directing a site

Directors Retreat Strategic Planning Tools

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Author: Susan Biggs and Nick Coles

Summary: Leadership retreats can offer occasions for sites to review current programming and to plan for future work. This short resource describes how several planning and review documents – Strategic Action Planning Template, Timeline, and Collaborative Review – used at NWP Directors Retreats have also been useful to local site leadership teams. The strategic planning tools can be used to develop a collective vision to guide the development and evaluation of site programs. The final review doc, a charette protocol, can be used not only to review programming but also to look at writing and discuss interpretations of student work.

A Year in the Life of a Director

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Summary: This graphic/timeline of “A Year in the Life of a Director” encapsulates the management responsibilities and initiatives necessary to keep things running at a local site. This tool is helpful in assisting site leaders and program coordinators with funding deadlines, reporting deadlines, and organizational leadership meetings.

Leadership Transition: Taking Over a Site in Reorganization

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Author: Gatsinzi Basaninyenzi

Summary: What happens when a Writing Project site needs to be rethought and renewed? This article offers the perspective of a site director who was invited to take over and renew an existing site and who attended a NWP New Site Directors Retreat. At the retreat he explored site business development, invitational summer institutes, inservice, and continuity. Inspired by this experience, he worked with teachers at his site to design rotational site leadership teams, teacher study groups for continuity, newsletter development, and a youth writing program. This resource could be helpful to sites in need of new strategies for site development or teacher-leadership development. It shows, firsthand, how new or re-visioned programs can develop under leadership transitions or a shift toward enhanced teacher leadership of a site.

The Work Will Teach You How to Do It: A New Director Learns How to Begin and Grow Inservice

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Author: Sally Crisp

Summary: In this case study, the author reflects on how her writing project site moved from an inservice neophyte to a partner in several multiyear programs with local schools. She raises dilemmas (such as: Are we ready to do this? If the PD we offer isn’t perfect, will we ruin our name/reputation? Who should we contact?) and shares strategies for confronting them. As the title suggests, the director and teacher leaders in Little Rock learned how to do the work by doing the work, and this case study would be a great read and tool for other sites who find themselves taking a leap into new partnerships.