Week 2 Update
14 September 2012
The second week of school created wonderful opportunities to reflect and dream about where we are and where we are going as a school district. School visits caused me to keep thinking about a book from a few years back, Good to Great by Jim Collins. He and a team of researchers reviewed thousands of companies for performance trends that showed a journey from being an above average performer to one of high levels of productivity and profitability. After analyzing the patterns in each of the 11 great companies, the research team identified compelling trends including:
- Level 5 Leadership: Leaders who are humble, but driven to do what's best for the organization.
- In Elmbrook every adult is a leader. Regardless of leading the district, the school, a classroom or a department/division, we all have the opportunity to do what is in the best interest of the organization as it serves kids. Thanks for your efforts to be humble and loyal to our mission in Elmbrook.
- First Who, Then What: Get the right people on the bus, then figure out where to go. Finding the right people and trying them out in different positions.
- During the visits this week I was awed by the powerful teaching and learning culture in our school district. The right people are on the Elmbrook Bus and now we are defining our destination. Going from great to greater will be one of the greatest challenges we have faced but to know that we have such talented people on the bus makes it all that more rewarding! Thank you to all the staff and parents that contribute to our journey.
- Confront the Brutal Facts: The Stockdale paradox - Confront the brutal truth of the situation, yet at the same time, never give up hope.
- In Elmbrook we have the unique opportunity to truly deliver on every student, every time, all the time. We are asking staff to review their school and classroom data and confront a brutal fact and work relentlessly for a solution that works for all kids.
- Hedgehog Concept: Three overlapping circles: What lights your fire ("passion")? What could you be best in the world at ("best at") What makes us successful?
- In Elmbrook, my passion is kids. What is yours? We can be the best in our sector at educating all kids. Our ACT can reach 27+ but it will take clear focus on those few high leverage strategies.
- Culture of Discipline: Rinsing the cottage cheese.
- In Elmbrook, our culture of discipline is as simple as every student authentically reading and writing every day. Are we making progress? How can all of us contribute to this effort?
- • Technology Accelerators: Using technology to accelerate growth, within the three circles of the hedgehog concept.
- In Elmbrook, technology may be viewed as a vehicle of change. Collins found it was an accelerator not a vehicle. How is your school leveraging technology to increase student engagement, providing anytime, anywhere access and allowing students to consume AND create?
- The Flywheel: The additive effect of many small initiatives; they act on each other like compound interest.
- In Elmbrook, we have our flywheel moving. Our results tell a great story. When you put your hands on the flywheel to help it spin faster, what do you dream about?
Thanks for a successful week. Seeing students engaged in meaningful and authentic reading and writing was the highlight of the school visits this week. Asking students to read and write like historians, mathematicians, scientists, authors, technicians and other professionals will help prepare students for their future like no other strategy. Thanks for all that you do to make dreams a reality for our students!
Congratulations on a great start!