November 30th Edition

AWSA Update

State Supports for Schools Responding to Critical Incidents: What Every Leader Should Know

Having watched my first principal mentor respond to a multi-fatality car accident early in my teaching career, I knew there were some things which school leaders COULD handle, but that they could handle better if they had some help. I have strongly believed ever since, that Wisconsin needs a robust support system for school leaders responding to critical incidents, preferably with that support coming from outside the  the impacted school community. Read more here.

Misa Sato Named Wisconsin Associate Principal of the Year

On November 10th Misa Sato, Associate Principal, Milwaukee Reagan High School was named Wisconsin’s Associate Principal of the Year.  The announcement was made during a surprise ceremony at Reagan. Sato, who has served as assistant principal of Reagan for the past six years, has focused on fostering a school culture based on respect and high expectations. Read more here.

Leading Collaborative Teams that Impact Achievement and Engagement

We have long known that collaboration and collective efficacy can transform outcomes for kids.  The state of Wisconsin, our school districts, have sent thousands of teams to institutes and professional learning opportunities focused on collaborative teams.  Yet, collaborative teams often get stuck in unit planning or sorting students based on assessment results and never get to the heart of the primary role of the PLC.  Read more here.

AWSA Recognizes John Forester’s Service

AWSA presented John Forester with its Outstanding Service Award at the Elementary Principals’ Convention in October.  John is retiring this December after leading the School Administrators Alliance for twenty years.  Read more here.

The Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework: Moving Towards an Integrated System of Supports (Article 2 of 3)

As discussed in the previous article, The Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework:  Shifting Perspectives about Mental Health, building and sustaining a Comprehensive School Mental Health System (CSMHS) requires schools to establish a shared understanding of mental health within the school community and a shared commitment to systems change. With this shared understanding and commitment in mind, schools can better approach the work of integrating mental health supports into existing academic and behavior support systems. Read more here.

Associate Principals Conference

Registration is open for the Associate Principal Conference held January 25-27, 2023 at the Concourse Hotel, in Madison. Conference highlights include keynote sessions by Dr. Niraji Nijhawan, Respond, Adapt and Thrive in a Chaotic World and Beth Houf, From Surviving to Thriving as a School Leader. Read more here. 

Middle and High School Principals Conference 

Registration is open for the Middle and High School Principal Conference held February 8-10, 2023, at the Kalahari Resort. Wisconsin's own Joe Sanfelippo, will open the conference on Leading Where You Are and the 2022 National Secondary Principal of the Year Beth Houfwill close the conference onFrom Surviving to Thriving as a School LeaderRead more here.

November 2nd Edition 

AWSA Update

Information for School Staff and Parent Organizations Regarding Referendum Communications and Activities 

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, there have been 166 school referendums this year, including 81 coming up on the November 8 ballot. More borrowing referenda are anticipated for the spring election as well. That is in addition to the 35 such questions that have already gone before school district voters this year. This Update is designed to educate building principals and other administrators regarding rights and restrictions surrounding communication about upcoming public school referenda. Read more here.

How to Respond, Adapt and Thrive in a Chaotic World 

No one has to tell school leaders that it is a time of great stress and anxiety in our communities and country. Some fascinating brain science discoveries can explain why this is happening now, but more importantly, how we can quickly flip switches in our brain to become much more resistant to stress and anxiety, thereby improving sleep, eating habits, and energy. Read more here.

Dr. Nijhawan  will be a keynote speaker at the Associate Principals Conference January 25-27, 2023 in Madison. More information can be found here.

Adolescent Literacy Series: Vocabulary 

This article on vocabulary is the fourth article in a series on how one high school has successfully improved student literacy by focusing on seven key proficiencies.  Vocabulary is the key to understanding what we want our students to know and be able to do; without it, our students are unlikely to comprehend the complex content in front of them. We know academic vocabulary is the mainstay of the classroom experience and what it has to offer. However, in this digital world of symbols, pictures, and characters is vocabulary and vocabulary instruction as vital? Read more here.

Alternatives to Suspensions and Expulsions 

Wisconsin public schools have a responsibility to ensure schools are safe places to learn. At times, schools, and districts resort to zero tolerance policies or exclusionary practices in an effort to ensure student and staff safety. This is despite research to show that these practices have demonstrated disproportional negative long-term impacts. There is a need to change policy and improve practice to reduce the need for reactive discipline that excludes students from school. Read more here.

CTE Coordinators: More than Grant Managers 

Wisconsin has a long history of career and technical education (CTE), and is one of less than 20 states with a program that prepares CTE administrators. Government leaders in Wisconsin realized the value of vocational/career and technical education and the specialized skills necessary for leading these programs that include integrated academic and technical content, partnerships with business and industry for work-based learning and career development opportunities, and partnerships with post-secondary education for dual credit programs (started in the 1980s with Tech Prep). Read more here.