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A School Action Plan with Stakeholder Involvement: A Case Study of One Elementary School

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Jacob J. Jr Getty
Abstract:
This case study focused on a school action plan, using a planning and implementation process that focused on improving stakeholder involvement and responsibility for student reading achievement at Eisenberg Elementary School. This study examined the impact of the school action process on the development of a new plan compared to other traditional plans in the past. In addition, it identified the changes in stakeholder understanding and involvement of the new process and plan. Lastly and most importantly, this case study evaluated the differences in the reading achievement of students in grades K - 5. Research methods included a parent survey, pre and post teacher surveys, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, grade level team minutes, school action meetings, reading marking period commitments, classroom observations of reading instruction and analysis of student achievement through the use of the state assessment and district level benchmark assessments. Results suggested that the new school action process improved stakeholder understanding, collaboration and ownership of reading goals at Eisenberg. Results also showed significant gains in student reading achievement. The results from this case study indicated that the new school action process was an effective tool for improving student achievement and stakeholder knowledge and responsibility of learning goals.

v Table of Contents Dedication………………………………………………………………………………...iii Acknowledgements….........................................................................................................iv List of Tables……………………………………………………………………………...x List of Figures……………………………………………………………………..…….xiii Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………..xv Chapters I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………...1 Background…………………………………………………………………. …......1 Current School Action Process…………………………………..……..…………..2 Statement of the Problem……………………………………………….…………..9 Purpose of the Study…………………………………………………………….10 Need for the Study………………………………………………………….…....11 Research Questions………………………………………..……………………..12 Definition of Terms…………………………………..…………………………..12 II. Literature Review………………………………………………………………….18 Introduction………………………………………………………………………..18 Search Strategy………………………………………….……………………..19 Organization of the Literature Review…………………….…….…..………...20 School Stakeholders…………………………………………………………….....20 Teachers……………………………………………………………..…...........20 Parents…………………………………………………………………………32 Students………………………………………………………………………..37

vi Principal Leadership…………………..……………….………………………40 Building Shared Responsibility for Student Learning………..……...…………..51 Participatory Action Research…………………………………….……..51 Professional Learning Communities…………………………..…………52 Considerations for Successful School Action Plans……………………..………..55 Summary…………………………………………………………………………..60 III. Methodology……………………………………………………………………….61 Introduction………………………………………………………………………..61 Research Design………………………………………………………….………..61 Phase 1-Planning………………………………………………….……………62 Phase 2-Implementing…………………………...……………………………65 Phase 3-Outcomes…………………………………………...….………..........66 Participants…………………………………………………..………………….....67 Eisenberg Staff……...………………………………………………….……..67 Parents………………………………………………………………………...69 District Level Personnel.…………...……………………………...………….70 Students……...………………………………………………………………..70 Community Member…………..…………..…………………………………..72 Instrumentation…………………………………………………………………...72 Pre-School Action Plan Staff Survey……………….……………………….73 Parent Survey………………………..…...……………………….…...……..75 Semi-Structured Reading Interviews……………………..………………….75 DIBELS, STAR and DSTP Reading Assessments.…………...……………..77

vii Reading Commitments from Grade Level Teams.…………………………..85 Meeting Notes from Grade Level Teams……………………….……..……..86 Minutes from Monthly School Action Meetings…………………………….86 Classroom Observations Using the Walk Through Form…………….….….87 Post School Action Plan Implementation Staff Survey…………….……….87 Procedures and Data Analysis ………….……………………..…………………88 Threats to Validity of the Study………………………………………..…………95 Internal Validity………………………………..…………………………....95 External Validity…………………………………………………………….97 Ethical Issues ………………………………..………………………………….97 IV. Results……………………………………………………………………………99 Introduction……………………………………………….……………...………99 Stakeholders Involved in the Study……………..….…………………..…....…..99 Research Question 1: How did school stakeholder understanding and involvement in reaching school goals for reading improvement change as a result of being more involved in the new school action planning process?………...….99 Research Question 2: How was the new school action planning process and implementation different from previous plans?.…………………………...…...115 Parent Survey.…………………………………………………………..116 Semi-Structured Reading Interviews.…………………………………..119 Reading Commitments.…………………………………..……………..128 Meeting Notes.………………… ……....……………………...……….134 School Action Meetings.…………………...…………………………...137

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Walk Through Observations.………… …………..………………........144 Research Question 3: What was the impact of increased stakeholder involvement in the school action planning process on the reading achievement of students at Eisenberg Elementary?.………………………………………………………...147 Reading Achievement of Eisenberg students.………………………… ….147 Reading Performance of K-2 Eisenberg Students.…….…………………..159 Kindergarten reading achievement.…………………...………..160 First grade reading achievement.……………………………….162 Second grade reading achievement.……………………....….….163 Reading Performance of 3-5 Eisenberg Students.…..………….………….164 Third grade STAR Reading assessment.………………...……..166 Fourth grade STAR Reading assessment.………………….…..167 Fifth grade STAR Reading assessment.………………….…….168 Summary.……………………………………………………………………….170 V. Conclusions and Recommendations…………………………………………….172 Introduction.…………………………………………………………….….…...172 Summary and Discussion of Results.…………………………………..……….172 Research Question 1: How did school stakeholder understanding and involvement reaching school goals for reading improvement change as a result of being more involved in the new school action planning process?…………………….…………………………172 Research Question 2: How was the new school action planning process and implementation different from previous plans?.……….…………..174

ix Research Question 3: What was the impact of increased stakeholder involvement in the school action planning and implementation process on the reading achievement of students at Eisenberg?.……………………179 Limitations of the Study.………………………………………………………..182 Implications for Policy, Practice or Action.……………………………………..183 Recommendations for Future Research.………………………………………...187 Summary………………………………………………………………………...188 References……………………………………………………………………………....190 Appendices A. Pre-School Action Plan Staff Survey.…………………………………………207 B. Parent Survey.………………………….……………….……………………..210 C. Reading Interview Questions for Stakeholders.……………………...………..211 D. Professional Learning Community (PLC) Reading Commitment.……......…...212 E. Professional Learning Community (PLC) Meeting Notes.……….….......…....213 F. Walk Through Form…………………………………………………...………214 G. Post-School Action Plan Staff Survey.…………………………..……………216

x List of Tables Table 1. Percentage of Eisenberg Students who Met or Exceeded the Standard in Reading in 2008 and 2009 in Grades 2-5 …………………………...………………..…......6 2. Reading Performance of Eisenberg Students in Grades 2-5 on the Spring 2009 Reading DSTP compared to District and State Performance……………...…....…7 3. DIBELS Beginning, Middle and End of Year Summary Reading Reports for Eisenberg K-2 Students ………………………………………………...…………8 4. STAR Reading Beginning, Middle and End of Year Summary Reading Reports for Eisenberg 3-5 students ………………………...…………….……...…………9 5. Distribution of Eisenberg Staff for the 2009-2010 School Year ………......….…68 6. Distribution of Eisenberg Staff for the 2009-2010 School Year, by Gender and Race ………………………………………………………………………………69 7. Demographics of Students attending Eisenberg Elementary School in Grades K-5 for the 2009-2010 School Year…………………………………………………...70 8. Eisenberg Elementary School Student Population by Grade, Gender and Race for the 2009-2010 School Year ……………………………………………………...71 9. Educational Status of Eisenberg Elementary School Students for the 2009-2010 School Year …………………………………………………………………...….71 10. Timeline for the Study ……………………………………………………….…..88 11. Teacher Perceptions of the School Action Plan and Process ………………...…101 12. Teacher Perceptions of Working on a Team Focusing on School Action Goals and Activities ………………………………………………………………………..102

xi 13. Number of Eisenberg Parents who completed Parent Survey ……………….…116 14. Parent Perceptions of Past Experiences Working with the School and their Child On Reading Activities ………………………………………………………..…117 15. DSTP Reading Scale Scores by Performance Level for Grades 2 through Grade 5 ………………………………………………………………………………...…148 16. Reading Scale Score Average Progress of Student Performance by School, District and State on the 2010 Reading DSTP Compared to 2009 ………………….…..150 17. 2010 Reading DSTP Scale Scores Disaggregated Report for Eisenberg Students in Grade 2 …………………………………………………………………….…....152 18. 2010 Reading DSTP Disaggregated Report for Eisenberg Students in Grade 3 ………………………………………………………………………………..….153 19. 2010 Reading DSTP Disaggregated Report for Eisenberg Students in Grade 4 …………………………………………...………………………………………154 20. 2010 Reading DSTP Disaggregated Report for Eisenberg Students in Grade 5 …………………………………………………………………………………..155 21. Grade 3 Students’ Matched Performance Level to Grade 2 on the Reading DSTP …………………………………………………………………………………..157 22. Grade 4 Students’ Matched Performance Level to Grade 3 on the Reading DSTP …………………………………………………………………………………...158

23. Grade 4 Students’ Matched Performance Level to Grade 3 on the Reading DSTP …………………………………………………………………………………..158 24. DIBELS Beginning, Middle and End of Year Summary Reading Reports for

xii Eisenberg K-2 Students …………………………………………………………160 25. STAR Reading Beginning, Middle and End of Year Reading Summary Percentages for Eisenberg 3-5 students ……………………………………...…165

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List of Figures Figure 1. Mean differences of teacher perceptions of school action plan and process by assignment …………………………...……………………………….................103 2. Teacher perceptions of focusing on school action goals and activities as a team by stakeholder assignment …………………………………………………...…….104 3. Teacher perception of the school action plan and process by grade level …..….105 4. Teacher perception of focusing on school action goals and activities as a team by grade level …………………………………………………………………...….106 5. Teacher perception of school action plan and process by years of experience ...107 6. Teacher perception of focusing on school action goals and activities as a team by years of experience ……………………………………………………….…….108 7. Raw score averages of classroom observations ………………………………...144 8. Percentage of Eisenberg students who met or exceeded the standard on the 2010 Reading DSTP compared to 2009 ………………………..………….…………151 9. Percent of Eisenberg African American students who met or exceeded the standard on the 2010 Reading DSTP compared to 2009 ……………………………...…156 10. DIBELS beginning, middle and end of year summaries for kindergarten …..161 11. DIBELS beginning, middle and end of year summaries for first grade .….........163 12. DIBELS beginning, middle and end of year summaries for second grade ……..164 13. STAR Reading beginning, middle and end of year summaries for third grade ………………………………………………………………..……….…………167

xiv 14. STAR reading beginning, middle and end of year summaries for fourth grade ………………………………………………………………………….…..……168 15. STAR reading beginning, middle and end of year summaries for fifth grade …………………………………………………………………………….……..169 16. Percent of Eisenberg students who met or exceeded the standard on the 2010 Mathematics DSTP compared to 2009 ……………….……………...………..….182

xv Abstract This case study focused on a school action plan, using a planning and implementation process that focused on improving stakeholder involvement and responsibility for student reading achievement at Eisenberg Elementary School. This study examined the impact of the school action process on the development of a new plan compared to other traditional plans in the past. In addition, it identified the changes in stakeholder understanding and involvement of the new process and plan. Lastly and most importantly, this case study evaluated the differences in the reading achievement of students in grades K – 5. Research methods included a parent survey, pre and post teacher surveys, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, grade level team minutes, school action meetings, reading marking period commitments, classroom observations of reading instruction and analysis of student achievement through the use of the state assessment and district level benchmark assessments. Results suggested that the new school action process improved stakeholder understanding, collaboration and ownership of reading goals at Eisenberg. Results also showed significant gains in student reading achievement. The results from this case study indicated that the new school action process was an effective tool for improving student achievement and stakeholder knowledge and responsibility of learning goals.

1 Chapter 1 Introduction Background As a school principal for the last seven years I have developed school action plans at both elementary and middle school levels. The purpose of each school action plan was to raise the achievement of students, provide professional development for staff and to involve parents and other stakeholders in the process. The success of each plan varied depending on how it was evaluated at the end of the school year. Goals and activities of each plan focused on student achievement in core subject areas such as mathematics, reading, writing, science and social studies and school climate topics such as: peer-to- peer relations, student-teacher relationships, classroom meetings, and positive behavior support. Each June, staff at the school evaluated the goals and activities of the action plan to determine if progress had been made, primarily focusing on the Delaware State Testing Program (DSTP) results. As the second year principal of Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary School in New Castle, Delaware, I know what will be required for our school action plan this year. According to the Academics Division of the Colonial School District, each school will create a comprehensive plan for school improvement using the following three-step process: Part I: Using a variety of student achievement data, determine goals and specific activities that will target student improvement in the core content areas of English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Using a

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variety of data and indicators, determine an appropriate goal and activities that will improve school climate. Part II: After determining the needs of the parents/community, including the parents of Title I students and English Language Learners, plan appropriate activities to build support for school initiatives. Part III: Using student achievement data and professional development survey data, create a plan for professional development for the school staff that focuses on training and retaining highly qualified teachers. (Colonial School District, Academics Division, 2009) As an experienced principal I can honestly admit that each year school based achievement teams make an effort to develop a comprehensive plan, however the depth and involvement from all stakeholders varies from year to year and from school to school in the district. Although school achievement teams intend to target student improvement, the intended student improvement often fails to materialize. Questions that arise when improvement efforts fail or plateau include: Why do school improvement plans often fail to deliver on targeted improvements? How can all stakeholders such as teachers, school leaders, and parents have direct input on student achievement? What changes are needed in the process to gain more involvement or ownership to school achievement plans?

The Current School Action Process. In the past, the school achievement team at Eisenberg, which consisted of a small group of teachers and one administrator, met in the

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late spring to review the outcomes of the DSTP in reading, mathematics, and writing in Grades 2, 3, 4, and 5. Summaries of student performance on the DSTP would be reviewed and needs for the upcoming school year would be determined based on achievement problems that were identified by the school achievement team. Student achievement would be delineated by grade, race, gender, special education, English Language Learners, and Title I. The school achievement team would develop improvement goals and strategies for the upcoming school year and present them to the rest of the Eisenberg staff. The achievement team would review the plan periodically during the year. The majority of the staff was inexperienced teachers who were unfamiliar with the school achievement plan because they were not involved in the process. As a result there was little buy-in from the majority of staff and little connection to daily instruction or grade level and team goals for the upcoming school year. In the past, staff was presented with an overview of student performance on the DSTP at the beginning of the school year. Grade level teams were not created or utilized. Grade level teams did not meet throughout the year to discuss student-reading data. They were not asked to show what they intended to do in their own classroom to address the specific instructional needs of their students. On-going student assessment procedures, planning, and review of data did not occur as a school or among grade level teams. Teachers were not expected to use diagnostic or formative student assessment data to design targeted instructional interventions. Staff had little knowledge and understanding of how to use student data for instructional purposes. Using the current system, student progress was not reviewed again until the end of the school year when the

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DSTP results became available. The sharing of best instructional practices and lesson plans was limited as well. Professional development activities for teachers throughout the year did not always address the specific needs of the students. The school action process did not give teachers additional time throughout the year to collaborate, develop and apply learning experiences to classroom instruction and lesson structure. Gaining input from parents had been challenging in the past using the traditional school action process. In many cases, input from key stakeholders such as parents and other members of the school community had been overlooked. Parents attended assemblies, participated in school-wide curriculum events and attended scheduled conferences with teachers to review their child’s progress, at specific times during the year. Sixteen percent or 95 out of 565 families at Eisenberg speak only Spanish, sometimes making it difficult to conduct conferences with them, unless an interpreter was present. Typically, one or two parents attended the District Academic Achievement Council meeting in the spring, which was required and usually set the stage for district and individual school action plans. Parents who were involved in school activities or who were well known by the school principal were typically asked to come to the meeting. After members of the school team had created the achievement plan, one or two parent signatures were requested before the plan was submitted for district approval. To the best of my knowledge, community input had never been requested at Eisenberg when developing the school action plan. Unfortunately, progress on student achievement improvement goals at Eisenberg has been insufficient. The current school action plan process has not produced significant improvements in student reading achievement. For the 2008-2009 school year, the

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Eisenberg School Achievement Team identified the following reading achievement goals: • Decrease the number of students in Grades K, 1 and 2 who remain in the intensive level during the school year according to the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Benchmark Growth Report. • Decrease the number of students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 who remain in the intensive level during the school year according to the STAR Reading Benchmark Growth Report. • Increase the percentage of all students in Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 meeting or exceeding the standards on the 2009 Reading DSTP. • Increase the performance levels of students identified within the 3 rd and 4 th Grade Reading DSTP Comparison Matrix, which are two year, matched scores. The outcome of the reading achievement goals for the 2008-2009 school year were: • The percentage of students who remained in the intensive level during the school year according to DIBELS Benchmark Growth Report decreased in Grade K from 24.1% to 13.3%, stayed the same in Grade 1 at 23.7% and increased in Grade 2 from 35.1% to 45.9%. • The percentage of students who remained in the intensive level during the school year according to the STAR Benchmark Growth Report decreased in Grade 3 from 46.2% to 35.2%, stayed the same in Grade 4 at 33.7% and increased in Grade 5 from 28.6% to 29.8%. • The percentage of students meeting or exceeding the standard on the Reading DSTP in Grade 2 decreased from 65.63% in 2008 to 61.54% in 2009; Grade 3 did

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not change, scoring 66.18% in 2008 and 66.67% in 2009; Grade 4 decreased from 79.45% in 2008 to 60.53% in 2009; and Grade 5 decreased from 87.50% in 2008 to 68.00% in 2009. • The performance levels of students meeting or exceeding the standard identified within the 3 rd and 4 th Grade Reading Comparison Matrix decreased from 75.86% in 2008 to 60.34% in 2009. The Reading Matrix was a comparison of the same Eisenberg students for two consecutive years. This drop in achievement could have been due to the implementation of a new reading curriculum and new and/or inexperienced teachers in those grade levels. Table 1 Percentage of Eisenberg Students who Met or Exceeded the Standard in Reading in 2008 and 2009 in Grades 2-5 (Delaware Department of Education [DOE], 2009).

Grade

Test Dates

Met or Exceeded

CHANGE

2

March 2008 March 2009

65.63 61.54

-4.09

3

March 2008 March 2009

66.18 66.67

+ .49

4 March 2008 March 2009

79.45 60.53

- 18.92

5 March 2008 March 2009

87.50 68.00

- 19.50

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Table 1 compares scores of Eisenberg students in Grades 2-5 from 2008 to 2009. This table shows that reading performance in Grades 2, 4 and 5 declined in 2009 and remained virtually the same in Grade 3 on the DSTP. Table 2 below shows that the percentage of Eisenberg students in Grades 2-5 who scored below the standard on the 2009 Reading DSTP ranged from 31.7% to 40%. At all grade levels, Eisenberg students lagged behind district and state averages of students who met the standard. Table 2 Reading Performance of Eisenberg Students in Grades 2-5 on the Spring 2009 Reading DSTP compared to District and State Performance (Delaware Department of Education [DOE], 2009). Grade Group Met or Exceeded

Below or Well Below 2 Eisenberg (N=75) District (N=607) State (N=8356) 61.54 78.58 84.86 38.46 21.42 15.14 3

Eisenberg (N=91) District (N=703) State (N=8298) 66.67 73.97 81.35 33.33 26.03 18.65 4 Eisenberg (N=107) District (N=723) State (N=8136) 60.00 75.93 81.70 40.00 24.07 18.30 5 Eisenberg (N=86) District (N=741) State (N=7965) 68.83 79.89 84.91 31.17 20.11 15.09

Several other measures of student achievement in reading are also used at Eisenberg. These measures identify student instructional reading levels as benchmark

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(on target or on grade level), strategic (emerging or some risk) and intensive (deficit or high risk). Eisenberg students are not achieving grade level benchmarks at specific grade levels. For example, Table 3 below reports the beginning, middle and end of year DIBELS data for Eisenberg K-2 students and it is clear that in Grade 2 the percentage of students who scored at the intensive level in the beginning of the year increased by 10.8% by the end of the year. In Grade 1 the percentage of students who scored at the benchmark level in the beginning of the year decreased by 13.1% by the end of the year. Table 3 DIBELS Beginning, Middle and End of Year Summary Reading Reports for Eisenberg K- 2 Students (Data Service Center, 2009).

Grade

DIBELS Test

Intensive

Strategic

Benchmark

Not Tested K Beginning (N=83) Middle (N=83) End (N=83) 24.1 16.9 13.3

33.7 37.3 19.3

36.1 42.2 67.5 4.8 3.6 -- 1

Beginning (N=115) Middle (N=114) End (N=114) 23.7 36.0 23.7

21.9 28.1 39.5

49.1 36.0 36.0 6.1 -- .9 2 Beginning (N=74) Middle(N=74) End (N=74) 35.1 39.2 45.9

25.7 16.2 27.0

36.5 39.2 27.0 2.7 5.4 --

Likewise, looking at Table 4, the STAR Reading data for reading performance shows that the percentage of Eisenberg students in Grade 3 and 5 who benchmarked in the beginning of the year decreased by 4.4% and 7.2% by the end of the year.

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Table 4 STAR Reading Beginning, Middle and End of Year Summary Reading Reports for Eisenberg 3-5 students (Data Service Center, 2009).

Grade

STAR Test

Intensive

Strategic

Benchmark

Not Tested 3 Beginning (N=91) Middle (N=91) End (N=91) 46.2 34.1 35.2

8.8 22.0 27.5 39.6 40.7 35.2 5.5 3.3 2.2 4

Beginning (N=106) Middle (N=104) End (N=104) 33.7 34.6 33.7

22.1 18.3 23.1 42.3 44.2 41.3 3.8 2.9 1.9 5 Beginning (N=98) Middle (N=84) End (N=84) 28.6 28.6 29.8

36.9 26.2 33.3 42.9 42.9 35.7 8.3 2.4 1.2

Statement of the Problem End of year benchmarks such as the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading (STAR Reading), and the Delaware State Testing Program (DSTP) indicate that students attending Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary School in the Colonial School District are performing below grade level in reading. The limited exposure to literature at a young age, inconsistent parent involvement, the impacts of living in poverty and the number of inexperienced or novice teachers at the school was believed to contribute to these achievement issues. Students need on-going reading practice at school and at home, as well as explicit small group instruction in reading in order to improve achievement. Teachers need additional professional development and coaching to design coherent instruction that utilizes the use of best reading practices. A more effective school-based team approach

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was needed to provide frequent monitoring of student progress and targeted reading interventions. Lastly, a higher level of parent involvement was needed at home that encourages students to read. Previous school improvement plans have lacked a comprehensive school-based team approach to addressing the reading issues evidenced in the end of year reading performance of many Eisenberg students. As the building principal I hoped to convince stakeholders that a change in the school action planning and implementation process was needed to improve student reading performance, staff participation and collaboration. It was unknown if higher levels of stakeholder involvement would influence the understanding, engagement and ownership of stakeholders at Eisenberg Elementary School in the planning and implementation of reading interventions designed to improve the reading performance of Eisenberg students across all grade levels.

Purpose of the Study One purpose of this study was to document and compare the development of an on-going school action plan in reading that engages more stakeholders in the process and implementation during the school year to previous plans that were developed by a small team before the school year began. The second purpose of the study was to determine how stakeholder understanding of school goals for reading improvement changes as a result of being more involved in the school action planning and implementation process.

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The last purpose of this study was to examine the effect of increased stakeholder involvement in the school action planning process on the reading achievement of students at Eisenberg Elementary.

Need for the Study A change in the planning and implementation process for improving student achievement at Eisenberg was needed based on the continuing poor student performance and achievement in reading. A new participatory process was implemented for the 2009- 2010 school year. Documenting the involvement and understanding of stakeholders throughout the planning and implementation of the new action plan will help generate evidence for the Colonial School District Success Plan and the Delaware Department of Education Consolidated Grant that requires greater involvement of stakeholders, professional development for teachers, specific parent involvement activities and data driven interventions in reading. On-going school-wide monitoring and explicit reading interventions is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004 which mandates states to implement Response to Intervention (RTI), a problem-solving process in which data is used to make decisions about what skills struggling readers lack and whether intervention instruction that has been provided was effective. Evidence of how well the new school action process worked in generating more involvement in improving students’ reading achievement was needed to guide future planning efforts of the Eisenberg Elementary School.

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Lastly, there was a need to describe the results of the new school action planning and implementation process to inform other schools who were considering following this action plan model.

Research Questions The answers to several interrelated research questions were sought in this study: 1. How was the new school action planning process and implementation different from previous plans? 2. How did school stakeholder understanding and involvement in reaching school goals for reading improvement change as a result of participating in the new school action planning process? 3. What was the impact of increased stakeholder involvement in the school action planning process on the reading achievement of students at Eisenberg Elementary?

Definition of Terms For the purpose of this study, the terms listed below are defined as follows: Action plan. The new action plan is a written document that is developed through a process of involving school stakeholders in determining student reading achievement goals and activities for the school year. The action plan includes the on-going implementation and monitoring of reading goals and activities through monthly school action workshops, which will include stakeholders and weekly and monthly grade level team meetings.

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Benchmark. Reading instructional support level, which is a standard that forms the basis for comparison, means the student is on target and more likely to meet state standards, and is responsive to scientifically based core instructional reading program. Delaware State Testing Program (DSTP). The DSTP is a series of tests given by the state annually in reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies to assess student achievement. The tests are given in grades 2-11. Except for grade 2, the tests are given for school accountability purposes in grade 3-10 in reading and math; and in grades 4, 6, 8 and 11 for science and social studies (State of Delaware, 2007). This term and the acronym will be used interchangeably. Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short one-minute fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills. DIBELS were developed to measure recognized and empirically validated skills related to reading outcomes. As part of the formative assessment process, DIBELS were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for those children receiving support in order to make changes when indicated to maximize student learning and growth (Kaminski & Cummings, 2008). This term and the acronym will be used interchangeably. English language learner (ELL). ELL is an acronym most commonly used for students that are English Language Learners, which means that these students who attend school have a native language that is something other than English. This term and the acronym will be used interchangeably.

Full document contains 234 pages
Abstract: This case study focused on a school action plan, using a planning and implementation process that focused on improving stakeholder involvement and responsibility for student reading achievement at Eisenberg Elementary School. This study examined the impact of the school action process on the development of a new plan compared to other traditional plans in the past. In addition, it identified the changes in stakeholder understanding and involvement of the new process and plan. Lastly and most importantly, this case study evaluated the differences in the reading achievement of students in grades K - 5. Research methods included a parent survey, pre and post teacher surveys, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, grade level team minutes, school action meetings, reading marking period commitments, classroom observations of reading instruction and analysis of student achievement through the use of the state assessment and district level benchmark assessments. Results suggested that the new school action process improved stakeholder understanding, collaboration and ownership of reading goals at Eisenberg. Results also showed significant gains in student reading achievement. The results from this case study indicated that the new school action process was an effective tool for improving student achievement and stakeholder knowledge and responsibility of learning goals.