February 15th Edition 

AWSA Update

Update on Title II Support for School Leaders

On January 25th, the DPI announced a new round of funding for the Educational Leadership Development Opportunity Grant.  Grant applications for this new round of funding are due February 20th, and AWSA is working with school and district leaders throughout the State on the new application.  Last September, AWSA alerted members about the DPI not supporting statewide in-depth professional learning and coaching support as it has done in the past through this grant program.  The alert asked members to contact the State Superintendent to support the AWSA Board of Directors’ request to fund this important work.

Common Questions Regarding Administrative Leave During a Workplace Investigation

The term “administrative leave” is often used in the employment setting, particularly in the context of high-stakes workplace investigations.This article is designed to answer frequently asked questions on what administrative leave is, when it could be considered, and the potential ramifications of placing someone on administrative leave. Read more here.

The Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework: Entry Points to Improving Your System (Article 3 of 3)

This third article in a three part series on the WI School Mental Health Framework focuses on tools available to leaders to assess the quality of existing mental health efforts. Assessing the system is not only a helpful first step in identifying areas for growth, but is also a necessary part of the ongoing process of continuous quality improvement. Read more here.

Social Media for School Leaders

For many of us, social media is both an amazing communication tool and a thorn in our side. This is especially true, I believe, for school and district leaders. On one hand, there is no easier and faster way to consistently reach a large group of people than through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social platforms. However, these platforms can be distracting and stressful to educational leaders when not used correctly.

This article sizes up social media as a communication tool and provides tips for using social media the right way as part of your school and district communications. Read more here.

February 1st Edition 

AWSA Update

It’s That Time of Year Again:  Fending Off the February Doldrums

For centuries, mariners crossing the Atlantic lived in fear of getting stuck in the dreaded Doldrums, that latitude near the equator where windless waters could strand sailed vessels for weeks or months at a time – and at great peril!  February has a similar quality to it, generally feeling like “the Doldrums” of the school year, where fall excitement has dissipated, relationships and patience can be strained, and winter routines mix to put a school at risk of stagnation and even regression.  With anticipation of this regular school year phenomenon in mind, this article provides several approaches for fending off the February Doldrums so that you can keep your crew focused and energized for successfully navigating the challenging waters ahead. Read more here.

Upcoming Legal Webinar on March 2nd!

Principals and associate principals, as building leaders, are consistently involved in supporting and growing their professional staff, whether that be through the Educator Effectiveness process or more informal coaching/mentoring.  However, there are frequently instances when the principal or assistant principal must put on a different “hat” and become the “supervisor” of a professional employee and play an entirely different role from that of professional development. 

Click here to register for When A Professional Staff Member’s Performance Or Conduct Requires Specific Attention:  The Role Of A Building Leader As The “Supervisor” Of Professional Staff.

The Why, How and What of Neuroplasticity

One of the most exciting and fascinating recent discoveries in neuroscience research is the human ability of neuroplasticity. Simply put, neuroplasticity is the capacity for the brain at any stage of one’s life to grow, change, and, in essence, learn.  It is a superpower we all possess and can use on a day-to-day basis! Read more here.

Adolescent Literacy Series: Compare and Contrast

Part six in a series of articles focused on the seven proficiencies. One might contend that the foundational skill of compare and contrast is a challenging skill for some children to master and, as a result, we should hold off teaching it until a certain age or a certain grade level. However, we know that when skills are introduced at an early level – even in the most basic formats – we are providing that background knowledge that becomes so necessary later in our students’ academic careers. Read more here.