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New Schools Training: Resource Round Up

Posts from NewTech - Wed, 2013-07-03 13:54
We hosted our New Schools Training for the schools joining our network for 2013 in Grand Rapids Michigan.

We hosted our New Schools Training for the schools joining our network for 2013 in Grand Rapids Michigan the week of July 23rd. It was a very exciting event bringing together schools from all over the country who are ready to re-imagine teaching and learning. It is an intense week of learning that results in much sharing of resources, reflections and ideas.

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Paying Forward

Posts from EdWorks - Tue, 2013-07-02 16:42

The key to community engagement is the ability to pay forward. Akron Buchtel Community Learning Center recently hosted a career day for students to practice their interview skills, communication skills and engage in the qualities required for work readiness. The US Department of Education is transforming the educational landscape by encouraging more female students to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). It is great to see private businesses, such as Parker Hannifin, participate in the national STEM initiative.

Guest post by Randall G. Sampson, PhD, a former Technical Assistance Coach with EDWorks.

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Engaging Youth to Create Safe, Clean and Welcoming Schools

Posts from EdWorks - Tue, 2013-07-02 16:34

At EDWorks we believe that every child can succeed in college and in the workplace with the right tools, preparation and support. We work closely with school leaders, staff and students building systems which will enable first-generation college-goers and traditionally under-served students to graduate from high school better prepared for college. Through this work, our team spends a significant amount of time working in schools and neighborhoods most of the nation has already thrown away. When we walk into many of these schools the first thing we notice broken fences, high weeds and uncut grass, graffiti and trash in the yard and halls. When we ask why the school grounds haven’t been cared for we are told budget cuts cause some of the problems and kids don’t care so they continually trash the school.

In our New Start work with turnaround schools, we focus both on Quick Wins (visible changes which can be implemented quickly and show positive results) and Long Term Results (less visible changes which result in statistical changes in academic achievement). Improving the physical atmosphere is a great way to earn a quick win but many school leaders fear such changes take too long and are too expensive.

Here is a process for engaging youth in building the foundation for a safe, clean and welcoming school environment. This process is directly aligned with EDWorks’ K-TECH framework. K-TECH is EDWorks’ framework for integrating characteristics of a safe and purposeful school environment into overall school improvement.

Know | Trust | Empower | Care | Honor

K- Know Your Students

  • Ask around the school and identify which students seem to be pretty handy and/or who really like to work with their hands. Invite them to join your Building and Grounds Team. Your team should also have a couple faculty members and custodial or maintenance staff.
  • During the first meeting, find out what kinds of hands on work they like to do and what kinds of work they wish they knew how to do. Learn about their interests, hobbies and ideas for making the school safer, cleaner and more welcoming.
    • If you are at an elementary, invite the students and their parents / grandparents together. This can be a great way to involve parents in school and to help kids and families bond together.

T- Trust (Develop a Sense of Trust)

  • Building and Grounds Team should conduct a School Facility Walk-through. I recommend that you break your team into pairs with 1 adult and 1 youth in each group. Ask students to lead the Walk-through since they have the best knowledge of their school. This activity will help students and adults learn the strengths and areas of improvement for their school.

E- Empower Students in Authentic Ways

  • The most important part of the Walk-through is the debrief. Engage students and their adult partners in identifying the strengths and areas of improvement needed at the school. Ask each pair to report on the 5 most important strengths and areas of improvement.
  • As a team, rank the reported strengths and areas of improvement. There may be some areas of improvement which are very costly and/or beyond your control (at least in the near future). Talk about what those are and set a goal for how to move forward to fix them.
  • Identify areas of improvement which can be addressed quickly or inexpensively. Brainstorm strategies for how students can lead the effort to make improvements in your target areas.

C- Connect Students in Meaningful Ways

  • After the brainstorm activities, ask students to identify one to two strategies they feel most comfortable addressing. Ask a custodian, maintenance person or other interested faculty member to collaborate with them on a student-led project. If funding is an issue, reach out to local hardware businesses for support. Many businesses will offer schools free or discounted items. In fact, Lowes and Home Depot provide grants to schools for this type of work. These businesses also will oftentimes provide employees to partner with your school to actually do the work and/or teach your students who to do the work.

H- Honor All Students

  • Invite students to actively promote the school’s strengths through PA announcements and their own social media. Co-create tweets, announcements and other posts to show off what is great about their school.
  • At the conclusion of each project, hold a media event to honor the students, staff, parents and community members who participated in making the school a better place.
  • Ask Building and Grounds Team to create contests and award/reward opportunities to honor students and staff who go out of their way to make the school look and feel welcoming.

How does your school engage students in creating a safe, clean and welcoming environment? Please comment below to share what works in your school.

Guest Post by Michele Timmons, a former Manager of Partnership Development and Technical Assistance Coach for EDWorks.

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Fun and Learning in the Sun: Summer Bridge Programs

Posts from EdWorks - Tue, 2013-07-02 16:34

Summer is here. Students are excited about swimming, sleeping in, hanging out and… going to school. Huh? The only kids who go to school in the summer are those who failed something, right? Wrong. Many schools are re-thinking summer and academic engagement by creating fun and educational learning opportunities oftentimes called Summer Bridge.

At EDWorks we define a Summer Bridge program as a program for transitioning students designed to:

  • Improve academic skills for incoming students
  • Build relationships with students and staff so they feel more connected to their school
  • Better understand the expectations, culture and climate of the school

Why should your school consider creating a Summer Bridge program?

Building a Grad Nation (2012) identifies transition years (especially grades 8 to 10) as critical points in a child’s life when additional supports are needed if students are to remain on a path towards high school graduation. Disconnected students are significantly more likely to drop out of school. Summer Bridge programs are a great way to build those connections with students before school starts.

Do kids actually attend these programs?

Yes! Summer Bridge programs which are designed well and based upon the actual needs and interests of students are highly attended. Summer Bridge is not summer school with a new name. So, the key is in the programming. If the programming is active and engaging then kids will not only come to the program, they will love it. Many will then volunteer to help create future programs.

What happens in Summer Bridge?

There are as many designs as there are schools. Every program should be different and developed to meet the specific needs of the school and students. Here are a few examples of different types of summer bridge programs.

  • Middle level STEM school: The focus for this school is teaching kids to develop their design thinking skills, improve their ability to work in collaborative teams and build relationships among staff and students. High school students worked with the middle school principal to create the program which is focused on STEM Design Challenges. The high school volunteers will actually run the design challenges so teachers can participate along with their kids.
  • High school environmental STEM school: This program is co-developed by upperclassmen and teachers using a design challenge model. Staff and upperclassmen co-facilitate the program for incoming freshman and any new students. Program activities are mainly centered on team building, developing strong relationships among staff and students and introducing students to the STEM “way” of inquiry and collaboration in a fun non-threatening environment.
  • Early College High Schools: EDWorks’ Fast Track early college high schools hold Summer Bridge Programs for incoming freshman. During the program, students take a college course and earn college credit. The course is typically focused on building college readiness skills so students are better prepared to succeed in high school and college. Other activities are focused on ACT / SAT readiness and understanding how to navigate high school and college systems.
  • Urban/turnaround schools: Several schools offer opportunities for tutoring, mentoring, counseling and networking for each student to ease the transition between schools. One school’s program is targeted on building math and literacy skills. This program uses literacy strategies and hands-on activities to reinforce mathematical concepts. They also have sessions where students are doing team building activities learning more about collaboration and how to work as a team. Many schools also use this time to hold Activity Fairs during their programs where incoming students can learn about co-curricular activities and sign up to join the groups.

How do you fund Summer Bridge?

Summer Bridge doesn’t have to be expensive to be successful. Many schools set aside federal Title funds to help offset staffing costs. Volunteers from the community and upperclassmen can also participate to keep costs down. If your school participates in federal school lunch programs then you can also apply for summer food programs to cover costs of breakfast or lunch. Mini-grants from local businesses can help cover costs for supplies. Man businesses like to collaborate on projects with schools. They provide supplies and volunteers to work with your kids and families on specific design challenges or service learning projects. You can also partner with community based summer program providers to share space or share costs for activities and community based learning opportunities.

If you are looking at grants to fund your summer bridge program (or any other education program), Like EDWorks on Facebook for access to education grant opportunities.

Guest Post by Michele Timmons, a former Manager of Partnership Development and Technical Assistance Coach for EDWorks.

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Student Voice at #NST13: Reflections by @EmmyRyder2016 & @AnnaMae7784

Posts from NewTech - Mon, 2013-07-01 09:17
Project Based Learning students reflect on their #NST13 expericence.

Being able to be a part of New Schools Training this past week was life changing. We were able to meet so many amazing educators from across the country and network with them as well. We were so privileged to be able to lead a Collaboration Clinic. As students ourselves, it was a great learning experience to flip the table and become the teacher. We were asked by Matt Thompson and Theresa Shafer to lead a clinic on students’ point of view, and our personal student stories.

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Final Reflection #NST13: New Tech planning has ceased to be our work; it has become our passion.

Posts from NewTech - Mon, 2013-07-01 08:33
New Tech planning has ceased to be our work; it has become our passion.

Thanks to rampant flight delays all across the Mid-West, I finally have some time to post my final NST13 reflection. It was a bittersweet moment this morning sitting down to breakfast with my Cougar New Tech team for the final time on this trip. We have been working together on our New Tech launch since October, but it wasn't until New Schools that we became a team. Our team is made up of people from different backgrounds, different personalities and different points of view. Having varied past experiences makes us strong. Having shared experiences has made us united.

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Day 4 #NST13: Clarifying Moments

Posts from NewTech - Fri, 2013-06-28 06:56
Follow our project based learning schools and teacher on his new school's training journey.

Thursday has been a mixed bag of emotions. I don’t think I have been this mentally fatigued since my undergrad years. Despite my brain feeling like oatmeal, I have never been more excited to work. Since first exploring New Tech this time last year, I kept trying to envision myself teaching in the PBL model. My undergraduate preparation introduced me to PBL and gave me a glimpse of what I wanted my classroom to look like, but until today I couldn’t see myself completely in the picture.

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Woo Hoo Day 3!: #NST13 Teacher Reflection

Posts from NewTech - Thu, 2013-06-27 06:12
Project based learning teacher blogs his journey through New Tech Network New Schools Training.

Woo hoo day three! On Monday I was a bit selfish and reflected only on my personal feelings. Tuesday I shelfed my ego a bit and focused on team spirit and the beauty of collaboration. Tonight I want to go a little more big picture and focus on the value of being part of a nationwide network.

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Day Two of #NST13: A Teacher's Reflections

Posts from NewTech - Wed, 2013-06-26 06:36
Follow along with Josh on his journey through New Schools Training with New Tech Network

Day two of New Schools Training is officially in the books! Looking back on my twelve hour work day it has been difficult to narrow down my experiences to just a few highlights that anyone would want to read. Hopefully if you read day one and came back to read day two I haven’t bored you to death yet.

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Design Thinking

Posts from EdWorks - Tue, 2013-06-25 10:52

Whenever I read about the Maker Movement, I’m proud because I know we’ve been nurturing innovators long before it became a “movement.” At many of our partner schools, we employ design thinking – an integrated, holistic way of approaching problem-solving that requires in-depth consideration of issues from multiple perspectives, acute observation, relentless questioning and sportsmanlike collaboration. It leads to out-of-the-box creative thinking and innovative solutions.

In an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes this weekend, Charlie Rose interviewed David Kelley from IDEO, is a global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations. Kelley approaches problems in a way students everywhere can.

In another 60 Minutes interview in January 2013, Kelley said, “The big thing about design thinking is it allows people to build on the ideas of others. Instead of just having that one thread. You think about it, I come up with an idea, and then somebody from somewhere else says, ‘Oh that makes me think we should do this and then we could do that.’ And then you get to a place that you just can’t get to in one mind.”

Watch this weekend’s interview with David Kelley on 60 Minutes:

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Follow Josh on his #NST13 Journey: New Schools Training, Day One

Posts from NewTech - Tue, 2013-06-25 05:43
A "new to the network" teacher blogs about day one of his journey at New Tech Network's New School's Training.

Waking up for the first day of New Schools Training was like waking up for the first day of my senior year of high school. When my alarm sounded this morning I sprang into action thinking of all the opportunities awaiting me. I packed my laptop, laced up a new pair of shoes then dragged myself to Starbucks. Meeting my Cougar New Tech team in the hotel lobby for breakfast was like reuniting with classmates after a busy summer. Our energy levels were unusually high for seven o’clock on a June morning.

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Failing Forward

Posts from Strive - Mon, 2013-06-24 12:41

When we are young, we are often encouraged to learn from our mistakes.  As parents, we are certainly continuing this traditional mantra on a regular basis.  And I would venture to say that for most, the value of this counsel eventually does sink in.  What is ironic is that learning from our mistakes actually gets harder and harder to do as one gets older….especially in a person’s professional life….and even more so if that person happens to work in the social sector.

Why?  Because in the social sector there either is or is perceived to be a very short leash.  If a program or service is found not to have the desired impact and if a leader is actually transparent about that, it often means funding streams dry up quickly.  In some cases this is clearly merited as no one wants to waste money, especially when the money could lead to better results for something as important as children.

But the unfortunate byproduct is that it encourages everyone to put a positive spin on whatever they are doing.  Even more directly, it prohibits people from learning transparently from their mistakes so others can learn with them.  We call this practice, as have others before us, “failing forward.”

We would assert there has never been a more important time for all of us working in the social sector to embrace this practice of failing forward.  In this economy, or the “New Normal” as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called it, we simply have to think about new ways of using limited resources. We have to be willing and able to apply learning in real-time to use limited resources more efficiently and effectively.

We have seen that the members of the Cradle to Career Network are willing to embody this ethic.  They are only able to do this because key cross-sector leaders in their community are taking the long-term view.  They see the importance of using data to improve.  And they are willing to make some mistakes along the way as they figure out how to do so.

One very concrete example from our early work in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky was how we selected our community level outcomes.  We initially had a very small and insular group of leaders pick the core student outcomes we wanted to focus on as a community.  When these were “revealed” to all there was immediate backlash.  We had to backtrack and go through a much more transparent process that helped build broad community ownership.

This could have tanked the effort.  But instead, cross-sector leaders were willing to acknowledge the mistake and stick with the process.  And as a result, a baseline report card on outcomes that community partners agreed were important was completed.  The fifth annual report card was recently released and the importance of this document continues to grow.  Perhaps even more importantly, by sharing this “failure” openly, we are now working with other communities to avoid similar mistakes and get to better results faster.

There are numerous examples of efforts to celebrate this culture of “failing forward”, such as Fail Faires and Failure Reports.  We want to model this behavior in our Network by having our own Fail Forward Fest at the National Convening in Dallas on September 25th to 27th .  We hope you will consider submitting your own story of how you have learned and applied lessons from mistakes.  If we all give each other the space to do this, we may just make it a bit easier as we get older to practice what our parents preached.

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Storytelling as a Conference Opener: Reflections from our students

Posts from NewTech - Mon, 2013-06-24 09:44
This week, New Tech is holding their annual New School Training in Grand Rapids, MI. Three students from the New Tech School in Grand Rapids, Kent Innovation, were able to attend the conference, The students were Anna Reynolds (@AnnaMae7784), Emmy Ryder (@EmmyRyd2016), and Colson Korpak (@C4K5). We listened to three of the most talented story weavers with hundreds of others in Devos Conference Hall. Two were NTN coaches: Starla Collins (@SweetStarla) and Matt Thompson (@thompson_teach) , and Lydia Dobyns (@lydiadobyns), the President of NTN.

This week,the New Tech Network is holding their annual New Schools Training in Grand Rapids, MI. Three students from the New Tech School in Grand Rapids, Kent Innovation, were able to attend the conference, The students were Anna Reynolds (@AnnaMae7784), Emmy Ryder (@EmmyRyd2016), and Colson Korpak (@C4K5).

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Fast Innovation for Results

Posts from EdWorks - Mon, 2013-06-17 14:17

We believe that there are four external conditions on America’s schools which are forcing our hand towards fast innovation for results. We describe these forces as the “four Cs.” Some schools go to great lengths to circumvent one or more of these external forces or address them in superficial ways. Others dare to take on these forces of change. We believe the schools who choose to take on the four Cs are the ones displaying the most promise.

The first two Cs stand for College and Career Readiness. There is a loud and compelling call for American schools to better prepare all of our graduates for both college and career. Poor overall results abound in this area when we do international comparisons. Several provocations from Jim Carroll, in his book The Future Belongs To Those Who Are Fast, are relevant to this call: a relentless focus on growth, thinking big on transformations and the call for internal and external partnerships that propel the journey forward, all make sense in our STEM school improvement initiatives.

A third C stands for School Choice. Far too many districts are complaining about choice rather than competing with choice. STEM choices in our public schools are right-minded and popular.

Carroll states we must compete in the market by thinking big, starting small and scaling fast. We work with several schools and communities that are making big gains through continuous cycles of big, innovative thinking, rapid prototyping, quick implementation and constant improvements, large and small.

The fourth C is Cost Modeling. Federal, state and local spending on education is flat-lined or reduced. We must do more with less. Carroll shares that some view this as a threat while others envision opportunities. He indicates that we must aggressively and relentlessly chase costs. Carroll suggests that internal and external partnerships can greatly assist us in the pursuit of cost containment.

Finally, there is a fifth C, but it registers as an internal condition rather than an external force. The fifth C is Courage. Serious school innovations are not for the meek. Courage starts at the top of the organization and radiates throughout every level. Organizations that display courage see the challenges of innovation as real opportunities to accomplish something big. They are not frozen or stifled by fear of failure. From the governing board to the superintendent to building leaders, classroom teachers and support personnel – and communities — we must all think big, start small and scale fast to ensure innovation takes root in and grows success in our schools.

Our students demand nothing less. Indeed, our future depends on innovation.

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Reflections on "Time for Deeper Learning: Lessons from Five High Schools" report

Posts from NewTech - Mon, 2013-06-17 12:50
I am struck by the alignment of these five principles to the rich research base on socio-cultural and situated learning. From Vygotsky, Lave & Wenger, & Wertsch we know that people learn through social interactions, especially those situated in real-world contexts where a positive learning environment in fostered, assessments are authentic, and both master and apprentice engage in deep learning. The priorities for time-design identified in this study align strongly with this research and result in remarkable outcomes for kids. These schools structure learning time to increase opportu

The National Center for Time and Learning released a report last week, Time for Deeper Learning: Lessons from Five High Schools (http://www.timeandlearning.org/DeeperLearning), about the use of time in five high-performing deeper learning schools. While increasing the amount of learning time for students across the nation may be an important policy initiative, this study draws attention to time-design practices which foster deeper learning, or the use of allocated time. Through their study, researchers identify key principles that shape learning time in exemplary schools.

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Learning How to Learn

Posts from NewTech - Fri, 2013-06-07 19:40
"When things make sense -- the New Tech way -- the students understand it, too -- and that's what changes the culture the most,"

Deciding to make fundamental changes to the way students learn, and, therefore, the way teachers teach, has huge implications for a district. Teachers and administrators often spend significant time researching effective strategies before adopting local innovation plans.

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Learning How to Learn

Posts from NewTech - Fri, 2013-06-07 19:40
"When things make sense -- the New Tech way -- the students understand it, too -- and that's what changes the culture the most,"

Deciding to make fundamental changes to the way students learn, and, therefore, the way teachers teach, has huge implications for a district. Teachers and administrators often spend significant time researching effective strategies before adopting local innovation plans.

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Categories: Blog

End of Year Reflection: Failing Forward

Posts from NewTech - Fri, 2013-06-07 03:00
I volunteer at a local church. The pastor there has a phrase he uses often: “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” I was in a leadership meeting with him when he said it for the [insert your own euphemism for ‘a lot of times’] when I had a “ facilitator” revelation.

I volunteer at a local church. The pastor there has a phrase he uses often: “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” I was in a leadership meeting with him when he said it for the [insert your own euphemism for ‘a lot of times’] when I had a “ facilitator” revelation.

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Kick Start Your Staff Morale with K-TECH (Part 5): Honor Staff Contributions

Posts from EdWorks - Wed, 2013-06-05 04:00

Honor your staff throughout the school year.

Know | Trust | Empower | Connect | Honor

Recently a school leader posted a question on LinkedIn asking how to boost morale with staff during challenging times. My immediate response was to share the K-TECH framework because it helps build the foundation for a safe and purposeful classroom for everyone– students and staff. K-TECH is the acronym EDWorks’ uses for integrating characteristics of a safe and purposeful school environment into overall school improvement. K-TECH is aligned with major youth development initiatives including Josepshon Institute’s Six Pillars of Character and Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. K-TECH was originally created by Ohio’s Center for Essential School Reform as part of its Framework for Building Safe and Serious Schools. While we often talk about K-TECH in reference to improving school climate for students, these same strategies can be applied to building relationships with and effectively motivating staff.

In this five part blog, EDWork’s Manager of Partnership Development and Technical Assistance Coach Michele Timmons shares ideas for implementing K-TECH as a strategy for building morale and creating a community of adult learners who can truly meet the needs of the children they serve.

Last month we highlighted C- Making Connections to Improve Morale and Performance.

Today’s focus is H- Honoring Staff Contributions

May is always the month when schools and districts across the nation honor teachers. So why would I wait until June to highlight the importance of honoring staff contributions? Because… honoring staff contributions (all staff) is critically important to the health and well-being of every organization. We shouldn’t only celebrate the work of administrative assistants in April or teachers in May. Instead we need to develop a system where we are continuing to honor everyone in our organization and thank them for being a part of the team.

School is out (whew!). Take some time to think about how you have honored your staff in the past and what you might do to systematize your approach and ensure every staff member knows she / he is a critical member of your team.

Here are 4 Cheap and Easy Tips for Honoring All Staff

  1. Birthdays are a big deal. Celebrate them!
    • Create calendar reminders for yourself (and your staff) to remind them of everyone’s birthday.
    • Send an email message or a quick note in their mailbox on their birthday.
    • Hold a monthly Birthday Pot Luck Luncheon to recognize that month’s birthday men and women.
  1. Catch staff being good! Most schools try to create positive recognition systems for the kids. This is just as important for the adults in your school.
    • A small candy (or fruit) treat is just as appreciated as a gift card to some restaurant they may never frequent.
    • Create pre-printed notecards (or post it notes) with a sentence starter recognizing something special that you or another staff member noticed. Anyone can tear off a card, write a quick note and drop it in their mailbox. Create them in house or purchase from places like Positive Promotions.
  1. Recognize professional and personal accomplishments!
    • Find out when a staff member completes a new certification, degree or important training.
    • Learn when a staff member’s church group finishes a mission project or a person competes in a race or marathon.
    • As part of your regular staff email, highlight these fun and important accomplishments that may have nothing to do with work.
    • Create a Wall of Fame where you post these recognitions for all to see.
  1. Make a drop in their buckets! This is one of the coolest and easiest ways to build staff morale and personal self-esteem. According to Strengths Finder 2.0, “Drops are a simple and effective way to act on the Theory of the Dipper and the Bucket. They are handwritten, personal messages of positive recognition. And they are a great way to share kind words, give unexpectedly and fill someone’s bucket. Drops have been used in businesses, schools and places of worship for more than three decades, and millions of people have sent and received them. Some people keep the drops they receive for many years as a reminder of their accomplishments. Anyone can give a drop as long as it is individual, specific, and deserved.”

I’d love to know what systems you have in place to continually honor your staff so everyone knows they are a critical member of your school team!  Please share.

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School Success

Posts from EdWorks - Tue, 2013-06-04 04:00

For more than a decade, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with schools across the United States. Some, like Delta High School in Washington State, were start-ups where we could help with the planning of the school from the ground up. Other schools, like Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, Maryland, are steeped in history and we’ve been charged with partnering with school staff to help make the school more successful. In Reynoldsburg, Ohio, we are working with schools K-12 to help implement STEM principles and our interest-based academies, with great success.

No partnership is the same, and yet there commonalities among our most successful schools.

  • Strong Leadership: For a school to be successful, strong leadership is a must. When building-level principals have the autonomy to make decisions regarding budget, curriculum, staffing, etc., they are also in a better place to innovate and push for success. Even better is when a principal reports directly to a Superintendent. This give them and their school the visibility they need to make progress.
  • Accountability: At EDWorks we talk about having high expectations for all of our students. When a student is held to high expectations, they will often meet or exceed them. That same philosophy holds true for school staff as well. We need to have goals and benchmarks in place, as well as a clear sense of what will happen if goals are not met. By having high expectations for people, we’re putting them in a position to succeed.
  • Support: We have all been in positions where our leadership enabled us, or impeded our ability, to succeed. When the staff of a central office play the role of a “supporter” and “enabler” of a building-level model or plan, rather than the role of a micro-manager, results greatly improve.
  • Community: By partnering with the community on a school plan, schools will have more community and engagement, involvement and support.
  • Patience: As I’ve already said, having clear goals is essential. Equally important is having reasonable expectations about when those goals can be met. It can take time for a new model to take root and show results.
  • Teamwork: No successful school plan can be implemented by one or two people. When agreements / MOUs with union(s) regarding staffing have been implemented, it insures that staff at a school are best-suited for the work and that people want to be part of particular plan / model being implemented.

Where we see significant progress in achievement and success for our target populations, it is almost always with the above-mentioned conditions in place.  It is hard work for large systems to change and achieve success. They need to be in the business of recruiting and / or developing great principals, resourcing and staffing buildings according to the particular principal’s vision and model, and holding them accountable for results.

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