Strategies for School Leaders That Promote School Improvement

Every school administrator should continuously look for new ways to improve their school. A school that is not progressively moving forward is a school that is failing their students. School leaders must always be open to suggestions and ideas for improvement. Being fresh and innovative should be balanced with continuity and steadiness so that you get a nice mix of the old with the new. 

The following ten strategies for improving schools provide a starting place for administrators wanting to provide fresh, engaging activities with all members of the school community. School improvement comes in many forms. Anything that provides positive interactions among the patrons in your school community fits the mold of school improvement activities.

Write a Weekly Newspaper Column

woman reading newspaper
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HOW – It will highlight the school’s successes, focus on individual teacher’s efforts, and give student recognition. It will also deal with challenges that the school is facing and needs that we have.

WHY – Writing the newspaper column will allow the public the opportunity to see what is going on within the school on a weekly basis. It will allow them the opportunity to see both the successes and obstacles that the school is facing.

Have a Monthly Open House/Game Night

HOW – Every third Thursday night of each month from 6-7 p.m., we will have open house/game night. Each teacher will design games or activities geared towards the particular subject area they are teaching at the time. Parents and students will be invited to come in and participate in the activities together. 

WHY – This will allow parents the opportunity to come into their children’s classroom, visit with their teachers, and participate in activities about subject areas that they are currently learning. It will allow them to be more actively involved in their children’s education and allow them to have more communication with their teachers.

Thursday Lunch with Parents

HOW – Each Thursday a group of 10 parents will be invited to eat lunch with the principal. They will have lunch in a conference room and talk about issues that are current with the school.

WHY – This allows parents the opportunity to become comfortable with me and to express both concerns and positives about our school. It also allows the school to be more personalized and gives them the opportunity to provide input.

Implement a Greeter Program

HOW – There are five class periods in our day.  Each nine weeks 10-eighth graders will be selected to participate in our greeter program.  There will be two students greeting per class period. Those students will greet all visitors at the door, walk them to the office, and assist them as needed.

WHY – This program will make visitors seem more welcomed.  It will also allow the school to have a more friendly and personalized environment. Good first impressions are important. With friendly greeters at the door, most people will come away with a good first impression.

Have Monthly Potluck Lunch

HOW – Each month the teachers will get together and bring food for a potluck lunch. There will be doors prizes at each of these lunches.  Teachers are free to socialize with other teachers and staff while enjoying good food.

WHY – This will allow the staff to sit down together once a month and relax while they eat. It will provide an opportunity for relationships and friendships to develop. It will provide a time for the staff to pull together and have some fun.

Recognize Teacher of the Month

HOW – Each month we will recognize a special teacher.  The teacher of the month will be voted on by the faculty. Each teacher who wins the award will receive recognition in the paper, their own personal parking space for the month, a $50 gift card to the mall, and a $25 gift card for a nice restaurant.

WHY – This will allow individual teachers to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to education. It will mean more to that individual since they were voted on by their peers. It will allow that teacher to feel good about themselves and the jobs that they are doing.

Conduct a Yearly Business Fair

HOW – Every April we will invite several businesses in our community to participate in our annual business fair. The entire school will spend a few hours learning important things about those businesses such as what they do, how many people work there, and what skills are needed to work there.

WHY – This allows the business community the opportunity to come into the school and show kids what all they do. It also allows the business community the opportunity to be a part of the students’ education. It provides the students with opportunities to see if they are interested in working a particular business.

Presentation by Business Professionals for 8th graders

HOW – About every two months guests from within the community will be invited to discuss the how’s and what’s of their particular career.  People will be chosen so that their particular career relates to a specific subject area. For example, a geologist might speak in the science class or a news anchor might speak in a language arts class.

WHY – This allows business men and women from the community the opportunity to share what their career is all about with the students. It allows the students to see a variety of possible career choices, asks questions, and find out interesting things about various careers.

Begin a Volunteer Reading Program

HOW – We will ask people in the community who would like to get involved with the school, but do not have children who are in school, to volunteer as part of a reading program for students with lower reading levels.  The volunteers may come in as often as they wish and read books one-on-one with the students.

WHY – This allows people the opportunity to volunteer and get involved in the school even if they are not a parent of an individual within the school district. It also provides students the opportunity to better their reading abilities and to get to know people within the community.

Start a 6th Grade Living History Program

HOW – Once every three months the 6th-grade social studies class will be assigned an individual from the community who volunteers to be interviewed. The student will interview that person about their lives and events that have happened during their lives. The student will then write a paper about that person and give a presentation to the class over that person. 

WHY – This allows students the opportunity to get to know people within the community. It also allows members of the community to assist the school system and to get involved with the school. It involves people from the community that may not have been involved in the school system before.