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Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 2– 2021-22
Best of the AWSP Blog
Are you subscribed yet to the AWSP blog? If not, you may have missed some of the great content we published this quarter. Here are a handful of the highlights. (And, go subscribe right now!)
Learning and The Brain: Conference Review Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell, Principal, Loowit High School and Kelso Virtual Academy (K-12), Kelso SD
I recently attended the Learning and the Brain — “Teaching Struggling Brains” Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, with several of my staff. Led by some of the most respected researchers currently practicing in the United States, these three days were packed with big learnings and takeaways to support our work with students. The ability of these researchers to speak to educators in a manner that was understandable and applicable to our educational world was one of the most impressive aspects of this research-based conference.
The Dream of Buying Lunch in the Cafeteria
Srinivas Khedam, Ed.D, Assistant Director Racial and Educational Justice Department, Northshore SD
Belongingness is a big deal for every individual. When people feel like they belong to a place or group, they express, share, contribute, and give their best. Students are not exempt from this. Students can give their best when they feel they belong to their school, classroom, playground, sports team, band, cheerleaders club, music, or other clubs or groups. That means the first and most important step that we must take is to create an environment of belongingness for ALL students in all spaces of our schools.
What Does a "Sense of Belonging” Really Mean? Kelly Sheward, Principal, Sunnyside Elementary, Marysville SD
In my third year as the principal at Sunnyside Elementary in the Marysville School District, my goals for my students are to have a voice and to feel a sense of belonging and connection to their school. With those goals in mind, I initiated a student council that would be voted by and would represent our student body, which consists of 480 Kindergarten through 5th-grade students.
Honoring Native American Heritage Month Chase Buffington, Director, Cispus Learning Center
November is National Native American Heritage Month. From all of us at AWSP, Cispus, AWSL, and Outdoor Schools Washington, we thank you for sharing your stories and allowing us to embrace your culture. We, as an organization, have been honored to serve and learn from our tribal partners throughout Washington state. With principals in every school, we work to engage in every community of tribes across Washington. Honoring their culture and history, we have more work to do and welcome shared opportunities.
One Day in the Life of a Principal
Bonnie Mckerney, Retired Principal, K-12 Educator (1979-2021)
It was Friday, October 7. The sky was smokey and the temperature warm. It was 10:50am. Parking was limited, but some spots were available. The office was dealing with one student in the health room, one student seated on a chair in the office, a parent seated, and one parent signing a student out. The fire inspector was present, requesting assistance with the fire inspection. He asked for someone to accompany him throughout the building for his inspection. This was an unexpected visit, so office staff were trying to think of a way to accommodate this request.
8 Most Powerful TED Talks on Disability
Ashley Barker, Inclusionary Practices Director, AWSP
Many have heard the quote, “If you aren’t at the table, you're on the menu” from the business community. This month, I have been acutely aware of the people at my table and the lack of diversity they represent. In an attempt at continuing our conversation this month to include ALL voices, I am highlighting the 8 Most Powerful Ted Talks on Disability.
Understanding the Role of the School Counselors
Kamrica Ary-Turner, Associate Director, AWSP
Substitute Senate Bill 5030 passed last year. I know a lot of leaders are asking what this means. How does this impact your leadership? Does this change the role of school counselors? We are here to support you and your CSCP through the process, which is going to take time. It can take up to three to five years to truly change systems, so give yourself grace! AWSP is working with OSPI and Hatching Results to provide resources, videos, and tools to support you and your team through building the best possible partnership between building leaders and ​the school counseling team. In the meantime, check out this primer for understanding the role and working effectively with school counselors.
The Year of the Principal Dr. Scott Seaman, Executive Director, AWSP
National Principals Month is a simple way of bringing much-needed attention to the work and impact of your leadership. But, is a month-long celebration enough? No way. One month doesn’t do you or your leadership any justice. Through their research, The Wallace Foundation consistently reaffirms the important role school principals play not just in student achievement, but in establishing and sustaining school culture. Effective and consistent leadership has an immeasurable impact on students, staffulty, and the entire school community. At AWSP, we are not only celebrating National Principals Month throughout October, but we are also calling this year “The Year of the Principal.” We believe there has never been a more important time in educational history than right now to call attention to the plight of our school leaders.
Students Weigh In: Vaping. What Can We Do? James Layman, AWSL Director, and The AWSL Student Voice Network
A topic that has permeated many discussions with school leaders, students, and community members over the past several years has been vaping. With a rise in students vaping, specifically in schools, the stress of figuring out how to ‘solve’ this epidemic has fallen on our teachers, counselors, community members, school leaders, and students. Recently, we met with the AWSL Student Voice Network and asked them to weigh in on what we can start doing, stop doing, and keep doing to find solutions for this ongoing issue.
Walking Our Equity Talk: It’s Time for Time to Change Dr. Scott Seaman, Executive Director, AWSP
If we truly want to put equity into action, then perhaps we should consider redefining time throughout the system. How do we define an instructional “period,” a school day, the week, a month, or heaven forbid, the entire school calendar? We love our 180-day calendar so much that we’ve allowed that alone to drive the entire system for decades (the calendar, funding, collective bargaining, etc.) and subsequently blinded us to new ways of thinking and doing. It is deeply entrenched and built around the needs of the adults working in the system, not the families we are trying to serve.