George Lucas Educational Foundation

Entry Plans

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As an AP who will soon be looking to take the next career step, I'd like to get some input regarding entry plans. What should they consist of? What should be avoided? Is anyone willing to share a plan that has been successfully implemented? Thanks! Jim

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Josh Patterson, PhD's picture
Josh Patterson, PhD
Assistant Principal/Boiling Springs Intermediate School

Hi, Jim -
I am also looking to make the next move in my career. Here are a couple of things given to me by a well-respected educator who once served as the superintendent for many years in my district. I am happy to share. First, he provided three entry plans, suggesting that one may be more suitable for certain personalities than others:

1. Timeframe 90-120 days (July 1 to September 30)
2. Objectives (5-7):
* To acquaint myself with key people associated with the school.
* Identify key instructional issues of the school.
* Identify the climate and culture of the school.
* Identify the key non-instructional issues of the school.
* Identify key issues of superintendent, staff, parents, and community.
* Develop tentative plan with timeline to deal with key issues. Do this with input from others.
3. Develop questions for meetings and decide where you will look to get needed information

Theme: Listen, learn, and improve
Purpose: Increase confidence in academic success of school
Goals: List the major goals of the entry plan
1. Meet with all staff members to establish relationships and get their input on school strengths and needs.

Some plans are very simple and straight forward and breakdown plan with a day by day schedule.
Day 1-5 Organization:
* Set up and organize office
* Meet with office staff
* Walk school with janitors
Day 6-15 Gather information:
* Meet with all teachers
* Meet with parents and key community leaders
* Meet with people from district office
* Meet with superintendent
* Review relevant school data
Day 16-20 Study data:
* Review information gathered from meetings
* Review test data
* Review report card information
* Review school surveys
* Review suspension/expulsion data
* Review school retention rate
* Review personnel files
Day 20-25 Sharing information

Entry Plan Points
1. Read, study, discuss-find out as much as you can about the school. Pay attention to things like academics, staff, demographics, finance, etc...
2. Decide the key people you need to talk with to get a sense about what is happening at the school and the perception others have about the school. Do this even if you have been at the school as an assistant principal.
3. Develop a list of questions you want to ask the key people in the school community.
4. Conduct your interviews-make sure these meetings are low-keyed meetings set in a comfortable environment. Know that some of the responses may be guarded and not totally accurate.
5. Review the data and interpret the results. What did you discover?
6. Communicate the results to the appropriate people.
7. Develop action plan complete with timeline. This should be done with input from others. Go slow!

Hope this helps your thinking as you prepare to move forward...


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