On Saturday, April 27, members of the High Need Schools strand of the ISLDN met to review our progress and future activities. Our discussion focused on the following topics:
I. Research areas of leadership in high need schools that merit our future consideration
a. What are the rewards of teaching/working in high needs schools?
b. What policies promote and hinder turnaround efforts?
c. How can high need schools best recruit and screen teaching applicants?
d. How do high need school leaders use data to inform their decision making?
e. What are recommendations for continuing education and professional development for principals and teachers?
f. What mentoring is needed for these leaders to be successful?
g. How do high need schools sustain momentum over time?
II. Next steps for the High Need Schools team
a. Synthesize the findings from our work by addressing these questions
1. What is unique or different about leading high need schools?
– Magnitude, complexity, and urgency of conditions
2. How do successful leaders navigate this school environment?
– Leaders must understand these unique conditions
– Leaders must develop a shared vision and create a learning community
3. What are the implications for preparing and supporting leaders in these schools?
b. Determine possible dissemination outlets for our work
1. Linda Hammersley-Fletcher, the Editor of the BELMAS journal, Management in Education, is interested in having us develop a special issue. There is room for 8 articles of 3000 words each. Four would be from the Social Justice Group and four from the High Need Schools group. Those attending the BELMAS Conference in Edinburgh in July can discuss this in more detail.
2. Stephen Jacobson, Editor of Leadership and Policy in Schools, has expressed interest in having us submit a prospectus for a special issue. We decided to approach Management in
3. The 2016 New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society Conference will be in Dunedin, New Zealand and the theme will focus on social justice and high need schools. Ross Notman is on the planning committee and would like our work showcased during the conference. Mark your calendars for April 2016.
c. Develop a strategic plan for conducting studies and disseminating our work. This also should include the specific purpose for meeting at different conferences (e.g., AERA, BELMAS, UCEA).
d. Schedule working sessions at upcoming conferences
1. BELMAS 2013 (Friday, July 12, 9:00am-noon)
2. UCEA 2013 (Pre-session on Thursday, November 7, 8:00am-noon)
3. AERA 2014 (TBD)
III. Upcoming conferences where our work will be presented
a. BELMAS 2013
1. “Turning Around Low-Performing Schools: Policies, Practices, and Preparation.” Bruce Barnett (chair); Olof Johansson; Jami Berry and Jewell Harmon; QIAN Haiyan; Daniel Duke; and Michelle Young (discussant).
b. UCEA 2013 in Indianapolis (submissions)
1. ISLDN Pre-session, “BELMAS-UCEA Collaboration: The International School Leadership Development Network,” organized by Bruce Barnett and Howard Stevenson. Thursday, November 7, 8:00am-noon.
2. Symposium for High Need Schools group, “Policies, Practices, and Preparation for Turnaround Leadership in Low-Performing Schools,” organized by Bruce Barnett. Participants: Olof Johansson and Elisabet Nihlfors; Daniel Duke; QIAN Haiyan, Allan Walker, and Yang Xiaowei; Jami Berry; Miles Bryant and Nino Sharvashidze; Ross Notman; David Gurr, Lawrie Drysdale, and Helen Goode; and Lori Boyland (discussant)
3. Joint symposium with Social Justice and High Need Schools team members, “Learning from Each Other: Making Connections Between Studies of Leadership in High Needs Schools and Studies of Leadership for Social Justice,” organized by Howard Stevenson. High Need Schools members include: Olof Johansson (chair); Ross Notman; Miles Bryant; Kris Hipp and Mette Baran; and David Gurr (discussant)
4. Joint symposium with ISLDN, ISSPP and ISPP project members, “Understanding Leadership in Different Cultural Contexts: What Are We Learning from International Collaborative Research Projects?” organized by David Gurr. ISLDN participants include: David Gurr, Stephen Jacobson, and Olof Johansson; Charles Slater; Howard Stevenson, Bruce Barnett, and Daniel Duke; and Chris Day (discussant)
c. AERA 2014
1. Kris Hipp, Mette Baran, and David Gurr have agreed to prepare a proposal on our behalf. We discussed the possibility using the guiding questions in point II. a. above to shape our proposal.