school climate

Getting New Teachers off to the Right Start: The New Teacher Jump Start

Guest post by Rachel Heide

What support can districts provide to new teachers to help them adjust to the school community and the demands of the profession?

Two vital components for producing positive student outcomes are recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers. According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Education study on public school teacher attrition and mobility rates, as new teachers move toward their fifth year of teaching, the rate of attrition nears 20 percent (IES, 2015). When nearly one in five teachers is leaving the profession by his or her fifth year of teaching, schools run the risk of losing talented teachers who could be making the needed impact toward positive student outcomes. Finding ways to retain the talented teachers we hire has become an imperative, and this was identified as a key ingredient for meeting the needs of students during a period of population growth at Erie Middle School.

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Payson High School, Part 2: Building a School Culture of Responsibility through Embedded Intervention

Guest post by Jeff Simon

Last week, I discussed the importance of building a positive school culture by utilizing a one-hour lunch period for clubs and activities that foster school pride and for innovative labs that encourage enthusiasm for learning. This week, I will share how we’ve built a culture of personal responsibility at Payson High School by providing a positive support system for student learning through embedded intervention.

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Payson High School, Part 1: Building a Positive Culture of School Pride and Enthusiasm for Learning

Guest post by Jeff Simon

Indiana Jones was my hero growing up—I wanted to be just like him. And now, as high school administrator, I get to do that every day, because not only did Indiana Jones study culture, he taught it to inquisitive minds and instilled passion in curious students to become lifelong learners.

Principals know that as the culture goes, so does the school. From Day 1, our administrative goal at Payson High School has been to build a culture that focuses on pride in our school and enthusiasm for learning. (more…)

Developing a Discipline Philosophy: Eagle Pride

Guest post by Cameron Soester

For years many schools have adopted common instructional language, which has produced some amazing results. At Milford Public Schools we have taken a similar approach to adopting common discipline language. Though other programs exist that guide leadership teams to develop a discipline philosophy, we took a path less traveled and made Eagle Pride, a one-of-a-kind customized program for our preK–12 students. (more…)

Character Education: The Building Block of Success

Guest post by Kendrick Myers

For years, character education has played a large role in schools. In 39 states, character education is mandated or encouraged. It is mentioned in the legislation of every state except for one, and in Alabama it has been a mandated part of the curriculum since 1995. However, character education is more than a mandate or legislative injunction. According to the National Forum on Character Education, it helps solve behavioral problems and improve academic achievement. (more…)

Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Center for American Progress Event Features NASSP Member

Richard Loeschner, an NASSP member and principal of Breakthrough School Brentwood High School in Brentwood, NY, was featured last week at a Center for American Progress event on “Harnessing the Talent of DACA and Unauthorized Students at the K–12 Level.” The event focused on the patchwork of policies and practices that unauthorized students face in K–12 schools and the varying levels of support they receive from schools that might not recognize their unique challenges. Mr. Loeschner’s school has found particular success in raising the achievement of immigrant students and was featured on the event’s panel discussion. A recording of the event can now be viewed online. NASSP’s Associate Director of Advocacy David Chodak was also in attendance. (more…)

How School “Brand” Determines Student Outcomes

Guest post by Baruti K. Kafele, an award-winning educator, internationally renowned speaker, and best-selling author, who will lead two sessions at Ignite ’15, February 19–21.

The brand of any school tells a story. It reveals to everyone—students, staff, parents, and the community—who you are as a school. Your school’s brand can be defined intentionally, or it can evolve organically; but a brand that evolves organically may not be the one you most desire. Your school’s brand matters—it determines student outcomes.

Here’s a brief illustration that I share in discussions with educators about school brand: There’s a popular Southern-based restaurant chain, and whenever I enter these restaurants, a very unique experience consistently occurs. Someone behind the counter yells out, “Welcome to [our restaurant]!” The consistency of their greeting speaks volumes about their brand. (more…)

It’s Not Too Late—Get Ready to Meet these Members Making a Difference

Are you looking to connect with fellow NASSP members who found significant value from their membership? Ignite ’15 offers a perfect venue. Ahead of the conference—which starts Thursday, February 19—get acquainted with some of these participating members and make plans to meet.

You say you’re not registered for Ignite ’15, but have a last-minute craving for a no-regrets opportunity to network and grow professionally? No worries. You can register on-site! Alternatively, consider purchasing access to the live streaming portal if you or your team are unable to be there in person.

When you become familiar with these members’ stories you’ll discover more about the NASSP advantages that are making a difference in schools and with students nationwide: (more…)