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    Creative Approach Schools

    Definition, Criteria and Process

    Seattle Public Schools/Seattle Education Association 

    Definition of a Creative Approach School: A school community that develops a new, different, and creative approach that supports raising achievement and closing the achievement gap for all enrolled students.

    Required Criteria for Creative Approach Schools in the Seattle School District:

    Creative Approach Design

     Initiated as a grass roots effort with participation of staff, family, and community
     Rationale, research and data provided in support of the design plan
     Articulated, defensible program/school design
     Identifies how the plan is intended to raise student achievement overall and close the
    achievement gap
     Identifies program evaluation criteria and how long it will take to demonstrate effectiveness
    of plan, including success benchmarks over time (e.g. student achievement, enrollment,
    etc.)

    Community

     Broad participation of family and community members in developing the design
     Collaborate with staff to determine how staff, families and community members will
    participate in the design of the program and the monitoring of its success
     Collaborate with staff to identify the leadership and governance structure for the school

    Staff

     Super-majority of the SEA-represented staff, who work in the building at least 2 days per
    week, along with the principal assigned to the building, agrees to the plan (Super-majority is
    defined by at least 80%)
     Collaborate with families and the community to determine how staff, families and
    community members will participate in the design of the program and the monitoring of its
    success
     Collaborate with families and the community to identify the leadership and governance
    structure for the school
     All SEA-represented staff, who work in the building at least 2 days per week, must sign a
    Creative Approach Plan “Commitment Contract” that is specific to the school and states 
    “any and all staff that agree to the assignment of said Creative Approach School, must
    adhere to the Creative Approach School plan and philosophy”
     Democratic process is used by staff in decision-making
     Voluntary participation by staff; follow displacement procedures outlined in the Collective
    Bargaining Agreement during the spring staffing prior to implementation of Creative
    Approach plan and also allow for voluntary opt out at end of first year
     No forced placement of displaced staff.

    Accountability

     Schools required to maintain current status under SPS School Assignment Plan
     Accountable for teaching district, state, and federal standards
     Accountable for use of district’s staff evaluation tools
     Accountable for giving state and federal assessments
     Plan must be cost-neutral to district or sustainable external funding identified
     Budgetary freedom in school-identified areas, assuming compliance within all state and
    federal requirements
     District commitment that school principal will not change for 3 years, assuming acceptable
    performance of the principal
     District commits to a minimum of 3 years for school to demonstrate effectiveness of plan,
    assuming annual benchmarks are met
     Develop a Joint District/SEA Recommendation and Oversight committee for the initial
    recommendation of the Creative Approach School plan and to monitor and evaluate
    implementation of the approved plan.
     The Joint District/SEA Recommendation and Oversight committee, consisting of an equal
    number of SEA and SPS members, with no fewer than 3 members per organization, makes
    its recommendation for approval of Creative Approach Plan applications, then submits them
    to the Superintendent and SEA Board for final approval.
     Creative Approach schools make an annual report to the School Board regarding
    implementation and benchmark attainment.

    Teaching and Learning Philosophy, Curriculum, Assessment and School Structure and Schedule
    (optional)

     May opt out of district assessments, as long as adopt some form of benchmark and progress
    monitoring that shows student growth
     Choice on all instructional materials
     Latitude in developing program schedule, school day schedule, and school year schedule
     Academics focused on specific themes or disciplines
     Private partnerships within the school, such as for wraparound services, arts enhancement,
    technology, etc.
     Family compacts, spelling out agreements between families and the school
     Newly-opening schools can apply through their design team process

    Note: It is acknowledged that questions and issues not yet considered will arise in this new
    process, to be jointly reviewed and resolved by SPS and SEA.