Board Policy 4001-R2: Supervision of Instruction states: “district supervisors, coordinators, and directors shall assist building staffs with curriculum implementation and evaluation, including selection of instructional materials, and with general staff development programs. In secondary buildings, principals shall also have the assistance of department coordinators who shall provide instructional leadership in their respective departmental programs.”
Administrative job descriptions are not detailed regarding duties and responsibilities for monitoring the curriculum. The principals’ and assistant principals’ job descriptions list as essential functions:
“Supports and monitors education programs.”
“Develops and maintains an effective instruction and guidance program to include effective use
of curriculum materials, instructional supplies, and equipment.”
The auditors found expectations for monitoring the curriculum to be unclear and, in some instances, monitoring practices were ineffective in providing feedback for focused teaching and learning. While most persons interviewed cited the principal as the primary source for curriculum monitoring, they were unclear as to what monitoring entailed. When principals were asked how they monitor the curriculum, their responses ranged from clear examples of tasks they performed to uncertainty about the responsibilities for monitoring. Wide differences in the amount of time spent on monitoring were noted.
Some principals said they did the following to monitor curriculum delivery:
Reviewed lesson plans,
Visited classrooms daily,
Conducted frequent walk-throughs,
Analyzed student performance data, and
Met with department chairs or grade level planning teams.
Other principals said that they were not able to visit classrooms as often as they would like due to time required for student discipline and other administrative duties.
Some Clover Park principals have received training in conducting classroom walk-throughs. Several principals use the School Observation Measure checklist during classroom visits. This instrument focuses on instructional strategies and classroom organization, but does not address the delivery of the curriculum.
A Principals’ Academy has been developed to provide professional development in instructional leadership. Cohort groups of principals are focusing on walk-throughs.
The following are sample comments regarding monitoring the curriculum:
“I don’t get into the classroom much except for required observations – I’m stretched too thin.”
“I go in (the classrooms) to see the kids, not the teachers.”
“My principal hasn’t helped me at all be a better teacher.”
“We monitor the curriculum by the syllabus” (see Finding 2.2).
“We have worked on walk-throughs with principals and accountable talk.”
“Expectations for walk-throughs are not in policy yet. There is variability with this.”
“I do walk-throughs every day.”
The auditors found that policies and procedures do not provide clear expectations for monitoring the curriculum or describe what monitoring entails. While some principals are skilled in monitoring, others may not be providing the level of instructional leadership required to improve instruction.
Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 59