Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Linkedin button Youtube button

Importance of Principal for School-wide Program Success

The Importance of the Principal for School-wide Program Success

<

Involved and committed school leadership is THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT for a successful school-wide approach to SEL.

<Principal(TableSign)

Ten years of research on factors related to successful whole-school change and improvement identifies the school leader’s engagement and active support as the single biggest predictor of whether school change efforts take hold and yield benefits to students.

~ Berends, M., Bodilly, S.J., & Kirby, S.N. (Eds.) (2002).

Facing the challenges of whole-school reform: New American schools after a decade.

Santa Monica, CA: RAND, as cited by CASEL.

<

BuyIn(PptSlide)<

School-wide solutions require Principal buy-in and support.

<

<

School culture improvement efforts (our focus) are empowered by three things of leadership:

<

IndustryExperts <

  • A clear focus on values, behaviors and achievements

<

<

PerformanceFocus

  • Collective identification and prioritization of 1 to 3 specific value / behavioral shifts

<

<

CultureRoadmap(HmnSynrgstcs)

<

  • A clear alignment framework to collectively leverage your unique culture and to support your behavior shift

~For example, see The Culture Advantage.

<

<

It is important to recognize that school culture improvement on behalf of student social-emotional skill development and enhanced academic performance is not just about implementing another program.

<

When a school makes it a priority to help students develop the personal and social skills necessary to establish a safe school environment (a SS/HS requirement, for example), a new staff approach to learning and leadership may be required — ideally one that more reliably models these SEL skills for both colleagues and students.

<

PhasesForDevelopingHighPerfCulture(Kuppler,2013)

This is about moving from a reactive to functional to collaborative to a high performance culture, by participants learning to work more constructively with, rather than sometimes (perhaps unwittingly) against each other.

<

School-wide SEL is a win-win-win-win:

<

  • Students get their needs met, are more engaged, and learn more.

  • Teachers win, too.  They are free to teach with fewer disruptions.

  • Parents and community members win as more pro-socially active, skilled, and capable members enter into our civic community.

  • Administrators are more at peace.

<

School administrators are among the stakeholders most responsible for creating a school culture that supports change.

<

Culture change efforts fail for three primary reasons

<

  • Inadequate leadership for securing a clear & collective focus on performance

  • Lack of isolating 1 to 3 value / behavior shifts

  • No clear alignment framework to leverage the unique culture and to support the behavior shift

~ The Culture Advantage.

<

To be successful in this effort, school administrators, beginning with the Principal, must

<

  •  work with staff to establish a shared vision and concrete goals for children’s healthy academic, social and emotional development

<

  •  allocate resources (e.g., for professional development and staff time) that reflect these priorities

<

<

School leadership is necessary to establish SEL, in one of it many forms, as a truly integrative “Big Idea” to positively transform school experience and performance

<

to shift social and emotional learning (SEL) as the underlying top priority

<

to lead your school community through a systematic planning and implementation process

<

to sustain a clear performance focus on SEL as the foundation of your school’s educational mission and practices.

<

In particularly challenging circumstances, key leadership actions can, with Logo-BCS support, create more reliable, school-wide, social & emotional learning as the School’s Academic Performance FOUNDATION

<

☞ Leading to Higher Academic Achievements and More Satisfying Civic Success by Your Students ☜

<

Key actions include:

<

  • Adequate preparation, aided by experienced independent professional;

<

  • Inclusive gathering of key stakeholders, leading to:

<

  • Vision & Mission statements that reflect a belief in educating the “whole child”

<

  • A deeper focus on creating safe, caring learning environments where all students and adults feel welcome, supported, and held to high expectations

<

  • Changes in curriculum and instruction

<

High-quality school-wide SEL infusion will affect behavioral, emotional, and academic practices throughout your school.

<

As principal, it is essential at the very beginning to:

<

MissionAsOwnReward(Pic)

  • 1) Clarify your own personal mission and vision for your school-wide leadership actions in relation to desired outcomes you think need to be prioritized.  Do this in words that truly capture this for you.

<

2) Next, mobilize an initial, supportive team whom you can invite to add to your mission and vision, and who will help you further mobilize a representative group of key school stakeholders to take on this task with you.

<

  • 3) With your representative leadership group,

    clarify a distinctly small set of performance priorities for your initial culture alignment work.

<

    • StatesOfChange(3)

      It’s not effective to work on all improvement goals at the same time.

<

    • The goal is to help your organization move along one level at a time so work progresses in logical phases.

<

☞ A foundation needs to be put into place to support the higher order operating drivers that will be addressed in later phases.

~Kuppler, 2013

<

  • 4) As a team, identify how your initial performance priorities will clearly support your current, or perhaps a newly sharpened and re-invigorated, purpose and/or mission of your school.

<

<

  • 5) Then prioritize the following:

<

  • Values or behaviors your school leverages well.  You want to build on your strengths.

<

  • The one to three value or behavior shifts needed to further support performance.

<

  • 6) Next, define an improvement vision for your SEL culture alignment work.

<

This improvement vision is distinct from your school’s mission or vision statement.  It is a succinct and compelling explanation of why and how your school’s mission or purpose will be supported through improvement in your selected strategic priority.

<

  • 7) Define expected behaviors as applied to the work of all school employees in regard to this strategic priority.

<

This behavioral values clarification will, in practical ways, serve to support the many practical links between your actions and your new culture.

<

These behavioral expectations must clearly support your recently defined SEL values that underlie your chosen performance priorities.

<

☞ It is especially critical to define the one to three value or behavior performance priority shifts you’ve selected.

<

This leads to defining integrated “From-To” behavioral solutions that simultaneously and positively potentially impact all school functions.

<

This requires committed school leaders who:

<

  • Understand the central role that emotions and relationships play in effective educational practice;

<

  • Are willing to transform a school’s culture and infrastructure to support an integrated school-wide approach to SEL.

<

Do you want to learn more?

<

☞  Sign up for our monthly “Principals, and their supporters” newsletter.  ☜

<

> > Contact us to obtain your complimentary overview of our Multi-Phase SEL Culture-Based Change Model for Public Schools (K-12).

<