ELPS Conejo 2013 Essay Outlines

A supervisor can facilitate effective communication. Discuss three (3) of the skills necessary to facilitate effective communication.
• Make the speaker feel heard >Active listener
• Avoid interruption
• Create an environment where everyone feels safe
• Be aware of attitude/body language/emotion
• Build team culture
• Open door/accessibility> listen
• Be honest
Katz, and several other writers in the field, have suggested that the school administrator should process considerable skills in echo of three general categories–human skills, technical skills, and conceptual skills. For each of these categories, discuss briefly three tasks of the principal that demand expertise in the specific skill (i.e., three human, three technical, and three conceptual).
A. Conceptual: (test scores/PI/ teacher effectiveness/professional development)
i. See as a whole/ analytical/creative
ii. indentify cause of the problem, not the symptoms
iii. Benefit entire organization
B. Human Skills (staff evaluations/ parent & student communication/ ability to lead)
i. Interpersonal skills/ ability to work with others
ii. Communication
iii. Lead, motivate and develop team
C. Tech Skills (day to day needs- phone calls, paper work, evaluations, meetings)
i. Ability to perform given job procedures/techniques
ii. Low level managers
iii. Actual operations
List and describe three sources of conflict in an organization and tell what the supervisor can do to reduce each.
A. Poor communication >open door policy; professional development

B. Fear of Change > open communication, active listening, stress vision/mission,
professional development/training to support change and ease fear

C. Interpersonal relationships > mediation, communication, accommodation

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Administrators are continuously faced with the task of making decisions with regard to issues, personnel problems, operational procedures, etc. Discuss the dynamics of the decision-making process.
• breakdown in decision making leads to conflict

• different perspectives: cultural (this is how we do things here); human resources development (have them satisfied); critical theory (schools are a part of larger context); postmodernism (ideas of deconstruction)
• Determine alternatives
• Define your value preferences
• Estimate possible consequences from each alternative
• Determine likelihood of occurrences of consequences
• Select the alternative that will maximize the desired value
• Identify/ clarify the decision to be made
• Identify options
• Gather/process information
• Make/implement decision
• Evaluate the decision
• “the decision making is the heart of administration…the task of deciding is truly important as the task of doing.” –Herbert Simon, 1960

Alternative schools are developing in many districts across the country. Give a definition of alternative school tell why they have come into existence, how they are evaluated and speculate upon their future development either within or outside of the prevailing school system.
A. Definition: Any form of education that is outside the conventional. Examples of alternative education – charter, magnet, continuation, home school, independent study, and on-line.

B. Came into existence: Continuation Schools came into existence in 1919 to provide an opportunity for students to attend school part-time in order to work. California Legislation mandated that all districts maintain alternative/continuation schools in 1965. The desire for students/parents to have a choice in their education is the driving force behind alternative education

C. Evaluated – CA 1999 Public School Accountability Act created ASAM (Alternative Schools Accountability Model). Schools must report between 6/15 and 10/28. ASAM is monitored by the California Department of Education.

D. Future: Competition is increasing in the education arena, as a result the number of Continuation/Alternative/Charter/Magnet schools are going to continue to increase in number

It is a commonly expressed opinion that the “image” of the public school has become “tarnished” in recent years. (a) List what you consider to be the three greatest causes of this decline in public esteem, and (b) briefly discuss what you, as a principal, would propose to reverse this trend and enhance the prestige of your community’s schools.
Greatest Causes(Pick 3 to actually write on):
o Funding- pink slips/teacher cuts, budget cuts
o Test scores- schools and teachers feel pressure to
provide programs to improve test scores, i.e. PI schools
o Tenure of teachers
o The media/safety concerns with what is portrayed in the media

To reverse trends:
o Provide opportunities for staff development and collaboration
o Analyze data and form committees to create goals based on the data
o Find the funds to hire an on campus police officer
o Invite the community to attend school events and advertise these school events
o Visit classrooms regularly and provide feedback for all teachers including tenure. It’s important for all teachers to continue growing. Hire the right staff for our campus. . .

Identify and discuss in some detail six principles of an effective school community relations program.
Joyce Epstein >School, family and community partnership: 6 principles of involvement:
i. Parenting: assist families in understanding development; assist schools in understanding the home
ii. Communicating: communicate with families about programs and student progress
iii. Volunteering: improve conditions/time for more volunteers, include after school and other programs
iv. Learning at home: involve families with learning activities at home, including homework and other programs
v. Decision making: include families/communities in governance, through advocacy, PTA, and other organizations
vi. Collaborating with community: coordinate resources and services for families and students and the school with businesses and provide community services
A. Do an effective job and let people know it-Build public confidence(Trudy)

B. The public’s concern about safety must be taken seriously-this is due to our media. Provide training for staff members and hold parent awareness nights for parents. Hire an on-campus police officer.

C. School leaders must personalize the school. . .create and highlight a school culture that fits the community and its students. Have a strong vision!

D. Staff moral- provide staff collaboration days. Allow staff to be a part of the decision making process when appropriate. “Synergize”(Covey).”Encourage the heart”(Kouzes and Posner). Plan staff socials.

E. Appropriate communication-advertise school activities, athletic events, special nights events/meetings, emails, school website, all-calls, marquee,

F. Building coalitions. . .”Leadership is not a solo act, it’s a team effort”(Kouzes and Posner).

G. Work with business community- fundraisers, sponsors, etc

H. Involve non-parents

I. Communication is a two way process. . .”The best leaders are listeners”(Maxwell). “Listen if you want to be heard” (Wooden).

List and discuss (a) what you consider to be the three most cogent arguments in favor of district-wide testing for “minimum competencies and (b) why it’s important.
• Arguments in favor of testing
• Standardized tests are a fair and objective measure of student achievement
• Provides a measure of accountability
• Standardized testing allows students located in various schools, districts, and even states to be compared
• Identify areas of strengths and weaknesses for schools/students/teachers

• Why it’s important

• Motivates students to learn and increases emphasis on student achievement
• Provides the same high expectations and the same basis of evaluation for all students
• Provides information that can inform policymakers on the quality of education
• Monitors School improvement efforts
• Allows recognition to schools that teachers of students perform high/or improve performance
• Data-analysis drives instruction

Briefly discuss several of the most prominent arguments advanced (a) in support of collective bargaining for public employees and (b) in opposition to such bargaining.
1. Pros
a. Promotes fairness and consistency in employment policies and personnel decisions
b. Can lead to high-performance workplace where labor and management jointly engage in problem solving, addressing issues on an equal standing
c. Multi-year contracts may provide budgetary predictability on salary and other compensation issues
d. Employers’ and employees’ rights protected
2. Cons
a. Protects the status quo, thereby inhibiting innovation and change
b. Restricts management’s ability to deal directly with individual employees
c. Disproportionate effect of relatively few active employees on the many in the bargaining unit
d. Increases bureaucratization and longer time needed for decision making
Arguments are frequently advanced that teacher tenure should be abolished now that teachers are protected by strong unions and collective bargaining agreements. Choose one side of this issue and draft a statement supporting your point of view.
• Yes to abolish teacher tenure:
a. Dismissing tenured teachers can be a difficult and costly process.
b. Tenure can lead to complacency.
c. Almost every K-12 teacher receives tenure – whether they’ve earned it or not.

• Should NOT abolish tenure:
a. Tenure prevents teachers from being fired for inappropriate reasons.
b. Allows teachers to become even better educators (take risks, etc).
c. Protects experienced teachers from being replaced by less experienced teachers who are lower on the salary scale.

The current public clamor for “higher standards” has led numerous boards of education to consider mandating a “C” average for graduation from high school. The superintendent has asked his principals to provide a report with the “pros” and “cons” of such a move. Discuss the points you will present to the superintendent.
• Pros:
• Higher standard of expectations
• Match mastery expectation of test scores
• Already in place for students doing extracurricular activities
• Cons:
• Higher drop-out rate
• Lower graduation rate
• Does not meet the CAHSEE standards of scoring (passing is about a “D”)
• more interventions will be needed for students not earning a C
A recent change in many school programs involve the use of a number of instructional aides and other non-certificated personnel working with students. Discuss several concerns a principal might have regarding the use of aides and steps that could be taken to alleviate these concerns.
• Lack of training on instructional programs
o Provide PD on affected programs
• “Friends” type of relationship between student and aide
o Have supervisor speak with aides regarding appropriate interactions
o Have teacher dialogue with aide and class regarding appropriate interactions
• Lack of accountability
Encourage joint responsibility between teacher and aide regarding student achievement
With the shortage of funds, some districts have started educational foundations where citizens of the community can donate tax-exempt gifts to the schools. State the arguments for or against such a foundation being started in the school district where you are the principal.
1. Lack of direct control over donated funds
2. Presumption of the head of the foundation receiving preferential treatment
3. Higher income areas will receive greater proportion of funds
4. Unstable income source
5. Foundation may dictate policy
School-based Management has been implemented by some major school districts and is being considered for implementation by other school districts. List three (3) disadvantages of school-based management.
• More Control > money and resources will be focus on where the site needs it

• Understanding of Issues > more hands on an community involvement can be included

• Less bureaucracy and politics involved; more direct

• More buy-in and commitment from staff because they feel more involved/ better moral

• More leadership opportunities for teachers and principals

• CON:
• Teacher/staff influence on decisions can sway> more personalities could be effected

Legislation has recently been introduced in the California Legislature that would make a fine and/or imprisonment mandatory for any student assault on a teacher. Discuss the pros and cons of such a law.
With recent legislation that has been introduced in the California Legislature that would make it a mandatory fine and/ or imprisonment for any student assault on a teacher, it is necessary to discuss the pros and cons of the effects of such a law.

1. law provides clear consequences for assaulting a teacher – discourage some students from behaving violently
2. Helps support CA constitution right: that teachers and student have an “inalienable right to attend schools which are secure and peaceful.”-removes the toxic individual
3. Encourages administrators to conference with students who act violently to warn them of the consequences.
4. public may view enforcement of this law as a positive step toward maintaining a safe and violent-free environment within the schools.
-“the public’s concern about discipline must be taken seriously.” (Gallagher, Bagan, and Moore, 2005).

1. Excessive punishment (8th amendment)
2. Need to look at alternative consequences.
3. Community may see law as an indicator of level of school violence – may get a negative image of the schools.
4. Teachers could either over-report or under-report acts of violence in the schools. The law is only good as its enforcement.
5. If students are convicted of assaulting a teacher, the teacher may file a civil lawsuit seeking damages against the student’s family or the school – leading to a back up of cases in the courts.

Note: Assault it the implication of harm and is not the same as battery. Assault can involve words, actions, or both. -Townley.

Students must have ownership in own behavior monitoring and in the development of their character. -Fitzpatrick.

Student behavior is integral to the growth and development of the academic climate.

Recently there have been indications of gang activity developing in your previously gang-free district. Fights, graffiti, gang symbols, etc. have been noted by staff and the police. Discuss what steps you, as the principal, might take to address this problem.
As a principal, I would work diligently with the community to stop the spread of developing gang activity. In establishing relationships and modeling the way, I would hope to change the attitudes of troubled students and inspire hope in their lives.

I. Community Involvement

A. Work with local law enforcement agencies to stop gang activity (establish relationships)
B. Education nights for parents
C. Set up programs with local businesses-keep youth jobs and training

II. School/Community Pride

A. Build programs that interest students (Sports, Arts, etc.)
B. Establish a sense of community
C. Credit for doing “good deeds” or work credits
D. Programs to take care of the community (litter pick up, graffiti removal, planting trees, etc.)
E. Hidden curriculum-model the way

III. Ensure that school is a safe place

• Establish anti-bullying rules and procedures
• Create after school programs
• Donations from parent groups to support counselors
• Mentor Program (people from the community work with students to help them with their challenges)

In conclusion, as principal, I would do everything in my power to help put our youth on the right track. By inspiring a shared vision with students, parents, and businesses, we could work collaboratively to tackle the issue.

The Board of Education has asked that the district revise and update the Student Discipline Policy. Discuss steps you, as the staff person in charge of this rewriting project, would take in the completion of this change.
The Board of Education has asked that the district revise and update the Student Discipline Policy. Discuss steps you, as the staff person in charge of this rewriting project, would take in the completion of this change.

T= It is important to revisit existing policies and decide whether they are achieving the goals needed and if not, make changes for better effectiveness. One such policy that should be revised periodically is the Student Discipline Policy. In order for the new Student Discipline Policy to be a success, multiple steps must be considered while completing it’s revision.
• Schools across district to review existing plan
– List what is effective/ list what needs revision
• Form a committee at each site to evaluate plan (have representation from each site)
• Committees meet to discuss each school sites plan
• Review discipline data from all schools including internet searches of other school districts discipline policies and procedures
• Committee to revise and submit plan to board
• Once plan is approved, involve all stakeholders to build public confidence in our schools (Dr. Arriaga)

Vandalism has become a significant problem in the district with several instances of damaged classrooms and significant financial losses sustained. Indicate some steps you, as the principal of the district, might take in response to this problem.
At a time when districts are grappling with dwindling funds, the economic impact that vandalism can incur can have dyer consequences for a district.
• Review procedures with staff and custodial staff of securing all technology devices before leaving the building.
• Investing in surveillance cameras, lighting, and physical environment.
• Meet with local police station discuss possible patrols of school
• All call to parents asking them to report suspicious activity – establish a hotline
• Have a community meeting discuss possible community watch
Investigate after school programs that occupy youth
A major question in curriculum is: “Who determines what we teach in the schools?” Identify and discuss what persons or groups determine the curriculum content in the schools today and from whom do they derive their authority?
A. All the (fancy word for “players” in the school community)
B. Parents
a. Authority comes from: they have kids at the school
C. Teachers
a. They teach the stuff
D. Administrators
a. They run the schools
a. They help facilitate education
a. They oversee the districts
G. Colleges
a. They tell k-12 educators what they are looking for in students
H. Local businesses
a. They tell k-12 educators what they want in employees
Outline the procedures you would follow in conducting an action research program to improve student learning in school: (a) list the specific steps to be accomplished and (b) briefly explain its implementation.
Recommended curriculum (State guidelines and framework, standards)
-Written curriculum (the teachers guides, textbooks, frontloading activities, items received from the publisher).
-Supported Curriculum (BTSA, local school and teachers use to support the teachers, collaboration time).
-Taught Curriculum (what is actually taught by the teacher).
-Learned Curriculum (what the students taught caught).

A. Identify the problem (the gap between the grade and the grade level standard).
B. Review the data and look for gap, needs assessment.
C. Recommended, written, supported, taught, assessed and learned.
D. Recommendations for Improvement / Action Plan.
E. Implement the program and evaluate.
F. ALSO – include the research paper sections

Many schools face sanctions from No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Discuss two components of this program and how an administrator might respond in affecting change.
1. First Year
• • 2. Second Year
• • 3. Third Year
• • • 4. Fourth Year
• • • • 5. Fifth Year
• • • •
The increase in required courses mandated by changes in the state law and college entrance requirements have seriously decreased the opportunity for students to enroll in elective courses. Cite several arguments for and several arguments against the increase in required courses.
More rigorous curriculum will better prepare students
Higher college acceptance rate
Better educated students in core subjects.

Not all students go to college
Possible higher drop out rate from disenfranchised students
Less opportunity for the arts and music
Less opportunity for Career and Tech Ed and ROP Classes
Less opportunity for Home Economics Classes

Name and discuss three forces/agencies, external to the local schools, that are currently contributing to the initiation of curriculum change in California.
(Smith’s Class) Quote: “What is needed is a balance between surface knowledge and deeper processes, leading to conceptual understanding” (Hattie)

• Federal Government-No Child Left Behind
• The public opinion from the media
• CA Framework- transitioning to CCSS and SBAC testing
• Demographics in particular areas
• The State Legislature
• Other Countries

Discuss the role of the building principal in bringing about curriculum improvement.
• Have a strong vision(Covey). Set goals and have an action plan.
o Focus on reaching the potential (Wooden).
o Model the way(Kouzes and Posner)
• Moral purpose must be part of educational reform (Michael Fullan).

• Analyze data and assess the school needs.
o Listen to the staff
• “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” ( Covey).
o “`I am open to learning and actively learning myself” (Hattie).
o Form committees and seek input when appropriate (Use the word “We”).
• “Teachers beliefs and commitments are the greatest influence on student achievement over which we can have some control” (Hattie).
• Be knowledgeable with the curriculum

• Be active in monitoring instruction
• Be knowledgeable with the curriculum
• One needs knowledge. . .what to, why to (Covey)
• Classroom visits
• Teacher observations
• Providing staff development and collaboration opportunities
• Provide staff support

What do you consider the three most critical curriculum issues facing educational leaders today? Discuss your number one issue and indicate how you believe the schools should respond to it.
• Common Core
• Professional development
• Ease into it; transitional period
• Standardized testing
• “teaching to the test” strategies
• Changing to the common core tests and how to help students make adjustment
• Technology/resources
• Future testing on computers
• Abundance of resources; how to analyze what is the best and how to incorporate into one picture
Discuss the arguments for and against national/federal standards.
• For:
o Prepares students for a competitive global economy
• Standards are internationally benchmarked (comparable to standards in other countries)
o Provide national continuity in education
• Allows states to compare standardized test scores
• Also benefits students whose families move frequently
o Enhanced teacher collaboration and professional development.
• Teachers across the country can share best practices.
o Everyone in the education community on the “same page.”

• Against:
o Standards are middle ground (i.e. better than some states, but not as difficult as others)
o No guarantee of improvement in testing on a global scale
o Increased value on standardized test performance since states will be able to compare to each other.
o Expensive – new textbooks needed to match more rigorous standards, new technology needed for assessments done online.

A small group of parents and citizens has attacked two textbooks being used in a science course. Discuss the steps you would take to respond to this attack.
• Find out why parents and citizens are attacking the textbook. If it is a matter of personal beliefs, i.e. evolution, then offer students to sit out of class during lessons that may make them feel uncomfortable and offer an alternative assignment. Evolution is a standard outlined in CA Science Standards and is required to be taught (as a theory).
• Meet with the science department as a team and ask if they agree or disagree with the parents. Most importantly, the textbook must be standards aligned. If not, big problem. Maybe the complaints of the parents correspond with those of the science teachers. If the teachers like the textbook, find out why and write a list of at least 3 reasons why.
• Meet with the district so that everyone representing the school is on the same page. Create a date to meet with all parents regarding textbooks in science classes.
• Take into consideration the textbook adoption process. When is the next science textbook adoption? At the next textbook adoption process, parents and citizens will be invited to evaluate the textbooks that are presumed to be adopted (this is standard procedure).

• Make sure book is on state adoption list, and aligned with state science standards.
• Listen to their concerns, address their concerns and be empathetic.
• Educate them as to why it is an appropriate textbook/Offer alternative assignments, as needed.
• Refer them to the Director of Curriculum.

Evaluation and self-evaluation are playing a major part in the improvement of the instructional program in the modern-day school. Describe the techniques the supervisor might employ in evaluating the following: (a) Himself/herself; (b) the supervisors role; and (c) the school program.
• Himself:
• Survey
• Self reflection base on standards
• Supervisors role:
• Observations of work
• District evaluation template
• CSTP standards
• Student data/testing results
• School program
• Compare test results/data from previous years/semesters etc.
• Survey students/teachers/staff
• Outside input (district/other schools)
Outline a procedure to be followed by a school supervisor in (a) planning a classroom visitation with a teacher; (b) making the visit; and (c) the conference, which follows the visitation.
1. May or may not inform the teacher of the classroom visitation’s approximate date and time (verify if any classroom visitations and conferences are contractual items).
2. Observe and document the environment e.g. lesson objective, student engagement, evidence of ELD/SDAIE strategies (if applicable), classroom management
Generate letter requesting conference and leave in teacher’s mailbox/sign-in card, ask teacher how they viewed the lesson, describe objective observations,
You have been asked to be in charge of the professional development program for a school district. What are some key elements you would consider in planning for the year ahead?
• Gain feedback from staff> survey/question
• Look at previous PD- was it effective?
• Analyze future needs of individual schools and districts > population expansion? Diversity issues? At risk student population, socio economic/free and reduced lunch population
• Include common core support
A. District objectives e.g. focus on reading comprehension instruction
B. Data analysis to determine where increased PD is required
C. Staff surveys to gauge teacher interest in topics
• Upcoming funding for a particular program e.g. utilizing iPads in classroom
List several rather specific practices or activities of classroom teachers that tend to contribute to their teaching effectiveness. Discuss in detail any two of these practices, and explain why they are so effective.
Successful teachers employ many different strategies but among these, two practices are monumental in the overall effectiveness of a strong educator.

• Establish classroom expectations – Randy Sprick/Champs
• Lessons reflect the standards to be taught
• Data driven instruction
• Student involvement (active learning)
• Differentiated instruction
• Pre-teaching/re-teaching strategies
• Reflective teaching
• Use of technology
• Communication with parents

Indicate three reasons teachers fail to achieve maximum effectiveness in the classroom and the actions a supervisor may take to help teachers increase effectiveness in these areas.
The three main reasons why teachers fail to achieve maximum effectiveness in the classroom are poor classroom management, deficiency in methods of instruction to deal with different levels of student abilities, and lack of necessary resources. There are a few actions that a principal can take to assist a struggling teacher.

I. Professional Development

A. COMP/CHAMPS training
B. Peer Mentor-collaboration
C. Technology –lesson planning, ideas to keep students interested

II. Method of Instruction

1. PLCs- Specific Objectives
2. RTI-Data Driven Instruction
3. Grade-level planning

III. Provide Resources

1. Ensure enough supplies for all students
2. Time to view other teachers teaching/ how classrooms run and are organized
3. Books/ Videos to inspire the teacher

As a leader, one must help nurture and guide a struggling teacher so that they will grow and improve in their methods.

One of the major roles of a principal is “instructional leadership.” Describe three (3) important aspects of this leadership.
While a principal is still responsible for the administrative responsibilities, today’s principals must be an instructional leader as well. Three important aspects of “instructional leadership” are creation of a vision, knowledge and alignment of standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessments, and maintaining a culture of continuous learning.

I. Create a vision
A. Prioritize what is most important (use data)
B. Collaborate with teachers to define educational objectives
C. Set school wide goals
II. Alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment
1. must be well informed of standards based curriculum and assessments
2. ongoing process as standards, curriculum, and assessments cycle through
3. use multiple sources to assess performance-data drives instruction
III. Culture of learning
1. Principal is the primary learner (top-down)-share enthusiasm of learning throughout the community
2. Effective instruction can never be perfected- all teachers benefit from additional time and support to improve their instruction
3. Build new learning opportunities for students and staff
In summary, instructional leaders have a clear direction for their school and prioritize what really matters for student achievement. Furthermore, instructional leaders know what is happening in their classrooms and develop the capacities of staff by building on their strengths and reducing their weaknesses. Most importantly, an instructional leader influences the school climate and culture of learning.

* Note: Instructional leadership can be defined as “those actions that a principal takes, or delegates to others, to promote growth in student learning.” In practice, this means that the principal encourages educational achievement by making instructional quality the top priority of the school and brings that vision to realization.

Discuss in detail two specific practices or activities of classroom teachers that contribute significantly to their teaching effectiveness and explain why they are so effective.
• Analyze data to help monitor performance
• Shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning
• Three crucial questions:
What do we want each student to learn?
How will we know when each student has learned it?
How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?
As a school principal you want to establish a peer coaching program at your school. Describe what the program might involve and how you would implement it.
I took my info from the document that Shay sent to us – seemed to fit all criteria

Peer coaching would be utilized as a process in which two or more professional colleagues work together for a specific predetermined purpose. The purpose would be to reflect on current practices or expand, to refine, and build new skills. Peer coaching would be utilized to share new ideas; to teach one another; to conduct classroom observations; or to solve problems in the workplace. The focus should be on the collaborative development, refinement and sharing of professional knowledge and skills.

• Trusting relationships among all participants
• Administrative support (emotional, organizational, financial).
• Faculty/staff recognition of the need for improvement and formal ongoing learning.
• Clear expectations for engagement
• Assessment methods for measuring the difference and outcomes for the experience
• Release time for peer coaches
• Funds to pay for training and personnel

• Time for collaboration
• Intra/inter school observations
• Ongoing professional development and training
• Peer/mentor should have knowledge of curriculum
• Have goals and objectives to meet
• Working toward the same vision
• Non-judgmental
• Evaluate the program

What are the California Standards for the Teaching Profession and how might a principal use them to improve instruction among teachers?
Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments in Learning
Understanding and Organizing Subject matter for Student learning
Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for all students
Assessing Student learning
Developing as a Professional educator

How to use CSTP’s to improve instruction
Use Standards as a way of observing/evaluating teachers
Teachers are able to set goals for teaching practices based on standards
As a Principal you are able to determine based on observation and evaluation if teachers are meeting goals
Guide teachers to as they develop teaching practices and student achievement
i. Standards provide a common criteria of expectations for teachers to be evaluated in an equitable manner
Common Language among teachers
ii. Principals will be able to use the standards to communicate with their teachers on reflecting on their teaching practices
Principals should oversee teachers in the development of their skills according to Hoyle, English, & Steffy “Skills for Successful 21st Century School Leaders”
iii. Engaging and supporting student learning
iv. Creating and maintaining effective learning environment
v. Understanding and organizing the subject matter
vi. Planning and instruction
vii. Informally assessing student learning

Discuss briefly what you would consider to be the five most critical “areas of competence” needed by today’s school principal and explain the reasons why each area is important.
-finance, how to budget.
-comunication, how to communicate with staff, parents and community.
-conflict resolution, know how to deal with personnel issues.

“areas of competence” author yes or no???

a. Safety – safety plan, practice, publish plan, inspections.
b. Finance – write a budget, account codes, deadlines, monitoring, encroachment.
c. Communication – parents, students, staff – verbal, written, and nonverbal.
d. Conflict resolution – parents v. teacher, staff v. staff, student v. student, student v.teacher.
e. Listen, mediate, compromise.
f. Curriculum – standards, instructional leader, appropriate goals, curriculum audit, evaluations, walk throughs, align curriculum with standards.

You recently have been appointed principal in a new district. Describe the steps you would take to establish a school climate that encourages change and innovation on the part of the faculty and explain why each step is important.
Climate is how we feel about it…
-We need common goals.
-Good listener.
-Needs assessment.
-Form a committee.
-Be visible.
-Xy leader. -Northouse.

1. Needs assessment.
2. Interviews with staff by department/office manager.
3. Follow up.

A. Set forth a vision with school so they buy in.
B. Learn the past climate through interviews.
C. Meet with everyone (staff, faculty, district, custodial, PTA, etc).
D. Things you would do the month before school.
E. Things you would do the week before school.
G. Trust would be the biggest change for the first year.
H. Develop leadership in others.
I. Promote a positive image, developing positive relationship with media.

For many years many educators have advocated the elimination of small school districts and amalgamation, unification, etc. to form increasingly larger administrative units. More recently the trend appears to have reversed, with the talk now largely in terms of decentralization. Discuss the factors which tend to operate in favor of large districts and those which appear to make decentralization desirable.
• What is decentralization?
o Decentralization is defined as the transfer of decision-making authority closer to the consumer or beneficiary, gaining local control. This can take the form of transferring powers to lower levels of an organization. In education it is giving additional responsibilities to schools; school-based management.
In favor of Large Districts:
• The larger the district the more money the district will receive. This will allow the districts more money for services such resource specialists, etc. (Dunlap)
• Usually administrators get paid less money compared to a small district
• More opportunity for collaboration and staff articulation in subject areas

In favor of Small Districts:
• Local control of curriculum
• School based management
• More power to make decisions within schools
• Easier to build relationships

What are steps necessary to establish a full inclusion program for special needs students in your school?
• Someone at the building level must assume a leadership role and that person should be the building’s principal.

• The school must develop a common vision and all members of the school community must understand why inclusion is being implemented.

• Adequate time must be given to the process of planning inclusion and this planning must continue during the implementation phase.

• There must be a collaborative sprit and atmosphere within the school.

• Provisions must be made for formal as well as informal communication, and personnel in the school must work at the communication process.

• Teachers, administrators, and support staff must be flexible and capable of adapting and changing to meet the needs of children.

• Training must be providing to faculty and staff on inclusive practices.

Discuss several major issues that should be considered in determining whether or not to move from a (K-6)-(7-9)-(10-12)-school configuration to a (K-5)-(6-8)-(9-12) organizational plan.
• The school facilities and whether they can accommodate that number of students and classes on campus
• The parents need to buy in
• The maturity level of students and whether students can adapt to the new school structure. How will this affect athletics? High School courses that go on college transcripts?
The percentage of students at a given age level who continue in school to high school graduation rose very markedly from the early part of the century (20th) for a considerable period of time. More recently it has declined quite substantially. Cite and discuss what you believe to be the three most compelling reasons for this decline and some means that a district might employ to reverse the trend in each of the three areas.
• Faulty reporting in graduation numbers, the true rate is substantially lower than widely used measures
• One potential explanation is increasing educational standards in the presence of relatively easily acquired alternative credentials such as the GED. A series of studies have linked high stakes testing and stiffer educational standards to increased GED test taking (see Lillard and DeCicca [2001]and Warren, Jenkins and Kullik [2006]).

• A growing proportion of American children are being raised in single parent families and for an increasing fraction of their childhoods. Children reared in these adverse environments are more likely to drop out of high school.


The board has requested that several of the school principals in the district prepare position papers dealing with the duties and responsibilities of a principal. You have been given the topic, “The Role of the Principal in Enhancing the Instructional Process.” Prepare a paper responding to this topic.
• Plan effective professional development depending on staff needs
• Common Core standards, instructional methods, RtI, new curriculum
• Use Data-Based Decision Making to enhance student performance
• Get funding for and introduce new technology and how it can more effectively be used in the classroom – embrace the change!
• Provide opportunities for staff to collaborate and plan together; Create an environment where staff supports each other and can rely on each other as a resource
• Visit classrooms frequently and provide feedback
• Above all, the focus needs to be on STUDENT LEARNING.
One of the signs of a good leader is his/her willingness to delegate administrative authority and responsibility. Describe four criteria that you, as a school principal, would employ in determining what should and what should not be delegated.
1. Delegate those tasks that are repetitive and more procedural (i.e. prepping time cards, absence reports, etc).
2. Delegate tasks that can be handled by someone with training and background appropriate to the task (i.e. Vice-Principal or Dean to handle student discipline issues)
3. Do NOT delegate tasks that are personnel-related (hiring, disciplinary actions, etc).
4. Do NOT delegate tasks that are school safety related (i.e. Safety Plan, lockdowns, emergency drills).
Describe how you, as a principal, would promote maximum participation of the school staff in the decision making process within your school.
As a principal, I would promote maximum participation of the school staff in the decision making process within my school by referring to Roland Barth’s Personal Vision in order to create an atmosphere of collaboration and consensus.

I. Community of Learners

A. Professional Development/Conferences
B. Principal is learning and growing –model for staff
C. Create culture of creativity

II. Collegiality

• Respect for differences-leader sets the tone
• Risk taking is valued
• Team-building/consensus-building activities

III. Shared responsibility

• Leadership opportunities for staff
• Question “Why” is appropriate and welcomed
• Setting goals together-shared vision

Effective leaders of the 21st Century should ensure that all school staff is participating in the decision making process. Through collaboration and consensus building the staff can work together to make the most optimal decisions.

Articulation between the elementary and junior high school is of great concern to parents, students, both staffs and the board. Since both you and the junior high principal are new to the district, the superintendent feels that now would be a good time for a change. He has requested that both principals individually submit a plan for articulation and then later both will meet to form and agree on the plan to be implemented. Prepare your plan.
Effective communication among teaching staff at a school site or district-wide should be a priority to leaders in order to help carry out the district vision. In preparing an articulation plan, I would think about the topics for discussion, how and what resources I would use for the process of articulating, and what would I do to monitor the progress. (*referred to page 13 of Hoyle-Strategic Plan Model)

I. Topics to discuss

• Curriculum alignment from elementary to middle school
• What elementary students need to achieve (goals)
• Needs for support (priorities)

II. Articulation between elementary and middle school

• Time: When to meet? How often?
• People: Create articulation groups (ie-Language Arts, Math, Science)
• Money: Are teachers getting paid, substitutes, adjunct duty?

III. Monitor Progress

o Compare programs with benchmarks
o Alter goals and priorities as needed
o Articulate with community about progress

Opening the lines of communication between the elementary and middle schools is so important to the success of transition and achievement of our students. Through distinguishing the topics of importance, creating time and resources to articulate with each other, and watching the data closely, I would hope to appease the minds of staff, students, parents, and the school board.

)IDEA (Previously Public Law 94-142) continues to have a tremendous impact on public education. Discuss four of the major features of this bill.
Part A defines terms e.g. specific learning disability definition

Part B provides funding and regulations for states to service students with disabilities

Part C sets up the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities: Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

Part D helps states and other agencies improve how they service students with disabilities

Assume that you have been recently appointed principal of a new school. Describe how you would proceed in establishing an effective school-community relations program in your school.
o Invite parents to join PTA and school site councils
o Establish events to increase community involvement e.g. Coffee with the Principal and School Carnivals
o Setup adult community classes e.g. ESL and/or Internet classes
One of the recognized responsibilities of a school principal is that of providing an orientation program for new teachers to his/her school. Discuss what components go into the development of a quality orientation program.
Perhaps the most important meeting of any school year is the opening orientation session that occurs before any student arrives on campus to begin the new term. The orientation meeting sets the tone for the new school year and seeks to integrate new teachers with veterans in a common purpose of achieving academic excellence.
• Overview of program goals/ a clear sense of shared mission involving administration and faculty. Having the “end in mind” determines success. Stephen Covey
• An attitude that invites personal sharing in the overall goals
• Review discipline procedures/ how is it working? Do we need to revisit?
• Review bullying prevention program
• Developing a sense of collegiality that will define the learning community in the months ahead
• Encourage individual leadership and collaboration among the faculty
• Foster collaboration, “ You can’t do it alone is the mantra of exemplary leaders. You simply can’t get extraordinary things done by yourself. Collaboration can be sustained only when you create a climate of trust and facilitate effective long-term relationships among your staff.” Kouzes & Posner.
Much has been written about mission statements of organizations, and you have learned the importance of a “shared vision” for your school. As the new principal of your school, present how you would develop such a statement and what you would need to do to ensure that it relates to the shared vision.
Developing a strong vision and mission statements can help stakeholders in your school reach a common understanding. A vision is your school’s goal- where you hope to see it in the future. The mission provides an overview of the steps planned to achieve that future. A vision is concise and easy to recall, whereas a mission is lengthier and more explanatory in nature.
• According to Kouzes & Posner: “ When talking about what is planned or what has been accomplished, it’s essential that you talk in terms of our vision, our values, our goals, our plans, our actions, and our achievements. Your task as a leader is to help other people reach mutual goals, not your goals, and to get there with a sense that we did it together. Your job is to make sure that everyone sees them selves as part of the larger mission, and your language needs to reflect that sense of being part of the team”.
• In order for a vision to be successful, it must be centered on the beliefs and values that motivate individuals to strive for the highest ideals and performance.
• Leaders should carefully study the district and school culture to determine the underlying values, beliefs, history, traditions, and heroes and heroines.
• The vision should be shared and discussed. It must be presented to and discussed in small groups. The school site should work together collaboratively to create a vision statement that will inspire the best efforts of administrators, teachers, students, parents, businesses, and other community stakeholders.
• Once the vision statement is created it should appear in clear view at each school, on stationary, and as part of all communications to parents and other stakeholders.
• “A positive shared vision that focuses on efforts to ensure that every child succeeds in life can energize others and secure higher standards for the schools and the community.” John Hoyle
In current contract negotiations, the Teachers’ union has expressed its desire that teachers have a greater role in the decision making at their individual schools. The school board is split on this issue and has requested input from the principals in the district. As a principal, describe four guidelines that you feel should be included in any policy that the board might submit for negotiation.
• How to choose the teachers involved at each site
• Apply for position to board or HR
• If principal chooses; risk of “favorites”
• Volunteer-
• Too many chiefs/not enough Indians
• Stipulate when input will be used/needed/included
• When is it appropriate to include teachers in the decision making?
• Curriculum decisions/meetings; progressive discipline process; school events/parent involvement
• Set site norms/expectations of participation
You have been appointed principal of a new school in the district. At least half of the staff will be new to the district. Describe what steps you would take to insure a climate that would permit and encourage innovation on the part of the staff as individuals and as a staff
• Develop collegiality/pride in new school
o Opening staff development school t-shirts for all staff
o Bonding activities
• Create Professional Learning Communities based on interests and strengths
o Have staff take a survey- use to develop PLC’s
o “Experts are among us” – Schmoker
• Create a shared Vision
o Create a goal of the future of the school
o Create an identity
• Have an open door policy for your staff to meet and share ideas
• Be a good listener
The editor of the local paper has called and requested that you prepare an article on the Role and Purpose of Alternative Schools at the Secondary Level. Prepare such an article.
• Role
o To provide an opportunity for success for every student
• Examples:
• Home Schooling
• Charter schools
• Continuation Schools
• Vocational Ed
• Juvenile Detention Schools
• Magnets
• Schools reflecting specific philosophy of education
• Purpose
o Alternative schools respond to society need
o Meets students needs
• Students struggle with outside influences – cannot function in a traditional school setting
• Student may need to work to support family
• Incarceration
• Disabilities
• Sense of belonging – i.e. out of a gang
• Need for greater structure
• Smaller class size/personal attention
• Vocational/technical training
• Greater flexibility
The high school of which you are principal will soon be visited by an accrediting team of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The local newspaper editor has called and indicated that she feels that the community knows very little about this undertaking and has requested that you prepare an article for publication, which would explain the purposes and procedures of the accreditation. Prepare such an article.
• WASC> accreditation for schools
• 3
• the school is substantially accomplishing its stated purposes and functions identified as appropriate for an institution of its type
• the school is meeting an acceptable level of quality in accordance with the WASC criteria adopted by the Accrediting Commission.
• WASC Mission:
• WASC advances and validates quality ongoing school improvement by supporting its private and public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary member institutions to engage in a rigorous and relevant self-evaluation and peer review process that focuses on student learning.
• Process:
• Initial accreditation > 3 years, with full self study at the end (3rd year)
• Full accreditation > The entire staff and representatives of the student body and community are involved in the preparation of the self-study, which is accomplished over a period of several months.
• Understand process/involvement of self study
• Analyze/understand results
• Develop/clarify/assess accomplishment of school wide student goals (Student Learning Outcomes “SLO”) >ESLERS
• Compare school program to criteria
• Develop action plan to increase effectiveness
• Full Self Study Visit
• 3-8 people with a chairperson will visit campus
• A typical visiting committee is composed of a school principal, a district office administrator, a classroom teacher, a school administrator other than a principal, a representative of a college or university, plus additional members who may be representatives of a state department of education, a county office, or board members.
• Spend 3 ? days on campus
• Review quality of curricular/instructional program
• Analyze data
• Observe school; visit classes; talk with staff/students
• Report shared with staff when complete
• recommends a status of accreditation based upon the school’s philosophy, the WASC criteria, the self-study, and its findings during the visit
• Accreditation status is based on:
• the appropriateness of the school’s stated purpose, goals, objectives for an institution of its type
• How the school met the recommendations of the last visit
• The use of appropriate student outcome measures/goals
• Involvement of the school community in development of the self study
• Capacity of the school to implement a school wide action plan

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