It is difficult to disrupt entrenched cultures of low expectations. By launching a new school, leaders create the momentum required to break negative cycles and build a positive culture of high expectations. This can be achieved–from scratch–while utilizing existing structures, space, and energy.
NEW SCHOOL DESIGN FELLOWSHIPS
SEN facilitates year-long New School Design Fellowships (NSDFs) which guide principals-in-training through the new school design process, culminating with the completion of individual School Design Guides which then serve as blueprints for implementation. Through this fellowship, each participant is guided to generate a clear mission and vision for instruction, as well as school culture, and to then build a detailed school design which brings their vision to life. This program also focuses on helping participants develop the team-building and leadership skills needed to effectively build a school year over year and manage staff to high standards of quality.
OVERVIEW OF THE WORK
CORE CURRICULUM MODULES
- Story of Why: understand and articulate why we do this work
- Mission: define and articulate the mission of the school to communicate to stakeholders
- Vision: define the high-level vision for instruction and culture to drive work
- Values: define the values that will serve as a foundation for school design
- Pedagogy: define high quality instruction, aligned non-negotiables, and structures to support quality execution
- Curriculum: select and unpack rigorous and aligned curricula; develop templates to drive planning and establish a shared definition of quality
- Assessments: select and use common assessment to gauge student progress and inform on-going adjustments to instruction and student support
- Positive Learning Environment: articulate a vision for an inclusive school culture and design structures for students to be well known and comprehensively supported
- High expectations: define and articulate what the bar for quality looks like to all community stakeholders and design structures for family engagement
- Leveraging Resources: align schedule, budget, and human resources to support mission and vision
- Goals and Action plans: establish goals and benchmarks aligned with mission, vision, and priorities
- Teacher Support and Supervision: design an effective observation and feedback cycle; use observation data to drive PD planning
- Teacher Teams and Distributed Leadership: align teacher teamwork towards goals and effectively distribute leadership to impact school quality
- Continuous Improvement: use data to drive improvement in each layer of the school community: classroom, teacher teams, ILT
- Personal leadership competencies: understand the key skills that define personal leadership and explore the interplay between those competencies and effective execution of plans
- Change management: explore strategies for leading through change
- Community Relations: Develop systems for productive stakeholder engagement & external partnerships
- Staffing plan and hiring protocol: Design and implement recruitment and selection strategies consistent with school values
- Pre-Opening Plan: project planning for a successful launch
- Facilities: create a space aligned with mission, vision, and core values
- Local Systems: learn core operational systems and compliance guidelines needed within local context
LEARN ABOUT OUR FELLOWSHIP IN TEXAS
- Nine out of ten participants in the first two NSDF cohorts completed a high-quality School Design Guide and opened a new school on time (August 2020 or August 2021.)
100% of participants in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 NSDF cohorts rated the following aspects of their experience effective or highly effective: a) professional development sessions, b) 1:1 coaching on school design and 1:1 coaching on leadership skills, c) centering each design topic on issues of equity.
100% of the schools who completed the Planning year successfully applied for and earned Continuation grants from the Texas Education Agency of $1,000,000 over two years.
As a brand new principal, the Fellowship has allowed me to have a solid, research-based foundation on which to create McCool Academy. The Fellowship “deliverables” are the “playbook” to a successful campus.
When you have the opportunity to reflect on and revise these deliverables, your work gets stronger. This Fellowship is for those that welcome feedback and have a growth mindset. You will thrive.”