Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency developed a strategic five-year (2011-2016) Comprehensive Improvement Plan. The Plan is designed to achieve the Agency’s three student learning goals, accomplish the Agency’s teaching and learning mission, and adhere to the Iowa Code mandated AEA Standards of Service, Iowa Code §281—72.4. The Plan will be operationalized through four connected action plans. These four connected action plans reflect an inclusive approach to successfully meet the needs of schools, school districts, customers, and other stakeholders.
The Agency has established four Building Blocks and corresponding action plans have been designed for each Building Block. These Building Blocks were identified through an extensive exploratory process. The process included consulting support by national and international education experts, a review of literature and research, input from internal and external stakeholders, and the alignment of actions to goals, mission, and Iowa Code AEA mandates.
Highly specialized services was established to build internal capacity to deliver high quality services through finding, developing, and retaining staff with highly specialized expertise, the strategy is to recruit, select, induct, mentor, supervise, evaluate, retain, and advance staff to maximize their ability to deliver services to schools, districts and customers.
- Using Fullen’s The Six Secrets of Change. An emphasis has been placed on Fullen’s connecting peers with purpose, building capacity prevails, learning is the work, and systems learn. These important change components are supporting Agency’s efforts to prepare staff members to meet the difficult teaching and learning challenges that produce the persistent student achievement gaps.
- Engaging licensed staff and administrators in professional development using the Iowa Professional Development Model. The model’s components support the Agency’s efforts to provide high quality professional development. The Agency has DATA FAIR each May so that staff members may display their professional development accomplishments.
- Integrating licensed staff professional development with school and school district improvement efforts. Staff members lead and coach as well as participate in school and school district professional development. It has been a growing trend to embed staff members within a school’s improvement efforts.