Core Academic Activity # 6

The purpose of the project is to provide each candidate with an opportunity to utilize human capital management and strategic planning skills to plan for school improvement. The human capital may include teachers and/or school and district leaders. The activities call upon the candidate to develop and articulate a plan to build capacity, assess the current status of the school in relation to the plan, and ensure that when the plan is put into operation it will serve to close the gap between the status quo and the desired outcomes articulated in the plan. The work should reflect established practices and be attentive to the critical functions and operation of the school, and should be developed with consideration of (1) the school, organization, or district improvement plans; (2) the organizational culture of the school, organization, or district; (3) the organizational, operational, and resource management of the school/organization; (4) instruction and learning, particularly the needs of all students, teachers, or staff; (5) professional development. In addition, candidates are expected to demonstrate understanding and consideration of applicable aspects of leadership, organizational, adult learning, human behavior theories, as well as human capital management.
Principals/Leaders are expected to build capacity among the professional staff to continuously improve instruction, student achievement, or organizational output. Building capacity involves, among other things, providing appropriate opportunities for educators and staff to participate in professional learning communities. The activities comprising this key assessment provide candidates with an opportunity to utilize knowledge and practice skills that are salient to capacity building within the school or organization.
Introduction: Via this assessment, candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skills needed to develop and articulate a plan to build capacity within the professional staff in a school or organization. The assessment is purposely designed to be broad enough in nature to allow the candidates to approach the work using various approaches. Plans should be based upon recent literature and other relevant sources of information, and should be feasible (i.e. plans and recommendations should be mindful of real-life constraints like provisions contained in state regulations, [e.g., timelines required in the FL DOE School Improvement Plan], local policies, and collective bargaining agreements).
The assessment comprises three parts.
In the first section (2-3 pages, double-spaced), candidates will develop a vision for what his/her school or organization could do to build capacity among the professional staff with regard to improved development, instruction, and/or student achievement. The intent is to imagine the candidate’s school/organization as it would look operating at optimal effectiveness with regard to capacity-building and professional learning. The vision should reflect knowledge of established practices for professional learning, be attentive to relevant constraints and resources/opportunities, and should focus on building capacity that will support continuous improvement.
In the second section (2-3 pages double-spaced), candidates will analyze the current status of the school or organization with regard to capacity-building and professional learning in order to define the gap between the current status and the status envisioned for the school in section I. Here, candidates should provide data and/or other evidence (e.g., the school’s SIP, interviews with relevant professional staff) to support claims about current status. The “gap” description should clearly describe (and, when possible, quantify) the difference between the current reality and the vision articulated in part I.
In the third section (2-3 pages double-spaced), candidates will develop an action plan that describes concrete steps that could be taken to move the school or organization from where it is now to the vision described in the first section (i.e., to close the gap described in part II). Although knowledge of concepts and theories undergirding school leadership ought to inform thinking about the plan, the plan itself ought to be presented in a highly practical format (including but not limited to timelines, barriers to be reduced or eliminated, responsible persons for individual plan elements/phases [by position if not by name—e.g., staff member, consultant, district office, etc.], participants, dates, monitoring.).


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