User Stories

User Story: Kim Palmer

Principal, Coolspring Elementary School, Michigan City Area Schools, Indiana

“We are going to post our progress toward GOALS throughout building and CELEBRATE our progress!”

Who Is This District Leader?

Kim Palmer is the principal of Coolspring Elementary School in Michigan City Area Schools, Michigan City, Indiana. Kim used the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) along with other school leaders in her district over multiple years to identify target areas for improvement.

How They Used Call

Kim administered the CALL survey multiple times over a two-year period to identify target areas for improvement, areas of strength, and to monitor the progress of her school’s improvement efforts. The school’s Instructional Leadership Team compared the CALL data from the beginning of the year to the middle of the year. The team looked at Areas of Strength and “Top 10 / Bottom 10” (which identifies specific practices across the CALL survey that are either strong or in need of attention). The Instructional Leadership Team identified the following areas for improvement within the CALL reporting system: Student support services provide safe haven for all students, Clear, consistent and enforced expectations for student behavior, and Maintaining a School-Wide Focus on Learning. “Since we were identified as a Targeted School (due to Special Education Subgroup),” Kim said, “we utilized the data to complete the Comprehensive Needs Assessment required by the Indiana Department of Education.”

How CALL Helped

Informed by the CALL practice-based data, Kim and the Instructional Leadership Team implemented new practices: “With regards to [Student support services provide safe haven for all students], we have restructured the Co-teaching program for grades K-3 to service students with IEP's, which is our Targeted Group. In addition, we revised the entire schedule for [grades] 4-6, allowing for more time/support in classrooms.” 

They also used the data from Effectiveness of Plan for Addressing Student Attendance Problems to increase classroom incentives for attendance. This is now an area rated on the Federal Report Card for schools. “Also," Kim said, "the results from Clear, consistent and enforced expectations for student behavior helped us identify subdomains to pinpoint specifics. As a result, our discipline referrals and suspensions have shown a significant decrease. Also, we have modified our PBIS system to include behavior interventions and additional student supports.” 

The school also revised their School Vision, and they plan to include students’ progress in their school improvement plan. And while the use of CALL has been helpful, Kim knows that school improvement is always a work in progress: “We are going to post our progress towards GOALS throughout the building and CELEBRATE progress!”