2011 Standards | School Culture and Leadership

Standard 5: School Culture and Leadership

The school culture is equitable and inclusive, and it embodies the school's foundational core values and beliefs about student learning. It is characterized by reflective, collaborative, and constructive dialogue about research-based practices that support high expectations for the learning of all students. The leadership of the school fosters a safe, positive culture by promoting learning, cultivating shared leadership, and engaging all members of the school community in efforts to improve teaching and learning.

1. The school community consciously and continuously builds a safe, positive, respectful, and supportive culture that fosters student responsibility for learning and results in shared ownership, pride, and high expectations for all.

2. The school is equitable and inclusive, ensuring access to challenging academic experiences for all students, making certain that courses throughout the curriculum are populated with students reflecting the diversity of the student body, fostering heterogeneity, and supporting the achievement of the school’s 21st century learning expectations.

3. There is a formal, on-going program(s) or process(es) through which each student has an adult in the school, in addition to the school counselor, who knows the student well and assists the student in achieving the school’s 21st century learning expectations.

4. In order to improve student learning through professional development, the principal and professional staff:
     • engage in professional discourse for reflection, inquiry and
       analysis of teaching and learning
     • use resources outside of the school to maintain currency with
       best practices
     • dedicate formal time to implement professional development
     • apply the skills, practices, and ideas gained in order to improve
       curriculum, instruction and assessment.

5. School leaders regularly use research-based evaluation and supervision processes that focus on improved student learning.

6. The organization of time supports research-based instruction, professional collaboration among teachers, and the learning needs of all students.

7. Student load and class size enable teachers to meet the learning needs of individual students.

8. The principal, working with other building leaders, provides instructional leadership that is rooted in the school’s core values, beliefs and learning expectations.

9. Teachers, students, and parents are involved in meaningful and defined roles in decision-making that promote responsibility and ownership.

10. Teachers exercise initiative and leadership essential to the improvement of the school and to increase students’ engagement in learning.

11. The school board, superintendent, and principal are collaborative, reflective, and constructive in achieving the school’s 21st century learning expectations.

12. The school board and superintendent provide the principal with the sufficient decision-making authority to lead the school.