Hours this week: 16 | Total hours: 40

This past week, I (finally) facilitated the strategic district retreat for Dr. H and team on Monday and Tuesday. We had a solid two days of visioning, reflecting, ideating, and working through how to best build the team infrastructure to help the schools bring their identities to life.

While the days were long and I relied a bunch on my team to think about how to best facilitate the retreat. As we had documented in the planning process, we went into the days with a big idea / primary objective, along with a few key outcomes that the district would consider to be wins:

Big idea: Deliver programming for 4 AESD schools as they work to develop and iteratively / strategically implement plans for their emerging school identities.

Wins: This goes well if each school team comes away having done the following:

  • Articulated their vision for their school identities, along with their theory of improvement for how they get there (starting with the end in mind).
  • Begun to “systematize” ways to move from vision to action using iterative improvement cycles and collaborative decision-making.
  • This means articulating the infrastructure and processes for how they will do this.
    • This also means developing very concrete, very detailed plans for how they will start, what they will do, who will do it, by when they will do it, what data they need and how they will collect and analyze the necessary data, and how they will use their learning to launch the next detailed plan – all of which gets connected back to the larger vision above.

Overall, I was very happy to be able to facilitate the retreat, and I will be following up with Dr. H this week to debrief the retreat and connect it to the primary questions I have been seeking out with her:

  • What is your primary theory of change or theory of action for how to move the district where you want to go? And where does it come from / how did you arrive at that district?
  • What are the most critical moves, in your mind, for how to move from vision to action?
  • What are the biggest areas of opportunity and/or need for schools that universities can address when building partnerships? What should universities explicitly NOT do or attempt to do in building these partnerships?
  • What role should action research / inquiry across the district for making change?