May 2014 archive

Helping Middle Schoolers Through the “Summer Slide”

Ah yes, the “Summer Slide.” You know, the time when schools close until reopening in the fall and exposure to learning for many students seems to slide off of their radar. While some “slide” is deemed appropriate even by educators, summer can be an important time for middle schoolers to get a “different kind of …

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Actions of an Effective Principal

A recent blog in Education Week  (May 29, 2014) entitled “What Does an Effective Principal Do?” describes a dialog between Michellee Rhee, founder of StudentsFirst and Jack Schneider, faculty member at the College of the Holy Cross. Their comments related to principal quality focuses on instructional leadership from two slightly different perspectives. Their commentaries include …

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Principal Evaluation and Student Achievement : It Is Here

Administrator evaluations are not new, but currently the level of rigour and  introduction of student assessments in levels not used before may cause some principals slight concern or even sleeoness nights.  The measure of a principals’ effectiveness is moving from a routine checklist somewhat similar to a classroom teachers’  evaluation document to a more detailed device …

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Final Legislative Report for the 2014 General Assembly

Dr. Steven Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction, has released the summary of legislation related to education from the 2014 General Assembly. You may celebrate and welcome much of the information and also perhaps just wonder how some of these pieces of legislation made it out of committees much less approval by the General Assembly. You may access this …

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State Board of Education Proclamation

Among the items on the May 22, 2014 State Board of Education agenda was a special recognition of the 60th year anniversary of the Brown vs. Brown  education decision.  In his reading of the proclamation, Board President Braunlich noted that actions in Virginia which led to public school closures in Prince Edward County Virginia in the late …

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Helping Teachers With Reaching Difficult Students

When you have a conversation with a teacher regarding issues motivating difficult students, do you have a list of exceptional practices ready to help that teacher?  Or on the other hand do you not have much to say at all since this is a difficult topic.  The latter, perhaps the more common response, is obviously not acceptable. As …

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Free apps for School Administrators

A recent article in e School News (May 5, 2014) by Laura Devaney lists five apps that you may find helpful in your daily school routine. They are all free (good news) and can assist you with information storage and management, meetings, notes, signing documents and more. You may access this information at:

Middle School Principal of the Year Transitions to Superintendent

It was about this time last year that Steven Parker, Principal at Cedar Lee Middle School in the Fauquier County School Division was preparing for the usual end-of-year  school wrap up.  In addition to school closing,  summer activities and the annual summer conference, Steven Parker had a special reason for attending the 2013 VASSP Summer Conference and …

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Virginia’s Next Step in the SOL Reform Process

Earlier this week, Governor Terry McCauliffe announced the process for appointments to the Standards of Learning (SOL) Innovation Committee. This committee, set in motion by the 2014 General Assembly, will recommend futher reforms  in addition to an already-approved reduction in the number of required SOL tests. “The challenge for the SOL Innovation Committee will be …

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Bullied Teens Study : Be Aware of Potential Weapons

It should not be unusual news to school administrators that students who have been targeted by bullies in school begin bringing self-defense items (weapons) with them to school.  Research data from more than 15,000 high school students contained in a 2011 survey indicated that students who had been bullied are 31 times more likely to …

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