I am continually reading on high performing schools in the international arena and what they are doing to achieve this status for their students.
High-performing schools have all identified that they need to work hard to choose strong teachers with good content knowledge and dedication to continuous improvement. In some instances, teachers in high performing schools were observed weekly by instructional coaches and received continuous feedback for improvement.
At Dominic College, we are now engaged in peer and supervisor classroom observations and feedback, as well as student feedback once a semester.
High-performing schools essentially focus on teacher quality – through teacher appraisal and honouring their teachers accordingly.
High-performing schools in the U.S. are data-driven and transparent, not only around learning outcomes but also around the so called soft skills like completing work on time, resilience, perseverance and punctuality. Dominic College parents should note that these are the very skills we are consistently teaching, observing, measuring and reporting on in our Term Student Expectations Reports.
In high performing schools, the use of data to measure student improvement and teacher performance is often embedded in the school culture. The principal and instructional leaders offer concrete and specific direction around issues like student attentiveness and effective questioning.
In many cases, high performing schools stress accountability and rigor in a 'no excuses culture'; progress is matched to work ethic and commitment.
One thing that is very clear about high performing schools - expectations are high for all students not just a select few. All students are expected to give their very best and actually go beyond expectations. This is what we want at Dominic College.