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Responsibilities for Successful Change

Culture change efforts fail for three primary reasons

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

  • Lack of isolating 1 to 3 value / behavior shifts for initial change focus

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

~ The Culture Advantage.

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To be successful in this effort, school administrators, beginning with the Principal, must engage with staff to manifest their shared vision in behalf of children’s healthy academic, social and emotional development by prioritizing concrete behavioral goals for staff

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  • by focusing on one to three (maximum) priority behavioral goals, based on current school needs

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  •  by allocating resources for group engagement and development time that reflect these priorities

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  • by consistently modeling behaviors desired among  staff and students, including openness to feedback and a “learning curve” for individual and group achievement.

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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

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

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

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

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Key actions include:

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  • Adequate preparation, aided by experienced independent professional to ensure no “blind spots”;

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  • Inclusive gathering of key stakeholders, leading to:

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

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

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  • Changes in curriculum and instruction

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

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

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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 writing to truly capture this for your sharing with others.

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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.

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  • 3) With your representative leadership group,

    clarify a distinctly small set of performance priorities for your initial culture alignment work.  Focus on your most challenging school business performance issues.

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

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

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

~Kuppler, 2013

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  • 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.

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  • 5) Then prioritize the following:

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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This requires committed school leaders who:

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

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

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Do you want to learn more?

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☞  Sign up for our monthly “Principals, and their supporters” eLetter.  ☜  If you sign up for our eLetter, I will personally email you a copy of my School Culture Change white paper.

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