Title

Light the Fire for School Change- Focusing on School Culture to Improve Student Achievement

First Presenter's Institution

Harris Middle School

Second Presenter's Institution

Cindy Hayes

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Many schools are in need of focused leadership, on the administrative and teacher-leader level, to inspire school culture that fosters student achievement. Building capacity by having courageous conversations that lead to a shared vision is essential to developing this culture. Leadership must pursue ideas, strategies, and best practices that empower faculty and staff to create an environment that has a measurable impact on student growth and achievement. Only when these pieces are in place can school change/growth occur.

Brief Program Description

Help your school reach its potential by focusing on the most important asset in your school, its PEOPLE. Engage in discussion, activities, and reflection that kindle achievement. Join us as we investigate leadership and shared organizational practices that can be immediately implemented by you and your colleagues to bring positive change to your school.

Summary

In this session, participants will use strategies founded in business principles and organizational culture to promote honest reflection, increase dialogue, and promote positive school culture to increase student achievement

Objectives/Outcomes:

  1. Investigate and practice with tools to improve school culture and climate.
  2. Understanding of LEADERSHIP potential/impact regardless of official title.
  3. Provide opportunities for reflective leadership practices
  4. Develop a 1 item action plan using positive school culture to increase student achievement.

Session Structure: (in sequential order)

  • Welcome- What this Is/Is Not-
  • Background of presenter and Harris Middle School
  • Why people matter and Organizational culture
  • Setting Tone- Honest reflection of your school (reflective activity)
  • SWOT Analysis (hands-on activity for reflection)
  • Circle of Control vs Circle of Influence (hands on activity for reflection and Gallery walk)
  • Action Plan (Hands on activity for reflection and implementation in attendees's school)

Evidence

The presenters have successfully implemented the strategies at a large high poverty middle school and have experienced success moving from the bottom to near the top in the state of Tennessee in adding yearly growth to student achievement.

The organizational practices used at the presenter's school, and presented during the session, include proven organizational and strategic planning tools:

1. SWOT analysis adapted from Creating your Strategic Plan by Bryson (2011)

2. Stephen Covey's Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern adapted from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

3. Strategic Planning Action Plan adapted from Creating your Strategic Plan by Bryson (2011).

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Having spent his career in only middle school settings, Dr. James Sullivan is a passionate middle school educator. As a 6th grade Math/Science teacher, Dr. Sullivan utilized best practices within a school following AMLE's "This We Believe", to experience tremendous growth scores for his students and school. Next, Dr. Sullivan moved to administration and oversaw the turnaround of a historically low performing school. In three years, the school and its teachers have moved from potential state-takeover to now being recognized for academic excellence and achieving exceptionally high levels of student growth.

Additionally, Dr. Sullivan is an adjunct professor within the award winning College of Education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Sullivan is a board member for the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools. He was selected as a 2016 Finalist for the Nashville Emerging Leader Award presented by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2016 Middle Tennessee Administrator of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools.

Keyword Descriptors

Leadership, Culture, Environment, Strategic planning, Academic achievement

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Light the Fire for School Change- Focusing on School Culture to Improve Student Achievement

Harborside East & West

Help your school reach its potential by focusing on the most important asset in your school, its PEOPLE. Engage in discussion, activities, and reflection that kindle achievement. Join us as we investigate leadership and shared organizational practices that can be immediately implemented by you and your colleagues to bring positive change to your school.