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Showing posts from January, 2019

The Increasing Load of the Small-Town School Leader

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Every year for the past several years, I have been asked to justify to the elected officials in my New Hampshire school community why with a declining enrollment I am not recommending a reduction in school administrator positions at my high school. It is hard to explain to someone not in the field that the amount of responsibility and workload of a school principal does not correlate directly with the size of a student population. Some aspects of the job do - such as managing student discipline and evaluation of staff. Yet, other aspects of the job do not. It would take me just as long to develop my weekly newsletter whether I am sending it out to 100 families or 1000 families. The process of building my budget would take the same amount of time whether I was asking for $1 million or $10 million. Developing a safety plan takes me the same amount of time to develop whether I am building a plan for a 100,000 square foot school or one that is five times that size.
The difference between t…

Fostering Small Learning Communities in Your School

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In a recent National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) blog, 2018 New York State Assistant Principal of the Year Terry Adamec writes about how she developed small learning communities (academies) at her Lancaster school as a way to help all of her students find a place. These communities “encourage students to get involved in not only their daily education plan but extracurricular activities linked to the academy as well.” Adamec’s school chose to organize their communities around career pathway themes such as engineering, finance, health care, hospitality/tourism, leadership, trades, and visual/performing arts.
According to Adamec, the small learning community model at her school has resulted in the following benefits:
Career Path Identification: Students have the opportunity to explore various career interests in-depth early in high school, which can save them time and money down later in their post-secondary lives. ●College and Career Readiness: Through job-shadows …