Under the Umbrella, Volume 1, Issue 7


Under the Umbrella

Volume 1, Issue 7

February 2019





Women in Leadership





CONTENTS Volume 1, Issue 7

2 Keeping in Touch During the Legislative Session, G.A. Buie


3 Women Make Great Leaders, Donna Zerr

5 Does Gender Impact Leadership?, Suzan Patton


6-7 Our Vision, Mission, & Goals? Where is the Fit in 2019?, Dr.

John Vandewalle

7 Redesign From Canton-Galva Schools, John Denk


10 Train According to the Possibilities, Not the Protocols, Doug


11 Online Activity, Offline Trouble, Jeff Bean


12-13 We Can Do Better: 5 Guiding Principals for Improving Fluency

Assessment, Cindy Jiban

13 Teacher Evaluations Have Dramatically Changed the

Principal’s Job, Denisa R. Superville


14-16 Live Well, Lead Well, Mark Wilson

18-20 Improve Attendance, Behavior, and Academics! It Begins

With This, Mark Wilson


22 Amazon Launches ‘Future Engineer’ Program to Aid Pursuit of

Computer Science Careers, Lauraine Genota

22 CTE Training Not New to High Schools, Jerry Henn

24-25 Upcoming Events




2018-2019 USA-Kansas

Board of Directors

Sean Cochran—President, KASEA

Ryan Jilka—President Elect, KAMSA

Pete Bastian—Past-President, KAESP

Mike Berblinger—Director, KSSA

Cory Gibson—Director, KSSA

Eric Hensen—Director, KASBO

Volora Hanzlicek—Director, KASCD

Ron Barry—Director, KASSP

Justin Henry—Director, KSSA

Christie Meyer—Director, KASCD

Bert Moore—Director, KASEA

Suzan Patton—Director, KSSA

Dennis Peerenboom—Director, KASPA

Jake Potter—Director, KanSPRA

P.J. Reilly—Director, KCCTEA

Donna Schmidt—Director, KASSP

Glen Suppes—Director, KSSA

Patrick Schroeder—Director, KAESP

Donna Zerr—Director, KASSP

G.A. Buie—Executive Director

Jerry Henn—Assistant Executive Director



G.A. Buie, Executive Director, USA-Kansas

It has been eight long years

since the democrats felt like

they had a say in Kansas

Government. The election in

November of 2010, put a wave

of conservative republicans in

control of the house, senate,

and governor’s office. I am sure I do not have to

tell you what happened next, even with a stronger

moderate republican presence during the last four

years, democrats often felt like outsiders looking


Stay tuned with USA-Kansas as we keep you

informed on the activities in the Capitol; we have

already started with our weekly Capitol Connection

released on Friday’s. The Connection is a one to

two-page weekly update including bills, testimony,

and activities in the Capitol. The Capitol Chatter is

posted on Mondays and the Chatter includes a

behind closed door look at what is happening

around the Capitol hallways. Each of these updates

and more will be shared through our USA-Kansas

App and will be stored on the USA-Kansas

members only portion of our website.

Following Governor Kelly’s State of the State

speech, KASB and USA-Kansas hosted a reception

for all legislators, but it was the democrats who

had the extra pep in their step. Granted, the

republicans still maintain advantage in both the

House and Senate but having a democrat in the

Governor’s office helps set the tone. Kelly clearly

put education and educators at the top of her


Download the

USA-Kansas App!

Search for USAK in the

app store or use this

QR code for fast





Donna Zerr, Principal of Augusta High School, USA-Kansas Board of Directors

Growing up, my teachers, friends,

and even my mother told me I was

too bossy. What if they would have

told me I had excellent leadership

skills instead? J Women make great

leaders! The odds are against us to

lead – it takes the added push to

get to the top. Most women who

emerge on top are extraordinarily sharp and vibrant.

I’ve learned so much throughout my career from other

women who have excellent leadership skills based on

their individual strengths and their personality traits.

Maybe “bossy” wasn’t the best description; however,

it’s imperative that we continue to encourage women

to capitalize on their skills to take on those leadership


Just a few weeks ago, Laura Kelly was inaugurated as

the governor of Kansas. What an inspiration she is as a

female in the top position of our state government!

We need to continue to follow women such as her to

learn, grow, and develop women in leadership

positions. I’ve had many women as role models for

me, and I enjoy discussing, questioning and emulating

them, to establish the quality traits that make them so

successful. Women can learn from other women, and

that’s how we will keep them in prominent and

influential roles. Another method I like to employ is to

read books and watch movies about inspiring women

who have leadership influences. Below I’ve listed and

briefly described a few books that anyone (female or

male) might enjoy and increase their knowledge and

appreciation of women leaders.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl


Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving

leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes,

and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can

empower women to reach their full potential.

Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their

Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life by Nancy D


A good read for women looking to go beyond obstacles

and skillfully overcome stereotypes. This book offers

insights of multiple women and will leave you inspired.

Leading Gracefully: A Woman’s Guide to Confident,

Authentic & Effective Leadership by Monique Svazlian


This book covers leadership styles, collaboration, and

finding the balance of women’s inner qualities and

established rules of business.

New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the

Workplace by Susan Packard

Packard shares her career story with humor, including

the successes and the mistakes. She provides you with

insight and inspiration to play the business game

smarter, stronger, and more successfully.

Thrive by Arianna Huffington

This book is about taking care of yourself as much as

your work. Arianna tells a personal story of her health,

her life, and her job and how she juggles it all.

"No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the

potential of its women and deprives itself of the

contributions of half of its citizens." -- Michelle

Obama, First Lady of the United States

Women in Leadership

• Defy the odds

• Are flexible

• Lead by example

• Wear many hats

• Handle crisis situations well

• Communicate effectively

• Can multitask successfully

• Motivated by challenges

• Are great listeners

• Focus on teamwork

• Empathetic and nurturing

• Value work-life balance



Suzan Patton, Superintendent of Pratt Public Schools, USA-Kansas Board of Directors

Are there leadership differences

between men and women

superintendents because of their

gender? Are there differences

between Laura Kelly and Kathleen

Sebelius? Both elected governor

of Kansas. How about Donald

Trump and Barack Obama? Both elected president of

the United States? See any similarities or differences?

Fundamentally, are leadership styles about gender or

simply the amalgamation of one’s own values,

background, personality?

My experiences

and observations

as a female district

leader suggest that

gender differences

do not play a role

in the strengths or weaknesses of a superintendent. I

am the sum total of my inherited and learned

leadership skills and individual personality, not my


I am the sum total of my

inherited and learned

leadership skills and

individual personality,

not my gender.

The significance of culture could not have been

demonstrated any clearer than watching the

Alabama-Clemson National Football Championship

and listening to post-game comments from team

leaders, coaches and players. Clemson’s Dabo

Swinney used words like “love, family, our players

and staff.” Guess which words came out of his

quarterback’s mouth, “love, family, the seniors, and

coaching staff.” Notice a similarity? One of the

Tigers’ senior linemen talked about loving his

coaches. No doubt they were overly joyed in the

moment of victory, but to repeatedly hear the same

phrases suggests those words are part of the

culture. Coach Swinney, as their leader, has

established common themes. Ask any K-Stater

about Bill Snyder and family is a recurring theme.

There’s a reason family is part of the K-State’s

stadium. I don’t think it’s any accident; both Snyder

and Swinney know the importance of establishing

the right culture for success.

For instance, as a district leader, my fundamental

core focus is district culture. By surrounding myself

with the people who share my core values,

compensate for my weaknesses and accentuate my

strengths, and share my vision through teamwork,

we create a culture where people want to come to

work every day and do their best. If bus drivers,

paras, custodians and teachers are doing their best,

they create a culture where our students will be

successful. Culture is not a male/female leadership

focus; culture is a value held by many

superintendents, male AND female.

How superintendents lead their districts is not a

matter of gender. Superintendents are humans who

are called to lead and bring many skills, not just pink

or blue ones, to the job. What’s more, as Coach

Dabo says, leaders, “B.Y.O.G. (Bring Your Own





Dr. John Vandewalle, CEO Lumen Touch, johnv@lumentouch.com

It’s a New Year and we have just rung it

in 2019.

New Year resolutions are said

to have evolved from the

days of the Babylonians when

in spring as the lands were

readied to seed, the new king was elected or

allegiance to the reigning king was reaffirmed. At

this time the populace would make promises to the

gods to pay their debts and return borrowed items

to their owners. If they obeyed, they were given

favor by the gods otherwise they were condemned.

This was away of creating

accountability and striving

for good.

Our accountabilities in our

organizations are embedded

in our vision, mission, values

and goals. Since we are all in the mood for

resolutions at this time of the year, let’s cash in

while the emotions are blowing in our favor. Let’s

reinforce the change we are bringing about for the

sake of our students. Let’s give them the best start

in their lives so that they too will be making high

aspiration resolutions and hold themselves


“What leadership skills are you going to exercise to

exemplify your conviction to a new world of

education?” “What will you do in 2019 to

dramatically improve the well being of all our

students?” “Can you visualize 2019 and be sure it


is dramatically different to

2017 and unrecognizable

from 2016?” “Can you

support the dream that Dr.

Randy Watson has visualized

for us?”

As we ventured into the universe of Gemini and

Mercury schools in the universe of Kansas, we came

across two episodes that are worthy of mention.

Teen is getting his high school and

Harvard diplomas in the same month

Braxton Moral from Ulysses,

Kansas has achieved what many

16-year old’s would love to

achieve when he graduates a

high school diploma and

bachelor’s degree at the same

time. Carlos Moral, his father said they began to

realize their son was special when he was in the

third grade.

This is an example of where leadership and

resolutions came into play years ago that bore the

fruit of vision, mission and goals. This is where an

independent plan of study worked; this is where the

system was challenged; this is where the leadership

showed that there is a better but different way.

School District in Kansas

is showing the way

Dighton Unified School District

482 is a Gemini District and is

venturing its course!

“By being a Gemini district, we

drive the changes in our

approach and how those approaches will best benefit

our kids. We are moving toward a more modernized

educational system based on student choice, real-life

skills and improved concept mastery.” said

Superintendent Dr. Kelly Arnberger.

They want to be sure they don’t miss the

opportunities for all students. How do they know

they are different? Well, others are wanting to see

what they are doing so now they have a new

responsibility. They have to manage all the visitors

and the way they tell their story while continuing to

focus on their space and their journey to excellence.

Next month’s edition will bring some challenges of

Dighton’s journey as they strive to become the

picture of a Gemini District in an interview with some

of their leadership team. See you in this SPACE.



John Denk, Superintendent of Canton-Galva


As I look back to the beginning of our journey into the

redesign process, I am amazed by the power of our

educational community. Canton-Galva USD 419

teachers, CGKNEA and USD 419 School Board were

willing to take a leap of faith to choose this journey.

To comprehend the strength of this initiative, you

first have to understand that I was a first-year

superintendent. When the call went out for districts

to volunteer to redesign their schools, we had just

ended our school year; our teachers were gone for

the summer. Needless to say, it took a great deal of

courage, professionalism, and faith for our teachers

to accept this challenge under those circumstances.

Personalized learning is a principle of redesign that

we, as a district staff, believed could have the

greatest impact on the learning of our students.

Through our discussions, we determined that

blended learning and project-based learning (PBL)

were the best practice tools to initiate personalized

learning for our students. Blended learning would be

the foundation for instruction with PBL woven into

the foundation to strengthen learning and provide

greater application of knowledge. We hired trainers

who could come to our district and empower our

staff using methods on how to create a Blended

Learning Environment. We targeted leveled

instruction with one elementary trainer and one

secondary trainer who are spending two days per

month during the 2018-19 school year with our staff.

This approach has had a tremendous impact on our

teachers; we are already seeing a transformation

within in our classrooms. The focus is evolving our

classrooms from a teacher-centered model to a

student-centered environment. While we still have

much to learn before we reach the level of

personalization that we wish to attain, we feel we

are on the right path. The Canton-Galva staff is

gaining knowledge, experience, and confidence

through what they have learned, and they are now

implementing these skills in their classrooms. As our

teachers grow, so to do our students. Our goal is to

challenge our students to think, to be creative, and

to solve problems on their own or through

collaboration with others. We want our students to

be self-regulated and to take the initiative to find

their own solutions.

In addition, we are adapting the physical learning

environment in our schools. Our libraries are being

transformed into collaboration spaces and individual

study spots. We are creating tinker spaces and

maker spaces in which students may be creative

learners. We are also providing alternate seating in


our classrooms.

All of these

changes are

designed to make

our schools an


comfortable and

exciting place for

students to learn.

Furthermore, it is

exciting to see

the opportunities that are opening for our students

with college and career readiness initiatives including

job shadowing and internships. In addition, social/

emotional initiatives like our elementary school

“families” address SE topics in multi-age groups. I

cannot share everything we have on our agenda in

our redesign, but I can tell you that the process of

examining our district and determining how we

design it around our students’ needs has been

exciting, challenging, and rewarding.

What we have found is that the redesign process has

been a positive experience for our district. I won’t tell

you that everything has been easy or that it has all

gone smoothly; however, I can say that we have

grown as a staff and as a district, that positive

changes are taking place, and that we are continuing

to learn through this process. There is a lot of hard

work, fear and doubt that has to be addressed as we

work through the redesign process, but our

experience so far is that by accepting the challenge of

redesign, we will grow as a staff in ways we never

would have otherwise. Take the leap. We did and it is

worth it.

Retirement Plan Contribution Limit Changes

for 2019

403(b)/ Roth 403(b) / 457 Elective Deferral


Pre-tax 403(b)/ after-tax Roth 403(b) /

457 contribution limit will go up by $500

from $18,500 in 2018 to $19,000 in 2019.

If you are age 50 or over, the catch-up

contribution limit will stay the same at

$6,000 in both 2018 and 2019. The 457-

plan limit is separate. You can contribute

to both a 403(b) plan and a 457 plan.

Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limit

The pre-tax Traditional and after-tax Roth

IRA contribution limit will go up by $500

from $5,500 in 2018 to $6,000 in 2019.

The age 50 catch up limit is fixed by law at

$1,000 in all years. The IRA contribution

limits and the 403(b) limits are separate.

You can contribute to both a 403(b) plan

and a traditional or Roth IRA.


Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc.

Ameritime, LLC and Securities America are separate entities.





Doug Parisi, SafeDefend

With the changes to the crisis drill

requirements in Kansas, the

addition of intruder response drills

and lockdown drills have been an

overall positive thing. Most school

administrators had already added

these types of drills to the

preparedness training by staff. At

SafeDefend we encourage schools to regularly discuss

response options and consider scenarios for notification

in the event of hostile intruders. The manner in which

these drills are conducted, however, can greatly impact

the way the information is conveyed and maintained.

The idea should always be to prepare not to scare.

Fire drills and tornado drills have consistent response

protocols. Regardless of where the fire starts the goal

is to exit the building. A tornado warning clearly

indicates the need to take shelter in designated areas.

Very little deviation from these protocols is required.

Practicing these responses and having students be

familiar with expectations is necessary to achieve the

goal of keeping everyone safe.

Hostile intruder drills cannot be so easily handled.

There is no one response option that keeps everyone

safe. Real attacks have demonstrated that the events


are fluid and require various responses. Simply

instructing staff to lockdown and wait is an option but it

shouldn’t be the only option. Teachers and staff need

to understand that until help arrives their actions can

have important consequences. If you can get out safely

then that should be an option as well. If the intruder is

trying to get into the classroom be prepared to drive

them back out. In order to accomplish this the drills

should revolve around mental exercises and discussions

about options. Having kids hide in a corner while the

teacher locks the door and turns out the lights does not

prepare them to adapt when the situation changes.

Staff should spend

more time learning how

to communicate a

threat over the

intercom with simple

commands like

‘Lockdown, Lockdown,

Cafeteria Intruder!’

Staff that are informed

can make immediate

critical decisions that

will reduce casualties

and save lives. Simply hoping that police will arrive in

time and locate the intruder has shown to fail time and

again. Empowering staff and faculty can have

measurable results.





Jeff Bean, NAESP Principal

School Safety & Security – Three Steps for

Safer Schools

Submitted by Michele Jones, Director of Communications and

School Safety, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Three school safety related tasks that school districts

should accomplish this semester:

1. Contact your local first responders and ask for

their help in developing (or reviewing) a safety

plan. It is in everyone’s best interest for schools

and first responders to work together to build

the safety plan. Those first responders will be on

scene first, so it is important that they know the

plan, as well as the school. Work together and

seek assistance from the Kansas Safe and Secure

Schools Unit through KSDE.

2. Number exterior doors. Number doors starting

at the front door and go clockwise around the

building - the front door will be 1. Use vinyl-type

number labels that are large enough to be seen

from a distance. Label both the exterior and

interior of the door. Place the number in the

same location on each door (ex. top right

corner). This is a straight forward way to assist

first responders with navigating your building

campus, even if they have never been on site


3. Update your building maps. When was the last

time the school map was updated? Do your first

responders have current maps of all school

buildings? Items to include on the map: exterior

door numbers, severe weather shelter area(s),

elevator location, water, gas, and electrical shutoff

valves, fire alarm control panel, annunciator

panel, interior classroom numbers.

Any time is a good time to build positive relationships

with your community's emergency management

professionals, and engage them in ensuring the

safety and security of your staff and students. Don't

make the mistake of waiting until there is a crisis to

begin having these important conversations.

Bullying and violence often begin in the virtual world

and on social media before entering schools.

Cyberbullying and school violence have reached

epidemic proportions in our country. People can

engage in intellectual debates on the causes of these

problems and their solutions, but there can be no

doubt that the digital world in which our kids now

live has produced harmful effects.

Having been a School Resource Officer (SRO) in a

junior high school, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It is

not the same school setting we had a generation ago.

Today’s youth are more likely to communicate using

electronics than they are to talk face-to-face. And

they are having a harder time maintaining

communication through conflict, because they either

don’t need to or don’t know how.

Click Here to view full story.





Cindy Jiban, PhD

Oral reading fluency

assessment is now

commonplace in

American primary

grades classrooms.

Getting to this point

has been an

incredible victory for data-based problem solving in

education. However, given some of the side-effects that

have emerged, it is clear that oral reading fluency

assessment is due for significant structural improvement.

Educators and early learning experts at NWEA® recently

tackled the problem of next generation fluency

assessment. In the process, we talked about the role of

comprehension, rate, and accuracy. Here, we offer the

five guiding principles that could improve fluency


Let’s keep comprehension central

In many systems, oral reading fluency is assessed in

isolation—without comprehension checks on what the

student reads aloud. So instead of adjusting their rate to

best support their own understanding, most kids aim to

read as quickly as possible. If we want to keep reading

comprehension as the central goal in literacy instruction,

then we need to attend to the message we are sending

kids. It’s not that better reading is faster reading; instead,

better reading means getting more from the text.

When oral reading fluency is positioned as a gauge of

word automaticity, the downward extensions follow suit:

they focus only on skills that support word decoding. We

do not, however, see much downward extension for

comprehension. This is tragic given what we know from

research: early oral language comprehension is a crucial

predictor of later success in reading comprehension.


01 Principle for improvement: Emphasize comprehension

across the board. We need to ask kids to show

comprehension of what they read aloud. In assessing kids

who can’t yet read passages, we need to incorporate oral

language comprehension, not just early decoding skills.

Let’s adapt to assess where growth is meaningful

Increases in words correct per minute (WCPM) are

most meaningful as kids are developing some

automaticity with words. The sweet spot is from

about 10 WCPM to about 90 WCPM; this growth is

important in freeing up some mental space, so that a

student’s attention is no longer fully spent on

sounding out, re-trying, and self-correcting at the

single word level.

But for kids who are reading smoothly from gradelevel

text—and understanding it—we don’t care if

they can read faster. For these kids, meaningful

growth is about handling harder and harder texts with

good comprehension.

02 Principle for improvement: Adapt text level for

passage readers. If we don’t want to send the message

that faster is better, then we need to get beyond the onesize-fits-all

approach of assessing all kids only on grade

level text.

Oral reading fluency assessment can fail kids on the

lower end of reading development, too. Some not-yet

-reading kids are at zero words per minute in the fall,

and still at zero in the winter. So—no growth in

literacy? That’s typically not the case. We know that

for these kids, meaningful growth is happening in

foundational decoding skills and in oral language


03 Principle for improvement: Adapt to measure

emergent readers where they are growing. When a reader

can’t yet identify enough words to handle connected text,

time is better spent assessing what’s useful now in

instruction: foundational decoding and oral language


Let’s minimize the time spent on testing

In many schools, all students in first and second

grades are given oral reading fluency assessments

one on one. An efficient teacher might collect

WCPM data on her whole class in three days of

reading block time – and then do that again in

winter and in spring. And in other classrooms,

teachers prefer one-on-one assessments that can

take upwards of half an hour per child. The time

taken from instruction to do assessment adds up


04 Principle for improvement: Assess efficiently. We need

to support high-quality teacher student interactions in

literacy instruction.

Let’s use tools to advance rather than duplicate

Today, more than half of American teachers report

using 1:1 computing, where each student has a

laptop or tablet. We all have a phone that processes

speech input masterfully. It’s clearly time to use

technology to redesign fluency assessment for the


05 Principle for improvement: Use technology to raise the

bar. Instead of just replicating what we’ve done for

decades onto an electronic screen, let’s use technology to

do things smarter and more efficiently. Computer

adaptive testing and speech recognition offer two obvious

places to start.

We honor the research and the leadership that got

us to where we are today in oral reading fluency

assessment. It’s possible to make it even better.

Learn more about our approach to early reading

assessments at nwea.org.





Denisa R. Superville, Education Week

The pitched battles that once waged over morerigorous

teacher evaluations have long since

quieted, but there's a lasting legacy of those

systems: They have fundamentally changed the

principal's job.

They have increased principals' attention to

instruction and what's happening in classrooms. But

at the same time, they have created monumental

time-management challenges for principals that

could lead to turnover and burnout.

That's according to a new paper published online

last month in the Elementary School Journal, in

which researchers from North Carolina State

University, the University of Michigan, and

Vanderbilt University examined how multiplemeasure

teacher evaluations adopted as a result of

the Obama administration's Race To The Top

competitive grant program—and still largely in

place in many states—have redefined the

principal's role.


Click Here to view full story.



Mark Wilson, The Principal Matters

What is the framework we use to guide us in our

work as school leaders? In other words, why do you

lead your school the way you do?

Most of us lead based on the experiences we've

had. Sometimes we lead as we've been led, and

other times our prior experiences teach us what

NOT to do.

We can have more effective schools if we have

more effective leaders, but you won't DO well

unless you LIVE well. What does that entail? Let's

look at five areas.

1. Bring awareness to Stress and Wellness;

What gets talked about gets done. If you want to

have a culture of wellness at your school, talk about

it. Talk ABOUT stress; not around it. Everyone has

stress and teachers/administrators are no

exception. The first step, as they always say, is

acknowledging the problem, and we know that

stress is a problem for teachers and administrators.

There's a part of the "how to be a school leader"

narrative that we continue to perpetuate that you

might want to reconsider. It's the framework that's

based on: 1) working all of the time; 2) not

recognizing or addressing the stress of the job; and,

3) falling out of balance with the other facets of your


We have seen this as the norm for principals and

assistant principals for a number of years now, and

it's time to consider another approach on HOW to

be an effective principal.

That approach? Live well, lead well.

You can rightly assume that the reverse of this

approach is also true: If you don't live well, you

won't lead well. At least not for very long.


But, we also know that wellness is a solution to that

problem. What would it be like if staff wellness was

a cornerstone belief for your school or your

system? How might that positively impact

relationships between teachers and

students? Teachers and other colleagues?

What good might the example of wellness bring to

your students and your community? How might it

directly impact the performance of teachers and of


So, here's the truth: you either have an intentional

effort to focus on wellness, or you are just hoping

for the best. The challenge behind that "strategy"

lies within the increasing levels of stress reported

by teachers and administrators. We need a better

plan than to hope everyone makes it.

2. Establish Live Well/Lead Well as a norm, and not

exception of afterthought.

The answer for staff well being is NOT a once-a-year

promotion for losing weight. It also is not

sponsoring a 5K in the fall. Those activities can serve

to be a part of an emphasis on wellness, but we are

fooling ourselves if we stop at the awareness

level. As a school leader, your well-being and that of

your faculty and staff are essential for the work that

you are doing. Random acts of wellness won't be

enough; what we need is a sea change to help our

people live well to lead well, on a daily basis. How

can we partner with health professionals to teach

our faculty and staff techniques to curb stress as it

arises during the day? How can we support each

other to have healthy habits both at and away from

school? Should we really consider it a badge of

honor to say that, as an administrator we can't

remember whether we ate lunch? If living well is

just "what we do" at our school, imagine how that

can positively impact morale, performance, and


3. Lead by example from the system level.

The best way for a school to have an emphasis on

wellness? Be a part of a school system that makes a

priority of the well-being of its people.

Information on stress reduction can be shared with

all of the employees across the system. Healthy

habits throughout the day can be encouraged from

that same level.

For the most impact, the effort to manage stress and

promote wellness is collaborative, being fueled from

the system level with engagement among those at

the school.

4. Establish a framework of health habits;

(expectations, timeline, reflections, and review); 15

All right, you've established a need for stress

management and well-living; you've built a

framework to make it work. Now what? What do

you exactly do?

You may want to consider a two-part

approach: living well at work, and living well away

from work.

The idea of "living well away from work" holds even

more possibilities. What might you and your team do

to promote healthy lifestyles away from work? This

effort might include awareness efforts (about

exercise, hobbies, nutrition, and sleep) as well as

group activities (teacher bowling night; running club)

or encouraging your people to enjoy things with

family, friends, or on their own.

Some of your recommendations for living well at

work might include: an educational effort on

breathing techniques to reduce stress; an

encouragement for movement; strategies to catch

one's self when stress is building up. Your team

might also encourage some exercises in gratitude, in

recognizing other's support, and in activities to

provide a respite from what might otherwise be a

grind. Wellness at work is about what you do

individually, but also what you do as a group.

If you're thinking, "that sounds great but things are

too busy here for that to work," you probably are a

great candidate to build a healthier

workplace! Remember, like everything you do in

bringing about change, small steps lead to the

biggest goals. Don't roll it all out at once, but bring

about your change in stages, beginning with the

most willing participants.

Part of making this work is establishing that

boundaries are normal and that technology shouldn't

make any of us on call at all moments of the day and

night. There should be provisions for real

emergencies, but the fastest path to burnout for your

teachers (and leaders) is constant mental

engagement with work.

5. Establish accountability partners.

Want to do better? Make needed

changes? Accomplish your goals?

You might want to consider the power of

the accountability partner. As you begin an emphasis

on stress management and living well, very few

people will be against those ideas. However, very

few people will be able to reach those goals without

help. You'll provide lots of help: awareness/

education about healthy habits; encouragement of

making wellness a priority. The most significant help

for any individual is in having someone to hold them

accountable. A partner in wellness.


Having someone who has an interest in your wellness

and stress management provides you consistency

and support in your efforts. As you build your

wellness efforts, imagine the ways that an

accountability partner can be the key to

success. Think of how you can acknowledge and

recognize the efforts of the accountability

partner. Develop a plan to connect people together

in this way.



Mark Wilson, The Principal Matters

Let's take a quick look at what you spend a lot of your

time doing--- working to improve student

attendance, behavior, and academic achievement.

You want your students, each and every one of your

students, to come to school regularly. While there,

you want them to behave in accordance to school

expectations and to achieve academically.

You and your team are in a continuous process of

modifying your approaches to get your students to

maximize their effort in those three areas

(attendance, behavior, academics). You offer


incentives; you create disincentives for the undesired

behaviors. Your work yields some progress some

times, but it never seems to last and you always

seem to be working to make adjustments. Some

(and often many) of your students do what you want

them to do, and most likely do so with or without the

rewards and punishments you build into the system.

What if there were another approach you might take

that could yield better results with more lasting


What if you made a priority out of the

student experience? We talked about that in last

week's Principal Matters! and shared the three

questions that students ask themselves as they

come to school. (how will I be treated? will the

learning be interesting? what do others think?)

This week, let's focus on the first of those

questions: how will I be treated? Students of all

ages, in their own ways, want to how others are

going to treat them at school. They are particularly

interested in these four areas:

what the rules are in my class. I said, it tells them

everything that they need to know about your class

and respect. It's a good thing to share. The teacher

walked away without really getting what I was

hoping to share (and ended up leaving the whole

line out of the syllabus!)

1. Will I be treated with respect? Students often act

like... well, they act like kids a lot of the time. Will

the adults at your school always act like adults? Can

the adults at your school unconditionally treat their

students with respect? As an administrator, what do

you do to build a culture of respect for all in your

building? Have you discussed what it means to treat

students with respect?

Students aren't only interested in how the adults

treat them. They also care how their peers treat

them. It's interesting how much one follows the

others. In schools where respect is modeled by the

adults, the students begin to learn what respect is

like. The opposite is also true: in schools where

respect from the adults is conditional, the students

learn to do the same (and the adults don't like it!)

In my first year as an administrator, I asked my

teachers to share their syllabus with me before they

distributed it to their students and their

parents. One of my teachers had a line that read "if

you respect me, I will respect you." I handed it back

and asked that the teacher look at that item before

sending it out. The teacher came back and wanted

clarification. "I don't know what you're talking

about," the teacher replied about that item. I told

the teacher there were too many words on that

line. Still, the teacher didn't know what I was talking

about. Finally, I said take out the first part. ("If you

respect me...") and just leave the last part. The

teacher looked at me and said then it will only say "I

will respect you" and that doesn't tell the students

2. Will I be treated with warmth? Students want to

be treated with warmth and kindness. The most

effective administrators and teachers combine

expertise with warmth to build a relationship with

their students that develops the conditions where

learning is most likely to happen. As the late Rita

Pierson said in her popular TED talk, "kids don't learn

from people they don't like." One of the greatest

things we have going for us in school is willingness of

most of our students to like us, to respond to our

warmth, and to follow our lead in the classroom.

It can be as simple as this for a student: do the

adults at the school seem glad to see me? Harry

Wong said it long ago: greet your students at the

door. Help them feel welcome. Modern adaptations

of that are seen often on YouTube with teachers

greeting students with their own special handshakes

as they enter the room.

The power of feeling welcomed is stronger than all

of the rewards and punishments you could ever

stack up. If a student doesn't feel welcomed into

your room, it's all hard from that point. But if they

do, and you consistently keep that positive

classroom environment, you are halfway there from

the start. 19

3. Will I be treated with high expectations? One of

the most important questions to ask yourself as the

administrator is this one: What do the teachers at

my school REALLY think about our students? You

can have warmth and caring (and you REALLY need

to have warmth and caring) but it can't end

there. Students need warmth AND

expectations. Teachers who are confident in

knowing that the students in their classroom are

going to grow find the best results. When preceded

with warmth, students will give their best

effort. The greatest of teachers know how to

continue to get that effort to grow, a little bit each


Master teachers are

experts in treating kids

with high

expectations. There

are thousands of

stories of people who

can trace their positive spike in performance to a

moment when a teacher told them that they were

smart. Told them they could do it. Encouraged

them with expectations.

a place where people expect to grow? How might

you make it so?

4. Will I be treated with value? Everyone wants to

be valued. It's easy to value students who do what

you ask them to do the first time, show up to school,

and do well in their work. The students who don't

do those things? They need to be valued as well.

It's not about lessening your expectations for

performance; it's valuing students for who they

are. It's getting to know your students and the

unique things about them that make them who they

are. When they sense that you appreciate them,

they most often will in turn begin to value you and

the things that are important to you.

Why do students do their best work? Sometimes,

they find value in the work. Other times, they like

what comes with doing well in school. Many

students do what they do because they have

developed a relationship with the teacher. In other

words, they may not always value the work, but they

value their relationship with the teacher and are

willing to do more than they normally might do

because of that relationship.

Many of those moments don't seem monumental at

that time, but later are revealed to have been

pivotal in a person's story.

This isn't a suggestion for false expectations. It's the

concept that your school, and ALL of your

classrooms are a place of high expectations for

students, for student work, for how students treat

each other, and for students' growth. Talk about

those things with your teachers. Teach your teachers

how to build a classroom of high

expectations. When students fail to meet those

expectations, the adult response shouldn't always be

a punishment, but instead reteaching. Is your school


Those relationships aren't accidents. They're built

by teachers who are confident, capable, and

courageous enough to respect and value their

students, to treat them warmth and to challenge

them with expectations of growth every day.

Those teachers are more plentiful in schools led by

administrators who first do those same things with

their teachers. Good goes around.






Amazon is launching a "childhood-to-career"

program that aims to spur underprivileged children

and young adults to pursue careers in computer

science, according to a statement released Thursday.

With the Amazon Future Engineer program, the tech

giant aims to reach more than 10 million kids each

year through coding camps, online lessons,

introductory and Advanced Placement courses in

computer science. Through the program, Amazon

will also award computer-science related

scholarships and internships at Amazon.

"Computer science skills are some of the most indemand

in the modern economy," said Jeff Wilke,

CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. "We have

created Amazon Future Engineer because we

believe young people from all backgrounds should

have help from childhood to career so they can have

a future in this highly paid, rapidly-growing field."

Click Here to view full story.


Lauraine Genota, Digital Education,

Education Week



Jerry Henn, Assistant Executive Director,


CTE training is not something new

for high schools. Looking at what

is out there for training our

students is very large. There are

many different pathways our

students can choose, but for this

article I want to focus on only one,

Education and Training. This pathway focuses on our

profession and with the current state of students

choosing this profession at an early stage continues to


When should we start talking about our students

becoming educators? That is a great question. In

2010, the Department for Education published an

evaluation of career education in primary schools.

This article simply said the more you talk to your

students and expose them to careers, students

became more confident to achieve their goals. So, if

this is the case, we need to start talking to our

students about education as a career.

We used to believe that modeling was all that was

needed to show our students what teachers did in our

day. But that has changed. We need to talk about

what teaching is and how it influences our lives as

well. We all have inspiring stories to share with

students, why don’t we do that? All levels of students

should be exposed to education as a possible pathway

to success. We must grow our own!

At the secondary level we must provide situations for

them to shadow and explore this profession. Provide

observation time for these students at not only your

district, but neighboring districts. Educators do have

the opportunity to expose students to many different

job opportunities, why not look at the one we chose!

Professional development Schedule at a Glance

USA Drive-In Events

No Cost to districts who are PLN Members,

$100 for USA members, and $200 for non-

USA members. Events run 9:00-2:00.

KASCD Conference


School Safety One Year Later-What’s

Changed? - G.A. Buie




USA Leadership Events

No Cost to districts who are PLN Members,

$100 for USA members, and $200 for non-

USA members. Events run 9:00-2:00. These

will be conducted by National Presenters.

Building School & Community Partners—Dr.

Sheila Harrity

2.20.2019—Lenexa, 2.21.2019—Goddard



48th Annual Conference

May 29-31, 2019

Hyatt & Century II Convention Center

Wichita, KS

Opening Speaker

Alan November




Closing Speaker

Kent Rader

& Conference


KAESP—Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals

KAMSA—Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators

KASBO—Kansas Association of School Business Officials

KASPA—Kansas Association of School Personnel Administrators

KASCD—Kansas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development

KASEA—Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators

KASSP—Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals

KCCTEA—Kansas Council of Career and Technical Education Administrators

KanSPRA—Kansas School Public Relations Association

KSSA—Kansas School Superintendents Association

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