by Marcus Jackson, Ed. D.

Many districts are preparing for the final quarter of the school year. During this time there’s a deep analysis of the deficiencies of skills with grade levels, students, and subgroups. Administrators are putting the final touches on their five -six-week plan to improve student performance of the state assessment. 

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with several principals to analyze their mid-year assessment results to prepare for their final push before the state assessment. After the presentation of phenomenal plans addressing every skill, I asked each administrator, “What’s Your Will Plan?” What’s your plan to get your students excited about an assessment most care nothing about. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Find a success story in every student, teacher, and grade level. The growth is there. Go find it and celebrate it as if you won the Super Bowl.
  • Rally the community. Remember the parades during Covid when the principals, teachers, and staff went to neighborhoods and the entire community showed support? That was awesome. Have a “Do Your Best on the Test” Parade.
  • Set competitions up for a variety of areas at each grade level: 20 males/females with the highest growth, grade level with the highest growth, the class with the highest growth, grade/class who moved most students from one progress area to the next, and competition for the grade level with the most students at proficiency level, and competition for class, grade level, and students who score at the mastery level. Students love friendly competition. 
  • Have parent meetings and share where students are and where they need to be. Be sure to focus on “What’s Strong as Opposed to What’s Wrong?” Always start and end with the Glows. Find the growth
  • Solicit partnerships for prizes from Partners In Education and have weekly motivational videos from parents, central office staff, and local businesses.
  • Create videos with your teachers, students, and staff to share during morning announcements and place them on your schools’ website. 

Ensuring that students have the skills to be successful academically is a necessity. However, most importantly is creating an environment where students are excited about their learning. “Having a Will Plan” is momentous in assuring that each student reaches their optimal level. 

Recently a principal implement a “Will Plan” using the above strategies and after-school tutorials with ninth-graders increased from 20 students a day to 140 students a day.

Currently, “Will” is at an all-time low amongst teachers students, staff members, and administrators “Will Tank” is almost on E. Therefore, it’s crucial to execute a “Will Plan” to finish the year strong.