Professional Development

Redefining the High School Experience: A Trauma-Informed Approach

Guest post by Deborah Moya

What makes ABQ Charter Academy (ABQCA) different from any traditional high school or charter school? I believe our mission statement says it all: “The mission of ABQ Charter Academy is to redefine the high school experience.” Many of our scholars have had very negative experiences in traditional high schools. They seek to find a place where they belong, and we offer an environment that is centered on each individual scholar and their unique differences.  (more…)

Taking Aim at the National Drug Epidemic: How One School Chose to Fight the Battle

Guest post by Robert Suman

In a suburban school district 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, school leaders in the Norwin School District took a proactive stance against one of the fastest-growing epidemics to sweep the country—opioid addiction.

In the last calendar year alone, Norwin has lost five recent graduates to this quiet killer and elected to pursue and implement a program to educate its student body.  Norwin personnel have come to realize that no one is immune to this epidemic, regardless of age, race, gender, or socio-economic status. We can take two courses of action—be proactive or be reactive. With a drug problem that is trending quickly in the wrong direction, we have elected to be proactive and take an active role in educating our students. (more…)

Hashtags & Chats: A Training Plan for Twitter Success, Part One

Guest post by Nicholas Indeglio

Before the emergence of the World Wide Web, competitive endurance athletes relied on magazine ads to find like-minded locals to train with, to compete against, and to engage as a race crew. The internet broadened that scope globally and now platforms like Strava, Zwift, and MapMyFitness provide slick user interfaces which allow athletes to connect virtually through shared workouts, weekly challenges, diet and nutrition, comment areas, and more. A whole new world of connectivity has emerged. Fortunately, similar networks exist for school leaders and the most powerful one is absolutely free. (more…)

Using Feedback to Foster a Collaborative Campus Culture

Guest post by Melissa King-Knowles

When I was a teacher, I started using feedback looping processes to survey my high school students about particular units and methods of assessment. I asked what they liked and didn’t like and sought input on my teaching practice. With their brutal (ahem, I mean beautiful) honesty, students brought me to my knees on a couple of occasions. (more…)

Grow Teacher Leaders to Cultivate a Collaborative Climate: Tools to Use Today

Guest post by Brent Rowland 

 

Do you have a handful of rock star teachers who are your go-to people, so you keep going to them over, and over, and over?

Imagine finding that just-right leadership spot for all of your teachers—that place where school needs match teacher interest. What would that do to connect them to the school’s mission, distribute leadership, and develop teacher capacity?

(more…)

My Conversation With Betsy DeVos

By JoAnn Bartoletti

Maybe it should have been enough that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos chose the 2017 NASSP Principals Institute for her first address at a major national education association event. But to maximize the opportunity, NASSP President Dan Kelley and I spoke privately with the secretary about a few top-of-mind issues for NASSP and for the school leaders we represent. (more…)

The Multidimensional Impact of School Climate

Guest post by Cheryl Spittler

The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 has ushered in a new paradigm for student achievement that now includes nonacademic indictors in addition to measuring proficiency in math, English language arts, and English-language proficiency (for English-language learners), as well as high school graduation rates. These nonacademic indicators are aimed at providing a broader measure of student performance and include:  (more…)

See Your School Through the Eyes of a Student

To discover new ways to make our schools ever better places to learn, we have to understand the school experience—but as the students see it, not as we believe it to be.

(more…)

My Experience with Powerful Professional Development

Guest post by Daniel Kelley

Principals across the country may face their own set of unique challenges, but one fact applies to all of them: They need greater support and training.

I say this for many reasons, but the top one is this: School leadership is one of the most important influences on student achievement, second only to quality instruction. This is huge. And if principals don’t receive quality professional development (PD) on a regular basis, it is the students who will suffer. (more…)

Edcamp Leadership: A One-of-a-kind Professional Learning Experience

If you’re like most school leaders, you have sat through countless hours of presentations and videos—some compulsory, some of your own choosing—that bear the broad label professional development. Typically, you’re talked at, given a few minutes to discuss, then talked at some more. This still-pervasive model reinforces a few damaging assumptions about professional learning. The first is the assumption that your professional learning is a passive activity—something that happens to you, not something you control and direct. The second is that professional learning is an information dump—the transfer of knowledge from an illuminated sage to, well, the rest of us. (more…)