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Reward and recognition is something we write about a lot in What’s Right. Today I share with you a video from last year’s first annual What’s Right in Education seminar where Principal Mary Jo Raczkowski-Shannon discusses her school’s response to the lowest scoring item on their Parent Satisfaction Survey: “I receive positive phone calls or notes about my child from the school.”

 

Sometimes as leaders we receive pushback when we initiate or support change even when you and your colleagues know that changes need to be made. This is when Kotter suggests leaders need to develop within their organization (or school) “a distinctive attitude and gut-level feeling… to make something important happen today.” Increased student learning is the (important) end goal for schools. So what does improvement in parent satisfaction have to do with it? When teachers develop partnerships with parents, they welcome the parents to the school year, listen carefully to understand their situations and needs, and remain mindful that parents need to hear good stories about their children.

Think what parents can do to help teachers work with students to increase student achievement. Furthermore, Principal Raczkowski-Shannon describes the good things that resulted when she and her colleagues worked through the uncomfortableness of change; that is, teachers began realizing that by connecting with parents through positive phone calls and notes to recognize and reward student success they began creating positive relationships with their parents… and student achievement increased.

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Hunt Elementary School is home to the Junior Vikings! Its mission is to teach all students basic grade level skills and promote social, emotional, physical and academic growth. Check out “Hunt Happenings” and their March 2012 Newsletter. Enjoy a virtual tour of Hunt Elementary here.

Kotter, John. 2008. A Sense of Urgency. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press.

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 fifth 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.