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The Survival Kit for the Elementary School Principal
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The Survival Kit for the Elementary School Principal

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March 2013 | 408 pages | Corwin
For any head teacher, ongoing discussion and professional growth opportunities are critical to being an effective and successful school leader. In some situations, head teachers may be limited to attendance at regional conferences. In small school systems, administrators may experience isolation and the lack of colleagial support from other school leaders.

The Survival Kit for the Elementary School Principal demonstrates that the challenges head teachers face are common to all school administrators and that solutions and recommendations exist for a wide range of school leadership issues. Abby B. Bergman, Judy Powers, and Michael L. Pullen combine years of successful experiences as principals to offer an abundance of pragmatic advice for new and veteran school leaders.

The book contains an invaluable array of forms, sample letters, charts, lists, and more, plus resources for the successful day-to-day administration of a school. This revised edition provides assistance and growth opportunities in:

- Systems thinking

- Negotiating the daunting path of NCLB requirements

- Using data to inform practice

- Understanding the key role that new technologies play in a school setting.

 
About This Resource
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Your Role as Principal: "All Things to All People" or "Principle-Centered Leadership"
The Nature of the Principalship

 
Define Your Own Belief System

 
Systems Thinking, the Learning Organization, and Strategic Planning

 
Instructional Leadership

 
The Importance of Diplomacy

 
The Need for Positive Community Relations

 
Learn From Experience

 
Effective Time Management Practices

 
Maintain Perspective

 
 
2. How to Plan for the School Year: Setting Goals and Maintaining Focus
The Context for School Goals

 
The Power of Goals

 
Goals Should Make a Difference

 
Setting Goals: Broad-Based Involvement

 
The Elements of Well-Designed School Goals: SMART Goals

 
Keep the Ball in the Air

 
Reporting on Goal Fulfillment

 
 
3. Shared Decision Making: The Key to a More Effective School
What Is Meant by Shared Decision-Making?

 
What Are the Benefits of Shared Decision-Making?

 
What Do Effective School Leadership Groups Do?

 
What Steps Are Required to Establish a School Leadership Team?

 
What Is the Relationship of the Leadership Team to the Larger School Community?

 
What Are the Skills Required for Effective Team Meetings?

 
The Role of the Principal in Shared Decision-Making

 
How to Assess the Effectiveness of a School Leadership Team

 
 
4. Improving Teacher Observation and Evaluation
The Purposes of Supervision and Evaluation

 
How to Establish a Positive Climate for Teacher Supervision

 
How to Clarify the Criteria for Supervision and Evaluation

 
Achieving a Balance Between Formal and Informal Observations

 
Reviewing Professional Development Plans

 
The Pre-Observation Conference

 
How to Conduct Effective Teacher Observations

 
The Post-Observation Conference: A Time for Sharing and Learning

 
Other Means of Observation and Evaluation

 
How to Make the Most of an Annual Evaluation Conference

 
How to Make Effective Decisions About Rehiring Teachers

 
How to Deal Effectively With the Marginal Teacher

 
Evaluating the Supervisory Process

 
 
5. The Principal's Role in Curriculum Development and Renewal
What Is the Curriculum?

 
The Content or "Course of Study"

 
The Methods or Techniques to Be Used

 
Establishing a Timeline for Examining the Curriculum

 
A Process for Curriculum Renewal

 
Preparing a Curriculum Document

 
Curriculum Articulation

 
Curriculum Supervision and Accommodating Teacher Choice and Flexibility

 
 
6. Assessment in the Elementary School: Purposes and Practices
The Purposes of Assessment

 
A Few Useful Definitions

 
Assessment Versus Testing

 
Gaining Consensus on Learning Outcomes

 
Aligning Assessment to Instruction

 
Different Assessments for Different Needs

 
Steps to Follow in Designing Assessments

 
A Balanced Approach to Assessment

 
 
7. Using the School Testing Program to Good Advantage
The Purposes of Standardized Testing

 
The Kinds of Standardized Tests Often Given in Elementary Schools

 
Effective Ways to Approach the Testing Situation

 
Administrative Responsibilities in the School Testing Program

 
Helping Children Perform Their Best on Standardized Tests

 
Effective Analysis and Use of Test Results

 
Understanding the Limitations of Standardized Tests

 
"Value-Added" Assessment

 
Reporting the Results of Tests to Parents and Students

 
 
8. Reporting Student Progress to Parents
First Things First: Getting to Know Students

 
When Should Student Progress Be Reported?

 
Clarifying Reporting Practices With Teachers

 
Helping Parents Understand the School's Reporting System

 
Improving Progress Reports

 
Reporting Progress in Special Subject Areas

 
Tips and Techniques for Holding Effective Parent Conferences

 
Student Self-Evaluation

 
 
9. Administering Effective Programs for Students With Special Needs
The Role of the Principal in Overseeing Special-Education Services

 
Identifying Special Needs of Students

 
Developing a Continuum of Services for Students

 
Inclusion and Its Implications

 
Creating a Pupil Support Team

 
Prereferral Strategies and Response to Intervention

 
Procedures to Follow in Section 504 Referrals

 
Referral for Special-Education Services

 
Dealing With the Outcomes of a Special-Education Evaluation

 
Discipline Regulations and Special-Education Students

 
Administering English-as-a Second-Language Programs

 
Administering Gifted and Talented Educational Programs

 
Staff Development Needs in Dealing With Unique Learners

 
Assessing the Effectiveness of Programs to Meet Special Needs

 
 
10. Student Discipline: Approaches, Alternatives, and Solutions
Causes of Discipline Problems That Principals Are Likely to Encounter

 
Approaches to Effective Discipline

 
Elements of a Preventive Discipline Program

 
Advice for Teachers About Classroom Discipline

 
The Principal's Role in the School Discipline Program

 
The Importance of Parent Communication

 
Alternatives in a School Discipline Program

 
 
11. Improving Your School's Professional Development Program
The Need for Ongoing Professional Development

 
How to Begin: Conducting a Staff Development Needs Assessment

 
Staff Development and Behavioral Change

 
The Principal's Role in Devising a Staff Development Program

 
Implementing an Effective Staff Development Program

 
The Faculty Meeting as a Forum for Professional Development

 
Staff Development for School Service Personnel

 
 
12. Promoting Effective Communication: Internal and External
The Importance of Effective Communication

 
Keeping the School Staff Informed

 
Obtain Requested Information in an Organized Fashion

 
Electronic Communication With the School Community

 
Keeping the Parent Body and the Community Informed

 
Face-to-Face Communications

 
Tips on Preparing Presentations

 
Establishing a Network of "Key Communicators"

 
The Written Letter: A Lost Art

 
 
13. Promoting Positive Parent and Community Relations
Begin With Your Own School Community

 
Developing a Unity of Purpose

 
The Importance of Availability and Visibility

 
Working With a Principal's Advisory Council

 
Establishing Procedures for Handling of Parental Complaints

 
The Importance of the Role of the School Secretary

 
Dealing With the Media

 
Becoming Skillful at Creating Positive Publicity for Your School

 
 
14. Technology and the Elementary School Program
Clarifying the Purposes of Technology in the School

 
Planning for Effective Use of Technology in Schools

 
Integrating Technology Into the General Curriculum

 
Technology and Educational Reform

 
Planning for Appropriate Staff Development for Using Technology

 
Using Online Services

 
Evaluating Content and Software Programs

 
Ensuring the Proper Use, Maintenance, and Inventory of Equipment

 
Evaluating the School Technology Program

 
 
15. Effective Budget Preparation and Control
Advance Planning: The First Step

 
Preparing Budget Documents

 
Budget Review and Approval

 
Implementing and Controlling the Budget

 
Securing Alternative Means of Funding in Your School

 
 
16. Maintaining a Clean, Safe, and Secure School Environment
Caring for the School Building

 
Maximizing the Use of Building Space

 
Working With the Custodial Staff

 
Securing, Storing, and Maintaining an Inventory of Custodial Supplies

 
Maintaining a Safe and Clean School Site

 
Improving the Appearance of Indoor Spaces

 
Long-Term Planning and Capital Projects

 
Safeguarding School Equipment and Materials

 
School Safety and Emergency Planning

 
 
17. Developing and Implementing Effective Class Placement Policies
Fair and Appropriate Organization of Classes

 
Inviting Parent Input Into Class Placement: Benefits and Drawbacks

 
Developing Class Lists

 
Forming Incoming Kindergarten Classes

 
Dealing With the Retention of Students in a Grade

 
Announcing Class Placements to Parents

 
Handling Parent Complaints About Class Placements

 
Placing Students Who Enter During the School Year

 
Reviewing and Evaluating Class Placement Practices

 
 
18. Effective and Creative School Scheduling Practices
Setting Goals for the School Schedule

 
The Effect of the Schedule on the Climate of the School

 
Defining Premises, Assumptions, and Contractual Considerations

 
Models and Approaches for School Scheduling

 
Getting Down to Business: Developing the Master Schedule

 
The Trend Toward Year-Round Schooling

 
 
19. Staffing and Hiring: Critical Decisions for Principals
Projecting Staffing Needs

 
Forming a Selection Committee

 
Developing a Candidate Profile

 
Recruiting Suitable Candidates

 
Paper Screening

 
Developing Interview Questions

 
Developing an Interview Schedule

 
Conducting Interviews

 
Checking References

 
Making a Hiring Recommendation

 
Notifying Applicants of Their Status

 
Announcing Hiring Decisions to the School Community

 
Orienting New Staff Members

 
Evaluating Hiring and Orientation Practices

 
 
20. Fostering a School Culture: Traditions and Ceremonies
Making Schools Great and Memorable With Traditions and Ceremonies

 
Developing a School Culture

 
Planning for Ceremonies and Maintaining Traditions

 
Examples of School Traditions and Ceremonies

 
Passing Down School Traditions From One Generation to the Next

 
 
Index

Supplements

Supplemental Resources Website
The companion web site for The Survival Kit for the Elementary School Principal allows you to:
  • Access to all of the forms, letters, and checklists included in The Survival Kit for the Elementary School Principal
  • Customize the letters, reformat the text to add your own special information, and print the letters on your school stationery
  • See additional resources to help the elementary school principal, including
    • Relevant books
    • Access to journal articles

“Wow, it used to be said that being a school leader was a lonely task, but this book is the equivalent of having a personal coach standing beside you as you walk through your school. This book is more than a 'survival kit' it is also a brilliant 'reviver kit.' For busy school leaders who are often under pressure, this book provides the guide-on-the-side when you reflect about what you are doing."

Neil MacNeill, Principal
Ellenbrook Primary School, WA, Australia

"As I look back upon my long career in educational administration, I wish I had this useful desktop guide to help me through the challenges of my early years and as a reference guide for the later years. The authors have done a remarkable job of anticipating the daily needs of principals and offering practical suggestions that can be used within minutes! The result is an eminently useful, up-to-date book full of the authors' rich professional perspectives."

Ella Reiss Urdang, Elementary Principal
Tenafly Public Schools, NJ

“'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Principalship but Were Afraid to Ask' could certainly be the title for this rich resource and reference manual. Highly practical and filled with useful hints, tips, and templates, the book is the perfect tool for aspiring as well as for experienced educators!"

Jill Gildea, Superintendent
Harrison School District, Wonder Lake, IL

“An excellent resource for the beginning administrator. It provides current information and processes/procedures for the 'real world' of the school administrator. Also a great tool for administrators who may have some prior experience as principals and are looking for some ways to re-energize their school.”

Pamela B. Maxwell, Principal
E. E. Oliver Elementary School, Fairview, Alberta, Canada

“This book provides the new elementary principal with an overview of areas of their work that could be invaluable as the school year is planned and programs and communication are established. Sample forms and letters are valuable models that serve as a starting point for a new administrator.”

Roseanne Lopez, Performance Pay Coordinator
Amphitheater Public Schools, Tucson, AZ

Sample Materials & Chapters

Bergman_Survival Kit_Ch1


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Abby Barry Bergman

Abby Barry Bergman has been involved in the field of education for over 40 years, in both private and public educational settings. Initially a kindergarten teacher, he has taught at the university level and has filled a variety of positions in school administration. Since 2002, he has served as the Regional Science Coordinator for Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, a service organization for a consortium of school districts in New York State. Previously, he was principal of the Ralph S. Maugham School in Tenafly, New Jersey, for over 20 years—an elementary school in a nationally reputed “lighthouse” school district.Having received his... More About Author

Judith E. Powers

Having earned degrees at both Barnard College and Teachers College, Columbia University, Judy Powers began her career teaching at the elementary level for 10 years. As both a teacher and a policy board chair of a New York State Teacher Center, Judy conducted professional development courses in the areas of mathematics and classroom management. During her 16 years as an elementary school principal, Judy continued to conduct district- and building-based training and led schools based on a continuous improvement model. While a teacher, principal, and interim assistant superintendent, Judy consistently worked to build strong connections... More About Author

Michael L. Pullen

Michael L. Pullen currently works as an elementary school principal in upstate New York—a capacity he has served in for the past six years. Prior to becoming an elementary principal, his teaching career saw him work in urban, suburban, and rural districts in upstate New York. As a principal, Michael has led several district curriculum initiatives and had made regional presentations about science curriculum development. Under his leadership, his buildings have been recognized by the state education department as either high-performing or gap-closing schools four times. Michael received his B.A. from St. John Fisher College, his M.S. from... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412972772
$50.95