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…)
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…)
Guest post by Jessica Ainsworth
The use of standardized or large-scale assessments affect the decision-making of policymakers, educational leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders—as those of us at Lithia Springs High School learned when standardized testing results and other factors placed us on the state’s “at-risk” list. Lithia Springs High was considered a failing school in Georgia, and we had an enormous task before us to change that perception. (more…)
Guest post by Clint Williams
Administrators are asked to wear a great many hats to represent a number of roles on any given day. Perhaps most important is the role of learning leader. While that role is often seen as the person who is ultimately responsible for ensuring student learning, it is also important to remember that principals and associate principals are responsible for staff learning as well. (more…)
Guest post by Matthew Younghans
In the ever-changing world of Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), significant value has been put on teacher evaluations. While once a narrative write-up process, our current systems are a far cry from the past. The power and control of such processes now lie within the domain of state regulation and at the collective bargaining table, which can even differ by district. I have found that creating a comfort zone regarding the process, inclusive of clear expectations, will help to defuse some of the normal teacher anxiety that can be present during these times. (more…)
Guest post by Heberto Hinojosa, Jr.
As we look toward equity in all aspects of our schools, the small representation of low-income Latino students in advanced courses is of note. Over the last four years, I have had an opportunity to conduct a qualitative study to investigate parental influences and their perception of effective school practices that contribute to low-income, first- and second-generation Latino student success across Texas. Middle school students who were enrolled in at least one pre-AP class and earned honor roll the previous semester are those considered successful for the purposes of the study. (more…)
Guest post by Holly Ripley
As you well know, the role of the assistant principal has changed dramatically since the days when our primary responsibility was to serve as the resident disciplinarian. Addressing poor student behavior is of course still a necessary part of the job, but I work to minimize the time I spend on it so I can do the important work of coaching teachers and—sometimes directly, often indirectly—guiding students. If all students are in classes where they feel cared about, comfortable, and confident in learning, then we ultimately have very little misbehavior to deal with. (more…)
Guest post by Lesley Corner.
Literacy is the ability to read and write, but at Camden High School, we’ve expanded that definition to include speaking and listening. Students must have the capacity to apply these skills not only at school, but outside of the academic setting as well to communicate effectively and compete globally. Camden High School takes a cross-curricular approach to promote literacy both within and outside of our school through two courses in our Freshmen Transition Program that focus on literacy development, our community summer reading program, a schoolwide literacy learning network, and the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). (more…)
Guest post by Michele Paine
An area of passion for me as a school leader involves facilitating teacher growth. One way I work on this is by hosting several professional book studies during the school year.
Our district pays teachers for two days of flexible professional development time each contract year. Teachers can choose from a variety of options, including conferences, regional training, and state-led events. With all of these choices, however, I feel it is important to foster collegial discussion and professional reading. (more…)
Guest post by Michele Paine
On the Fourth of July, I had the opportunity to reconnect with a colleague who had just finished her first year as a K–6 principal in a small rural partner school in the Greater Flathead Valley area, where I serve as assistant principal in one of its high schools. Over margaritas, we laughed about our school year, each of us sharing “lessons learned” during the year. While she serves an elementary school and I serve a high school, we found that our lessons could apply universally. (more…)