In response to the 8/16/11 post, “The Little District That Will,” a LYS’er who is a new principal writes: SC, The faculty at the High School have been on fire all week thanks to the encouraging message of The Little District That Will posting. As with any change, the faculty was unsure about what the new school year would look like. When they attended the training on Thursday and Friday they knew that everything was going to be all right. They knew that we were still focusing on the Foundation Trinity and the Fundamental 5. They understood why we had been using Common Assessments for the past year, and how they were going to be used to help them improve their craft. The “big picture” you showed them really brought it all together for them. The enthusiasm of the teachers began to spread throughout the community over the weekend. By Monday, when regular in-service training began, the positive atmosphere was clearly evident. On Tuesday, when I shared the blog posting with them, the enthusiasm and positive “vibes” were actually tangible. We reviewed the Fundamental 5 and developed objectives using the Bloom’s verbs. We developed Small Group Purposeful Talk and Critical Writing questions from the “Talk like a Genius” question stems. One teacher with over 40 years teaching experience commented that he had learned more over the last few months than he had learned at any other time in his career. Over the next few days the word about the great things that we are going to accomplish in the classroom is circulating freely around the district. The enthusiasm of the faculty is infectious. We had Parent Night on Thursday evening and had a record number of parents and students attended. Every parent I spoke to, without exception, told me how many good things they had heard about the school and how excited they were about the new school year. Marzano observed an increase in performance of about 29% when people’s effort was recognized and reinforced. I have seen an entire campus transformed. Thank you for your encouraging words and especially for the superb training that LYS has delivered to our district. SC Response There is huge comfort and relief when leadership can tell the staff, “This year we are going to continue to work and build capacity within a clearly defined system.” It actually allows professionals to hone actual expertise. What you inherently understand as a rookie is far more useful to your staff that the veteran principal that thinks the key to instructional leadership is coming up with a new “theme” for the school year. Keep up the great work and don’t forget that we are just a phone call away if you need us. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! Attend the LYS presentations at the Texas School Improvement Conference on 10/27/11

  • Improve Now – 8:00am
  • The Fundamental 5 – 9:45am
  • You Can’t Fix What You Can’t See – 10:15am

Follow Sean Cain and LYS on Confirmed 2012 Presentations: NASSP Conference; NASB Conference