I just wanted to weigh in on the new question about the suspended curriculum. I was getting a little tired of the “dress code discussions” last week.

As the principal of a large 5A high school for many years this was a really hot button topic for me. I was very clear about the fact that teachers are hired to teach and that everyone was expected to be into their first day’s learning objective by 9:30am on the first day of school. All classes would meet on a slightly abbreviated schedule for that first day as the administrators and councilors got any new students into their first class by 9:30. Teachers were asked to briefly review their class rules and then begin to teach, which they did.

During the first two weeks of school, the administrative staff visited every 2nd period class and were personally responsibility for distributing student handbooks; reviewing the critical information, expectations and consequences covered in the handbook; and collecting the signed handbook receipt forms.

It was good for students because they received the information directly from the people accountable for school management. It was good for teachers, because some were less than effective or accurate, because they did not want to do school policy or did not personally agree with school policy.

It was time well spent for school administrators, since they conducted the training, student and parent could not claim that the rules had never been explained to the child. However, when you do this, avoid the following mistake:

Do not call students into a large group (all school or grade level) in an attempt to speed up the handbook communication process. You need to make the personal connection with students in their classroom and it is always good for the teachers to listen as campus leadership explains why rules and policies are necessary.

Let the teachers teach and the administrators administer.