Try This Tip: “Share Clear Expectations” by Dr. Melissa Matarazzo

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Yesterday, I enjoyed a great, self-reflective discussion with the Cabinet and Lead Principals of the Chippewa Falls Area School District (WI). After reviewing results from a Studer Education  Straight A Leadership Assessmentand a Baldrige Quality Self-Assessment, we analyzed why different district leaders perceived their responsibilities, employees’ engagement, parents’ satisfaction, and the overall success of the district differently. One theme that arose was the importance of sharing clear expectations – amongst each other and all district employees. By engaging in a strategic planning process that will produce a small number of measurable goals that clearly define success, Chippewa Falls employees will gain increased awareness of what’s expected and will be able to celebrate success with pride.

If you think your district’s goals and expectations are clear, consider how the clarity of any message disintegrates as it travels from person to person, like in that old “telephone” game. To check if you are following this tip, ask yourself:

  • What are our annual goals, and how will we measure our success at achieving them? How will our leaders know if we’ve achieved our goals? How will our teachers know? Goals inform everyone what we are measuring, and therefore, what’s important and expected.
  • What are the few, key strategies we will implement this year to achieve our goals? Key strategic actions should be limited in number, identifiable throughout the organization, and aligned to achieving the goals.
  • What will effective implementation of our strategies look like in our school or district? What should we see leaders doing? What should we see teachers doing? What should we see students doing? Clear expectations for what the strategies look like in practice enable everyone to work towards effective execution.
  • How will we know if we are trending towards our goals throughout the year? How will leaders know? How will teachers know? Pre-identifying progress monitoring measures provides everyone with the opportunity to “check-in” on progress and revise ineffective actions before the year’s end.

 

Once you’ve answered these questions, cascade your responses throughout the district. Use all of your communication channels to share clear expectations and empower district staff to work towards your shared goals with greater energy and effectiveness.

StuderEducation

 

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MatarazzoMelissa is an Evidence-Based Leadership coach for Studer Education, located in Pensacola, FL. Previously, she served as the Executive Director for Achievement and Accountability in the Charleston County (SC) School District. She earned her Ed.D. through the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s (HGSE) Urban Superintendents Program, and received both a Masters in School Leadership and a Masters in Education Policy and Management from HGSE. Melissa has also served as a middle school principal in the Peabody (MA) Public Schools, and as an 8th grade teacher and assistant principal in the Derry (NH) Cooperative School District. Melissa has coached aspiring and novice leaders at KIPP Jacksonville, FL; supervised teacher interns at the College of Charleston, SC and instructed graduate students in administration at American International College in Springfield, MA. Follow Dr. Matarazzo on Twitter at @LrngLdr and follow Dr. M’s weekly post “Try This Tip” here.

Questions were adapted from the book How to Lead Teachers to Become Great, by Dr. Pilcher and Dr. Largue, where Principle 1 (of the book’s 5 principles) is When Teachers Know What to Expect They Perform. In addition, I integrated Studer Group’s Principle 2: Measure the Important Things, which is discussed in detail in the book Hardwiring Excellence, by Quint Studer.

Interested in learning strategies for setting and sharing clear expectations? Contact us for more information about our coaching for continuous leadership development and systems improvement. Register now for a complimentary 1-day learning session with our partners in Chicago, August 6, at #WRIE: What’s Right in Education.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Achieve an Excellence-Based Culture with Principle-Driven Leadership: Measure the Important Things

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Measure the Important Things is the second of The Nine Principles® which serve as a roadmap for leaders to develop and achieve an excellence-based culture. By measuring the important things, leaders drive performance to reach excellence. Key metrics aligned to organizational excellence include:

Surveys

Establishing and then measuring these key metrics help leaders hardwire or establish processes by which they or the organization, department, team, or individuals integrate behaviors or actions; and, hardwire a culture of excellence across all departments and schools in their school district, and across essential pillar goals goals aligned with the district’s strategic plan.

Santa Rosa has earned an “A” grade from the Florida Department of Education each school year since 2004; it’s one of only five school districts within the state to do so. It consistently ranks as one of the top districts in Florida for student achievement and performance. The district’s student performance measures show that Santa Rosa County is a great school district. The district’s challenge is sustaining its tradition of excellence, improving employee engagement and district support services, and creating a best place to work environment.

KeysSanta Rosa County is one example of a district and its school leaders taking action to create a systematic approach to drive employee engagement and service excellence results in support of all of the district’s goals. A key component of continuous improvement and achieving an excellence-based culture.

StuderEducation

 

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Join us August 6 in Chicago, IL, for What’s Right in Education for the keynote address “Driving Excellent Organizational Performance” by Quint Studer, Founder of Studer Group and best-selling author and international speaker. Learn about Evidence-Based Leadership℠ and creating a culture of execution that empowers organizations to move quickly and effectively, driving performance. Want more information about What’s Right in Education – Chicago? Check out the interactive agenda. Contact Dr. Melissa Matarazzo at melissa.matarazzo@studereducation.com to request complimentary attendance.

Read about “Commit to Excellence,” the first of The Nine Principles®, in this What’s Right post.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. The goal of our work with school districts and leaders is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Achieve an Excellence-Based Culture with Principle-Driven Leadership: Commit to Excellence

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Need an assist to develop and achieve an excellence-based culture? Leaders gain a roadmap by living and doing The Nine Principles®:

1. Commit to Excellence

2. Measure the Important Things

3. Build a Culture around Service

4. Create and Develop Leaders

5. Focus on Employee Satisfaction

6. Build Individual Accountability

7. Align Behavior with Goals and Values

8. Communicate at all Levels

9. Recognize and Reward Success

These principles are truths which ground or provide the framework for an excellence-based culture in organizations. They help leaders hardwire or establish processes by which they or the organization, department, team, or individuals integrate behaviors or actions.It starts with a commitment to excellence.

Dr. JoAnn Sternke, Superintendent of Pewaukee School District, shared at What’s Right in Education – Atlanta that her district’s commitment to quality and continuous improvement includes being “hungry to achieve quality and systematic in its pursuit” and being “passionate about improving our processes to achieve that quality.” The Pewaukee School District earned the 2013 Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award and in a Baldrige blog post highlighting the district and other Baldrige winners, Dr. Sternke added:

… At the heart there’s a culture around continuous improvement [and] also around a passion for core values. And at the heart of the Pewaukee School District’s journey are incredibly passionate people …  and they come to work each and every day wanting to do a great job serving kids and families

 

When a school district commits to excellence, leaders consistently and coherently move toward their goals and measures. They create a results-driven and performance-driven culture that produces improved student engagement, improved employee engagement, and a great place for faculty to teach and staff to work, and for children to receive an excellent education.

StuderEducation

 

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Join us August 6 in Chicago, IL, for What’s Right in Education for the keynote address “Driving Excellent Organizational Performance” by Quint Studer, Founder of Studer Group and best-selling author and international speaker. Learn about Evidence-Based Leadership℠ and creating a culture of execution that empowers organizations to move quickly and effectively, driving performance. Want more information about What’s Right in Education – Chicago? Check out the interactive agenda. Contact Dr. Melissa Matarazzo at melissa.matarazzo@studereducation.com to request complimentary attendance.

Quote from the official Baldrige blog by Christina Schaefer, April 7, 2014, Celebrating the 2013 Baldrige Award Recipients. Available online here: http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2014/04/07/celebrating-the-2013-baldrige-award-recipients/.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. The goal of our work with school districts and leaders is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

PD at Your Fingertips? Follow #Leadership Coaches on Twitter

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Do you have a “quote of the day” or “leadership tip” that hits your inbox each morning? Find yourself deleting or filing the majority of them? Maybe this is due in part to a quote from Mandela, “We must use time wisely…,” or maybe it’s because they simply get lost among the many emails you receive daily. A solution? Consider following thought leaders, leadership coaches, benchmark companies, and leading companies on Twitter. Here’s three reasons to give Twitter a chance for professional development (adapted from Severt, 05/16/2014):

It’s very strong on mobile.

Get answers from experts.

It’s a great search engine.

Severt also adds, “You can become an influencer,” which is an opportunity to share your experiences to enhance professional development opportunities with others, “The key is to listen, converse and provide valuable information.” Recent tweets from @StuderEducation, @LrngLdr, @janetpilcher, or @RobinLargue focused on professional development?

“It may seem like Baldrige is all results and processes…” Superintendent JoAnn Sternke

Great perspective for #Principals: Juggling our Social Media Roles…

Making Process Improvement ‘Stick’

Achieving Excellence: Engaged Leader? Yes. Engaged Team? Yes.

TwitterSE

Take the leap… or maybe I should say, “take flight,” and engage with Studer Education and our coaches on Twitter to discover more opportunities for professional development.

StuderEducation

 

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Join us August 6 in Chicago, IL, for What’s Right in Education for the keynote address “Driving Excellent Organizational Performance” by Quint Studer, Founder of Studer Group and best-selling author and international speaker. Learn about Evidence-Based Leadership℠ and creating a culture of execution that empowers organizations to move quickly and effectively, driving performance. Want more information about What’s Right in Education – Chicago? Check out the interactive agenda. Contact Dr. Melissa Matarazzo at contact@eblk12.com to request complimentary attendance.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. The goal of our work with school districts and leaders is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Where are your students reading this summer?

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Each year Florida hosts Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!, which includes a video PSA contest, book drive donations, and literacy awards (see blog here). The message is “just read.” This summer, North Middle School (School District of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin) is challenging its students (teachers, and Milwaukee Brewers mascot!) to “just read” and invites them to take a photo of themselves reading and share it on its Facebook page.

ReadAroundTheWorld

Below are some of the photos from Facebook!

NorthMiddle

How is your school promoting the importance of literacy? Follow this cool example from North Middle School… or share your own creative way of taking the lead to get students (and your community) to read!

StuderEducation

 

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“Read around the World” graphic adapted from the school district’s newsletter; photos of individuals reading from school’s Facebook page.

North Middle School is part of the School District of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. For more information about the school, check out North Middle School’s Facebook page and its website. Discover more about the School District of Menomonee Falls from the district’s website at http://www.sdmfschools.org/ or contact Mitch Maersch, the district’s Public Information Coordinator/Executive Assistant.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

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