Leadership

Leadership Blog


Keys to Great School Building Designs
Keys to Great School Building Designs

The vast majority of the 250 schools I have visited over the last decade were designed and built with little alignment to what many of use believe is the future of learning. School communities have spent vast treasure building learning spaces that re-enforce an industrial model of education that should have been retired thirty or more years ago.

Tue Oct 04 07:48 AM

Football
Winning Is A Process

If you are like me, this is certainly one of your favorite seasons of the year and the particular season to which I refer has little to do with the weather. On the other hand this season has everything to do with school colors, fight songs, tailgating, game-day attire, and how we structure and schedule our Saturday afternoons and evenings.

Tue Sep 13 09:25 AM

The Winning Grants Institute
The Winning Grants Process

Some of the most interesting conversations about grants happen when I am on the road or in the air. Recently, a gentleman named Emmanuel and I started a conversation while waiting for a plane. Naturally, I am always eager to talk about grants. But unfortunately, I hear the war stories of those who have been too fearful even to try to seek a grant, or I hear lament from those who refuse to run into a brick wall again. Emmanuel runs several non-profits, so he was especially eager to hear about my work. Again, I found myself quoting from my own book, The "How to" Grants Manual, as I tried to put grant seeking in perspective. Quoting from my book is not challenging after authoring nine editions of it and teaching it for 50 years.

Wed Aug 24 11:04 AM

staff
As the new school year begins…SOME KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER!

Have I done everything I can to prepare for this school year? Have I forgotten something that's key to keeping everyone informed? As school leaders, we are always thinking about what we need to do next.

Tue Aug 09 10:59 AM

The Winning Grants Institute
The Winning Grants Institute

The Winning Grants Institute is an innovative partnership between The Akribos Group and David G. Bauer Associates and is based on The “ How To” Grants Manual, now in its 9thedition. The Winning Grants Institute has developed a program that results in a success rate of approximately 50% and made it available in a cloud-based format.

Tue Jul 26 04:06 PM

Leading Schools
Leading Schools That Focus on Both Meaning and Purpose

This week I am visiting the venerable Tower Hill School in Delaware to share thoughts about the status of education in a rapidly changing world, and some vision about how a leading school might impact the big challenges ahead. I was asked to share a few examples of schools that are really leading the way. This is always a difficult task because there are so many, and so many I don’t even know about. Over the last decade there has been a virtual tsunami of K-12 innovation, much of it leading towards a much more student-centric, inquiryproject-experiential learning environment. As I said back in 2012, we are re-finding what eduleaders like Montessori and Dewey knew 100+ years ago.

Tue Jul 12 09:35 PM

Change
Schools Don't Change, People Do

“The Core of Change is Learning. Which is ironic. Our institutions of learning are slow, some might even say, immune to change.” – ‘The Human Side of Changing Education’, Julie (Wilson) Jungalwala

Tue May 31 09:01 AM

Together
A Model for Real World Learning Partnerships

Is your school, like so many others, thinking of leveraging community partnerships for real world, student-choice learning? If so, read on!

Tue May 17 08:35 AM

3 truths
3 Truths for the Future of Education, The Urgent Need to Build a Modern-Day System of Learning

Here we are in spring 2022. COVID-19 is shifting from pandemic to endemic. Putin invaded a sovereign nation and revived the threat of global nuclear war. Inflation is the highest it has been in four decades. And if you have been working in schools, you are the closest to burnout you have ever been – or well past it. School administrators and teachers have been heroic in their efforts to prop up the creaking bureaucracy of our inherited system of schooling. A system that was designed during a time when teachers and textbooks were the predominant sources of knowledge and the path after secondary school was highly predictable.

Thu May 05 02:05 PM

school status
Why Data-Informed Communication is a Game-Changer for K-12 Districts

If engagement through two-way communication is part of your strategic plan, it may be time to think critically about the tools teachers are using to reach parents. Most K-12 communication solutions weren’t built with consideration for analytics, or administrator oversight. Other common issues are lack of language translation, one-way mass text blasts, and robo calls with no way for parents to return a phone call. Feature-rich parent apps may seem like the solution, but apps only work for the parents who will download them. What results is inefficient communication that frustrates teachers and parents alike. For a district administrator, these issues may go unnoticed because they can be difficult to observe. Educators are innovative–experts at making the most of the tools available to them with little extra time. Your teachers may be using a free app with little security, a tool with no administrator oversight, or their own cell phones to talk to parents. What are the signs that your teachers need better tools so that parent engagement is supporting your district goals?

Tue Apr 12 10:21 AM

innovations
Innovative Practices Spotlight: SchoolStatus: K-12 Student Data Analytics & Parent Communication

At The Akribos Group, we are fully committed to research-based practice and data informed processes and solutions. In support of that commitment, we attempt to provide informative insights and resources that support educational institutions and organizations in their efforts to facilitate productive and efficient programming. In this edition of Thought Leader, we are pleased to share content from our friends at SchoolStatus with a focus on data informed parent communication for effective strategic planning.

Tue Apr 12 10:17 AM

Change
Leverage Points of Change: Part II

If you are trying to change your school, this is where your efforts will be most rewarded. In Part II, we again visit the work of systems guru Donella Meadows who identifies ” ‘leverage points’ within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything.” In Part I, I covered her Bottom Six, or less impactful leverage points; in this post I translate the Top Six.

Tue Mar 15 08:11 AM

cloud
Leverage Points of Change: Part I

Schools are complex systems. In a meaty article by systems guru Donella Meadows (HT to Tim Fish at NAIS for sharing with me) we find that, “Folks who do systems analysis have a great belief in ‘leverage points’. These are places within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything.”

Tue Feb 15 01:29 PM

The COVID Experience
Leadership Lessons for Defining Moments: The COVID Experience

The Covid 19 Pandemic was declared a national emergency on March 19, 2020, and most of us would agree that the past twenty-two months have been memorable, and unfortunately not all those memories have been pleasant. A world-wide pandemic with resulting implications, compounded by a highly contentious political season, has left many of us worn and weary looking for a much brighter future. The covid experience has certainly given us multiple opportunities for personal and professional reflection and learning and this is particularly true for those who serve in positions of leadership. Without a doubt, many leaders find themselves in a truly defining moment, both personally and professionally.

Tue Feb 01 02:14 PM

True Greatness
True Greatness by Dr. Kevin Elko, Akribos Guest Contributor

As I prepared to go on my journey to help football teams open the year I considered the concept of greatness. What is it and how do I help teams and athletes achieve it? The late Muhammad Ali often said, I am the greatest of all time. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean that he was the best boxer? A god, man or both?

Tue Jan 11 09:28 AM

Season's Greetings
Season’s Greetings and Appreciations!

The COVID-19 global pandemic has created an environment of unparalleled challenge for our economic, educational, and social support systems. In the wake of these challenges, the academic and social needs of our school-age populations and the subsequent expectations for educators to address those needs has only increased.

Tue Dec 07 08:32 AM

The Whole Education Series
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Strategies That You Can Implement Today

In an effort to place concrete, ready-to-implement SEL strategies in the hands of more educators, more quickly, The Center for Educational Effectiveness recently released an online training course taught by SEL specialist, Dr. Greg Benner from the University of Alabama. Research shows that SEL not only improves student achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students (Durlak et al., 2011). In the six-module SEL training, called THE WHOLE EDUCATOR SERIES, Dr. Benner asserts that the many benefits of implementing strong SEL strategies don’t end with the students, but can be of vast benefit to educators themselves, decreasing their own stress levels and potential for burnout - a critical point given that job-related stress is the primary reason for 43% of educators leaving teaching before and during the pandemic (RAND Corp., 2021).

Wed Nov 10 07:15 AM

The Whole Educator Series - Innovation
The Whole Educator Series

As a part of our research partnership with The University of Alabama College of Education, The Akribos Group is pleased to offer our enthusiastic support for The Whole Educator Series. The program was conceptualized and founded by Dr. Greg Benner, O’Sullivan Professor of Special Education, and Implementation Science at The University of Alabama, who is a recognized leader in Whole Child transformation programs.

Wed Nov 10 07:05 AM

putting it all together
Putting It All together (Part V)

Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Dean James E. Ryan states, “Right now, there exists an almost ironclad link between a child’s ZIP code and their chances of success.” In this five-part blog series I have questioned policy and practice, over reliant on standardized test scores and indirectly the standardized movement, against the stark reality of few schools providing transformative opportunities for students inside of their school systems.

Tue Oct 26 09:18 AM

Road Closed
What Gets In The Way of Moving Quickly To Serve Our Students? (Part IV)

John F. Kennedy stated, “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.” The quote is resonant, particularly in this time as since March of 2020, school operations and education delivery have been highly variable across our country. However, it is overly convenient to attribute our difficulty in getting timely supports to children solely because of the COVID pandemic.

Mon Oct 04 09:00 PM