We All Belong Here Campaign

Extending the Equity Table … from the school board to the community: Creating a culture where all stakeholders have a seat, a voice and a responsibility for change. By Dr. Wade Smith, Superintendent; and Dr. Julie Perrón, Director of Equity and Dual Programs How do we engage our community in positive ways to talk about…

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Think Strategically for a Better Future

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Strategic Thinking  By Larry Nyland and Pam Posey January is the time of new starts and new resolutions. Never have we been so eager to turn a page and start anew. What can you do now to make 2021 a big improvement over 2020? Focus on leadership! “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into…

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Core Values that Grow Strong Cultures

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Growing and Living Core Values Core values are “true north” for navigating in good times, and especially so in tough times. When I arrived in Seattle as superintendent, I found that we met regularly with: a) Small Cabinet: a dozen senior executives; and b) Extended Cabinet: three dozen middle-level leaders. First Effort | Cabinet Norms =…

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Connecting in Spite of “Remote” Restrictions

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Caring and Connecting in “Remote” Times “Our confidence is shaken. Teachers are exhausted, working harder than ever to engage kids virtually. Working longer hours, feeling that nothing is enough. Never have I seen teachers and staff so hungry, so thirsty for one good word. They hang on every compliment, every note of thanks, more so…

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Equity and Systems Transformation

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Equity and Systems Transformation  “There is promising evidence that leaders … can have tremendous impact on their organization’s and community’s capacity to produce successful outcomes for all students.” – Christina Dixon and Simone Palmer, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advance of Teaching  TRANSFORMING EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS TOWARD CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT This 35-page Reflection Guide for K–12 Executive…

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Scenario Planning & Plan B

Leadership:  Scenario Planning and Plan B Life, John Lennon indicates, is what happens when we are making other plans.  Man plans, God laughs.  – Jewish adage Yes, we have already experienced a long, long list of things we never saw coming in the first six months of 2020: impeachment, pandemic, school campuses closed, sports cancelled,…

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Decision Making in Uncertain Times

Decision Making in Uncertain Times Education depends on tradition.  Making change is hard work and time consuming.  As one famous quote says “Change has as its enemy all those who have done well under the old system and has as lukewarm friends those who might do well under the new.” Reopening School With COVID-19, change…

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Graduation Gains – One district’s success

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Federal Way’s success with continuous improvement: An Interview with Superintendent Tammy Campbell Dr. Tammy Campbell became superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools in 2015. Federal Way, located 25 miles south of Seattle, serves 23,000 students in one of the most diverse districts in the nation.  Graduation rates have risen from 76% to 87% with significant gains…

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Leading in Crisis

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Leading in Crisis We are living in unprecedented times.  Due to COVID-19, virtually all school buildings in America are closed.  School leaders are called upon to sort out untold new ways of doing school.  School lunches.  Distance learning. Day care. Special Education.  Union rules.  New technology platforms.  And at the same time, district leaders are…

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The Superintendent as Instructional Leader

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21 ways to become a learning leader Superintendents and District Leaders Matter Teachers matter most in improving student learning.  Principals are a close second and are now expected to be instructional leaders.  What about superintendents and district level leaders.  Their role, though less visible, is every bit as essential in growing the culture and the…

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