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Principals

A school Dream Team

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 Emotions of Learning: Q&A with Marc Brackett, PhD

By Jennifer Gunn February 6, 2019

Social-emotional and trauma-informed learning and teaching are at the forefront of education research and study today. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of the children in the U.S. have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” Therefore, ignoring emotions in the classroom can absolutely pose… 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

Many schools have moved away from punitive discipline measures, choosing restorative practices instead. Restorative practices also promote equity. So how does this approach impact the school climate? Akil Boucaud, EdD, asked that very question while earning his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland. Focusing on elementary schools, Boucaud’s dissertation is titled, “A Correlational Study Examining the Relationship Between… 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

What Equity Really Means in Schools

By Jennifer Gunn December 28, 2018

Equity and equality are two different concepts that are often used interchangeably. Many people think that equity in education means everyone getting the same thing, but it actually means that everyone gets access to what they need. So how can we work to truly narrow the gaps and improve student learning? Let’s take a closer… Read More

It’s unfortunate but true: every school deals with cases of bullying. Cyberbullying is also a widespread issue, and many learning communities struggle with both forms of mistreatment. But some schools are testing out more innovative methods, yielding positive results here in the U.S. and abroad. Let’s look at a few examples to see what’s working… Read More

The Impact of a Thoughtfully Designed Learning Space

By Kara Wyman, MEd December 18, 2018

A school’s design can greatly impact students’ ability to learn. The layout alone can either make it confusing for students and their families or it can create a welcoming environment where staff, students, and resources are connected and accessible. The design can promote an inclusive school culture, hands-on learning, and community engagement. Many schools today… Read More

Creating a Culture of Wellness at Your School

By Tara Saucier, PhD, RN December 14, 2018

Wellness is often emphasized in educational settings, but there’s more to it than promoting good health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students who are healthy are better learners, and academic achievement creates a lifetime of benefits. Recognizing the benefits of wellness According to Action for Healthy Kids, children who attend schools… 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

The principal of a school plays an essential role in creating a cooperative work environment. Amy Blakey, EdD, who recently earned her Doctorate of Education in Transformational Leadership, decided to examine how perceptions impact principals’ ability to create a collaborative environment in elementary schools. Let’s look at Blakey’s work and key findings from her dissertation, “A Case Study… Read More

Elementary and secondary education in the United States provides a rich multicultural experience for those lucky enough to experience it – and understand it. For those who come into the system not yet knowing English, however, it can go either way. On the one hand, many students benefit hugely from an English-speaking milieu and quickly… Read More

In order for students to be successful in school, they first have to be in school. Seems logical, right? But for millions of students in the U.S., attendance is a barrier to success with lifelong consequences. Here’s a look at how chronic absenteeism impacts learning, and how schools can begin to turn the tide. Measuring… Read More

Instructional Inquiry for School Leaders

By The Room 241 Team November 21, 2018

The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) developed an instructional leadership inquiry cycle tool that helps principal supervisors and principals collaboratively engage in a continuous process of instructional improvement and analysis. The inquiry tool directly correlates to CEL’s 5D instructional framework and rubric, making the process of instructional development easy and cohesive. Instructional… Read More