Schools ahead of the game at Superintendents Summit
Four members of the St. Charles Parish School District recently attended an annual Superintendents Summit held by the School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans.
Assistant Superintendent Felecia Gomez-Walker, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Rachel Allemand, Executive Director of Human Resources Paul Gibson, and Director of Elementary Schools Tresa Webre all attended from St. Charles Parish Schools.
The summit allowed representatives from 10 school districts to network and share ideas.
Two major areas of focus at the event were discovery walks and the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education.
Discovery walks are classroom walk-throughs to observe teacher and student behavior and they are designed to give feedback for improvements. However, St. Charles Parish Schools have been doing their own version of discovery walks for some time, said Assistant Superintendent Gomez-Walker.
"We have been doing what we call 'learning walks' for a number of years and we have really refined our walks to a point where we include both school and central offical administrators as well as some teachers," Gomez-Walker said.
At the summit, St. Charles respresentatives realized that the refinement of the school district's "learning walks" not only makes them not in need of the discovery walks discussed at the summit, but also makes St. Charles a district that others look to for success tips.
"We discovered that we have implemented (the learning walks) to a point of refinement where we're not going to need the center's support," Gomez-Walker said. "(Other districts) were interested in our learning walk process."
The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education is an assessment that involves core components and key processes to assess principals.
"It's called a 360-degree assessment because ti requires a self assessment from the principal, an assessment from the principal's supervisor and assessments from teachers in the school," Gomez-Walker said. "The information is then used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the principal."
She said that the St. Charles school district may be interested in using this assessment, but that they want to wait to see if the state school system decides to try it first.
"There are some pieces of this that are very interesting and we can see how it might lead to improved performance," Gomez-Walker said. "We actually are interested in seeing what the state is going to do; we don't want to move ahead on anything at this point. We understand that (the state) will be revamping their teacher evaluations as well as principal evaluations in the future."
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