Managerial Efficiency / Leadership Failure

It should go without saying, but sadly, common sense is not common practice…   If you are in a leadership position and your staff is attending training, you have to attend and participate. At the campus level, this means that the Principal, Assistant Principals and Instructional Coaches attend teacher training.  At the district level, the…

Trying to Play Politics

Let’s be clear, in apex school leadership positions (Superintendent, some Assistant Superintendent Positions, and now Principal), political considerations are always in play. It is the unavoidable nature of game.  What you have to decide is how you are going to the game.  Before you decide, let me explain how the world works.   There are…

A Reader Asks… Feedback from a Single Classroom Observation

An Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, I have a question about PowerWalks. Why aren’t there recommended suggestion to choose from on the PowerWalks form?  We think it would be a good idea to give the teachers an idea to think about or work on after we visit their classrooms. SC Response I’m glad you…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of October 30, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of October 30, 2016 when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. 1. Congratulations to LYSer, Brad Weston! He is…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of July 24, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of July 24, 2016 when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. 1. Congratulations to LYSer, Chris Granger! He is…

Facilities Support

It is difficult (but not impossible) to run a quality education program in a poorly maintained facility.  And even if the education program is of high quality, a subpar facility impedes student performance.  And in too many districts, the urgency of the Facility Staff leaves something to be desired.  (Side bar: I worked in two…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Framing in Self-Contained Classrooms

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, The training that you provided this past summer was great and our staff has worked all semester implementing the Fundamental 5.  With that implementation, we some have questions.    What is the best way to manage “We will” and “I will” statements (Lesson Framing) for grade levels…

A Reader Asks… How Do I Recognize Critical Writing

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks: SC, I have attended many of your sessions on curriculum.  Currently I am trying to support my district with its implementation of The Fundamental 5.  After conducting a classroom walk-thru the following question came up…  “When you are in ELAR, does writing count as critical writing or does the ELAR…

Readers Ask… Lesson Frames for Tests

Some LYS Assistant Superintendents ask two versions of the same question. SC, This has recently come up in our district, with Lesson Frames, what should we do on testing days? And what does a good Lesson Frame for a test look like? And SC, Please provide me with a refresher on Lesson Frames for when…

A Reader Asks…Lesson Framing in Kindergarten Classrooms

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, The training that you provided this past summer was great and our staff has worked all semester implementing the Fundamental 5.  With that implementation, we some have questions.    What about Kindergarten where students may not be able to read the Lesson Frames that would be written…

A Reader Asks… Data Crunching – Now What?

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, The following question was asked during a Principals’ meeting.  What would have been your answer? “Once the teachers turn in their checkpoint analysis forms to their principals on Friday, and administrators have a chance to look at the information… What should the principals do with the field analysis to…

Readers Write… How Many Children Must Die – Part 1

In response to the 10/31/2014 post, “How Many Children Must Die,” a number of readers sent in quick comments.  A LYS Superintendent: SC, just like you I am a long time gun owner, a hunter and a school administrator. I also agree with you 110%. The time is now to seriously discuss the gun problem…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Framing in Kindergarten Classrooms

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC The training that you provided this past summer was great and our staff has worked all semester implementing the Fundamental 5.  With that implementation, we some have questions.    What about Kindergarten? These students may not be able to read the Lesson Frames that are posted on…

A Reader Writes… Vision, Mission, Goal, Target – Part 2

In response to the 5/22/14 post, “Vision – Mission – Goal – Target: A Travelogue,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent shares: SC, This is the best description, definition, visual representation I have ever seen of vision, mission, goals and their relationship to each other.  As usual, LYS has done it again.  I want to let you…

A Reader Asks… Vision, Mission, Goal, Target – Part 1

In response to the 5/22/14 post, “Vision – Mission – Goal – Target: A Travelogue,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent asks: SC, Okay, I’m in the middle of a hornet’s nest!!  I need input from you regarding yesterday’s (5/22/14) blog post.  Our district has a vision of (MASKED TO MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY).  We are doing some work…

Readers Write… Transforming Schools – Part 2

In response to the 2/20/2014 post, “Transforming Schools – Part 1,” LYSers write: Loved the post today. (LYS Principal) Outstanding response!!! (LYS Principal) AMEN!!!! (LYS Teacher) Touché’!!! Great response! (LYS Teacher) Well said.  I was about to address this very topic… (LYS Assistant Superintendent) I really liked the post today.  You wrote what we know…

Lesson Framing is Powerful at Every Grade Level

A LYS Assistant Superintendent submitted the following: SC, One of our preschool students drew a picture of himself at school. When his mom asked him what the blue square was hanging beside him, he said that it was the Lesson Frame. Cute! The instructional and cultural shift in our district is reaching down to the…

Getting the Job

I was recently visiting a secondary campus where the principal asked me to meet with one of his assistant principles who was beginning to get disgruntled due to his lack of success at securing his next job.  I agreed. When I met with the AP, I asked him what he was thought set him apart…

A Reader Shares… Measuring “Doing What is Right”

A LYS Assistant Superintendent shares the following: LYS Nation, I want to brag on a campus “in need of improvement” in our district.  In a true effort to help save our children we created a dropout prevention academy. Students who have already left high school (were a couple of years behind; had to work due…

A Reader Writes… State Testing – Making a Success Out of a Mess – Part 2

In response to the 9/24//2013 post, “State Testing – Making a Success Out of a Mess,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent writes: SC I would agree with accountability for all, but I do not and never will agree with high stakes testing.  As you know, I occupy a seat of significant responsibility/authority in my district, my…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of December 8, 2103

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of December 8, 2013. 1. It’s not the grade, it’s the thinking! McFee…

A LYSer Asks… The Intersection

A LYS Assistant Superintendent was concerned about the following: SC, I just received an email, evidently from a product company, claiming to be Lead Your School advertising “The Intersection.”  At first I thought it was LYS,  but is someone is trying to confuse the LYS Nation? Thought you should know. SC Response Nothing to be…

An Assistant Superintendent Writes… What Do You Really Think – Part 3

In response to the 3/19/13 post, “What Do You Really Think,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent writes: SC. As usual you are right on target. Good teaching is good teaching. If our students are assessed on the standards then we must make sure we teach the standards. How many of us plan our summer vacation down…

The Fundamental 5 National Summit – Your 1-week and 2-week Reminder!

A message from a LYS Assistant Superintendent: I just met with E. Don Brown and Harry Miller at LYS Booth at the TASA/TASB conference. We were discussing my team of principals and teachers preparing for the big Fundamental 5 Summit in Dallas (also in Austin).  We are stoked!! http://www.tassp.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=409

Getting Ready for the First Round of Common Assessments

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following common assessment / data analysis process questions: SC, We are giving our first three-week Checkpoint next week! (Note: now this week.)  My inbox is filling up with questions on minutia.  Most of the questions I have an answer for but this one has stumped me a bit. (For…

A Reader Asks… Principal Evaluation

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, I had a question from a principal that I wanted to pose to you. The order of our evaluation / contract renewal system has a bizarre sequence.  Around March or April contracts go out. About the same time summative conferences occur.  Finally scores from the state come…

A Reader Writes… Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game – Part 6

In response to the 6/26/2013 post, “Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent writes: SC, In regards to your blog post, “Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game,” it was a well-written and timely call to action. In my district, it knocked us out of our funk and now we are…

A Reader Writes… A Drop in Scores – Part 1

I response to the 7/17/2013 post, “A Drop In Scores,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent writes: SC, I loved this post today and it really hit home.  Your advice was basically a page taken out of our district plan for the last two years.   Here is where the damage of the State’s “Guess what’s on the…

A Reader Writes… Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game – Part 5

In response to the 7/9/2103 post, “Sometimes It Pays to Play the Game– A Necessary Revision,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent writes: SC, We are going with a modified version… 9th and 10th will still take the English I and English II due to a huge number of our students taking duel credit college courses with…
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