Overview & Purpose
As part of a revamped School Improvement Plan (SIP) process, MMSD is prioritizing the understanding of student, family and staff experiences in order to inform the efforts of School-Based Leadership Teams to create more equitable systems and practices. ROCKiT teamed up with the Research & Program Evaluation Office (RPEO) in order to support schools in gathering empathy so that schools could write a well informed school narrative and develop a SIP that is deeply grounded in student, family and staff experiences. In February and March, ROCKiT strategists and externs met with the School-Based Leadership Teams (SBLTs) at Nuestro Mundo Community School, AkiraToki Middle School, and East High School to train for effective empathy interviews (using techniques like asking “why”, attentive listening and maintaining awareness of interviewer biases); strategize around who, where and how to interview; and support empathy interview script writing that promotes storytelling and data collection. In order to ensure that all voices are heard, especially those that are traditionally marginalized and struggle with access, ROCKiT led the SBLTs through a process to identify the populations that were most core to the work of the school, but who faced systematic barriers to making their voice heard in the traditional SIP process.
Idea & Application
ROCKiT has great insights and resources that will enhance the process and the district’s dedication to strengthening SIP. The ROCKiT empathy training session supplemented and enhanced the SIP and general empathy gathering processes. Our hope is that by gathering effective empathy, our schools will be better poised to support students and families by engaging populations that have historically been underserved. Ultimately, the more robust SIP will acknowledge and address the more accurate needs of their communities. ROCKiT is excited to see where this amazing work goes!
What it Took
10 Nuestro Mundo SBLT members
18 East SBLT members
15 Toki SBLT members
One 60 minute flight session
1 Innovation Strategist & 1 ROCKiT Extern - per flight (to plan, facilitate, and guide the team through the process)
20 hours total over 3 weeks per flight