Another year, another legislative session which means the OSDE and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister are gearing up for another season of new bills and finalized budgets. I sat down with Superintendent Hofmeister to reflect on the past year of her superintendency and look ahead to the coming year. You can find Superintendent Hofmeister on Twitter @joy4ok.
For this episode of Passing Notes I had the opportunity to interview my previous principal, Mr. Lee Roland. Lee Roland is a former teacher, principal, district-level administrator, and the author of the book Fantastic Voyage: a Story of School Turnaround and Achievement by Overcoming Poverty and Addressing Race. Lee Roland is known for his work at Tulakes Elementary in Putnam City Schools. In this episode we explored the topics he covers in his book and his experiences of school turnaround at Tulakes Elementary.
- What does your current culture/climate look like?
- What areas of growth are needed in your current sphere (school or district)? Suspension rates? Academic? Attendance?
- What are your plans to engage parents and students throughout the school year?
- What support do you currently need to grow your school? Who do you need to support you? What do you need from your team?
- What metrics will you look at to measure your school’s growth this year?
- What are you most proud of that is happening in your school community?
For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed recently retired educator, Kevin Lynch. Kevin is a former teacher, university professor, has provided support to teachers through grants across the state, and a former school administrator. I know Kevin because he was one of my teachers at East Central University. From the first day in his class I was amazed at his ability to create a culture of safety and acceptance where students felt comfortable to share their thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams about education. I of course had to visit with him about building culture as an educational leader.
- What does culture look like in your current position? Where does growth or change need to occur?
- What does your school community value? How are those values represented in the culture, mission, and vision of the school?
- What are the subcultures at your school site? How do they impact the entire school?
- How does your school culture impact your students’ success?
- Who are the community stakeholders that are important to developing school culture?
- What steps can you take to cultivate a strong, positive school culture?
For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed William Stubbs. William is the Managing Director with Uplift Education in Dallas, Texas and is a co-moderator for #BMEsTalk. William and I discussed the importance of equity in education and what districts need to do to keep the conversation going. You can find William on Twitter @WmStubbs.
- How do you define equity?
- What practices are in place in your classroom or district to ensure that equity is a part of the conversation?
- What practices are in place in your classroom or district that are not ensuring equity for each student in your classroom or district?
- Do students feel included in the classroom and apart of the conversation? Do teachers feel included in the school and feel apart of the conversation?
- Which members of your district’s community have been historically left out of the conversation? In what ways, are you ensuring that their voices are heard at the decision-making table?
For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed Melonie Hau, the Superintendent of Newcastle Public Schools. Superintendent Hau has worked with multiple districts and the K20 Center on strategic planning. Through this she has learned and led districts in how to create a strategic plan that drives district decisions and student achievement. You can find Superintendent Hau on Twitter @melhau11 and the K20 Center on their website or on Twitter @k20center
- Does your district currently have a strategic plan?
- How do you implement the strategic plan in your role within the district?
- To update or start strategic planning, who needs to be at the table to move the conversation forward?
- What are your district’s priorities that need to be considered in the strategic planning process?
- What steps does your district need to take to ensure that the current strategic plan is in motion and applicable to the work that the district is doing to improve student achievement?
- What does your leadership team need to be successful at strategic planning?
For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed Dr. Keely Frayser. Keely is the Executive Director of Curriculum in the Putnam City School District. Keely and I discussed in depth the power of a PLC community within a school and a district and how PLCs can help change the narrative and community of a school.
- What does your curtain PLC practice looks like?
- What are the expectations for PLC and collaboration in your school?
- What drives your school’s PLC conversation?
- What data is important for your teachers to discuss during PLC meetings?
- How does PLC and regular collaboration impact your school environment?
- Who has ownership of PLCs?
For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed Greg Frederick. Greg is the principal of the U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City Public Schools. In this role he and his staff have worked hard to develop a place where students can come learn, grow, explore their passions, and make connections.
- What programs/partnerships do you currently have in your school?
- What gaps do you see that need to be filled to support students in your school? How might partnerships help?
- How does your school build community for your students?
- What values/priorities does the staff at your school have that guide your decision making?
- What plans do you have to create a stronger school community for your students?