Priority Statements - IU13
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Priority Statements

A priority statement clearly identifies a change in practice, structure, or system that, if improved, will lead to progress toward achieving the vision and long-term goal.

The priority statements should answer the following questions:

  • What needs to change for the school team to resolve the primary root cause?
  • How can a school team change their practice, structure, or system to better support educators, students, parents/guardians, or our community?
  • What makes a school team think that changing these ways will improve our progress toward achieving our vision and long-term goals?

Draft priority statements following an “If…then…and” format can support these questions. For example, “If we create a schedule in which teachers have common planning time (system, structure, or practice that you want to develop), then we will be able to collaboratively analyze student work and create plans aligned to student needs, and our students will have their learning needs met in order to grow and achieve.

Drafting priority statements with an if .. then thinking, can support a team in creating a theory of action for the work ahead. It also can be helpful to begin the development of a logic model during this part of the planning process. Marzano Research/REL Central provides additional resources on how a logic model can support the work of school improvement in this blog entry and corresponding toolkit.

Empower Leadership

The guiding questions and resources below can help you in the generation of priority statements.

  • How can a team determine what to prioritize when they have many areas of need?

    A prioritization matrix can be a valuable tool! This blog from Education Elements describes one way to approach prioritization. Another resource that can assist with this process is the “Even-Over Protocol.” This toolkit is another resource from Education Elements to assist a team in prioritization.

  • What is a high leverage priority?

    A high leverage priority is an area of focus within the control of the school that, if addressed successfully, will lead to sustained improvement in teaching and learning. It enables a shift for schools in the way they do business by focusing on short-term observable outcomes that are visible now and measurable outcomes over time.


Do you have a resource to share that aligns with this part of the planning process that you have found valuable? CLICK HERE to share for possible inclusion on this website.


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