Developing the School’s Expected Student Outcomes
If your school has decided to embark on the process of adopting a statement of Expected Student Outcomes (ESOs), it is worth considering carefully the process you will use to identify and communicate these. It will be important to engage a wide variety of members of your school community in the process, as this will help develop a sense of shared ownership and commitment.
The unique context of your school will determine what the best process is, but in general terms a helpful process might look something like this…
- Invite the whole school community to share their ideas. What skills, character traits and habits do they think are most important for students to develop? This acts as a large “brainstorm”, collecting as many ideas and perspectives as possible. As survey or a series of focus group discussions are possible ways to do this.
- Form a small, representative task force to review the input from the community and identify the main ideas. These ideas could be organized into a series of categories, each with a broad heading and sub-points.
- Present the summary to the school community for their input.
- Review the input and decide on a final list of ESOs. Four to six categories, each with an easy-to-remember heading and related sub-points, is probably most helpful. A list that is too long is hard to remember and can be overwhelming. A list that is too short may not adequately cover the community’s priorities or may be too general.
- Make a plan to communicate the ESOs to your school community. Different types of communication and discussion will be needed for different groups within the community to understand and commit to the ESOs.
How has your school engaged in the process of developing (or reviewing) your ESOs? Sharing your experiences and ideas in the comments below will helpful to schools who are getting started.