Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Reader Asks... Principal Coaching - Upset Parents and Community

A LYS Assistant Superintendent asks the following:


I loved the coaching notes you shared in today’s post (Principal Coaching – The Low Performing Campus).  I have a principal I’m going to work with this year, but for a different reason.  The issue on this campus is upset parents and negative feelings on the culture and climate of the school in the community.

What say you?

SC Response
First, we must reach an understanding on “Culture and Climate.”

The Real Definition of Culture and Climate:

A. Culture is the actions, practices and procedures in place on a given campus.

B. Climate is the effect that culture has on students.

This understanding is instructive, because based of this definition the way to manage campus culture and climate is to excise the actions, practices and procedures that have a negative effect on students.

Simple enough. Or is it?

The problem with this is that the actions, practices and procedures that have a negative effect on students are all too often comfortable for adults.  Which creates the all too common change equation of:

Good for Kids = Uncomfortable for Adults.

Now undisciplined, uncomfortable adults on a campus often complain to anyone who will lend a sympathetic ear.  This includes parents and community members, who are naïve enough to believe that they are getting the “REAL” story.

Which leads us to the coaching opportunity.

A. Campus leadership must proactively share the good student news of the campus. Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Newsletter, Marquee and Face-to-Face any and everything positive. 
a. Some examples: team scores, awards, earned scholarship dollars, college enrollment rates, honor rolls, UIL, etc.

B. Leadership must be a “broken record” explaining the positive benefits to students for anything that creates real or perceived staff adversity.

C. The TRUTH on this.  Principal, don’t focus all your attention on parent and community negative perceptions, it is a lagging indicator. Instead, focus on making the school look good and most importantly making more students, more successful, more often.  Here is the parent equation for ranking schools:
a. Students Successful = Good School.
b. My Student is Successful = GREAT School.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on! 
  • Upcoming Conference Presentations: Texas ASCD Summer Conference, Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference; The National Principals Conference; The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote) 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
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