Spring 2012

Transforming Schools

CEO Message: Breaking Free to Transform our Schools

CEO Message

Few can dispute the need to identify and act on opportunities to transform our schools and school systems for the 21st century learner. Is it easy? Never. Does it challenge some of our most talented educators? Often, yes. Are we confident in where the changes will lead us? Often not. Is it the right thing to do, even if it takes trial and error? Absolutely!

Few can dispute the need to identify and act on opportunities to transform our schools and school systems for the 21st century learner. Is it easy? Never. Does it challenge some of our most talented educators? Often, yes. Are we confident in where the changes will lead us? Often not. Is it the right thing to do, even if it takes trial and error? Absolutely!

Schools and school systems around the world are facing the need to change, and many are embracing it. They are finding the resources, innovation, tools and courage to transform their schools and school systems into learning environments that serve the next generation of students. Transformation can take place in many ways — technology, culture, function, and leadership. However it requires us to break free of our “boundaries” and ensure that we provide a global education for the students of the future.

In this issue of AdvancED Source, we invited authors to share their viewpoints and expertise on Transforming Schools. The result is a rich perspective from many angles that will build your confidence to leverage your power to transform your school.

This issue opens with Dr. Robert Evans, author of The Human Side of Change. His article, The Savvy School Change Leader, explores how savvy leaders focus their efforts and maximize their leverage to truly achieve their goals. Recognized researcher and author Dr. Andrew Zucker shares how technology is making schools more effective and engaging, and yet must be integrated wisely and with clear purposes. See his article, Using Digital Tools to Help Transform Schools, to explore how technology can help you meet the challenge of transforming your school.

Dr. Jillian Darwish, Vice President of Organizational Learning and Innovation at KnowledgeWorks, examines the emerging demands for learners and some educational leaders who are successfully pioneering approaches to transforming schools and to building learners’ capacity to communicate and collaborate in our globally interdependent world. Her article is entitled Transforming Education: Trends, Models and Policy. Roy Chan with the National Center for Time and Learning provides a case study on achievement gains experienced by Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School when more time was added to the learning schedule each day — Transforming Schools through Expanded Learning Time.

In Transition to a Catholic School District, Francine Conway and Mary Elizabeth Rhodes, with a collective 70 years of educational experience, share a practical approach for school systems to help ensure the quality of their individual schools. AdvancED’s  Dr.Vicki Denmark, Vice President for Innovation, in her piece, Transformational Leadership: a Matter of Perspective, outlines the skills and characteristics of transformational leaders, aligning them with research and practice. Elementary School Principal Dr. Sabrah King and University Faculty Member Dr. Dustin Hebert describe five hallmarks to cultivating a culture that is aligned with the vision in Five Hallmarks for the School Culture You Want.

Patricia Deklotz, Superintendent of Kettle Moraine School District, shares her school system’s journey to transform the educational delivery system to better meet the needs of all students in The Road to Meeting Individual Learners’ Needs. Dr. Anthony Muhammad, author of Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division, describes the four primary categories of individuals in a school culture and how the interaction among them can make school reform difficult. His article is entitled Understanding the Framework for Change.

We are grateful to our authors for sharing their viewpoints on what truly matters in Transforming Schools.

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