LGMS Protocol Key Performance Area #4 – Evaluating Performance and Stimulating Ongoing Improvement
This is the fifth part in our five-part series about the FY2016 Leadership, Governance and Management Systems Protocol.
The fourth and final Key Performance Area in the Protocol relies on assessing program data, and modifying the action plan based on that data and communicating progress. Head Start’s ability to assess progress and to stimulate any ongoing improvement will only benefit the children and families it serves. If you ask me, it’s Head Start’s commitment to continuous improvement, at both the national and local level, that is a big reason it has lasted so long.
Leadership must ensure that there are appropriate methods to evaluate program performance. The agency will need to aggregate and assess the program data, reassess and modify the action plan or objectives based on that assessment. Those results will then need to be effectively communicated to all stakeholders. In short, the program needs to be dynamic enough to not only recognize problems and opportunities, but to act on those as well.
There are five main Compliance Measures to this KPA:
Ongoing Monitoring means the program has established and implemented procedures to continuously monitor its operations and services in order to ensure compliance, the provision of high-quality comprehensive services, and safe and healthy environments for children and their families. The program would use effective tools and procedures to make sure they are in compliance, meeting their goals and providing those comprehensive services that the community needs. They’d conduct frequent, ongoing monitoring activities, collect and utilize data to plan activities and ensure ongoing monitoring goes on in delegate agencies.
Analyze Data Through a Self-Assessment would help the program form and analyze program data on progress in meeting goals and objectives.
The program would develop Data-Based Modifications to help implement an improvement plan that modifies the action plan or objectives depending on an analysis of the program data.
Policy Council and Governing Body Oversight of Program Evaluation – a pretty effective title as is, the members of the Policy Council and governing body would regularly receive reports and make decisions to support the monitoring and evaluation of the program.
The program would create an Annual Report to the Public which would showcase updates and progress. There would be an explanation of fund spending and a proposed budget for the fiscal year as well as a report on the program’s efforts to prepare children for kindergarten.
When it comes to Targeted Questions for this KPA, Governing Body, Policy Council, Director, and Staff will be interviewed.
The Director would discuss how the program monitors progress towards improvement on an ongoing basis, how they conduct the Self-Assessment and use that data for improvement, or how they develop a program involvement plan using data that has been collected.
Any Staff would be asked about their knowledge on how the program is providing quality, comprehensive services, maintaining safe and healthy practices and ensuring safe facilities.
The Policy Council would need to talk about the types of information they receive and whether that info helps them understand that the program is delivering quality services and meeting the needs of the community. They’d need to talk about how they utilize the info they receive.
When it comes to the Governing Body – they would need to talk about how they evaluate the program’s performance in regards to it achieving program goals as well as what the Annual Report includes.