As legislatures convene regular sessions, we at SREB have observed an uptick in bills focused on school safety. Some propose dramatic changes in the way school districts hire and train security personnel, develop emergency plans, or address students’ mental and emotional health. Others make technical changes to standing laws in order to lower the barriers districts face in creating safe learning environments.
Assistant principals supervise the hallways and the lunchrooms. They observe teachers and coordinate testing. They serve as the first line of response for discipline referrals, guide wayward students with humor and compassion — and do their best to make their principals look good.
It’s a lot, but most assistant principals truly love their jobs and know that what they do is critical to their school’s success.
Pinellas Park Middle School is about as challenging a school as you can find in Florida. The state has assigned it a grade of D for the past several years. All of its students receive free lunch. Twenty-three percent of its students have already been in some form of drop-out prevention program prior to enrolling at Pinellas Park.
The Florida Turnaround Leaders Program is a big hit in Florida that will ultimately result in better principals, better schools, and higher-performing students. “This program has provided the best professional development I have ever experienced in my 25 years as an educator,” said one participant.