A lot has happened since the last time that Piney Branch’s four Leadership teams (PBAT, PLCI, PTA, SIT) met on April 11th:
1. School staff and leadership team members came together on May 2nd to look at PBES’ current mission statement for alignment with the school’s values and goals. Ideas for a new mission statement were proposed.
2. Parents and students attending the May 5th PTA meeting went through their own mission statement examination and brainstorming process.
3. Feedback on the current and proposed PBES mission statements was gathered from parents attending the Authors Tea event on May 13th. This event was chosen for the solicitation because a large and diverse parent population usually attends.
4. Members of the PLCI met to sort through all of the feedback and organize the ideas into coherent draft mission and vision statements.
The purpose of the May 23rd follow-up meeting of the Leadership teams was to share the draft mission and vision statements for feedback; to provide clarity around the way forward for the School Improvement Team (SIT); and to begin thinking about implementation of the expanded focus and more inclusive practices of the SIT.
Feedback on Mission/Vision
The six draft mission statements and four draft vision statements crafted by PLCI members were posted around the Media Center for viewing. Meeting participants (parents, staff and administrators) were given time to read and ponder each statement and “vote” for the one that resonated. Voting was done by placing a sticky dot on the mission and vision statements of choice. The students at the school will be given an opportunity to voice their opinions about the statements in a similar way. The “winning” mission and vision statements will be announced prior to the end of the school year.
Changes to the School Improvement Team
In determining how to combine the best practices of the PTA, PBAT, PLCI and SIT into one new and improved SIT, it was decided that not only will the School Improvement Team continue to focus on academic achievement, but it will also take on the work of community outreach. As principal Generlette said, “Outreach will now be a part of everything that we do.”
Implementing the New Way
Expanding the focus of the School Improvement Team to include outreach, means that the the SIT will take a more active role in connecting the school and community on a relational level. One way that will happen is that SIT members will participate in the planning of school/community events. Although many of these events have an academic focus, they typically also have an outreach purpose. The SIT will organize into committees to help plan and carryout events like Back to School Night, International Night, and Parent-Teacher Conferences. Each of the committees will have a parent and staff liaison to make sure that the events are truly community focused. The SIT will work in much closer partnership with the PTA. Assistant principal Kara Tymon said that this new way of doing things on the SIT will help to, “ensure that participation on the Team is a valuable part of everyone’s time.”
What’s Next for the Action Team?
They Piney Branch Action Team has one final project for this school year: “Welcome New Families.” The goal of the project is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for incoming third graders and their families. The Action Team is partnering with the PTA to carry out this project which will include a door-knocking event, a school tour/scavenger hunt, family pizza dinner, and a community-building PTA meeting. Check back in with this blog to find out how this project goes and to learn which were the ”winning” mission and vision statements!