PD School Partners
Five years as a Principal
Five years as a Principal of a Middle School of 1000+ students is often regarded with a gasp and a look of utter condolences by many who hear the numbers – number of years, grades and total student population.
Challenges and Support from PD school partners
However, to hear stories of the challenges I faced as a new leader, and the level of support that I received from CITE representatives in my journey, is truly incredible.
Some of the challenges that I faced as a new Principal:
- the school was one of nine public schools placed on the persistently dangerous list- a list that identified schools that had high levels of dangerous incidents.
- being identified as a School In Need of Improvement based on New York State Education criteria in Math and in English Language Arts.
- a lack of resources that to provide tools for teachers and students to maximize their opportunities for success and to meet the new demands of the Common Core State Standards.
Following my JIT (Joint Intervention Team) review (which was conducted two months into my position!) I contacted CITE and met with an eager representative who knew education and policy in depth. This representative, Carl Sanfilippo rolled his sleeves up and took me under his wings to provide much needed support in developing and implementing viable action plans.
What we did
After several weeks of conducting walkthroughs, calibrating our findings, developing and implementing action plans, I requested a commitment from CITE that they would work with me to ensure that the vision of success for all parties in the school community be realized.
It’s been four and a half years and we’ve since been removed from the persistently dangerous list, made progress by state standards in ELA and Math, acquired over 6.5 million dollars in grants and other funding for various projects in The Arts, Extracurricular Activities, STEM Programs, Advance Regents Preparatory Classes, and College Partnerships.
Our experience of CITE as PD school partners
CITE is not just about planning successful initiatives, but its about implementing these plans and seeing them through. CITE provides individualized support that covers every aspect of improving schools. Representatives provide teacher development, leadership development, and community development.
I am fortunate to have CITE with me through my journey as a leader.
Rushell White is Principal of JHS 226 in Queens, NY.
Find out how your school and CITE could become PD school partners.
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