Leading High Performance Teams Essay

Background Shoesmith Elementary School opened its doors to the predominantly Jewish neighbors of Hyde Park and Kenwood in 1961 and was named after Beulah Shoesmith who was born in Lena, Illinois due to her longevity and dedication for education. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1902, Beulah Shoesmith taught high school in Dunkee, Illinois, and later at State Normal School in Duluth, Minnesota. She served as Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at Hyde Park High School for almost four decades before retiring in 1945.

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After her retirement, she continued to teach at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago until her death in 1959 (cpsalumni. org). Shoesmith School is a neighborhood school which serves students in Kindergarten through 6th grade. The enrollment for Shoesmith is 378 students with a class size of 24 students and with a daily schedule of 8:30-2:45. Shoesmith is a member of the Hyde Park Magnet Cluster Program and proudly partners with the University of Chicago, St. Paul and the Redeemer Church, First Baptist Church, Kenwood Improvement Association, and Chicago Park District.

Students also have opportunities to participate in extracurricular programs that are supported by these great programs which are music, technology, computer lab, Jr. Beta Club, Math club, Spanish Club, Science Club, A. V training group and the Library Book Club (hydepark. org). Mission Statement According to the Chicago Public Schools website, the mission of Shoesmith Elementary is to provide quality instructional programs for all students to insure they become responsible, independent, life-long learners.

Furthermore, Shoesmith Elementary believes that every student in their school is capable of learning at a high level. To this end, they challenge each student by setting high expectations, utilizing high caliber research-based instructional materials and implementing differentiated instructional practices that will lead those students to success. Even more important, Shoesmith School strives to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of all of their students, including student with disabilities, English language learners, high achievers and struggling learners.

This is achieved by implementing rigorous instructional programs of balanced literacy, investigative math, inquiry-based science and authentic writing instruction for all of the students (cps. edu) Vision Statement Shoesmith Elementary vision focuses on improving student achievement in math and science through the use of best teaching practices, technological integration, and extracurricular activities. Their stated goal is to increase the number of students who exceed state standards on the ISAT by 5 %, and increase the number of students gaining access to selective enrollment high schools by 25% each year.

Because they are an ASPIRE school, they have an additional goal to provide early intervention services aligned with the general education curriculum to at-risk students and students with disabilities, which is a part of their Response to Intervention initiative (cps. edu). Leadership Teams The Leadership teams were created to provide structures for professional collaboration (cps. edu). Shoesmith’s leadership teams focus on long-term importance involving the school’s improvement plan.

These individuals work to promote quality instructional programs and improve student achievement (cps. edu). They typically are the liaison for teachers and parents addressing many of their concerns. These teams are vital to the success of the school and make student achievement a top priority within the learning environment. The team’s primary function is to deliver results and encourage effective strategies for organizational development.

Shoesmith’s school currently has three leadership teams they are: The Leadership Team( Principal and Assistant Principal), Instructional Lead Team (One teacher from all grade levels), and Grade Level Teams (All teachers). Leadership Team (LT) •Create the core theories of action for the school year and revise as needed based on feedback, observation, and performance. •Meet on a daily basis •Facilitate the development of the school improvement plan •Ensure school standards are being met Instructional Lead Team (ILT) Consist of six teachers who meet bi-weekly •Expected to attend all professional development meetings •Share knowledge and subject matter resources with other teachers •Consistently attend district-wide initiatives trainings •Lead professional development for other teams •Research data for the school to target and translate this into small instructional groups to better improve academic needs Grade Level Team (GLT) •Work collaboratively to meet the needs of all students •Develop curriculum for students •Make adjustments to instruction Give feedback on core theories discussed and reviewed •Examine alternatives before making final instructional decisions Strength of Teams The teams at Shoesmith are high leading performance teams because they work collectively together to create curriculum for the school to ensure that all students in subgroups are meeting academic standards of Illinois to become responsible, independent, lifelong learners. The advantage of the Instructional Lead Team is helping tailor teaching and learning for the school through data analysis.

The data used includes Illinois Standards of Achievement Test scores, state standard frameworks that are set by Illinois State Board of Education, Standard Curriculum Assessments, Illinois Interactive Report Card and professional development training. Instructional Lead Team works together with Grade Level Team to develop curriculum for academic instruction. Once school standards are established through collaboration of all groups, LT reinforces the curriculum through observation of teacher’s instruction time in class.

In addition, students are assessed after instruction and the data is reviewed by the LT to make certain standards are being met. References “CPSalumni. org. ” Shoesmith, Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. . “Schools Directory Hyde Park-kenwood, HPKCC Schools and Education Index, School Programs. ” Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Home. Web. 28 Apr. 2012. . “Shoesmith. ” Chicago Public Schools:. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. .

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