School of Thought

The Power of Walk-Through Observations

Think back to when you were a classroom teacher. Imagine your principal walking into your classroom to conduct a walk-through observation. Does a wave of anxiety wash over you? Do you dread the fact that they are sitting in your classroom? Do you wonder, but never learn, what they are thinking when it comes to your classroom instruction because you simply never receive any feedback? Unfortunately, many teachers harbor these feelings about walk-through observations, but it doesn’t have to be this way! (more…)

NASSP Highlights the Impact of U.S. Census in Free Virtual Event

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau seeks to record the population throughout the country. On March 5, NASSP invited Jocelyn Bissonette, director of the Funders Census Initiative at the Funders Committee for Civic Participation; and Trevor Greene, superintendent at Yakima Public Schools, to share insights during a virtual event about the significance of this data—and why it matters for school leaders. (more…)

Experiencing the Loss of a Student or Teacher: Responding to Crisis

Over the past seven years, Beachwood High School in Beachwood, OH, has been severely impacted by the untimely deaths of eight individuals—seven students and one teacher. In all seven cases in which a student was lost, mental health played a significant role. (more…)

Creating Career Pathways With the Academy Model

When I became the principal of West Craven High School, a rural school in North Carolina, I realized that only 30 percent of my students attended college after graduation. As a principal, I’m concerned with every student’s success after graduation, and an uncertain future for 70 percent of them concerned me and my staff. As a result, we made the career and college promise a reality. (more…)

The Zero-Waste Revolution in Schools

Hawaiʻi is an isolated island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is desperately short of landfill space and good soil. Located on the windward side of Oahu in beautiful Kailua, Kaʻōhao School has embraced a growing worldwide environmental movement that embraces a philosophy encouraging the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. (more…)

Finalists Announced: 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year

The NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year (APOY) program annually recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals from across the country who provide high-quality learning opportunities for their students. They have been acknowledged by their peers for exemplary contributions to the profession. 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 select one assistant principal to represent them, and from these, three finalists are chosen. (more…)

How We Became Believers: What We Learned Implementing an SEL Program

We knew we were looking for something to help our students transition to high school successfully, but what we didn’t know was that we were looking for social-emotional learning (SEL). (more…)

Maximizing Space and Talent in Your School

I think one of the best parts of being a principal is when a fleeting comment becomes an idea, an idea becomes a conversation, and that idea then becomes an integral part of your school’s DNA. These ideas and conversations might answer the question, “How do we make this better?” or, “What’s the next big thing?”For us, the next big thing involved taking advantage of our space through partnerships that expand learning opportunities for students in our school and others in the district. (more…)

Principal Recovery Network Briefs Congress on Capitol Hill

Last week, the NASSP Principal Recovery Network (PRN) hosted their first-ever public event, speaking directly to members of Congress and their staffs at a briefing event on Capitol Hill. School leaders shared emotional stories about the tragic shootings that unfolded in their buildings. They inspired attendees as they described the heroism displayed by students, educators, and first responders on the day of the incident, as well as the resilience of their communities in the weeks, months, and years that followed. (more…)

Variability and Vulnerability: Leading the Way for All

I am an unabashed super nerd. While most administrators I know roll their eyes and let out a heavy sigh at the mere mention of administrator meetings or mandated conferences, I actually get excited. I enjoy learning so much that I typically find a pearl of knowledge from the most mundane training. (more…)