SCHOOL GROWTH BLOG

Communication has Broken Down--You Aren't Listening

Posted by Scott Barron on Jun 2, 2020 9:45:18 AM

“Just like a bad relationship, our communication has broken down. You aren’t listening,” said Shawnee Mission School District teacher Amanda Coffman back in February 2020. 

Teachers across the U.S. have been saying the same thing to administrators and school boards for many years, and the volume is even louder now after the disruptions of the 2020 pandemic. 

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Tags: School Culture, School Board, Leadership Retreat

Are We Supposed to be Thoughtful or Busy?

Posted by Scott Barron on May 28, 2020 8:27:25 AM

"Are we supposed to be thoughtful or busy?"
That important question was asked by a board member at a recent Leadership Retreat we facilitated. Balancing activity with mindfulness will always be a challenge for school leaders, especially in times of such overwhelming change and fierce competition. 

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Tags: Administration, Board Culture, School Board, Leadership Retreat

Board Evaluation of School Leadership in 2020

Posted by Scott Barron on May 11, 2020 3:59:51 PM

What questions should the board use to evaluate the school's leadership in 2020, especially in light of the current societal and economic disruptions caused by the pandemic? That's an inquiry we received last week that is important for all schools to consider.

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Tags: Board Assessment, School Board

The Path to School Dysfunction is Paved with Board Intentions

Posted by Scott Barron on Dec 17, 2019 9:09:57 AM

Few board members have bad intentions at heart, but all of the dysfunction in education can be traced back to good intentions gone awry.

They really meant well, but they underestimated the complex ecosystem of relationships that comprise a school and the unintended consequences that resulted from their decisions.

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Tags: Board Culture, School Board

What is a Strategic Growth Plan?

Posted by Scott Barron on Dec 5, 2019 7:16:33 AM

The words "Strategic Plan" often strike fear in the heart of a head of school, principal, or superintendent because they've suffered through the nightmare of a planning approach that miserably fails to recognize and strengthen the complex relationships that comprise a school. 

Some management consultants think that a long weekend visit is all that's required to learn about your school and print a plan, but your work is more valuable than that. Your people deserve better!

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Tags: School Board, Strategic Plan, Growth Plan

Random Selection is Bad for Boards

Posted by Scott Barron on Nov 5, 2018 4:45:48 PM

Random selection is effective for statistical research and it's very INeffective for school board leadership. Great boards are produced from a disciplined process of selection, onboarding, training, accountability, and evaluation. Your faculty and students are far too valuable to gamble on the board.

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Tags: School Board

Coming to a City Near You 4Q 2018

Posted by Scott Barron on Oct 29, 2018 12:53:24 PM

We grow schools and the people who have the courage to lead them. That mission requires a travel schedule that is sometimes rough on the body but it’s worth it because of the privilege we have to guide administrators, board leaders, and faculty to a joyful path forward.

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Tags: School Growth, School Board, Leadership Retreat

Your Strategic Plan May Be Killing Your School

Posted by Scott Barron on Sep 20, 2018 12:25:27 AM

What if your strategic plan has actually caused more harm than good? 
Perhaps the board and administration got together for a few days or even spent some months hammering out a long-term plan.

But is it really making a difference? Did the process used to create the plan strengthen relationships, build leadership capacity, and improve the culture?

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Tags: Leadership, School Board, Strategic Plan, Growth Plan

How to Improve Communication in One Easy Step

Posted by Scott Barron on Sep 4, 2018 8:36:36 AM

At a recent Leader Retreat for a school board, one of the longest-serving board members raised a major issue. He was grey-headed and, based on the body language and deference of the others in the room, he was highly respected for his experience and wisdom.

 

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Tags: Communication, School Board, Leadership Retreat

My Pain, Your Gain: A Painful  Experience that Illustrates how Planning for Schools is Different

Posted by Scott Barron on Aug 19, 2018 9:30:09 PM

One of the worst experiences I had as a school administrator was enduring the agony of a strategic planning process led by business consultants who didn't understand the complexities of schools--especially the relationships involved.

In the end they did more damage than good, leaving me with the challenge of restoring trust and trying to maximize the benefits that could be gained anyway. 

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Tags: Innovation Planning, Strategy, School Board

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