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Creating a Culture of Achievement for ALL students: Empowering Staff and Students Sue Szachowicz Sue Szachowicz Principal Brockton High.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating a Culture of Achievement for ALL students: Empowering Staff and Students Sue Szachowicz Sue Szachowicz Principal Brockton High."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating a Culture of Achievement for ALL students: Empowering Staff and Students Sue Szachowicz Sue Szachowicz Principal Brockton High

2 Now what? Where to begin? Third Key Trend This conference is almost over

3 Closing Agenda FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Strategies for Empowering Faculty Empowering and Engaging the Students FMEs: Frequently Made Excuses Results: Changing the Culture, Its ALL about the Relationships!

4 Questions, questions, questions… FAQs Third Key Trend When we work with schools…

5 How did you figure out where to start? Third Key Trend FAQs

6 We used the data. Our best data question: What did you notice? And, sometimes we were wrong, took missteps, had to regroup and try again. Third Key Trend FAQs – OUR ANSWER

7 What did you do about the nay-sayers? Third Key Trend FAQs

8 Lessons Learned the Hard Way Tip: Put all your negative folks together in a group so they dont spread their toxic fumes. Third Key Trend FAQs – OUR ANSWER

9 Im not sure about this, it sounds like a cookie cutter approach… Third Key Trend FAQs

10 So when you make cookies and use a cookie cutter, dont the cookies come out better??? Third Key Trend FAQs – OUR ANSWER

11 How did you get buy-in??? Third Key Trend FAQs

12 We didnt wait. If we waited for buy-in, wed still be waiting! Third Key Trend FAQs – OUR ANSWER

13 We moved Forward! Remember the Great Book Burning!

14 Many People did not buy in!!!!! We used the small groups to determine the focus = Literacy We used the interdisciplinary groups to train faculty on a how to use a literacy strategy and followed up in every department

15 …adult educators engage in continuous improvement of instructional and supervisory practices. Coaching, observing, and sharing make it difficult for individuals to avoid the change process… Leadership That…Embodies the Capacity to Teach and Motivate Adults Ron Ferguson, Closing the Achievement Gap

16 Strategies to empower and engage faculty You can use these right away in your schools Third Key Trend More Take-Aways from Today

17 17 Its about teaching, stupid… Says Mike Schmoker in Results Now

18 18 The single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within the school. Robert Marzano …the single greatest determinant of learning is not socioeconomic factors or funding levels. It is instruction. Results Now by Mike Schmoker Its All About Instruction

19 Our Professional Development Formats Large Interdisciplinary Groups – Literacy training that is often our first step to introduce an instructional method to all faculty Departmental Meetings – follow up to literacy training with a content specific focus Small Interdisciplinary Groups – In depth discussions about a targeted issue World Café – More informal, allows topics to be introduced without going into great detail – builds collegiality Faculty Expo – PD activity like a mini conference; teachers presenting to colleagues

20 20 Structured Interdisciplinary Discussion Groups (for more in-depth discussions around important issues in the school) Facilitated by Restructuring Committee members Guide questions provided A powerful strategy to empower faculty

21 21 1. What would you cite as the primary reason(s) why students fail? 2. What procedures/ techniques/ strategies have you used that you feel have been most successful for our 9 th and 10 th graders in terms of academics and behavior? 3. We have been successful at helping students over the MCAS passing bar; now we must move our target to proficiency. What do you see as the major obstacle our students face in achieving this goal? What suggestions would you make to help our students overcome those challenges to reach proficiency? Structured Interdisciplinary Discussion Group Questions:

22 22 1. What do you see as the major obstacle our special education students face in your class? 2. What procedures/ techniques/ strategies have you used that you feel have been most successful for our students with disabilities in your classes? 3. What do you think you need to help your students with disabilities be successful in your class? We were struggling with a higher failure rate for our students with IEPs.

23 Faculty Feedback: VOICES of the FACULTY May 2008 ISSUE: The Attendance Policy Note: There was very strong support for the attendance policy, but frustration with the amount of paperwork generated by waivers and buybacks, etc… Subcommittees of the Restructuring Committee will look at both waivers and buybacks to address some of those concerns. The number of allowable absent days is fair, but have the attendance days count by semester rather than term. That might help to control the amount of paperwork, and help with students who were sick, but did not go to a doctor.

24 Faculty Feedback: VOICES of the FACULTY May 2008 ISSUE: The Attendance Policy (cont) Have the nurses verify a student who went home sick, but didnt necessarily need to see a doctor. (THAT SHOULD BE A WAIVED ABSENCE) There should be no limit on the buyback days – when students participate in the buyback policy, they are attending, doing their work, and behaving. The air quality in the classrooms is poor, and the custodian hasnt cleaned my room for two days. These waivers and buy back days should be automated; they should show up on the portal.

25 Another great strategy for engaging the faculty: The WORLD CAFÉ

26 World Café Format Great way to introduce new ideas Promotes positive discussion Casual, relaxed atmosphere

27 How to begin: 4 or 5 per group, one Table Host Questions planned for two or three café sessions Placemats with questions on them to be used as the notes Recommended – GOODIES!!!!

28 Discuss Session One Questions… Our theme for this World Café was Rigor, Relevance, Relationships

29 Session 1: Relationships a. Introduce yourself and talk about something that youd like others to know about you. b. What are two strategies youve used with your students to get to know them

30 AFTER 15 – 20 MINUTES: Switch groups, but Table Host stays. Leave placemats on the table. Table Host flips over the placemats for Session Two. MOVE TO SESSION TWO… Discuss Session Two Questions

31 31 Session 2: Rigor and Relevance a. Introduce yourself and talk about the toughest class you ever had in school and what you did to get through it. b. Describe something youve done to help a struggling student master difficult material. c. Describe a lesson you taught that you believe the students found to be relevant to their lives.

32 Sometimes we conclude with a Ticket to Leave

33 33 TICKET TO LEAVE: 3 – 2 – 1 3: What are 3 qualities in your favorite teacher ever that youd like to emulate? 2:What are 2 things that you think the students want to know about you? 1:What is 1 thing that you will when you return to school to connect with your students.





38 For our first World Café in Sept: 1. Introduce yourself and talk about the best book you read or movie you saw this summer. 2. For our Oct. InService, we are going to schedule a Faculty Expo. What session(s) topics would you like to see scheduled. Any presenter suggestions? For Session ONE:

39 For our first World Café in Sept: 1. Introduce yourself and share an example of how you used technology (smartphones, laptops, PDAs, tablets) effectively in the classroom for instructional purposes. 2. Review the draft of the proposed new language of the electronic device policy. Strengths, weaknesses, problems, issues? 3. Restructuring had a fierce debate on whether to allow students to use electronic devices during lunch: a. outside, b. inside the caf, or c. both. Your thoughts? For Session TWO:

40 Session One: 1. Introduce yourself and talk about the best book on education you have read and would recommend to your colleagues. 2. If you could get each of the professionals in your school to do two or three things: very well consistently and that would impact learning positively What would those two or three things be? Third Key Trend Heres a suggestion for an opening World Café for you

41 Session Two: 1. Introduce yourself and talk about the one area that you believe should be the focus of attack in your school to improve student achievement. 2. What is already in place to get your school moving (improving student achievement)? What do you think you need to help move the process along? Third Key Trend Now change tables for Session 2 Dont forget the goodies!!!

42 One of the BEST workshops ever (or as we say in Brockton, it was WICKED AWESOME): Faculty Expo Leadership That…Embodies the Capacity to Teach and Motivate Adults

43 Faculty Expo Teacher to Teacher Let the experts show you the way

44 Faculty Expo is: 1-2 hour workshops Designed by teachers Focused on Instruction Using Technology Professional Development Credit Teachers teaching and working with teachers

45 Leadership That…Embodies the Capacity to Teach and Motivate Adults



48 Awesome workshop, I can use the activities tomorrow in my class! Colleague to colleague…I felt valued. Teachers as experts…loved it! Hands on – practical, useful, THANKS! Informative, in fact, this is the first time Ive understood special ed in 33 years! This helped me understand my students. Leadership That…Embodies the Capacity to Teach and Motivate Adults

49 The content may stay the same but the ways to teach it have changed!!! Faculty Expo 2 - Technology First of all, ΔABF = ΔAEC by SAS. This is because, AE = AB, AF = AC, andSAS BAF = BAC + CAF = CAB + BAE = CAE.


51 Pedro Noguera You dont have to change the student population to get results, you have to change the conditions under which they learn.

52 Brockton High School changed the conditions for students by changing the conditions for the faculty.


54 Parents: Drafts of Literacy Charts sent home Now active Open Houses. Parents receive a Literacy Lesson, complete literacy activities throughout the evenings. Welcome Middle School Parents! Multiple languages Involving and Engaging Community: When Literacy Charts were in development, we brought in the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. Send them everything Publicize EVERY thing Boxer Roundup Weekly Radio segments Dress for Success!

55 Empowering the students

56 Creating a Culture of Achievement: Empowering the Students- RIGOR Academic Expectations are Clear Literacy for ALL – NO exceptions Academic levels: ALL College prep College for ALL: WHEN you go to college… College Jump Start Learning Together

57 Creating a Culture of Achievement: Empowering the Students- RIGOR Sometimes we empower by taking away rights You do NOT have a right to fail! You cant drop a level/class until you... You will NOT put your head down! Academic Success Contracts Boxer-2-Boxer Open enrollment AP and IB Early graduation (student planned) Student produced videos about BHS

58 58

59 Creating a Culture of Achievement: Empowering the Students - Relevance Literacy through electives Student design teams/problem solving Medical Interpretation Boxer Fit Leaders Administrative Assts. Career pathways Student planned theme days

60 1: Quick-Write: Describe a time you have been made fun of or harassed for being or looking different. How did you deal with it? 2: Have you ever teased or made fun of someone for being or looking different, or witnessed someone else doing this and didnt speak up? Write about why you think you did that, and thinking back, what should you have done? 3: Survey on Cyber-bullying - Are you a cyber-bully? 4: Review/recommend revisions in the BPS policy 5: Quick Write: What can the school do better? What can the students do? Student Empowerment Example: Day of Pink Activators

61 Its ALL about the relationships… We cant forget The Third R

62 People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou Relationships

63 Honor Roll Assemblies – Celebrate and Laugh!

64 64 Teachers say every day in every class: WHEN you go to college…Now, we have over 90% attending. College for ALL: Changing students beliefs:

65 Relationships: Support and Get the Word Out!

66 And one of the BEST examples of empowering students. Meet our Boxer Buddies… Empowerment through Relationships

67 A lasting friendship Boxer Buddies A lasting friendship

68 We have built a lasting relationship which we will forever treasure in our hearts


70 And in October, the MOST unbelievable moment for four of our Brockton Boxer Buddies

71 But not just ANY Pledge of Allegiance… These are our hands

72 My Top Ten #3 Celebrate and publicize your successes, even small ones. You use the media, dont let the media use you. (The bunker mentality doesnt work.)

73 73 They believe! Spread the word! Changing students beliefs: Celebrate and Publicize!!!

74 Be proactive (they will find you when its bad) Boxer Roundup Weekly radio segment Billboard and banners Business meetings in the city Be your own BEST media hound!

75 OK, so now what? Where to begin? NO excuses please! Third Key Trend This conference is almost over

76 You heard about FAQs… How about FMEs (Frequently Made Excuses…) Third Key Trend How about these?

77 Any of these sound familiar??? Third Key Trend FMEs

78 We dont have enough time!!! Maybe so, but are we using the time we DO have well?

79 We dont have TOO much to do, we are overwhelmed! FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS…we are too often doing this to ourselves!

80 We have some real negative people in the school. So put them together and work around them!

81 We have no parent support. Have you actually invited them in? And were you specific about what you want them to do?

82 We dont have enough technology! Are we using what we do have well?

83 We have too many federal and state regulations! Focus on what you CAN control!

84 The government doesnt support us. The government has enough problems of its own right now.

85 We dont have enough money!!! Come on, when have we EVER had enough $$$?

86 Our administrators keep changing – its a revolving door! Maybe so, but YOU are there, right?

87 We have a principal who isnt a leader. Leadership is about action, not position.

88 Rigor Relevance Relationships ALL students-and ALL means ALL!!! ICLE and Brockton High believe

89 Amarr: Its not us against them. Terrence: No one here would let me fail. I know, because I tried to. The REAL results

90 Now what? Where to begin? I wrote your lesson plan… Third Key Trend This conference is over

91 RECAP: Our 4 Steps 1. Empowering a team 2. Focusing on literacy: Literacy for ALL – NO exceptions 3. Implementing with fidelity and according to a plan 4. Monitoring, monitoring, monitoring The Result = Changing the Culture When all 3 Rs come together

92 Our students believe, they achieve, in EVERY way Time to feel REAL Boxer Spirit… Meet Samara and Tamara

93 Fast forward to Friday, June 1, 2012 Feel the spirit…a special moment in time

94 There are NO test scores on earth that are better than that moment – NONE!

95 Contact Information Sharon Wolder Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Brockton High School 470 Forest Ave Brockton, MA 02301 508.894.4536 SHARONRWOLDER@

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