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School Mission, Vision, and Values, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1307

Research Paper

There is a new type of school leader needed in this day and age for the public school system. Public education is in critical need of executive leadership rather than administrative leadership. There are no longer leaders needed for simply maintaining the operation and day to day activities of the school system, but the school is now run as more of a business or organization and should be adaptable to change if and when that change is necessary. This is why it is vital to have a leadership team willing to change whatever is not effective and forming relationships to further build relationships and form foundations that will strengthen over the course of many years.

Vision, Mission, and Values

These relationships must be formed with teaching staff and administrative staff alike (Creating a shared vision for your school is key to engaging in the school improvement process, 2012). The school’s values, mission, and focus should be the basis of the school’s decisions and the entire team should rely on these focal points on a frequent basis in order to ensure they do not stray from what is important—the good of the children and their education (Rutter, 2011). It is also important that key stakeholders and the immediate community understand the focus and mission as well as values of the school so they are able and encouraged to support the school as well (ISLLC Standards for School Leaders). If everyone is committed and works as a team, there should be no reason that the decisions the administrative (executive) team makes fail (Carver & Feiman-Nemser, 2009). Open and honest communication is also vital.

The Department of Education in Hamilton County has a desire and complete dedication to help every student reach his or her highest potential. The mission of the Hamilton County Department of Education is to ensure that ALL students succeed (Hamilton County Schools, 2011). The vision of Hamilton County includes providing students with the skills and tools they require to be productive individuals in today’s society. The county strives to ensure that students have options after high school graduation to go to college if they desire or join the workforce or alternative training if they feel college is not for them.

The Strategic Plan adopted by the Hamilton County Department of Education is based on several core goals. Some of these goals are to increase the achievement of students, reduce the dropout rate of students, increase students’ graduation rates, increase overall ACT scores, and increase the number of participants in extracurricular activities. Also, the overall goal is to increase the number of students to go on to college after graduation from high school.

In order to do this, there is a time frame needed and a plan to implement this. As for the plan, there should be a team appointed by the head administrator of the Hamilton County Department of Education. This team should be compromised of professionals that have adequate knowledge of the daily activities in the school as well as professional knowledge of each subject area taught and the knowledge of business practices participated in by the school (Wang, Lin, Spalding, Klecka, & Odell, 2011). Therefore, it would be feasible for the committee to include a variety of teachers from various departments as well as administrators from the business departments (Hamilton County Schools, 2011).

The goal for implementation of this plan should be for approximately three to five years. One year is not feasible to actually see the kind of change the school would require and a time frame of over five years would begin to become tiresome. A three to five year period would be desirable because there could be change visually witnessed from one school year to the next and there would not be the tiresome nature that is often witnessed when plans are made and the follow-through is lengthy (ISLLC Standards for School Leaders).

Demographics

The student population at Lookout Valley Middle High School is 393 as of 2012. There are approximately 73% Caucasian students, 25% African American students, and 2% students who are classified as another ethnicity. Almost all of these students speak English as their mother tongue, or primary language. Out of the 393 students attending Lookout Valley Middle High School, 57% of these students are eligible to receive either free or reduced lunch as deemed by the federal government. The graduation rate is 69% and there is a 13% drop out rate of students that do not graduate. Approximately 10% of the students at Lookout Valley are in “Exceptional Education”, which is the term used to describe the special education department at the school. The school serves the communities of Lookout Valley and Saint Elmo where the average incomes are $45,762 and $34,738, respectively. The goals, mission statement, and values implemented by the administrative team would be appropriate for this school because they are feasible due to the number of students who actually graduate each year (Garcia, Arias, Murri, & Serna, 2010). Also, because of the number of drop outs, there is room to improve and this could be a significant area of improvement if the goals of the school were implemented effectively over the course of three to five years at a steady pace.

New Leadership

Any school administrator who steps into a new leadership role will bring new experiences and ideas to his or her environment. Often, these ideas will serve the school in a positive manner without much modification and sometimes there will need to be modification in order for the ideas to fit accordingly (West, 2011). The administrator not only has the responsibility of effectively managing the daily operations of the school and staff, but he has to form relationships with the community as well as stakeholders as was mentioned previously.

Two important ways a new school administrator could effectively lead an institution would be first, to openly and honestly communicate with his or her staff and faculty (Grossman, Hammerness, & McDonald, 2009). This is vital to have a team environment and to have a place of positive morale and also keep motivation up so there is more productivity as far as the learning process is concerned. The second way an administrator can effectively lead is to be a ‘working’ leader (Grossman, Hammerness, & McDonald, 2009). This means the administrator should be seen and heard. He should help with the daily operations of the school and the students and teachers will witness this in a positive manner. He should be willing to do any task needed, and with vigor, because this shows that he is willing to do whatever it takes for the success of the school and the success of the goals, mission, and vision of the school. Both of these actions would effectively help a new leader in his or her position at a new place of leadership and would succeed in having the administrator more respected by faculty as well as students.

References

Creating a shared vision for your school is key to engaging in the school improvement process. (2012). Retrieved from School Improvement in Maryland: http://mdk12.org/process/leading/vision.html

Carver, C., & Feiman-Nemser, S. (2009). Using policy to improve teacher induction: Critical elements and missing pieces. Education Policy, 23(2), 295-328.

Garcia, E., Arias, M., Murri, N., & Serna, C. (2010). Developing responsive teachers: A challenge for a demographic reality. Journal of Teacher Education, 61(1), 132-142.

Grossman, P., Hammerness, K., & McDonald, M. (2009). Redefining teaching, re-imagining teaching education. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 15(2), 273-289.

Hamilton County Schools. (2011). Investing in our future: Moving towards excellence. Hamilton County Tennessee Schools. ISLLC Standards for School Leaders.

Rutter. (2011). Purpose and vision of professional development schools. The Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 110(2), 289-305.

Wang, J., Lin, E., Spalding, E., Klecka, C., & Odell, S. (2011). Quality education and teacher education: A kaleidoscope of notions. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(4), 331-338.

West, C. (2011). School leadership training. Principal, 90(3), 10-13.

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