To provide all students with a high quality education in a safe and orderly learning environment which will ensure the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and values necessary to be productive and responsible citizens in a global, technological society.
To ensure that the Gary Community School Corporation becomes the premiere educational system competitively preparing our youth for ventures in higher education and employment opportunities; with necessary life skills in a uniformed, safe, secure, orderly, modern and state-of-the-art learning environment.
1. All students will attain high academic achievement.
2. Ensure that all students will attend safe, orderly, and secure schools with climates conducive to learning.
3. Increase the level of parent and community involvement in support of student academic achievement and school related activities.
4. Provide effective and efficient operations for continuous improvement.
5. Recruit and retain highly qualified teachers, administrators, and staff who will utilize the most effective methods and instructional practices.
- An educated citizenry is the foundation of a community.
- Individual student learning, social and emotional needs should be addressed
- Learning occurs best in a safe, orderly and secure environment.
- Children need proper health care and nutrition in order to learn effectively.
- Accountability for student achievement is necessary.
- Educational excellence and opportunity require the responsible participation of committed students, teachers, administrators and parents.
- Parental involvement is valued.
- Trusting relationships are fostered through honesty and integrity.
- Mutual respect and support must be demonstrated among teachers, administrators, staff, parents and community.
- Decision-making is data-driven and studentfocused and information is broadly shared.
- The school corporation has the human and fiscal resources necessary to provide a quality education for all students.
- Learning will be the major focus of all classes.
- We will always maintain high academic achievement for students to meet their potential and ensure that all children are given learning opportunities to achieve the state academic standards.
- We will always encourage the engagement of parents in their child's academic performance.
- We will maintain safe, clean and secure environments that are conducive to learning.
- We will not tolerate behavior that demeans the dignity or self-worth of any individual or group.
- We will always practice prudent financial management to protect the long-term fiscal health of the district.
- A new program or service will be retained when the following is evident: - Benefits justify costs and it continues to make an optimal contribution to the mission; - It is consistent with the strategic plan; - Provisions are made for adequate resources; - Professional development and program evaluation are provided to determine the effectiveness of the program or services.
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Ensure that all students attain high academic achievement
1. Implement and improve a curriculum scope and sequence and curriculum maps for grades K-12 in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
- Revise to ensure alignment with state standards
2. Align instruction and assessment to the GCSC curriculum scope and sequence.
3. Identify the critical indicators with Indiana Academic Standards in all grades and subject areas
4. Design and implement quarterly and end-of-year district-wide multiple-choice assessments in grades 2-10 to monitor student learning and inform instruction in Reading, Language Arts, and Mathematics.
- Analyze and disaggregate performance data to identify key errors and develop teaching strategies to address those errors
- Disseminate DQA performance updates to students and parents quarterly
5. Design and implement writing assessments using a 6-point rubric for writing application and 4-point rubric for language conventions in grades 2-10.
- Determine rubric alternatives for Pre K-1 and specified special needs population
- Develop methods for administering prompts and assessing student results using rubrics
- Establish a schedule for administering assessments and specific dates and Conduct assessments
- Collect student performance data and report by grade level, classroom, and school
- Analyze data to determine improvement plan
6. Train staff and implement a process to identify key errors on ISTEP+ applied skills assessments and quarterly assessments and teach learning strategies to correct the errors
- Identify pilot schools
- Conduct workshops to train SIP teams
- Schedule school site visits by KJ Consultants to determine progress and provide coaching
- Conduct site visits and provide report of findings
- Work with all schools to implement process
- Establish performance measures to determine effectiveness of the process
7. Develop and implement the Student Success Process (systematic diagnostic, prescriptive instruction) to ensure all students master the critical indicators in Reading/Language Arts and Mathematics
- Identify seven elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school to participate in pilot
- Conduct overview training to pilot school improvement teams
- Conduct site visits to successful schools implementing SSP
- Provide awareness training to all faculty in each school and provide training materials
- Review, select, install, and train SSP performance tracking system
- Meet with each school to develop SSP instructional calendar
- Obtain mini-assessments
- Develop direct instruction, tutorial, and enrichment lesson plans
- Implement SSP
- Develop plan to roll-out of SSP to remaining schools
- Collect SSP mini-assessment data to determine effectiveness of the process
8. Implement a district-wide Literacy Initiative (Gary Reads) grades Pre K-12
- Identify and select mascot
- Schedule dates for inaugural activity
- Determine required reading list by grade
- Communicate with and involve parents and community partners
- Prepare for participation in annual parade
- Provide reading role models
- Assign community and business partners as readers in schools
9. Identify and support the implementation of district-wide teaching strategies in reading instruction in grades Pre-K-12 in vocabulary and comprehension development focusing on open-ended, text supported responses, text-based short answer responses and constructed responses
- Develop and implement four levels of training modules for principals and teacher/coaches
- Determine interventions methods to readdress and reinforce critical skills tested on the DQAs
- Review student results in district quarterly assessments (DQA) to determine effectiveness of strategy deployment
10. Identify and support the implementation of teaching and learning strategies in writing for grades Pre-K-12 to ensure all students use standard English and effective written and oral communication skills appropriate to their grade level
- Establish a standard practice for the use of rubrics and collection of performance data
- Determine alternative methods to readdress and reinforce critical skills as determined by the curriculum department and tested on the district writing applications test
11. Identify and support the implementation of district-wide oral communications, instructional practices and standards for grade 10 speech courses
- Provide oratorical opportunities (K-12) e.g. speech contest and choral reading
12. Identify and support implementation of teaching and learning strategies in mathematic instruction (Pre-K-12) in problem solving and cumulative/ distributive review
- Develop and implement four levels of training modules for principals and teacher/coaches
- Develop and disseminate a comprehensive list of teaching and learning strategies to support instruction in mathematics
- Determine interventions to readdress and reinforce critical skills as determined by the curriculum department and tested on the DQAs
- Review student results on district quarterly assessments (DQA) to determine effectiveness of strategy deployment
13. Design and implement gender academies in grades K-6
- Form teams to define requirements, design the teaching/ learning processes, develop plans, and oversee implementation of schools
- Review and adopt research-based practices for gender-based learning
- Develop a project plan and schedule to address key areas of importance, including safety, security, health, social development, counseling, behavior and discipline, communications, student engagement in learning, and support services
- Incorporate Study Buddies from high schools and regional universities
- Identify performance measures to determine effectiveness of the academies
14. Design and implement Career and Technical Academies in the Gary Area Career Center for students in grades 9-12
15. Design and implement the Leadership Academy focusing on analyzing data, conducting classroom observations, providing feedback to teachers, and facilitating reflective inquiry
16. Train and incorporate research-based strategies for understanding differences in learning needs using strategies, interventions, and relationship guidelines
17. Provide students with life-skill learning opportunities in Pre K-12 needed to be successful in school, careers, or professions
18. Structure and deploy a Rapid Response Team to provide instructional support for at-risk schools
19. Communicate to all stakeholders the new Indiana requirements for the Core 40 diploma to facilitate informed decision making
20. Develop and implement a plan to expand the course offerings and student enrollment in advanced placement and honors courses in high schools
21. Provide opportunities for teachers to engage colleagues in deep conversations about curriculum, instruction and student learning.
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Ensure that all students will attend safe, orderly, and secure schools with climates conducive to learning
1. Design and implement an alternative school for grades 7-12
- Identify referred students for alternative school
- Select the site for the alternative school
- Provide training for alternative school program
- Establish rules and behavioral procedures
- Develop a system of transportation to the alternative school
- Develop and provide training programs for parents to assist in the academic, social and emotional development of the child
- Develop and provide a violence prevention program
- Establish a procedure for counselors and social workers in the sending schools to ensure the appropriate placement of students
- Establish performance and success measures and monitor data to determine impact of the program
2. Select site for alternative school
3. Improve the security services at all schools
- Increase and maintain electronic surveillance in buildings, hallways, and buses
- Maintain all schools as closed campuses
- Maintain uniformed supervisory aides
- Maintain school security officers
- Maintain metal detectors to eliminate weapons at school and school events
- Establish and enforce a student ID badge and parking sticker policy
- Establish and enforce the staff ID badge policy
- Conduct monthly security inspections
- Designate specific alarm signals that are consistent throughout the school corporation for warning on impending natural disasters
4. Conduct district-wide and school-specific Safe School Forums to identify strategies
- Implement a mandatory uniform policy
- Establish a communication network between schools, community, and social agencies
- Partner with social agencies, law enforcement, and courts to secure a safe and orderly learning environment
- Implement early intervention awareness seminars for parents to prevent juvenile delinquency
- Implement a conflict resolution/youth mediation program
- Establish a hotline for students to report school, home/community-related crime or safety issues
- Implement and enforce in-house suspension procedures
- Develop and implement "Scared Straight" and "Parents as Partners" programs as a deterrent to teen crime
- Conduct trend and pattern data analysis over multiple years to determine effectiveness of programs
5. Utilize School Resource Officers to reduce the number of antisocial behaviors in Gary schools
- Provide Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) education to students in middle schools
- Expand the GREAT program to elementary schools (funding dependent)
- Visit homes of truant students
- Expand involvement of officers in pre-expulsion meetings
- Involve officers in the gang-resistance training
- Provide frequent awareness seminars on gang violence and the prevention of gang activities in schools
6. Reduce the number of antisocial behaviors in Gary schools by increasing the number of students that are drug and alcohol related through prevention and education programs
- Broadly share the "Community That Cares" student survey findings about risk factors
- Utilize the Indiana Prevention Resource Center for technical assistance and information
- Raise the level of life skills in making positive decisions related to involvement in alcohol and drugs
- Enhance the BABES program in all elementary schools by providing training to paraprofessionals to improve skills
- Implement projects for students to address alcohol, drugs, and tobacco prevention (e.g., art and essay contests)
- Train MS and HS general education teachers, counselors, social workers, health and physical education teachers in how to give students life skills to cope with situations when confronted (using the Discovery Channel Health Connection program) in grades 7-12
- Teachers integrate the materials into the regular curriculum
- Track the use of Internet Access to the Health Connection -- by pin number
7. Utilize new Health and Science textbook adoptions to provide extension activities by using the links and defined activities
8. Monitor the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and collect and report trend and pattern data of incidents (multi-year)
9. Expand extended day school activities with focus on life, social, and recreational skills related to DQA skill weaknesses
10. Improve the effectiveness of student counseling to gain the social and emotional skills to be successful in school and life
- Identify early concerns with academic problems, social skills, and scholastic opportunities
- Provide a monthly log (list of students, student progress, measures of success) -- e.g., attendance, tardiness, truancy, contact with parents
11. Implement and enforce a crisis response plan
- Establish a crisis intervention team to address critical situations promptly and efficiently
- Communicate to all faculty and staff crisis team objectives and plan
- Train all faculty and staff in crisis response
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Increase the level of parent and community involvement in support of student academic achievement and other school-related activities
1. Conduct surveys of stakeholders to determine their expectations and satisfaction levels of GCSC
2. Ensure representative community and parent involvement in school improvement teams and decision-making to the extent that every school is responsive to the community it serves
- Communicate curriculum and scope & sequence more effectively with families
- Develop and implement student-led parent-teacher conferences
- Advertise the accessibility of school buildings and district programs
- Assist faculty and staff in positive related media through in-service training by public relations representative
- Increase senior citizen and retired teacher involvement in schools
- Promote and disseminate the school corporation's vision of the future
- Increase the use of services and human resources available from community and business organizations
- Increase and enhance parent involvement through volunteer programs
- Ensure active business education partnerships
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Provide effective and efficient support operations for continuous improvement
1. Increase the efficiency of Business Services
- Improve intra-department coordination/communication
- Identify and utilize key business measures
- Conduct Work Flow Analysis to reduce the cost of providing services
2. Improve efficiency and customer satisfaction of Food Services
- Improve the nutritional health of students and conform to federal standards
- Increase the number of certified food handlers
- Reduce staff turnover
- Conduct customer-led quality workshops
- Administer customer satisfaction surveys
3. Improve bus transportation effectiveness and safety
- Create evaluation form to obtain school feedback
- Provide in-service for bus attendants and drivers
4. Increase the productive use of facilities
- Develop a comprehensive facilities plan
- Identify and select schools to close and consolidate
- Expand the availability and use of facilities by the community
5. Design and implement a Performance Management System
- Superintendent and Executive Staff Annual Performance Plans
- Principals Annual Performance Plans
- District Administrators Annual Performance Plans
- Principals Plan Performance Reviews -- Quarterly
- Superintendent and Executive Staff Quarterly Performance Plan Reviews
- Final Performance Plan Evaluation -- All Employees
6. Implement a corporation-wide data warehousing and analysis system
- Investigate, purchase, and install a data warehouse system
- Integrate data warehouse system to other information systems
- Identify standard and customized report requirements
- Train all faculty & staff effective use of the data warehouse system
- Train principals and lead teachers in data analysis
- Establish process for conducting data correlation analysis and reporting
7. Define and implement a formal project management process
- Conduct training in the purpose and value of cross-functional teams
- Establish project teams & leaders
- Complete project management training
- Provide templates for project schedules
- Establish a process for communicating deadlines and progress reporting
- Form a Plan Management Oversight Committee responsible for ensuring that strategies are effectively deployed
- Implement monthly project progress reviews
- Broadly share progress review findings
8. Transform the education systems by application of technology
- Establish wide area network between all schools and corporation facilities to enhance data/voice communications
- Standardize hardware and software to ensure compatibility, support, and connectivity
- Develop a scope and sequence for student technology competencies based on grade level
- Establish a resource guide of technological resources available to schools
- Ensure each teacher and administrator has access to technology for the purposes of communications and enhancing teaching and learning
- Ensure each student has access to technology that interacts with other students and the teacher workstation
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Recruit and retain highly qualified teachers, administrators, and staff who will utilize the most effective methods and instructional practices
1. Conduct surveys of faculty and staff to determine satisfaction levels and opportunities for improvement
2. Implement the teacher mentor program for all new teachers
3. Implement the Leadership Academy
4. Train and coach all administrators and faculty in continuous improvement and aligned quality systems
5. Engage teachers in continuous improvement teams and committees
6. Train, coach, and support instructional monitoring for continuous improvement and providing feedback to teachers that produces reflective inquiry
7. Provide teachers with training on high yield instructional strategies
8. Collaborate with universities, advertise in professional publications, and attend job fairs to recruit highly qualified teachers
9. Provide support for prospective teachers
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