Monday, December 17, 2012


 A lot of what I do reminds me of work I did with the Pittsburgh Public School.  Right now, I am thinking, in particular, of planning documents.  We did them at a different time of year, but the process is similar.  Those of you with PPS, I am talking about CEIP, later called the School Improvement Plan and various other names.  That’s when we analyzed data and other information about the school and current programs to be able to set goals and develop action plans to accomplish them.  Here in CAR we are in the midst of doing the same.  We also have end of the year evaluations and reports to complete.  (Here they work on the calendar year since that is what most partners who support the programs use.  In the US, end of the year for schools usually means June…) 
Village Sch. Prog. office - lots of paper - pick the right ones!
As in Pittsburgh, each program (or school) has to plan and evaluate.  Some do it better than others.  So, in both places, leaders are working to train project/school staff on new forms designed to facilitate the collection of information and the planning process.  We just got one new form here last week.  Completing the form has not been easy since we didn’t plan with this form in mind.  Fortunately, the director of one program has completed and understood the process.  He spent time this morning training staff of the two programs I support.  He said the projects’ progress is like a spiral.  One can start at the center and work out (start with plans, move to activities, then evaluate) or at the outside and work in (start with this evaluation and work backwards).  We are obviously using the second approach.  I think this direction is harder, but that is where we are, so that is where we start!

This month, we have been taking a look at activities for the Village School Program and Christian Education and trying to evaluate how things went.  We are also setting ourselves up to better plan for 2013.  I have always said it is easier to get where you are going if you know where you want that to be!

Christian Education - Sunday school class
So, we are working with goals, objectives, activities, short and long term results, indicators of success, and duration of activities.  For planning, we will be working with analysis of data (forms provided), definition of the current state of the situation/program, and action planning.  The vocabulary is different, but this is the process all Pittsburgh teachers are familiar with – and no doubt many of the rest of you have your own versions of the planning process.  We all need to plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate!  Many of us do it in our personal lives as well!

Long live planning, evaluating, and making progress. 

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