Michael Fullan, et. al, in Breakthrough discuss the factors that are necessary for schools to make breakthrough improvement. I really liked what they had to say about shared vision.
Shared vision and ownership are less a precondition for success than they are an outcome of a quality process. Successful systems build vision and ownership through the quality of their learning processes and corresponding results.
This makes a lot of sense. As schools work together learning and making headway, a clear course for the future should and often does, emerge. I feel that is exactly what has occurred here at Halecrest. After three years of moving together, with various starts and stops, we are embarking on a quest to create grade level readers across the school and everyone appears to be on board with the plan. This was achieved little by little as we worked together on a variety of situations and in different settings. I don't believe a formal vision building session (or sessions) would have created the same momentum and commitment we now have for working toward this common goal. It is simply the natural next step given where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go at our school.