The School Calendar

I see this happen every year, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why smart people make the same mistake over and over again.   The state has an accountability test that is administered sometime between mid-April and mid-May.  The dates of these tests are published at least a year in advance.…

Embrace Failure

I’ve mentioned before that I have a ski coach (Why Have A Coach). I love skiing the bumps, and as I get older, technique is more important than the ability to heal quickly.  My last lesson I was having a rough time, the falls were plentiful, and my frustration level was heading towards maximum. As…

Response to Barriers – The Complete Series

Based on reader requests, here is the entire Response to Barriers Series, edited as one post.   This short essay will address seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership.   The Response to Barriers – Ignorance   The first barrier to changing instructional practices is ignorance, meaning that there…

The Quick Way To Improve Schools

Excuse me while I scream into a pillow for a minute… Thank you.   I just had a conversation with a school leader who said, “But what I really need is a quick way to improve schools.”   There is only one way to quickly improve a school. Separate the students with superior wealth, connections,…

The RTB Series – Conclusion: Review of Barriers and Interventions

Today we will complete our discussion of the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. To review, the primary barriers are:   Ignorance Lack of Training Habit Choice Fear Helplessness Obstinance   Below, I have built a chart listing some potential interventions for each barrier.  I hope you find…

Get An Individualized Campus Improvement Prescription

Jump start your campus improvement planning with a customized campus improvement prescription developed by Sean Cain and the Lead Your School Team! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School…

Book Your Summer Curriculum Mapping Camp Today

Dates for Summer Curriculum Mapping Camps are filling up fast. Call LYS now to book yours! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote)  Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

Schedule Your Campus Performance Assessment

It’s time to schedule the LYS Team to conduct your Campus Performance Assessment and develop your individualized improvement prescription. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

A School Improvement Testimonial – LYS Coach Jeanette Nelson

LYS Coach Jeanette Nelson received the following note over the Holidays.   Mrs. Nelson!!!!   I want to share the good news. Your positive impact with me and on our campus has continued. I want to inform you that our STAAR End of Course scores rose by 5% in both English I and II for…

The Limited Potential of Individual Improvement

As leaders, we want everyone to take it upon themselves to improve. And as it relates to improvements that don’t, by extension, make someone look bad, most of our staff will give improvement ideas an honest effort. But the improvement ideas that make the biggest impact will make always make someone look and/or feel bad. Because…

A New Principal Asks… Rooms of Chaos

A 1st year LYS Principal asks…   SC,   Like every other new Principal, I have been given the advice by many to, “Not change anything the first year.”   But my school is a MESS. The classrooms are junky and disorganized!  Should I wait when I know kids are surrounded by chaos? Or, should I address…

School Performance Drivers – Motivation

Of the four primary school performance drivers (Segregation, Life Experience, Instruction, Motivation) the most mis-categorized and least utilized is Motivation.   Most educators place motivation in the category of performance drivers that we (as educators and schools) can’t control.  Which is simply not the case. And because most educators do not believe that we can…

School Performance Drivers – Instruction

The first two school performance drivers (Segregation and Life Experience) are outside the control of the educators working in the building. The last two school performance drivers (Instruction and Motivation) are in our control. Today, will discuss instruction.   The instructional program is completely in our control as educators. We control what we teach, when we…

School Performance Drivers – Life Experience

Of the four primary school performance drivers (Segregation, Life Experience, Instruction, Motivation) none is more over-relied on and misattributed than life experience.   All things being equal a student with more enriched life experiences will outperform the student with less enriched life experiences. This has nothing to do with aptitude.  It is simply a result…

Overwhelming Change

I work with a lot of principals that have accepted jobs at schools that are struggling.  Without fail, someone at Central Office will give them the unwanted advice of, “Don’t overwhelm the staff with too much change.”   But when the only positive practice occurring on campus is that daily operations resemble school, not overwhelming…

A Reader Writes… A Common Scope and Sequence

A LYS Assistant Principal shares the following:   SC, You recently presented in our district on The Foundation Trinity. It should be required training for every school administrator in the country.  But specifically, it was your explanation of why a school must have a Common Scope and Sequence that changed my entire way of thinking.…

Student Punishment Alternatives – Option 3

You are starting to feel a little more confident with reducing the amount of punishment administered on your campus. But having only two punishment replacement options seem limiting. It is. So here is my favorite strategy. I implemented it when I was an assistant principal and it changed the culture of the campus almost overnight.…

Student Punishment Alternatives – Option 2

You realize that punishment doesn’t work.  You have committed to using the Apology Strategy, discussed yesterday.  But that didn’t magically solve every student discipline issue. Some of your students require more one-on-one time with you.  So, give it to them. Create a “Student Greeter” program.   As a decent school administrator, you have a morning…

Student Punishment Alternatives – Option 1

We over-punish students in school because it is just so darn easy.   Student does Infraction A. We administer Punishment Z. Problem solved. Next!   Except punishment doesn’t work (don’t argue against this fact, you will lose).   But the real world issue is that there needs to be some sort of consequence that reduces…

School Performance – The Big Picture, Part 2

Yesterday, I threw cold water on, “The School Board is the Solution to All Our School Performance Issues,” theory of action.   So, what is the answer?   The problems of school performance represent a Gordian Knot. If there is one person who can cut through everything, it is… the Principal.   The Principal is…

School Performance – The Big Picture, Part 1

I recently sat through a long session on the “secret” of improving schools, writ large.  It seems that the obvious answer is more effective school boards.   I wish I could agree. I do not.   Are school boards important? Yes.   Are schools board the answer to a unifying theory of school improvement? No.…
Menu