ERIC Number: EJ766848
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Reference Count: N/A
Help! I'm the Principal, Now What?
Principal Leadership, v4 n9 p37-39 May 2004
When the author became the principal of Citrus Middle School in 1998, it was the lowest performing school in the district. Students from Citrus were viewed as largely under-prepared, often read below grade level, had high drop-out rates, and were responsible for a significant amount of the gang activity on the school campus. She was also told that staff members at Citrus were resistant to change and had low expectations for students. The reality of the challenge was overwhelming for her, but she wanted to turn the school around and give Citrus' students a chance for success in high school. Now, six years after, the school's Academic Performance Index was 556 points, a 112-point increase since their first score of 444. Teacher conversations now focus on teaching strategies, assessments and data, differentiating instruction, meetings standards, and after-school interventions to get students up to speed. In this article, the author relates how her four qualities--vision, passion, knowledge, and love of service--has made her successfully turn around the school's academic performance. She also relates that the combination of these four qualities with four essential practices--focusing on standards, promoting effective teaching, developing and maintaining a professional learning community, and creating a pyramid for interventions and supports for students--has helped her lead her school successfully.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Instructional Effectiveness, Academic Achievement, Educational Improvement, Principals, Middle Schools, Administrator Role, Achievement Gains, Evaluation Methods, Academic Standards, Intervention, Individualized Instruction, Educational Environment, Teaching Conditions, Personal Narratives
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site: http://www.principals.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California