Around the country this month students, teachers and administrators to go back to school and we are featuring the Leadership Matters Innovations Projects focused on making changes in schools as a result of participation in Leadership Matters.
Pawtucket School Leaders lowered student suspension rates at all levels and credited, ‘Leadership Matters RI’ as a key driver for this major success. At one Pawtucket school, the principal reported that there were 231 ‘behavior instances,’ meaning a student was disrespectful of the teacher or disruptive in class. Due to a ‘shift in the alternatives created’ there were only 15 instances reported in the first half of the following school year. In another school there were approximately 3,500 suspensions, and now it is down to 150 in that same school.
Middletown School Leaders are incorporating practices of mindfulness in their schools this year. Their goal—every student will have their social and emotional learning needs met through a whole system approach. They will be gathering more data this year on how the approach is serving students and hope to continue decreasing In-school and out-of-school suspensions and in-school discipline referrals. They’ve already dropped their out of school suspension days from 104 to 30.
What We’re Reading:
For a great back to school read about leadership issues in education check out this month’s book The Prize: Who’s In Charge of America’s Schools? by Dale Russakof. The book discusses how the intersection of public and private sectors in Newark NJ shaped the outcomes of the school system there and discusses the roles of Cory Booker, Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Christie as each sought to lead the school system. For more leadership reads check out our resource library.