On August 21, 2017, leadership teams from each of New London’s public schools met to develop and refine their school improvement plans (SIPs). Consultants from SERC and the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) facilitated the process by building on the protocol the schools used earlier in the year to create drafts of their SIPs. The day was designed to provide opportunities for the schools to use the collective knowledge and expertise of all the people in the room in order to create highly impactful SIPs.
The leadership teams reported that the day was very helpful. According to Ivelise Velazquez, New London Public Schools’ Chief Academic Officer, “With (SERC and CSDE consultants’) steady guidance and persistent questions regarding evidence, the teams came to realize that the only way to gain success is to be grounded in evidence and collaborative discourse.” On the evaluation form, one participant said it was helpful to look at and discuss SIP plans from other schools. “I learned the struggles of other schools are similar.”
New London Public Schools is putting into practice the research that shows collaboration helps to improve student outcomes. SERC and the CSDE are pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort.