A LYS Principal shares:
I want to share our story with all the new LYS’ers and readers. Like you and the other early LYS Principals, I’m known for jump starting campuses, any campus. When was hired in my current district a little over two years ago my school was low performing. The year before that it was “saved” only because it wasn’t rated due to all of the hurricane closure days.
The week I arrived, I met with my new staff and laid out the plan (the LYS plan that E. Don taught me) that would take us from a low performing to Exemplary campus. Year one, we just missed recognized (I was hired in the middle of the year). Year two, we were solid recognized (again, those darn hurricanes). And now we are Exemplary with a 91% in ELA, 90% in math, 92% in Science and 98% in Social Studies (haven’t used TPM yet, not even sure that I would if I could).
I started out as a LYS Assistant Principal and I took that training and philosophy with me when I became a principal. But even then there was only so much that I could do by myself, so this past year, I had Cain come in and work with the teachers. He and the Fundamental Five pushed us over the top. It’s not easy, but it feels good to stand on the top of the mountain every once in a while.”
First, congratulations to your students and your staff. We both know that they did all the heavy lifting and hard work.
Now for the rest of the story. This is a Title One school. The schools in the feeder pattern are not exemplary, in fact before this principal arrived, the district did not have any recognized campuses for over three years. Year one, the district and staff fought him. Year two, the district fought him. This year the superintendent openly questioned his loyalty to him. Three days ago a bigger district with a bigger school hired him for a big raise. Now his old district doesn’t understand why after three years of abuse, he is leaving.
The lesson here is to focus on putting your teachers and students in a position to do great things (even when initially they don’t want to) and let the chips fall where they may. If your school is better today than it was yesterday, you have done your job.
Think. Work. Achieve.