academic optimism

This Is a School That Trust Built

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Schools are microcosms of our society. They reflect what we are, like it or not.  Schools are also places where children and adults have the ability to connect and support each other on their life’s journey.  Within these schools, we’ve talked about the importance of building capacity and emphasizing academics as ways to improve the […]

The Importance of Building Capacity in Schools: Follow Up (One Week Later)

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Last week we learned more about how complex building capacity can be.  To build capacity effectively, change needs to occur in the following processes simultaneously: pedagogical, content, cognitive, affective, behavioral, and organizational processes.  One way to work with your colleagues to build capacity is to ensure that in your school, there is a focus on learning, […]

The Importance of Building Capacity in Schools

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There exists little evidence as to the direct effects school leaders have on student achievement (1). The reading expert Kelly Gallagher (2) asserts that the “Teacher is the X factor” in the classroom.  What, then, can school leaders and education researchers do to provide direction for a school improvement collaboration? We look to the context […]

Top School Stress Relievers for Students

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Today, more than ever, our students are experiencing significant amounts of stress at school and home. Whether it is extracurricular activities, classwork, after school jobs, family life, or peer interactions, our boys and girls are loaded down with responsibilities and stress. Sometimes, it’s difficult for kids and teens to dissipate stress which can obviously interfere […]

Breakfast with Dads: A School Needed 50 Substitute Dads, 600 Showed Up!

Happy New Year! It’s such a pleasure to share this beautiful story as we kick off 2018. I think we all need to grab tissue, then go buy some neckties! “Something somewhat extraordinary happenedlast monthat Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas. The school — with a student population of nearly 900, about 90 percent […]

Every Child a Star! Leo The Early Bloomer

Tonight I am writing about Hope. Every Child a Star! Leo The Early Bloomer. One of my favorite children’s books,Leo the Late Bloomer, resonates for us all. Regardless of who we are teaching, there are lessons galore in this special book written by Kraus, illustrated by Aruego in 1971. Maybe even more relevant today, as […]

Been There, Still Doin’ That

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With the school year going into full swing, so are many of the weekend September festivities; festivals, football, and fall TV. For educators, it is also a time for weekend conferences, workshops, and edcamps. Ever since becoming a Superintendent, I have been faced with the same questions at least once a week; below is a […]

Made it! New School, Land of Enchantment!

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Moved to the Big Leagues, a brand new school, truly a land of enchantment. Transition complete. We made it! What a journey. Here’s my story for today, a special day. Posting on 9/11 provides a tremendous reponsibility to focus on hope, life and family. History cannot be changed, but life matters and schools are families, […]

First Day of School For Gold Medalist Kids!

Tonight I write from head and heart about your first day of school, a lot about family, patriotism, ethics and values. Watching the Olympics is extraordinary, I’m sure you’ll agree. How amazing to see the best in the world compete, note how they get along, or don’t and when it gets really great, mess it […]

Build Your School Makerspace for Academic Success

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Thoughts and ideas on school makerspaces are ubiquitous in education circles online, at conferences, in print, and anywhere else people who care about K-12 instruction gather to talk shop. Hashtags have trended around the craze and an entire industry continues to grow solely to sell robots, computers, 3D Printers, digital and analog kits, manuals, and […]

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