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School Report Card Bar-B-Q

Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.

Brief Description/Purpose

Plan a special event at which you'll share with parents your latest School Report Card or test results. All participants help generate ideas for school improvement.

Materials Needed

  • chart paper

Time Required

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And don't miss our Great Meeting series. Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb offer a short course on creating meetings that work, based on their popular guide, Great Meetings. They present ideas to help you learn how to lead meetings that generate ideas; analyze problems; define a vision; evaluate ideas and make decisions; plan for long-range needs; encourage group participation and keep groups on track; and much more.l.

Set aside about an hour for this activity.

"Instant Meeting" Idea

When it's time to share with parents and the wider school community your latest School Report Card or the results of district or state testing, plan a special event to generate interest and improve attendance. This can work even it -- or especially if -- the results might not present your school in the most positive light.

One school promoted their event as a school-wide "State-of-the-School Bar-B-Q." They got a great turnout, which they used to great advantage. The gathering, which happened to take place at a high school, even included students and interested community members. After sharing the latest School Report Card data, the principal arranged the community members, parents, students, and teachers into groups of 8 to 10. A faculty member facilitated each group. The principal challenged groups to generate ideas about and a list of 1) "things we are doing well" and 2) "things we can improve."

After 20 minutes of discussion, each group was merged with another and the discussion continued. The teacher-facilitators were responsible for coming up with a combined list of successes and suggested improvements. Those lists would be shared with the entire school staff at an upcoming meeting.

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Study Circles Resource Center
The Study Circles Resource Center is dedicated to finding ways for all kinds of people to engage in dialogue and problem solving on critical social and political issues. SCRC helps communities by giving them the tools to organize productive dialogue, recruit diverse participants, find solutions, and work for action and change.  


At a follow-up meeting of the school staff, teachers worked with the ideas generated by the community to develop a school-wide set of goals and action items for improvement that reflected the input of the community. Those goals were posted in public places throughout the school building, shared with parents via the school newsletter, mailed to community members who participated in the original meeting, and published in local newspapers.