Thursday, May 28, 2015

Student Mobility

Over the last decade Title buildings have seen a steady increase in mobility due to a variety of factors.  As a table of principals, we were charged to come up with a common definition of what exactly is mobility and what are the two biggest contributors to an increase in student mobility?

What we quickly realized is that while we all had somewhat of a similar definition, the time span of what that entailed was interpreted differently.  While some groups discussed the over-arching topic of mobility and student transition, others honed in on what that looks like at the building level from the minute they walk through the door.

In order to reflect on how to assist families in a seamless transition, hard conversations need to occur to evaluate whether the program or method we have in place is effective and consistent from family to family.  As you reflect on your own building, do you have the right people as the first faces families see?  Are all documents translated into various language to meet the needs of your diverse population? Do all families receive the same treatment if they arrive in October versus the first day of NeSA testing?  Do all families receive a building tour?

As the school improvement team reconvenes this summer, one thing we will tackle is generating a mobility plan that involves all hands on deck.  The purpose is to ensure that when families walk through our doors they will know that we are elated that they're child is joining our family and that the processes we have in place help us build positive relationships with our families, rather than be a barrier.

As I think about building-wide PD for next year, one book that I will pull back out and re-read this summer is:

We will use this book to help frame our conversations to ensure we're not leaving a stone unturned from the student's placement to family connections to communication with the student's previous school about achievement and learning style.

As we embark on this journey to serving our families in a greater capacity, is anyone else in the same boat? Does your school have a mobility plan? If so, what do you believe are the most essential components?