Welcome Back! I hope everyone has had a great start to their school year and you are able to take a few minutes to stock up on some great information!
Meet this upcoming school year head-on with these game-changing strategies, culled from NAESP’s annual conference in Long Beach, California.
1. Hold a Ten-Minute Meeting
Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux presented a session titled “The Ten-Minute Inservice,” based on their recent book. If you’ve seen these two present before, you know that they bring a level of honesty and frankness to everything they do. Some of the most relevant ideas from their session include the idea of limiting staff meetings to only 10 minutes (hence the title). If the meeting concept is clear and engaging, you shouldn’t need any more time than that. Whitaker and Breaux also explained that principals should aim to be models for their teachers, not just executives.
2. Ignite Student Health and Wellness
Through leadership and innovative programs, Wendy Ellen Starwalt moved her school in northern Illinois toward a healthier culture focused on wellness and exercise. One bright idea from her presentation: Add health and wellness activities to the school calendar. Ideas like these are becoming more and more important as schools take the approach that a healthier child, more often than not, results in a more successful student.
3. Get Creative With Improving School Climate
In perhaps the fastest-paced session of the conference, principals Becky Roth and Abi Van Regenmorter from South Dakota shared a treasure trove list of ideas for improving school climate—everything from providing opportunities for teachers to visit each other’s classes to book studies to making a video that celebrates your school to sharing staff baby pictures on a bulletin board—and everything in between.
4. Learn to Manage Your Twitter Stream
Leveraging Twitter was a big topic throughout the conference, but one particular session focused on how principals can extend their professional learning communities using the social network. Attendees learning about the best tools for Twitter, like TweetDeck, as well as how to participate in chats using hashtags.
5. Bring a Maker Space to Your School
With the nation abuzz about STEM and STEAM initiatives, principal Kimberlie Linz from Manhattan Beach, California, actually brought a maker space to her school as an extracurricular activity. In this lab, students are encouraged to experiment with common items in a series of projects that explore creativity, engineering, and problem-solving skills. The program was so popular that over 40 students were willing to come in at 6 a.m. to take part!
These are all concepts that require few resources. Mainly they just need a leader willing to think outside the box in an effort to improve schools!
We look forward to seeing everyone at the Annual Conference which will be held September 13-15th at the L’Auberge Hotel Casino Conference Center in Baton Rouge! If you have not registered--- the information can be found on the website and we will take onsite registration on Sunday September 13th and Monday September 14th!
Also, the LDOE contacted me this week to discuss how to provide information to principals regarding the release of assessment data—as a result of this discussion, a town hall meeting with Superintendent John White has been set—just for Principals, on September 22, from 3pm to 4pm – the meeting will include information on :
- Timeline for releasing Parent and teacher support materials and student reports
- Timeline for accountability results including the new principal profiles.
- Tools and resources currently available and forthcoming to support the 2015-2016 assessments.
- Long-term vision for a comprehensive assessment system.
Other important dates to remember:
- October 13th--- BESE
- October 16th—Accountability Commission
- November 2nd--- Assistant Principals Conference
- December 7th----Clerical Conference
Thanks for all that you do and hope you are off to a great start to your school year!
LAP Executive Director