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.…

A Superintendent Writes… The Foundation Trinity

A LYS Superintendent shares the following: SC, I was recently listening to a principal discuss The Foundation Trinity with a group of teachers during professional development.  The principal concluded that the success of the campus was due to implementation of The Foundation Trinity. My response… “Sort of.” Certainly, The Foundation Trinity is an excellent system,…

A Reader Asks… Principal Coaching – The Low Performing Campus

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following: SC, I have a Principal with potential whose campus is struggling with student performance.  I will be the coaching this principal but don’t want to waste the principal’s time and effort. Any suggestions? SC Response With the underachieving campus, the initial focus must be on The Foundation Trinity…

Inside vs. Outside Solutions

Recently, the LYS team completed the assessment of a struggling high school campus serving a high poverty clientele.  Things were not good. Teachers were not even pretending to follow the district’s scope and sequence. The quality of delivered instruction (when there was instruction, not a given) was sub-par. Student engagement was extremely low, with sleeping…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week January 22, 2017

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of January 22, 2017 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. Kindness: The attitude with which we should treat…

Register Now! Learning for a Change Summit XI

I’m excited to make the following announcement! Learning for a Change Summit XI Best-selling author, national presenter and Texas educator, Sean Cain, makes complex education problems solvable and transforms education theory into systematic practice. In his Lead Your School workshop, the audience will participate in a three-part, power-packed day of learning: 1.    The Exciting World of…

The Uncomfortable Truth About Leadership Failure (B)

A continuation of the discussion from yesterday. It is leadership that is positioned to see the “big picture.” It is leadership that controls resources. It is leadership that oversees the system. It is leadership that leads.  When all, or even some, of the critical components of instructional infrastructure are not provided in a district or…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of October 2, 2016

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of October 2, 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. “If you want to be a leader…

The Alignment of The Foundation Trinity and T-TESS

The best advice I give to teachers and administrators as to what to do for T-TESS is this… Work to get better at implementing better and best practice and T-TESS will solve itself. Don’t work to better implement better and best practice, and it doesn’t matter what evaluation tool is used, you are living on…

A Reader Asks… Better Checkpoint Implementation

A LYS Principal asks the following questions. I will embed my answers after each question for easier reading. SC, I love the daily e-mails addressing improving schools (The LYS Nation Blog) and love The Fundamental 5 (Cain & Laird) and The Foundation Trinity (Cain).  As you know I have moved to a new district and…

Danielson Framework Alignment to The Foundation Trinity

Recently, I shared the alignment of Lead Your School (LYS) processes and practices to the new Texas teacher evaluation standards.  Since then, LYSers in states that have adopted/adapted the Danielson Framework as the basis for teacher evaluation have asked if I would do a similar alignment for their use.  OK.  But before I do, I…

T-TESS Alignment to the Observation Modules of PowerWalks

This is the conclusion of the series of posts addressing T-TESS Alignment. See the 9/29/2015 post, “T-TESS Alignment to The Foundation Trinity,” and the 9/30/2015 post, “T-TESS Alignment to The Fundamental 5.”  Today I’m addressing the campus administrator concern of finding a classroom observation protocol that is aligned to the T-TESS.  The search is a…

T-Tess Alignment to The Fundamental 5

In continuation of the 9/29/2015 post, “T-TESS Alignment to The Foundation Trinity,” I am sharing the following T-TESS / The Fundamental 5 Alignment Summary.  The reader will quickly observe that teachers working to implement The Fundamental 5 will easily meet and/or exceed the new T-TESS instructional standards. §149.1001. Teacher Standards. Purpose. The standards identified in…

T-TESS Alignment to The Foundation Trinity

Texas is rolling out the new Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) for teacher summative evaluations.  This has set off some concern about the need for teachers to change what they are doing and a number of educators have asked me that very question.  The answer is, “It depends.” Teachers who infrequently implement known…

PLC Schedule

A LYS Principal asks the following: SC, This summer I heard you mention that PLCs should operate on a predictable schedule and meeting topic cycle.  This has become a brain-worm.  Please explain this to me. SC Response First, I am a PLC proponent.  Second, I would argue that PLCs on most campuses are a waste…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of July 26, 2015

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of July 26, 2015 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. Transformational leaders have effect size of .11.…

A Superintendent Writes… A Crazy Idea – Part 1

In response to the 4/9/15 post, “A Crazy Idea for Accountability Sanctions (Secondary Model),” a LYS Superintendent writes: SC, You are right. Your plan will never work. It just makes too much sense.   Here are two other plans, again much too reasonable, that correlate with your research when you worked for the state.  THE…

A Superintendent Writes… Getting the Job – Now

In response to 4/17/2014 post, “Getting the Job,” a LYS Superintendent writes: SC, As you know, I read the blog every day and I loved your post on getting the first principalship. Timely, because right now I am looking for a new principal.  Here’s what I’m looking for, NOW: The ideal candidate will be a LYSer…

A Reader Shares… What I Know, What We Do

A LYS Principal shares the following: LYS Nation, In 2009, I was working in a district that brought in Sean Cain to help us get out of the ditch.  He and the LYS Coaches trained the administrators to focus on the implementation of The Foundation Trinity and teachers on the implementation of The Fundamental 5. …

A Reader Writes… Advice for the First Year Principal – Part 2

In response to the 11/1/2013 post, “A SuperintendentWrites… Advice for the First Year Principal – Part 1,” a reader writes: SC, I offer another point of view. I believe that many of our schools have devolved into “gotcha” schools. Everyone is looking for what is wrong and not what is right. I promise you could…

Applying Arbitrary Structure to Chaos

The purpose of structure is to provide stability and predictability.  This is how you excel in chaotic environments.  This is how to set up organizations move effectively and efficiently at scale.  This is how you leverage effort and brainpower, the currency of learning organizations. This is what we do not do, with reckless abandon, in…

Nelson Coulter Writes… Transforming School 2.0

The following is a repost from Nelson Coulter’s blog, “nc’s Recursive Learning.”  News this good has to be shared. TransformingSchool(2.0) The South Plains Collaborative School Network (SPCSN) is a group of schools in the Lubbock, Texas, area which have banded together to collectively pursue school improvement and engage in transformative practice.  To that end, Lubbock Cooper ISD (LCISD)…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of February 2, 2014

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 February 2, 2014. 1. Fundamental 5 practices are no longer a thing…

10 Surprising Things You Learn While Implementing 3-week Checkpoints

There is a cognitive understanding that it is impossible to “Unring the Bell.”  Meaning that once you know something, it is very difficult to remember what it was like to not know it.  Because I have been involved in the use of common 3-week checkpoints since the early 2000’s, it has been a long time…

A Principal Shares… Embrace The Foundation Trinity and The Fundamental 5

A LYS Principal shares the following: I hope all is well out there in the LYS Nation. I shared this quote (see below) with my staff this week and thought it might make a good “jumping off point” for other LYS Principals at a staff meeting. We are continuing to work towards increasing our student…

A Superintendent Writes… Common Assessments – A Teacher Who Gets It

A LYS Superintendent submits the following: SC, I was recently talking to a principal about common assessments.  Of course, anyone familiar with the Foundation Trinity knows common assessments are instructional assessments, not teacher assessments. So, this principal has a teacher who fully understands this.  The teacher has a phenomenal relationship with his students and prior…

A Reader Shares…LYS – A Cult or Club?

A LYS Principal shares the following: SC, In my district there are campuses the firmly embrace LYS and those that do not.  Personally, I’m OK with that because I don’t have to worry about the non-LYS campuses outperforming us.  But I have noticed that those campuses spend a lot of time trying to justify why…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of August 4, 2013

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 August 4, 2013. 1. Advice to the new and veteran LYSers for…

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…
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