Introduction to Good to Great to Innovate

Lyn Sharratt and Gale Harild worked together in York Region. Sharratt was Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction; Harild was Curriculum Administrator for Community-Based Education. The district vision led to resource allocation and professional learning designed to increase student achievement and to develop what were seen as the capabilities required to become a Literate Graduate. The system’s definition of the Literate Graduate included Numeracy, the ability to work with technologies, and having the capacity upon graduation to move successfully into the workforce, into community living, to college or to university. Multiple Pathways – none more valuable than another. They saw having a sense of what jobs and careers were available in their communities, and those which were becoming important to the economy as a critical element of becoming a “literate graduate”, as this experience would enable students to make course selection decisions and make them career and future education ready, place them on the path to the future that is right for them.

This was and is a complex multi-lensed program, one in which it is important to get all lenses focusing at once in order to achieve clarity of direction. Achieving success in this program starts with mastery of the basics. Understanding that all students can learn with good first instruction and interventions; and, that all teachers can teach given the right resources and support.

Realization & FACES

Sharratt wrote Realization about school and system effectiveness improvement, the lesson from which is to make sure that each of the 14 Parameters of successful districts is in place and sustained in the face of distractors. Then Sharratt wrote FACES in which she discussed how to see through the glut of information to select the key bits of information that are important in putting FACES on the data, to make sure no student is forgotten. Clearly, understanding key bits of data not only enables teachers and principals to understand what has been learned while it is being learned, but also, ongoing assessment data becomes informative for teaching as it shows what each student still needs to learn and what to do to get them to readiness to move to the next learning level. Some of the data collected about individual students can assist teachers to form the way they provide information, direction or querying to not only get the best learning result, but to drive student motivation and engagement because not all data is not assessment data. Some schools have found that anecdotal data concerning students helps teachers form bonds with students which result in students feeling that school is relevant to them, that their teacher “gets them”. Some schools have listed students’ interests as discovered by teachers as data – and does that make a difference to the relevance of examples a teacher might make to entice a student to participate or to create an example to help explain a concept?

Good to Great to Innovate

Good to Great to Innovate to Innovate: Recalculating the Route K-12+ is the thought-child of Sharratt & Harild. With FACES in place, Sharratt and Harild collaborated to bring the next element of FACES to book form. What additional forms of data, what additional elements of information, what new types of teaching that would not be onerous to collect or manage could help teachers and principals prepare a greater number of Literate and Numeric Graduates who upon graduation were also working their way toward their own personal TrueNorth?