Leadership and Administration

A teacher leading students in a mindfulness training

Mindfulness is Not About Keeping Kids Calm and Compliant

By Jennifer Gunn August 26, 2019

The buzz around mindfulness in schools has reached a fever pitch, as evidenced by mindfulness sessions for educators found at every conference and professional development event around the country. One unintended strand of the spread of mindfulness is that some view its practice as a means for keeping students calm, compliant, and under control. And,… Read More

6 Ways to Engage Parents This Fall

By Jennifer Gunn August 23, 2019

A new school year is an opportune time to launch a new parent and family outreach campaign. Here are six things to keep in mind to make long-lasting connections that will last all year. Get everyone on the same page As the new year begins, formalize your staff’s outlook and plan for family engagement. “To… Read More

School time is precious and usually rather inflexible, but some schools are adding a little more flexibility and personalization into their learning time to the benefit of students. The concept is called “flex time” or “W.I.N. Time” which stands for “What I Need Time.”  Getting flexible about learning time Most schools are pretty locked into… Read More

New School Year Challenge: Mending a Toxic School Culture

By Jennifer Gunn August 5, 2019

Even the best schools can hit a school culture slump. Catty or complaining cliques, staffing changes, sinking morale, exhaustion — it can all lead to a toxic school culture. The new school year is the perfect time to take action — whether you’re a school leader or classroom teacher — and reinvigorate your school’s culture,… Read More

Reimagining Your School as a Community Center

By Jennifer Gunn July 11, 2019

Imagine a school that worked together with the community to serve all students and their families, including academics and beyond. Believe it or not, such schools exist and it just might be possible for your school to benefit from a community model. The Community School According to the Coalition for Community Schools, a community school… Read More

When Your School Staff’s Morale Drops

By Jennifer Gunn May 9, 2019

The spring stretch is the final push of the year where tensions can run high and patience can wear thin in schools. Students and teachers are tired, testing season is upon us, and the school year’s issues may hit their peak. Here are some leadership ideas to help boost your school’s morale when things get… Read More

Bullies have always been a constant presence in school environments. Until recently, bullies were simply an expected “character” in schools — along with the “teacher’s pet” or “class clown.”  Students who were bullied were expected to “toughen up,” ignore the behavior, or “fight back.” Today, bullying behavior is no longer expected or accepted in most… Read More

The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission recently approved a fully redesigned system of preparing and licensing school and district administrators in the state of Oregon at the Commission meeting on February 7, 2019, in Salem. To learn more about this new system, we checked in with our Chair of Administrator Licensure Programs, Gerald W. Gabbard,… Read More

As educators, we have a professional and ethical responsibility to provide students with safe, equitable, and inclusive academic experiences. Traditional discipline procedures, such as zero-tolerance policies, school suspensions, and punishment-reward practices are often ineffective in correcting misbehaviors and disproportionately impact students of color. For these reasons, the paradigm is shifting from zero-tolerance policies in schools… Read More

What Matters Most in the Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn February 19, 2019

In the ever-changing landscape of education, teachers and leaders often find themselves searching for clarity in a sea of standards, curriculum resources, and competing priorities. Think about your learning community: Are both teachers and students clear about what must be learned, why students are learning it, and how they can be successful? Are students able… Read More

Creating a School Dream Team for Change

By The Room 241 Team February 13, 2019

Schools need great individual changemakers capable of identifying problems and creating bold, scalable solutions. But they also need Dream Teams — groups of talented administrators, teachers, staff, students, and community members who work together and are passionate about making things better for kids. Schools need teams who believe that school-based change is worth the effort… Read More

A farm kid from Wisconsin, for the past two decades Diana Laufenberg has taught seventh-12th grade Social Studies in several states, most recently at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. It’s here where I first met Laufenberg, at the yearly conference Educon, where she was swarmed… Read More

The Benefits of Community Engagement in Education

By Annie W. Scott February 5, 2019

Much like the soil we build our schools upon, people need solid footing and an appreciation for the environment. When looking at community schools as a construct, one must consider all the nuances that make a community significant. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory is useful in unpacking the multiple layers and perspectives that make a community… Read More

As the principal of Clear Creek Middle School in Oregon, David Atherton, EdD, understands the importance of recruiting, hiring, and supporting administrators who are strong instructional leaders. While earning his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland, Atherton decided to examine this process for his dissertation, “Human Resource Management Practices for Public School Principals: Recruitment, Selection, and Development.”… Read More

Educators and policymakers often struggle with the widespread problem of chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism has been attributed to long-term detrimental effects within the student population, including reduced levels of scholastic readiness and lower graduation rates. James Brookins, EdD, earned his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland and chose to analyze this issue in his dissertation,… Read More