Principal Leadership - May 2015 - (Page 46)
Put this issue of PL into practice with the help of our discussion guide. Begin
conversations with your staff members using suggested questions, and reference our
list of resources for additional exploration of the topic.
Begin the Conversation
A Discussion Guide for Principal Leadership
Use this discussion guide with your staff members to begin conversations that will expand your school's vision of
school improvement, introduce multiple perspectives of successful practices, and focus the local discussion on broader
possibilities for improving student achievement. Selected articles have one or two content questions in each of the
three Breaking Ranks core areas, plus a list of resources for additional exploration of the topic so you can customize the
questions for your school.
To get started:
■ Select one or more of the feature articles for staff discussion.
■ Give all participants a copy of the text. (NASSP grants permission for you to make 100 copies for each article for
■ Ask individuals to suspend their assumptions and use specific textual references to support their comments.
■ Add discussion questions to continue the conversation in a way that's most relevant to your school.
■ Conclude the discussion with open-ended questions designed to further inquiry, such as: How do these actions
align with our existing school improvement initiatives? What would it look like here? What new actions are you
considering after having read the article?
An implementation template is included at the end of the Discussion Guide to help you organize the new actions
being considered for implementation. (For strategies to assist in organizing effective discussion groups, see the
Text-Based Discussion Guidelines at http://www.nassp.org/Content/158/text_based_guide.pdf.)
Article: "More Than a Building: Personalization and the Ninth-Grade Center Model," by Drew Cook
Administrators, counselors, and teaching staff at Garner Magnet High School collaborated to develop and implement interventions and recovery
programs for struggling ninth graders. What factors did the authors attribute to the "perfect storm" when describing the ninth-grade problem
experienced in comprehensive high schools across the country regardless of geography or demographics?
What collaborative practices and structures exist or should exist at your school to help struggling freshmen transition into high school? What
have been the results of your school's transitional interventions and programs? What improved for students and teachers?
Want to know more?
Carter, A., & Healey, T. (2011, February). Professional development for parents. Principal Leadership, 11(6), 26-31. Retrieved from
Dedmond, R. (2005, November). A personalized plan for life. Principal Leadership, 6(3), 16. Retrieved from http://www.nassp.org/Portals/0/
Habeeb, S. (2013, February). The ninth-grade challenge. Principal Leadership, 13(6), 18-22. Retrieved from http://www.nassp.org/Content/158/
Roberts, R. (2013, September). Great schools have great principals. Principal Leadership, 14(1), 72. Retrieved from http://www.nassp.org/
Despite some challenges, the initial positive feedback from Garner Magnet High School Ninth-Grade Center students, staff, and parents relates
to the smaller, more personalized environment. What challenges did the center encounter? How has the smaller learning environment made a
difference in student performance and behavior?
What current teacher-to-student and student-to-student strategies support incoming freshmen at your school? How does your school create a
sense of belonging and ownership among ninth-grade students?
Want to know more?
Clark, J. (2012, January). Nine months to ninth grade. Principal Leadership, 12(5), 46-50. Retrieved from http://www.nassp.org/Content/158/
Haviland, J. (2005, November). For freshmen only. Principal Leadership, 6(3), 28-31. Retrieved from http://www.nassp.org/Portals/0/
46 Principal Leadership | May 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal Leadership - May 2015
Sungard K-12 Education
From the Editor
Cases in Point
Healthy Schools, Healthy Students
2015 NASSP Digital Principal Award Winners
The New School Library
Building Bridges, Making Connections
Leading a STEM Shift
Considering the Whole Student
Collaborative Common Planning to Meet Higher Standards
More Than a Building: Personalization and the Ninth-Grade Center Model
Discussion Guide: More Than a Building
Teaching for Tomorrow, Today
Breaking Ranks in Practice
Principal Leadership - May 2015