Friday Focus

September 19, 2014

Let's talk CULTURE!

My personal opinion...nothing is more important about a school than it's culture. It is clearly time to reconsider and rethink the issues and importance of school culture in today's educational environment. Lately, there has been too much emphasis given to reforming schools from the outside, through policies and mandates. Too little attention has been paid to how schools can be shaped from within. While legislators are pressing for new structures and more accountability, it is important to remember that these changes cannot be successful without cultural support.


I would like to personally thank each of you for the conversation today revolving around school culture. Everyone one of you demonstrated how a positive culture influences your building. I challenge you to build upon that and take the next few weeks to assess your school, your staff, and yourself using the culture rubric we explored today. Bottom line...a positive school culture is the key to improved student achievement and student learning!

Dress for Success Wednesdays at Monroe...what a great way to promote school culture!

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CULTURE TIP #1: We Went To College, You Can Too!

This was a wonderful opportunity for teachers to share with their students what it is like to go to college, why they went to more than one college, and incorporate some math skills as well compare and contrast teachers while looking at this information in bar graph form
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CULTURE TIP #2: WOW Notebook!

Start your own "Wow! Notebook" -- a morale booster! When a staff member receives the notebook, they read the wonderful message that someone wrote for them. They, in turn, write a note to another staff member to encourage, give a boost, or to just say how much they are appreciated. At the bottom of the page they write, "Don't forget to pass it on....."

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CULTURE TIP #3: Buy Jason Dorsey's Book - 50 Ways to Improve Schools for Under $50

"School culture is the heart of your school. It's what's normal, expected, and reinforced as right. The healthier you make your school's culture - the higher performing you make your school!" Jason Ryan Dorsey
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Culture documents for your reference

Subtle Reminder

1.Please update your 2nd Order Change Goal on Searchsoft so that it depicts the revisions that we have discussed. Also, I have recently learned that the SMART Goal must begin with an "I" statement. Once updated, please send me a quick email so that I can review.

2. Continue analyzing test data from previous year; disaggregate for various subgroups and identify which areas or standards need more emphasis.

3. Review teacher evaluation data to identify individual areas of concern and any trends that need attention: communicate to appropriate staff...thank you Dr. Johnson!

Are your asking these questions during your leadership team meetings or PLC meetings?

1. How are we doing?

2. What are we doing well? How can we amplify our successes?

3. Who isn't learning? Who aren't we serving? What aren't they learning?

4. What in our practice could be causing that? How can we be sure?

5. What can we do to improve?

6. How do we know if it worked?

7. What do we do if the students don't learn?

Building a culture of success

Building a culture of success - Mark Wilson