Planning for Excellence
BURLESON, TEX. – The Southwestern Union is committed to excellence in Adventist education. Excellent schools demonstrate a commitment to ongoing self-assessment, evidence-informed practice, and continuous school improvement planning. Continuous school improvement planning, in particular, is a process that honors the purpose of Adventist education: the belief that Adventist education is the essential vehicle for the expression of faith-based values and beliefs at all levels.
Excellent schools are not produced by chance or as the result of a single change event. Excellence is about building a culture that encourages continual, planned improvement. With renewed purpose, effective plans for improvement and innovative, research-based practices, a quality educational product will emerge that is focused on the relevancy of teaching and learning for the 21st century.
Continuous school improvement planning occurs in response to data analysis and the identified needs of the school program, with the goal of creating a shared vision which is implemented in the Continuous School Improvement Plan. The development of the Plan provides the school an opportunity to transform its vision of excellence into strategic action steps that introduce change and create a higher level of internal accountability. The Plan answers the question, “How are we going to get to where we want to be?” in the continuous school improvement cycle. Most importantly, the Adventist philosophy of education is the lens through which program change is managed and evaluated.
A Plan is comprised of multiple goals that align with one or more of the Standards for Accreditation of Seventh-day Adventist Schools and system-wide learning outcomes. The Southwestern Union’s 2018-2019 Continuous School Improvement Plan includes the following goals:
Goal 1: Continuous School Improvement Planning. Collaborate with conferences/schools in the use of data for continuous school improvement.
Goal 2: Academic Excellence. Improve academic excellence for learners by bringing coherence to curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices through a standards-based approach.
Goal 3: Communication. Strengthen communication with current and prospective stakeholders through the creation of a Union education website to provide resources and ensure a positive perception of the educational program for learners.
The Office of Education is providing professional development and resources for the schools across our Union to develop Continuous School Improvement plans as they continue their journey to excellence.
By Carol Campbell, Vice President for Education