Did you know that 62% of students with disabilities spend 80% of their school day in general education classes (OSEP, 2015)? This doesn’t even take into consideration the at-risk students who didn’t qualify for services. They of course spend 100% of their day in general education.
How about the complete other side of the spectrum; your academically gifted students, or your twice exceptional students. They too are in those same classes.
So, my question for you is: How much professional development, feedback and training during the school year are you providing your general education teachers on how to effectively lead students who are disabled, at-risk and/or academically gifted?
Before you go questioning whether or not you should be leading the school realize that you are not alone here. The first two years I spent as a principal our school was great for 50% of our population, good for 35% and the other 15% we did our best with. Our strategy for the last 15% was more...
Charter schools make a commitment to their community, building hope. When they keep these commitments by creating safe, engaging school environments, they build trust.
Despite having some flexibility, public charter schools must follow the same laws as public district schools in these three critical trust-building areas:
1. Serving students with disabilities;
2. Student accountability; and,
3. Health and safety standards.
Serving Students With Disabilities: Charter schools must serve all students who enroll. Whether this student requires a one-on-one assistant, full-day specialized instruction, or private transportation services,...
The majority of charter school opponents have one simple message, “charter schools do not have to provide transportation or feed children.”
However, the truth is this: Charters must meet the same legal requirements as district public schools.
For any public school, district or charter, there is no provision in public school law that states any entity must provide transportation. Instead, the law states that each district has the “authority to acquire, own, lease and operate buses.” Public charter schools follow NC General Statute 115C-218.40: “The charter school shall develop a transportation plan so that transportation is not a barrier to any student who resides in the local school administrative unit in which the school is located.”
As a result, 98 public charter schools currently provide school bus transportation as an option for their students (NC Office of Charter Schools, 2019), exactly 50% of all operating charter schools.
No other singular variable is more important for the health and vitality of a school
then the way it is governed. Every failure of a charter school can be traced back, in some form or fashion, to the board that governs the school.
Whether the board is comprised of parents, educators, community volunteers, or other individuals, proper delineation of roles is essential.
Board members who do not have a clearly definable role may, on their own, create a personal role that may not fit the best interest of the board.
This confusion over roles can create resentment amongst members; encourage mediocrity, lead to frustration, loss of trust, and poor governance. To help board members focus on long- term planning and resist the tendency to micromanage, charter school boards should develop clear governing roles and responsibilities for all charter school board members and review them annually.
Take 10 minutes to watch the linked video and download a copy of the critical roles that I...
John Wooden shared, “When the opportunity comes it’s too late to prepare.” Preparation is more than just a discipline. Preparation is an attitude. Preparation will make the difference between winning and losing. Success and failure. Connecting and feeling lost.
Preparation can happen in many ways. It could be about thinking ahead of a potential problem to making sure your dinner guests do not have any food allergies or special diets.
Preparation could be practicing your elevator speech to new families, teachers or strategic partners not until you get it right, but until you never get it wrong.
Preparation could be when you get those five key minutes with your boss to pitch an idea you have all of her potential questions (i.e. budget impact, key resources, first steps) already mapped out in an easy to read one page report.
Preparation is all about getting better results. Better results in this order:
As a governance coach and consultant the question I get most often is, how do we keep our board meetings on track? The answer is the pretty simple.
I have learned the hard way, as a consultant and a board chair, that if you do not prepare on the front end you will be repairing on the back end.
One of the keys to facilitating an effective and purposeful board meeting begins with the setting of the monthly agenda.
Who Sets the agenda?
The agenda is a collaborative process set by the head of the school and the board chair.
When is the agenda set?
The development of the next months agenda begins at the end of the previous board meeting. At At the close of the meeting the board chair should:
Rarely do we get an opportunity to say thank you to the people who help us, especially in a public setting. When you do, you should make the most of it. If you have accomplished anything significant in life, you know that it was not a solo effort.
When you take the time to acknowledge those that helped you achieve any goal or initiative, or bring success to the organization you currently lead, it makes two people feel better. The recipient, and yourself.
I have found that the number one reason people do not pass along credit to others is they somehow think it will hurt them or lessen their value. This is a sure sign of insecurity. You cannot practice this winning with people principle if you cannot set your ego aside.
Don’t Wait - Pass the Credit ASAP: When asked about giving credit to teammates legendary college basketball coach John Wooden shared that he would teach his players to look and give a smile or nod to the player who passed them the ball before...
You only get answers to the questions you ask. Otherwise, doors remain locked forever.
If you are in any leadership position, and breathing, odds are you will be solving a problem today. Take the opportunity to not tell people what to do, instead, ask them questions.
Three things will happen.
1. They will feel more part of the team.
2. You'll get better long term results.
3. You will learn how your team approaches problems so you can identify the gaps in your leadership and communication.
Here are a few questions you can ask:
Questions are the most effective way...
This quote by Education Leadership expert Michael Schmoker from the September Education Leadership (ASCD) caught my eye and I needed to share with you, Poor instructional practices amount to "hundreds of hours of wasted class time" every year in the great majority of schools.
Schmoker points out three key competencies teachers must master in order to ensure school performance is moving in a positive direction for all students:
1. Clear, Coherent, Curriculum: I recall one time asking a leadership team what was the school's curriculum. Of the five leaders in the room, I received four different answers. "If you all are not clear, how would the 30 teachers in charge of disseminating know?" The first question know that I ask school leaders when we conduct a walkthrough is, "How will we know what will students be learning today?" On a scale of 1-10, how well can you answer this question?
2. Sound Instruction: Schmoker shares that every...