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Introducing the Continuous Improvement Work Plan Process

Earlier this summer Hamilton Administrators, Teachers, Staff, Parents and Community Members gathered together to kick off the development of our Continuous Improvement Work Plan, or CIWP. Every CPS school writes a CIWP that serves as the strategic three year plan.

Hamilton's last CIWP was published in 2019 and as we all know school has changed a lot since then. Over the past school year we have engaged in learning walks and observations both inside Hamilton and at neighboring schools. The administration used lessons learned from these sessions as well as testing data to name priorities and areas of growth in our school’s Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction, Inclusive and Supportive Learning and Connectedness and Wellbeing.

With these foundations in mind, the school budget was developed to align with the priorities set in the CIWP. Additionally the administration will work closely with the Hamilton Action Team to provide ongoing support for the materials and supplies needed to meet the goals set in the CIWP.

At the kick off meeting we shared our commitment to Hamilton and how our interests and strengths will contribute to the CIWP. The investment of time from our teachers, staff and parents to develop the CIWP will ensure Hamilton remains a place where everyone in the building is educated, nurtured, and supported. Between now and September smaller teams of five to nine stakeholders across the school and community will be involved in identifying specific targets in our Foundations. They will identify the root causes of our current starting point in these areas using current data, metrics and feedback, and build improvement plans for each.

The first elements of the CIWP to be developed will be the Theory of Actions. These statements are structured to include the specific actions that will address growth priorities and connect strategy to the actions critical to good instruction and student learning.

For example:

If we do x, y or z strategy, then we see teacher actions, which results in student goals.

The Theories of Action take all major resources necessary into consideration before determining the feasibility of the statement. The teams ensure we have the people, time, money and materials needed.

Once the Theory of Action statements are determined the teams move into the Implementation Plan development stage. We identify the team or person responsible for implementation management, monitoring frequency, scheduled progress checks with the CIWP team and data used to report on the progress. The Implementation Plans are written as SMART Goals ensuring they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

These SMART Goals lead into the Goal Setting stage of CIWP building. The goals we set are both ambitious and attainable. Since the work of the CIWP lives within the building instructors and stakeholders are brought together to reach consensus on whether the goals are challenging and specific enough and are within their capacity to reach. A clear plan is made to provide feedback on progress and support when needed.

The final CIWP will be presented to and approved by the Local School Council in September 2023 and will be our school’s development map for the next three school years (through July 2026). Updates from the Foundation teams will be provided at the monthly LSC meetings.

Already there is a sense of collaboration in these teams. We are all driven by our commitment to Hamilton and our values. This process will take patience and will be challenging at times but we trust everyone involved to remain motivated and excited about the opportunity to improve our school as we embark upon this important process.

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