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Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky has tasked successful principals with the management of multiple schools.

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.

Is that a giraffe in the hallway? Using the app, Aurasma, new students at Greenwood Elementary in Minnesota play Grizz-e-mon to feel more familiar and safe in their new school. In the example above, students “freed” this giraffe from inside of an egg.

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.

Paul S. Haughey is principal of Millville Elementary School in the Blackstone-Millville Regional School District in Massachusetts.

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.

Systems Thinking to Develop District Leaders

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.

Elena Aguilar has been a teacher, coach and leader in education for over 20 years. She is the author of the forthcoming "The Art of Coaching Teams."

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.

"The Superintendent and the CFO" offers guidance on offers advice on identifying and setting values, directing the business of learning, and creating a climate for continued success.

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.

Chris Bart and Margot Trevelyan's new book looks at how leaders communicate and inspire cooperation.

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.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has spearheaded the creations of college savings account for the city's low-income students.

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.

Since Cedrick Gray Gray became superintendent of Jackson Public Schools in 2012, the Mississippi district’s state and national accreditation was restored, graduation rates increased and dropout rates decreased.

Cedrick Gray of Jackson Public Schools in Mississippi was named 2015 Superintendent of the Year by the National Alliance of Black School Educators in November. The award goes to an administrator whose leadership has brought significant improvements for students of African descent.

Source: National Council on Teacher Quality (Click to enlarge)

The vast majority of states require student growth and achievement to be factored into teacher and principal evaluations.

But most states and districts are now grappling with the practical realities of implementing those policies, according to the October report “State of the States 2015: Evaluating Teaching, Leading and Learning” from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

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