Pilewski re­sponds to cur­ricu­lum au­dit with ‘In­no­va­tion Cen­ter’

Record Observer - - News - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@ches­pub.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent for Queen Anne’s County Pub­lic Schools, Gre­gory Pilewski launched the first “QACPS In­no­va­tion Cen­ter” in Au­gust in re­sponse to the Cur­ricu­lum Man­age­ment au­dit find­ings. “The Cur­ricu­lum Man­age­ment Au­dit is a third-party in­de­pen­dent or­ga­ni­za­tional anal­y­sis of our cur­ricu­lum and in­struc­tion func­tions to im­prove achieve­ment for all stu­dents,” stated Pilewski.

The au­dit, con­ducted by the In­ter­na­tional Cur­ricu­lum Man­age­ment Au­dit Cen­ter Phi Delta Kappa In­ter­na­tional, found “board poli­cies are in­ad­e­quate to pro­vide lo­cal cur­ricu­lum mange­ment di­rec­tion ... some crit­i­cal po­si­tions for qual­ity con­trol were ab­sent. Job de­scrip­tions ... gen­er­ally met au­dit stan­dards.”

The au­dit also noted the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion’s “dishar­mony has com­pro­mised the board’s abil­ity to pro­vide clear di­rec­tion and fo­cus for the man­age­ment and op­er­a­tion of the school district.”

Specif­i­cally re­lat­ing to the de­liv­ery of cur­ricu­lum con­tent the au­dit con­cluded there was a lack of com­pre­hen­sive cur­ricu­lum man­age­ment plan in place to guide the de­sign, de­liv­ery, mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion of the cur­ricu­lum; fur ther in­di­cat­ing that a broader scope of the writ­ten cur­ricu­lum could be help­ful in pro­vid­ing bet­ter di­rec­tion for teach­ing staff, noted the au­dit.

The au­dit also sug­gested planned and im­ple­mented pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for teach­ers would in­crease stu­dent suc­cess.

In all, eight rec­om­men­da­tions were made by the cur­ricu­lum au­dit team to strengthen and de­velop staff job de­scrip­tions and ex­pec­ta­tions and en­sure a more con­sis­tent cur­ricu­lum de­liv­ery with an em­pha­sis on clar­ity and co­he­sive writ­ten plans that would meet au­dit cri­te­ria and be com­mu­ni­cated to all stake­hold­ers.

In re­sponse to the au­dit’s find­ings Pilewski said, “Our class­room teach­ers, ad­min­is­tra­tors, and su­per­vi­sors have ex­pe­ri­enced a tremen­dous amount of ed­u­ca­tional re­form ini­tia­tives over the past sev­eral years. Of­ten, ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tives were im­ple­mented all at once.

“Our teach­ers, ad­min­is­tra­tors, and su­per­vi­sors have done a fan­tas­tic job mak­ing th­ese shifts as we tran­si­tioned to new stan­dards and as­sess­ments and an­a­lyzed our re­sults, we wanted to take a closer look at our core func­tions of teach­ing and learn­ing. We re­flected and asked our­selves: what are we do­ing well that we can build on and where can we im­prove to close gaps in stu­dent learn­ing?”

Pilewski said he be­lieves the au­dit rec­om­men­da­tions will help QACPS and the Board of Educ­tion to nar­row their fo­cus.

The In­no­va­tion Cen­ter is a sys­temic ap­proach de­signed to align the work of the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion and Su­per­in­ten­dent, Ex­ec­u­tive Team, and cen­tral of­fice and school-based lead­ers to im­prove re­sults in the core work of the school district: teach­ing and learn­ing, said Pilewski.

“The struc­ture al­lows for greater align­ment of our or­ga­ni­za­tional ef­forts and re­source al­lo­ca­tions with our district strate­gic goals. We an­tic­i­pate im­proved clar­ity, trans­parency and ef­fi­ciency,” he said.

“The In­no­va­tion Cen­ter team­ing ap­proach will al­low us to cre­ate a cul­ture of col­lab­o­ra­tion, in­no­va­tion, and em­pow­er­ment to solve com­plex chal­lenges in a way that pro­vides more ef­fec­tive, ef­fi­cient, and aligned re­sources to class­rooms, schools, and our com­mu­ni­ties.” Pilewski said.

“The In­no­va­tion Cen­ter is aligned to the goals of the strate­gic plan and or­ga­nized into five ar­eas of sys­temic fo­cus: Or­ga­ni­za­tional Ef­fec­tive­ness; Early Learn­ing and School Readi­ness; Cur­ricu­lum, In­struc­tional Tools, and As­sess­ment; Lead­er­ship and Build­ing Ca­pac­ity; and Mon­i­tor­ing Progress and Per­for­mance, with the over­all lens for the work of equity, equal­ity, di­ver­sity and cul­ture.”

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