For administrators taking on the challenge of turning around failing schools, developing a strategic focus for improvement efforts is crucial. The Stringfellow Elementary School—a preK-5 school in the Colquitt County Schools in Georgia—had been one of the lowest-performing schools in the state, given a failing grade by the Georgia DOE and under risk of state takeover.
Jody Spiro, the Wallace Foundation’s director of education leadership, talks about how the “Principal Pipeline” program identifies and develops qualified educators to take on the rigors of becoming a principal.
Pat Skorkowsky, superintendent of Clark County School District in Nevada, has expanded a franchise principal concept in which successful principals take over management of multiple schools, replicating the same educational approach in each.
Following a successful pilot last year with two principals, the initiative involves training a core of administrative leaders who can continue to implement the policies and goals that have been working at each school.
One elementary school in Minnesota riffed on the wildly popular Pokémon Go app to create its own virtual reality game that helps incoming students feel more comfortable with beginning the school year in an unfamiliar building.
Elementary schools differ in many ways—even within the same district—but new principals can follow leadership practices in keeping the focus on teaching and learning every school day.
Submitted by Matthew Zalaznick on Tue, 06/28/2016 - 2:00am
For years, Meridian 223 in Illinois had rampant superintendent turnover, budget constraints and a lack of leadership. Administrators, therefore, sought out a system to foster principal leadership beyond typical school improvement models.
In 2014, the district looked toward the business world. It started using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award framework for excellence. The district vision now is to “have world-class results while maintaining small-town values,” says Superintendent P.J. Caposey.
If you are a team leader—a department head, grade-level lead, coach or an administrator—chances are high that conflict makes you nervous. It makes most of us nervous, and when we’re in a position of leadership, there’s an implicit understanding that we’re supposed to do something about conflict.
Other recommended books focus on rewiring the brain for critical thinking, how principals can hone leadership skills and how to teach energy concepts across all science disciplines.
A Tale of Two School Principals: And the Superintendent Who Wanted to Lead Them is not your conventional leadership book. Told in a narrative form, the book is a journey of discovery as the characters learn to get to the deeper meaning and intent of a new district policy.
Libby Schaaf, mayor of Oakland, established in January the Oakland Promise, a project with more than 100 community partners working to triple the number of the city’s low-income, public school students who go on to graduate college.