Dr. Susan Szachowicz knows a thing or two about turning around troubled schools. The retired educator was still a teacher at her alma mater, Brockton High School, in 1999, when the campus was dubbed a “cesspool” by local media as one of the worst-performing schools in Massachusetts.
“Our failure rate was 75 percent in math and 44 percent in English language arts,” said the lifelong Brockton resident. “There was a real culture of low expectations.”
But by maintaining a relentless focus on literacy for the past 15 years, teachers and administrators have completely transformed the campus into a place of “high standards, high expectations, and no excuses.” It is now referred to as “a jewel of the city,” and is routinely cited as a prime example of a successful turnaround school. Continue reading →
School leaders dress up as favorite book character to bring attention to importance of reading
The second day of the HISD Summer Leadership Institute attracted some colorful characters to share their love of reading, including Fancy Nancy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Willy Wonka. Continue reading →
An individual’s ability to acquire knowledge is usually contingent on one simple fact: whether or not he or she is literate. Without the ability to read and write with ease, even the simplest of concepts can remain stubbornly—and maddeningly—out of reach. That’s why HISD has made this critically important topic the focus of its annual Summer Leadership Institute.
The Institute got started this year on June 17 at the NRG Center, and the district’s Literacy By 3 movement—which aims to have all students reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade—was in the spotlight. Continue reading →
Are you planning to attend the Summer Leadership Institute this year?
If so, then start getting your wardrobe together now, as organizers will be hosting a fashion show and costume contest for attendees who dress up as their favorite literary characters on the last day of the event. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes, too, so start thinking now about which figure has meant the most to you and come prepared to share your love of literature with others. Continue reading →
Whether it applied to building solid relationships between Team HISD members or making the most of tools from the Digital Age, “connection” was the common thread that tied many of the break-out sessions together on the final day of HISD’s 2013 Summer Leadership Institute on June 20.
Hundreds of campus leaders took part in the three-day event at the Reliant Center this year, and many came away with new insight into how the concept of “connectedness” could help boost student achievement.
Teachers and administrators need to work with students’ families in order to truly better their lives, said the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Summer Leadership Institute.
Karen Mapp, a Harvard University professor and consultant with the Department of Education, spoke to a packed hall of district and campus leaders during the second day of one of the district’s largest professional development events.
Campus and central office leadership teams are gathering at Reliant Center for three days of professional development at the 2013 Houston ISD Summer Leadership Institute.
This year’s theme is “Becoming Great All Over … The Connection Between Rigorous and Consistent Instruction and School Safety,” and attendees took part in a number of breakout sessions designed to show how those concepts intersect.
Houston ISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier smiles after writing a message on a bus during the Summer Leadership Institute at Reliant Center, June 18, 2013.
During the first day of the HISD Summer Leadership Institute, Superintendent of Schools Terry Grier challenged principals to share what they can do every day to help their staff, their school, and their students to “become great all over.” Instead of writing their thoughts down on a piece of paper, however, the school leaders grabbed paint pens and “tagged” an HISD school bus parked in front of Reliant Hall.
“Great teachers, principals, and support staff is what it is all about,” said Dr. Grier, as he grabbed a black paint pen and inked his thoughts on the bus. “Our investment in human capital here at HISD is sincere and it is an extremely important piece of what we are ultimately trying to do, which is to make all our schools and students great.”