School of Thought

Advocacy Update

Help Advocate for Your School

Have you ever wondered how federal dollars and programs can help your school? Are you interested in telling your congressional representatives the challenges you face as an educator? Then join us April 24–26 at the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference. This conference brings together state leaders to advocate on behalf of the nation’s school principals. Having these leaders converge on Congress and speak in a unified voice delivers a powerful message to legislators that effective principals are vital to student success. (more…)

The Principal and Political Influence

Guest post by Jay R. Masterson

The saying “all politics is local” has special relevance when it comes to K–12 education policy. Communities care deeply about how their children are educated. Everyone wants great outcomes but there are always differences of opinion about how to get there. Too often decisions are made without input from the individuals best positioned to inform these choices—principals.

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Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

New NASSP Action Alert!

The continuing resolution to fund federal programs for FY 2017 is set to expire on April 28. Because of this, members of Congress have already begun negotiating budget deals for the rest of 2017, and possibly 2018. This current negotiation process is particularly concerning to states and districts as they work to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (more…)

Expanding on Student Passion: Getting Creative with Career and Technical Education

Guest post by Cameron Soester

Milford High School places great importance on non-core classes. Our career and technical education (CTE) courses and organizations have experienced tremendous success over the years. Much of this success is due to the dedicated staff members who do whatever it takes to allow students to explore their passions within the curriculum. To maintain the strength of these programs, we have devoted time and effort to renew and rejuvenate our CTE programs. (more…)

Every Student Matters

Guest post by John C. Bartlett

When I woke up the morning after Election Day, my to-do list had a new priority: a visit to my English language learner classroom and a conversation with our 50 students who were getting their first taste of American democracy at work. What did these students want and need from me and their teachers? These students wanted to know that they matter, that someone cared about them, and that they were safe. Essentially, they wanted to know what every student needs to know when they walk through the front door of our schools every day. (more…)

The Importance of Building Relationships Within the Community

Guest post by Cameron Soester

In my time at Milford Public Schools, I have learned that it truly takes a village to help our students succeed. Schools and communities share a common goal of creating a learning environment that develops strong students who will one day become productive citizens. Working with the community, however, can be difficult as it takes time and effort for schools to engage its residents and businesses. But taking the time to build these community relationships has been essential to the success of our students at Milford.  (more…)

Advocacy Update

Apply for a School Ambassador Fellowship

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers a unique opportunity for educators to participate in the School Ambassador Fellowship Program. The School Ambassador Fellowship is a paid position that supports ED’s mission by employing educators to contribute their classroom and school expertise to the national education dialogue and in turn facilitate discussions with educators across the country. For those who are selected, the program grants greater knowledge of educational policy and leadership, allowing them to further contribute to their schools and students. (more…)

How to Engage Parents as Partners

Guest post by Lenore M. Kingsmore

When I became the principal of Henry Hudson Regional School seven years ago, there was little to no communication between the home and school. Parental involvement was no more than a booster club that raised money. Research shows time and again that students are more successful in school when they have parents who are engaged in their education. I knew that in order to get the best out of my students and make changes in school culture, I needed to engage parents as decision-making partners. (more…)

Raising Wellness in Arizona

Guest post by Jeff Simon

While many of us are making resolutions for 2017 to lose weight, save money, and live life to the fullest, Payson High School students are hard at work planning our annual Student Wellness Conference, an award-winning event devoted to helping students become their best selves. (more…)