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Rourke, James; Boone, Elizabeth – Principal Leadership, 2009
"Webster needs an extreme makeover," students told Principal Joan Brixey upon her arrival at Daniel Webster Middle School in Waukegan, Illinois, three short years ago. The message came in a student-produced video that highlighted things that needed repair at Webster. Brixey was already a firm believer in the proposition that students…
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Goal Orientation, Educational Change, Middle Schools
Rourke, James; Boone, Elizabeth – Principal Leadership, 2009
Inspiring students to become teachers and community leaders is a goal of Douglas Taylor School's leadership team. A feeling of continuity and connection are important to the school, which opened in the 19th century. Housed in a beautiful old school building in Chicago's South Side, Douglas Taylor School contains grades preK-8. To maintain the…
Descriptors: Lifelong Learning, School Buildings, School Safety, Discipline
Rourke, James; Hartzman, Marlene – Principal Leadership, 2009
On a Wednesday morning at Giano Intermediate School in West Covina, California, 25 mothers and fathers sit in rapt attention, many taking notes, as a school counselor outlines the morning's Parent Chat. The session is devoted to exploring how well the parents know their children. Parents complete a questionnaire that asks them to answer such…
Descriptors: Notetaking, Parent Participation, School Counselors, Principals
Rourke, James; Boone, Elizabeth – Principal Leadership, 2009
When Stephanie Smith became the principal of Seaford (Delaware) Middle School four years ago, she was told to accept the fact that the school would never be able to change its status as a school that needed to improve. She did not accept that. To improve performance levels, she set the expectations high. Her defiance paid off: the school is now…
Descriptors: Principals, Instructional Leadership, School Personnel, Middle School Teachers
Rourke, James; Hartzman, Marlene – Principal Leadership, 2009
"Relentless" is the word that staff members at Stelle Claughton Middle School in Houston, Texas use to describe how they operate: "We don't give up on our students, their families, or our own commitment. We recognize that our own attitudes, choices, and behaviors toward our students and about their learning have the greatest impact…
Descriptors: Leadership Responsibility, Principals, Instructional Leadership, Teacher Attitudes
Rourke, James; Hartzman, Marlene – Principal Leadership, 2008
School improvement demands focus. Staff members at James Cashman Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada, believe that student achievement comes from challenging every student and ensuring that no student is overlooked. Adopting this belief could not have come at a better time for the school. Cashman's students were struggling. The school was in the…
Descriptors: Middle Schools, Improvement Programs, Academic Achievement, School Culture
Rourke, James; Mero, Dianne – Principal Leadership, 2008
Florence (AL) Middle School has mastered the art of turning obstacles into opportunities. After dealing with changing grade configurations, years of regrouping faculty and team members, a school name change, and a move to a converted high school building, the staff and students were then asked to change from a seven-period to an eight-period…
Descriptors: Middle Schools, Student Motivation, Academic Achievement, Teamwork
Rourke, James; Hartzman, Marlene – Principal Leadership, 2008
"Built by the Past--Ready for the Future" is more than a school motto at Isaac E. Young Middle School in New Rochelle, NY. Built in 1925, Isaac became the iconic U.S. secondary school when Dick Sargent's painting of it appeared on the cover of the October 17, 1959, issue of "The Saturday Evening Post." The changes that the…
Descriptors: Educational Change, Social Change, Participative Decision Making, Individualized Instruction
Rourke, James; Boone, Elizabeth – Principal Leadership, 2008
When visitors step inside Pocomoke (MD) Middle School, they are immediately surrounded by a profound sense of pride and high expectations. Students are actively engaged in instruction, the classroom walls are covered with student work, and the halls are lined with pictures of students demonstrating success. Beanbag chairs await eager readers,…
Descriptors: Mentors, Middle Schools, Rural Education, Teacher Collaboration
Rourke, James; Mero, Dianne – Principal Leadership, 2008
In many ways, Roxbury Preparatory Charter School is typical of Boston's Mission Hill area: the student body is composed entirely of students of color, most of whom live in single-parent households. More than 68% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. What is not typical is that for the fourth consecutive year, Roxbury Prep, which…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Shared Facilities, Nursing Homes, High Achievement