision statement
 Color three: Things that need to be clarified in our vision statement
 Color four: Things that could be changed in our vision statement (suggestions for
modification)
3. Once staff members complete their sticky notes, instruct them to stick them to the
appropriate chart paper and begin to walk around the room. Staff members should walk
around and read the posts from others. They should place check marks next to things
that they agree with, X’s next to things that they disagree with, and they may write out
any questions that they have.
4. Discuss the results as a whole group and proceed to the main protocol.

If the school does not have a vision statement currently in place:


1. Post four pieces of chart paper around the room. Write a different phrase at the top of
each:
 Things that I know should be included in a vision statement
 Things that I think should be included in a vision statement
 Things that I am not sure should be included in a vision statement
 Questions that I have about vision statements
2. Have each staff member read the vision to themselves quietly and record responses
onto four separate sticky notes (each a different color, corresponding to the colors of the
phrases around the room). Set a timer for 5 minutes.
 Color one: Things that I know should be included in a vision statement
 Color two: Things that I think should be included in a vision statement
 Color three: Things that I am not sure should be included in a vision statement
 Color four: Questions that I have about vision statements
3. Once staff members complete their sticky notes, instruct them to stick them to the
appropriate chart paper and begin to walk around the room. Staff members should walk
around and read the posts from others. They should place check marks next to things
that they agree with, X’s next to things that they disagree with, and they may write out
any questions that they have.
4. Discuss the results as a whole group and proceed to the main protocol.

Main Protocol
1. Break out into mixed groups that include one person from each department
 Science
 Social studies
 ELA
 Math
 Foreign language
 Electives
 Special education
 Administration and counselors

Note:
 If key community members have already been identified prior to this meeting, invite them to attend and
join in the discussions.
 If key community members have not been identified for the school, discuss in small groups how we could
begin to reach out to these members and how our connections with the community could help our
students in becoming more college and career- ready.
o Are there internships available?
o Are there after- school opportunities available?
o What connections do we already have in our personal lives that can be built upon?
o What parents can assist us in this endeavor?
2. Ask each group to brainstorm answers to the following questions. One member will be
the spokesperson for the group.
 Where do we see our school in five years?
 Where do we see our school in ten years?
 How does community currently play a role in our school district?
 How can we improve the connections we have with the community?
 How do our students interact with the school outside of the school day? Should
this change?
3. Each group should create a visual display of success, either by drawing a picture or
acting out an image to show what the school can do when all parts are functioning at
their potential
 Example: people may hold hands, act out a skit, create a “tagline” or draw a
picture that represents their group’s thinking
4. Prior to sharing out, place a piece of chart paper and enough markers for all members at
each group’s table.
 During the other presentations, each group should record the most impactful
word from each of the other groups.
 Group members may not comment on the words at this time.
5. Once all groups have finished, the group members will have two minutes to silently
question, react, and respond to the responses on their group’s chart paper.
 When the timer goes off, all groups will stand and begin to rotate.
 Groups will have 10 seconds to move to the next group’s paper, and 2 minutes to
question, respond, and reflect on the new sheet of chart paper before them.
 When the timer goes off, groups should rotate again, repeating the process until
they return to their original paper.
6. At this time, groups may read the comments on their paper and verbally discuss as a
group what they noticed.
7. Bring the group back to a whole group discussion setting by asking staff members to
arrange chairs in a large circle, all facing inward.
Ask the following questions:
 What were common words that you noticed?
 What were common themes that you noticed?
 What words surprised you?
 What words made you inspired?
 What words made you uncomfortable?

Note:
 If staff members are not readily vocalizing opinions, do a “whip around” strategy where you quickly go
around the circle and have each person share their answer. Answers should be to the point and without
explanation or justification.

8. Explain that vision statements should inspire us, but also encourage us to get out of our
comfort zones and try something new.
9. Have staff members return to their groups. Ensure that there is one electronic device per
group.
10. Create a Google Form where each group submits a potential vision statement.
 Groups should consider that vision statements should:
 Answer the question, “Why are we here?”
 Talk about the future
 Address the purpose and value of what we do
 Include students, families, and community members/ organizations/
partnerships
 Once all groups have submitted, create a new form where each teacher can
anonymously vote for which vision statement they like the best.
This can be done after the meeting so that staff members have time to process
and individually reflect. Provide a box for comments as well in the survey.