Sioux City Community School District
Sioux City Community School District Iowa participates fully in the TRUE-SPEAK system of communication. Utilizing the tools they now have, principals and other administrators went from sending out "about 2" written communication to certificated and classified personnel in the 2011-12 school year, to over 1,300 written communications in the 2012-13 school year. Here is some of the feedback on the value of sending and receiving these TRUE-SPEAK communications.
"The HR Director was in the process of terminating a worker. The attroney asked whether there was anything in the file to support the termination. The HR Director found 3 TRUE-SPEAK documents and the specificity, including dates, made all the difference in being able to move ahead with the termination."
A principal commented, "I have had teachers get teary-eyed at receiving a TRUE-SPEAK commendation, and they have forwarded them on to their spouses, children or even parents. I have then heard back from those people about how much it meant that we recognized the hard work of their spouse/parent/child. It truly fits the "pay-it-forward" philosophy and promotes even more quality work from those staff members."
"The corrective TRUE-SPEAKs have helped me to more spefically address those issues that are difficulty to discuss. I am able to quickly get right to the point and address the issue at hand."
"I do feel like the recipients of a positive "TRUE-SPEAK" at our school were very proud of them. At times I felt a 'resurgence' so to speak in some of the people. In some cases the recipients didn't realize that we were noticing the little things they do on a day-to-day bases that really matter."
"TRUE-SPEAK communications have helped with documentation for working files for both positive and coaching needs. I have used TRUE-SPEAK communication to document what teachers are doing right and to write goals for improvement or growth to coach a professional educator. Teachers and non-certified staff really value gettting a formal note documeneting specifically how much their efforts and support were appreciated. It helps to establish and continue to build a relationship with teachers and staff so they will trust you when you have to visit with them about a concern. TRUE-SPEAK communications have helped me to remain accountable and improve as an instructional leader."
"I believe TRUE-SPEAK has encouraged me to be more formal in my positive feedback with staff members. Prior, I gave a lot of on-the-fly comments or a "happy gram" here or there. Now I am more thoughtful in giving out this feedback. We send positive connection notes home weekly to students, intending to build positive family relationships. TRUE-SPEAK is the equivalent for me. Being in the habit of providing weekly communication with staff members, either positive or corrective, has assisted me in being more consistent in how I deal with staff behavior. Since I have been working to balance positvie feedback across the building, when something corrective comes up, there seems to be less of an issue with the documentation."
"I would like to share than not only has this structure been extremely influential in my writing of coaching and celebration TRUE-SPEAK communications, it has been VERY helpful in how I structure "face-to-face" conevrsations with parents, students, and staff."