The Principals' Office Blog

Elementary Schools to Blame for STEM Decline?

SeptOct_cover In the September/October issue of Principal magazine, author Bill Costello addresses science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and the disparity between American and non-American students’ interest in these su

Grant Opportunity for Community Engagement

Could your school use $5,000 for a community engagement project? 

The NAESP Foundation, funded by MetLife Foundation, has launched the Sharing the Dream grant opportunity. Apply today for funding to implement a community engagement program at your school. Projects may vary, but must include a global component. Sample ideas include: linking with other schools overseas using social media technology, involving immigrant parents and families in the school environment, hosting international arts and food festivals, service learning projects, and second language classes for parents and teachers. More details about the Sharing the Dream grant and application process are on the NAESP Foundation Web site.

Senate Bill Introduced to Help Principals Bridge Achievement Gap

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., introduced a bill yesterday that creates a grant program to provide principals with professional development and mentoring programs to strengthen their knowledge of early childhood education. The purpose of the bill is to help principals create a seamless continuum of learning experiences from pre-K through grade 3 by providing a delivery system to train principals how to provide appropriate early learning environments.

There’s Still Hope for Emergency Aid

This week marks the final congressional session before the Independence Day recess. When Congress returns to Washington the week of July 12, there will be less than 50 legislative days remaining in the calendar year. There continues to be a growing belief in education policy circles that neither the ESEA reauthorization nor the fiscal year 2011 education appropriations bill (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education) will be completed before the end of 2010.

Blog: A Seamless Continuum of Learning

Connelly_smallResearch shows that children who begin formal schooling behind their peers are likely to stay behind and are more at risk of dropping out of school. This is a tragedy of epic proportions—most of these children are destined to lead permanently challenged lives, often adversely affecting their families and our society.

Mentor Center: Seeking Tips for the Hiring Process

As the school year comes to an end, so does the tenure of NAESP's Mentor Center principal. Here's her final entry:

With retirements, resignations, and staff moving into different positions in the district, I needed to hire seven new staff members. Most school districts around us are on the opposite end of the spectrum; they are laying off staff. Because of this I have had to screen hundreds of applications for the hiring process. Something that you don’t learn in college is how to efficiently screen applications to narrow down the amount of candidates for interviews.

Save Education Jobs, Speak Up for Kids

Secretary Arne Duncan estimates that as many as 300,000 educators could lose their jobs before the start of the next school year due to drastic deficits in state and local school budgets across the country. Join thousands of your colleagues in calling for Congress to save education jobs!

Funding Available to Support Arts Education

Crayola, in partnership with NAESP’s National Principals Resource Center, will award up to 20 schools with mini-grants valued at $3,000 to help strengthen their arts education programs. The mini-grant program, “Champion Creatively-Alive Children,” will fund each project with a $2,500 monetary grant and $500 worth of Crayola products.
The mini-grant program aims to help educators implement and document innovative arts education projects to share best practices and inventive approaches to nurturing creatively alive children. As evidenced in our arts-themed issue of Principal magazine, integrating the arts into the school curriculum develops the whole child. In order to reach their full potential and grow into self-motivated learners, children’s natural curiosity and explorative spirits must be nurtured. However, diminishing school budgets often lead to arts education being among the first programs to be reduced or cut altogether.
Application materials and more details about the program are now available online. The deadline to apply is Aug. 15, 2010.

Virginia Principal Testifies About Transformational Leadership

Susan E. Bridges, principal of A.G. Richardson Elementary School in Culpeper, Virginia, testified on May 19 before the House Committee on Education & Labor about the tools principals need to successfully turn schools around. Bridges recounted her personal experience in using data and developing a sense of community to overcome the challenges of redistricting.
“I firmly believe that I have been successful in leading change in my school because of my hard-working and dedicated staff and because of the support and flexibility in decision-making that I have been given by the school district’s administration,” Bridges said. “To be effective, all principals require the authority and autonomy to make necessary changes in their school buildings. This means principals must be able to arrange building staff and resources to address the needs of students, and to work collaboratively with colleagues both inside and outside of the school to identify the tools needed to sustain change and growth.” 
Watch the live feed of the hearing and let us know your thoughts about turnaround leadership.

Congrats to New President-elect, Board Members

We proudly welcome Robert L. Monson, principal of Parkston Elementary School in Parkston, South Dakota, as the recently elected president-elect of the 15-person board of directors of NAESP. “Facing today’s challenges and those yet to come will require a president-elect who has leadership experience and forward-looking vision,” Monson said. “We must be advocates on many levels and in numerous areas to provide the best eduation for all of our students.”
Monson, a member of NAESP since 1997 who served on its board of directors from 2007 to 2009, has also held memberships in the School Administrators of South Dakota and in the South Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals, serving in the latter as president (2005-2006) and treasurer (2001-2004).  
In NAESP zone elections, the following individuals were elected to the board of directors: Dean Warrenfeltz, principal of Berkeley County School in Martinsburg, West Virginia, will represent Zone 3 principals in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia; Nancy Flatt Meador, principal of Madison Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee, will represent Zone 4 principals in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the Virgin Islands; and Mark J. White, principal of Hintgen Elementary School in La Crosse, Wisconsin, will represent Zone 6 principals in Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Barbara A. Chester, principal of Cherry Park Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, will be installed as NAESP 2010-2011 president on July 1 and Monson will assume the office of president one year later.

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