Work Group Governance and Pilot Budgeting The Children’s School of Rochester has designed its “school-based planning” around a unique governance system of six “Work Groups” made up of staff and parents. This governance system was designed by the original principal with the help of Jim Myers, Organizational Specialist, in a partnership with Eastman Kodak Company’s “21st Century Learning Challenge.” These Work Groups are the ultimate decision makers in the school.
-- The School Based Planning Team is made up of the following work groups --
The Organizational Development Work Group (ODWG) is responsible for the Children’s School in a holistic context. It is accountable for how the school fulfills its Mission and Belief, its Vision, and its Values. It also determines how the school is structured and what systems and processes are used to achieve its strategic direction and goals. The ODWG acts as an interface between Rochester City School District offices and the Children’s School itself, ensuring “Central Office” demands and CSR responses to them are congruent with the school’s primary task. The formal CSR organization and informal “way it runs” are both agenda items for the ODWG.
The Facilities Work Group (FWG) is responsible for the “infrastructure” at the Children’s School, which means it deals with physical site facilities, equipment, consumable materials, tools, and the “state” or condition of these. This work group ensures the physical facilities are present to enable the whole system (and each of its parts) to achieve its purpose.
The Staff Development Work Group (SDWG) focuses on the human resource capabilities required at CSR. Included in this work are training plans, specific training events for staff, managing monies for travel to seminars or special conferences, use of articles, books, videotapes, etc. that are available to the teaching staff. Teaming and organization development are also responsibilities of the SDWG. The Assessment Work Group (AWG) concentrates on the measurement parts of the system at CSR. Typically this work group covers all data and information acquisition, and assessment and planning activities (e.g., student report cards, teacher assessments, and school reports). It deals with BOTH internal efficiency AND external effectiveness. In addition, it includes the notion that none of these measurements bring great value to the organization or to the school unless there is a built-in drive to upgrade our performance. The school views itself as a community of continuous learning.
The Stake-building Work Group (SWG) works on, continuously increasing the commitment of all significant parties (stakeholders) to the Children’s School of Rochester’s MISSION AND BELIEF, VISION, and VALUES statements. Primary stakeholders are the children themselves, parents of these children, and teachers at CSR. Associated stakeholders are The Board of Education and the RCSD along with its employee unions: RTA, BENTE, ASAR and RAP. Peripheral stakeholders are the Rochester community at large, Rochester area businesses, and other education institutions. Distant stakeholders are the New York State Education Department, the United States Department of Education, the National Center on Education and the Economy, etc. All stakeholders are important to the school as a “system” and therefore to the SWG.
The Teaching and Learning Work Group (TLWG)provides for instructional excellence for each student. It strives to integrate the materials and resources used within and across the teaching families at the CSR. It also strives to scaffold the curriculum itself (at the grade level as well as across all grades K-6). It focuses on structures, strategies and methods for teaching and learning designed for all children (those with special needs, as well as those for whom English is a second language) so that the learning process meets the needs of children, parents, teachers, the RCSD, and the broader community.
Other working groups:
The Operations Group is not a decision making body, but is comprised of the faculty and administration and meets regularly each month. The Operations Group is a staff meeting where decisions are addressed. The Operations Group focuses on those aspects of the operation of the organization that take place through time. The “transformation” which produces something (physical things or ideas) occurs at these meetings. In the case of the Children’s School, the basic transformation is the learning process, and the something that’s transformed is the child. Procedures, methods, standard practices, etc. dictate some of the operations to be engaged in during this basic work. This group is not a formal group.
The Technology Group is comprised of faculty and parents. The Technology Group focuses on organizing, developing, planning and requesting equipment, wiring, placement and use guidelines for entities that keep Children’s School on target with technological requirements. These requirements include consideration for computers, printers, software, equipment integration and timing. Children’s School plans as well as The District’s policies on technology dictate the priority of tasks. This group is not a formal group.