The 21st Century Initiative has recognized that stakeholder involvement is critical to ensuring that the 21st Century Plan and its representative change elements are reflective of the needs of Missoula’s students. The stakeholders have proved themselves engaged and capable participants at every stage of the process, as evidenced by their involvement in the community forums, contributions to the data collection effort, and membership in work groups. Participants and their contributions have included:
· Project Leadership Team: The Project Leadership Team provides overall sponsorship and vision for the project. The Team has worked closely with PCG to define the overall goals of the 21st Century Initiative, provide contextual information related to the District, and support the planning effort. The members of the Project Leadership Team have also been deeply involved in the data collection effort, work of the work groups, and the development of the goal action maps.
· Steering Committee: The Steering Committee is drawn from multiple domains and includes administrators; teachers; business, community, and civic leaders; parents; and students. Steering committee meetings were used to build participants’ knowledge related to 21st century teaching and learning, as well as to provide members with a forum for voicing their ideas related to what constitutes a 21st century teaching and learning environment and how best to meet the needs of Missoula’s students. Steering Committee members also served on the work groups.
· Building Leadership Teams: Building Leadership Teams were formed at each school and include principals, teachers, and staff. Each school’s Building Leadership Team collaboratively completed a School Capacity Profile as part of the data collection effort, which provided teams with the opportunity to reflect upon current and desired practices related to 21st century teaching and learning. Following the work groups’ presentation of the change elements, Building Leadership Teams were again convened to rank the work groups’ goals and corresponding change elements, as well as provide additional comments related to omissions or further considerations.
· Focus Group and Interview Participants: Focus groups and interviews were convened during Phase One’s data collection effort in order to provide a range of constituents the opportunity to define 21st century education, and the benefits that a 21st century education would have on Missoula’s students. Twenty-four focus groups met during the site visits; 10 additional school-based focus groups met as well. Focus groups included:
o Teacher/instructors (19)
o Students (5)
o Support staff (2)
o Central administrators (1)
o Counselors (1)
o Feeder school principals (1)
o GED students (1)
o Parents/staff of gifted education students (1)
o Parents/staff of special needs students (1)
o Teacher librarians (1)
o Technical services staff (1)
An additional 18 focus groups were convened, as follows:
o Parents (2)
o Career/Technical Education Representatives (1)
o Community Leaders (1)
o Fine Art Representatives (1)
o Higher Education Representatives (1)
o Native American Representatives (1)
o Seeley Lake Community Members (1)
During the site visits, PCG Education conducted an interview with each of the principals and the director of the Lifelong Learning Center. Ten additional interviews were conducted with board members (4), elected officials (3), and community members (3).
· Teachers: Classroom teachers were provided with the opportunity to take an online survey related to teaching and learning practices relative to the core competencies of 21st century skills. The K—12 overall response rate was 82.89 percent (465 out of 561); the response rate for the K—5 survey was 78.43 percent (160/204), while the response rate for the 6—12 survey was 85.43 percent (305 out of 357). These response rates indicate a high level of interest among teachers in describing their collective experience and sharing their vision for 21st century teaching and learning—an interest that should be capitalized on during the implementation phase of the 21st Century Plan.
· Work Group Members: The Student Outcomes work group was organized in fall 2010 to develop a set of expanded student outcomes that reflect the skills and competencies necessary for a student to be successful in the 21st century. Five additional work groups (Leadership, Instructional Design and Pedagogy, Professionalism, Learning Environments, and Communications and Messaging) were established to address the priorities that emerged over the course of the data collection effort. Work groups included over 100 school, District, and community representatives who met on a weekly basis for the first two months of Phase Two. These work groups were tasked with using the expanded student outcomes as a lens with which to examine their related priorities, engaging in research and discussion, and submitting their respective lists of recommended changes.
· Action Planning Team: An Action Planning Team was formed to review the work groups’ change elements, select the change elements that constitute that District’s 21st Century Model of Change, and formulate goals based on the selected change elements. The Action Planning Team includes members of the Project Leadership Team, administrators and teachers who had previously participated in the Steering Committee or work groups, and additional District staff. The group was ultimately responsible for working with one another to develop goal action maps that detailed the steps that will need to be taken to enact the identified elements of change.