Lately the Salem Christian School governance, administration, faculty, and staff have been discussing the indicators of a flourishing school. The School Committee (school governance) has been systematically evaluating SCS and how this school matches the rubric of a flourishing school rather than just an effective school. The administration and directors are reading a book on school change and have been having significant discussion on how we can most effective lead the areas of school that are under our responsibility. The faculty has been researching aspects of the school that they are passionate about seeing get stronger. It is exciting to see this continued self-examination blossom into programmatic growth.
Curran (1983), a leading researcher of effective schools, based upon his research as well as the wide body of research available has provided some questions a school could use in self-examination. We are using asking these questions as we continue to look for areas to improve. The answers testify to what an excellent school that SCS is.
The questions Curran (1983) asks, “Does your school have:
- … a principal who is an active leader?
- …a positive school climate?
- …agreeable and workable discipline procedures and policies?
- …teachers who have high expectations for students?
- ..parents who are involved in the educational process?
- …productive methods of evaluating curriculum?
- …effective methods of evaluating teacher performance?
- …consequential methods of determining and evaluating student growth?
- …a realistic philosophy of education?
- …an extensive and adequate student activities program?
- …significant student services?
Curran and the others research and write from a secular worldview. Therefore, they are not expecting or infusing the spiritual component into the mix. However, as believers, we know that this is an important ingredient in an excellent and flourishing school.
I look forward to expounding on each of these questions in future weekly blogs. It provides an opportunity for self-reflection. Additionally, the helps us to see what an exceptional program we have here at Salem Christian School.
Curran, T. J. (1983). Characteristics of the Effective School–A Starting Point for Self-Evaluation. NASSP Bulletin, 67(465), 71-73. doi:10.1177/019263658306746514