Saturday, May 7, 2016

4 Questions to Transform your School's Greatness into Growth

I just finished my first week as superintendent of Blue Ridge ISD, and man am I stoked. I am blown away by how polite, respectful and hard-working that the kids are. I'm amazed at how committed and dedicated the teachers and staff are, and I'm blessed by the welcome I have received from parents and the community. It is a true statement when I say that I am blessed to have the honor to lead a great district.

Now in a great organization, it's pretty easy to get caught up in the euphoria of accolades.  It's seductive to bask in the glory of exceptional performance, and it tempting to adopt the philosophy of "don't change anything", but great leaders always remember this.

GROWTH is better than GREAT

By resting on the status of greatness, organizations slowly slip into mediocrity, and exceptional leaders realize that they must capitalize on organizational strengths in order to find the next steps. Furthermore, they know that weaknesses are present, and they leverage the power of staff input in order to identify and then address areas in need of improvement, or as I prefer to call them opportunities for growth.

From Great to Growth
To move schools from Great to Growth, there are basically 4 questions leaders must ask members of their staff, and with the answers to these questions, leaders can accelerate the school improvement process.

  1. What initiatives, strategies or traditions make our school a great place for all students to learn?
  2. What initiatives, strategies or traditions make our school a great place for all teachers to grow?
  3. What are some areas of concern that need to be addressed immediately or in the near future?
  4. What ideas do you have that would help all students in our school grow by leaps and bounds in the next 1 - 3 years?

Think about it.  All leaders want to know the answers to these questions, but only the great ones ask.
To help you get started and gather the information quickly, I created a Google Form template to serve as a model for how you can leverage the power of technology to gather qualitative data that will help you develop your summer excellence plan to take your campus to the next level.

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