Team Members: Judy Uhrich, Kim Sandoe, Amy Zelinski, Tara Perlaki, Sue Gingrich
Community: IU-13 Year 1, 2010-2011
This year we moved grades 3, 4, and 5 from 4 elementary K-5 schools into one Intermediate School where grade levels teach students in a team format instead of conventional classrooms. Teachers continued to try to communicate with parents via the standard Friday hard copy newsletter. This was not working. Our action project addressed this situation. Our goal was to discover/create a method for communication that was immediate, flexible, easily accessed by all concerned, and one that would also save time and resources.
- Problem, Issue, or Possibility
- Objectives and Assessment
- Implementation Plan
- Evaluation and Results
Expected Outcomes: We want to improve team communications and save time for those sharing information and those accessing information. This action plan will result in an online form of communication that will eliminate the need for weekly or monthly hard copy newsletters and other paper copies of most communicated information. By presenting important information in a central location for each team, in such a way that is easy for all staff to access and update, and for most parents to access 24/7, we hope to accomplish the following:
- manage information more effectively and efficiently
- improve communication between home and school
- provide convenient 24/7 access for parents
- provide consistent and immediate communication for parents
- save ink and paper
- save time for all school personnel involved with disseminating information
We have already received positive feedback from the ten parents involved with the pilot of the Communication WIKI. After the Communication WIKI has been rolled out and used school wide, we plan to send out a survey to collect further comments and feedback.
Login username: wikiguest
Login password: elco
Lessons learned and takeaways…
- Finding a solution to a huge problem can be very exciting!
- Trusting team members enough to be honest for the good of the cause can take time.
- Hearing others’ ideas can be motivating.
- Switching gears from “my classroom” to “our team” can be a huge leap!
- Even though a change is needed, change may not be easy for even those who want it the most.
- So many many baby steps are needed to get others to do something differently.
Where we are…
- At the end of this month we will be presenting the IS Communication WIKI, that we have been piloting with one grade level for the last 2 months, to the PTO.
- Before the end of the school year, grades 3 and 5 staff will be introduced to the WIKI and shown how to add information and how it works.
- All parents of students who will be at the IS next year will be given information about this new method of communication by July 1.
- Hands on demonstration for all parties concerned is being planned for the start of next school year.
- this wiki is where all of our resources and notes and ideas were shared
- you can also find our teaser Rap Video and text in this location!
- this is the actual wiki being used at this time by the pilot group of 4th grade parents, 4th grade staff, and all specialists
- this is also the actual wiki that will be used next year
- currently this wiki is still a work in progress and only being used by the pilot groups
- this is the wiki where the pilot parents shared input and feedback while using the communication wiki above
- comments by our team were usually entered by me after consulting the entire group
About Action Research Projects
Action research is a process in which Powerful Learning Team members collaboratively examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully. Action research is:
- Disciplined inquiry into a problem or possibility within the school or classroom
- Collaborative and usually takes place in a community of practice
- Meaningful, positive, and reflective
- Data-driven, action-based, improvement-focused
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