How to energize leadership, teaching, and learning in 22 key areas

Planning with a Purpose:

Selected Memo Summaries

Writing a school improvement plan is often an onerous task, and many of us have had the experience of working long hours on an elaborate document, only to have it sit on a shelf. That doesn't have to be the case; handled well, school plans can be powerful tools to improve teaching and learning. This carefully curated set of Marshall Memo summaries provides ideas and strategies to accomplish that goal.

Questions to consider:
  • Are school improvement plans worth the trouble?
  • Are we “walking the talk”? Do our policies, priorities, and actions reflect our beliefs?
  • Do educators in our school know the why and how of key initiatives?

Here's the table of contents:


Planning with a Purpose

Setting the Stage

  1. A vision of what a high-school graduate should look like
  2. Key questions to guide school improvement
  3. Vision and mission statements that actually inspire

The Plan

  1. Making the mission statement real
  2. Making the shift from annual to embedded improvement planning
  3. Developing theories of action

Making the Plan Compelling

  1. The importance of a clear, concise strategy statement
  2. A formula for transformational change in hospitals and schools


  1. Eight steps to high-achieving schools
  2. Avoiding common mistakes in strategic planning
  3. 'Pre-mortems' are better than post-mortems

Professional Learning Suggestions