Minister Rabain Updates On Education ‘Plan 2022′

March 23, 2019 | 3 Comments

Minister of Education Diallo Rabain provided an update on ‘Plan 2022′ – Bermuda’s Strategic Plan for public school education.

Speaking in the House of Assembly, Minister Rabain said, “As a reminder, Plan 2022, which was formally shared in December 2017, is a response from the community seeking to have a consistent, high-quality, well-resourced public-school system, led by talented and publicly accountable professionals.

“The Department has taken a two-pronged approach to the roll out of Plan 2022: 1] A planning and organizing phase, and; 2] An execution and control of strategy phase.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker,

Today I stand before you and my Honourable colleagues to provide an update on Plan 2022 Bermuda’s Strategic Plan for public school education. As a reminder, Plan 2022, which was formally shared in December 2017, is a response from the community seeking to have a consistent, high-quality, well-resourced public-school system, led by talented and publicly accountable professionals.

Mr. Speaker,

Guided by the core values of transparency, inclusivity, and engagement, Plan 2022 lays out adaptive and technical strategies which are linked to transformational outcomes for Bermuda’s Public-School System. Furthermore, the strategies for Plan 2022 are organized into five priority areas:

  • 1. Increasing Academic Rigour and Student Engagement
  • 2. Ensuring Career, College and Workforce Readiness
  • 3. Enhancing the Quality of Teacher Practice and System Leadership
  • 4. Improving Infrastructure and Instructional Resources
  • 5. Ensuring System Success

These priority areas communicate what we see as imperatives for our education system.

Mr. Speaker,

The Department has taken a two-pronged approach to the roll out of Plan 2022:

  • 1] A planning and organizing phase, and;
  • 2] An execution and control of strategy phase.

I will speak to the planning and organizing phase first:

  • A one-day retreat was held in April 2018 with all Department of Education Staff to get everyone on the same page about expectations, responsibilities, and accountability measures for Plan 2022.
  • Senior leaders in the Department have been assigned responsibility for key outcomes in Plan 2022 for accountability purposes.
  • Designated staff across all Department sections have been deemed delivery plan managers for Plan 2022 adaptive and technical strategies; and given responsibility for collaborating with delivery chain members to develop delivery targets that are measurable, with clearly laid out actions and time lines. This covers accountability purposes as outlined in Strategy 5.1.5.
  • Point persons have been tasked to project manage the roll out of Plan 2022 by meeting with delivery plan managers and key players on the delivery chains to review the status of delivery plans and identify any blind spots. Huddle strategy sessions are used as the platform for brainstorming and problem-solving.
  • In support of Plan 2022 Strategy, the team ensures that delivery plans are not static but dynamic by amending and updating for continuous improvement. They also reflect the quality of the work carried out by each delivery plan manager.
  • Specific key deliverables in Plan 2022 are directly linked to the Forward Job Plans of all Department staff. This enables the process component of performance management to be elevated. This also supports strategy and communicates to the broader community that achieving the targets in plan 2022 is a priority for the Department of Education.
  • The Department purchased an online project management and accountability application called ACHEIVEIT that manages efficiency, compliance and quality assurance in the work of Plan 2022. All staff were introduced to the use of this application with subsequent training in using it.

Mr. Speaker,

The planning and organization was critical in phase one to prepare the staff for the work to be carried out in phase two, executing Plan 2022 strategies. As I share the actual work done to-date, I will speak to the general emphasis of each of the five strategic priorities, and then provide the update of what the teams in the Department have implemented and put in place to execute the strategies.

Mr. Speaker,

Let me start with Priority #1 with emphasis on increasing academic rigour and student engagement and on providing differentiated learning opportunities for the diverse student population in our comprehensive public school system; and developing student supports and a culture of transparency to enable innovation and risk taking. The following has been done for this priority:

  • The delivery plan manager for strategy 1.1.1 provides leadership to social studies teachers to ensure that students are engaged in culturally relevant, experiential and inquiry-based learning experiences. This leader has also worked with a team of teachers to create a new Primary 1 Social Studies curriculum which was implemented in September 2018.
  • A feasibility study addressing K to 12 world languages was submitted by the delivery plan manager for Strategy It is our intent to introduce foreign languages in preschools in September 2019. The introduction of coding to our students has been placed under learning a world language. Last year, and again this year, upper school students in our primary schools are engaged in weekly coding classes with ConnectTech.

Mr. Speaker,

Priority 2 emphasizes career college and workforce readiness. Plan 2022 includes strategies that focus on strengthening the foundation and programmes for early childhood education; strategies that have an emphasis on STEAM; technical and vocational work experiences to prepare students for tertiary education; and strategies that develop individualized pathways to college and careers. The following update is provided:

  • An inaugural programme for 3-year-old students was implemented at Warwick Preschool in September 2018 in support of Strategy 2.4. The delivery plan manager for this strategy is currently looking to replicate this successful model in the future.
  • Public school senior students and the community were provided with timely information around scholarship offerings and requirements; and advertising around scholarships has been very intentional in support of Strategy 2.13.5.
  • The delivery plan manager executing Strategy 2.9.5 for STEAM Education developed a transformative plan that includes phasing the implementation of STEAM Education practices for groups of schools over the next two years.
  • The delivery plan manager assigned to reviewing graduation requirements began engaging key participants in this process in 2018. Huddles for executing Strategy 2.12.6 and 2.13.8 continue and a recommendation for revised graduation requirements aligned with current definitions of college and career readiness will be put forward by the end of the 2019 school year.
  • The delivery plan manager for strategy 2.13.3 took up the challenge for expanding dual enrollment to strengthen technical programme offerings for students at the senior level. This has resulted in many celebrations especially for our young male students.

Mr. Speaker,

High-quality teaching, maximizing learning and an improvement in student achievement outcomes is what Plan 2022 is intended to bring about. Enhancing the quality of teacher practice and system leadership, Priority # 3, will require educators at all levels in the System to meet professional standards by enhancing their skills and certification. It will require school Principals, along with the Department of Education to engage school staff and Department staff in meaningful and sustainable professional learning. It will also involve identifying potentially new performance evaluation tools for staff within the school System.

The Department has undertaken the following action tasks:

  • To execute on Strategy 3.13, only initiatives that are explicitly aligned with key outcomes of Plan 2022 and have the greatest impact on students are approved for professional development and training;
  • To fulfill strategy 3.12, an acting Staff Development Officer was taken on to focus on executing strategies 1.1.2, 3.19 and 3.22 which involves the continued training around the Standards-Based Education System. A steering committee will lend support and training for Standards-Based Education System implementation.
  • System leaders in the Department of Education and at the school level continue to have training in using PowerSchool which is the student data management tool to support data-driven decisions. An overseas PowerSchool representative met with several stakeholders in February 2019 to conduct a PowerSchool Ecosystem Assessment Review [PEAR].

The main purpose was to determine how the application will support the work of Plan 2022; how PowerSchool’s use could be maximized and what further training was required. The report submitted by the representative will shape how we use PowerSchool in the future. This is the start to fulfilling strategy 3.19

Mr. Speaker,

Priority # 4 places a laser focus on improving infrastructure and instructional resources through the provision of adequate funding; updated facilities; quality technical instructional resources addressed by policies; and supporting curricula aligned with international standards. The Department team has been diligently carrying out work tasks for executing this priority which include:

  • Supporting strategy 4.1.5 with the establishment of procedures adhering to strict fiscal alignment to Plan 2022 with the development of requisition forms specifically for Plan 2022 to monitor and track associated expenses. When staff seeks to engage consultants, there must be a clear path on how the consultancy aligns with Plan 2022 strategies and outcomes.
  • Staff have been working with the Ministry Comptroller to provide relevant data for developing a multi-year budget to support Plan 2022 inclusive of capital and human resource needs in support on Strategy 4.1. This priority task was conducted to move Plan 2022 from a draft status towards actionable steps to achieve key outcomes. This was an important exercise as a plan without an intentional budget remains in the draft phase of project management and increases the risks of achieving the key outcomes.
  • The first phase of providing school sites with access to Wi-Fi in specific spaces in schools to meet instructional and programming needs has been completed. A usage policy has been developed and is now being moved through the phases of policy adoption for supporting Strategy 4.7.5.
  • In order to ensure that Wi-Fi in schools is being driven by sound 21st century instructional practices, an Acting Education Officer for Information Technology is the delivery plan manager for Strategies 4.4; which speak to the development of a 21st century curriculum in information literacy; and, professional development to upgrade teacher’s skills and ensure access to Wi-Fi is for teaching practices beyond streaming for music or video libraries.
  • Support Public Schools [SPS] is to be commended for providing all our primary schools with resources to support instruction and learning; and for encouraging other private industry supporters to join their lead. This work is aligned with Strategies 4.1.8 and 4.1.9.
  • The delivery plan manager for strategy 4.4.10 has networked across sections of the Department to find responsible methods to reallocate funds where cost savings have been identified.
  • Ongoing efforts to improve facilities are taking place. The delivery plan manager for 4.6.1 and 4.6.2 has been intentional in using the SCORE Report’s health and safety findings with recent data from site visits, for decision-making about work needed at our school facilities. This ensures that the SCORE report remains an active document and recommendations continue to be addressed for the development of a short-term facilities plan that typically takes the form of summer works.
  • The delivery plan manager for 4.7.3 organized training for school custodians to address the areas of challenges that came out of the health and safety review, while ensuring compliance with the Health and Safety Act, 2008. All school custodians and Facilities staff have participated in SCARS training.

Mr. Speaker,

You will know that this Government in its 2017 Platform promised to; “Reform public education by phasing out middle schools and introducing signature schools at the secondary level”. Additionally, Plan 2022 Priority 4, Adaptive Strategy 4.6 speaks to the modernisation of public school facilities in Bermuda. Last year we committed to developing proposals for the introduction of signature schools and the phasing out middle schools through a three-phase process. We have conducted research and met with several stakeholders inclusive of parents, the Board of Education, Boards of Governors of Aided Schools, former educators and community persons. We are also taking into consideration the local history related to the introduction of middle schools; the findings of the SCORE Report and the restructuring of school systems undertaken in other jurisdictions, including Cayman, Barbados, Gibraltar, England, Poland, the US and Canada. The information gathered will provide the data we need to make an informed decision towards reforming public school education and modernising our public school facilities in alignment with Plan 2022, Priority 4.

Mr. Speaker,

Lastly, I will give an update on Priority #5 – Ensuring system success of which the focus ensures that policies, governance and operational systems are in place to enable the success of students, teachers and the Public School System.

  • Dedicated meeting time has been protected with the Parental Involvement Committee. Engagement with parent representatives is ongoing and authentic. The establishment of these meetings and monthly meetings held by the Commissioner with PTA Presidents, support Strategy 5.3.1.
  • The project team is working directly with ACHIEVEIT, the company that owns the online management tool. We recognize that not every strategy is explicitly connected to a key outcome, but many strategies have value in improving service delivery which rests in strategies 5.3.3,, and the delivery plan managers have set key outcomes for these strategies.

Mr. Speaker,

The Department of Education remains focused on the execution of strategies in Plan 2022. Part of that execution process requires reflection on past practices and the ability to look around some corners to mitigate risks. Part of project management is not just about focusing on activities within the plan but identifying process improvement through lessons learned.

Mr. Speaker,

As an organization we learned many lessons from the blueprint for reform, known as the Hopkin’s Report. The main lesson was that at the end of the life cycle of the plan, there was little to no data points to support the stated key outcomes. There was a lot of work that occurred across the organization and a checklist of strategies and activities were identified in the final report, but there was limited data.

A strategic plan is meant to be fluid and dynamic in design and should not be approached as a checklist of tasks to complete. After analyzing the status of work to date and to ensure that the same mistake is not made twice, the project management team has flipped the model and is now using the backward design methodology. Simply put, the key metrics are front and center, and explicit adaptive and technical strategies in the plan will ensure we achieve the targets aligned with each Key Outcome.

Mr. Speaker,

We are committed to Plan 2022 and we are committed to achieving the Key Outcomes for Plan 2022. I take this opportunity to thank the Department of Education staff for the work that has been carried out to date in support of Plan 2022. The staff have caught the vision for public school education and they are now running with it, keeping the end in view.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to sharing with you and my Honourable Colleagues in early April 2019, our annual report on Plan 2022 which will provide further information on the efforts that are being made to transform public school education for Bermuda’s children.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    Yet another education plan. How many of these have we had in the past 30 years or so? Almost as many as there have been ministers?

  2. PBanks says:

    The STEAM-related ventures sound promising, but everything else looks like more meetings and printing of reports.

  3. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    2022 says it all lmfao…

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