- A good school is full of joy, curiosity, hope, knowledge, and constant change. A good school admits when it has a problem rather than hiding or ‘reframing it as an opportunity.’ (Sometimes, too much growth mindset can be a bad thing.) A good school doesn’t have unnecessary meetings.
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- Teachers must believe all students can learn. If you are in my children’s school and you don’t believe they can learn, then goodbye. Don’t let your classroom door hit you on the way out (well…maybe it should).
- Students from all backgrounds who are racially, ethnically, linguistically or economically different are learning. If a school is majority White, but the Black kids are failing, this is not a good school.
- Teachers must know their content well. Some students are not learning because their teachers haven’t learned. No, a first-year teacher will not be as good as a ten-year teacher, but we need more teachers knowledgeable in their content and not learning on the job.
- The school communicates with parents clearly and frequently about important issues and asks for input before making decisions. The school serves the community.
- Attitude of the Office Staff. The first thing that greets you when you enter a school is the office staff. Their actions set the tone for the rest of the school.
- Attitude of the Principal. You will probably have the chance to meet with the principal before taking a job at a school. His attitude is extremely important for you and the school as a whole.
- A Mix of New and Veteran Teachers. New teachers come into a school fired up to teach and innovate. Many feel that they can make a difference. At the same time, they often have a lot to learn about classroom management and the workings of the school system.
- Student-Centered. To be truly effective, a principal must create a system of core values that the entire staff shares. To do this, she needs to involve the teachers and staff.
Oct 23, 2017 · School quality is multidimensional. And just because a school is strong in one area does not mean that it is equally strong in another. In fact, my research team has found that high standardized test score growth can be correlated with low levels of student engagement.
Feb 09, 2021 · A good school is full of students who know what’s worth understanding. A good school speaks the language of the children, families, and community it serves. A good school improves other schools and cultural organizations it’s connected with. A good school understands the relationship between curiosity, inquiry, and lasting human change.
Nov 05, 2010 · Passion for excellence is a driving force each and every day. A good school has an involved staff working together, pushing themselves and their students to be the best. Failure is not an option for the teacher or the students. 3.
Mar 20, 2018 · The world is evolving and so should the definition of what constitutes a good school. An effective school is a place where students are excited to go in the morning, a place where they feel cared...
- Dara Hechter
- Focus on The Total Child
- Commitment to Equity and Access
- Family and Community Engagement
- Distributed Leadership
- Strong, Supported Teaching Force and Staff
- Relationship-Oriented School Climate
- Atoms of A Molecule
- Take Back The Conversation
Successful schools support all students’ needs, inside and outside the classroom, to help them become effective, empowered learners. They design and carry out programs that offer all students a rich educational experience, supporting their academic and social/emotional learning so they develop the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing environment. These schools customize learning to individual students, taking advantage of advances in technology as they do so. They also provide opportunities for students to explore careers and nurture their talents and interests, including through partnerships with their communities.
Successful schools ensure all students have access to high-quality services and supports enabling them to set and reach high goals for learning. In these schools, equity does not mean equality; they recognize some students need additional resources to have the same opportunity for success as others. They ensure the needs of all student populations are met, including English language learners, students with disabilities, children of color, religious minorities, LGBTQ students, and others. Successful schools recognize such students are assets and diversity is a strength.
Successful schools effectively engage families and communities in support of students. In doing so, they identify barriers to such engagement and work to overcome them. Their efforts to build authentic connections to families are focused on a belief that every parent wants the best for their child and, when provided the right invitations and opportunities, they can help their child, and all children, be successful.
Successful schools define leadership broadly. Leadership is distributed — to principals, teachers, school counselors, community members, and others in the building — and decision-making is a shared endeavor. In these schools, leaders (regardless of job title) meet high standards of practice and are supported in their development. They understand that effective communication is a critical component of school success, and they build solid, trusting relationships with both school and community stakeholders.
Successful schools are staffed with educators — including teachers, principals, school counselors, technology specialists and others — who are well-educated, well-prepared and well-supported. These educators meet high standards of practice. They benefit from continuous learning and support along the professional continuum, including through high-quality preservice education, ongoing high-quality professional learning, meaningful evaluation tied to professional growth, and opportunities to take on leadership roles regardless of official title.
Successful schools create a culture of collaboration and shared responsibility among staff and students and with families and communities. These schools are safe, welcoming, and respectful to all. They establish teaching and learning as core values. They support positive behavior and build healthy, supportive relationships and a sense of community both between and among students and staff. In them, students have frequent opportunities for participation, collaboration, service, and self-direction, all strengthening their connection to the school.
The most critical factor is the interaction between the elements — they are not interchangeable. “These elements are like the atoms that make up a molecule — it is the bonds between these elements that allow the successful school to form,” LFA Executive Director Richard M. Long says. A school cannot be successful if it has strong teachers and leadership but lacks family and community involvement or commitment to ensuring the needs of all students are met, for instance. The compendium emphasizes that the solution for improvement isn’t the same for every school, because each school has a wide range of existing strengths and a unique set of needs. And each child in each school is different. Therefore, schools combine the elements necessary for success in very different ways. “What’s contributed to the success of public education in America today is local leadership — leadership by teachers, administrators, school boards, and everyone who has an interest in the system,” Gentzel says, ad...
The compendium emphasizes that school improvement is a collaborative effort, and it advises those who are reading the document with intent to improve a local school to consider their circumstances. Rather than looking for specific programs to implement, school boards and school leaders can use the standards and indicators included to help gauge where a school is in relation to the elements, as well as find ideas that can strengthen a board’s work in each arena. It also discusses the importance of engagement and cooperation among school boards, administrators, teachers, specialists, parents, and other community members. Some say the document will be useful in helping parents and others find entry points to getting involved and helping improve their local schools, with each interaction spurring new conversations about other elements. Gentzel suggests it be a topic of community conversations, but also a pathway to strengthen the LFA member associations and public education overall. Fur...
First, highly effective schools have strong and effective school leaders whose main focus is on establishing a culture of learning throughout the school. The school is organized and resources are allocated in pursuit of achieving this overarching purpose.