One of the objectives of this coming Friday’s staff development is to begin the process of developing our school wide goals. Each participant in the training session will be getting the following information on developing SMART goals, but thought we should post it here to give people a chance to think about what SMART goals are and how we develop them before the training session;

Develop S M A R T goals:  Strategic and Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-based, and Time-bound.  Each part of this definition is critical to student success.  Here’s why….

 STRATEGIC:    It is important to focus on the vital few because they are the high-leverage areas where the largest gaps between vision and current reality exist, and therefore the greatest gains will be seen.  We must think strategically to align our goals as a system (teachers, schools and district).

 SPECIFIC:    Specificity provides the concrete, tangible evidence of improvement that we need to stay motivated. Specificity allows us to have clearer communication and more constructive discourse because we can focus on how to pursue the goals or how to change.

 MEASURABLE:  Measurability of a goal is critical, as we tend to focus our efforts on what gets measured.

 ATTAINABLE:   Goals that motivate us to strive higher are those that are almost but not quite within our reach, that we need to stretch to achieve.  

 RESULTS-BASED:    We learn more through results-based goals because we have concrete benchmarks against which to measure our efforts.  When we ground goals in results, we build in immediate feedback that supports our sense of efficacy (capacity for producing a desired result).  When we achieve these goals, we feel proud of our accomplishments and want to do more, strive further.

 TIME-BOUND:  Setting a specific time frame is critical.  If we set a goal for ourselves but never set a time frame within which to achieve this goal, we keep putting it off, not applying ourselves to the task and never reach our goals.  That’s just human nature for many of us.   Setting a goal that is time-bound builds internal accountability and commitment.

We will also be using this SMART goal criteria in the development of our program goals and you might want to consider using them in assisting students in the development of their individual goals.

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