Starting as Associate Principal in a new school that's twice the
size of my last school.  Similar environment but much larger process.
 Everything that I did personally is actually delegated to various
members of the staff. Trying to find my niche. I have very important
work to do.  My goal and directive is to bring a school that was the
standard of academic excellence back to they're roots of high
academic achievement. New kids, new demographics, some
new teachers, many veteran teachers, NEW WORLD! 
I have ideas of ways to begin. I have already. One piece - student culture and 
academic backgrounds must be taken into account and worked with while 
while honoring needs of students , faculty, families and community. Any ideas? 

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Sari,

Learn the school culture. Meet with key staff and establish trust. Conduct walk throughs. Get a handle on the teaching and learning taking place. Use data to assess the needs of the students. With your goal of improving student achievement in mind, become the change agent to improve results. Cite evidence from research, theory and your experience. Be supportive and be visible. Keep in line with the district/school mission and goals. Assess the manner in which teachers are collaborating with each other, their students, parents and administration. Set reasonable targets that can be measured with the staff's input at department and/or faculty meetings. Stay positive and embrace the challenge. Good luck.

Patricia

Sari,

First, the fact that you are seeking advice bodes well for your future there. Second, I have found that when trying to understand the culture of a building it helps to review the VADIR report as well as the student managment system for the types of referrals that are written and by who, it provides you with a bird's eye view into the past to see what helped lead to the current structure and daily practices. Additionally, it will provide you with documented background information about some of the faculty and students you will be trying to lead. It can be very useful when new challenges arise.

 

Good Luck!

 

Sari,

Sit down and meet with the various stakeholders in your learning community (teachers, chairpersons, directors, parents, custodians, teacher assistants, etc.).  Allow them the opportunity to share concerns, present ideas, provide institutional history, discuss past academic initiatives, etc. in a non-judgmental manner.   Practice will foster a collaborative environment in which individuals feel empowered to be creative, offer suggestions, etc. 

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