AP Expert of the Week

Creating a Culture of Nourishing Relationships

So much of the principalship is rooted in ever-evolving data, never-ending checklists, and meeting the needs of stakeholders. However, most know that true growth and success come from the ability to not only manage the aforementioned items, but also to create a culture that invites and nourishes relationships. During the infancy of my principalship, I have been pleasantly surprised at the growth of our school family. In reflection, sharing my why, inviting others to share theirs, and creating meaningful opportunities to grow relationships has made a profound difference. (more…)

Five School Technology Hacks to Improve Communication With Stakeholders

We lead busy lives as administrators, with items getting added daily to our already busy to-do lists. How do we keep up? Why not use the power of technology to communicate with all stakeholders in an efficient, consistent manner? That is not to say that phone or face-to-face conversation should be replaced, nor should the letter home or the programs that give students a tangible certificate. However, immediate feedback is something that we teach our staff at Governor Livingston High School to employ in their classrooms, so let’s develop ways for school leaders to do the same in our buildings. (more…)

2019 Assistant Principal of the Year Finalists Announced

Every year, NASSP recognizes assistant principals from across the country for their exemplary efforts in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students. The National Assistant Principal of the Year (APOY) program selects three finalists from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity, and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools.

We are excited to announce the three finalists for 2019. (more…)

College Opportunities and Success: Creating a Robust Dual-Enrollment Program

My belief in the necessity of an equitable education is summed up in my motto: “all-in for all students.” When students achieve, we all achieve and are inspired to strive for greater success. At Pelion High School (PHS), we are proud of our quality programs that elevate each student; from At-Promise to AP, we have a plethora of programs to support students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs. (more…)

Making Connections: Lighting a Fire in Your Staff and Students

I am not a camper, so I am in no way an expert on building a fire, but I do know (thanks to my high school science classes) that in order for fire to ignite, it needs three elements: heat, fuel and oxygen. On the flip side, being a school leader is something I do know, and culture is something that is talked about all over leadership blogs, articles, books, and tweets. Culture is way more than just a buzzword. Culture is the heart of a school, and the difference-maker between success and failure. (more…)

Truancy Task Force: Don’t Fight Attendance Problems Alone

At Lakeland Union High School, our absenteeism rates used to be substantially higher than state averages. Year after year, someone—usually an assistant principal or dean of students—was always working hard on addressing our truancy cases. Despite our efforts, nothing we did dramatically affected the number of students habitually missing school. To break this cyclical pattern, our administrative team decided to take a different approach to curb attendance problems. (more…)

Bringing Light to a Dark Month

Darkness, cold weather, and a continued lack of daylight can bring the winter blues to many of us. While February is considered the shortest month of the year, for some it seems to be the longest; students and staff are longing for warmer weather, increased daylight, and spring break! (more…)

Giving Students a Voice and Empowering Them to Take Action

Schools benefit when students share their voices, but how often do we take the time to truly listen to what they have to say? The Quaglia Institute suggests that students are seven times more academically motivated when they believe their voices are heard as compared to students who do not. How might we integrate student voice into the way schools work while also honoring what students have to say? (more…)

Master Schedule: A Climate and Culture Initiative

For school leaders, January brings the unofficial start to master schedule season. A master schedule includes decisions about course offerings, teacher plan periods, teacher course recommendations, utilization of Full-Time Equivalency (FTE), instructional interventions, and even lunch times. January is often the time of year that principals and assistant principals begin to formulate a plan to best utilize their resources to meet student needs through an efficient and effective master schedule. (more…)

What American Schools Can Learn from Germany

I recently returned from a trip to Germany sponsored by the Goethe Institute and Germany’s Central Agency for Schools Abroad. The focus of the trip was to learn about Germany’s vocational schools and training programs as well as to learn more about how they teach languages other than German. As with any international trip, especially one focusing on schools, there was much to learn. Here are a few lessons the U.S. school system can learn from Germany. (more…)