Goal Achieved! 1st Year Principalship, SLLA exam practice Paid Off

My last post, I spoke of 2012-13 school year being my leap year. This year 2013-14 I made the transition from Assistant Principal to Principal. With alot of hard work, prayer and staying abreast of current trends in school and instructional leadership has finally paid off. Read more here. Roxboro is in Person county,a small district about 30 miles from Durham,NC. It was a 3 year quest that was full of hard challenges,happy celebrations, difficult conversations and courageous decision-making. My last year as an assistant Principal was focused on high-level teaching & learning for students and teachers. Professional development and honest feedback helped solidified my my vision of school leadership. I also had some Principal preparation training that was very beneficial. Slla practice exam also helped. If you are just starting your journey to school leadership, I got good news for you. I’m gonna tell you how I did it in the hopes that you can get some take aways and make the leap yourself>
It’s a different view from the Principal’s desk! Stay tuned.
newschool-leader

Goal Achieved 80+ % Proficiency!

Our 4th qtr end of grading testing results indicate 80+ % of our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are proficient. That may not be a big deal to some school leaders, but it is to us. We are a urban magnet school with 80+ percent of our student receiving free or reduced lunch. What we just accomplished kills the notion that poor students cannot learn. What it took was innovative teaching & learning combined with focused leadership, dedication and high expectations for all. Now we begin a new quest, The Common Core. I am excited as this will include more rigor and relevance. We will also implement a heavy dose of tech integration, to promote and demonstrate those higher order thinking skills. Sorry for the delay in post, but I will try to update more frequently. A lot going on, you know I’m sure. Feel free to leave a comment!

Halfway Pt. Yr. 2 Sch Admin-“What I’ve Learned so Far”

Halfway point of my 2nd yr. as a school admin, what have I learned so far?

1.Say what you mean, mean what you say and follow through with what you expect.
This is for managing & coaching teachers and staff, communicate up front your expectations, get buy in and have accountability with implementation and outcomes.
2. Update staff regularly on routine polices and procedures. One slip up or mistake can be costly.
3. Students need authentic, engaging instruction. Continuous PD with teachers will help achieve this goal
4. Have a set of Non-negotiables, everyday in relation to instruction, teaching and learning. Research-based strategies that are proven to increase student learning and achievement.
5. Celebrate & acknowledge your staff’s & student’s successes daily. Let them know that you appreciate their hard work & effort.
Our goal is 80% or higher proficiency and high growth for our students. Halfway point data dig in next post!

Still Winning!

Leadership Excellence Award to R.N. Harris administrative team that achieved the highest percentage of Scorecard Growth Goals for 2010-11. The school received a check from the Business Advisory Council for $2,500 for leadership development.
Pictured:R.N Harris Elementary Integrated Arts and Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School, with Principal Carolyn Pugh and Assistant Principal Adriese Williams.
Harris surpassed all but one of their growth goals in reading and math, made High Growth on the ABCs and met 100% of their AYP goals. RN Harris’s overall percentage of goals met was 70.8 percent. Read more here

Week 5, Molding & Shaping…

School is in full swing, and teachers and students are settling into routines. Our district is using the AFL framework (Assessment for Learning) which helps helps teachers and administrators monitor & track student achievement. PLC‘s are a big part of AFL, so I decided to share two PLC meetings conducted this week to give some insight and gather some feedback. You will hear our Instructional Facilitator, Catherine Long, our 4th, 3rd Grade Teachers ,EC Teacher and myself. Ms.Pugh is our Principal at RN Harris.

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February, the toughest month of the year…

Mid Febuary, The Holidays are a distance memory, Spring is a distance future. The weather is awful,and stress is mounting from students, teachers & administration. Testing and data is being thrown in teachers faces and they in turn are turning to students for more production. Students don’t see the relevance and disipline erupts. Add a layer of bullying and we have the perfect febuary storm. Solutions?

1. De-Stress, students,teachers, and admins. Take time out for yourself to re-group, re-focus, and finish the mission (high student achievement)
2. Plan for disipline, we know who and what the triggers are. Disipline problems are predictable at this time of the year. Plan more hands-on , relevant activites for your students.
3. Recognize when they had enough, incorporate some fun learning activites throughout the day, especially on Mondays and Fridays.
4. Keep communication open with parents and administration, let them know how students are doing academically and socially.
5. Investigate & report all incidents of Bullying. The Bully Box, http://moultrieobserver.com/local/x563628969/Bully-box
6. Feel free to use this form for reporting bullying. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid...
7. Let admins know if you cannot handle it yourself, & document it.
8. If your feeling too stressed, let your principal know and take a mental health day. You and your students will be better in the long run.