“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
Why is it important to track student tardies and take attendance? Do you know someone who never gets to an appointment on time or simply doesn’t show up? We all do! These people are usually not organized or do not value being timely.
Schools have been tasked to teach students the importance of getting to school and class on time and attend school regularly. How will a student hold down a job if they can’t get there on time and/or is absent frequently? It really depends on the job but many require punctuality or production suffers. If a manager needs a punctual employee, they will obviously fire a worker for constantly being late and/or taking days off.
With accountability still looming today, schools are still held accountable for maintaining good attendance. In Georgia, the College Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) is used to “grade” schools on a 100 point scale. One of the 19 indicators schools are rated is attendance. Since schools in Georgia are rated across a spectrum of indicators, attendance is not a high priority as it was in previous years of accountability measures. However many will argue that attendance has a direct correlation to learning. To simply put it, how can a student learn if they hardly ever show up? Fortunately in Forsyth County Schools teachers post assignments on a digital platform called Itslearning. Students can access assignments and communicate with teachers 24/7. School systems without this type of learning platform do not have this luxury or students miss out when not at school.
Creating and maintaining positive relationships with students and using engaging lessons will create a warm learning environment. An environment students will not want to miss! Students are hardly ever absent from teachers classrooms where these two strategies are the norm.
In fun, I created a short video called Classroom Protocols and Procedures. I hope you enjoy it!
How many of you were hired in an upper management or leadership position and allowed to assemble “your” TEAM? A high functioning TEAM working together as a cohesive unit guiding the organization toward goals! Some leaders have to “make do” with in inherited team. If given the chance to assemble a TEAM, how would you go about it? What process would be used? What criteria would be used to determine needs?
The first step is knowing yourself. Knowing your leadership strengths/weaknesses will help you determine the needs of the TEAM. I wouldn’t want a TEAM just like me!! How successful would that be? I am a confident leader but have learned I can’t do it all myself. Nor can I bring all leadership qualities to the table. There are numerous self-assessments out there to help determine your leadership strengths and weakness. After knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, make a list of the leadership qualities needed to “balance” the TEAM.
Also consider leadership qualities required to positively interact with stakeholders. Your constituents might require a certain type of leader or leadership style. If this is not known, find out! Network with others who know or conduct a survey. All you have to do is ask!
The most important point is knowing your vision for the organization. Without vision, there is no leadership! I can’t stress this enough. For those of you that play golf, here is an analogy for vision. Before hitting a shot, pro golfers stand behind the ball as part of a pre-shot routine. While standing behind the ball and looking down the fairway, the golfer visualizes the flight of the ball. The flight the ball will take after hitting the ball. Leaders are always looking ahead making sure all decisions and actions support the vision.
Once a 360 degree analysis is completed including your vision, your leadership strengths/weaknesses, organizational needs and stakeholders traits, you are now ready to start the search. This might seem like a lot but it really isn’t. Effective leaders already know all this.
If I were selecting my TEAM, I would require most if not all the following qualities:
*Integrity *Empathy *Passionate *Honest *Motivated *Problem Solver *Self-Learner *Empower Others *Responsible *Effective Communicator *Goal Oriented
The strategy used at Lambert High School is called Student Success Teams. Our principal has set us up with a focus or emphasis on establishing relationships with students which is always a great idea. Positive relationships are the key to success when dealing with people! We divide our students (almost 3,000 of them) into five equal groups alphabetically according to their last names. An assistant principal and counselor are assigned or are the leaders of each Student Success Team. We involve teachers, parents, our graduation coach or others as needed to help our students as needed. If and when a student struggles, the Student Success Team intervenes providing the needed help or support. Together we are stronger and able to find resolutions to fix problems.
As an assistant principal, I manage and/or monitor discipline, attendance, grades and any other area ensuring my students have a successful year. Yes I said each year! One reason this design is successful is having these students assigned to the same assistant principal and counselor all four years of high school. We really get to know the kids which helps us work together successfully throughout their high school career.
At the end of each grading period, we run reports from our student information system as a process to monitor our students. If we determine a student needs assistance, the counselor and I have a meeting with the student to determine next steps. This design is a win..win for our students! Of course teachers recommend students to the Student Success Team as needed throughout the year so running the reports is a preventative measure preventing students from “falling through the cracks.”
Some large high schools divide students by grades, boys/girls and other similar ways. How are you designed for success at your school? It would be great to hear from other large high school folks! We are always looking to improve because continuous improvement rules the day for all.