Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center is a middle school on the west side of Indianapolis that was in need of a new school administrator. MSD of Wayne Township Superintendent Dr. Terry Thompson has overseen an impressive series of building initiatives which, most recently, included rebuilding the school into a state-of-the-art facility. As part of that makeover the school also got a new principal in order to enhance school leadership and education leadership school-wide. I had chance to speak with Sheri Marcotte this past week. She is an experienced and impressive educator. I asked her to comment on lessons learned in her first year at her new school. Below are excerpts that I have paraphrased from her responses to a number of questions posed to her in our conversation.
What is your backgro...
Our intent with the development of the School Climate and Culture survey benchmark was to measure school district employee perspectives on issues of organizational culture, school climate, school culture, overall school effectiveness and employee morale. Our belief is that these characteristics of the school and school district organization are not just linked with one another but also with development of K-12 educational leaders and successful schools. Indeed, studies show that school culture is one of the most significant factors influencing student success...
I was speaking with the superintendent of a mid-sized district in the Midwest this week. He is an old friend and someone I regard as an expert in education leadership and school leadership. We had not had a chance to connect in some time. He was updating me on developments with a school administrator in his districts and we were sharing thoughts on all manner of tangentially related topics.
The conversation turned towards my current research project on School Climate and Culture. He is very familiar with the work we do in this area and has used our services in prior districts. As we discussed the need for and importance of conducting nationally normed school culture studies, he said something rather simple but profound...
School turnaround experts in educational leadership are becoming ever more popular in certain parts of the country. A recent NPR report on the use of Turnaround for Children in the Bronx provides an interesting overview on the situation creating this need as well as some insight into their approach.
The keys to success are clear (especially when studied in hindsight):
- Focus on behavior. Don’t allow classrooms to be disrupted. Learning does not happen when behavior problems arise. Teach teachers how to deal with these issues quickly and effectively. Ensure that school administrators do their best to support teachers.
- Separate academic issues from social / emotional issues. Schools must be able to sort through the issues and directly address the most significant issues first...
Three-hundred and sixty degree feedback — also known as multi-rater feedback — is an excellent diagnostic and development tool for education leadership development with public schools and school districts. Not only do those who are new to educational leadership develop a more comprehensive and accurate self-image, the school leadership framework we utilize helps them develop a much deeper understanding of the commitments of leadership.
Within our 360-degree feedback framework, K-12 educational leaders are provided with insights into their leadership practices by other principals, their faculty and their district-level supervisors and key contacts...
Climate and culture within a school is often underrated as a cause of failure among our schools. Indeed most leaders — and students of education leadership — spend far more time focused on instructional related matters, educational leadership issues, personnel issues, bus schedules and even lunch duty. While these are all important aspects of running a school, many leaders spend little time truly understanding and actively managing school culture.
There are countless resources and studies that one can review for approaches to school culture. There are equally countless books on leadership that school leaders can leverage to understand how to address the management challenges associated with addressing culture issues...
We would like to thank our clients for their past patronage and partnership. We hope we’ve helped districts better understand their school climate, culture and leadership through the research and benchmarking data we’ve provided.
We will no longer be administering surveys or offering analysis of survey results.
The mission of the NCFSL has been to help districts better understand their school climate, culture and leadership through research and benchmarking data; we are grateful we have been able to help our clients do so.
Although the NCFSL website will remain up for the time being, we will no longer be administering surveys or offering analysis of survey results. However, we will make available to you survey questions via PDF if you would like to administer the surveys yourselves...