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DECISION MAKING RESOURCE GUIDE SEPT 2004

Page history last edited by Ron Everett 8 years, 5 months ago

PETALUMA CITY SCHOOLS

DECISION-MAKING

RESOURCE GUIDE

PETALUMA TRUST AGREEMENT IN

SHARED DECISION-MAKING

Revised, September, 2004

PETALUMA FEDERATION PETALUMA CITY SCHOOLS

OF TEACHERS DISTRICT

Lori Deen, President Steve Bolman, Interim Superintendent

DECISION-MAKING RESOURCE GUIDE

INTRODUCTION

The Petaluma City Schools District and the Petaluma Federation of Teachers agree that by working together we can exert a powerful and positive influence on the continued improvement of learning outcomes for all of our students.

We recognize that the most important interactions affecting student performance are those between teachers and students. As accountability for success is assumed by school sites, we believe that teacher involvement in decision making will result in increased student achievement.

Shared decision-making is an integral part of the process of improving student learning. The Federation and the District encourage each school staff to engage collaboratively in designing the teaching/learning model that best meets the needs of students in that school’s community.

PURPOSE

This resource guide describes several models of decision-making, including shared decision-making. By using a variety of strategies, and by building a common vocabulary, teachers and administrators will find collaborative ways to solve problems at the school site. To develop an understanding of the decision-making process, there must be sufficient time allocated to planning, implementation and evaluation. The collaborative process will continue to evolve as participants gain experience.

The Trust Agreement Committee is committed to the incorporation of the Decision-Making Resource Guide into Administration Regulations. Therefore, the committee will need continuing feedback from sites and individuals on how the document is being utilized. Anyone may contact the Federation President, District Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent for Administration and Human Services or the Trust Agreement Coordinator with questions, suggestions, or concerns.

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DECISIONS ARE MADE

IN A

WIDE VARIETY OF ARENAS

  • School site councils

  • Principals’ Advisory Groups

  • Student Study Teams

  • Middle School Academic Teams

  • Faculty Associations/Senates

  • Academic Departments

  • Department Chair Committees

  • School Site Staff Meetings

  • Subcommittee of School Site Staffs

  • Trust Agreement Committees

  • District Budget Committee

  • Federation Executive Council

  • Professional Development Committees

  • K-12 Staff Development Committee

  • District Hiring Committees

  • Site Hiring Committees. . . . . . . . .and others

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THREE DECISION-MAKING MODELS

PURPOSE: To provide points of departure for further discussion. These models are not meant to imply that they are all-inclusive. Each school is encouraged to develop its own models and examples.

Consensus Consultation Command

Staff, including Administrator with Administrator alone

Administrator Staff Advice

Process: Process: Process:

The Administrator is Staff generates alter- Administrator makes

equal member of the native solutions to a decision on information

group, not super- problem, reviews s/he deems appropriate.

ordinate. Group uses proposed decision, and Provides explanation for

consensus to reach makes recommendations decision when appropriate.

decisions to administrator who

reports back to staff

with decision and

rationale

Examples Examples Examples

Allocation of Teacher assignments Adherence to California

discretionary monies State Education Code

Master schedule

Staff Development Board of Education Policy

Student placement

Curriculum development Administrative Regulations

and/or integration Space allocation

Student discipline

School philosophy Classroom assignment

Site emergency

Restructuring

Dept. Chair selection

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PRE-DECISION MAKING CHECKLIST

  1. How is the issue identified?

    1. Who will be affected by decision?

    2. Who should be included in the decision-making process?

  1. Who determines the level of involvement?

    1. Administrator alone (upon request s/he will explain reasons for the decision)

    2. Whole group affected by decision (including administrator)

    3. Representative body of group affected by the decision (including the administrator)

  1. Who will make the decision?

    1. Administrator

    2. Whole group

    3. Representative group

  1. How will the decision be made?

    1. Consensus (decision made by group agreement)? Everyone agrees to support, not sabotage, the decision

    2. Consultation (decision made by recommendations to administrator)

    3. Command (decision made by administrator alone)

  1. Group making the decision?

    1. Large group (with small group process if desirable)

    2. Representative group selected by large group

    3. Composition of group depending on issue

  1. Knowledge of issues to be resolved by the process?

  1. Experience and skills as decision makers/problem solvers?

  1. Time constraints?

  1. Physical set up: seating arrangements?

  1. Legal policy, other constraints?

  1. How should the decision be communicated?

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SOME POSSIBLE CHARACTERISTICS

OF THE

DECISION MAKING PROCESS

  1. Identify the issue to be resolved

  1. Develop norms for decision-making process, e.g.,

    1. Take personal responsibility for participating in the information-gathering and decision-making process

    2. Support the learning process for others by avoiding side conversations

    3. Stay in the moment by attending to and listening to other people’s opinions

3. Gather information – develop common understanding of the content underlying the issues:

  1. Clarify the issues (using brainstorming, jigsawing, among other processes)

  2. Gather factual information

  3. State the beliefs, biases, assumptions involved in the issues

  1. Generate alternative solutions

  1. In whole groups or small groups

  2. Brainstorming

  3. Further research, if necessary

  1. Advocate

  1. Identify pros and cons of alternate solutions

  1. Decide on a solution to the problem

  1. Consider the unintended consequences of the decision as probable outcomes

  1. Create a follow-up process for evaluation and improvement as needed

10. Develop a feedback/evaluation form in order to improve the decision-making process

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GLOSSARY

Advocacy Support of a cause or idea

Brainstorming A group process whereby ideas are generated without argument or refutation; intuitive, creative and rational approaches to solutions are encouraged.

Collegial Getting along well with colleagues in a cooperative working atmosphere.

Command Administrator makes decision without input and discussion by the group.

Consensus A process of coming to agreement characterized by rational discussion of the issues until everyone involved in the discussion agrees with the decision, or at least agrees not to obstruct the decision.

Consultation Administrator makes decision with input and discussion by the group.

Criteria Standards on which a decision is based.

Group Norms Agreed-upon rules for discussion and advocacy

Jigsaw A process used to speed up the understanding of a document. The process involves having small groups become expert in a part of the document, and sharing their knowledge with the larger group.

Professionalism The standards, procedures and ethics characterized by those who are educated in a specific body of knowledge.

Shared Decision-Making A process in which team members collaborate, where appropriate, in identifying problems, defining goals, formulating policy, shaping direction, and monitoring program implementation.

Traditional Decision- The administrator makes a decision with little or no input

Making from the staff

Unilateral An action done or undertaken by one side or party only.

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