Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Rural Schools, Data-Based, Evidence-Informed, Inquiry, Continuous Improvement, Opportunity Gap


Meeting the needs of every student is a significant challenge, and this challenge is amplified in rural contexts where students tend to have fewer opportunities and as a result, tend to have decreased academic success. Programs and plans that are developed and successful one year, may not have the same impact the next. This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) puts forth a data driven, evidenced informed inquiry-based model of professional learning that is reflexive to the needs of the student body. Built off of Senge’s Learning Organization, it posits that for students to be successful schools need to be continuously improving so that the diverse needs of the student body can be met and that contextual issues can be addressed. The inquiry model uses a variety of data sources to intentionally interrupt thinking at the school level and asks school staff to generate potential hypothesises for what is happening. A Professional Learning Community (PLC) model is also integrated to find evidence-based solutions and develop potential action plans to address stretches in student learning and the overall structures of the organization. Utilizing a transformative leadership perspective, the change implementation plan recognizes that inequities exist in all contexts and that the only way to overcome these inequities is to confront them from our position of influence and to erase the opportunity gap. This OIP also explores the challenges of teaching and learning in a rural context and the importance of building a network of support for school staff to draw upon so that they can continue to improve their practice.