Superintendent’s Blog – 05/09/2018

Let’s Talk About SWIFT

Over the past few weeks parents and community members have asked for clarification regarding SWIFT. I am using this month’s blog post to help to clarify what SWIFT is.

In 2016  we began to engage in the SWIFT (School Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation) technical assistance support. The SWIFT Framework is a collection of practices designed to leverage strengths to create a better system of education for all students. Research-based tools are used to inform our process of school review through the examination of 5 domains; Administrative Leadership, Multi-Tiered System of Supports, Integrated Educational Framework, Family and Community Engagement, Inclusive Policy Structure and Practice.

Domain 1

Administrative Leadership: Reinforces strong and actively engaged Administrative Leadership committed to improving teaching and learning within a system that empowers educators and school personnel. A strong educator support system provides structures that enable educators to constantly improve their practices, instructional supports may include professional learning, instructional coaching, and supportive useful evaluation with a focus on building knowledge and skills.

Domain 2

Multi-Tiered System of Support: A multi-tiered system of support is a continuum of researched-based, system-wide practices of data-based decision making used to meet the academic and behavior needs of all students. A continuum of inclusive academic instruction utilizes school-wide approaches to promote student learning and high achievement for all students. Schools use multi-tiered instructional strategies, differentiation, Universal Design for Learning, and flexible grouping to support instruction for all students, including those with the most extensive support needs.

Domain 3

Integrated Educational Framework: An Integrated Educational Framework encompasses all students, personnel, and stakeholders within a positive school culture and ensures full access for all students to participate in school-related activities. A fully integrated organizational structure means working toward the goal of full participation in the general education curriculum for all students.

Domain 4

Family and Community Engagement: Community and schools form a partnership in which each benefits from and supports the other. Trusting family partnerships contribute to positive student outcomes when family members and school staff have respectful, mutually beneficial relationships with shared responsibility of learning. Trusting community partnerships contribute to positive outcomes when schools work collaboratively with community members, agencies, organizations, businesses, and industry around common goals.

Domain 5

Inclusive Policy Structure and Practice:  Inclusive Policy Structure and Practice includes a supportive, reciprocal partnership between the school and the School Board and SAU Administration. The partnerships promote a shared vision and fosters inclusive teaching and learning. Strong School Board/ Administration and school relationships use policy to formally organize and integrate initiatives and programs, address and remove barriers to success, and address ways to more effectively use resources. This information from the schools should be used to support staff to ensure they receive training on relevant research and/or research-based practices.

Most recently we have begun looking carefully at our practices around Domain 4, Family and Community Engagement, and have begun working with Karen Mapp and Scholastic Education on examining our Family and Community Engagement practices. Many of you have participated in a survey to help us better understand our present practices and where we may need support with refining and improving those practices.

As we move forward with this important work I will keep you updated. Thank you for the continued support!