Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review Summary: Documentation and Self Review

Documentation and Self Review was reviewed by school boards last term and we have made some changes to the topic as a result.

We believe that SchoolDocs gives schools great tools for the important task of reviewing: advisories, a review schedule, the self review tool itself, and policies that are clear and up to date (thus easy to review). We know that these tools are much appreciated by boards.

Tools aside, the stakeholders still have to actually do the reviewing and we are pleased to report that the number of schools taking part increases with every policy review. Many schools organise to review and submit their feedback and rating at special review meetings, boards at board meetings, staff at syndicate meetings, etc.  Whether feedback is submitted as a group, or individually, the opportunity for discussion is invaluable.

A number of interesting points were raised in this review, some have resulted in changes to the topic and some are just interesting. Some need to be addressed by individual schools and we urge you to check your implementation feedback.

An important point raised was that our Documentation and Self Review topic concentrated more on policy reviews through SchoolDocs than on other reviews undertaken by schools.  We have addressed this in our draft topic .

Many schools feel that their community engages more with the policies now that they are online and they are invited to participate in reviews, while other schools find this participation difficult to achieve. Here’s a list of suggestions for encouraging participation:

  • Use the instructions on the dashboard to advertise reviews to the relevant groups.
  • Convene special review meetings (board, staff, syndicate, parent groups, etc) when a policy is under review.
  • Advertise the site regularly in your newsletters – the URL and the community username and password.
  • Have a link to your SchoolDocs site from your school website – there are instructions for this on your dashboard.
  • Read the implementation feedback submitted to your school and, where appropriate, report back to your school community about points raised, actions taken, etc.
  • Direct the school community to the What’s New topic on the site where new or changed content is listed.
  • Let your community know that they can send feedback on a policy even when it is not due for review by clicking the Send Feedback button in a topic. This generates an email to the principal.

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