Entry Plan – Head of School

DRAFT (updated July 15, 2019) ENTRY PLAN – Dr. Peter Cohen, Head of School MCCPS

Click here for visual slideshow of this plan

This entry plan will outline the process the Head of School will take to get to know the MCCPS community.  The goals of this plan include:

  •  Listen and Learn
  • Discover what is working well and why
  • Learn of MCCPS history and traditions
  • Identify areas for growth
  • Develop a shared vision for the future
  • Develop relationships and establish lines of communication
  • Build trust

 

This entry plan will outline a timeline and specific steps to be taken to reach the above goals. My hope is that all of this can be accomplished while minimizing any disruption caused by a change in leadership at the school. The plan will be broken down into two stages: Entry and Reporting.

 

METHODS:

The plan will be executed by a series of meetings and interviews with stakeholders in the MCCPS community.  In order to share the findings of this process, communication technology will be utilized. You may visit the school website for updates and schedules as well as to download a copy of this entry plan. The work of Barry Jentz was consulted, including his article “Starting Confused: How Leaders Start When They Don’t Know Where to Start” (Jentz & Murphy, 2005).  Feedback is helpful and I invite the public to share their thoughts and make suggestions via the website through the entry plan process.

 

ENTRY ACTIVITIES

Phase One – Pre-Entry (June 2019): 

During the month of June, I was able to attend three events that kicked off my listening and learning tour of MCCPS. I attended the Board of Trustees’ Retreat on June 8. This full day of meetings was helpful to get to know members of the Board, as well as to listen and participate in discussions that will assist in the development of the goals for the Head of School. On June 17, I attended the evening Exhibition of student work. I was so impressed with the projects that were presented. In the findings section of this plan I will reflect on what I observed. Finally, on June 20, I was honored to be a guest at the 8th grade graduation ceremony. 

Phase Two – Entry The First 100 Days (July 1 – October 8)

My time in July will focus on the transition to a new Head of School. I will work closely with the Assistant Head of School, the Business Manager, the Student Services Director, and the Director of Curriculum & Technology. I will rely on this team along with the Office Manager to help bring me up to speed on the systems and protocols that are in place at MCCPS. Together we will review feedback received at the end of the last school year and we will develop plans for the 2019-2020 school year. Ultimately, it will be our goal to ensure that Charter continues to be an amazing place to learn, teach, and work. We will also work to fill any open staffing positions with the most highly qualified candidates we can find. 

Additionally, I will meet with key stakeholders during the month of July. In these initial meetings with teachers, parents, and community members I will ask questions such as the following:

  • What is a central and sacred component of Charter?
  • What are we doing well?
    • Why are we successful with these?
    • How can we improve any of these?
  • Are there areas of dissatisfaction?
    • How can we improve these?
  • What are your hopes for the future of MCCPS?

As I listen and learn from each conversation, I will later reflect on all of the responses that I receive to these questions. This will lead me to a list of items that will need immediate attention. It will also help me identify areas for growth, as well as components of the school that must stay in place though in some cases with an update or new spark. 

I hope to meet the parent community at coffees hosted by parents or here at the school.  I will have open office hours as well with dates/times to be determined. Among the individuals and groups I hope to meet with during my first four weeks include:

  • Teachers
  • Individual Members of the Board of Trustees
  • Parents
  • School Administrators from the other public schools in the community including the interim Superintendent of Schools
  • Representatives of the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools
  • Representatives of the MCCPS PTO
  • Representatives from the SEPAC
  • Representatives from the North Shore Children’s Theatre
  • Representatives from the Marblehead Historical Commission
  • Representatives from Salem State University & Endicott College
  • Local Police & Fire Department Representatives
  • Other community groups – to be identified
  • Students
  • Local Media/Press

In addition to these meetings, I will spend time in the summer reviewing documents from the school system.  These documents will include:

Charter By-Laws & Policies Budget
Schedules Relevant files MCAS & Assessment Data

 

Listen & Learn – Dr. Cohen Entry Plan Objectives and Timeline

Objective 1: Meet with and develop relationships with MCCPS staff members Timeline Status
Send introductory email to staff By July 15
Meet with each staff member individually or in pairs/small groups By end of August  
Meet with Humanities Department Chair By end of July  
Meet with Math/Science Department Chair By end of July
Plan opening faculty meetings with a focus on community building By August 19
Meet with grade level teams and utilize staff meetings to establish norms, gather history, and begin visioning activities September  
Conduct regular walk-throughs of classrooms Ongoing – starting September 3  

 

Objective 2: Meet with and develop relationships with MCCPS Admin Timeline Status
Meet with Assistant Head of School By July 13 Accomplished and ongoing
Meet with Student Services Director By July 13 Accomplished and ongoing
Meet with Business Manager By July 13 Accomplished and ongoing
Meet with Food Service & Nutrition Director By end of July
Meet with Curriculum & Technology By end of July
Meet with Office Manager By July 9 Accomplished and ongoing
Meet with Enrichment Coordinator By July 19
Meet with Facilities Coordinator By July 19

 

 

Objective 3: Meet with and develop relationships with MCCPS parents and Community Timeline Status
Send and post to website introductory letter to families Week of July 16
Host parent coffees at school Dates to be determined  
Ask parents to host coffees in neighborhoods in July/August Dates to be determined  
Utilize technology for communication – website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email Ongoing – established by August 12
Meet with PTO By end of August  
Plan Back to School Night  Prior to September 19  
Hold open Office Hours Dates & Times TBA  
Meet with leadership of Friends of Marblehead Public Schools By end of August  
Meet with Marblehead Historical Association By end of August
Meet with leadership of MCCPS SEPAC By end of August
Meet with North Shore Children’s Theatre representative By end of August  
Meet with representatives from Schools of Education at Endicott College and Salem State University By end of August
Meet with school liaisons from Marblehead Police Department & Fire Department By end of August
Meet with representatives from the Marblehead Historical Commission By end of August
Meet with Admin at Veterans Middle School in Marblehead Scheduled for July 24
Meet with Interim Superintendent of Schools in Marblehead By end of August

 

Objective 4: Meet with and develop relationships with MCCPS students & alumni Timeline Status
Meet with grade levels on first day August 26  
Be visible at drop off, dismissal, in classrooms, during transitions, and in the cafeteria Ongoing  
Develop opportunities to meet with groups (student council, clubs, Alumni, etc.) TBA  

 

 

Questions for Members of the MCCPS Community:

  • What is a central and sacred component of Charter?
  • What are we doing well?
    • Why are we successful with these?
    • How can we improve any of these?
  • Are there areas of dissatisfaction?
    • How can we improve these?
  • What are your hopes for the future of MCCPS?
  • What would you like me to know about MCCPS?
  • With this transition in leadership, what do you believe should be the priorities for the school?
  • Are there specific ways that I can support your work and growth?
  • Can you give me one piece of advice to consider as I move forward?
  • What questions do you have for me?

 

Stage Two – Reporting Out and Following Up (October 2019-January 2020)

Following the first 100 days and all of the interviews, meetings, and classroom visits I will reflect and organize all of the information gathered.  I will ask the team at MCCPS to vet my findings. I will produce a report for the school and share out to the public the themes that emerged from all of the listening and learning meetings.  I will make some recommendations and continue to work with the team at MCCPS to develop a prioritized plan and vision for the school, which will consist of initiatives of focus for the school.

 

During the school year I plan to hold open forums (coffees) for parents.  The dates and times of these forums will be posted on the MCCPS website. These open forums will provide the MCCPS community with opportunities to be part of the decision-making process as we seek to continuously improve and address areas for growth.