Work Plan Sample #1

Work Plan
The success of the research project requires a district-wide adoption and implementation of a reform-based social science curriculum. Your Town Public Schools (YTPS), the district partner for the proposed project, is planning to adopt Investigation in Number, Data, and Space for all elementary schools and Connected Social Sciences 2 for all middle schools, beginning in the Fall of 2007.  The project work plan includes designing summer social science academies for all district teachers; providing follow-up professional development during the academic year; and establishing school-based learning communities for continual review and refinement of teaching practices based on student learning outcomes.  In addition, principals and school-based social science leaders will participate in on-going professional development to learn how to support teachers through the change process.

The district-wide social science reform effort will allow the project staff to focus on evaluative research on the effects of the model on the district, schools, administrators, teachers, students and the community, as well as to integrate design-based research methodologies for modification of the model as it is being implemented.

The work will begin with an assessment of each school and teachers’ readiness to implement a standards-based curriculum. Through OUR PROJECT and other projects, we have developed a means for evaluating a school’s capacity for change toward reform-based social science and a sequenced level of professional development options based on the needs of each school. District administrators and principals will be asked to assist their school’s readiness for change using the Concerns-Based Assessment Model (CBAM) and its evaluation of readiness for different types of professional development as suggested by the following professional development options, including Lesson Modeling, Lesson Study, Curriculum Planning, and Topic Specific Sessions. These options have already been developed and align with the CBAM levels for each school in a district. Table II outlines the Stages of Concern, possible indicators, and relevant support.

Stages of Awareness Expressions of Concern Professional Development Options
INFORMATIONAL CONCERNS
PERSONAL CONCERNS
“What is this all about?”
“How will these standards directly affect me?”
Topic Specific
Professional Development
MANAGEMENT CONCERNS “I am spending all my time managing materials and planning lessons.” Team Curriculum Planning
CONSEQUENCE CONCERNS “How is my use affecting learners? How can I refine it to have more impact?” Lesson Modeling
COLLABORATION CONCERNSREFOCUSING CONCERNS “How can I coordinate what I am doing with others in my grade level?”
“I think there are some changes we could make to improve things..”
Team Curriculum Planning
and/or Lesson Study

The time is perfect for testing a district-based social science reform system, since all districts in New Mexico are in the process of deciding on a new social science adoption. This means that all of the needed curriculum materials will be available with no additional costs.  The proposed partners, the Sometown District and the Desert State University OUR PROJECT Program, will provide support in terms of costs and personnel for implementing the project. Specifically, OUR PROJECT will provide implementation support for all middle school principals, teachers and students. The district will provide additional funds for professional development and plans to hire social science specialists for the schools. This will allow the staff to focus on evaluative research on the effects of the model on the district, schools, administrators, teachers, students and the community, as well as use design-based research methodologies for modification of the model as it is being implemented.