Success comes in many forms and often not easy to measure. James Nash High School administrators talk about the sustainability of professional conversation as one of their measures. The seed of IDEAS was sown in 1999 and the journey begun in 2000. After 3 Principals, administration of the diagnostic inventory, crystalisation of school direction and vision, engagement of all staff in discussions to define school wide pedagogy they are still going strong. Why?
Principal Doug McMahon suggests that it has provided him with a focus from which to develop a vision for the future. "The Framework provided a tool that gave real meaning to the strategic structure of planning documentation to be established within the school, documents like the AOP, Partnership Agreement and even the Admin Team Achievement Plan, in which we developed team tasks as well as Key Individual Actions required to achieve the School's goals." He said it developed a context for all school decision-making, and it helped that staff thinking was aligned to this having been involved in its collaborative design.
Robert Doust is Deputy Principal and was responsible for initially introducing the school to IDEAS and the administration of the Inventory. He believes the Framework provided a lens through which stakeholders can make meaning of the complexities of school operations with a view to improving student outcomes. Most importantly he holds that IDEAS suggests and supports a process of school improvement. He comments "that such a process, IDEAS style, demands to be undertaken in a spirit of cooperation and common purpose across the entire school community, is the icing on the cake.
Success for James Nash is not currently about specific student outcomes but more about sustainable, coherent conversation about pedagogy. All of this adds up to a successful implementation that moves towards creating a vibrant professional learning community across the school and one which is well placed to grapple with the big questions about the design of curriculum and learning environments.
James Nash State High School IDEAS Community