The Sunnyvale School District held a Stakeholders’ Lyceum on October 27, 2011 to assess the current conditions of our district and develop a vision to carry us through 2020. Participants included stakeholder representatives of district administrators and management, board members, certificated teachers, classified staff, parents, community members, and students. Under the direction of a facilitator, Ruth Ann Costanza of Stanford University, the group reviewed the district’s motto (Learn today, lead tomorrow), its mission, core values, guiding principles, and ways in which the district has incorporated the Seven Correlates of Effective Schools into its strategic planning since 2010.
In this all-day session, participants conducted a thorough review of the district’s accomplishments with respect to the Seven Correlates of Effective Schools.
The Seven Correlates of Effective Schools are:
(1) Strong Instructional Leadership
(2) Clear and Focused Mission
(3) Safe and Orderly Environment
(4) Climate of High Expectations
(5) Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress
(6) Positive Home-School Relations
(7) Opportunity to Learn and Student Time on Task
According to extensive research studies both in the U.S. (Edmonds, Brookover, and Lezotte, 1982) and the U.K. (Rutter, et al., 1979), these correlates or attributes are necessary qualities that enable schools to be effective and to successfully educate all students, regardless of their socioeconomic or family background. Sunnyvale School District has been using these correlates as a framework for school improvement.
The group also meticulously examined various external factors or trends that might impact, positively or negatively, the Sunnyvale School District in the coming year. These factors included educational (e.g. standards from the state and federal governments), economic (impact of the declining economy on our district’s enrollment), demographic (changes in population affecting parent involvement in schools), political (government regulations on education), and technological (funding for classroom technology).
Among other accomplishments, the group arrived at the following vision statement: Sunnyvale School District will be widely recognized for high student achievement by providing an exemplary and well-rounded education that builds on individual strengths and learning styles. The district and the community will be engaged in teaching students to dream bigger, achieve higher and grow stronger as individuals and leaders.
Article by Nina Wong-Dobkin
Edmonds, Ronald R., “Programs of School Improvement: An Overview,” paper was presented at the National Invitational Conference, “Research on Teaching” Implications for Practice” (Warrenton, VA, February 25-27, 1982)
Rutter, Michael, et al, “Fifteen Thousand Hours,” Harvard University Press, 1979