This week I would like to delve into the first question that Mr. Curran proposes a school should ask in order to determine its effectiveness. The question is ,”Does your school have a principal who is an active leader?” Any school, including Salem Christian School, has several leaders to whom this question applies. Of course because of my role and position, I have impact. But, the other leaders of the school have significant impact as well.
Just a reminder that last week I presented the research on effective schools. Curran (1983) asked, “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?
Undoubtedly, it is impossible to express everything SCS has been doing. Additionally, it is not to say that Salem Christian School has reached the pinnacle in any area. Further research indicates that a school always has to be working towards improvement in every area. Essentially, it is the process as much as it is the ends (Fullan, 2001).
The leadership team at Salem Christian School includes the Head of School, Mr. Stanton; Assistant to the Head of School, Mrs. Beres; Director of Athletics, Mr. Krage; Student Life Director, Mr. Ference; Director of Information Technology, Mr. Lewis; and Learning Support Coordinator, Mrs. Reinhard. Together, this team is instrumental in leading this school forward.
Curran (1983), Hallinger, Wang and Chen (2013) provide a great description of what an active leader resembles. Minimally, the school family-students, teachers, parents, and community members should know who the Head of School and other school leaders are. An exemplary school must have a school leader that is visible. This visibility is crucial in order to determine the school family’s needs and seek the appropriate methods of providing for those needs. The school leader must be knowledgeable in school affairs, especially in the areas of school curriculum, teacher performance, and student growth.
Leadership is the ultimate necessity for any successful group, organization, or endeavor. Leadership may be regarded as a series of functions that: build and maintain the group, get the job done, help the group feel comfortable and at ease, help to set and clearly define goals. (Curran, 1983; Hallinger, Wang, and Chen, 2013)
In an effort to better answer this question , the Coffee and Conversation time has been implemented every fourth Thursday of the month. We want to chat about the school. We want to hear thoughts. It strengthens our ability to lead the school in addition to strengthening the home-school partnership. Every parent is invited to join me at 8:45 in the cafeteria for our next Cofeee (tea) and Conversation time on Thursday, October 27, 2016.
One of the delights of Salem Christian School is the conversations that are taking place. Yesterday we spent an hour or so discussing how we can be better at ensuring our students are meeting our expected outcomes. Today, I have had several conversations about academic and student life growth. Almost every day through my walk-throughs I am able to see the instruction and learning taking place in the classrooms. And, I get the privilege of writing a blog that describes excellent schools and shares about SCS.
I see each of the directors meeting with students, discipling students, and helping them reach their academic, future, and spiritual goals. It is a pleasure to work with people that enjoy seeing students flourish and achieve beyond what they thought they could.