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Background and Significance of Site Based Management

Background and Significance of Site Based Management


In this lesson, students analyze the background and significance of Site Based Management.

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Hello everyone, and welcome. My name is Gino Sangiuliano. And in order to better understand professional learning communities, it is important to begin by analyzing the background and significance of site-based management. So that's what we'll do in this lesson. Let's get started.

Both my parents had green thumbs. Growing up, we always had a huge vegetable garden in the backyard that need tending to. That meant tilling, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. Although I enjoyed eating the plump tomatoes and crisp cucumbers that came from our garden, as a teenager, I wasn't always thrilled about helping to care for it.

Then one year my parents decided to give me a section on the other side of the yard to garden myself. I was given full reign over that 12 by 12 foot plot of dirt. I decided what to plant, how to care for it, and all the work that went along with it. Let me tell you, I worked feverishly to make it an awesome garden. That is site-based management.

Let's begin by thinking about what success in schools might look like. You're probably thinking about student achievement, teachers' professional growth, and social, emotional well-being of the school community. These measures can be related to school-based initiatives, and utilizing site-based management contributes to the successful implementation, capacity building, and sustainability of those initiatives. Ensuring continuous improvement in schools is made possible by creating these opportunities.

We all want to increase student achievement through curriculum, instruction, assessment, and school improvement goals. Site-based management is one model proven to do that. If you build it, it will happen.

Now that I've told you it works, you probably want to know what site-based management is. Site-based management, or SBM, is a system that empowers schools to organize themselves into communities of practice that make sense to them. In other words, schools are able to create groups of educators with the common focus. Their purpose becomes setting goals and achieving objectives aligned to new initiatives and/or continuous improvement efforts.

In site-based management, the individuals closest to the work are allowed the autonomy to develop systems and structures for how their school will run, and how to initiate school improvement. It is a more democratic way of thinking as opposed to top-down district-led approaches. The people closest to the work, of course, are the teachers and administrators. It is their shared voice that contributes to the decision making established through the communities of practice in the school.

It's truly a joint effort between all parties as they establish and work toward mutually agreed upon visions, missions, and goals. Other stakeholders including parents, students, and community members can also participate to varying degrees.

Even though schools have autonomy, in site-based management it is imperative that school improvement plans and goals are aligned to the vision, mission, and goals of the district's strategic plan, as well. What sets site-based management schools apart is that they're able to create plans to meet the individual needs of the teachers, students, and community, as well. In some states, site-based management is actually required, but in others it is established by the local educational agency to meet the needs of the district.

Depending on the individual situation, the site-based management team has different levels of authority. For example, it might be a full-scale collaboration between the school team and the district administrators, or perhaps take an advisory role where the school team provides their plans for consideration. In some cases, the site-based management team is the sole decision making entity in the school. Most schools today have many school teams that can be teacher- or principal-led.

In places where reform is happening, it is very likely that site-based management is an integral part of the improvement efforts because the teams support the creation of a shared vision, and have ownership of the goals that are connected to that vision. This structure increases teacher and principal voice, and empowers their decision making ability that lead to continuous growth. We know that when teachers and principals own the school improvement efforts, accountability increases and they are more vested in the implementation and sustainability of the agreed upon site-based initiatives. Thus improving student achievement, quality instruction and practices, and building the community partnership that we all strive for in our schools.

Let's take a look back and summarize this short but important lesson. We began by discussing how site-based management can lead to school success. Then we looked at an overview of what site-based management is. And finally, we looked at the role and impact of site-based management.

And now time for some food for thought. What's your vegetable garden? Think of a situation in your professional life that you feel you yourself or with a group have autonomy to make decisions.

Now it's your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section will be really helpful. This section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes brief descriptions so you can easily target the resources you want. Thanks so much for watching. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Background and Significance of Site Based Management"

(00:00-00:16) Intro

(00:17-01:03) The Garden

(01:04-01:46) SBM & School Success

(01:47-02:59) Site Based Management

(03:00-04:01) Role of SBM

(04:02-04:48) Impact of SBM

(04:49-05:34) Summary/Food For Thought

Additional Resources

The Who, What, and Why of Site-Based Management

This article investigates the purpose and function of site based management in schools. This article includes the benefits of and the debates around using a site based management approach.

Transferring Decision-Making to Local Schools: Site-Based Management

This article provides a high level overview of site based management and its importance in driving school reform.