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I am working on a new wiki just for the School Improvement Plan. You will hopefully get an email from me soon with an invite to join.Until its fully up, I will use this wiki as well. :)

Instructions for Tuesday (9/17/2013)

"Even on your worst day you are some child's best hope.” Larry Bell

Today is an overview. Hopefully familiar to most of you and interesting for people new to MHS. If you haven't already done so, please take the time to set discussion norms for your group. You will be having lots of professional dialogues throughout the school year as part of our School Improvement Plan, so setting these norms will help us be efficient with our time.

Why NCA/Advanc-Ed?

We were a pilot program for North Central Accreditation in the early 1990's. MHS chose to do this because we wanted a way to showcase the excellence of our staff and students in a manner that went beyond QPA and Kansas accreditation. NCA has changed over the years and is still adapting for our profession (we'll talk more about this change in future PLC's). Accreditation is a five year process. We develop a plan, implement it, and use data to see how we are doing.

Mission Statement

The first part of our plan is our mission statement. The mission of Manhattan High School is to provide all students with opportunities to gain knowledge and skills to progress in their educational and career goals. Important words: ALL STUDENTS, OPPORTUNITIES, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS, EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER GOALS.

Why are these words so important?
Is this an active or passive mission statement?
How do you connect your students to the opportunities MHS provides
  • within your class
  • with athletics
  • with activities
  • extended learning opportunities?

*Talk amongst yourselves. Some one write down your brilliance and insightfullness and post it on the discussion topic Mission Statement.*

Good schools always strive to get better. Our two areas of focus were chosen to help ALL STUDENTS improve. Each area of focus has two interventions.


To do this we will focus on a) reading strategies and b) vocabulary strategies

Goal: to improve student CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

To do this we will focus on a) critical thinking skills and b) open ended problem solving

This is not a one size fits all plan. We did not pick a specific reading strategy or critical thinking strategy for the whole school to implement. These students have been working with strategies since elementary school, they know a lot of strategies. It is your job as a classroom teacher to decide if you want to focus on a particular strategy for your class or if you will allow students to chose their own strategy. We want our students to read like social scientists in sociology, musicians in music class, historians in history class, scientists in science class, etc. What kind of reading and critical thinking skills will your students need if they decide to go on in your field of expertise? What vocabulary do they need to know? What problem solving strategies should they be adept at?

If all the teachers in the school talk to all their students about reading strategies and critical thinking strategies, and how important these strategies are to each students future, we believe all students will show improvement. By all teachers emphasizing reading strategies and critical thinking strategies in their curriculum, even though we are not talking about the exact same strategy, students will start to transfer knowledge and techniques between subjects.

Our discussions in PLC's will be about what you are doing in your classroom- this is part of the accountability piece in our school improvement plan. We will also discuss specific strategies that you may want to try out for a couple of weeks, then report back to your groups about how it went. Feel free to click on the links at the bottom of this page. If you have a strategy to share, please feel free to let me know and we will add it on!

Have a great day! Questions, comments, concerns? If we could have all PLC's "talk" in the same thread, that would help me! Thanks for your time,



School Improvement Plan Working Document

Quality Assurance Review (Onsite Report)

School Assessment Report (Pre-visit Report)

Resource Information

Research supporting our initial goals

Critical thinking framework

Assessed root prefixes and suffixes

Kansas Curricular Standards
Excerpt from "Teaching Reading in the Content Areas"

Reading Strategies