Today’s guest post is from the staff team at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley’s Little Chute Elementary Unit. They hosted a data reveal party when this year’s NYOI data was released, and it was a blast! We will hear from two perspectives in this first-of-a-kind post, first from a staff member and then from the Unit Director.
From staff member Emma Wyngaard:
Excitement progressively built up on June 27 among the staff members of the Boys and Girls Club of Little Chute Elementary when we found out the NYOI results were about to be made public. We planned a reveal party and promised each other we wouldn’t look at the scores until the whole team was together. Some of us were more willing to break that promise than others (*cough* Josh *cough*). Multiple ideas about how this reveal should take place were tossed around, but in the end we decided on confetti. And when the dollar store didn’t have that we went with bubbles.
Towards the end of club on Wednesday, we gathered outside for the big reveal. We each took a container of bubbles and Lauren and a couple of kids were kind enough to tell us our results one at a time. Every time we hit one of our goals we celebrated by creating bubbles. The biggest successes were in recognition (75%), adult connection (82%), and expectations (98%). Our overall safety was less than we hoped for, but even so it contributed to an overall optimal indicator we could be proud of: 63%.
With some time of reflection under our belts, we were able to start the process of setting goals for next year. This includes an overall safety goal of 60% and an overall optimal goal of 75%, which we’re willing to state publicly because it officially puts us on the hook.
From an interview with Unit Director Joshua McQuillan:
What gave you the idea to do such a special reveal?
One of the biggest parts is that half of my staff are junior staff who will be going off to college this year, so this is one of our last chances to be together as a team. Even beyond that, we’ve been chasing after these goals together, so I wanted a chance for us to celebrate together no matter what the results. They’ve worked so hard and have invested so much, I wanted them to feel free to express emotion.
How did you feel going into getting your results? Were you nervous?
We had a feeling it would be pretty good going into it because NYOI isn’t the only data collection we do. We also do parent surveys and because we are a school-based site, we’ve met with the principal and staff to get feedback. That plus our intentional focus on infusing good staff practice meant we weren’t in the dark.
You have put a lot of emphasis on empowering your staff and giving them ownership over this. How has that gone?
It has been PHENOMENAL! There have certainly been some learning curves (mostly on my end) but it has been so much fun. I’ve always heard that we don’t hire smart people and tell them how to do their jobs, we hire smart so that they can tell us. They’ve just been great this past year coming up with ideas.
What are some ways they’ve taken ownership?
They took our results this year and everything we’ve learned to set the goals for next year’s NYOI. Even though a lot of my staff will be gone at college, they’ve committed to doing what they can to encourage the new staff that will be on board, including reaching out to them in December or January. Just like July tends to be the long days of summer because you are halfway through, that time of the school year can feel really daunting.
They’ve also decided to create some guidebooks for the new staff who will be in their positions. Little tidbits that they wish they would have had, like how to infuse fun or some behavior management tricks that worked for them. And it has been at every level-Madeleine Cohen, this team is a reflection of your growth as a leader this year. CONGRATS & THANK YOU!
You went to a Club Director’s Academy, right? Did that help shape your thinking about NYOI?
I did, in Milwaukee! It was Amazing!! I already had some pretty good buy-in to the importance of getting our members’ perspectives through NYOI before, but the CDA really reaffirmed it. Getting the chance to speak with others in my training groups also helped shift my perspective on some things. One of the most valuable parts was getting some great tangible skills from a managerial perspective.
As the leader of this team, I’ve been so humbled. We have a lot to celebrate!
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