Professional Community Engages Innovation Strategy to Advance SMES

St. Margaret’s professional community engaged in its unique innovation strategy, specifically planning for upcoming ethnographic research to advance schoolwide priorities during Monday’s busy and productive in-service day. Each division also spent time in professional development around specific curricular and programmatic areas. 
 
The Innovation Strategy is St. Margaret’s strategic approach to continually designing and realizing the future of the school. Monday’s in-service day was a continuance of October’s in-service day, when professional community members met in self-selected teams to have in-depth conversations and revisit action steps in seven priority areas of schoolwide focus:
  • Curriculum & Pedagogy
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Professional Development
  • Technology
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Experiential and Service Learning 
  • Methods for Student Feedback
On Monday, the same teams reconvened to continue their work by preparing for ethnographic interviews specific to each area of focus.
 
Over the next several weeks, each member of the professional community will conduct an interview with an “end user” in the St. Margaret’s community—a student, a parent, or a fellow faculty or staff member—to better understand needs in their area of focus and define priorities for the future.
 
“Our professional community has been extraordinary over the past two years, rapidly innovating to meet the immediacy of the pandemic,” said Ryan Dahlem, assistant head of school for strategic initiatives. “It is exciting to be engaging in a new round of ethnographic research to inform our plans and priorities as we chart our course forward in these strategic areas.”
 
You can read more about St. Margaret’s use of ethnographic research in the upcoming Winter 2022 Highlander.
 

Division-Specific Professional Development

In addition to the innovation strategy work, Monday’s in-service day had time for each division to further its professional development. It included:
 
Early Childhood School: St. Margaret’s Early School welcomed Beth Van Meeteren to campus for a week as scholar-in-residence. Ms. Van Meeteren met with Early School faculty to discuss constructivist teaching practices, part of a full week of learning and engagement.
Lower School: Teachers met in grade-level teams for articulation in math, as the division adopts a new math edition of Everyday Math. Specialists, meanwhile, continued collaborative planning to incorporate the United Nations Sustainable Goals, discuss upcoming events and brainstormed enhancements to next year’s progress reports.
Middle School: Middle School teachers took time to reflect on programmatic decisions made over the past two years as a response to pandemic guidelines, and make decisions to move forward with some of those learning strategies that could continue to help students. Examples include continuing to post instructional video content on mySMES, and continuing to use platforms such as Flipgrid for instructional purposes and informative assessments. 
Upper School: The Upper School also assessed its teaching strategies over the past two years, as well as discussed policies going forward as Every Tartan, Every Day health and safety guidelines continue to evolve. 
 

Affinity Groups

St. Margaret’s also held optional professional community affinity group meetings to wrap up the in-service day.
 
 
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An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
NON DISCRIMINATION POLICY
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.661.0108
 
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