Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

Collaborative Opportunities: Georgetown EVSD’s reflections on using collaboration to implement college- and career-ready standards

by User Not Found | Mar 19, 2014
By Faith Ecker, CLP, Georgetown Exempted Village School District

Collaboration within and across districts is a hallmark value of the OAC, and it is exciting when districts have opportunities to expand that collaboration nationally through being part of the OAC.

A team from Georgetown Exempted Village Schools was invited as an OAC district to attend the “On the Same Page:  Effective Implementation of College-and Career-Ready Standards through Labor-Management Collaboration” Conference in St. Louis, MO from February 27-28, 2014. This conference was sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSS), The American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the Council of the Great City Schools, and the National School Boards Association. This is an annual conference held to promote effective collaboration amongst teachers, administrators, and school boards around a variety of topics. It was fitting, given our work with the OAC, that this year’s theme focused around college- and career-ready standards.

At the conference, the team from Georgetown listened to paneled speakers from the perspectives of the national co-sponsors listed above about the importance and impact of collaboration. Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the state of Massachusetts, and the ABC Unified School District (California) shared perspectives from union presidents, administrators, and teachers on the implementation of the College and Career Ready (CCR) Standards in partnership with labor-management. The last panel from the Consortium for Educational Change outlined the process of joint planning for local teams. 

This is where the work began for Georgetown.

Using the process, we assessed where we are, set goals for where we want to be, identified our needs in order to reach our goals, and determined if our current capacity, structures, policies and resources are feasible in helping us reach our goals of implementing college- and career-ready standards for our students. We shared our plan with a critical friend, Berea School District, who gave us feedback. 

Our plan is to implement teacher leaders through the introduction of five Task Forces: 
  • Instruction;
  • Personalized Learning;
  • Dual-Enrollment;
  • Communication; and 
  • The 40 Developmental Assets. 
Each Task Force is charged with developing a 30-60-90-120 day plan that will facilitate their goals. The CCR Standards are embedded in each of these Task Forces and will be progress monitored. 

Georgetown feels very fortunate for being given this opportunity to learn and grow, and build upon the collaboration that is so valuable to the work in our district as part of being in the OAC. The joint planning process we learned at the conference also helped our team clarify and sync our thoughts around how the Straight A work and all the other changes in education fit together in our overall district plan for the future. We feel as a team that our understanding and respect for what and how we work collaboratively will yield us the greatest results of teacher quality and student achievement.

Special thanks to the team from Georgetown and BFK that attended the conference: 
  • Chris Burrows, Superintendent
  • Faith Ecker, Teacher/Union Representative
  • Nina Miller, Pupil and Staff Director
  • Matt Cameron, Union President
  • Judy VanVoorhis, Battelle for Kids Representative
To learn more about the conference or the joint planning process, visit http://www.aft.org/pdfs/teachers/onthesamepage2014.pdf.