Webinar on October 26: HR Changes & Challenges for the New School Year

Join us on October 26 at 1:00 pm ET for an important look at human resources (HR) practices and activities that are highly relevant in this post-pandemic school year, from efforts to retain staff and fill the voids left by retirement to the importance of staff social and emotional wellness and HR’s part in that. How does a district or a school address the needs of students and staff and ensure compliance with all the new laws that impact it? Join us on October 26 for suggestions and possible actions to take this school year—all to make it productive and one to remember. Click here to register.

ISA School and District Assistance: Targeted and Comprehensive

ISA is a collection of like-minded educators who believe in the power of schools—that they can positively change the lives of young people, the communities in which they live, and the nation. You are right: We have big goals.

What are the big goals of your school or district? How can ISA partner with you to accelerate your work to meet and then exceed those goals?

Build your Comprehensive or Targeted Services plan from the following:

  • Organizational Development: ISA helps its partner schools and districts optimize the structures that bind them together, from the communication systems that connect all buildings in a district to the streamlining of support that flows from the central office to its schools. Tap ISA to assist with strategic planning, to help you achieve your mission, vision, and values.
  • Culture and Climate: Is the culture and climate of your school or district lagging after 2 years of the pandemic? ISA works with partner schools and districts to measure that culture and climate to get a sense of what is working and not working and then codevelops and implements a plan to improve culture and climate, with a focus on parent engagement, social emotional wellness for students and staff, and distributed counseling.
  • Human Talent: This is the beating heart of your school or district: the people that work there. Are they being used in the best way that will not only grow the organization but will also allow them to grow and flourish—in much the same way that we want our students to grow and flourish? Turn to ISA to review your human talent systems and to support and partner with you to improve this area.
  • Operations, Policies, and Programs: We’re a team that revels in the nitty-gritty. One partner school wanted help thinking through its daily schedule and annual calendar. Were they optimizing teaching and learning? A district asked: How can our afterschool and summer programs improve student achievement? We’re former school and district leaders who have experience solving these kinds of issues.
  • Teaching and Learning: This is our bread and butter; we’ve been helping schools and districts with their instructional programs for more than 20 years. ISA coaches—all of whom are instructional and curricular experts—help review instructional and curricular programs for gaps, codevelop plans to close those gaps, and get into school buildings and classrooms to help with and monitor implementation.

Click here to read more.

Coaches’ Corner: ISA’s Peter Eley

ISA Coach Dr. Peter Eley is a professor at the College of Education at Fayetteville State University and a former associate dean in the College of Education. He holds a bachelor of science in mathematics from Elizabeth City State University, a master’s degree in applied mathematics and mathematics education from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in mathematics education. Before his postsecondary career, Peter taught math and science to middle and high school students.

Which teacher of yours do you feel most impacted your coaching approach?

Ms. Cheryl Aycock, my Algebra II high school teacher, because she was empowering. She made you believe that you could accomplish anything. Because of her strong belief, I did not want to let her down, and so I worked hard to meet her goals. Then at some point along the way, her goals became my goals, and that sense of belonging is what I now develop with my students and teachers and why that community of learners has become so important to me.

What do you enjoy most about your coaching work?

What I enjoy about the coaching work is seeing the growth. When you know you have made a difference for the person that you are supporting, and he or she realizes and exercises that new growth and ability, it’s a phenomenal feeling of accomplishment. Just think of the impact you had moving someone from point A to point B.

What was your most memorable moment with a student or students when you were teaching?

When I taught middle school, I spent time in the community with my students, outside of the classroom. My presence in their neighborhood humanized me to them. They saw me as caring and, in return, I gained their respect and had no trouble getting my students to perform in the classroom.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

I am a cookies and cream guy – the good stuff!

From the Aspen Institute: Rethinking the Role of the Principal

In this newsletter we highlight a recent brief from the Aspen Institute’s Education and Society Program called Rethinking the Role of the Principal.

As the Aspen Institute wrote, “Every line of inquiry on the role of the principal tells us that the role needs an overhaul. Schools are dealing with historic educational disruption associated with the pandemic. Young people face record levels of anxiety and depression, unsustainably high income inequality, a painful reckoning with systemic racism, and a declining commitment to democracy. If school systems are to meet the challenge of this historic moment, they must articulate a new, rich vision that imbues students with a sense of responsible citizenship, prepares them for the world of work, and helps them develop a healthy sense of self. This vision for schooling calls for a shift in what we ask of schools, and that shift starts in the principal’s office.

“Rethinking the Role of the Principal offers actions that education leaders can take for the role of the principal and district systems to make the role more impactful and sustainable, starting with alignment to a vision and research for school leadership to better serve students, schools, and society.” Click here to read more.