Saturday, February 28, 2009

Organizational Diagnosis

The organization I have chosen to investigate consists of a faith-based, private school, early learning environment.  This preschool (referred to as ABC), has been in existence for 19 years and offers classes for children 3 years to 5 years of age.  The preschool has approx. 75 students enrolled at this time and has a waiting list of approx. 20 students.  The preschool has had up to 125 students enrolled in previous years.  

The ABC preschool is a more academic-focused environment with 5 formal Pre-Kindergarten classes where Kindergarten readiness is a high priority.  ABC preschool does strive to include in the environment, a balanced "diet" for preschoolers which includes developmentally appropriate activities and a flexible schedule to meet student needs.  In addition to the formal structure, ABC preschool has concentrated its' effort in developing staff to create a "family-like" atmosphere where children have a secure, loving, caring environment.

The preschool has enjoyed longevity of staff members.  Of the 10 staff members working in the preschool, the average length of employment is 12.5 years.  The preschool staff educational qualifications range from 24 units in ECE to a Masters degree (two have B.A. degrees).  Professional development and training have not only come from continued education, but also various workshops, conferences, and small learning communities of ECE professionals.

For this investigation, I have given a questionnaire to all staff and parents.  The purpose of these questions is to uncover conflicts (inconsistencies) within the organization in order to diagnose a problem area and offer recommended solutions.  

Here are the questions I asked the preschool parents.  I made an effort to be brief and to the point as to increase the response rate!  Deadline for responses is this Tuesday.

1. Which areas at ABC need the most improvement? (ie. facilities, teacher issues, academic expectations, etc.)

2.  Are there any inconsistencies you have observed at ABC preschool? (ie. inconsistencies between "who we say we are" and "who we really are")

3.  How would you describe ABC preschool to a friend?

The questions I asked the preschool staff include:

1.  In your opinion, what are the values of ABC preschool?
2.  In your opinion, how do parents view ABC preschool?
3.  In your opinion, how do we, as a staff, communicate the values of ABC preschool to the parents?  To the community?
4.  In your opinion, WHY do we do what we do here at ABC preschool?
5.  In what areas do you feel we are lacking as an ECE environment?
6.  Are there any inconsistencies between "who we say we are" and "what we REALLY are?"
7.  How would new staff member learn the "culture" of ABC preschool?

In gathering all these responses, it is my hope to get a picture of what inconsistencies exist and possibly how leadership plays a role in those inconsistencies.


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