The work of the board is critical to the success of the district and schools. Most States require that board members engage in an annual assessment of the work of the board. VitalInsight™, the first online technology designed to measure the existence and strength of research-based best practice in schools, has developed the Board Leadership Agenda Inventory (BLAI) technology to empower boards to assess their collective performance in six key research-based behaviors:
In each area, measures are taken of present and preferred future performance. The data are anonymized, and no individual is identified.
The inventory requires only 20 minutes of individual board member time online. A report of full results is available in a few days and includes a review of both strengths and needs. When used annually, comparative reports of change over time are provided.
The Report of Results highlights areas that the board can focus on and suggestions for goal setting. In addition to narrative summaries of results, graphic presentations highlight the disparity among present and preferred future behaviors.
The cost of BLAI is significantly less than the cost of consultants needed to direct an assessment process, can be done at the convenience of each board member, and produce results that can be easily translated into goals and strategies.Vulnerability: The board and CSA have rated the boards collective behavior lower than in the past, with a greater discrepancy between present and preferred future behaviors. The board should discuss the changes that have taken place that account for this change.
Suggested Goal: Time at a future Board meeting will be devoted to the review of how the Board conducts its business and the impact of most recent board decisions.
The Performance Expectations for Faculty Adult Mastery (PEFAM™) technology has been developed to assist faculty members in a self-assessment of personal expertise and the acquisition of new levels of expertise across grades and subjects. The data are anonymized, and no individual is identified.
District and school leaders are provided reports that detail the levels of expertise across the faculty, identify where expertise exists, and pinpoint where resources need to be invested to improve professional expertise. PEFAM™ informs each faculty member’s professional growth plan and the professional development program for the entire district and for each individual school.
The PEFAM™ Scale contains a ten-step rubric by which each faculty member indicates existing expertise. Areas of expertise assessed include a combination of the following:
Brain Research, the Science of Learning, and Multiple Intelligences (BR, SOL, & MI)
Classroom Management (CM)
Clinical Leadership Practice (CLP)
Content Standards (CS)
Curriculum for District and Schools (CURR)
Data Analysis and Use (DA & U)
Decision Making and Routine Building (DM & RB)
English as a Second Language (ESL)/English Language Learners (ELL)
Instructional Strategies (IS)
Lesson Planning (LP)
Professional Responsibilities (PR)
Project-Based Learning (PBL)
Remote and/or Online Learning (RL)
School Resources (SR)
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Student Behavior and Commitment (SB & C)
Additional areas of expertise can be added at the discretion of district and school leaders
Descriptions of each area of expertise are provided to guide individuals in their assessment. By identifying the grade level or department team on which individuals serve, the capacity level of each team and of the full faculty can be established. Thereafter, professional development activities can be differentiated by school, team, and individual.
PEFAM Reports The Superintendent/Principal is provided a summary report of PEFAM Results which detail the level, range, and disparity of mastery among faculty in each of the specific areas of expertise. The results allow planning to focus on identified needs in large-scale professional development as well as individual professional growth plans. This guarantees the best use of targeted funds. In addition, PEFAM identifies areas in which expertise already exists among faculty members so that their talents can be utilized within PLCs, grade level and subject areas.
Overall Department Rankings of Adult Mastery on PEFAM by Category Bayside School District April 2019
VitalInsightSelf-Assessment of Adult Mastery: Measuring Professional Growth on the PEFAM™ Scale
VitalInsight™ technology offers fundamental support to California districts and schools faced with the requirements of LCAP. All eleven priorities identified by the State of California to be addressed by local schools are addressed by VitalInsight™. Among the eighteen research-based systems assessed by VitalInsight™ are measures of effective practice and strategies to improve outcomes in every priority specified by the California Department of Education. A crosswalk of the LCAP priorities and the VitalInsight™ systems is available upon request.
VitalInsight™ is the first cloud-based interactive technology that engages as many as ten community-based stakeholder groups to assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of research-based best practice. Stakeholders invest less than twenty minutes time in responding to the online diagnostic inventory. The data collection and problem-identification process that in most cases can take six months or longer can be accomplished in less than two weeks.
District and school leaders are provided comprehensive dashboard reports that identify strengths and vulnerabilities of practice and present targeted solution strategies from among 8,000+ best practices. In addition, the stakeholders have reported a greater unity of purpose and improved understanding of and support for the agenda for improvement when using VitalInsight™ data reports.
Importantly, because VitalInsight™ is an online assessment, more stakeholders participate in the process, coordinating meeting schedules is not an issue, and in this time of “social distancing,” participation is not dependent on physical gatherings of people. As a result of the efficiency and effectiveness of VitalInsight™, more time and energy are dedicated to the important implementation, monitoring, and assessment processes that produce the positive results school leaders seek.
District and school leaders can get a significant head start on the LCAP process by contacting us now and coordinating communication with their stakeholders to encourage broad participation, significant data collection, and positive energy.
Attend our session Aligning Best Practice to Make Schools Safer at AASA NCE 2020, on February 13th at 9:00am as we discuss how to improve safety and security while also improving stakeholder understanding and support, adult performance, and student achievement. Learn from the findings of the “Safer Schools in America” project about the importance and power of best practice in promoting both safer and higher-achieving schools.
Ronna Cadarette, superintendent at NH SAU #58
Amy Boettger, principal at Canyons School District, Sandy, UT
Phil Esbrandt and Bruce Hayes from VitalInsight™
Stop by booth 104 in the Exhibit Hall to learn how VitalInsight™ can help your district get the most out of research-based practice!
VitalInsightAttend our Session Aligning Best Practice to Make Schools Safer at AASA NCE 2020, on February 13th at 9:00am
Former and current superintendents join forces to address challenges and corresponding solutions to provide best practices in adult and student learning, data and metrics, parent and stakeholder engagement, safety and security, and shared leadership to enhance the performance improvement efforts of schools and students.
In the presentation, they have discussed:
Seven critical areas of practice related to Safety and Security
How to assess best practices within School Safety and Security
How Safety and Security practices contribute to performance improvement in other areas