Goals - Going Deeper
The new ASSIST platform has separated many of the additional reporting requirements into individual components; for example, a school's vision, mission, and beliefs are now in the "Executive Summary." On the portfolio tab, schools will see each of the individual components that need to be completed prior to submission. One of the major components is the "Plan" which will be completed in the "Goals and Plans" section. When building a goal, there are four primary parts that remain the same: Goal Statements, Objectives, Strategies, and Activities. This one-page School Improvement Goal Components document will not only define these four parts, but will also offer some basic guidance for writing each component.
Plan (Goal builder)
While the previous structure of student-focused goals and SMART objectives followed by staff-focused strategies and specific activities has remained the same, the format within ASSIST has changed. This Complete Sample Goal PDF (or MS Word version) follows the new format showcasing a quality reading goal. While goal statements themselves are an extremely general portion of the school improvement plan (i.e. "all students will be proficient in reading"--often written to span a three- to five-year time period), your choice of which content areas to target at the goal level and whether to choose "academic" or "organizational" goals is foundational to the structure, implementation, and progress monitoring of your SIP. The choice of an organizational goal versus the traditional academic goal is new in ASSIST, as is outlined in the ASSIST Technical Guide for Building Goals and Plans (PDF)--see pages four through six for details; also consider using this simplified document regarding Creating Measurable Objective Statements (PDF).
Objectives and Strategies
In the event that brand new objectives are necessary, utilize data collected and analyzed through your completion of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment Process (the School Systems Review and the School Data Analysis), the Data Driven Dialogue protocol, and your analysis of any additional data sources to write S.M.A.R.T. objectives to address below-average, average, and above-average students (just as we expect teachers to differentiate by teaching to those “ready to learn,” those who “already know it,” and those who “lack the foundational skills” and need intervention and/or accommodations) such that the accomplishment of the objective addresses identified targets.
NOTE: Even though the "gap" and "cause for gap" language has been removed from the school improvement plan requirements now in ASSIST, it is still imperative that participants address the causality behind the existing target areas, ensuring that the strategies chosen to address said areas are appropriate.
Create activities for each strategy that specifically state what staff will do in terms of getting ready to implement, implementing, and progress monitoring (both at the adult implementation and the student impact data levels).
Additional Guidance/Options for Updating
You may choose to use the Program Evaluation tool to document data and dialogue around strategy effectiveness for strategies that were implemented during the previous school year.
Click here for additional resources for school improvement planning such as